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Japanese submarine I-46

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History
Naval Ensign of Japan.svgEmpire of Japan
NameSubmarine No. 376
BuilderSasebo Naval Arsenal, Sasebo, Japan
Laid down21 November 1942
RenamedI-46 on 25 May 1943
Launched3 June 1943
Completed29 February 1944
Commissioned29 February 1944
FateMissing October 1944 (see text)
Stricken10 March 1945
General characteristics
Class and typeType C2 submarine
Displacement
  • 2,595 tonnes (2,554 long tons) surfaced
  • 3,621 tonnes (3,564 long tons) submerged
Length109.3 m (358 ft 7 in) overall
Beam9.1 m (29 ft 10 in)
Draft5.35 m (17 ft 7 in)
Installed power
Propulsion
Speed
  • 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph) surfaced
  • 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
Range
  • 14,000 nmi (26,000 km; 16,000 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) surfaced
  • 60 nmi (110 km; 69 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged
Test depth100 m (330 ft)
Crew94
Armament

I-46 was the first of three Type C cruiser submarines of the C2 sub-class built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Commissioned in February 1944, she operated in World War II during the Battle of Leyte and Battle of Leyte Gulf before she was lost in October 1944.

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Type C submarine

Type C submarine

The Cruiser submarine Type-C was one of the first classes of submarine in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) to serve during the Second World War. Type-C submarines were better armed than the Type-A and Type-B. The Type-Cs were also utilized as Kō-hyōteki or Kaiten mother ships, for this reason they were not equipped with aviation facilities.

Cruiser submarine

Cruiser submarine

A cruiser submarine was a very large submarine designed to remain at sea for extended periods in areas distant from base facilities. Their role was analogous to surface cruisers, cruising distant waters, commerce raiding, and scouting for the battle fleet. Cruiser submarines were successful for a brief period of World War I, but were less successful than smaller submarines during World War II. Large submarines remained vulnerable to damage from defensively equipped merchant ships (DEMS), were slow to dive if found by aircraft, offered a large sonar echo surface, and were less able to defensively maneuver during depth charge attacks.

Ship class

Ship class

A ship class is a group of ships of a similar design. This is distinct from a ship type, which might reflect a similarity of tonnage or intended use. For example, USS Carl Vinson is a nuclear aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class.

Imperial Japanese Navy

Imperial Japanese Navy

The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) was formed between 1952–1954 after the dissolution of the IJN.

World War II

World War II

World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global conflict that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries, including all of the great powers, fought as part of two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. Many participants threw their economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind this total war, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. Aircraft played a major role, enabling the strategic bombing of population centres and the delivery of the only two nuclear weapons ever used in war.

Battle of Leyte

Battle of Leyte

The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the amphibious invasion of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American forces and Filipino guerrillas under the overall command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. The operation, codenamed King Two, launched the Philippines campaign of 1944–45 for the recapture and liberation of the entire Philippine Archipelago and to end almost three years of Japanese occupation.

Battle of Leyte Gulf

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle of World War II and by some criteria the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar, and Luzon from 23 to 26 October 1944 between combined American and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), as part of the invasion of Leyte, which aimed to isolate Japan from the colonies that it had occupied in Southeast Asia, a vital source of industrial and oil supplies.

Design and description

The Type C submarines were derived from the earlier KD6 sub-class of the Kaidai class with a heavier torpedo armament for long-range attacks. They displaced 2,595 tonnes (2,554 long tons) surfaced and 3,618 tonnes (3,561 long tons) submerged. The submarines were 109.3 meters (358 ft 7 in) long, had a beam of 9.1 meters (29 ft 10 in) and a draft of 5.3 meters (17 ft 5 in). They had a diving depth of 100 meters (330 ft).[1]

For surface running, the boats were powered by two 6,200-brake-horsepower (4,623 kW) diesel engines, each driving one propeller shaft. When submerged each propeller was driven by a 1,000-horsepower (746 kW) electric motor. They could reach 23.6 knots (43.7 km/h; 27.2 mph) on the surface and 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) underwater.[2] On the surface, the C1s had a range of 14,000 nautical miles (26,000 km; 16,000 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph); submerged, they had a range of 60 nmi (110 km; 69 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph).[3]

The boats were armed with eight internal bow 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes and carried a total of 20 torpedoes. They were also armed with a single 140 mm (5.5 in)/40 deck gun and two single or twin mounts for 25 mm (1 in) Type 96 anti-aircraft guns. They were equipped to carry one Type A midget submarine aft of the conning tower.[3]

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Displacement (ship)

Displacement (ship)

The displacement or displacement tonnage of a ship is its weight. As the term indicates, it is measured indirectly, using Archimedes' principle, by first calculating the volume of water displaced by the ship, then converting that value into weight. Traditionally, various measurement rules have been in use, giving various measures in long tons. Today, tonnes are more commonly used.

