The Story of the I-Class Submarines: The official Axis & Allies Operations Manual labels the Japanese submarine piece as the â€œI-class.â€ This is a bit confusing, as most of the Japanese submarines were labeled â€œI-â€œ plus a number, so this is a bit like calling the US submarine the â€œSS-classâ€ submarine. Perhaps the best fit, though, would be the â€œB-typeâ€ series (B1, B2, B3) of submarines, which also happened to be the most numerous type of submarines. Being among the most numerous â€œtypesâ€ of submarine in the Imperial Japanese Navy was a very different proposition than being among the most numerous US or German submarines, though; the Japanese built a tremendous variety of submarines, but didnâ€™t truly mass-produce them on the scale of the German allies or American enemies. Really getting to know Japanese World War II submarines is almost a field of study all by itself! The B series were very large submarines with tremendous range and impressive capabilities. The main thing that hampered Japanese submarine captains during the war, however, was a poor strategy. The Japanese valued attacks on warships over attacks on freighters and logistic ships to such an extent that their very real potential for disrupting US supply lines was barely made much use of. On the other hand, the Japanese reluctance to adopt a convoy system from American submarines left them very open to just such a threat... a major mistake for an island nation, and especially one for which oil supplies were so critical.
Usage Notes: Use this piece for â€œGlobal 1939â€ and â€œInvasion of Italyâ€ Variants as a submarine unit. Other Japanese warships of interest may be: Yamato class battleship, Shinano class carrier & Takao class cruiser.