Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Artist: John Meeks
Original painting is oil on canvas measuring approx 30" x 20"
Subject: Japanese Submarine HIJMS I-30 enters a U-Boat pen : Lorient, France 1942

The story behind the painting...

In 1942, the first "Yanagi" mission was carried out by the Imperial Japanese Navy, and the submarine I-30 became the first Japanese boat to arrive in European waters during WWII, putting in at the German U-boat base in Lorient, France.

After the inevitable welcoming ceremony, and being tied up to a buoy for several days, the large Japanese "B2" class boat was moved into one of the U-Boat "pens" where she was to receive a refit and repaint (After many weeks at sea on her long journey from Japan ... she was in need of both!)...and doubtless to unload her precious but small cargo of strategic materials.  It is this scene that I depict on this canvas.

Overall, the German hosts were not unduly impressed by the Japanese boat, declaring her to be too noisy, slow to manoeuvre, slow to dive and with too limited a diving depth. They did seem to agree that she was big, though!

I-30 had made the first of what was to be several such trips by IJN submarines to Europe during the 1942/1944 period. Unfortunately for her ... she never made it back, hitting a mine just after she left Singapore on her return trip. 


.Of the total of five such missions, only one was to be successful, when the infamous I-8 made it back to Japan in 1943.

German and Italian U-boats also participated in this unique effort of collaboration between the axis navies with marginally greater success, but the whole exercise was to make little or no difference to the outcome of the war. It did serve a purpose, one can suppose, on the propaganda front for some time.


Size : 19" x 13" 
Signed and numbered


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