World War II Midget submarines - German, Japanese and Allied subs.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
WWII Japanese midget submarine wreck opened for divers in Sydney
The tomb of Japanese submariners who crept into Sydney Harbour 70 years ago will be opened to divers. 22 men died on the HMAS Kuttabul when it was attacked on June 1, 1942. Two torpedoes had been fired at the USS Chicago by the M24 Japanese midget submarine. They missed the target and one torpedo exploded beneath the converted ferry Kuttabul. It was one of three midget subs, each with a 2-member crew, that entered Sydney Harbour on May 31. After being attacked, the crews of two midget submarines scuttled their boats and committed suicide. The M24's location remained a mystery until divers located its wreck off Bungan Head, Newport, on Sydney's northern beaches in November 2006.
Japanese WWII midget submarine found in Simpson Harbour in Rabaul in Papua New Guinea
Australian and New Zealand warships have found a wreck under water in a Papua New Guinea harbour while working in the area to clear WWII-era explosives. Simpson Harbour is in the town of Rabaul, which was a major Japanese military base on the northeast coast of the South Pacific nation. New Zealand Navy Lt. Commander Matthew Ray explained that the find was initially identified as "a 20-metre (66-feet) long solid, man-made object." Closer inspection confirmed it was a submarine.
Commando submariners led D-Day invasion after spending 5 days on seabed just yards from Nazi guns
A team of ten commandos -- two 5-man crews in tiny submarines -- who lead a secret underwater mission ahead of the D-Day invasions are to be honoured for the first time. Their task was to spy from their "X-crafts" on Nazi troops before guiding Allied forces across the rocky shoreline. One of the last surviving commandos, Jim Booth, guided Allied landing crafts to Sword beach instead of drifting onto rocks. American troops who did not have the same kind of guidance failed to find the correct route, with tanks having to be released into water that was too deep. The troops from the Combined Operations Pilotage and Reconnaissance Parties will now be honoured with a granite memorial donated by Prince Charles on Hayling Island, Hampshire.
Kazuo Sakamaki, captain of a Japanese midget-submarine, was the first U.S. POW in World War II
On December 7, 1941, 5 Japanese midget submarines, each with 2 torpedoes and 2-man crew, navigated into the waters of Pearl Harbor. By nightfall, 9 crew members were dead because of drowning, depth-charges, or toxic gases in the subs. The only survivor, Kuzuo Sakamaki, made it to a beach of Oahu. For a man who had promised to die for the emperor, being a POW was the worst outcome: "I was terribly ashamed. I asked for an opportunity to die an honorable death, but they just laughed at me."
Commander John Lorimer recalls the midget submarine raid on the Tirpitz
In Sept. 1943 John Lorimer set off on a mission from which none was thought likely to return: Operation Source, the mission to sink the Tirpitz, the largest battleship ever built in Europe and the pride of the Kriegsmarine, by midget submarines. Besides learning how to run the 4-man midget subs (the X-Craft) he also had to train to walk great distances. "Everyone thinks one was frightfully brave, but it's all bull****! One was merely doing one's duty." His modesty is contradicted by the awards: a VC for each of the commanding officers, Donald Cameron and Godfrey Place, 3 DSOs and a CGM. "Good show! Good show!" said George VI as he pinned them on at Buckingham Palace.
The steering wheel from the Japanese midget sub that raided Sydney Harbour for sale
A World War II relic from Japan's midget submarine raid in Sydney Harbour is expected to fetch tens of thousands at auction. The engraved brass and oak steering wheel from one of 3 Japanese subs which made the daring raid on May 31, 1942, goes under the hammer at Sydney auction house Lawsons. "It's very much an unknown. It wouldn't surprise me if it reaches $100,000. There is no precedent. Nothing like this has gone to auction before. It's like the sale of Victoria Cross medals. The first one sold for 20 times more than expected, and set a benchmark," said Lawsons spokesman Martin Farrah.
World War II Japanese midget submarine has new home
After spending 5 decades on Naval Base Guam, a WWII Japanese midget submarine was moved by the U.S. Naval Forces Marians to the National Park Service at the federal agency's T. Stell Newman Visitor's Center in Sumay. The submarine, a Ko-Hyoteki (Target A) Hei Gata (Type C) class, had been captured after it ran aground in 1944. The sub was displayed at the former Camp Dealy in Togcha Bay until 1952, when it was moved to U.S. Naval Base Guam. The submarine isn't the only artifact that will be turned over, other militaria include military uniforms, medals, ribbons, bottles, and artillery shells.
