IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

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Kingfish
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IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Kingfish » 17 Apr 2020 10:34

Is it my misunderstanding or did IJN subs as a whole punch below their weight during WW2?

Aside from a few notable successes - sinking Yorktown and Wasp, punching holes in Saratoga twice- I can't think of anything else worth noting.
This is in contrast to US subs, who after correcting the faulty torpedo issues, really put the screws to the IJN and merchant fleet.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Akira Takizawa
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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Akira Takizawa » 17 Apr 2020 12:36

It is the common regret of IJN submariners. They said that IJN submarines should be used only for attacking merchant ships. But, they were used for other tasks like scout, transport, attacking of warships etc, according to occasional necessity. So, they could not show their ability enough.

Taki

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Andy H
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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Andy H » 17 Apr 2020 14:13

Hi

Bad doctrine formulated on pre-existing ideas of what there role would be and how they'd operate, prior to WW2.

A good accessible book on the matter is:-
The Japanese Submarine Force and WW2 by Carl Boyd and Akihiko Yoshida, Published by Naval Institute Press 1995

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Andy H

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Felix C » 18 Apr 2020 00:29

Sank more merchant ships than Italian submarines

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Andy H » 18 Apr 2020 12:42

Felix C wrote:
18 Apr 2020 00:29
Sank more merchant ships than Italian submarines
Hi

I think that speaks to more opportunity and circumstance, than doctrine.

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Andy H

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Felix C » 18 Apr 2020 15:23

True. Soviet Union had more submarines and achieved very little.

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Eugen Pinak » 18 Apr 2020 22:02

Kingfish wrote:
17 Apr 2020 10:34
Is it my misunderstanding or did IJN subs as a whole punch below their weight during WW2?

Aside from a few notable successes - sinking Yorktown and Wasp, punching holes in Saratoga twice- I can't think of anything else worth noting.
This is in contrast to US subs, who after correcting the faulty torpedo issues, really put the screws to the IJN and merchant fleet.
Indeed, IJN submarine service successes were not very impressive. However, several factors should be born in mind.
1. It's easy to sink more enemy ships, if you have 3 to 5 times more boats. Plus superiority on the land, air and sea.
2. Japanese submarines simply had no such juicy targets, as US boats. Allied convoys were spread from Africa to America and from Alaska to Australia. And no - attacking neither of those areas will bring you strategical results, like attacking Moji-Manila-Singapore convoys.
3. Allies had very strict and thorough examiners in the field of ASW - German submariners. So IJN boats had to face latest ASW tactics and equipment without themselves being able to develop latest anti-ship tactics and equipment. They tried, of course (both submariners and ASW forces) - but it was too few, too late.

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Eugen Pinak » 18 Apr 2020 22:03

Andy H wrote:
17 Apr 2020 14:13
Bad doctrine formulated on pre-existing ideas of what there role would be and how they'd operate, prior to WW2.
Pre-war submarine doctrine was roughly similar for all major navies, excluding German.

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Kingfish » 19 Apr 2020 10:24

Eugen Pinak wrote:
18 Apr 2020 22:02
2. Japanese submarines simply had no such juicy targets, as US boats. Allied convoys were spread from Africa to America and from Alaska to Australia. And no - attacking neither of those areas will bring you strategical results, like attacking Moji-Manila-Singapore convoys.
While this may be true in the broad sense, there were areas where IJN could have made a difference, at least early on. The approaches to Port Moresby or Guadacanal are two examples.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Polar bear » 19 Apr 2020 15:44

hi,
Akira Takizawa wrote:
17 Apr 2020 12:36
But, they were used for other tasks like scout, transport, attacking of warships etc, according to occasional necessity.
I read somewhere that they were, more or less, obliged to "miltary" tasks by their code of honour or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushido .
Attacking possibly unarmed merchant ships wasn`t in accordance with that.

greetings, the pb
Peace hath her victories no less renowned than War
(John Milton, the poet, in a letter to the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652)

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Eugen Pinak » 19 Apr 2020 16:12

Kingfish wrote:
19 Apr 2020 10:24
Eugen Pinak wrote:
18 Apr 2020 22:02
2. Japanese submarines simply had no such juicy targets, as US boats. Allied convoys were spread from Africa to America and from Alaska to Australia. And no - attacking neither of those areas will bring you strategical results, like attacking Moji-Manila-Singapore convoys.
While this may be true in the broad sense, there were areas where IJN could have made a difference, at least early on. The approaches to Port Moresby or Guadacanal are two examples.
Care to explain, which strategical results will bring blockade of those two points? You know, like results, warranting tying down to those places minimum 1/2 of IJN submarine force.

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Kingfish » 19 Apr 2020 17:10

Eugen Pinak wrote:
19 Apr 2020 16:12
Care to explain, which strategical results will bring blockade of those two points?
Neither would have produced strategic results, and that is not a claim I made. That said, you made mention of the fact the allied convoys were scattered across the Pacific. I simply pointed out that there were cases where the transit routes for allied shipping was evident and this is where a concerted effort may have produced worthwhile results.
You know, like results, warranting tying down to those places minimum 1/2 of IJN submarine force.
Not sure how you arrive at that conclusion.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Eugen Pinak » 19 Apr 2020 18:30

Kingfish wrote:
19 Apr 2020 17:10
Eugen Pinak wrote:
19 Apr 2020 16:12
Care to explain, which strategical results will bring blockade of those two points?
Neither would have produced strategic results, and that is not a claim I made. That said, you made mention of the fact the allied convoys were scattered across the Pacific. I simply pointed out that there were cases where the transit routes for allied shipping was evident and this is where a concerted effort may have produced worthwhile results.
There were no regular Allied convoys going to either of those places. And, of course, IJN submarines were regularly used to patrol both off Port Moresby and Guadacanal. IJN just never bothered to divert its boats for this operations from the more important missions, like strategic recon.
Kingfish wrote:
19 Apr 2020 17:10
You know, like results, warranting tying down to those places minimum 1/2 of IJN submarine force.
Not sure how you arrive at that conclusion.
Because I can count, you know. Very lousy blockade of those two points by one subdiv each requires 8 subdivs (1 on position, 1 going to position, 1 returning from patrol and 1 resting and repairing). IJN submarine force in 1942 had c.14-16 subdivs - and that's including old boats.

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Kingfish » 19 Apr 2020 21:01

Eugen Pinak wrote:
19 Apr 2020 18:30
There were no regular Allied convoys going to either of those places.
That is quite a claim given the campaign on Guadacanal involved upwards of 60,000 men lasting 7 months.
Because I can count, you know. Very lousy blockade of those two points by one subdiv each requires 8 subdivs (1 on position, 1 going to position, 1 returning from patrol and 1 resting and repairing). IJN submarine force in 1942 had c.14-16 subdivs - and that's including old boats.
Please tell me where I mentioned the word 'blockade', let alone implied it, in any of my posts.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: IJN subs: bad luck or bad doctrine

Post by Mark in Cleveland, Tn. » 19 Apr 2020 22:34

I have read in several books written by IJN Sub commanders ( well, small sections) that they were incined(kind of suggested by orders) to seek aircraft carriers, battleships etc over any other types.But of course those small sections in a book is their writings, maybe to justify their crappy record during a patrol. I think in the book *Sunk* by https://www.amazon.com/Sunk-Story-Japan ... 1615775811 there are small references to targets of opportunity vs. seeking out major warships.

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