Beam (nautical)

Beam (nautical)

The beam of a ship is its width at its widest point. The maximum beam (BMAX) is the distance between planes passing through the outer extremities of the ship, beam of the hull (BH) only includes permanently fixed parts of the hull, and beam at waterline (BWL) is the maximum width where the hull intersects the surface of the water.

Draft (hull)

Draft (hull)

The draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull (keel). The draught of the vessel is the maximum depth of any part of the vessel, including appendages such as rudders, propellers and drop keels if deployed. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate. The related term air draft is the maximum height of any part of the vessel above the water.

Diesel engine

Diesel engine

The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to mechanical compression; thus, the diesel engine is called a compression-ignition engine. This contrasts with engines using spark plug-ignition of the air-fuel mixture, such as a petrol engine or a gas engine.

Electric motor

Electric motor

An electric motor is an electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most electric motors operate through the interaction between the motor's magnetic field and electric current in a wire winding to generate force in the form of torque applied on the motor's shaft. An electric generator is mechanically identical to an electric motor, but operates with a reversed flow of power, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Knot (unit)

Knot (unit)

The knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, exactly 1.852 km/h. The ISO standard symbol for the knot is kn. The same symbol is preferred by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), while kt is also common, especially in aviation, where it is the form recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The knot is a non-SI unit. The knot is used in meteorology, and in maritime and air navigation. A vessel travelling at 1 knot along a meridian travels approximately one minute of geographic latitude in one hour.

Nautical mile

Nautical mile

A nautical mile is a unit of length used in air, marine, and space navigation, and for the definition of territorial waters. Historically, it was defined as the meridian arc length corresponding to one minute of latitude. Today the international nautical mile is defined as exactly 1,852 metres. The derived unit of speed is the knot, one nautical mile per hour.

Torpedo tube

Torpedo tube

A torpedo tube is a cylindrical device for launching torpedoes.

Torpedo

Torpedo

A modern torpedo is an underwater ranged weapon launched above or below the water surface, self-propelled towards a target, and with an explosive warhead designed to detonate either on contact with or in proximity to the target. Historically, such a device was called an automotive, automobile, locomotive, or fish torpedo; colloquially a fish. The term torpedo originally applied to a variety of devices, most of which would today be called mines. From about 1900, torpedo has been used strictly to designate a self-propelled underwater explosive device.

14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun

14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun

The 14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun was the standard surface battery for Japanese submarine cruisers of World War II. Most carried single guns, but Junsen type submarines carried two. Japanese submarines I-7 and I-8 carried an unusual twin mounting capable of elevating to 40°. The appended designation 11th year type refers to the horizontal sliding breech block on these guns. Breech block design began in 1922, or the eleventh year of the Taishō period in the Japanese calendar. The gun fired a projectile 14 centimeters (5.5 in) in diameter, and the barrel was 40 calibers long.

Deck gun

Deck gun

A deck gun is a type of naval artillery mounted on the deck of a submarine. Most submarine deck guns were open, with or without a shield; however, a few larger submarines placed these guns in a turret.

Conning tower

Conning tower

A conning tower is a raised platform on a ship or submarine, often armoured, from which an officer in charge can conn the vessel, controlling movements of the ship by giving orders to those responsible for the ship's engine, rudder, lines, and ground tackle. It is usually located as high on the ship as practical, to give the conning team good visibility of the entirety of the ship, ocean conditions, and other vessels.

Construction and commissioning

Ordered under the Rapid Naval Armaments Supplement Programme and built by the Sasebo Naval Arsenal at Sasebo, Japan, I-46 was laid down on 21 November 1942 with the name Submarine No. 376[4] and was numbered I-46 on 25 May 1943.[4] Launched on 3 June 1943 and provisionally attached to the Yokosuka Naval District,[4] she was completed and commissioned on 29 February 1944.[4]

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Rapid Naval Armaments Supplement Programme

Rapid Naval Armaments Supplement Programme

The Rapid Naval Armaments Supplement Programme was one of the armaments expansion plan of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).

Sasebo Naval Arsenal

Sasebo Naval Arsenal

Sasebo Naval Arsenal was one of four principal naval shipyards owned and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Sasebo

Sasebo

Sasebo is a core city located in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. It is also the second largest city in Nagasaki Prefecture, after its capital, Nagasaki. On 1 June 2019, the city had an estimated population of 247,739 and a population density of 581 persons per km2. The total area is 426.06 km2 (165 sq mi).

Japan

Japan

Japan is an island country in East Asia. It is situated in the northwest Pacific Ocean and is bordered on the west by the Sea of Japan, extending from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north toward the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and Taiwan in the south. Japan is a part of the Ring of Fire, and spans an archipelago of 14,125 islands, with the five main islands being Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Kobe, and Kyoto.

