Japanese ''Shinyo'' Suicide Motorboat

  • Warships Of History
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The Imperial Japanese Military “Special Operations Program’’ was a series of initiatives designed to exploit both the ancient Code of Bushido and a dwindling Japanese war effort. By 1944, it was apparent that Imperial Japan was losing The War. Desperate, Japan devised operations which were considered suicidal. This was to cause maximum damage of both a material and psychological means. The Imperial Navy had devised several Special Operations Programs. One of which was The Shinyo Motorboats. The Shinyo (or ‘’Sea Quake’’) were ‘’Suicide Ships’’, designed to be used against all types of Allied Ships. Warships such as Battleships and Aircraft Carriers were preferred, but by late 1944 and early 1945 – any American or British Vessel was a target. The Shinyo were similar to The American Torpedo Boat-Class of fighting ships, in that they too were made of lightweight steel and wood to give maximum speed and agility in handling. Normally crewed by 1 or 2, The Shinyo were roughly 25 to 35-feet long and 15 to 18-feet wide. They could achieve 30-knots in open water. The maximum goal of The Shinyo was to deploy the nearly 600-pounds of explosives packed into the Bow of the vessel. These explosives could be set to detonate upon impact with an Enemy ship Hull or be electronically fired, via a switch. In addition. The Shinyo had several Depth Charges and often had a light machine gun mount. In theory, all other sources of defense were exhausted before using the primary demolitions. The Shinyo Crew were expected to sacrifice themselves, in keeping with The Code of Bushido. In some cases, charges failed to detonate and several examples of Shinyo were captured by Allied Forces. During The War, over 6,200 were constructed, with 400 being used in The Philippine Campaign. The remainder were keep in Mainland Japan – to be used to defend against a possible Allied invasion in 1945.