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Japanese sub doctrine - from cinc 6th fleet

 
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Japanese sub doctrine - from cinc 6th fleet - 7/12/2012 8:29:06 PM   
pharmy

 

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http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/USSBS/IJO/IJO-72.html

Interesting defense/rationale of why merchant shipping was not attacked
Q. At the start of the war was the general plan to use submarines as auxiliaries to the fleet, or to attack our shipping, or what kind of use?
A. The fundamental nature of the mission of our submarines is as auxiliary to our fleet. After the beginning of the war, by and by our submarines got the mission of attacking your merchant shipping; but the fundamental mission is auxiliary to the fleet.

Q. What reasons brought about that change -- the assignment of that mission to attack merchant shipping? Why was it done, and at what time?
A. There were two reasons for it: the principal reason, your American fleet did not offer battle so our submarine had not targets to attack; another is that the Germans wanted it. I am not sure but I think the Germans wanted JAPAN to attack merchant shipping by our submarines.

Q. What period of the war do you mean when you speak of this change?
A. That new change is about after the MIDWAY Battle. As I said before, by the request of GERMANY our submarines attacked your transport ships in the INDIAN OCEAN or near AUSTRALIA until our loss of submarines increased in the INDIAN OCEAN; and also we wanted to gather all our submarines to attack your battleships, to defeat your advance in the PACIFIC OCEAN.

Q. What makes you believe that change was made at the request of the Germans?
A. As I was officer of submarine, I wanted to attack your fleet; but I received orders from our headquarters to attack merchant ships in the INDIAN OCEAN near AUSTRALIA; so I said headquarters has some reason for that order, and I thought it was by GERMAN request.

292

Q. Do you feel that was a poor thing to do, do you feel it was unwise to use submarine in that fashion?
A. We wanted to attack your fleet, and the strength of JAPAN's submarines was not big enough to attack merchant ships; we wanted to attack American Fleet.

Q. What were the dates of beginning and ending this use of Japanese submarines against merchant ships in the INDIAN OCEAN?
A. From memory, approximately began May or July 1942, and ended about July of last year 1944.

Q. We were always a little surprised you did not use submarines against our merchant ships in the Central and South PACIFIC, on ships en route to GUADALCANAL. I wonder why you never did that to any degree.
A. The scouting of your planes was very severe, and another reason was our strength was not big enough for such attack.
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RE: Japanese sub doctrine - from cinc 6th fleet - 7/12/2012 8:32:50 PM   
pharmy

 

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And this explanation about the lack of offensive submarine activity late war (several sources I've read mention this, but this is the first one where the commander disagrees with it, finds it disagreeable, yet necessary. The hatred and blame game between army and navy throughout these US interviews is astonishing, this is one of the few were the army was not really attacked

Q. Early in the war, for the first year of the war perhaps, your submarines made us a lot of trouble but later on we had very little trouble with them. We thought that perhaps you were using them for supply and not attack; is that correct?
A. You are right, that was the very reason. That reason was not satisfactory for the submarine officer because he wanted our submarines to be used to attack your fleet, not using them for transport.

Q. Aside from the personal wishes of the submarine officers, do you feel it was wise from the point of view of the war as a whole?
A. Aside from the feeling of the submarine officers, that is still not wise.

Q. Why, then, were they used for transports?
A. Headquarters made that decision. I do not know the reason because the Naval General Staff made the decision, and several times I reported to them that these tactics were not wise; but nothing was done.

Q. Do you feel that perhaps this was done due to the Army pressure rather than being the decision of naval officers?
A. In my personal opinion, I feel that Army request was the reason. Another reason is that our headquarters thought that the supplying for the islands is very important because many soldiers were on several islands, and they would have no food or material for fight; that is important matter.

(in reply to pharmy)
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RE: Japanese sub doctrine - from cinc 6th fleet - 7/12/2012 9:34:34 PM   
pharmy

 

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http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/USSBS/IJO/IJO-70.html and the German attache's view on it

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RE: Japanese sub doctrine - from cinc 6th fleet - 7/13/2012 12:01:45 AM   
Cribtop


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Cool reads.

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