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Under Water Warfare The Struggle Against the Submarine Menace 1939 -1945
Loss of Japanese Midget Submarines

Loss of Japanese Midget Submarines

(a) Pearl harbour
These Midget Submarines took their Number from their Mother Submarine. 5 Midgets, I 16, I 18, I 20, I 22, and I 24 were all launched against U S ships at Pearl Harbour on 7/13/1941.

I 16 Reported - ( we succeeded in attack, batteries are dead, we cannot sail any more.) nothing further was heard from this Midget.

I 18. The U S S "Ward" scored a direct lot on this craft which then vanished.

I 20. Entered Pearl Harbour, but was sighted by the Seaplane Tender U.S.S. "Curtis".

I 22. Fired 2 Torpedoes, both missed. This Submarine was then sunk by the "Curtis" and the Destroyer "Monaghan". I 24. Through incorrect ballasting, the Midget overturned, had gas problems, and then ran aground. The demolition charge did not lunction, one crewman drowned, and 'Sakamaki", the only survivor from all Midgets employed was captured, to become the first Japanese Prisoner of War in the Pacific War.

(b) Diego Suarez Madagascar
Of the Iwo Midget Submarines launched for this attack, one crew got ashore, to be shot by British forces, one other body was washed up on the beach, whilst the fourth crew member was never found.

(c) Sydney Harbour
From the three Midgets that entered the Harbour, two were sunk and their crews died. The third was never found.

(d) Shortland Island
In November 1944, 8 were transported to the Shortland Island base, but by the end of that month, 3 had been lost, 3 wrecked accidently, and the last 2 were inactive.

(e) The Philippines
10 Midgets were sent to the Philippines in the Autumn of 1914. All were either lost in action, through accident, or were scuttled when US. forces invaded this theatre of operations.

To Sum up
All in all, the Japanese Midget Submarine attack programme could only be gauged as a general failure, but, they were unlucky in their attack on Sydney Harbour, where so easily several large Allied warships, including the "Canberra" should have been sunk by the Japanese Submariners. Somehow, the local defences were able to muddle through the night.

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