The Largest Submarine in World War II

spring 1946 ten months after the end of World War two an explosion rocked the Pacific off the coast of Hawaii America had just destroyed one of Japan's most advanced weapons systems I was a lookout when I got the literature to periscope it was a bunch that believed me rather than a belated attack against the defeated Japanese the sinking of this top-secret submarine was a pre-emptive measure for the looming Cold War a brazen decision by the Americans to keep the sub out of Soviet hands the plan worked and the weapon lay undisturbed at the bottom of the ocean for six decades until a team of underwater explorers from the University of Hawaii located its remains the discovery sparked a new examination of the long-forgotten super sub they can go to around Cape Horn it can go round Cape of Good Hope 37th oh that's right this gave you enormous strategic options you can basically attack anywhere in the world this was a global weapon system a system that defied conventional design and married the tactical advantages of sea and sky [Music] as America scrambled to build nuclear bombs and Germany experimented with powerful rockets Japan hope its secret weapon would change the course of the war [Music] [Music] 19:41 six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor the Japanese Imperial Navy dominated the Pacific the Japanese strike in December 1941 because they see it as a window of opportunity Japan temporary has the most powerful Navy in the Pacific let's cash that in the Japanese plan was simple it hard and knocked the Americans off-balance they believed this would force an American retreat leaving Japan as the sole superpower in the region [Music] the architect of Japan's Pacific strategy was harvard-educated Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto Yamamoto had mixed feelings about the campaign in terms of his own personal opinions he was very much against a war with the United States which he felt was essentially unwinnable but at the same time in his capacity as a commander-in-chief of the combined fleet he felt he had to come up with some kind of strategy to make a Japanese war in the United States a viable proposition but nobody realizes more than he how wrong it can all go right right and his gambler's instinct tells him that it will have to be very long as he wants some capability of say taking the war to American home waters really shocked the American populace by some bold gesture his gesture the bombing of Pearl Harbor the attacks sank five battleships three destroyers and several small ships but the Japanese missed I'm their mission because on December 7th all three American aircraft carriers were at sea and out of harm's way Japan also miscalculated America's will to fight back one day after Pearl Harbor the u.s. declared war against Japan the fight was on both nations scrambled for advantaged [Music] the u.s. cranked up its industry and relied on its manpower aiming to overwhelm the Japanese with superior numbers [Music] but for Japan the challenge was different knowing he would soon be out manned and outgunned Admiral Yamamoto needed more surgical strikes in the months following Pearl Harbor he strategized about how to bring the war across the Pacific to America 5,400 miles away he looked to the success of the German u-boats the deadly Nazi subs that were preying on ships in the Atlantic from February to May 1942 the u-boats sank 348 vessels preventing millions of tons of American supplies from reaching Europe several of the ships were torpedoed within sight of New York City and Boston if German subs could terrorize the US East Coast the Japanese subs do the same in the West [Music] to find out Yamamoto ordered a series of test missions he sent us up to fire shells at a refinery in California it didn't cause much damage but did trigger fears of a Japanese invasion along the Pacific the hunt is on for the Jap submarine that brought the war to US soil lying offshore the Marauder opened up against oil refineries near the beach at Santa Barbara a piece of shell made in Tokyo it did little harm but it was the first fired in this war against our own Shores the following day coastal artillery brigades fired at what they thought were enemy planes the guns were shooting at shadows no sightings were actually confirmed but the panicked American reaction did signify to Yamamoto that his instincts were correct if he could strike the Americans at home he might make them think twice about an all-out war with Japan [Music] to instill such fear he would need more firepower than a few small subs could deliver an aircraft carrier and fleet of bombers would be ideal with the US on high alert no carrier could sneak up on the west coast Yamamoto needed something unexpected his solution a super weapon it would unite the firepower of an aircraft carrier with the stealth of the submarine if it could be built his machine would rewrite the rules of warfare the concept of putting a plane on a sub wasn't new but conventional submarines of the day were