U.S. researchers said Thursday that they have located the remains of two high-tech Japanese submarines that were scuttled by the U.S. Navy off Hawaii in 1946 to prevent the technology from falling into the hands of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the Cold War.
One of the craft was the largest non-nuclear sub ever built and had the ability to circle the globe 1 1/2 times without refueling. Called the I-14, the behemoth was 400 feet long and 40 feet high and carried a crew of 144. It was designed to launch two folding-wing bombers on kamikaze missions against U.S. cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., although changes in tactics, and the end of the war, prevented such attacks.
The second, which also never entered the war, was an attack submarine called the I-201 whose design foreshadowed the sleek submarines of today. It was thought to be more than twice as fast as any U.S. subs used in the war.
“In their time, they were very revolutionary,” said retired Col. Robert D. Hackett, a military historian with CombinedFleet.com, an online collection of information about the Imperial Japanese Navy. He was not involved in the new find. “We were quite interested in the technology.” …