Authored by U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
On the night of Monday, 23 February, 1942, Imperial Japanese Navy Commander Kozo Nishino, in command of I-17, brought the boat to a halt in the Santa Barbara channel and ordered his crew to prepare for gun action. At 7:07 p.m., Nishino ordered his gun crew to open fire. Explosions went off on shore as 140mm shells hit the oil field. After a few minutes, Nishino had his gunners shift targets and continue the bombardment. At approximately 7:45 p.m., Nishino ordered cease-fire and the I-17 started to transit to the south towards Los Angeles. The city of Ellwood, California had just become the site of the first attack on the United States mainland in World War II. I-17, a large, fast, ocean-going submarine, fired approximately 25 shells into two oil refineries and destroyed a derrick and a pump house. There was also damage to the Bankline pier and some private property.1 CDR Nishino had finished providing fireworks in celebration of Washington’s Birthday.2 Much richer targets waited to the south.
Based on the ultimate result of World War II in the Pacific for Japan, and the lack of discussion of the Japanese submarine force in print, it would be very easy to say that the Japanese submarine force was ineffective in creating a significant impact on a strategic or operational level. This would do a great disservice to a proud and capable part of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Japanese submarines capable of ranging to the American….
Mar 31 2014
1497498295 / 9781497498297
US Trade Paper
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
History / Military / World War II