Maritime archaeologist Tim Smith partially solves midget sub M24 mystery
Maritime archaeologist Tim Smith have partly figured out the mystery of how Japanese midget submarine M24 that attacked Sydney Harbor met its end. The submarine was located by a group of amateur divers, but for WWII historians, the find created more questions. The location of the sub, to the north of Sydney Harbor, was unexpected. The experts had long assumed the M24 had fled south, where a rendezvous point had been set up with the main fleet of mother submarines. After studying maps from the two other subs and records of Japanese orders, Smith said there was a second rendezvous point for the midget sub.
Japanese midget submarine restored (Article no longer available from the original source)
Two years ago the rusting hulk of a World War II era Japanese midget submarine sat in front of Building 83. Today the historical piece still sits where it was, but returned to its original appearance. With pride Machinist's Mate 1st Class John Schepis looks upon the entirely restored submarine. In June 2005, he was walking near the front of Building 83 in Dealey Plaza and noticed the submarine. He noticed the rust and wondered how long it would last. "After 20 years in the Navy, I wanted to give something back." So he volunteered to fix the sub. He soon understood it would be a bigger project than he first thought, so he asked a couple of coworkers to assist.
Book: Invasion of Sydney Harbour by 3 Japanese midget submarines (Article no longer available from the original source)
Sydneysiders love to tell how a World War II invasion by Japanese submarines during sparked a property crash that saw harbour front real estate being virtually given away. But on the eve of the 65 year anniversary of that night, a book has exposed the story as just one of many myths that have grown around The Battle of Sydney Harbour. In "A Very Rude Awakening" Journalist Peter Grose revisits the night of May 31, 1942, when 3 Japanese midget submarines crept into Sydney Harbour. His book draws on unpublished documents and first person accounts. "There is so much myth and false memories about the raid, but it's a cracking good story."
How a Japanese Submarine Cruised Through Gilroy During WWII
(Q) Did a Japanese submarine travel through downtown Gilroy during World War II? (A) The day was Nov. 19, 1942. Called a "Tojo Cigar," the 2-man sub on top of a flat-bed truck stopped for a few hours in front of Gilroy's City Hal. The Imperial Japanese Navy's midget submarine Haramaki 19 was captured by the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor. It was in good enough condition for the U.S. Treasury to send it on a tour across the nation to encourage Americans to buy war bonds. After World War 2, the submarine spent the next 24 years as an exhibit at the Key West Lighthouse Museum.
Seehund submarines - The small two-man subs of Third Reich (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War II was winding down when Germany's reeling military launched its Seehund submarines. The small two-man subs didn't exactly strike fear in the hearts of Third Reich enemies. But they were quiet, and their size - only 39 feet long - made them less vulnerable to depth-charge attacks. American and Russian intelligence agents wanted to get their hands on the stealthy subs - they were particularly interested in the sub's periscope optics. The Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA, captured two of the subs and shipped them to the US.
X marks the spot of town's vital war role in miniature submarines
Huddersfield's crucial role in the battle beneath the waves during the Second World War continues to be remembered. The bravery of those who sailed in miniature submarines known as X-Craft, will never be forgotten. And those who secretly helped to build some of them at the Broadbent engineering works in Huddersfield will also be remembered. The tiny vessels took part in a number of daring raids. Famously, some of the `midget subs' were used to attack the German battleship Tirpitz in Norway on September 22, 1943. They sailed up Altenfjord and planted mines on the mighty ship's hull.
Submariner hero of the Tirpitz raid - Richard Kendall
Former naval diver Richard Kendall was one of the bravest participants in the Royal Navy's most daring operational success of the WWII - the midget submarine attack on the Tirpitz, Hitler's mightiest warship, in its Norwegian base in autumn 1943. At 53,000 tones and armed with eight 15-inch guns, the battleship had been the bane of the British home fleet since Jan 1942, threatening allied convoys taking munitions to Murmansk. British air attacks on the battleship at anchor failed, but from May 1943 the navy began to develop the X-craft, a midget submarine only 51ft long and displacing 35 tonnes. Its only armament was a pair of detachable mines.
Japanese Pearl Harbor midget submarine found
A historic Japanese submarine has been discovered on the ocean floor a few miles from Pearl Harbor. The 78-foot (24-metre) sub could provide the first physical evidence to back US claims that it fired first against Japan in World War II and inflicted the first casualties. The sub fell prey to a US Navy destroyer on 7 Dec 1941, the day of the Pearl Harbor attack. "It's the shot that started WWII between the Americans and the Japanese." The vessel was one of four Japanese midget submarines to participate in the Pearl Harbor attack. The newly discovered sub was believed to be the one sunk by the destroyer USS Ward more than an hour before the attack.