I-10 at Penang, 1942
|Empire of Japan|
|Builder:||Kawasaki Yard, Kobe|
|Launched:||20 September 1939|
|Commissioned:||31 October 1941|
|Fate:||Sunk, 4 July 1944|
|Class and type:||Type A1 submarine|
|Length:||113.7 m (373 ft 0 in) overall|
|Beam:||9.5 m (31 ft 2 in)|
|Draft:||5.3 m (17 ft 5 in)|
|Test depth:||100 m (330 ft)|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Yokosuka E14Y seaplane|
|Aviation facilities:||1 × catapult|
Design and description
The submarines of the A1 type were versions of the preceding J3 class with superior range, improved aircraft installation, and were fitted as squadron flagships. They displaced 2,966 tonnes (2,919 long tons) surfaced and 4,195 tonnes (4,129 long tons) submerged. The submarines were 113.7 meters (373 ft 0 in) long, had a beam of 9.5 meters (31 ft 2 in) and a draft of 5.3 meters (17 ft 5 in). They had a diving depth of 100 meters (330 ft).
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 1,200-horsepower (895 kW) electric motor. They could reach 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) on the surface and 8.25 knots (15.28 km/h; 9.49 mph) underwater. On the surface, the A1s had a range of 16,000 nautical miles (30,000 km; 18,000 mi) at 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph); submerged, they had a range of 90 nmi (170 km; 100 mi) at 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph).
The boats were armed with four internal bow 53.3 cm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes and carried a total of 18 torpedoes. They were also armed with a single 140 mm (5.5 in)/40 deck gun and two twin 25 mm (1 in) Type 96 anti-aircraft guns.
Unlike the J3 class, the aircraft hangar is integrated into the conning tower and faces forward; the positions of the deck gun and the catapult were exchanged so the aircraft can use the forward motion of the ship to supplement the speed imparted by the catapult.
Construction and career
On 30 November 1941, I-10, patrolling in the South Sea region in advance of the attack on Pearl Harbor, launched a Yokosuka E14Y floatplane on a night air sortie of Suva Bay in the Fiji Islands. It reported sighting no enemy in the harbor but then failed to return to the sub. The I-10 searched for three days but failed to find the seaplane or its crew.
During 1942, I-10 conducted long-range operations in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, using her seaplane to carry out reconnaissance on the harbours of Durban and Port Elizabeth and other locales, including Madagascar. In late May 1942, a force comprising I-10, I-20 and I-16, carried out an attack on Allied warships at Madagascar. After the seaplane crew from I-10 spotted the battleship HMS Ramillies at anchor in Diego Suarez harbour, I-20 and I-16 both launched midget submarines; one of these managed to enter the harbour, fired two torpedoes (despite being attacked with depth charges). One torpedo seriously damaged Ramillies, while the second sank the 6,993-ton oil tanker British Loyalty (later refloated). Ramillies required repairs in South Africa and England. The crew of one of the midget submarines (M-20b), beached their craft at Nosy Antalikely and moved inland towards a pre-arranged pick-up point near Cape Amber, but were both killed in a firefight with British Marines three days later. One marine was killed in the action as well. The second midget submarine was lost at sea and the body of a crewman was found washed ashore a day later.
On 12 June 1944, I-10 assembled and launched her Yokosuka E14Y to reconnoiter Majuro. "Since the American expeditionary force had departed six days earlier, the aviator saw nothing important, and his plane, crashing on landing, had to be abandoned."
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