Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Submarine II. [Conclusion]

This is coolbert:

Here is another class of submarine that was of dubious value? Intentions were good, and the concept was sound, but as a class, never came to fruition. Operationally, for intended missions, would have been of little consequence if had been deployed?

The Japanese The Sen Toku I-400-class submarine. An aircraft carrier submarine!

"The Sen Toku I-400-class (伊四〇〇型潜水艦) submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy were the largest submarines of World War II, and the largest ever built prior to the development of nuclear ballistic missile submarines in the 1960s. These were submarine aircraft carriers and each of them was able to carry 3 Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft underwater to their destinations. They also carried torpedoes for close range combat and were designed to surface, launch the planes then dive again quickly before they were discovered."

A submarine designed from the start to carry combat aircraft [three carried per sub]. NOT reconnaissance aircraft. Combat warplanes that could carry bombs and torpedoes. A submarine to approach enemy coast lines stealthily, launching flight combat missions against vital and critical targets.

"The I-400 was originally designed so that it could travel round-trip to anywhere in the world, and it was specifically intended to destroy the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal."

A submarine carrying a specially designed, top-secret float plane, the existence of which was unknown to American intelligence.

"They were able to carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft, each carrying an 800 kilogram (1,764 lb) bomb [or one torpedo]"

A submarine developed with very specific missions in mind:

"the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, devised a daring plan to attack the cities of New York, Washington D.C., and other large American cities as well as to destroy the Panama Canal."

"sen toku (secret submarine attack) . . . The plan was to sail westward through the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of Africa, and attack the canal’s Gatun Locks from the east . . . The flights would, of course, be one-way trips. None of the pilots expected to survive the attack, a tactic called tokko. Each pilot was presented with a tokko short sword, symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice."

It WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE for the I-400 class of sub to make an around-the-world-voyage and mission if they had been deployed in time. The I-400 and the Seiran float plane is an example of how an asymmetry in warfare can work. Great damage COULD HAVE BEEN DONE WITH JUST ONE BOMB IN THE RIGHT SPOT AT THE PANAMA CANAL. A lock damaged or a ship sunk in the right spot and the canal is closed until cleared of damage.

But DID NOT happen!




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