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Wed Dec 4, 2013, 01:01 AM

Researchers in Hawaii find lost Japanese WWII mega-sub

Source: CNN

(CNN) -- Researchers in Hawaii have found a mammoth World War II-era Japanese submarine scuttled by the U.S. Navy in 1946 to keep its advanced technology out of the hands of the Soviet Union.

The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii discovered the I-400 in 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of Oahu, according the school.

At nearly 400 feet long, the I-400 and its two sister ships were the largest submarines ever built before the nuclear age.

Initially conceived as a weapon to target the U.S. mainland and capable of reaching any point on the globe without refueling, the subs were effectively underwater aircraft carriers outfitted with three folding-wing seaplanes capable of carrying an 1,800-pound bomb.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/03/us/japanese-submarine-found/

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Reply Researchers in Hawaii find lost Japanese WWII mega-sub (Original post)
jsr Dec 2013 OP
cantbeserious Dec 2013 #1
madokie Dec 2013 #2
happyslug Dec 2013 #3
sweetapogee Dec 2013 #4
Tom Rinaldo Dec 2013 #5
Javaman Dec 2013 #6
happyslug Dec 2013 #7
Javaman Dec 2013 #8

Response to jsr (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 02:09 AM

1. Japanese Super Sub

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:01 AM

2. It was close

in my mind Truman had no choice but to do what he did and that was order the use of the bombs that struck Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

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Response to madokie (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 05:59 AM

3. People forget the choice of target had been made in 1943, by FDR.


We roughly knew when the bombs would be ready. It had already been decided to drop them on Japan, on the simple grounds that Japan was NOT as advanced as Germany and if the bomb did not WORK, and fell into enemy hands, the Japanese had less technical ability to figure out what we did wrong and have an atomic bomb themselves.

Thus by the time of FDR's death the decision to drop the bomb had already been made. The targets had also been made (The B-29s bombing Japan from 1944 onward had strict order NOT to bomb those cities, no one told them why, but the reason was we wanted to see HOW destructive were these weapons and not have to worry about prior damages done by other bombs).

This was reinforced by Truman's fear of the Soviet Union. In the Potsdam conference, Truman had Stalin agree to attack Japan within 3 months of the end of the war in Europe (War in Europe ended officially in May 8th 1945, three months later was August 8th, the Day the Russian Attack Manchuria). The thinking in the US was the Russian intervention would force Japan's hand (and it appears to have been the main reason for the Surrender NOT the atomic bombing), but Truman saw the Atomic Bomb as a way to force Japan to surrender without the Russians.

Analysis of Japanese leadership and their papers indicate that the First Atomic Bombing was a Shock to the Japanese leadership, but a Shock they recovered within a few days. The Second Atomic Bombing seems to have had no affect on the Japanese leadership.

On the other hand in between the two bombings the Russians had attacked Manchuria, and the attack was massive and within a week it was clear Russia would have all of Manchuria by September 1st, and All of Korea by October 1st and they was NOTHING the Japanese could do about it (The Soviet Union also had plans to attack the northern most main island on November 1st, the same day the US was planning to invade the Southernmost Main Island, neither invasions took place).

Now, since the Surrender of Germany, Japan was waiting for Russia to give it an Ultimatum, at which time Japan was planning to agree to the demands of the Soviet Union and ask the Soviet Union to act as middle man for talks with the US. Stalin's decision just to attack not give an Ultimatum appears to have been an option no one in the Japanese leadership thought was possible. When Stalin did just attack, the Japanese Government were shock even more then by the First Atomic Bombing.

The Speed of the Soviet Attack also caught the Japanese by Surprise, now the Japanese had been pulling troops out of Manchuria for the defense of Japan, so the Japanese Army in Manchuria in 1945 was NOT the Japanese Army of 1940, but it still was the largest single Army Japan possessed and in August 1945 suffered the most causalities of any Japanese force during WWII (Some of the actions in the islands were more intense on a per soldier basis, but in total number Manchuria was the most severe loss).

Thus Truman had an option, leave the Russians attack and see what the Japanese did at that time.

On the other hand, the US had the bomb and Truman was under pressure to use it, more as a show of Force against the Soviets then anything to do with the war with Japan. The pressure was from the Military (most of the Generals and Admirals were far right wing even then) and leading members not only of the GOP but his own party (and many of the leading advisers of FDR who had stayed on after FDR's death).

