Japanese submarines launched torpedoes inside of Pearl Harbor during the air attack, sank two US aircraft carriers, knocked another carrier and a modern battleship out of action for months, and fired the war's most productive torpedo spread. US destroyers were very effective against U-Boats in the First World War but a generation later failed to protect their charges from Japan's subs. This book examines why.
What makes modelers what to build a model of something? For me it is a 50/50 split of 'that looks cool' and wanting a representation of some thing I read about. This book gives me both.
IntroductionUSN Fleet Destroyer vs IJN Fleet Submarine The Pacific 1941-42
from Osprey Publishing LTD
is the 90th title of their series Duel
. Authored by naval expert Mark Stille and illustrated by artist Paul Wright, the book is catalogued with Osprey's
short code DUE 90
, and IBSN 9781472820631
. Eighty pages long, this softcover book is also available in PDF and ePUB formats.
Osprey says of their book:
Leading up to the Pacific War, Japanese naval strategists believed that a decisive fleet engagement would be fought against the United States Navy. Outnumbered by the USN, the Imperial Japanese Navy planned to use its large, ocean-going submarines to chip away at its opponent before the grand battle. In order to accomplish this, the IJN's submarine force was tasked to perform extended reconnaissance of the USN's battle fleet, even in port, and then shadow and attack it.
For their part, the USN was fully aware of the potential threat posed by Japanese submarines, and destroyer crews were trained and equipped with modern anti-submarine weapons and tactics to screen the battle fleet.
Challenging the assumption that Japanese submarines were ineffective during the Pacific War, this fully illustrated study examines their encounters with the US Navy, and the successes and failures of American destroyers in protecting their capital ships.
If destroyers are the mixed martial arts fighters of the sea, perhaps subs are the ninjas. But did they fulfill their intended purpose?
ContentUSN Fleet Destroyer vs IJN Fleet Submarine
is 80 pages of content told through 11 chapters and sections;
Design and Development
The Strategic Situation
Statistics and Analysis
Mr. Stille explores the history of the tactical doctrines of the Japanese Navy (IJN) submarine force and the United States Navy (USN) destroyer force. In Design and Development
and Technical Specifications
we learn about the deployed forces and their effectiveness. Weapons and powerplants, weapons training and detection equipment is presented to the reader. Other countries tried putting aircraft on submarines but only Japan made extensive use of them. Japan also obsessed with midget submarines.
The author describes the different designs and classes of IJN subs and US destroyers. Progression of design is detailed. These two chapters account for 31 pages. The Strategic Situation
only takes two pages of text. Japan's small sub fleet was spread far and wide. The US Navy and Allies in the Pacific were in bad shape. Then came wo carrier battles and the Guadalcanal campaign.
The vessels are described by classes, 13 Japanese Types, 10 US destroyers:
Type KD3A/Type KD3B
Type KD6A/Type KD4B
A short section examines the weapons the vessels were armed with.
discusses the doctrine and tactics of each force through five pages.
Twenty-two pages of Combat
recounts those vessels at war. Eleven operations are explained:
The Hawaiian OperationOrdeal At Guadalcanal
Attack on SaratogaDebacle At Midway
Operations in Diverse Areas
The Exploits of I-168
The Death of Wasp
I-176 and Chester
The End of the Campaign
Until this book I never understood how bad USN ASW (Anti Submarine Warfare) performance was, and how much worse it could have been. I-19
shot perhaps the most incredible spread of torpedoes in history, significantly crippling USN power just before the Battle of Santa Cruz. I-168
performed brilliantly while USN ASW performance was pitiful.
The book concludes with explaining the proceeding foibles and fortes through seven pages of Statistics and Analysis
. It discusses why the two forces were not more successful in their intended roles, and whether either side could have done better. Challenged are long-standing perceptions about the effectiveness of Japan's submarine arm. Ultimately, a very interesting book.
Photographs, Artwork, Graphics
A fine gallery of images supports the text. Some of the art and photos should be a bonanza to modelers. Many of the photos have been widely published although there are what I consider specialist images, too. Included are photos inside of Japanese submarines, which I presume to be fairly rare.
Artist Paul Wright created original artwork, accompanied with descriptive captions, for the book:
1. I-26: Type B1 aircraft carrying fleet sub, in profile and planform.
2. I-16: Type C1 aircraft carrying fleet sub, carrying Type A midget sub, in profile and planform.
3. Worden: Farragut-class as appearing in late-1942, in profile and planform.
4. Fanning: Mahan-class as appearing in late-1942, in profile and planform.
5. IJN Submarine Armament:
a. 21in Type 95 Torpedo6. USN Destroyer Armament:
b. E14Y1 "Glen" submarine floatplane
c. 5.5in/40 deck gun
a. Mark 6 depth charge7. Centerfold I-168 attack on the Yorktown.
b. Mark 6 Depth Charge Projector
c. 5in/38 dual-purpose gun
8. Centerfold I-19's salvo of torpedoes connect five miles past USS Wasp.
i. Each sub and destroyer class is described with a table of appropriate specifications:
IJN submarine operations in the Pacific, 1941-42
Units in class
Armament as completed
ii. Call out box: IJN Submarine Force Organization, December 7, 1941; five fleets and naval districts.
iii. Principle IJN submarine torpedoes: Type 89; Type 95.
iv. IJN submarines deck guns: 5.5in/40 11th Year Type; 4.7in/45 11th Year Type; 3.9in/50 Type 88.
v. USN early-war depth charges: Mark 6; Mark 7.
vi. Japanese submarine successes against USN carriers 1941-42.
vii. IJN submarine losses 1941-42.
: keyed to 7 submarine deployments around Hawaii, and 6 submarine attacks through 1942.
Plenty of source material for modelers in the gallery of this book.
Since the war, early-war Japanese submarine performance has had mixed reviews. Osprey's
concise exploration USN Fleet Destroyer vs IJN Fleet Submarine The Pacific 1941-42
brings more information to consider. It is an interesting treatise that sheds light on the successes and failures of those warships. The technical descriptions are useful, as is the look at doctrine and tactics, explained through detailed text, with an impressive gallery of photos and artwork to support it. Modelers should be interested in the color illustrations of weapons and ships.
I do not have anything to complain about and recommend this book to modelers and historians interested in Japanese submarines, USN ASW, and the first year of the Pacific War.
Please remember to mention to Osprey and retailers that you saw this book here - on