Kairyu-class Midget Submarine
|Builder||Yokosuka Naval Arsenal|
|Launched||1 Jan 1945|
|Displacement||19 tons standard|
|Machinery||85hp gasoline engine, 80hp electric engine|
|Power Output||85 SHP|
|Armament||Intended to be equipped with 2x45cm torpedoes, but instead equipped with 600kg of explosives internally|
|Submerged Speed||10 knots|
Contributor: David Stubblebine
This article refers to the entire Kairyu-class; it is not about an individual vessel.
ww2dbaseThe small Kairyu type midget submarines displaced somewhat over 19 tons. Their length varied, with the largest being about 57 feet long. Hull diameter was 4.5 feet, creating a tight fit for the two-man crew. They were intended to defend the entrance to Tokyo Bay and for local defense against the prospective invasion that confronted Japan in 1945. The design, which featured diving planes mounted on the hull amidships, was tested in 1943-44 with production beginning in early 1945. Over 760 of these submarines were planned, but about 200 were delivered by war's end in August 1945. Most of them were deployed to Yokosuka near Tokyo, while others were found in the Moroiso and Aburatsubo inlets on the southern tip of the Miura Peninsula. Though originally designed to carry two 17.7-inch torpedoes externally, a torpedo shortage caused most, if not all, to be fitted with a 1300-pound internal warhead for employment on suicide missions. Some units used for training had a second periscope mounted at the rear of their streamlined conning tower. Due to Japan's surrender in August 1945, none of these submarines ever saw action.
ww2dbaseSources: Wikipedia; Naval History & Heritage Command; Combined Fleet.
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943