In my mind, Truman had not choice. The GOP was already running of "Who lost Eastern Europe" and the American People did not want to hear that the US Army was at the end of its supply line, its system of forming up military units was showing why every other Army refused to do it that way (Almost all if not All Us Army units needed extensive retraining so they would work as a team, not as individuals, the replacement on line based on the concept every soldier is interchangeable was making the army come apart at the seems. The US used the same system in Korea with Similar results, and again in Vietnam, but in Vietnam the war dragged on so long that the Army could no longer hide the affect of its policy of replacement on the line and had to adopt what other armies do, move units in and out of combat as units NOT as individuals).

In simple terms the Army was a mess.

In terms of Supply, the US was at its limit, in fact even with peace in Europe from May 1945 onward, the US ended up starving 3000 German POWS to death in the winter of 1945-1946 do to a lack of food, a lack of food do to the massive need for food by everyone in Europe in 1945. US supply lines were stretched ot the breaking point and the US plan was to move the US Army in Europe, back to the USA and then to Japan.

On the other hand the Soviet Union had managed to get itself in order after the disasters of 1941 and was slowly improving its Military. The Soviet Red Army was still depended on US and British aid, but it amounted to no more then 20% of their supplies (and the percentage was dropping even as aid increased in 1945). The Soviet Army was in fact growing in strength. Some question if the Soviet Army could drive out the US Army (the Soviet Army was weaker in equipment, its Tanks and Artillery was more fit for the Steeps then the rolling hills of Germany, while the US Tanks and Artillery was more fit for the rolling hills of Germany. On the other hand it did not have a food problem and it had potential allies in form of the most effective Resistance forces in Western Europe, the French and Italian Communist Parties.

If you ignore the need for US retraining do to the problems with replacements on the line, the US Army was more then strong enough to stop a Soviet Advance into Western Germany. On the other hand, so was the Soviet Army to any Advance into Eastern Europe. The US was stronger in air power, but the Soviet Red Air Force of 1945 was much better then the Nazi Air Force had been in 1944-1945.

A further complication is once past Denmark, who had Naval Superiority became a factor, and that was the US and Britain, Stalin made the Comment when asked why he told the Communists or Yugoslavia and Bulgaria to stop supporting the Communists in Greece, after observing that to hold Greece you need a fleet "and we have no Fleet". In terms of Germany, in any attack past Denmark his forces could be subject to naval attack to their rear (Thus Stalin tried even as late as 1952 to create a united but neutral Germany, with such a Germany he had all his other potential invasion points covered and his hold on the Soviet Union would have been truly total).

A further complication was the near east, Iran and Iraq. Three British independent Brigades (i.e. the same number as in a British Division BUT without Divisional Artillery, engineerings and other Support troops) faced off three Soviet DIVISIONS.

Thus in 1945, the world wide situation was a lot more complicated then if you just look at Japan. Thus the US was facing a world were the Soviets had a lot of Cards, but Truman had that Ace, the Atomic Bomb. Truman thus was force to play his Ace, just to show he could. At that time he justified it as a military target (and maintain that position publicly till the day he died), but after second bombing and a letter from a Church Group raising concerns about the number of dead civilians, Truman stopped all further bombing (a third was set for the end of August, when the next bomb would have been ready).

Truman had a policy of NOT looking back at old decisions and second guess them. In simple terms, accept what you had done in the past based on the grounds you used at the time of the decision not what you know today. Prior to the bombings, Truman appears to have accepted that the Targets were all Military Targets, when he found out these were cities full of Civilians he ordered the Atomic Bombing stopped. I suspect what he called a Military Target and what the Pentagon called Military Targets were two different things and he only realized the difference after the second bombing.

Thus, in his mind he made the right decision based on the information he had. That information was wrong is clear, and once corrected he appears to have reversed his thinking (His refusal to use Atomic Bombs in Korea shows this again, through he did say Atomic Bombs were a weapon that Could be used, he just never authorized the use).

