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The Japanese Navy's Crazy Plan to Bomb Texas

(Photo: Max Smith)

Other than a handful of submarine-mounted artillery bombings, a brief air raid by a single submarine-launched seaplane, and a few balloon-floated bombs, Japan was unable to directly attack the 48 contiguous United States during World War II. The Japanese did, however, have larger ambitions against the US heartland.

Pictured above is a surviving Kawanishi H8K, a seaplane operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. 30 of these planes would have been the strike force of an extraordinary plan to bomb Texas.

(Map: NOAA)

Note that Texas does not have a Pacific coastline.

That did not dissuade the Japanese. They wanted to damage the oil fields then active in Texas. So they planned to fly 30 H8K seaplane bombers across the Pacific, refueling them with carefully-staged submarines. After refueling a final time off the coast of Baja California, the bombers would fly across northern Mexico and strike Texas.

Fortunately, the Japanese developed this plan too late in the war to make it feasible. They cancelled it and similar plans to bomb the Panama Canal.

-via Ace of Spades HQ

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I think that counts as a cancellation.

I remember reading that the purpose-built submarines were kept in Japan for home waters defense because it was too late in the war for Japan to consider anything else.
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The Japanese didn't actually _cancel_ the plans to bomb the Panama Canal; they actually produced the I-400 class of submarine, each of which could carry three Aichi M6A Seiran aircraft, and had sent them on a mission to bomb the locks at the canal. Unfortunately, the war ended before they could reach their staging point, so the crews punched holes in the floats of the Seiran aircraft and catapulted them into the water, where they sank, before surrendering to Allied forces. One surviving Seiran underwent restoration at the Smithsonian National Air And Space Museum's Garber restoration facility, and I believe it is now on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
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