I-5, Japanese Submarine

Photograph of I-5

Wikipedia Commons



2080 tons standard
2243 tons surfaced
2921 tons submerged


308'7" by 29'8" by 17'8"
94.06m by 9.04m by 5.38m

Maximum speed      

18 knots (surfaced)
8 knots (submerged)
Dive to 260 feet (79 meters)




1 5.5"/50 gun
1 5"/40 dual-purpose gun
1 heavy machine gun
1 light machine gun
6 21" torpedo tubes (20 torpedoes)
2-shaft diesel (6000 bhp) or electric (2600 hp)
Bunkerage 548 tons diesel oil
Range 24,000 nautical miles (44,000 km) at 10 knots surfaced
60 nautical miles (110 km) at 3 knots submerged

The I-5 was an experimental one-off development of the J1s (J1M class) that originally included a catapult and two watertight deck tubes containing the fuselage and wings of a seaplane. The aircraft had to be assembled from the tubes while the submarine was surfaced, leaving the submarine highly vulnerable to attack. There was also no catapult for launching the aircraft and the handling arrangements were unsatisfactory. However, the Japanese believed the seaplane-equipped scouting submarine concept had great promise.

The seaplane provisions were eliminated in 1940, leaving the I-5 little different from other J1s.

I-5 was deployed east of Oahu when war broke out, and was sunk on 19 July 1944 off Guam by Wyman.


Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

Carpenter and Polmar (1986)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977) (accessed 2008-3-24)

Worth (2001)

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