only capable of carrying one small plane for reconnaissance and targeting Yamamoto wanted sub launched airplanes that could be used as an offensive weapon not just a scout he ordered another test mission this time a small submarine lost aircraft dropped fire bombs over Oregon in the hopes of sparking a forest fire the fire failed to catch but like the Santa Barbara mission it confirmed that a submarine could slip past u.s. coastal defenses and strike unsuspecting civilian populations to be able to reach your destination and launch an air attack undiscovered undetected would give the Japanese an advantage that no other Navy that no other Air Force had during the war [Music] yamamoto ordered his engineers to design a fleet of underwater aircraft carriers capable of sailing undetected across the Pacific launching squadrons of high-tech bombers to attack West Coast cities then disappearing without a trace the Admiral even expected his subs to be able to reach the East Coast [Music] he hoped to terrorize America with attacks on New York City and possibly even Washington DC so you've got a whole potential here for attacks in the coastal area where of course a large proportion of the American population is contacts right New York City for example dense concentration of population and if you're attacking with a few tens of aircraft as in the original plans you could perhaps go for important communications and indeed iconic targets the Admiral names the sub the I 400 and declared it top-secret but still to be determined was whether Japanese engineers could bring Yamamoto's ambitious vision to life their window for success was a small one in America the US had accelerated its own work on a super weapon that could change the course of the war the effort was codenamed the Manhattan Project it was headed up by Robert Oppenheimer a professor of physics at UC Berkeley [Music] Oppenheimer gathered the nation's top engineers and physicists challenging them to overcome the enormous technical complexities of splitting the atom and creating an atomic bomb the Americans worked at a furious pace fearing that the Germans and Japanese were moving forward with nuclear bombs of their own meanwhile Japan's super submarine was running into obstacles in Tokyo naval architects were struggling to find a design that could fulfill all of Yamamoto's needs you're gonna need a very large and impressive submarine indeed you're gonna have to go into new territory yes as far as submarine design is concerned the standard submarine at that time was shaped like a cigar with a cylindrical hull up to 300 feet long but no one knew whether that conventional design would be able to support a heavy hangar and three attack airplanes you're gonna need a very large hangar beginning there moving past the superstructure and ending up about there what do you do with the navigational area here you have to move it to the side of the ship and on top as well so that's a lot bigger these contain very large aircraft that's not long enough so you're much much longer flying off that and therefore you need a much much bigger submarine if this is a transformation in the whole concept of the submarine when we assemble these pieces we'll end up with a scale-model submarine that's about the same as a full-size submarine which is ten times longer than it is wide dr. Harold Vincent is an ocean engineer at the University of Rhode Island he has his doubts about the practicality of the design this tube represents the watertight hangar the three aircraft and the bonds that the aircraft carried so we'll seal off the end of the hangar here so let's see what happens when we put it in okay it's right over on top capsizes right over and sinks so therefore they had to come up with some other method to be able to put a heavy hanger with all that aircraft up high out of the water adding the hanger to a conventional sub clearly wasn't the answer the next seemingly obvious approach would have been to scale up the size of the central cylinder to lower the center of gravity well a large single cylinder would be extremely heavy in weight would have to have very thick walls in order to withstand sea pressure down to 300 or 330 feet in order to hold this above the surface to part of the submarine totally stable it was simply impossible having this traditional submarine design tape up the other end and then we can take these the Japanese came up with an innovative alternative so now we'll try this twinned whole design now pretty stable all right so it writes itself now instead of just tipping right over a twin cylinder hull gave the Giants of the necessary width to carry the extra weight to have these two cylinders broader stronger they two cylinders a midship of course lent to greater stability absolutely we can see it's much flatter and will stable clearly with the largest design problem solved construction plans were drawn up for the new monster sub the I 400 went into production in January of 1943 Yamamoto needed it fast the Japanese were losing ground the Pacific the previous