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Wartime mystery of Japanese submarine solved: Australian TV
AFP on Yahoo ^ | 11/24/06 | AFP

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.


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Foreign Affairs; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: australian; japanese; submarine; sydney

A yacht sails around Sydney Harbour with a backdrop of the city's skyline.(AFP/File/Rob Elliott)


1 posted on 11/24/2006 2:01:55 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
Two of the midget vessels were spotted and attacked, leading the two-man crews to commit suicide,

Yeah, real Samurai there. I often wondered how Bushido had been so twisted as to not die in combat, but to just die.
2 posted on 11/24/2006 2:35:18 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: NormsRevenge

3 posted on 11/24/2006 2:38:37 PM PST by the_daug
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To: NormsRevenge

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.

http://www.nimitz-museum.org/


4 posted on 11/24/2006 2:47:11 PM PST by RichardW
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To: NormsRevenge
This one was captured at the beach on Bellows Field, Oahu after the attack on Pearl harbor. One crewman drowned and the other had the distinction of being the first Japanese POW captured by US forces.


5 posted on 11/24/2006 3:27:36 PM PST by Jaxter ("Vivit Post Funera Virtus")
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To: the_daug

Just from the scale of that, it's hard to see how even diminuative Japanese fit into that tin can.


6 posted on 11/24/2006 3:30:16 PM PST by hunter112 (Total victory at home and in the Middle East!)
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To: the_daug; Billthedrill; aculeus; Senator Bedfellow

“Claustrophobics need not apply.”


7 posted on 11/24/2006 3:35:34 PM PST by dighton
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To: bill1952

As long as they died. The manner, cause, reason de etre and underlying pshychological manifestations do not matter, as long as they died.


8 posted on 11/24/2006 3:47:02 PM PST by eaglestrikes
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To: hunter112

Let alone stuff a torpedo into it.

Hell, it doesn't look much bigger than a torpedo.


9 posted on 11/24/2006 5:07:28 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: NormsRevenge
Like all of Japan's war strategy their naval war was a series of miscalculations, blunders and mistakes that showed that Japanese naval authorities were the military equivalent of Alice in Wonderland.

For example, after demonstrating the use of aircraft carriers as the coming war weapon, the Imperial Navy went on to construct three of the largest and most vulnerable battleships in the world. One was never finished and two were sunk without ever sinking an enemy ship.

In their submarine war Japan built large sophisticated submarines that carried airplanes and midget subs.

Instead of using these formidable subs against U.S. logistic supply lines and merchant ships the Japanese navy wasted them by using them against enemy warships, targets against which a submarine stood little chance of sinking.

Japan's naval effort from Pearl Harbor, to Ki ska, to Midway, to the battle for the Philippines was an example of a masterful cluster-f**k.

They are better at building cars.
10 posted on 11/24/2006 7:05:34 PM PST by R.W.Ratikal (q)
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To: bill1952
And that's exactly what it was, a torpedo. A torpedo with two especially selected tiny men astraddle of a small engine inside a thin pressure hull. They didn't work well maybe because there could not be many practice runs.
11 posted on 11/24/2006 7:11:54 PM PST by R.W.Ratikal (q)
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To: NormsRevenge
For an unbeliveable, high resolution photo of Sydney harbor:

Sydney at Night

12 posted on 11/24/2006 7:14:26 PM PST by The_Media_never_lie
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