Undersea explorers recently discovered the wreckage of a long-lost submarine off the southwestern coast of Oahu, according to the Maritime Executive. The 400-foot-long mega-submarine, which was constructed for the Imperial Japanese Navy back in World War II, was found in more than 2,300 feet of water in August 2013, but was only announced this month, the article explained.
A Masterpiece of Engineering
Archeologists have been looking for this particular submarine, the I-400, for years. Not only was the 1-400 the biggest sub ever built until nuclear ballistic missile subs came on the scene in the 1960s, but the sunken sub was also the first of only three of its kind ever built, the article noted.
Before its sinking, this submarine was a force to be reckoned with — it served as an aircraft carrier that could hold as many as three bombers in a watertight hangar. Each aircraft was capable of carrying 1,800-pound bombs, the article explained. In addition, these historic subs also had torpedoes on hand that they could use in close-range combat. This technological masterpiece could go around the world one-and-a-half times without refueling.
How Did the Submarine Sink?
The U.S. Navy intentionally sank the submarine and four others back in 1946 to prevent the Soviet Union from getting a closer look at its advanced technology as the two nations were entering the Cold War, the article explained. The I-400 was one of five submarines the U.S. captured from the Japanese and brought to Pearl Harbor to be inspected. Four of those sunken submarines have since been found, but one remains unaccounted for.
The sub’s location remained unknown until it was found unexpectedly during a series of manned submersible dives funded by the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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