June Yamamoto had ordered a surprise attack on the American fleet at Midway Island hoping to sink the aircraft carriers he had missed at Pearl Harbor but the Americans had cracked the Japanese naval code saw the attack coming we're able to set an ambush of their own in three days of bitter fighting American bombers sank four of Yamamoto aircraft carriers it was a devastating defeat for Japan their carrier fleet was decimated and thousands of soldiers were dead the i-4 hundreds were now even more vital but with serious shortages of steel and manpower in Japan Yamamoto could only Commission 18 of the giant submarines with work on the first I 400 underway the Japanese Navy began development on the secret bomber that would be carried in the watertight hangar on the deck of the sub the plane was called the sarin meaning mist on a fair day nah my toaster wad this a name like the name indicates the plane would appear suddenly like a mist it's carried by a submarine that would surface once it comes near a target your some of your stay moving like a ninja my sunny ninja my or not that is how it came to be named safe say Ron you don't know my god CPOE 30 must this is a very poetic name listen a poetical no no my lieutenant Otsuchi Asamoah is the only living member of the elite say Ron squad [Music] at an annual Shinto ceremony he honors his lost comrades he still recalls the excitement being part of the top-secret project what's hasta Hajime day we were very surprised when we saw the same run for the first time since attending toss a dickish cooker I thought is this really a plane that can be loaded onto a submarine no Kyle inaudible I'm Ari I believe not too many people knew about say run even in the Japanese Navy sorry could Nico wish you know what you need many tests and repeated experiments were done in top-secret two cameras with a maximum speed of more than 200 miles per hour the capacity to carry a 1700 pound bomb the newly designed say Ron would be an intimidating warplane but the Japanese aircraft designers first had some technical puzzles to work through although the AI 400 was wider than any other submarine of its day the airplane hangar was only 11 feet in diameter here is a hanger on the I 400 into which this aircraft has to fit and here we have a head-on view in the same layers and in the same scale again you know the fuselage will fit in there but gosh you've got the wings you've got the tail planes and it doesn't fit exactly to accommodate the tight quarters the Japanese designed wings much like those on the Grumman Hellcat the most potent aircraft carrier based fighter in the u.s. arsenal to minimize the Hellcats profile for storage below decks the wings rotated 90 degrees unfolded back flat against the fuselage the siren went even further it had a tail fin that folded down to reduce height all of that but there was still one major problem the Japanese designers had to solve before the Saiyans could be launched their engines had to be warmed up a process that took up to 20 minutes starting the engines in the hangar but the vessel submerged would have exposed the crew to deadly carbon monoxide fumes but warming the engines on the surface meant exposing the sub to radar and air attacks once again the engineers needed an innovative solution at a small airport in Connecticut former Air Force gunner Craig McBurney knows all about the problems of warming an engine before takeoff this is his pet project a rare 28 cylinder Corsair engine it's larger than the say Ron's engine but shares similar characteristics okay I'm gonna clear prop where y'all right at it with many World War 2 era aircraft starting the engine cold is a haphazard and messy affair about now is when we start using bad language [Applause] [Music] [Applause] the problem is the viscosity of the cold engine oil you can see how thick the oil is because it hasn't been heated up and you know how critical the tolerances are inside the aircraft engine how tight they are and how small the passages are so it would really make exceeding a difference trying to pump that heavy thick oil through an aircraft engine warming the oil makes a noticeable difference we heated up to about 60 or 70 degrees Celsius which is a hundred and forty hundred and sixty degrees Fahrenheit it's the same oil that it's just been heated up with a preheater ready through it almost boiling that pouring water what a difference yeah and you can imagine how critical that would be to have the engine heat up that much faster especially in a combat situation yeah McBurney uses an external tank to preheat the oil inside this container we have the main engine oil tank here for feeding the engine oil then we've also installed our own pre old tank with a heater on it and with the pre heater on it we're able to raise the temperature quite a bit we can get the temperature of about 120 degrees so we need to open this valve and we'll go ahead and open the engine oil tank valve as well the warm oil can be pumped directly into the cold engine clear bra okay go ahead and get started