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Kairyu Class, Japanese Midget Submarines


Photograph of Kairyu-class midget submarine

National Archives #80-G-338384


Specifications:


Tonnage

19.24 tons submerged

Dimensions

56'11" by 4'3" by 4'3"
17.35m by 1.30m by 1.30m

Maximum speed      

7.5 knots surfaced
10 knots submerged
Dive
to 330 feet
to 100 meters

Complement

2

Armament

2 18" (46cm) torpedo tubes or 1 600kg (1300 lb) explosive charge
Machinery
1-shaft gasoline (85 hp) or electric (80 hp)

Range

450 nautical miles (830 km) at 5  knots surfaced
36 nautical miles (70 km) at 3 knots submerged


The Kairyus were originally designed as midget submarines with torpedo tubes. Because of the lack of torpedoes, and because their mission was near-suicidal at best, most were equipped as suicide craft with a 600 kilogram charge instead of torpedoes. 760 were ordered but only 213 had been delivered by the time of the surrender, and none of these carried out a combat mission.

References

Carpenter and Polmar (1986)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Navy History and Heritage Command (accessed 2009-12-8)



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