Japanese Coast Guard Finds Imperial Navy Subs


An image of the sea bottom created by computers based on research data. The green protruding mass shown center right is likely the sunken Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-402. (Provided by the Japan Coast Guard)

That green, yellow and red blob on the right in the image above is most likely the world's largest submarine from World War II, the I-402 commissioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy fleet.

The vessel, which measures about 400 feet long and 40 feet wide, was among two dozen submarines recently found at the bottom of the sea near the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture, the Japanese Coast Guard announced Friday. The news was reported by the Asahi Simbun newspaper and other outlets.

The subs were sunken by U.S. forces after the war. A survey ship using radar and computer data confirmed their locations last month.

Capable of carrying a crew of 157 and three Aichi M6A1 "Seiran" bombers, the I-402 was one of three submarine aircraft carriers and designed for attacking eastern parts of the U.S. and Panama Canal. The vessel was armed with a cannon, machine guns and eight torpedo tubes. But she never saw action, having been completed only a month before the end of the war.

Here's a picture of the sub shortly after it was built.Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-402 at Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture after World War II (Provided by Yamato Museum)

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