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching

Ceremonial ship launching involves the performance of ceremonies associated with the process of transferring a vessel to the water. It is a nautical tradition in many cultures, dating back thousands of years, to accompany the physical process with ceremonies which have been observed as public celebration and a solemn blessing, usually but not always, in association with the launch itself.

Yokosuka Naval District

Yokosuka Naval District

Yokosuka Naval District was the first of four main administrative districts of the pre-war Imperial Japanese Navy. Its territory included Tokyo Bay and the Pacific coasts of central and northern Honshū from the Kii Peninsula to Shimokita Peninsula. Its headquarters, along with most of its installations, including the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, were located in the city of Yokosuka, which constituted the Yokosuka Naval Base.

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning

Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to placing a warship in active duty with its country's military forces. The ceremonies involved are often rooted in centuries-old naval tradition.

Service history

Upon commissioning, I-46 formally was attached to the Yokosuka Naval District and assigned to Submarine Squadron 11 for shakedown and work-ups.[4] During a training sortie in the Iyo-nada on 2 April 1944, she collided underwater with the submarine Ro-46 off Minase Bight southwest of Kominasa Light at 21:45, suffering damage to her conning tower and periscopes.[4] After repairs and testing, she arrived at Sasebo Navy Yard on 7 May 1944 for additional repairs.[4]

I-46 was reassigned to Submarine Division 15 in the 6th Fleet on 30 May 1944.[4] On 12 August 1944, her commanding officer submitted a memorandum to the headquarters of the 6th Fleet and the commander of Submarine Squadron 11 suggesting improvements to the Type 13 air search radar installation and application of the anti-radar coating aboard I-46.[4]

On 13 October 1944, the Combined Fleet ordered the activation of Operation Shō-Gō 1, the defense of the Philippine Islands, in anticipation of an American invasion of the islands.[4] I-46 departed Kure, Japan, to begin her first war patrol and take part in Shō-Gō 1, assigned a patrol area 120 nautical miles (220 km; 140 mi) east of Leyte in the Philippines as part of the "B" Group.[4] Her patrol area was the westernmost of those assigned to the submarines of her group, and was adjacent to the area assigned to the submarine I-54.[4]

On 20 October 1944, the Battle of Leyte began with U.S. landings on Leyte.[4] In response, major units of the Imperial Japanese Navy converged on Leyte, resulting in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which lasted from 23 to 26 October 1944.[4] On 24 October, the 6th Fleet ordered eleven submarines, including I-46, to converge in an area extending from Samar to Surigao Strait.[4]

While I-46 was operating east of Leyte on 25 October 1944, a U.S. patrol plane forced her to dive at 06:45.[4] A ship she identified from its propeller noises as a destroyer pursued her for the next eleven hours, during which she heard over 200 distant depth charge explosions.[4]

On 26 October 1944, I-46 transmitted a report that she had sighted a small Allied convoy east of her patrol area.[4] She was never heard from again.[4] When the 6th Fleet ordered her to move to a new patrol station east of Leyte on 27 October 1944, she did not acknowledge it.[4]

Loss

The circumstances of I-46′s loss remain unknown.[4] At 12:18 on 28 October 1944, the destroyers USS Gridley (DD-380) and USS Helm (DD-388) detected a submarine attempting to penetrate the screen of United States Navy Task Group 38.4 — which included the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Franklin (CV-13), USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24), and USS San Jacinto (CVL-30) — east of Leyte.[4] While the aircraft carriers steered away from the submarine contact at high speed, Gridley made three depth charge attacks against the submarine and Helm made four.[4] After Helm′s fourth attack, which took place at 14:11, a large explosion followed by two smaller ones occurred.[4] Oil and air bubbles appeared on the surface, and damaged deck planking and human remains were recovered after the attack.[4] The submarine sank at 10°58′N 127°13′E / 10.967°N 127.217°E / 10.967; 127.217.[4]

On both 30 October and 1 November 1944, I-26, I-46, and I-54 all failed to make scheduled daily 19:00 status reports.[4] On 2 December 1944, the Imperial Japanese Navy declared I-46 to be presumed lost east of the Philippines with the loss of all 112 men on board. She was stricken from the Navy list on 10 March 1945.[4]

The identity of the submarine Gridley and Helm sank remains a mystery, and has been reported both as I-46 and I-54.[4] In 1976, it also was suggested that the destroyer escort USS Lawrence C. Taylor (DE-415) sank I-46 in the Philippine Sea east of Samar on 18 November 1944, although the submarine Lawrence C. Taylor sank probably was I-41.[4][5] Some historians have claimed that a submarine the destroyers USS Saufley (DD-465), USS Waller (DD-466), USS Pringle (DD-477), and USS Renshaw (DD-499) sank in the Ormoc Bay area on 28 November 1944 was I-46, but by then I-46 had been missing for over a month, and they most likely sank Yu 2.[6]

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Japanese submarine Ro-46

Japanese submarine Ro-46

Ro-46 was an Imperial Japanese Navy Kaichū type submarine of the K6 sub-class. Completed and commissioned in February 1944, she served in World War II, including operations related to the Marianas campaign, the Philippines campaign, and the Battle of Okinawa. She disappeared in April 1945 during her fifth war patrol.

