The survivors, led by Lt. They carried with them current codebooks, some secret communications and other documents. The Kiwi and Moa stood by the stranded submarine until morning, when the Moa sent across a boarding party.
Before being driven off by Japanese shore artillery, the boarding party took a wounded navigating officer, Ensign Kei Akaze, prisoner. Early on the morning of January 30, a signal was sent from the Japanese 2 nd Communications Detachment at Kamimbo to the Subforce flagship, with information for the 11 th Air Fleet and 8 th Fleet, explaining that the I-1 had been sunk, the captain killed, and the 47 survivors were at Kamimbo.
On the night of February 2, he, with two junior officers from the I-1 , five other crew members, and 11 other Japanese sailors, returned to the wreck with a Daihatsu barge, to attempt to blow up the I Two depth charges and four small explosive charges were strapped to the bow and lower hull of the I-1 in an attempt to detonate the torpedoes aboard.
The resulting explosion was too weak to destroy the wreck, but caused enough damage to foil all future attempts to salvage the submarine. Despite Tokyo had already ordered on 4 Jan that Guadalcanal was to be evacuated within a month, Imamura still had to rouse the Guadalcanal troops, who were in the dark, that they “must by the most furious, swift and positive action deal the enemy annihilating blows to foil his plans completely. It is necessary to arouse the officers and men to a fighting rage.
With Americans controlling the skies, very few Tokyo Express destroyer supply runs were made, and the submarines that replaced the destroyers simply could not bring in enough supplies
By this time, of the 30, Japanese troops deployed to this island, one third was lost in action and another third to disease or starvation.
Some Japanese soldiers turned to atrocities even before this time to release their frustrations. Below is an excerpt from the diary of an unknown Japanese officer:. The Japanese Army did not pay much attention to medical treatment of its men, unlike their Navy peers. A diary found of a Japanese officer noted the following observations of the Americans:.
He thought that the Americans relied too heavily on firepower, and vulnerable to surprise attacks to the rear. Americans were good in planned attacks, but poor in defense as they are “easily distracted and slow in attack”. Another officer’s logs commented that “American soldiers are generally weaker than Chinese, but Australians are the strongest”. The Americans had control of the skies, filipino women dating and the resulting loss of huge tonnage in shipping frustrated both Army and Navy commands.
Operation KE was drawn by the Army and Navy jointly to withdraw from Guadalcanal, but northern Solomons, Rabaul, and northwestern New Guinea were to be held and in some cases, such as Rabaul on 1 Feb, reinforced. Some Japanese officers expressed that this withdrawal from southern Solomons was “an unprecedented event in the annals of the Japanese Army”.
On their way out of the region, however, the Japanese were able to make some positives out of the situation, sinking the cruiser Chicago during a night torpedo attack by a dozen “Bettys”. Only abandoned barges floated aimlessly. The Americans were treated with one of the most stunningly successful mass evacuation in all of the war. Operation KE, the Japanese operation to evacuate Guadalcanal, sent large numbers of destroyers down the slot, which the Americans could only interpret as a large reinforcement.