K5 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of K5 class submarine

Imperial War Museum. Via Fair use may apply.


Tonnage 700 tons standard
940 tons surfaced
Dimensions 234'7" by 22' by 13'
71.50m by 6.71m by 3.96m
Maximum speed       19 knots surfaced
8.2 knots submerged
Dive To 245 feet (75 m)
Complement 75
Armament 4 21" torpedo tubes (10 torpedoes)
1 3"/40 AA gun
2 13mm/76 machine gun
2-shaft diesel (2900 hp) or electric (1200 hp)
Range 8000 nautical miles (14,800 km) at 12 knots surfaced
4500 nautical miles (8300 km) at 20 knots surfaced
90 nautical miles (167 km) at 3.5 knots submerged

The K5s were short-ranged (RO) submarines designed as prototypes for wartime mass production. The Japanese designated them as Navy medium type submarines (Kaigun-shiki Chūgata Sensuikan). Resembling the British U class, and completed in 1935-1937, they showed considerable promise, particularly in their sea keeping. They used improved diesel engines that gave them good surfaced speed.

Units in the Pacific:



Sunk by Arunta 1942-8-29 off Port Moresby



Sunk by O'Bannon and Strong 1943-4-5 off the Russell Islands


Bagnasco (1977)

Boyd and Yoshida (1995)

Carpenter and Polmar (1986) (accessed 2009-12-18)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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