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Kaiten (Reverse Destiny)

Imperial Japan (1944)
Picture of Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo
Picture of Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo Picture of Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo
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Suicide Kaitens achieved minimal success with only the USS Mississinewa and USS Underhill recorded as being sunk to Kaiten action.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo.  Entry last updated on 6/30/2017; Authored by JR Potts, AUS 173d AB and Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Kaiten (meaning "Reverse Destiny" or "Change the World" in Japanese) was based on the Japanese Navy Type 93 torpedo and was a top secret suicide weapon developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) for service during World War 2 (1939-1945). The IJN had suffered considerable defeats heading into 1944 and all measures were on the table to stem the tide of defeat. As such, a reworked torpedo, housing a single crew member with basic instrumentation and controls and showcasing with a 3,000lb (1,360 kg) warhead at its bow, was devised to sneak up on unsuspecting Allied warships and merchantmen. The IJN commissioned about 400 of these suicide machines with more than 100 of these sent on missions.

As well as the obvious advantage of the pilot providing guidance for the torpedo, Kaitens could be launched from a submerged submarine unlike the unmanned Type 93 torpedo which was deck-launched from the surface at no deeper than periscope depth. Mothership submarines could carry up to six suicide-minded Kaiten vehicles. The manned torpedo was launched around 8,300 yards from its intended target and, at about 550 yards away, the torpedo submerged to about 13 feet to complete the final run and give the pilot some visual awareness. However they were not nearly as effective pound-for-pound as the highly-successful Type 93 torpedo series on which they were based and used up their valuable pilots in the process.

American sources report that the only sinkings caused by Kaiten suicide attacks were the tankers USS Mississinewa and USS Underhill.


Picture of the Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo
Picture of the Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo



Any available statistics for the Kaiten (Reverse Destiny) Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, ship class and number-in-class. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard base performance figures, installed armament, global users (from A-to-Z) and named ships-in-class.


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National Origin: Imperial Japan
Service Year / Commissioned: 1944
Classification Type: Midget Submarine / Manned Suicide Torpedo
Ship Class: Kaiten
Number-in-Class: 400
Global Operators:
Imperial Japan
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Operating Weights:

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1

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Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
45 ft


Meters
13.72 m


Dimension
BEAM


Feet
3.3 ft


Meters
1.01 m


Displacement
SURFACE


Tons
8 t

Installed Power / Machinery - Standard Day Performance:
1 x H2O diesel engine developing 550 horsepower driving power to a single shaft.

Performance
SUBMERGED


Knots
30 kts


Miles-per-Hour
35 mph


Performance
RANGE


Nautical Miles
11 nm


Miles
13 mi


Miles
21 km

Armament / Air Wing:

1 x 3,000lb (1,360kg) contact explosive warhead

Aircraft:
None.
Ships-in-Class (400):

Not Applicable.
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