the results are easy to see I tell you that's incredible temperatures almost already up to take off temperature amazing difference can you imagine in a combat situation McBurney's warming method was the same one Japanese engineers turn to for the say ron's it's actually borrowed from a German design [Music] with the engine oil pre-warmed the plane could be rolled out of the hangar onto the launch ramp the engine started the wings tail and horizontal stabilizers unfolded and locked into position the floats attached and the say Ron launched into the air Jimmy walls we were trained very hard trying to shorten the time it takes for the launch even by a second the first plane launches then the second and then the third so you are good it sank the goal is to launch all three players as fast as we can to get the say Ron's back on board the engineers designed a hydraulic crane to pluck the airplanes from the sea and hoist them onto the deck with all the design problem solved it looked as if the Japanese would be the first to get their super weapon into the war but then in April of 1943 the I 400 program the Japanese Navy suffered a devastating loss American code breakers discovered that Admiral Yamamoto was planning an inspection tour of the Solomon Islands u.s. fighters intercepted and shot down his plane killing the man behind the Pearl Harbor attack it was such a crushing blow to the Japanese Navy that it was a full month before they even announced yamamoto's death to the Navy much lost the Japanese public without the backing of the powerful Admiral the I 400 program quickly slipped on Japan's priority list before any subs were completed the order was slashed from eighteen to nine it would take another year and a half before the first of yamamoto zai 400s made it out to sea in December of 1944 the first I 400 was finally commissioned a few months later a second sub the I 401 was ready to sail the super sub carried three dive-bombing surrounds in a 65-foot long hangar an 85-foot ramp and steam-powered catapult launched the planes into action even in rolling scenes [Music] the eye 400 wasn't just the longest sub in the ocean at 400 feet it was also the most heavily armed on the aft deck sat a giant 140 millimeter gun one of the largest ever mounted on a submarine for anti-aircraft guns defended against aerial attacks and the sub also boasted eight torpedo tubes in the bow the man appointed to lead the I 400 program was TAS inosuke re zoomy zoomy had been in charge of the midget submarine attack on Pearl Harbor the I 400s crews were picked from the Navy's elite and were very well treated rucola you can engage engine Agata the ricordo was filled with cans of food and other food staples nando gonna show korean on canadian bogus shitty mo you couldn't even see the floor sooner oh gosh anakata Tommy morally I was never unhappy with the food for example we even had expensive food like Cowtown and lots and lots of fancy stuff oh yeah Gras Concordia I remember well Jen Yamato morale among the crews was strong the Japanese High Command was not as jubilant in the three years since the I 400 project began the state of play in the Pacific had changed America now dominated the region and the original mission of the subs to bomb US cities and instill fear of a Japanese invasion was outdated they just didn't have enough firepower with each sub carrying three planes in each plane carrying only one bomb per flight they could do little real damage by comparison Nazi bombers dropped an average of 330 bombs per night for 57 nights during the London Blitz and still the British didn't surrender with a conventional bombing raid on US cities out of the question the Japanese needed another mission for the I four hundreds they considered all options as the Japanese were becoming frantic for any means of inflicting more pain on the United States in an effort again to slow our advance or get us to negotiate a peace the Japanese considered using germs against American cities this was discussed and the obvious means of delivering these would have been by submarine-launched aircraft from the AI 400s from other submarines in the spring of 1945 Vice Admiral G Cebu ozawa proposed a top-secret controversial plan [Music] he suggested using the sirens to unleash biological weapons on the u.s. west coast such an attack could kill thousands create panic across America Japan's biological weapons program was not new under the command of a military doctor named Shiro Ishii a secret team had been experimenting on the Chinese since the 1930s plague-infested fleas bred in their lab had been unleashed in two Chinese villages they'd infected prisoners with anthrax and cholera and they had injected men and women with venereal diseases as many as 200,000 Chinese died as a result of these horrific experiments the Japanese army was doing a lot of work on this in Manchuria in pretty awful circumstances actually and certainly the Japanese Navy seems to be interested in the use of anthrax in bombs and the most radical elements were within the army or