I-400 : Japan's Secret Aircraft-Carrying Strike Submarine Paperback
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 148 pages
- Publisher: Flight Recorder Publications Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/11/2010
- Category: 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000
- ISBN: 9780955426810
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Review by TChesney
Why do I read military history when it so often tears through my soul? See the sidebar on page 45, about the execution of the survivors of the British Chivalry, a freighter. I understand the need for absolute secrecy. I know that taking them on board the submarine could not have been an option. But,...This book is excellent, even though it is somewhat short (112 pages)."The I-400 submarine was one of the most monstrous creations to emerge from the Second World War and, in its time, it was the largest submarine ever built....In mid 1944 this secret weapon was tasked with attacking American cities and destroying the Panama Canal.The extraordinary story of this submarine is told using first-hand accounts from three of the original air crew assigned to fly the Serians and former officers and crew of the I-400 as well as American naval personnel who crewed the vessel on its dramatic final voyage.Remarkable photographs show external and internal views of the I-400, its hangar, aircraft, armament and equipment and form a unique reference source for enthusiasts of World War II aviation and naval history." From the back cover. I could not have said it better.Pros (only a few of the many):The effective even handedness of the subject.The aircraft colored cutaway drawing on page 22.Several sidebars.The Japanese map of the U.S. on page 15.The method of identifying the desired personnel in the group photograph on page 48 is very effective.There is a good Bibliography and a good Index.And on, and on, ...Cons:There is no good overall line drawing of the submarine. The aircraft gets 6 pages of very good line drawings, although they are a bit too 'busy'! There is no very good feel for the external conning tower and deck armament arrangements.The drawings on pages 19 (good), 20 (very good) and 21 (poor) are inadequate and don't get the job done.The comparative data on page 25 (for the M6A1 Serian, D4Y2 Judy 12 and A6M3 Zero 32) should have been done as a table or something?The coloring on pages 21 (the submarine) and 23 (the aircraft, with its placement on the submarine) is way too dark!