Although in those days the subjects of the Mikado sought not just to buy something in the West, but to the extent possible, improve the quality “imported goods”. Around the body “Japanese women” by order of the Naval staff missed a continuous strip of sturdy bronze to increase the strength of the hull. The same purpose was served as two sides of the keel, which give greater rigidity. As a result, the immersion depth was up to almost 40 m, more than the rest of the Holland boats of the “first bottling”. Their firstborn, the Japanese used the most advanced at that time torpedoes of its own production, able to go to target more than two kilometers.
Lasted the firstborn who have received the then common tradition, just numbers from 1 St to 5th, quite a long time. Lean Japanese kept them in service until 1921, squeezing all that is possible, for the training of crews for its future submarines. And I must say, the Japanese have learned “the tricks of the underwater” very quickly. In addition to five all-American submarines in the “parts design” they’re just a few months later, in September of 1905 made a couple private boats. Although the basis of his “No. 6” and “No. 7”, of course, remained the “Hollands”, in such a short time changes were made is enough in order to be eligible proud to call this type “kaigun”, that is “naval”. Slightly smaller displacement, the “true Japanese women” came out leaner: traditional baggy “ogurtsovo” products “electric boat” offset by lengthening the hull of a smaller diameter. Doubled the capacity of gasoline engine: Marine headquarters right caught global tendencies (still not obvious), consisting in the fact that the boat will be mainly to walk on the surface, plunging only to attack. But the shape of the hull was allowed to get the 300-horsepower engine is only about one extra node, but the submarine’s speed dropped to a paltry 4 knots. However, the Japanese considered your “first attempt” solely as experimental material.
Not without “alas”, as well traditional for the first phase of the conquest of the depths of victims. In one of the training hikes in April 1910 at No. 6 tightly closed hole of the ventilation pipe, and the submarine went to the bottom near Kure. Lieutenant Sakuma and all 15 members of his crew died, though the boat managed to raise to the surface the next day. The Navy gave all the credit to his divers, and the “six” for more than 10 years remained at the base as a memorial to their memory, until in 1920 she was sent to the metal.
After experiences with American products, Japan has appealed to the then “big brother” and closest and most faithful ally, Britain. Using the experience of the main and then the sole supplier of underwater vessels Vickers, there is first ordered a couple of submarines. They were built in barrow and moved to the far East on transport in early 1909. A slightly different operation done three units three years later. This time vecherkovskiy boat was delivered “loose” in the form of parts and assembled at the shipyard of the Navy in Kure. In the end, only the Japanese have been enriched by five submarines of this type have received rooms from 8 to 12. However, they did not last. During the First world war, the Marine staff quickly decided to increase its submarine force, even at the expense of outdated projects. Experience with British type “C” were already present, and in 1916 was followed by an extra bookmark two units, numbers 16 and 17 in the same shipyard in Kure. And before that, in 1912, the Japanese designers and engineers at Kawasaki in Kobe made his own attempt, created on the basis of the same type replica with some changes introduced at the insistence of the Navy. The use of a more powerful petrol engine (1000 HP instead of 600) has achieved a surface speed of about 10.5 host. Submarine under unlucky for superstitious sailors number 13 has been given the working designation “Vickers-Kawasaki”, and the Navy was listed as “naval version of the Vickers project”. The room did not prevent her from successfully published until 1928 as her “sisters” of British origin.
Five times large displacement, in comparison with the first “Hollands”, “C” at the time, was considered in Britain, almost of the ocean, but in a new place, in the vast and sometimes very harsh Pacific ocean, they with their front maximum range of just over 600 miles looked like “bugs” on the road. Meanwhile, Marine headquarters during the construction of the first of the series began to think about the distant future of its submarine fleet. However, it took more than five years, while abroad, were not “vismutin” another favorite on reproduction and development. This time in France. At the end of 1911 the firm Schneider-Creusot ordered two boats, “long-range” project, inspired by the views Labefa. Although the size, they differed little from the British, and weapons, and the driving characteristics they have been much better. The use of diesel engines, and even a double number (the boats were twin-shaft) allowed to achieve a surface speed of about 17 knots – a huge leap forward. The range also increased more than threefold. If the French diesels of that time remained insufficiently reliable and perfect, electric everything was in order, and submarines could run under water up to 10 knots. The most important innovation is also dvuhkonusnyj design. Looked decent and armed with four 450-mm slots with an extra set of torpedoes. (During the war they added a 40-mm antiaircraft gun.)
