Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Japanese Subs From WWII Found Off Hawaii

In this picture, our friendly deepsea photobot HURL rests on the deck of the I-14 and examines the deck gun.

One of the Japanese craft, the I-201, was capable of speeds of about 20 knots while submerged, making it among the fastest diesel submarines ever made. Like other Japanese subs, it had a rubberized coating on the hull, an innovation intended to make it less apparent to sonar or radar.

The other, the I-14, was much larger and slower and designed to carry two small planes, Aichi M6A Seirans. The aircraft, which had folding wings and tails and could carry a torpedo or 1,800-pound bomb, were housed in watertight hangars inside the submarine. They could be brought onto the deck and launched by a catapult. (The only existing Seiran is in the hands of the Smithsonian.)

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