Japanese submarine I-10 at Penang port in 1942.jpg
I-10 at Penang, 1942
Empire of Japan
Name: I-10
Builder: Kawasaki Yard, Kobe
Launched: 20 September 1939
Commissioned: 31 October 1941
Fate: Sunk, 4 July 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Type A1 submarine
  • 2,966 tonnes (2,919 long tons) surfaced
  • 4,195 tonnes (4,129 long tons) submerged
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)
Installed power:
  • 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph) surfaced
  • 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) submerged
  • 16,000 nmi (30,000 km; 18,000 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 depth: 100 m (330 ft)
Crew: 100
Aircraft carried: 1 × Yokosuka E14Y seaplane
Aviation facilities: 1 × catapult

The Japanese submarine I-10 was a Type A1 submarine built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the 1930s.

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.[1] 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).[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 1,200-horsepower (895 kW) electric motor. They could reach 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) on the surface[2] 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).[3]

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.[3]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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).[5] 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.[5]

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."[6]

I-10 was sunk on 4 July 1944 by US warships David W Taylor and Riddle while operating in the Pacific east of Saipan, in the Mariana Islands.[7]


  1. ^ a b Bagnasco, p. 188
  2. ^ Chesneau, p. 200
  3. ^ a b c Carpenter & Dorr, p. 101
  4. ^ Prange, Gordon W., "At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor", Penguin Books, New York, New York, 1981, Library of Congress card number 82-5896, ISBN 0-14-00-6455-9, page 431.
  5. ^ a b Rigge, Simon (1980). War in the Outposts. Chicago, Time-Life Books, pp. 107–108,
  6. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot, "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II: Vollume Eight - New Guinea and the Marianas March 12944 - August 1944," Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1953, 1989, Library of Congress card number 53-7298, page 229.
  7. ^ Boyd & Yoshida, p. 209


  • 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 (2012). "IJN Submarine I-10: Tabular Record of Movement". SENSUIKAN! Stories and Battle Histories of the IJN's Submarines. Combinedfleet.com. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  • Hashimoto, Mochitsura (1954). Sunk: The Story of the Japanese Submarine Fleet 1942 – 1945. Colegrave, E.H.M. (translator). London: Cassell and Company. ASIN B000QSM3L0.
  • Stille, Mark (2007). Imperial Japanese Navy Submarines 1941-45. New Vanguard. 135. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84603-090-1.