I-58 sunk Indianapolis after delivering atomic bomb parts


I-58 Imperial Japanese Navy Cruiser Submarine  vs Indianapolis Heavy Cruiser CA-35

 

USS Indianapolis in 1939.

USS Indianapolis in 1939.

 

I-58 was an Imperial Japanese Navy  submarine classified as B3 type that participated in military operations during the Pacific War. She had the primary design modified so she was able carry Kaiten manned torpedoes. Indeed, by using this asymmetric weapon she was able to damage two American destroyers. A special attack on Guam anchored ships was also performed by the I-58 using four Kaitens. Although the attacked was credited with the sinking of an escort carrier and a large oiler, the operation was declared unsuccessful.

However, the most striking success of the I-58 was the sinking of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis, in which attack only conventional torpedoes were used. The attack was performed on 30 July 1945, when Japanese Navy was almost defeated which added significant impact to the sinking of the American cruiser.

The I-58 was able to survive the war, and was surrendered after Japan surrendered on September 1945. After it was taken by the US Navy, she was finally scuttled.

 

I-58(II), modified B type 2 of submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy, on trial run inside the Tokyo Bay.

I-58(II), modified B type 2 of submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy, on trial run inside the Tokyo Bay.

 

Technical specifications of the I-58 submarine:

Class and type: Type B3 submarine
Displacement:
  • 2,140 long tons (2,174 t) surfaced
  • 3,688 long tons (3,747 t) submerged
Length: 108.7 m (357 ft)
Beam: 9.3 m (31 ft)
Draft: 5.19 m (17.0 ft)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × Kampon Mk.22 diesel engines, 4,700 hp (3,500 kW)
  • 2 × Electric motors, 1,200 hp (890 kW)
Speed:
  • 17.7 knots (33 km/h) surfaced
  • 6.5 knots (12 km/h) submerged
Range:
  • 21,000 nmi (39,000 km) at 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph) surfaced
  • 105 nmi (194 km) at 3 kn (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) submerged
Test depth: 100 m (330 ft)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
6 × Kaiten manned torpedoes
Complement: 94 officers and men
Armament:
  • 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • 19 × Type 95 torpedoes
  • 2 × Type 96 25mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: None
Aviation facilities: Hangar and launching catapult for floatplane (removed May–June 1945)

Attack on the CA-35 Indianapolis

 

On 29 July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58 was heading south, at approximately 250 miles north of Palau. Suddenly, the officer Lt. Tanaka identified a big prey, which was thought to be an Idaho-class battleship, resulted to be the CA-35 Indianapolis.

CA-34 was carrying components of the atomic bombs used for Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 

The cruiser had just finished delivering components and nuclear material for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs to Tinian from San Francisco. This coincidence has made many historians to elaborate possible consequences in case the cruiser had been intercepted before delivering the important cargo. It is quite surprising that the cruiser did not have an appropriate anti-submarine escort or sonar to perform anti-submarine warfare.

 

B-29 Enola Gay Bomber

B-29 Enola Gay Bomber

The submarine quickly submerged and prepared to attack with six Type 95 torpedoes. Six torpedoes at 2-second intervals. At 23:35, Lt.Cdr Hashimoto observed two equally spaced hits on the cruiser’s starboard side. After that the submarine dived again in order to increase the range and reload torpedoes for a second attack. However, at the same moment the submarine submerged (00:27 on 30 July), the cruiser Indianapolis capsized and sank at 12°02′N 134°48′E.

 

USS Indianapolis CA-35: A Portland-class heavy cruiser

 

The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CL/CA-35) was a Portland-class warship of the United States Navy. She was named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. Her sinking led to the greatest single loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy.  The sinking occurred just few days later she had accomplished a secret mission carrying components and parts for Little Boy, the first atomic bomb used to bomb Japan, to the United States air base at Tinian, the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, sinking in 12 minutes. Of 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship.However, there were more survivors after the sinking. A total of 900 sailors were still floating in the dark night, with the only support of few lifeboats, but almost no supplies, food or water. The crew of a PV-1 Ventura could rescue 317 four days later. It was at that moment when the Navy staff knew about the attack and sinking of the Indianapolis.

 

Technical specifications Heavy cruiser CA-35 Indianapolis:

 

Class and type: Portland-class cruiser
Displacement: 9,950 long tons (10,110 t) (standard)
Length:
  • 610 ft 3 in (186.00 m) loa
  • 584 ft (178 m) lwl
Beam: 66 ft 1 in (20.14 m)
Draft:
  • 17 ft 4 in (5.28 m) (mean)
  • 24 ft (7.3 m) (max)
Installed power:
  • 8 × White-Forster boilers
  • 107,000 shp (80,000 kW)
Propulsion:
  • 4 × Parsons reduction steam turbines
  • 4 × screws
Speed: 32.7 kn (37.6 mph; 60.6 km/h)
Complement:
  • 95 officers 857 enlisted (as designed)
  • 1,269 officers and men (wartime)
Armament:
  • 9 × 8 in (200 mm)/55 caliber guns (3×3)
  • 8 × 5 in (130 mm)/25 caliberanti-aircraft guns
  • 2 × 3-pounder 47 mm (1.9 in)saluting guns
Armor:
  • Belt: 3 14–5 in (83–127 mm)
  • Deck: 2 12 in (64 mm)
  • Barbettes: 1 12 in (38 mm)
  • Turrets: 1 122 12 in (38–64 mm)
  • Conning tower: 1 14 in (32 mm)
Aircraft carried: 4 × floatplanes
Aviation facilities: 2 × Amidship catapults

 

The manufacturers of 1/700 waterline series warships have been an effort to reproduce this episode of the Pacific War by combining in a single model kit pack both warships: the I-58 submarine and the CA-35 Indianapolis. With an impressive box art, both vessels can face again the same or different destiny on your building table:

 

1/700 scale I-58 and CA-35 model kits from Tamiya. Reproducing the battle occurred on July 1945.

1/700 scale I-58 and CA-35 model kits from Tamiya. Reproducing the battle occurred on July 1945.

 

 

The constructed kit. The details of the models are very good. Tamiya is always high quality manufacturer for 1/700 scale models

The constructed kit. The details of the models are very good. Tamiya is always high quality manufacturer for 1/700 scale models.


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