B3 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of IJN I-58, a B3 class submarine

National Archives #80-G-260244



2140 tons standard displacement
2607 tons surfaced
3688 tons submerged


350'9" by 30'6" by 17'0"
106.91m by 9.30m by 5.18m

Maximum speed      

17.7 knots (surfaced)
6.5 knots (submerged)
Dive to 330 feet (100 m)
Aircraft 1 seaplane


1 5.5"/50 gun
1x2 25mm/60 machine gun
6 21" torpedo tubes (19 torpedoes)
2-shaft diesel (4700 hp) or electric (1200 hp)
Range 21,000 nautical miles (34,000 km) at 16 knots surfaced
105 nautical miles (170 km) at 3 knots submerged
Modifications The boats were eventually fitted with snorkels.
Surviving units received Type 13 air search radar and Type 22 surface search radar in late 1944.
1945: I-56 and I-58 were converted to carry 4 Kaiten each by removing the aircraft equipment and 5.5" gun.

The B3s were virtually identical with the B2s except that speed was sacrificed for range. They were completed at the Yokosuka Navy Yard in 1943-1944. An additional eight units of a slightly expanded version (B4 class) were authorized but never laid down.

Some authors list the B3s as B2s, the B2s as B1s, and the B1s as Bs.

Units in the Pacific:


Completed 1944-3-31 (Yokosuka)      

Sunk 1944-10-24 off Leyte by Richard M. Rowell
I-56 Completed 1944-8-8 (Yokosuka)       Sunk 1945-4-18 off Okinawa by Collett, Heermann, McCord, Mertz, Uhlmann and aircraft from Bataan
I-58 Completed 1944-9-7 (Yokosuka)      


Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

Carpenter and Polmar (1986) (accessed 2008-1-5)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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