1. Submarine ** by Capt. Edward L. Beach USN
A Signet book
Published by The New American Library
2. Fighting Under the Sea by Capt. Donald MacIntyre, DSC, RN
W.W. Norton & company, Inc.
3. Various unregistered Navy publications and phamplets
** All quotes in this paper came from Submarine by Capt. Edward L. Beach, USN.
NOTES: (August 2000)
1. There are several sources listing the tonnage of SHINANO. These range from 59,000 tons to 72,000 tons. The following information obtained from the Forward and Prologue of Captain Enright's book, SHINANO! The Sinking of Japan's Secret Supership, clarifies this confusion.
The Japanese Empire had plans to build three huge battleships: YAMATO, scheduled for completion on December 16, 1941; MUSASHI, scheduled for completion on August 5, 1942: and SHINANO, which was converted to an aircraft carrier and initially scheduled for completion in January 1945. The conversion was primarily caused due to losses of Japanese Carrier Forces at the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea.
The conversion plans of SHINANO placed a heavy emphasis on armor. This armor included "large bulges, or 'blisters', below the waterline - like those on YAMATO and MUSAHI". Additionally the flight decks and hanger decks all had additional armor to protect from aerial attack. "The weight of steel installed for defensive purposes totaled 17,700 tons - about one-quarter of SHINANO's displacement and equal to the tonnage of many light cruisers." Many other modifications of machinery, tanks, armaments and armor brought "SHINANO's full-load displacement to 71,980 tons" which "topped by some 200 tons the original full-load displacements of her onetime sister ships, YAMATO and MUSASHI. Later, the battleships added 1,700 tons of armor. SHINANO was therefore the largest aircraft carrier ever built, and she retained that distinction until the commissioning of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier U.S.S. ENTERPRISE in 1961." (Information and quoted material from SHINANO Prologue, pages 1 - 21.)
"SHINANO was the largest warship in history to be sunk by a submarine, a truly incredible exploit. In terms of tonnage, ARCHER-FISH's sinking of SHINANO was the most productive war patrol of the 1,682 undertaken by U.S. submarines during World War II. In awarding the Navy Cross to Commander Enright, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal credited ARCHER-FISH with the sinking of a 72,000-ton Japanese aircraft carrier." (Quote from the Forward of SHINANO, pages xiv - xv, written by Admiral Bernard A. Clarey, USN (ret).)
2. Since reading Captain Enright's book and after discussing details with him, I found out that, contrary to information I have about 6 torpedo hits, there were four hits. As he explained it to us during our July 2000 visit, "I fired a perfect spread of six torpedos. The first passed ahead, four hit SHINANO and one passed astern." The research I did, at the time, for the story indicated six hits.