However, there was one “but”. France entered the Great war, and she did not absolutely nothing to do with far Eastern order. Submarine No. 14 requisitioned before launching, and after a year she entered service under the tricolor flag as “Armid”. No. 15 the Japanese managed to get leave for myself, but the shipyard was not in a hurry to finish the order. Only in mid-1917 thoroughly “marinated” the boat was put into operation in the autumn of and was first taken to the far East.
By the time the war was nearing completion, and the French offered to compensate the damage, giving the possibility to build another unit, instead of “armide”, already in Japan, and to improve the draft. Suffering “No. 14” was launched at the naval shipyard in Kure in 1918, and completed only two years later. It had 6 torpedo tubes, 2 of them in the superstructure consisted essentially kickers torpedoes. Manufacturing diesel engines in Japan have not yet mastered, and they were brought from France.
But these submarines have not become a decisive step rapidly progressing far Eastern powers on the oceans. Navy representatives continued to visit all the countries of the Entente and its allies. And put your eyes on the products of Italy, where, as we recall, at the time “reigned” H Laurent. The result was the selected project “FIAT” whose main attraction was the size and, consequently, a significant amount of fuel. Piatowski diesels we already know, but Japanese engineers raised questions also problems with strength. The project nearly 700-ton boat was single, and not strictly cylindrical shape, and a pair of No. 18 and No. 21 are considered dangerous for the future operation in the Pacific. The Japanese are already in the course of construction added in the design of the ribs and supplementary frames. This depth increased to 40 – 45 m, while in the service of the boat tried so deep under the water not to drive. The construction continued after the end of World war I, and immediately after the entry into operation in her lessons submarines equipped with 76-mm gun, the project is not provided. The same was done with the additional three “Italians” (numbers 22 to 24), commissioned in 1918 and commissioned very late in 1922.
However, the Italian version became a prototype for future far-Eastern ocean-going submarines. But the real breakthrough was a return to experience major ally. In the midst of war the British managed to create a very attractive project is quite large underwater ship and launch it into a huge series under the designation “L” (About it we still tell.) Representatives of the Japanese fleet swept in just in time, and only slightly more than a year later, in late 1917 concluded a contract with “Vickers” for the supply of drawings and the first set of diesels. By the time domestic shipyards could handle the order yourself, and by 1920 into operation included two regular “rooms”, No. 25 and No. 26, built the “Japanese Vickers,” the firm Mitsubishi. So very rapidly the pupils have caught up with his mentor; even the notorious diesel engines failed to develop faster than in England itself. Japanese “L” had a decent range of 5.5 thousand miles; and among their disadvantages are odnostolpnoy design and small cruising under water, not exceeding 60 miles turtle 4-knots speed.
However, “Englishman” of this type was for the Japanese a real breakthrough. Respectively, followed by more mass orders: the number of units was limited to the production capabilities of the shipyards of Mitsubishi. Another 4 units (No. 27 – No. 30) became almost a complete repetition of the prototype, but the next series, initially involving the construction of 6 submarines (Nos. 46 – 50 and No. 57), had a fuel capacity of almost 100 tonnes, which gave the opportunity to overcome 7000 miles. (Later it is still “growing up” on 1/6.) However, during “reappraisal” of 1924, which we describe a little further, a series of “apologisies” only No. 46 and No. 47 and N957.
Unlike their predecessors, are excluded from the lists of the fleet just before the Second world war, they were still in the years of the war. However, only in the role of training: on No. 46 and No. 57 (received in 1924 the designation “Ro-57” and “nuclear weapons-59”) trained crews subversive mini-submarines.
