World War II Pacific Naval Campaign: The Submarine Campaign


Figure 1.--Here we see an American boy standing near a torpedo is in a city park somewhere in America. I am guessing it was some time after World War I. This was a rather unusual park display and somewhat ironic. Three countries deployed major sunmarine forces in World War II: Germany, Jaoan, and the United States. Ironically the only country that waged a successful campaign was America and the U.S. Navy began the War without an effective torpedo.

While the German submarine campaign in the North Atlantic failed, the American submarine campaign in the Pacific proved spectacularly successful. Hampered by ineffective torpedoes in 1942, the American submarines by 1943 began to significantly affect the delivery of raw materials to Japan. The American submarines targeted the Japanese merchant marine (maru) fleet. While the big fleet carriers got the headlines. The American submarines sunk over 50 percent of all vessels destroyed during the War. The Japanese merchant marine was almost completely destroying, cutting the country's war industries off from supplies and bringing the country close to starvation by 1945. The American submarines did to Japan what the German u-boats tried to do to Britain. Surprisingly the Japanese submarine fleet had little impact on the Pacific campaign. Unlike the Americans, the Japanese began the War with the effective Type 93 Long-Lance Torpedo. The Japanese Navy never used their submarines to interdict American supply vessels. Rather they were used to target fighting ships with only limited success because of their tactical deployment. The Japanese used theor submarines as scouts and to targer warships. As the American offensive moved toward the Home Islands, the Japanese used their submarines to supply bypassed island garisons, some of which were near starvation. They were also used to supply bypassed islasnd bases where garrisons were close to starvation. They also managed to get some secret German military technology to Japan late in the war (1944).

Overview

While the German submarine campaign in the North Atlantic failed, the American submarine campaign in the Pacific proved spectacularly successful. The Japanese which entered the War with a substantial submarine force armed with the world's most effective torpedo did not play an important part in the War.

American Submarine Campaign

The Ameriican submarine campaign was hampered by by poor strategic and tactical concepts and ineffective torpedoes in 1942. The American submarines by 1943, however, began to significantly affect the delivery of raw materials to Japan. The American submarines targeted the Japanese merchant marine (maru) fleet. While the big fleet carriers got the headlines. The American submarines sunk over 50 percent of all vessels destroyed during the War. The Japanese merchant marine was almost completely destroying, cutting the country's war industries off from supplies and bringing the country close to starvation by 1945. The American submarines did to Japan what the German u-boats tried to do to Britain. Surprisingly the Japanese submarine fleet had little impact on the Pacific campaign. Unlike the Americans, the Japanese began the War with the effective Type 93 Long-Lance Torpedo. The Japanese Navy never used their submarines to interdict American supply vessels. Rather they were used to target fighting ships with only limited success because of their tactical deployment. The Japanese used theor submarines as scouts and to targer warships. As the American offensive moved toward the Home Islands, the Japanese used their submarines to supply bypassed island garisons, some of which were near starvation. They were also used to supply bypassed islasnd bases where garrisons were close to starvation. They also managed to get some secret German military technology to Japan late in the war (1944).

Japanese Submarine Campaign

The Japanese Navy got its first submarines from the United States, buying them from the Electric Boat Company in the early 20th century. More sophisticated submarines were obtained as part of the World War I peace settlement. The Allies gave thge Japanese a number of German U-boats. After the War, the Japanese Navy began to focus on the American Navy as its most likely future opponent. The Japanese began building an advanced sibmarine, the I-class submarines. This submarine reflected the empire that Japan began to conceive in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The I-boats were very large submarines, reflecting the vast distances involved in Pacific operations. The I-class were 350 ft long and had rangds of 20,000 miles, more than twice that of 7,000-8,000 mile range of the German U-boats. The Japanese had smaller subs for coastal patrol, but the backbone of the fleet was the I-class boats. Surprisingly the sunstantial Japanese submarine fleet had little impact on the Pacific campaign. Unlike the Americans, the Japanese began the War with the effective Type 93 Long-Lance Torpedo. The Japanese Navy never used their submarines to interdict American supply vessels. Rather they were used to target fighting ships with only limited success because of their tactical deployment. The Japanese used theor submarines as scouts and to targer warships. As the American offensive moved toward the Home Islands, the Japanese used their submarines to supply bypassed island garisons, some of which were near starvation. They were also used to supply bypassed islasnd bases where garrisons were close to starvation. They also managed to get some secret German military technology to Japan late in the war (1944). The Japanese developed especially large sunmarines that could carry a few planes. They were planning an attack on the Panama Canal until the sumarines were redeployed to defend Okinawa (1945).

Sources

Parish, Thomas. The Submarine: A History (Viking, 2004), 576p.






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Created: 5:51 AM 6/21/2004
Last updated: 11:58 PM 10/31/2015