Skip to comments.Wartime mystery of Japanese submarine solved: Australian TV
Posted on 11/24/2006 1:59:33 PM PST by NormsRevenge
SYDNEY (AFP) - A mystery over a Japanese midget submarine that went missing after attacking a ship in Sydney Harbour during World War II has been solved, an Australian television station has claimed.
The submarine was one of three that slipped into the harbour on the night of May 31 1942 after being launched from a fleet of five larger Japanese submarines offshore.
Two of the midget vessels were spotted and attacked, leading the two-man crews to commit suicide, Australian national archives record.
The remains of those subs were recovered and a rebuilt composite is on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
But the third midget submarine managed to fire two torpedoes at the US heavy cruiser USS Chicago, one of which exploded beneath an Australian depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors.
The submarine then slipped out of the harbour, its mission complete, according to the national archives, but historians have long argued about whether it managed to make a complete escape.
On Friday, Australia's Channel Nine announced that the submarine had been found by scuba divers in deep waters off the coast. It said pictures of the vessel would be shown in its 60 Minutes programme on Sunday night.
"The sub is in amazingly good shape. It is sitting up on its keel on the sand and instantly identifiable as a submarine," the station told The Australian newspaper.
It acknowledged that a documentary aired by the History Channel last year claiming to have found the missing submarine was later found to be incorrect, but said this was "the real McCoy".
A rival television station, Channel Seven, on Thursday night cut in on Nine's scoop, broadcasting photographs which it said showed the submarine.
Seven said the pictures, showing an object encrusted in barnacles and seaweed, would be published next week in a magazine owned by the network.
A yacht sails around Sydney Harbour with a backdrop of the city's skyline.(AFP/File/Rob Elliott)
One of these is on display at the National Museum of the South Pacific in Fredricksburg, Texas. Very well preserved. A little larger than I had imagined. Be prepared to spend the entire day there if you go.
Just from the scale of that, it's hard to see how even diminuative Japanese fit into that tin can.
Claustrophobics need not apply.
As long as they died. The manner, cause, reason de etre and underlying pshychological manifestations do not matter, as long as they died.
Let alone stuff a torpedo into it.
Hell, it doesn't look much bigger than a torpedo.
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