Japans Secret Aircraft-Carrying
Objective Panama Canal
by Henry Sakaida, Gary
Nila and Koji Takaki.
S u m m a r y
||I-400 - Japans Secret
Aircraft-Carrying Strike Submarine.
Objective Panama Canal
by Henry Sakaida, Gary Nila and Koji Takaki.
||Hard cover, 144
high-gloss top-quality pages with many colour and black and white photos
never seen before plus line-drawings and colour art-work of both the
submarine and the Seiran aircraft.
GBP29.95 available online from Hikoki
or from Ian Allen Publishing
||A good easy read, a
subject about which very little is known out-side of Japan its self., of
interest to ship and aircraft modellers and historians.
Reviewed by Glen Porter
R-4360 is available online from
heard a tiny bit about both the I-400 and the Aichi Seiran float plane
but I never put them together. I had no idea how big this sub was or how
well the Seiran flew let alone the plan to bomb the Panama Canal. So
this book comes as somewhat of a revelation to me, as I guess it will to
The Authors are a Japanese American, Henry Sakaida, an American ex
policeman, Gary Nila and a Japanese Businessman, now retired, Koji
Takaki. With Henry and Gary collecting data, checking facts and
interviewing those involved in America, Koji did the same in Japan and
between the three of them they've come up with a book that is both
interesting and easy to read.
There are seven chapters and eleven appendices with lots of interesting
data and illustrated with many photos never seen before and lots of
colour art-work plus line-drawings of both the ship and aircraft.
After the Author’s introduction, there are two Forewords by two of the
crew then Chapter One. This describe the Japanese Submarine Service
before and during the war. Chapters Two and Three describe in great
detail the I-400 class of Aircraft-Carrying Submarines and the Aichi M6A
Seiran Submarine-based Attack-bomber. Chapters Four and Five cover the
planned attack on the Panama Canal and the later operational plans after
the initial one was cancelled. After these plans were also axed because
of the wars end, Chapter Six covers the struggle to return to a home
port before capture and Seven, the submarine’s transfer to Pearl Harbour
by an American crew and final voyage and sinking.
Spread throughout these Chapters are histories of various crewmen who
were still alive when the research was being carried out plus small
pieces on things like the living conditions on board a Japanese sub and
the atrocities carried out by some of the Commanders while on earlier
At over 400 ft long and 3,350 tons surfaced, this is a big boat.
Consider if you will, a US Gato was around 1500 tons surfaced, a British
T class around 1300 and the German Type IX, a measly 1000 tons. This
submarine was bigger than any WWII Destroyer and her submerged
displacement of 5,223 tons puts her almost on a par with a Light
Cruiser. Until the nuclear boats of today were begun, the I-400 class
were the biggest ever built. The hanger tube, between the conning tower
and hull, could carry three aircraft with their wings folded and floats
The eleven Appendices cover many smaller pieces such as Japanese Navy
Ranks, I-400 Radio Equipment, Report of Dry-dock Examination and Seiran
Take-Off Procedures among others.
Apart from an interesting read, this book would be very helpful to any
modeller building a Tamiya Seiran or scratch building the ship not to
mention its historical value.
Thanks to Simon from DLS Publishing for the review sample
Review Copyright © 2006 by Glen Porter
This Page Created on 24 May, 2006
Last updated 29 May, 2006
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