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Japanese submarine I-34
Career Japanese Navy Ensign
Laid down: January 1, 1941
Launched: September 24, 1941
Commissioned: August 31, 1942
Struck: January 1944
Fate: Sunk by HMS Taurus, November 13, 1943
General characteristics
Displacement: 2,589 metric tons surfaced
3,654 metric tons submerged
Length: 108.7 m (overall)
Beam: 9.3 m
Draught: 5.14 m
Propulsion: 2 diesels: 12,400 hp
Electric motors: 2,000 hp
Speed: 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h) surfaced
8 knots (15 km/h) submerged
Range: 14,000 nautical miles at 16 knots (30 km/h)
Endurance: 90 days
Test depth: 100 m (330 ft)
Complement: 101 officers and men
Armament: 6 × 533 mm torpedo tubes forward; 1 × 14 cm/40 11th Year Type naval gun[1] (17 Torpedoes)
Aircraft carried: one seaplane (Yokosuka E14Y1 Glen)

I-34 was a Kaidai Junsen Type B1 class submarine of the Imperial Japanese Navy. During World War II, while on a Yanagi mission between Japan and Germany carrying strategic raw material and information, she was sunk by the British submarine HMS Taurus using Ultra intelligence.


Her keel was laid down at the Sasebo Dockyard on 1 January 1941; she was launched on 24 September. She was commissioned and assigned to the Kure Naval District on 31 August 1942. Commander Tatsushi Irie (入江達) took command in March 1943.

During early 1943 she took part in supply missions and the eventual evacuation of the garrison of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands.

On 15 September 1943 she was assigned to a Yanagi (exchange) mission to Lorient, France. She arrived in Singapore on 22 October 1943 to take on passengers and cargo for her mission.

I-34 loaded a cargo of raw rubber, tungsten, tin, quinine, medicinal opium and samples of Japanese weapons. She departed for Penang to load passengers on 11 November 1943. Due to a delay in loading the cargo, her passengers opted to meet her at Penang, thus saving them from death.

Unknown to Commander Irie or the crew, her movements were being tracked by Ultra intelligence, and a British submarine was sent to sink her.


She was spotted running on the surface in a rain squall by HMS Taurus (commanded by veteran Captain Mervyn R. G. "Dillinger" Wingfield, DSO, DSC), on 13 November 1943 in the Malacca Straits, 30 nautical miles (56 km) off the coast of Penang at 07:30.

Taurus fired a salvo of six torpedoes of which one struck I-34 below the conning tower, she sank in 100 feet (30 m) of water at 05°17′N 100°05′E / 5.283°N 100.083°E / 5.283; 100.083Coordinates: 05°17′N 100°05′E / 5.283°N 100.083°E / 5.283; 100.083. Of her 94 crew, only 14 survived to be picked up by a local junk.

I-34 was removed from the Imperial Japanese Navy list in January 1944. Her wreck was salvaged in 1962.

See also

  • Her more famous sister ship, I-52.



  1. Campbell, John Naval Weapons of World War Two ISBN 0-87021-459-4 p.191

Further reading

  • Miller, Vernon J. Analysis of Japanese Submarine Losses to Allied Submarines in World War II, Merriam Press, 36pgs, ISBN 1-57638-161-7
  • Gibson, Lt John F., RNVR. Dark Seas Above, Gloucester:Tempus Publishing, 2000, ISBN 0-7524-2018-6 (Author was the Navigation Officer of the HMS Taurus)

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