World War 2


Submarine Crew Scrambles into Attack Mode and Prepares for Battle

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Submarine Crew Scrambles into Attack Mode and Prepares for Battle

As World War II raged, the Pacific Ocean was full of American and Japanese Navies looking to battle against one another. Acquired by Japanese sources, this behind-the-scenes footage shows what it looks like when a Japanese submarine scrambles to use its top-deck gun to attack Allied forces. While it’s hard to say if this was a test or a real emergency, watching the Japanese crew scramble to make the gun ready is a reminder of the horrors of the war.

Calm Waters

Calm before the storm
The submarine is very calm before the crew comes on deck.

Moments before the Japanese crew swarmed the deck, there was the “calm before the storm.” It’s hard not to feel a brief moment of peace before chaos inevitably breaks out.

Sailor on Deck

First Sailor
The first crew member appears on deck.

In the full video, you see this still image when the first sailor jumps onto the deck out of the submarine. The sailor’s first action is removing the deck gun coverings that help keep water out of the barrel when submerging the submarine.

Removing Gun Coverings

Removing gun cover
The first sailor on deck removes the gun coverings.

This still image shows the sailor removing the first gun covering at the end of the barrel. As the first person on the submarine’s deck, the sailor’s first official action is to remove this covering.

Lots of Crew

Deck now busy
Several crew members are now on deck readying the gun.

It only takes moments after the first sailor is on deck for additional crew to appear. At this point, the crew rushes to the weapon, removes other coverings, and begins getting the weapon ready to fire.

Moving the Gun

Making the gun ready
The crew members are shifting the gun into the right position.

As soon as the initial stages of preparing the gun were finished, the crew moved the gun into the firing position. This position is almost assuredly based on the enemy’s position, as the gun needs to point directly at an enemy ship.

Loading the Shell

Loading the shell
Loading the shell into the weapon for firing.

With this image, you get the appearance of one Japanese crew member loading what appears to be a shell into the barrel of the weapon. This is the actual munition that will be fired at an enemy ship.

Sighting the Weapon

Sighting the weapon
The first crew member sights the weapon to confirm it’s in position.

Once the shell is loaded, the same submarine crew member inspects the weapon to ensure the barrel is pointed in the right direction. The crew’s last desire is to fire the weapon in the wrong direction and waste limited ammunition.

Loading the Bursting Charge

Loading the burst
Another crew member is loading the burst shell.

A bursting charge was also loaded to assist the projectile or ammunition in traveling longer distances and more effectively hit and destroy targets.

Securing the Weapon

Securing the weapon
The weapon is secured by another crew member responsible for final testing.

With the ammunition and bursting charge loaded, one sailor had to seal the weapon to be ready to fire. In this image, you can see the crew member closing a steel door at the tail end of the gun.

Resighting the Weapon

Resighting the weapon
One final sighting of the weapon and it’s ready to attack.

Now that the gun is ready to fire, one crew member is pictured here, resighting the weapon and ensuring it’s on target. As every submarine only has limited ammunition, missing a target because of careless aiming was not an option.

Firing the Weapon

Firing the weapon
The Japanese submarine sailors are firing the deck gun toward an enemy.

In this image, you can see the smoke coming out of the 220-inch barrel of the deck gun, indicating it had just fired. At this point, the crew has to decide whether to reload or secure the weapon for submerging the submarine.

Watch the Full Video

Crew on watch
Watch the full video to see the crew in action.

To understand how quickly this action takes place, watch the full video to see everything happen in under one minute. It’s incredible how quickly submariners can act to defend their position and crew. 

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