I-121-class submarine

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Japanese submarine I-21.jpg
I-121 (as I-21) in 1930.
Class overview
Name: I-121 class submarine
Builders: Kawasaki Corporation
Operators: Naval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy
Built: 1924–1928
In commission: 1927–1945
Planned: 6
Completed: 4
Cancelled: 2
Lost: 3
Retired: 1
General characteristics
Type: Minelaying submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,142 long tons (1,160 t) surfaced
  • 1,768 long tons (1,796 t) submerged
Length: 85.20 m (279 ft 6 in) overall
Beam: 7.52 m (24 ft 8 in)
Draft: 4.42 m (14 ft 6 in)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × Rauschenbach Mk.1 diesels
  • 2,400 bhp surfaced
  • 1,100 shp submerged
  • 2 shafts
Speed:
  • 14.9 knots (27.6 km/h) surfaced
  • 6.5 knots (12.0 km/h) submerged
Range:
  • 10,500 nmi (19,400 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h) surfaced
  • 40 nmi (74 km) at 4.5 knots (8.3 km/h) submerged
Test depth: 75 m (246 ft)
Complement: 51
Armament:

The I-121-class submarine (伊百二十一型潜水艦, I-hyaku-ni-jū-ichi-gata sensuikan) was a class of submarine in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), serving from the 1920s to the Second World War. The IJN classed it as a Kiraisen type submarine (機雷潜型潜水艦, Kiraisen-gata sensuikan). The type name, was shortened to Kirai Fusetsu Sensuikan (機雷敷設水艦, Minelaying submarine).

Construction[edit]

The Empire of Japan received six U-boats as a reparation payment after World War I. The IJN copied U-125 and designed the I-21 class (later renamed I-121 class) minelaying submarine. Six boats were ordered, of which four were completed, two were cancelled. All boats were built in the Kawasaki Yard at Kobe.

Service[edit]

When World War II began, the I-121-class boats were considered obsolete and used as minelayers and supply submarines for flying boats in the Pacific. Three boats of the class were lost in action. The I-121 survived the war and was sunk as a target post war.

Boats in class[edit]

Name Laid down Launched Completed Successes Fate
I-121 [2]
(ex-I-21)
(ex-Submarine No. 48)
20 October 1924 as Submarine No. 48 30 March 1926 as I-21 31 March 1927 Sank Dutch merchant ship Bantam on 18 January 1942 Renamed I-21 on 1 November 1924; renamed I-121 on 1 June 1938. Decommissioned on 30 November 1945. Sunk as a target off Maizuru on 30 April 1946 by the United States Navy.
I-122
(ex-I-22)
(ex-Submarine No. 49)
28 February 1925 as I-22 8 November 1926 28 October 1927 Renamed I-122 on 1 June 1938. Sunk by USS Skate at Noto Peninsula 37°29′N 137°25′E / 37.483°N 137.417°E / 37.483; 137.417 on 9 June 1945.
I-123
(ex-I-23)
(ex-Submarine No. 50)
12 June 1925 as I-23 19 March 1927 28 April 1928 Renamed I-123 on 1 June 1938. Sunk by USS Gamble at Indispensable Strait on 29 August 1942.
I-124
(ex-I-24)
(ex-Submarine No. 52)
17 April 1926 as I-24 12 December 1927 10 December 1928 Sank RMS Hareldawins on 10 December 1941 Renamed I-124 on 1 June 1938. Sunk by HMAS Deloraine, HMAS Katoomba and HMAS Lithgow at Port Darwin 12°05′N 130°06′E / 12.083°N 130.100°E / 12.083; 130.100 on 20 January 1942.
Submarine No. 53?
Submarine No. 63?
Cancelled in 1924.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 p.191
  2. ^ 伊号第121潜水艦 (I-Gō Dai-121 Sensuikan). The same shall apply hereinafter.

External links[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • "Rekishi Gunzō". , Gakken (Japan)
    • History of the Pacific War Vol. 17, I-Gō Submarines, January 1998, ISBN 4-05-601767-0
    • History of the Pacific War Extra, Perfect guide, The submarines of the Imperial Japanese Forces, March 2005, ISBN 4-05-603890-2
  • The Maru Special, Ushio Shobō (Japan)
    • Japanese Naval Vessels No. 43, Japanese Submarines III, September 1980
    • Japanese Naval Vessels No. 132, Japanese Submarines I (New edition), February 1988
    • Japanese Naval Vessels No. 133, Japanese Submarines II (New edition), March 1988