Editorial Notes by Anthony Tully - Managing Editor, CombinedFleet.com


(1) Note 1 - USS Nautilus attack report says sighted at 2337 (L-time) on 19 January 1943. A dramatic encounter followed, for Nautilus commenced a submerged approach, only to see that the target was a big warship that had seen them and was charging their way at 26 knots to ram. At 2353 sub fired two stern tubes at only 700 yards range and saw one hit starboard amidships. By the flash target was identified as a Mogami-class cruiser which then opened heavy and smaller caliber gunfire on the periscope as slowed to a halt. At 2359 Nautiulus hastily fired three bow torpedoes at only 500 yards range. They went under the target or failed to detonate. The "Mogami" continued to land shells close around, rocking the submarine, and within a few minutes got underway with one screw and began to draw away southerly at 8-10 knots zig-zagging. At 0107 Nautilus surfaced to pursue, following a pungent oil slick, but having sighted nothing abandoned the chase at 0230 on basis of a convoy contact report and to avoid infringing on another submarine's zone. As for Myoho Maru after hanging on for a time, she went down that evening about the same time her would-be rescuer Akizuki was crippled. It fell to her original escort Shigure to rescue the 800-odd survivors. - (Tully)

(2) Note 2 - One possibly significant interruption in this routine took place near the end of July, 1944. On 25 July at 0503 Akizuki and Hatsuzuki departed the West Inland Sea. They arrived at Yokosuka, Tokyo bay at 2015 27 July. At 0900 30 July they departed Yokosuka, and on 1 August are in the Yashima Sea, arriving at Kure at 0930 3 August. It seems likely this was a military escort mission, but which vessel remains unclear. - (Tully)

(3) Note 3 - Allied sources have at times credited either TF 38 air attack, or USS Halibut (SS-232) and more specifically, a torpedo in the starboard side, due to what appears to be still visible torpedo tracks at the moment of explosion in a famous photograph. On the other hand, witnesses on other Japanese ships including Isuzu, Zuiho, and Shimotsuki all agree in saying it was bomb hits amidships, and mention the interval before the explosion. The Halibut claim is an error that is easily explained: at some point, the submarine's 1843 hours attack on a BB that evening became confused with an 0843 hit on Akizuki. A very simple case of typo or such making the first digit into a 0. It is not as easy to settle the question whether it was air torpedo, or bomb hit responsible. Oddly enough, some Japanese sources say Akizuki was already stopped by a hit moments before when a torpedo then hit and blew the ship up. This might reconcile the picture evidence. - (Tully)

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Last: 9/27/2014h2110