From: The Greater Chicagoland Area
I think we have to remember the doctrine that spawned the development of the 'Long Lance'. In the anticipated 'Decisive Battle' versus the US Pacific Fleet it was viewed as a necessary component in the equation as Japanese planners viewed it.
As my recollection goes off the top of my head:
Step 1. Fleet submarines and long range torpedo bombers (Nell during this time) locate and attrite USN.
Step 2. Battleline engagement commences. IJN cruisers salvo fire torpedoes at USN battleline, forcing it to either manuever (lowering it's accuracy and firepower) or accept risk of below waterline damage. With USN BB being slower than their IJN counterparts already, and operating at some distance from friendly ports, loss of manuevering could be quite detrimental.
Step 3. With USN line disorganized, IJ cruisers follow in behind salvo, re-loading on the way. IJ battleline continues to manuever to gain advantage on their counterparts. IJ cruisers engage US screen with gunfire, launch 2nd salvo in concert with DD torpedoes.
The basic premise was that the USN would not be aware of the threat of long range torpedo fire and a battleline engagement requires the USN to maintain speed and heading for accuracy of it's main battery fire; thus making the solution for torpedo fire relatively simple. It would not be unreasonable to expect several hits on the US BB's in these circumstances, thereby evening up the superiority in heavy caliber tubes that an intact USN battleline could expect to have at the outset of the engagement.
Of course, circumstances changed....like they always do....and this type of engagement was never encountered. The theory held some validity in 1934; by 1944....well we know how that went.
Sing to the tune of "Man on the Flying Trapeze"
..Oh! We fly o'er the treetops with inches to spare,
There's smoke in the cockpit and gray in my hair.
The tracers look fine as a strafin' we go.
But, brother, we're TOO God damn low...