the Navy would advocate such a well I would say insane plan there was little doubt that biological weapons dropped on an American city could cause enormous casualties and so panic among the American population far more effectively than conventional bombs but a month later cooler heads prevailed general Yoshida who met sue of the Imperial Army cancelled the operation and declared germ warfare against the United States would escalate to war against all humanity with a biological attack off the table the Japanese High Command found a new mission for the AI for hundreds an attack on a key strategic target the Panama Canal was absolutely crucial to the transferring of antek naval forces in the Pacific Ocean so that which is why the Japanese wanted to attack it well of course and we understood that any logical military scenario would want to attack the Panama Canal if Japan could take out the canal it would bring ship traffic to a halt and force the Allies to use the much longer route around Cape Horn japanese military planners and intelligence experts work together to map out the attack plan went something like this this Litella of submarines for submarines carrying ten aircraft would come keeping a new distance having come a long way yep a thousand miles or so yeah until they come to their launch point off ecuador roughly about there and then they surface and they launch their planes six aircraft as quickly as they can and so as to surprise the enemy completely they go off in completely a different direction they fly accross Colombia all three of them then they turn sharply over well yes yeah and then suddenly and they perhaps dive too low level they come down here towards the canal and hit it on its northern end in the locks here the mission would be extremely hazardous for the I 400 fleet before striking the canal the subs would have to navigate through waters swimming with Americans by the summer of 1945 essentially the Pacific was an American Lake and so that meant it would be relatively difficult to get any kind of vessel safely into the area of the Panama Canal but the Japanese did have one ace up their sleeves a secret technology that the eye for hundreds designers had borrowed from the Germans a technology that could help them elude enemy sonar sonar works by bouncing soundwaves off hard objects like ships by measuring the time it takes for sound waves to travel to the target and back the system can calculate its location but the i4 hundreds like some German u-boats were equipped with a new stealth shell designed to absorb sound waves instead of reflecting them called an anechoic coating was made up of rubber and asphalt tiles that dampened the sonar fingerprint of the subs as they slid through the water [Music] these annika coatings did work remarkably well and their details are still highly classified for the eye for hundreds getting across the Pacific undetected was only step one their targets the Katoon locks on the Panama Canal were heavily guarded by anti-aircraft guns the sirens could come in above the guns range but that would make hitting the targets almost impossible those locks the walls were incredible structures of reinforced concrete that at the base were 50 to 60 feet thick at the top maybe 8 10 12 feet thick the gates themselves may be 90 feet wide they were 6 7 8 feet of steel thick but from 13,000 feet they would have looked like just a hair from that kind of altitude the challenge of high-altitude bombing is easy to see when a b-29 outfitted with a World War two hero bomb sight drops a half dozen water bombs on a stationary target in the California desert not a single bomb hits home the closest is more than 500 feet away for a target like the cartoon locks anything less than almost a direct hit within a foot or two or three of the target would be a waste of energy given the relatively primitive bomb sides that the Japanese were using their chances of being able to hit a target like that were pretty slim and with only six planes carrying one bomb each the Japanese knew there was no room for error keeping with Japanese military tradition a decision was made to turn the attack into a one-way trip the pilots were ordered to go kamikaze by that point in time just about all Japanese air missions were being flown as kamikaze missions one-way missions and the plan was to do the same here do you know any Honolulu how do you have given our lack of resources at the time in Japan we had no choice but to go kamikaze Sunny Delight [Music] Khoi you a dick tonight I know it is controversial some people are against it could you guys clearly guess you have to go to my night but I think we had no choice at the time well no desert canyon we probably couldn't hit the target even with multiple bombs so going kamikaze is our only chance pathetic waking up pistol doing like the I four hundred screws prepared for the Panama Canal mission but the window of opportunity for the strike was closing fast by the spring of 1945 America was already deciding on potential targets for the atomic bomb then