But the British boats and their descendants, according to the Japanese, was still a significant defect. The fact that, as already noted, experts combined Fleet was of great significance to hull strength and design in General. The fact that the European submarines operated largely in relatively shallow waters of the Mediterranean, North and Baltic seas, and was able to “rest” at the bottom if depth is allowed. But the seas of the far East and the Pacific ocean itself had significantly greater average depth, and “lean” underwater vessels almost always been. To add a powerful (and unstable) undercurrents, once in which boat was easily blown off-course and could go “stake” down. Hence the highest requirements as to the management of the immersion depth and the maximum depth.
Therefore, the Japanese have chosen as a prototype for the first own project double-hulled variant “Lubefu”. But additionally (and significantly!) reinforcing the structure as the “skeleton” of the frames and stringers and the thickness of the plating. An additional measure was the careful division of the case into compartments pretty solid bulkheads. All of this came to fruition: the Japanese boats managed to “stay alive” in such debacles in which their European colleagues without further ADO went to the bottom. So, both the firstborn actually Japanese project, which entered into operation in 1919, No. 19 and No. 20, the first maneuvers rammed each other. But after getting very serious damage, and returned safely to base (a notable difference compared to the “battle of may island”, where the “fight” between the British giants such as “K”).
Submarine No. 51 of the “Kaidai” (KD-2), Japan, 1925
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Kure. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/ surface – 1500/2500, etc Dimensions: length – 100,8 m, width – 7.62 m, maximum draught of 5.12 m. the immersion Depth up to 55 m. Engine: 2 diesel with a capacity of 6800 HP and 2 electric motors with a capacity of 2000 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 22/8 bonds. Armament: eight 533-mm torpedo tubes (6 in the nose, 2 aft, 18 torpedoes), one 120 mm and one 76-mm gun. The crew – 60 people. Built on the basis of the German project “submarine”. In 1924, in the course of construction was renamed to “I-52”. Before the Second world war was used as a training, scrapped in 1945
Submarine No. 46 “L-3”, Japan, 1922
Firm was built by Mitsubishi in Kobe. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 900/1200, etc Dimensions: length – 76,12 m, width – 7,11 m, draft – 3,9 m. the immersion Depth up to 45 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 2400 HP and 2 electric motors with a capacity of 1600 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 17/8 bonds. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (10 torpedoes), one 76-mm gun, one machine gun. The crew of 48 people. In 1922 – 1923 by analogy with the British “L” built 3 units, Nos. 46, 47 and 57. It was planned to build another 3 units, but the order was cancelled after the conclusion of the Washington naval agreement. 1924 – “RO-57, “RO-58” and “RO-59” respectively. Participated in the Second world war as a training, but from ports in the sea did not go. Excluded from the lists in 1945, scrapped in 1948
Submarine No. 68 (“I-52”) type “K”, Japan, 1923
Firm was built by Kawasaki in Kobe. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 730/1000, etc Dimensions: length – 74,2 m, width – 6,1 m, draft – 3.7 meters Depth – 50 meters Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 1200 HP and 2 electric motor power 1200 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 13/8 bonds. Armament: four 450 mm torpedo tubes in the nose (10 torpedoes), one 120-mm gun, one machine gun. The crew of 46 people. In 1923 -1924 GT. built 4 units, Nos. 68 – 71. No. 70 sank during testing in 1923, raised. 1924 – “RO-29” – “RO-32”, respectively. “RO-29” excluded from the list in 1936, and the rest transferred to the reserve in 1942 and scrapped in 1945
Submarine No. 85 (“RO-63”) type “L-4”, Japan, 1925
Firm was built by Mitsubishi in Kobe. Design type – double-hulled. Displacement underwater/surface – 990/1325, etc Sizes: length – 76,2 m, width – 7.38 m, draught 3,77 m immersion Depth up to 45 m. Engine: 2 diesel engine capacity of 2400 HP and 2 electric motors with a capacity of 1600 HP Speed surface/submarine project – 16/8 bonds. Armament: six 533-mm torpedo tubes in the nose (10 torpedoes), one 76-mm gun, one machine gun. The crew of 58 people. The development of the British project “L”. In 1924 – 1926., built 9 units, all renamed in the course of construction in the “RO-60” – “RO-68”. Participated in the Second world war. Excluded from the list once it’s finished, and scrapped
