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Pacific World War II Book Review  
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by Henry Sakaida,
Gary Nila, Koji Takaki
Hikoki Publications  2006
144 pages
Index, photos
ISBN 1902109457
Cover Price: $49.95
Language: English

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Japan's Secret Aircraft-Carrying Strike Submarine: Objective Panama Canal

The Japanese Navy built the largest fleet submarines of WWII, the I-400 Class. Over 400' long, weighing 5,700 tons, carrying a crew of 200 and possessing a range of over 50,000 miles.

These submarines included a unique weapon system: a watertight deck hanger capable of transporting three Aichi M6A1 Seiran floatplanes for offensive operations. These folding floatplanes could be readied for flight in only minutes and launched by catapult.

Submarine I-400 was to be used to attack the Panama Canal, or even plant to attack American cities. No book to date has tackled this incredible subject matter, and the authors debunk myths and facts of the I-400's wartime service and mission.

Researched an written by a team of three Japanese/Pacific WWII historians: Henry Sakaida, Gary Nila and Koji Takaki. Their work includes meticulous research and detective work to locate the original crew members of the I-400, its Seirans and the US Navy personnel involved with the sub after its capture, evaluation and sinking off Hawaii to prevent it from being shared with the Soviets. They also capture the of the crews and captain. By the end of the book reader feels like they know them personally.

In addition to the book's text, it is lavishly illustrated with previously unpublished wartime photos from its service with the Japanese and USN evaluation, crew members, many full page photos. Schematics, color diagrams and renderings of this super weapon, including a pull-out rendering of the submarine. The book has ten useful appendixes, including the entire USN report regarding their dry dock examination of captured I-400. Also, the restoration of the sole surviving Serian by the Air & Space Museum, and discovery of its scuttled sister ship, Submarine I-401 off Hawaii in 2005.

For anyone interested in the truth about the Second World War's largest submarine and one of the most daring attacks conceived, this I-400 book is a must for your library.

Author interviews with Henry Sakaida, Gary Nila and Koji Takaki.

Review by  Justin Taylan  

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Last Updated
September 21, 2023

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