the war arrived on Japanese soil when Allied forces invaded the island of Okinawa [Music] 82 days of brutal fighting left more than 100,000 Japanese troops dead and thousands of aircraft and combat ships destroyed Vice Admiral ozawa realized that a raid on the Panama Canal would be too little too late the majority of American forces were already in the Pacific so ozawa changed the eye for hundreds mission yet again the new target was Ulithi atoll a staging area for the massive US fleet preparing to invade Japan okay now no ko next time I'll do I'll schedule a you Lisi was the likely base for the units that attacked Okinawa Sirocco or she and perhaps also those that were to be sent for the final confrontation on the mainland okay I'm getting it supplies were probably sent from there as well as a kaiju in the photo I saw several US aircraft carriers on the site headquarters ordered us to attack as many of them as possible sync demo video let's get a bride take three and a half years after the I for hundreds were conceived the two giant subs were finally ready to engage they traveled separately with orders to rendezvous off Ulithi but they would be joined by two smaller subs once they reach their target 6a ron's would be launched in a kamikaze attack to deepen the surprise commander irezumi ordered the crew to disguise the Bombers with US markings a clear violation of international law pilots themselves objected to having the planes painted in American colors they felt it was dishonorable and they were ready to die they knew they weren't coming back what they didn't know was that their mission was once again short on time four days before the I 400 set sail America had successfully exploded the world's first atomic bomb a second bomb was already on its way to Japan to make matters worse our Izumi's mission was plagued by problems on the way to Ulithi one of the smaller subs was spotted and sunk by US worship all 140 crewmen perished then in an effort to avoid enemy ships Adi zoomy decided to change his route and they agreed upon meeting point but the message never got through to the other ships they missed the rendezvous [Music] as the I 400 and I 401 scrambled to regroup and renew the attack and shocking news came over the radio the American super weapon had blown the war wide open on August 6th 1945 American atom bomb uh nyah lated the city of Hiroshima killing as many as 80,000 people on August 9th a second bomb decimated Nagasaki 40,000 died and the city lay in ruins six days later Japan surrendered to the United States in his radio address to the nation the emperor never mentioned defeat or surrender instead he told his people we have to endure the unendurable and suffer the insufferable sorry Yugi the next day on the 16th we received a telegram ordering us to cease fire Caligula premia receiving this unthinkable telegram we gradually grasp the reality come from there noise the real drama began on board told you there was no concept of surrender and remaining alive in the Japanese Imperial Navy at the time don't get the Sandman the captains of the two eye for hundreds reversed course raced back toward Japan neither wanted to give up his prized ship or suffer the humiliation of being captured in a me waters worried about retribution irezumi ordered the crews of the two subs to dump their us marked sirens into the ocean they did so destroying the evidence just in time on August 28th two us destroyers discovered the I 400 the captain surrendered peacefully 20 year-old Harry Arvidsson was one of the first Americans to board the giant sub as we approached the submarine and saw what it was I thought to myself man that the biggest thing I ever seen the next day August 29th the American submarine USS segundo located the second Japanese sub the I 401 was carrying fleet commander irezumi a man who didn't know the meaning of the word surrender Carlo Carlucci was a quartermaster on the American sub it had to be three or four o'clock in the morning before daybreak that was when they picked it up on the radar they didn't know what it was until they got fairly close sue Gill yata was a young sailor on the I 401 coral samaras yes we didn't want to give up this magnificent ship to the US we thought it's a shame for it to be captured though the war was over surrender did not come easy for the prideful Japanese sailors things were hot and cold you never know yes or no where they're gonna shoot not you mommy mother new kite ISM we were heading back to Japan but we talked about how to prevent the Americans from taking the solder no no this is amazing I was so we talked about sinking it's near the coast nothing higher ground Dorothy's just nervous but before the Japanese could carry out their plan the subs engines temporarily failed the segundo signaled for the massive sub to surrender are assuming refused several tens hours passed with the segundos weapons trained on the I 401 [Music] manao bondo remembers the capture [Music] they pointed their cannons at us and ordered us have one officer sent to their ship show