Of course, such useful qualities, acquired not for free. Powerful little compartments inner case, by definition, could not be very comfortable. The British (who were then still allowed on new Japanese ships) was considered “Navy” boats too close. However, the sailors of the Imperial fleet showed their best qualities, floating on these “flawed” from the point of view of Europeans, the submarines. Even small coastal No. 16 managed to hold a three-week krakerstva, only three times coming into port for a few hours. For the European boats that could afford except that ocean units. Famous British naval Explorer and writer Hector Bywater in the 1920s, wrote that for two equal-displacement and fuel submarines, one of which will be European (read: British) crew, on the other – the Japanese, the latter will be a third longer remain at sea. In the Old and New Light explained such features of the sailors of the rising sun of their unpretentiousness in food and leisure facilities. Therefore, they say, and designers have neglected to include habitability of their units. But if in the beginning a simple explanation, something came up in fact, then it is this approach really “helped” to miss the technical development of ships for a new opponent. Including submarines.
Not to say that the Japanese designers managed to solve all problems immediately. Their first “naval” units had not too long range, about 4-5 thousand miles. Although they had a high “table” surface speed (another “brand” as the Japanese submarines), it was achieved at the expense of imported Swiss diesel engines Sulzer. And the main armament consisted of a 450-mm torpedo tubes (four in the nose and two little useful deck) and one 76 mm short universal guns. All this did not prevent to launch its own “product” in the series, and quite large, by then Japan. In addition to the first pair was initially ordered another three units, then nine is the largest series of post-war Japan. However, they served for a very long time: in the 1930-ies they were taken out of the fleet. The most exotic fate awaited the pair at numbers 38 and 39. In 1932, their cheap (in 10 thousand yen) bought the authorities of the Prefecture of Kanagawa and … sank in one of the bays as a “home” for farmed fish. A sadder fate befell No. 43, peoplenow ramming attack cruiser “Tatsuta” in March 1924. There is not helped by a heavy-duty case; but the boat managed to raise just over a month, although the composition of the combat forces it was never introduced, using for different experiments. The only one who served throughout the Second world war three began “advanced naval” units, numbered 45, 58 and 62. They differed from their predecessors a little more length and a new 533-mm devices. Their were 4 pieces in the nose: from the “defective” deck with no regrets designers and the sailors refused.
The same torpedo armament and had a series of “medium sized boat naval special type”. Although their displacement was actually a bit less than the standard “naval” (665 770 t instead of t), 68-71 rooms had almost the same dimensions, carrying the same sulanowski diesels, and the range of them is not inferior to “standard”. Moreover, their artillery weapons instilled in every respect: it consisted of a long-barreled 120-graph paper -these were armed with the then destroyers. Initially it was assumed that “special” to become an underwater mine-layers, but in reality mines they never received.
Originally intended “to consolidate the success of” expanding “the fleet” series, another half dozen pieces. And in the future in terms of “8-8” (named for the number of battleships and battle cruisers, although it was envisaged the harmonious development of all classes of ships, including submarines) were another 28 units, completes the already number 116. Besides Japan, the other allies, with a minimum of effort and money on the war itself, got a fat jackpot in the form of captured German boats. She got a pair of medium standard German submarines, “U-46” and “U-55”, the other pair of sophisticated small boats of the type UB III, another pair of underwater mensagem type UC III and one type UE. They were all formally enrolled in the lists of the fleet, but was used exclusively for experiments – however, very useful. But not less useful was the drawings and documentation for other types of Imperial “U-bots”, is not represented in hardware. Perhaps the greatest influence on the further development of the fleet Mikado had projects of German “submarines”, especially came to taste the Japanese admirals, even then, think about the future. Namely, the transfer of future combat operations as far as possible from its own shores, on the Pacific ocean. And even better, to the shores of the most likely opponent in the face which more clearly spoke of “Uncle Sam.” Even in those early years spoke of the cruising range of the submarines in 10 thousand miles, as private, and the nearest landmark was a range twice as big.
