Submarine No.71 in 1938
|Empire of Japan|
|Builder:||Kure Naval Arsenal|
|Laid down:||December 1937|
|Class and type:||Experimental high-speed submarine|
|Length:||42.8 m (140 ft 5 in)|
|Beam:||3.3 m (10 ft 10 in)|
|Draft:||3.1 m (10 ft 2 in)|
|Test depth:||80 m (260 ft)|
|Armament:||3 × bow 450 mm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes|
Design and description
Submarine No.71 was designed to test high-speed performance underwater. Intended to reach 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) underwater and 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) on the surface, she proved to be too underpowered to reach those goals. Nonetheless, the boat was the fastest submarine in the world underwater when built, beating the previous record set by the similar World War I-era British R-class. She displaced 216 tonnes (213 long tons) surfaced and 244 tonnes (240 long tons) submerged. Submarine No.71 was 42.8 meters (140 ft 5 in) long, had a beam of 3.3 meters (10 ft 10 in) and a draft of 3.1 meters (10 ft 2 in).
For surface running, the boat was powered by a single 1,200-brake-horsepower (895 kW) diesel engine that drove one propeller shaft. When submerged the propeller was driven by a 1,800-horsepower (1,342 kW) electric motor. She could reach 13.25 knots (24.54 km/h; 15.25 mph) on the surface and 21.25 knots (39.36 km/h; 24.45 mph) underwater. On the surface, Submarine No.71 had a range of 3,830 nautical miles (7,090 km; 4,410 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph); submerged, she had a range of 33 nmi (61 km; 38 mi) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph). The boat was armed with three internal bow 45 cm (17.7 in) torpedo tubes; each was provided with one torpedo.
Construction and career
Submarine No.71 was laid down by the Kure Naval Arsenal in December 1937 and was launched that same month by being lowered into the water by a crane. She was completed in August 1938; trials showed that her small size and low-powered diesel made her hard to handle on the surface. While incapable of her intended speeds, she exceeded a submerged speed of 21 knots, almost five years before the famous German type XXI U-boats achieved speeds of around 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). After extensive evaluations the boat was scrapped in 1940, and the lessons learned contributed to the development of the Sen Taka-class, and the Sen Taka Sho-class.
- Carpenter & Dorr, p. 100
- Bagnasco, p. 76
- Bagnasco, Erminio (1977). Submarines of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-962-6.
- Carpenter, Dorr B. & Polmar, Norman (1986). Submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy 1904–1945. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-396-6.
- Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich, UK: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.