Midget Submarine Attacks: A Groundbreaking Historical Moment!

In late May – early June 1942, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on Australia using midget submarines. This fleet reached the shores of Sydney, passing about 9 thousand kilometers.

While the devastating Japanese air raids on the American fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1947, are widely known, the daring Japanese raid on Sydney in the middle of the following year is rarely reported.

Beginning of the Japanese strike:

The Japanese did not use aircraft carriers in this strike, but made their submarines carriers of innovative weapons, presented in the form of midget submarines with a crew of two, armed with two torpedo tubes.

Five large Japanese Class I submarines met on 29 May 1942 about 35 nautical miles northeast of the entrance to Sydney Harbour.

Early the next morning, June 30, an E-14Y Glen seaplane, crewed by the Susumu Ito pilot and the Iwasaki sailor, launched from the A-21 mother submarine on a daring reconnaissance sortie. over Sydney Harbour, circled the USS Chicago twice before turning east.

Many in the military erroneously believed that the seaplane was American during a routine training flight. For the Japanese, this sortie was one of several reconnaissance opportunities they made over Sydney to gather valuable information before a surprise attack on several Allied warships anchored in the harbor . . The main targets were the cruisers HMS Canberra and USS Chicago.

Midget submarine attacks:

On the third night, May 31, the “Japanese mother submarines” A-27, A-22 and A-24 lined up in an arc at the entrance to Sydney Harbor in front of a midget submarine, manned by two people from each to launch this unknown raid, which some call the “Battle of Sydney”.

The Japanese midget submarine M-27 was the first to enter Sydney Harbor at eight o’clock that evening, but was unable to move forward and its propellers got stuck in the anti-submarine net.

The rough water caused by the midget submarine’s attempts to get rid of the trap attracted the attention of the Australian Coast Guard, who reported this suspicious case, and two patrol boats were sent to check, but the commanders of the Japanese midget submarines, when they realized their inability to get rid of the net, chose death and blew up their submarine.

The second midget submarine “M-24” with two captains successfully entered the port at 9:48 pm and tried to sink her by firing two torpedo tubes at her, but two missed the target, and the second passed under the Dutch submarine “K- 9” and hit the ferry “Cotabol”, which led to her sinking and the death of 21 of her sailors, 19 Australians and two British were killed, and another 10 were injured, while the strike of this submarine was lost until its wreck was found in 2006.

As for the third and last midget submarine “M-22”, it entered the port early in the morning on June 1, and was later found in Taylor Bay and became the target of Sea Mist patrol boats, and divers found it the next day. failed while its engines were still running. It works with slowly rotating propellers.

This Japanese midget submarine was later salvaged and its two captains were found to have been killed inside after several shots.

Two midget submarines “M-27” and “M-22” were discovered and carefully examined to learn the secrets of this innovative weapon. Later, the submarine “M-27” was installed on the wheelhouse and towed in a parade that toured Australia to boost morale.

As for the battle in which the Japanese entered the backyard of the Australians, it did not end. Later, in the early hours of 8 June, a large Japanese submarine, A-24, fired ten high-explosive shells at the eastern outskirts of Sydney, and a second large submarine, A-21, hit the Newcastle area with several shells (21 shells in total). …Some without explosion.

Shells fired at Sydney and Tewcastle caused property damage and minor injuries, with no civilian casualties reported.

The Japanese attack on Sydney with a fleet of carrier and midget submarines is a significant and exceptional event in World War II, and although it did not cause major damage, at the time heightened fears that Australia would be subject to a Japanese invasion.

Source: RT

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