Thus Truman was caught in a decision paradigm that had been set in 1943, advised by people who definition of Military Target included Targets with lots of civilians and little military but was an area where items used by the Military were made, and some how trying to stop Soviet Advance, when the US Army was at its worse point since before Pearl Harbor (Again do to HOW the Army replacement system worked, or in better words didn't work) and a rough understanding of the supply problems the US Military was facing in the Summer of 1945, I do not see him or any one else (including Henry Wallace) making any other choice. To many things was forcing his hands, forces he had no control over, but forces he had to deal with. Thus Truman's decision to drop the bomb.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 08:34 AM

4. lots of stuff

Kindly post your works cited or annotated bibliography.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 09:58 AM

5. Let me simply thank you for posting this

Sure citations are a wonderful and useful thing and all that but no one is paying you to write here, nor are you earning University credit for your writing at DU. I appreciate your thoughtful and lucid efforts. At root you are expressing an opinion and sharing the basis for your opinion, in great detail. The details you provide are sufficient to allow me or anyone else to counter your opinion should we desire to with a contrary view point. That's how a discussion board functions best. I really appreciate the effort you made here.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:36 AM

6. You really need to site your sources, you make a lot of very odd claims...

Also, you might want to do a little reading on "Operation Downfall". ("The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb" and "Operation Downfall : Olympic and Coronet The Invasion of Japan"

The entire concept that the two bombs were "tests to show the world" blah blah blah, is bull pucky of the highest order.

Reading up on Operation Downfall (The plan for the invasion of Japan), shows us that the US Military and the Office of the President of the US was readying at least 3 more atomic bombs for the invasion.

One for each of the invasion points (Olympic and Corornet) and a third as back up to be used at an undetermined time.

In regards to the inability to "feed the German population", it had less then zero to do with the concept that the "US was unable too".

After the war, anti-German feelings in the US and the US Government was at a high and there was zero to no sympathy toward them.

It wasn't until the Berlin Airlift/Soveit blockage that a real concerted effort to feed the German people of Berlin that changed things. (Check out the book Candy Bombers).

At that time the US was experiencing one of the largest surplus it has ever had in wheat production. (Also from that same book sited above)

I have done extensive personal research into the post war era of the US and the world as a whole as part of my own hobby regarding the origins of the Cold War.

I suggest you might do the same if you wish to write on the topic.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 08:53 PM

7. Yes, the two bombs were needed to show we had them was a post bombing "fact".


Last edited Thu Dec 5, 2013, 02:08 AM - Edit history (2)

The reason we dropped two bombs was we had two bombs. One Uranium and one Plutonium. We had enough Plutonium to make two bombs by July 1945, we we shipped one and tested the other (we did NOT test the Uranium bomb for the scientists had more confidence in it going super critical, but they needed to test the Plutonium bomb to see if it would work).

The next Bomb would have been ready by the end of August and the plans was to drop it then (Through it appears Truman ordered the Stopping of all Atomic Bombing after he had received and read a letter from some church leaders deploying the lost of life AND several newspapers had compared Hiroshirma to various large US Cities). Given no Atomic Bombs were avaliabe till tne end of August, this quicly became a moot point with the Japanese Surrender of August 15th (offical Surrender on September 1, 1945).

Now there was a debate on how the bombs should be used after the first two. The plan being used in August 1945, was to bomb Japan with them as the bombs became available. An alternative plans was to hold them in reserve and use them at the same time of the invasion of Japan. The later was favored by the Commander of the Invasion, General Stillwell (who also planed to gas Tokyo, for neither the US nor Japan had signed the treaty to ban the use of Gas, AND Japan had used gas in China).

Japanese use of Gas in China:


More on the Planned Invasion of Japan:

Japan's plans of Defense:



Here is a war Gaming Site on Operation Downfall:

Home page for the above site:

More on the Russian Invasion, Operation August Storm:

US Decision to use Gas on Japan:

US Decision to drop the Atomic Bomb:

More cites with reports from the time period as to use or non-use of the bomb:


More on the decision to Surrender:









Fear of a Communist Revolution in Japan:



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Response to happyslug (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:56 PM

8. you post lots of good stuff...

but the fact remains, we dropped the bombs as part of an overall strategy, true, it did, as a side effect, show the russians that we had the bomb and we would use it, but they were primarily used to show japan that we wanted the war ended and ended now, however, due to Operation Downfalls plans to use the bombs in the invasion, doesn't negate any of what you wrote.

My point is, the over all argument of "a million lives were saved due to the use of the bombs" is still a week argument because, we were going to use more if the Japanese didn't capitulate.

That's my point. And I'm not disagreeing with anything you wrote.

And I'm glad you sources your references. However, I could use less of the over zealous nature of the wikipedia references. I find them very incomplete and far from being peer reviews as material to site.

I like the Fear of communist revolution stuff. I have to read up on that. Interesting.


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