The Lost Submarines of Pearl Harbor: The Rediscovery and Archaeology of Japan’s Top-Secret Midget Submarines of World War II
One of the enduring mysteries of the air raid against the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in December 1941 is that the Japanese risked the operational surprise of the attack by employing five two-man midget submarines of dubious military value. In particular, the destroyer USS Ward (DD-139) sank one of the midgets in the defensive zone off Oahu shortly before 0700. That was more than an hour prior to the onslaught of bombs, torpedoes, and bullets that wreaked havoc against U.S. forces on Oahu. The submarine sinking should have sounded a loud alarm bell, warning of the major portion of the air raid yet to come. The bell tinkled only slightly, doing virtually nothing to deter the attack that inflicted devastating loss of life and military assets.