K6 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of K6 class submarine

Wikipedia Commons


Tonnage 960 tons standard displacement
1115 tons surfaced
1447 tons submerged
Dimensions 259'2" by 23'1" by 13'2"
78.99m by 7.04m by 401m
Maximum speed       19.7 knots surfaced
8 knots submerged
Dive To 260 feet (79 meters)
Complement 61
Armament 1 3"/40 AA gun
4 21" torpedo tubes (10 torpedoes)
1x2 25mm/60 AA gun
2-shaft diesel (4200 hp) or electric (1200 hp)
Range 5000 nautical miles (9300 km) at 16 knots surfaced
11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km) at 12 knots surfaced
45 nautical miles (83 km) at 5 knots submerged
Modifications An unsuccessful attempt was made to reduce the radar signature by rebuilding the conning towers of a few units in 1943.

The K6s were short-ranged (RO) submarines based on the K5 prototype class. However, they had stronger hulls, superior machinery, and greater fuel capacity for better range. They were also the first short-ranged submarines equipped to fire Type 95 torpedoes. They were excellent boats with good maneuverability, but construction of RO submarines was ended in 1943 due to heavy combat losses.

Units in the Pacific:


Completed 1943-3-31 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)      

Sunk 1943-8-25 off San Cristobal Island by Patterson


Completed 1943-5-31 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)      

Sunk 1944-6-13 off Saipan by Melvin
Ro-37 Completed 1943-6-30 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk 1944-1-22 off San Cristobal Island by Buchanan
Ro-38 Completed 1943-7-31 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Lost to unknown cause 1943-11-19 between Truk and the Gilbert Islands
Ro-39 Completed 1943-9-12 (Sasebo) Sunk 1944-2-2 off Wotje by Walker
Ro-40 Completed 1943-9-28 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk 1944-2-16 off Kwajalein by Phelps and Sage
Ro-41 Completed 1943-11-26 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk 1943-3-23 off Okinawa by Haggard
Ro-42 Completed 1943-8-27 (Sasebo) Sunk 1943-6-11 off off Kwajalein by Bangust
Ro-43 Completed 1943-12-16 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk by aircraft 1945-2-26 off Iwo Jima
Ro-44 Completed 1943-9-12 (Tamano) Sunk 1944-6-16 off Eniwetok by Burden R. Hastings
Ro-45 Completed 1944-1-11 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk 1944-4-30 off Truk by MacDonough, Stephen Potter, and aircraft
Ro-46 Completed 1944-2-11 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk by aircraft 1945-5-25 off Okinawa
Ro-47 Completed 1944-1-31 (Tamano) Sunk 1944-9-26 off Yap by McCoy Reynolds
Ro-48 Completed 1944-3-31 (Mitsubishi-Kobe)       Sunk 1944-7-14 off Saipan by William C. Miller
Ro-49 Completed 1944-5-44 (Tamano) SAunk 1945-5-5 off Okinawa by Hudson
Ro-50 Completed 1944-7-31 (Tamano)
Ro-55 Completed 1944-9-30 (Tamano) Sunk 1945-2-7 off Iba by Thomason
Ro-56 Completed 1944-11-15 (Tamano) Sunk 1945-4-9 off Okinawa by Mertz and Monssen


Carpenter and Polmar (1986) (accessed 2007-11-8)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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