Fighting in the Pacific Ocean theater during World War II often took place at sea and below the surface.
The submarine warfare in that theater of operations was especially harsh. According to the National Park Service from the United States, the Americans lost 52 submarines, with 374 officers and 3,131 sailors on board in their battles against Japan. In turn, the Imperial Japanese Navy lost 128 submarines during World War II in the Pacific. At the end of the war, according to Combinedfleet.com, 49 Japanese submarines surrendered to the Allies at the end of the war.
After capturing them, the United States transferred five of these submarines to its naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in October 1945: I-14, I-201, I-203, I-400 and I-401. Like the other captured Japanese submarines, they were sunk in 1946. The five transferred to Hawaii were sent down near those islands and still rest there. Recently, the E/V Nautilus ship obtained images of the wrecks of two of those submarines, I-201 and I-401. Both were sunk near the island of Oahu.
El I-201 fue hundido el 23 de mayo de 1946 por el submarino americano USS Queenfish (SS-393), mientras que el I-401 fue hundido el 31 de mayo de 1946 por el submarino USS Cabezon (SS-334). Las imágenes de estos submarinos obtenidas por el E/V Nautilus son de una calidad excelente y muestran a ambos buques bastante intactos a pesar del largo tiempo transcurrido:
You can see some screenshots of this excellent video here. Here we see the stern of one of the submarines. The rudder and propeller are clearly visible.
The sail of one of the submarines, seen from above. The periscope was raised at the time of its sinking.
The cross section of the case of one of the submarines. Apparently the ship broke up when being sent down.
The side of one of the submarines. It was overturned on the bottom. On the left we see the sail of the submarine, with the flag of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the Rising Sun, painted on it.
The upper part of the sail of the I-201. The good condition of the submarine is surprising despite having been at the bottom of the sea for 77 years.
An open hatch. It was probably left that way before it was sunk to make it easier for it to go to the bottom.
An unexploded torpedo on the seabed. You can clearly see the small propeller at the back.
The cannon of one of the submarines. It is probably the 140 mm cannon that the I-401 carried in its stern section.
The sail of one of the submarines, seen from the bow. The glass on its upper part is still intact.
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