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Imperial Japanese Navy Submarine C-3 I-53 & Kaitens Kamikaze Torpedoes.

1:72 scale
58.5 Inches (148.6cm) long
Ages: 8+ yrs.

$ 197.77
Currently on a back order. Comming soon.
C-3(class) I-53 with Kaiten “Kamikaze” Torpedoes Commissioned in 1944, the I-53, one of three in its class, was launched in 1943 from Kure Naval Dockyard. C3 boats were fitted with inferior engines due to wartime shortages, resulting in a reduced surface speed of 17.75 knots and 6.5 knots submerged; however, additional fuel tanks made it possible for long-range cruises. A Japanese version of a snorkel was first used on these class subs.

With modifications, the I-53 was converted into a kaiten carrier in November, 1944. Initially, four kaiten could be carried, later it was increased to five. I-53 carried 19 torpedoes with six each 21” torpedo tubes on the bow.

On July 24, 1945, in the Philippine Sea, a kaiten of the I-53 sank the Navy destroyer Escort USS Underhill (DE 682), the only warship sunk from this type of weapon. I-53 survived the war, and was scuttled by the US Navy off of Goto, Japan, in April, 1946.

The Japanese began development of the Kaiten (“Turning of the Heavens”) in early 1944. The kaiten torpedo program was not accorded high priority until after the Imperial Japanese Navy’s failure to defend the Marianas in 1944. The kaiten featured the combination of a Type 93 oxygen-powered 48’4” X 24” torpedo with a large warhead guided by a human pilot. The warhead contained a charge of 3300 lbs. of high explosive with a maximum speed of 30 knots.

The first Kaitens required the pilot to enter while the mother submarine was surfaced. Later modifications allowed for entry through a lower hatch fitted in the kaiten. Once inside, the pilot received target data by telephone (with break-away line) before being launched. Actual successes were few and heavy losses were suffered as there was no way to return to the mother ships. It was a “one way “ mission, part of the “Kamikaze — Special Attack” tactics. All, a failed attempt, to destroy the enemy.