Unfortunately for Japan, this effort focused on the technical deficiencies of the submarines instead of focusing on the misuse of the craft and crews on ill-suited missions. Private doubts plagued naval leaders and doubtless some of the veterans of the corps, but the program pushed on. As the last group of Type A submarines was completed, a new sub, numbered HA, was designed and laid down in October and completed in February with a major difference. From this prototype, called an otsu-gata Type B , a new group of hei-gata Type C boats emerged Itani et al. These foot-long, 49 ton craft carried a crew of three, the third man serving as the engineer.
List of Allied vessels struck by Japanese special attack weapons
Midget submarine - Wikipedia
There were more than Allied vessels struck by Japanese special attack weapons in the last twelve months of World War II , including some vessels that were struck as many as six times in one attack. Kamikaze was used to describe the way the Japanese believed they would be victorious by destroying the Allied fleet by crashing aircraft into their ships. The word kamikaze originated as the name of major typhoons in and , which dispersed Mongolian invasion fleets under Kublai Khan. The Allies referred to these special weapons as "suicide" attacks, and found it difficult to understand why an individual would intentionally crash an airplane into a ship, as the two cultures clashed in battle. Aircraft were not the only special attack weapons. Attack boats, suicide divers, and several types of submarines were also used to destroy ships and landing craft as the Allied forces advanced toward Japan.
In recognition of the unfavorable progress of the war, toward the end of the Japanese high command considered suggestions for various suicide craft. These were initially rejected, but later deemed necessary. For the Navy, this meant Kamikaze planes, Shinyo suicide boats, Kaiten submarines , and Fukuryu suicide divers or human mines.
The Coffin Boats presents an in-depth examination of these three attacks and provides background information on Japanese midget submarines and their pilots. Midget submarines, referred to as special submarines tokushu senkotei in Japanese, were Japan's first tokkotai special attack units since the pilots did not expect to return alive from their missions. Peggy Warner and Sadao Seno, who collaborated with Denis Warner on the book The Sacred Warriors about Japan's kamikaze operations, thoroughly researched this narrow topic of Japanese midget submarines as evidenced by a four-page bibliography of both Japanese and English language sources and by the number of people interviewed who were connected with Japan's use of midget submarines during World War II. The book's first chapter has the story of the capture of midget submarine pilot Kazuo Sakamaki, who became America's first prisoner of war when his submarine ran aground after being released from the mother submarine.