Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II

Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II

by John Geoghegan


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The riveting true story of Japan's top secret plan to change the course of World War II using a squadron of mammoth submarines a generation ahead of their time
In 1941, the architects of Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor planned a bold follow-up: a potentially devastating air raid—this time against New York City and Washington, DC. The classified Japanese program required developing a squadron of top secret submarines—the Sen-toku or I-400 class—designed as underwater aircraft carriers, each equipped with three Aichi M6A1 attack bombers painted to look like U.S. aircraft. The bombers, called Seiran (which translates as “storm from a clear sky”), were tucked in a huge, water-tight hanger on the sub’s deck. The subs' mission was to travel more than halfway around the world, surface on the U.S. coast, and launch their deadly air attack. This entire operation was unknown to U.S. intelligence. And the amazing thing is how close the Japanese came to pulling it off.

John Geoghegan’s meticulous research, including first-person accounts from the I-401 crew and the U.S. capturing party, creates a fascinating portrait of the Sen-toku's desperate push into Allied waters and the U.S. Navy's dramatic pursuit, masterfully illuminating a previously forgotten story of the Pacific war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780770435738
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 340,953
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

JOHN J. GEOGHEGAN has written extensively about aviation history, underwater exploration and marine engineering for the New York Times Science Section, Smithsonian Air & Space, WIRED, Popular Science, Aviation History, Military Heritage, Flight Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Magazine.

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Chapter 1

Excerpted from "Operation Storm"
by .
Copyright © 2014 John Geoghegan.
Excerpted by permission of Crown/Archetype.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Principal Actors xi

Part I Prologue

Chapter 1 Face-Off 3

Chapter 2 The I-401 14

Part II Preparation

Chapter 3 Birth 23

Chapter 4 Nambu 33

Chapter 5 Underwater Aircraft Carriers 45

Chapter 6 Proof of Concept 56

Chapter 7 Challenges 70

Part III Complications

Chapter 8 Reduction and Revival 77

Chapter 9 Nambu Under Fire 83

Chapter 10 Nambu Becomes a Mole 90

Chapter 11 Seiran Takes Flight 95

Chapter 12 The Panama Canal 100

Chapter 13 Ariizumi 105

Chapter 14 Ariizumi Under Fire 114

Chapter 15 The Segundo (SS 398) 121

Chapter 16 Decline 131

Part IV The Mission

Chapter 17 Nambu and the I-401 141

Chapter 18 The 631st 163

Chapter 19 Fulp on Patrol 174

Chapter 20 Kure 185

Chapter 21 Adversity 197

Chapter 22 Attacking the Canal 204

Chapter 23 Green Light 214

Chapter 24 Fulp's Last Patrol 218

Chapter 25 Nanao Bay 227

Chapter 26 The Taste of Persimmon 235

Chapter 27 Johnson Takes Command 244

Chapter 28 Operation Storm 249

Part V Race Against Time

Chapter 29 Departure 261

Chapter 30 Underway 267

Chapter 31 Crossed Wires 272

Chapter 32 The Emperor's Voice 279

Chapter 33 Anarchy 288

Chapter 34 Escape 302

Chapter 35 Interception 307

Chapter 36 Spoils of War 315

Chapter 37 Reckoning 325

Chapter 38 Boarding Party 333

Chapter 39 The Tenth War God 338

Chapter 40 Bittersweet 342

Chapter 41 Freedom 347

Chapter 42 The Long Road Home 352

Chapter 43 Rediscovery 358

Epilogue 367

Acknowledgments 383

Notes 389

Sources 449

Index 461

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A magnificent page-turner that reveals the inside story of a remarkable top secret program, Operation Storm is a powerful, towering achievement." — David King, bestselling author of Death in the City of Light

“A great historical read, scrupulously researched and brilliantly written. Geoghegan has produced a marvelous insight into the men on both sides who fought a brutal underwater war beneath the waters of the Pacific in WWII.”    —Clive Cussler, bestselling author of the Dirk Pitt and NUMA Series

“The Imperial Navy’s submarine force in WWII is still barely understood in the West. Geoghegan has given us one of the first detailed glimpses into the workings of Japan’s undersea fleet. His detailed coverage of the Imperial Navy’s I-400 program is uniquely interesting.” — Jonathan Parshall, author of Shattered Sword
“Anyone who believes there are no more hidden secrets to World War II will feel differently on seeing this book. I’ve been reading about the war all my life, but knew nothing of the extraordinary weapon whose story John Geoghegan tells here. And tells, I might add, in a riveting, vivid, suspenseful way that makes it hard to stop reading once you’ve begun…it's a remarkable tale.”  — Adam Hochschild, bestselling historian and author of, To End All Wars and King Leopold’s Ghost

“Just when we were beginning to think that every conceivable World War Two topic worthy of study has already had a shelf’s worth of books devoted to it…John Geoghegan’s Operation Storm combines painstaking research and crisp writing to bring to life, for the first time in English, the fascinating story of Japan’s late war I-400 experimental submarine program.” — M.G. Sheftall, author of Blossoms in the Wind: Human Legacies of the Kamikaze
Operation Storm does for Japanese submarines what Das Boot did for U-boats showing the human side of a remarkable story no less extraordinary for being true. Geoghegan's splendid research combined with his writing skill makes Storm a genuine page turner." — Col. (ret.) Walter J. Boyne, former head of the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

"Impressively documented and lucidly written, here is a lively, well-balanced account of the Imperial Japanese Navy's huge I-400 class submarines and their eleventh hour ‘game-changer’ mission.” —Carl Boyd, co-author of The Japanese Submarine Force and World War II; Professor Emeritus, Old Dominion University; and U.S. Navy submariner 1954-58

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Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although the writing itself is clear but uninspired, the information presented is fascinating on many levels, from strategic to tactical to personal. Starting with a chapter on the post-surrender confrontation between the secret Japanese sub and an American sub , the following chapters fill in the background leading to this point. Technology, military politics, and human decisions are brought together until the reader is back at the intense moment of the two subs' meeting. While not critical to an understanding of WWII, a certain richness of detail is added.
surfpro More than 1 year ago
I heard an interview with this author on NPR and it perked my interest in the book. I got it and read it nearly cover to cover. Fascinating read and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a unique bit of WW II history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and informative book about the uses of Japanese submarines during the war. One gets an understanding of the code of honor submariners lived by, strategies for victory, use of subs as aircraft carriers, and supply ships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could read it over and over agin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Operation Storm is a terrific read from cover to cover. Mr. Geoghegan did the research and made this little known piece of history riveting! A must have for all the history/WWII buffs on your Chistmas list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew that the Japanese Imperial Navy had developed specialized submarines before and during WWII. This book is an eye-opener as to how enterprising they were as far as submarine warfare was concerned. It is interesting to note that the Allies had pretty much given up on the ideas of very specialized boats. That is, until after the war when the United States modified some late WWII submarines for the Regulus Missile Program. I'd like to see more of the correlation between the large 'aircraft carrier' subs of the Japanese and the early US missile boats. Overall a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago