Discovery of Pearl Harbor Mini-Sub Reportedly Might Solve Longstanding Mystery

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Researchers have discovered the remains of a Japanese mini-submarine they say was used to attack Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7 1941, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The discovery provides evidence that the submarine fired its torpedoes at Battleship Row and could therefore resolve a long-standing dispute among historians, the paper reports.

Five mini-submarines were intended to be used to launch a strike against Pearl Harbor, but four ended up not being used for various reasons, the paper reports. No one knew what happened with the fifth sub.

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John Nicholas - 12/9/2009

The notion that a midget submarine attacked Battleship Row and hit OKLAHOMA has been around for a few years, and relies on some very shaky analysis of aerial photography and the willful dismissal of some rather inconvenient math. These latest stories add another dubious element, the notion that aerial torpedoes
could not cause damage of the scale seen on OKLAHOMA (incidentally, the midget subs carried fairly small 18-inch torpedoes, not the standard 21-inch torpedoes). In any case, there are no torpedoes left to allot to this alleged midget attack on OKLAHOMA.

There were five midget submarines. The U.S. Navy designated them Midgets A to E, in the order in which they were encountered. Midget A was sunk by destroyer WARD outside the harbor mouth before the air attack. Midget B was detected during the air attack on the northwest side of Ford Island--i.e. the side opposite to Battleship Row--fired its torpedoes, and was sunk by destroyer MONAGHAN. Midget C washed up on Oahu with its torpedoes aboard and was recovered; the sole survivor of the midget sub contingent, Ensign Sakamaki, was from this boat. Midget D was found off Pearl Harbor in 1960 with its torpedoes still on board. Midget E has never been found, but a midget--which by process of elimination, had to be this one--fired torpedoes at cruiser ST. LOUIS just outside the harbor on 7 December. Unless all of the sightings of torpedoes in this attack were a delusion, there is no possibility that a midget submarine attacked Battleship Row.

From my friend Keith Allen - John Nicholas