And here the far Eastern designers have decided “not to put eggs in one basket”. According to the program of 1919, they founded a large boat (surface displacement of nearly 1,400 t), based on British principles and curricula, including the huge “K”. But again, with caution. Steam turbine mechanical installation immediately rejected. But then the diesel engines could not provide the required speed (and ordered 20 knots) on two shafts. So the engineers used a completely original for submarines schema chetyrehbalnoy power plant. Submarine 44 built quite a long time, more than three years, and then a fairly long experience. What is the specs of the figured distance on the surface of 20 thousand miles – slightly less than the length of the equator line. In General, tabular data No. 44 inspire every respect, including weapons of eight 533-mm torpedo tubes and two guns, one 120 mm and one 76 mm But, in practice, such a complex “mechanism” turned out to be quite capricious and even unreliable. The boat drove as a school until 1930, and then rebuilt, removing the diesel engine and electric motor of the four, and together with the shafts. The Bank has written off as a 76 the graph paper. In General, the pretentious, the submarine remained experimental until the end, not dolariv a few months before the attack on pearl Harbor.
However, the Japanese had a “back door”. Laid in second, 1920-th years of the second great boat number 51, with almost the same size and completely the same arms design became the “successor” of the German submarine “U-139”. This time diesel installation consistent with the traditional twin-shaft scheme. Themselves the engines were installed in tandem to provide a huge for the time power in the 6800 HP and speed on the surface 22 of the node. The price of these changes was the “halved” range; however, 10,000 miles looked great for the time. In contrast to the more original “partner”, “51” caught in the fighting ranks of the Navy and was used there for a quarter of a century, until 1940, when “old” was transferred to the training unit. There she lasted until the end of the war – unlike most of the newer “cousins” sent to the bottom by American ships and aircraft.
The idea is that far submarines in the “German” version had to be six. However, in many shipbuilding plans, particularly quantitative, put the fat end of the Washington naval agreement of 1922. “Treaty on the limitation of naval armaments” in fact became a starting point for additional efforts in preparation for war at sea. First of all, for the Japanese, who felt deeply aggrieved by the ratio 3:5 to the United States and Britain are in the main forces of the then fleet – the battleships. The subjects of the Mikado was claimed to equality, in the worst case – at least for a ratio of 7:10. But their constant ally in a quarter-century England, was not supported by rapidly progressive far Eastern power. On the one hand, losing the position of “mistress of the seas” had a lot of problems, on the other-Japan is gradually becoming a serious contender. Anyway, “swimming” they were now apart. And Maritime headquarters of the rising sun began to urgently develop plans for changes in strategy. A significant role now was to play at submarines. Because in the end, the notorious contract quantity and the total displacement is not limited – so far. Britain has proposed a ban on submarines at all, but have not met understanding not only of the European powers and the United States, but also in its far Eastern ally. The focus was not successful. And Japan can take an extensive systematic development of “hidden” form of naval forces, the benefit is relatively cheap.
The external manifestation of a new systemic approach to underwater shipbuilding became new symbols of boats. If until 1924, all of them, regardless of the size and subclasses, received an unsophisticated serial numbers at the time of construction, then they are clearly divided into three groups. The small, third class, with a displacement of 500 tons, received the designation “Na”. Larger, in the range from 500 to 1,000 tons, were called the letters “RO” and number. Finally, submarines are the first class in excess of a thousand tons, was designated “I” with their numbers. Unlike previously available systems, the numbering ceased to be transparent, so if you rename who were already in service boats of their new number designations had nothing to do with the former. However, all these “numerical exercise” is not was the essence of what is happening. And it was in the gradual but steady process of nominating Japan as the leading “underwater” powers of the world.