"Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently."
Interesting what wartime desperation will do. But as was said about Churchill, he had 10 new ideas a day, only one of them any good; and he did not know which one. Fewer than 60 aircraft to attack a continent when 350+ did not manage to eliminate the fleet at Pearl Harbor does not sound like a strategy that will alter the outcome of a war. Illustrated by the months and months of 1000+ bomber raids against Europe that it took prepare for a land invasion to accomplish the victory.
Carriers extended the previous range of ship combat by an order of magnitude. At that range the problem is recon. At the same time aircraft in the sky above the vast expanse of the pacific give away the fact, that a carrier and a giant support fleet is close, just like seeing birds from a boat, probably means that there is land nearby. Maybe this sub made sense as a reconnaissance tool, it's also a tremendous diversion. One problem with my theory is that those planes needed floats. An equally devious airplane design would required to make this work.
The french Had a variant called Surcouf: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_submarine_Surcouf&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwjIyvOR5uDpAhVRz4UKHT9HAX0QFjAAegQICRAB&usg=AOvVaw2uTMphAFG0-wpMiFsWpiW-
terror ... all war is based on how much terror one can inflect on ones opponent ... true less then 60 aircraft would not cause much physical damage but the physiological effect would be devastating
Presumably you are referring to the psychological effect. If so, I agree.
There were a few japanese attacks on the US West coast. by bombs carried by balloons, and cannon fire from surfaced submarine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Ellwood). The psychological effect was strong enough for the US Government to intern all Japanese....