Foreign News: Crouching Dragons

Before V-J day, 4,000 men had gathered mysteriously at Tokyo Bay's naval base of Yokosuka. Their working garb was strange, their training secret, their mission vitally important, their fate certain death. These were the first of the fukuryus (crouching dragons), underwater attack units wearing special diving suits and armed with explosive charges. Upon them the Naval Ministry had pinned its hopes of repelling an American invasion of the home islands.

U.S. planners expected the Japanese to defend the home islands by tactics similar to those used at Okinawa: no defense on the beach, retreat to strong positions, last-ditch defenses. The Japanese, however,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!