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Encyclopedia > Kaiten
Kaiten
Kaiten manned torpedoes, stacked on top of a departing submarine.
Characteristics (Type 1) RN Ensign
Displacement: 8.3t
Length: 14.75m
Diameter: 1m
Propulsion: Type 93 Oxygen torpedo engine

550HP ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (868x589, 181 KB) Kaitens stacked on top of a departing submarine. ... Image File history File links Naval_Ensign_of_Japan. ...

Combustible: Oxygen, diesel
Speed and range: 78km at 10 knots

43km at 20 knots
23km at 30 knots

Complement: 1
Armament: 1550kg of explosives

The Kaiten (Japanese:回天, translated "Change the World" or "Reverse the Destiny") was a torpedo modified as a suicide weapon, and used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the final stages of the Second World War. A modern torpedo, historically called a locomotive torpedo, is a self-propelled projectile that (after being launched above or below the water surface) operates underwater and is designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target. ... A suicide bombing is a bomb attack on people or property, committed by a person who knows the explosion will cause his or her own death in addition to the attacks primary purpose (see suicide, suicide weapons). ... The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) (: 大日本帝國海軍 Shinjitai: 大日本帝国海軍 or 日本海軍 Nippon Kaigun) or sometimes referred to as the Combined Fleet was the Navy of Empire of Japan (Dai Nippon Teikoku) from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japans constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...


Early designs allowed for the pilot to escape after the final acceleration toward the target, although whether this could have been done successfully is doubtful. There is no record of any pilot attempting to escape or intending to do so, and this provision was dropped from later production kaitens, so that once inside, the pilot could not let himself out. In the event that an attack failed, the kaiten was fitted with a control for self destruction.

Turret of a Kaiten Type 1, Tokyo Yasukuni War Memorial Museum.
Turret of a Kaiten Type 1, Tokyo Yasukuni War Memorial Museum.

Five models were designed, the types 1, 2, 3 and 4 based on the type 93 torpedo (24 inch oxygen/kerosene), and the type 10, based on the type 92 torpedo (21 inch electric). Types 2, 4 and 10 were manufactured in small numbers and never used. Prototypes of the type 3 may have been built, or it may have existed only as a concept. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (456x657, 94 KB) Turret of a Japanese Kaiten Type 1. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (456x657, 94 KB) Turret of a Japanese Kaiten Type 1. ... The Type 93 was a 610 mm (24 inch) diameter torpedo of the Imperial Japanese Navy. ... The Type 92 torpedo was a submarine-launched torpedo used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. It was 23ft. ...


Only the type 1, a one person model with a 3000 lb (1,360 kg) warhead, was used operationally. Almost 400 of these were built, with more than 100 of these sent on suicide missions. As well as the obvious advantage of providing guidance for the torpedo, these kaitens could be launched from a submerged submarine, unlike the unmanned type 93 torpedo which was deck launched from the surface. However they were not nearly as effective round for round as the highly successful type 93 torpedo on which they were based. The only sinkings achieved by kaiten attacks were the tanker USS Mississinewa on November 20, 1944, and the USS Underhill on July 24, 1945. The USS Mississinewa (AO-59) was a T3-S2-A3 Auxiliary Oiler of the United States Navy, commissioned on May 18, 1944 and used to refuel ships during World War II in the South Pacific. ... November 20 is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1944 calendar). ... USS Underhill (DE-682), a Buckley-class destroyer escort, was named in honor of Ensign Samuel Underhill, a naval aviator of the United States Navy who was killed in action during the Battle of the Coral Sea. ... July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... 1945 (MCMVL) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...

A Kaiten Type I, Tokyo Yasukuni War Memorial Museum.
A Kaiten Type I, Tokyo Yasukuni War Memorial Museum.

The type 2 was intended to have a crew of two, and so is often confused with the Japanese midget submarines used to attack Pearl Harbor and Sydney. However the midget submarines used in these attacks were each armed with two light torpedoes in individual tubes, and were intended to return to their mother ships after firing them. All kaitens, on the other hand, had only fixed warheads, and were single mission munitions. The quality of construction reflected this fundamental difference. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (824x561, 147 KB) Kaiten Type 1. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (824x561, 147 KB) Kaiten Type 1. ... Students at Yasukuni The main building of Yasukuni Shrine The Yasukuni Shrine (lit. ... German midget submarine Seehund, with a torpedo A midget submarine is a small submarine, typically with a one or two person crew and with no on-board living accommodation. ... Attack on Pearl Harbor Conflict World War II, Pacific War Date December 7, 1941 Place Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Result Japanese victory On the morning of December 7, 1941, planes and midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy commanded by Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, carried out a surprise assault on the... This article is about the metropolitan area in Australia. ... A modern torpedo, historically called a locomotive torpedo, is a self-propelled projectile that (after being launched above or below the water surface) operates underwater and is designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target. ...

Aft half of Kaiten, after recovery by U.S. forces at Ulithi Atoll in 1945.
Aft half of Kaiten, after recovery by U.S. forces at Ulithi Atoll in 1945.

All kaitens were designed to be launched from either the deck of a surface ship or the deck of a submerged submarine. Provision was made for the crew to enter the kaiten from the submarine while submerged. Having a very limited depth capability themselves, when carried on a submarine deck the kaitens similarly restricted the diving depth of the submarine itself. Because of this, as well as the fact that the kaiten would have to be launched within a close distance to the target, they were easy prey for US fighter planes as they approached. This is one of several factors blamed for the very poor survival rate of submarines using them, eight submarines being lost while sinking only two enemy ships and damaging some others. A submarine carried from three to six kaitens. Japanese Kaiten Type 1 Torpedo, after recovery by U.S. forces at Ulithi Atoll in 1945. ... Japanese Kaiten Type 1 Torpedo, after recovery by U.S. forces at Ulithi Atoll in 1945. ... German UC-1 class World War I submarine A model of Gunter Priens Unterseeboot 47 (U-47), German WWII Type VII diesel-electric hunter-killer (SSK) submarine Inside of the Argonaute, showing the typical obstructed, tiny space of a post-WWII diesel attack submarine. ...

File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

See also

German midget submarine Seehund, with a torpedo A midget submarine is a small submarine, typically with a one or two person crew and with no on-board living accommodation. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Kaiten Memorial Museum (1002 words)
The Kaiten Memorial Museum opened in 1968 at the site of the original kaiten base on Otsushima Island, and the museum facilities were renovated in 1998.
The reason for the kaiten, in the words of one pilot who later died in training, are read by the narrator, "There was no other way but to use this type of weapon to counter imminent defeat.
However, the film has a man, who trained as a kaiten pilot, explaining that the kaiten was the "most efficient" weapon since the manned torpedo was more successful than the suicide air attacks that only hit one in ten targets.
Kamikaze Submarine (1217 words)
The Japanese word "kaiten" literally means "sky change," with the implication that the Navy hoped this new weapon would bring about a radical reversal in the course of the war when Japan was suffering continuing losses.
The Naval General Staff approved the development of the kaiten in February 1944 on the condition it not be used as a suicide weapon.
In order that kaiten pilots would not have a tendency to look behind them as they approached their final mission, only men with a minimum of family responsibilities were selected out of the many young Navy men who volunteered.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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