Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 30 Aug 2013
Full Title: Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II
In the years leading up to WW2, various world powers had attempted to build underwater aircraft carriers, but none succeeded in building one worthy of operation. While most of them shelved the idea, the Japanese continued, driven by Isoroku Yamamoto's vision of delivering demoralizing attacks on targets far to the enemy rear. As the development of what would later become the I-400-class submarines and M6A Seiran aircraft matured, plans were drawn to use them against the Panama Canal. By the time these weapons became a reality, it was already the final days of the war. These weapons were en route toward the US anchorage at Ulithi when Emperor Showa urged his subjects to surrender. Although I-400-class submarines and M6A Seiran aircraft were never used in combat, Operation Arashi ("Storm") and its intended participants became a subject that fascinated many, including author John Geoghegan. His Operation Storm was a well-researched book dealing with this subject. By Diving deep into the careers of the submarine captains, development of the technology, training of the air crew, and many other related topics, he presented a good overview for this less known Japanese plan. In parallel, he also devoted many pages to USS Segundo, the American submarine that, by chance, came across I-401, and thus became the one that received I-401's surrender. Geoghegan used the backgrounds and personalities of USS Segundo's crew as a means to compare and contrast those of the Japanese, and this was effective. Beyond the research and presentation, the book was also well written, making the content easy to digest despite the wealth of details on each page. Operation Storm would be a title on my recommendations list for those interested in the war beneath the waves.
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