By Carl Lavo
This epic global struggle II submarine saga follows the extreme, intertwined destinies of the sister ships Squalus and Sculpin to their dramatic end -- the tragic defeat of the Sculpin via a eastern destroyer and the frenetic wrath of its sister sub that undefined.
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Extra resources for Back from the Deep: The Strange Story of the Sister Subs Squalus and Sculpin
What was the caliber of Jap planes and airmen? What was the strength of the Japanese Navy? 25 OBSOLETE ‘‘DEVASTATORS’’ AND OBSOLESCENT ‘‘WILDCATS’’ What kind of battles would be fought and where? Apparently we were woefully unprepared, lacking planes and ships, and the Japs had struck hard. They had caught us in the landing circle with our ﬂaps down. ’’ 1 The Battle of the Coral Sea, just before Midway, had shocked the American navy with what it revealed about both our planes and those of our enemy.
The Zero entered service in 1940, and by the time of Pearl Harbor, its expert, highly trained pilots had developed formidable ﬁghter tactics. Modiﬁed throughout the war, the A6M2 was the version that fought at Midway so eﬀectively. It had a 950-horsepower Nakajima radial engine, and with a wingspan of 39 feet, it weighed just 3 tons. As in all the Japanese carrier aircraft, durability and safety were sacriﬁced to speed, maneuverability, and range. Pilots had no armor, and when hit heavily, Zeke, like all other Japanese planes, would usually burn because of light structural materials and the lack of self-sealing gas tank liners, but they were hard to hit.
It had a 950-horsepower Nakajima radial engine, and with a wingspan of 39 feet, it weighed just 3 tons. As in all the Japanese carrier aircraft, durability and safety were sacriﬁced to speed, maneuverability, and range. Pilots had no armor, and when hit heavily, Zeke, like all other Japanese planes, would usually burn because of light structural materials and the lack of self-sealing gas tank liners, but they were hard to hit. The Zero was not only maneuverable, it was fast, with a top speed of 331 mph, and it could reach 16,000 feet in about six minutes and then go on up to 32,000 or 33,000 feet.