KD2 Class, Japanese Submarines

Photograph of KD2-class submarine

Wikipedia Commons


Tonnage 1390 tons standard
1500 tons surfaced
2500 tons submerged
Dimensions 331' by 25'1" by 16'11"
100.89m by 7.65m by 5.16m
Dive 175 feet (53 meters)
Maximum speed       22 knots surfaced
10 knots submerged
Complement 60
Armament 1 4.7"/45 dual-purpose gun
1 3"/40 AA gun
8 21" torpedo tubes (16 torpedoes)
2-shaft diesel (6800 hp) or electric (2000 hp)
Bunkerage 230 tons diesel oil
Range 6130 nautical miles (11,000 km) at 16 knots surfaced
10,000 nautical miles (18,500 km) at 10 knots surfaced
100 nautical miles (185 km) at 4 knots submerged

Impressed with the success of German U-boats in the First World War, Japan began experimenting with designs for Kaigun-dai or large fleet submarines (abbreviated Kaidai) as soon as the war ended. The first two Kaidai were individual ship designs used largely for training and experimentation. Although the first Kaidai was no longer in service in 1941, the second, I-52, was still performing training duties and was at Kure when war broke out. She was renumbered I-152 on 20 May 1942 and placed out of service on 14 July 1942.

The KD2 design was loosely based on the German U-139. Launched in 1922 and completed in 1925, she had a double hull and good surface speed for her day, and she became the basis for practically all the later Japanese submarine designs.

Five additional KD2s were planned, but construction was cancelled when Japan received seven German U-boats as reparations from the First World War. The Japanese wished to absorb all the lessons they could from the German boats before beginning mass production of their own submarines.


Boyd and Yoshida (1995) (accessed 2008-4-2)

Jentschura, Jung, and Mickel (1977)

Worth (2001)

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