how I do it we thought what do you mean send someone you send someone to come get us oh we insisted on displaying our pride and dealing with them man-to-man feride or stated in it it it is tails solid because bondo spoke some English he was picked to negotiate with the Americans he'll hold us to surrender I said if you force us to surrender we will commit suicide die Mukul harakiri no good they said to me harakiri no good she in Hawaii ended they understood that Tom harakiri no microrna Tokyo ordered the I 401 to surrender to the segundo eventually commander irezumi bowed to the inevitable he had the black flag the international naval signal of surrender raised on his son for the proud commander the humiliation was too much to bear Oh today I went to get a cup of coffee and had just sat down I heard a loud bangs that I donned that was the suicide the captain and I rushed inside with and we saw he'd taken his own life I heard the captain say he finally did it ah totally aha nearly two hundred Japanese servicemen were taken prisoner that day sailors pilots and support crew the Americans submariners seized control of the giant sub and quickly realized it was unlike any vessel they had ever seen four machinist Paul Whitmer the double hull design was a particular surprise long before we get to the engine room there's a doorway so the neighbours room next door what the heck's going on here they take a peek in there there's another set of engines in there their port and starboard engine rooms we find out that there were two hulls bolted together with two submarines alongside each other the Japanese crew remained on board but with six Americans now in command I had a 45 but y'all had 45 and had an extra clip of bullets in my jacket pocket that's right I had to usually only use it oh it was it was very tense no one trusted anybody we didn't know what to expect we could have been overtaken lickety-split plus they will weigh outnumbered and if they decided to dive the boat we couldn't got out the Americans chained the hatches open to prevent the Japanese from diving but his time passed tension slowly ease between the former enemies they now had a common goal to get the subs safely back to Tokyo in the engine room we have to learn how to communicate with Japanese the other day had to teach us and we had to teach them we needed to know some of the words to describe an engine basic elementary grade school type communication and trying to strike up a rapport and learning their symbols and their words for what's the name of this what's the name of that both subs made it back to Tokyo where the prisoners were released for the Americans the next step was to bring the unusual ships home for further study in November of 1945 they departed Japan for Hawaii they arrived in Pearl Harbor just after New Year's Day 1946 Navy engineers immediately began inspecting and recording every detail of the super subs design but by the spring of 1946 a new post-war reality had taken hold and the I 400s were once again shrouded in secrecy this time it was the United States hiding them from the Soviet Union large aircraft carrying submarines intended for strategic attack and their enemies are exactly the things you don't want the Russians then this is now the Cold War that's beginning yes the ending of the Cold War was about it worried that the Russians would demand to inspect the subs the US Navy made a hasty decision on May 31st 1946 they sunk the I 400 off the coast of Pearl Harbor two days later the I 401 joined it at the bottom of the sea [Music] two powerful weapons that never made it into battle never had the chance to truly prove their worth if question is would the I 400 operation decisively change the course of the Second World War ultimately no I don't think sadly it would have made things worse in 1942 but not in 1945 correct Duran surrenders because of the overwhelming material superiority of the United States the United States has got the willingness and the desire to deploy that overwhelming power ultimately the I 400 arrived too late in the war to make a difference but while its timing was flawed its technology was ahead of its time the innovative design became a model for future Cold War submarines and changed military thinking about how they could be deployed [Music] in the 1950s a new type of us submarine the Regulus class began patrolling the seas it bore a striking resemblance to Japan's World War 2 super sub with launched missiles not airplanes from its deck mounted hangar [Music] I don't believe anyone previously had looked at submarines as a means of attacking an enemy's cities and this idea we see today in the primary nuclear weapons of the United States France Britain and even Russia being submarine-launched missiles to attack with nuclear warheads an enemy cities though we hope that their lethal force is never needed each one of these powerful stealthy submarines is a living testament to one of the greatest weapons that never did battle [Music] you

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