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  #1  
Old August 10th, 2006, 01:33 AM
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Default OT: Sen Toku

Just saw a thing about the ships on the Discovery Channel, and was amazed by them. They never got used, but if they had been properly they would've been a serious pain in the butt for the Allies.

Sen Toku Submarine
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Old August 10th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

Sweet. That inspires me to use cloaked carriers in combat.

*pokes SJ for cloaked carriers on Carrier Battles*
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Old August 10th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

The really scary part of this, as told by the Discovery Channel, was that this ship design was actually intended to be a part of a secret atomic weapon development program that the Japanese were working on with the Germans. The submarine itself, because of it's unique Figure-8 hull design, could dive deep enough to travel too far down for conventional Allied SONAR and ASW to be effective. It could travel one and a half times around the would before it needed to refuel, and could arrive off the shores of the US virtually undetectable. The onboard aircraft were intended to carry a small atomic bomb to the target.

Scary concept, and waaaaaay ahead of anything else at that time period....
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Old August 10th, 2006, 03:44 PM

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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

Behind, really. All I'm seeing from that link is a midget underwater aircraft carrier. An impressive technical achievement, but..very limited ammo and only three planes. They'd be utterly annhiliated in an attack, and even if they all made it back the carrier didn't have much ammo. (they could only attack once with torpedos, for example).

The smallest atomic bomb developed during the war weighed 4000 kg; the only way the Sen Toku could have attacked with nukes is if Japan somehow made a bomb 20% that size. Wikipedia lists its maximum depth as 100m, less than US subs of the time.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

I saw that special a few months ago. It reminded me of a comic book series titled Luftwaffe 1946. Very interesting.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

Quote:
Phoenix-D said:
Behind, really. All I'm seeing from that link is a midget underwater aircraft carrier. An impressive technical achievement, but..very limited ammo and only three planes. They'd be utterly annhiliated in an attack, and even if they all made it back the carrier didn't have much ammo. (they could only attack once with torpedos, for example).

The smallest atomic bomb developed during the war weighed 4000 kg; the only way the Sen Toku could have attacked with nukes is if Japan somehow made a bomb 20% that size. Wikipedia lists its maximum depth as 100m, less than US subs of the time.

Something you need to bear in mind is the way things were at that time.

1)The US, realistically, had little to no real coastal defenses

2)The Japanese tendency towards suicide attacks

3)The effect even a small atomic bomb, such as the ones planned, would have had.

While I don't know for certain what Wikipdeia says about them, the Discovery Channel experts put their depth and abilities beyond the capabilities of American technology of the time.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 02:15 PM

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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

The Pacific Coast didn't have many coastal defenses, so for any Japanese subs to make it there, they'd have to get through constant anti-submarine patrols all across the Pacific. Not to mention the huge technical hurdle of making a nuke, and a quite small one at that. I don't think they ever really had a chance of doing such a thing, unless the war lasted much longer than it did.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

The Sen Toku's bomber ability might not be necessary. With a nuclear weapon, one doesn't really need to fly it on a seaplane to be effective against coastal cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver B.C., etc.. If one has a long-range submarine and suicidal crew and/or trust in timed automation systems. Just sail a sub next to the city, surface, detonate.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

The 100m depth figure for the Sen Toku subs is also reported in Black_Knyght's original reference. Given the unique requirement of pressure-proofing an aircraft hangar and its large hatch(es), 100m seems quite plausible. As for the subs being "beyond the capabilities of American technology", that's probably true in the same sense that the US B-29 was "beyond" Japan's technology, i.e. technically feasible, but requiring considerable investment, development, and operational experience.

I'm skeptical of the claim that the subs were developed to deliver "small" atomic bombs to mainland US targets. Submarine aircraft carriers weren't unusual in the Japanese Navy (41 such subs total); the Sen Toku class seems like a logical continuation of the concept. More importantly, the Japanese were nowhere near a working nuclear weapon. They hadn't even achieved a sustained nuclear chain reaction, a prerequisite that the Americans achieved some three years before their first nuclear test.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 07:02 PM

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Default Re: OT: Sen Toku

I think it'd be more likely they'd try to drop some kind of biological agent over port cities using these sub-carriers. It would make more sense than a nuke, and would be quite easy to do.
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