Conning tower

Conning tower

A conning tower is a raised platform on a ship or submarine, often armoured, from which an officer in charge can conn the vessel, controlling movements of the ship by giving orders to those responsible for the ship's engine, rudder, lines, and ground tackle. It is usually located as high on the ship as practical, to give the conning team good visibility of the entirety of the ship, ocean conditions, and other vessels.

Periscope

Periscope

A periscope is an instrument for observation over, around or through an object, obstacle or condition that prevents direct line-of-sight observation from an observer's current position.

6th Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

6th Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy)

The 6th Fleet was a fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) that during World War II, had primary responsibility for the command of submarine operations.

Headquarters unit

Headquarters unit

A headquarters unit is a specialised military unit formed around the headquarters of a commanding officer and the requirements of that position. As such, a headquarters unit is always a component of a larger unit.

Combined Fleet

Combined Fleet

The Combined Fleet was the main sea-going component of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Until 1933, the Combined Fleet was not a permanent organization, but a temporary force formed for the duration of a conflict or major naval maneuvers from various units normally under separate commands in peacetime.

Kure, Hiroshima

Kure, Hiroshima

Kure is a port and major shipbuilding city situated on the Seto Inland Sea in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. With a strong industrial and naval heritage, Kure hosts the second-oldest naval dockyard in Japan and remains an important base for the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) named, JMSDF Kure Naval Base. As of 1 May 2015, the city has an estimated population of 228,030 and a population density of 646 persons per km2. The total area is 352.80 km2.

Leyte

Leyte

Leyte is an island in the Visayas group of islands in the Philippines. It is eighth-largest and sixth-most populous island in the Philippines, with a total population of 2,626,970 as of 2020 census.

Philippines

Philippines

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It is situated in the western Pacific Ocean and consists of around 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines is bounded by the South China Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the southwest. It shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east and southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest. The Philippines is the world's thirteenth-most-populous country and has diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout its islands. Manila is the country's capital, while the largest city is Quezon City; both lie within the urban area of Metro Manila.

Japanese submarine I-54 (1943)

Japanese submarine I-54 (1943)

The second I-54 was an Imperial Japanese Navy Type B3 submarine. Completed and commissioned in March 1944, she served in World War II and took part in the Marianas campaign and the Philippines campaign before she was sunk in October 1944.

Battle of Leyte

Battle of Leyte

The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the amphibious invasion of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American forces and Filipino guerrillas under the overall command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. The operation, codenamed King Two, launched the Philippines campaign of 1944–45 for the recapture and liberation of the entire Philippine Archipelago and to end almost three years of Japanese occupation.

Battle of Leyte Gulf

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle of World War II and by some criteria the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar, and Luzon from 23 to 26 October 1944 between combined American and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), as part of the invasion of Leyte, which aimed to isolate Japan from the colonies that it had occupied in Southeast Asia, a vital source of industrial and oil supplies.

Source: "Japanese submarine I-46", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, June 12th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_submarine_I-46.

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Notes
  1. ^ Bagnasco, p. 192
  2. ^ Chesneau, p. 201
  3. ^ a b Carpenter & Dorr, p. 104
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Hackett, Bob; Kingsepp, Sander (2018). "IJN Submarine I-46: Tabular Record of Movement". combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  5. ^ Hackett, Bob; Kingsepp, Sander (2017). "IJN Submarine I-41: Tabular Record of Movement". combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  6. ^ Mühlthaler, p. 330.
References
  • Bagnasco, Erminio (1977). Submarines of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-962-6.
  • Boyd, Carl & Yoshida, Akikiko (2002). The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-015-0.
  • Carpenter, Dorr B. & Polmar, Norman (1986). Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1904–1945. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-396-6.
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
  • Hackett, Bob; Kingsepp, Sander. "IJN Submarine I-46: Tabular Record of Movement". Sensuikan!. combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  • Hashimoto, Mochitsura (1954). Sunk: The Story of the Japanese Submarine Fleet 1942 – 1945. Colegrave, E.H.M. (translator). London: Cassell and Company. ASIN B000QSM3L0.
  • Mühlthaler, Erich (1998). "Re:Imperial Japanese Army Transport Submarines". Warship International. XXXV (4): 329–330. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Stille, Mark (2007). Imperial Japanese Navy Submarines 1941-45. New Vanguard. Vol. 135. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-090-1.

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