Built by Yokosuka Navy Yard at Yokosuka. Laid down June 1, 1918. Launched May 31, 1920. Commissioned October 24, 1921 into the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Refitted between 1934 and 1936.
Between January 18-19, 1942 conducts gunnery trails in the Inland Sea with Yamato.
During June 1942 participated in the Battle of Midway.
On June 8, 1943 Mutsu suffered an internal magazine explosion and sank off Hashirajima in Hiroshima
Bay. The exact cause
of the explosion was never determined, but was probably
due to the accidental detonation of a cordite charge. Of the crew of 1,471 a total of 1,121 were killed with only 350 survivors. While sinking, the battleship capsized, weighed down by its enormous superstructure as it sank the gun turrets remained in place.
A failed salvage attempt happened in 1949. Salvage operations between 1970 - 1978 recovered
items include part of the bow, the anchors, screws, rudder, main guns,
the complete number 4 turret, and personal effects of the crew. Overseen by Yagi, a salvage diver who had served on the Hakki Maru. The crane used had a 1,500 ton lifting capability. The intact No. 4 turret had to be freed with explosive charges, then fell to the sea floor, and could be rigged for lifting. The turret weighed 900 tons and fired a 40cm shell.
Relics from the Mutsu are displayed at several museums:
The Mutsu Memorial Museum is located at Tôwa Chô, with many artifacts
are restored and displayed.
The complete No. 4 turret is displayed at Eta Jima. A 140mm
gun turret is displayed at Yasukuni Jinja.
One of the main guns is displayed outdoors at the Tokyo Maritime Science Museum.
Japanese book on the Mutsu salvage, 1971
IJN Mutsu: Tabular Record of Movement
The Battleship Mutsu (accessed via WayBack Machine July 11, 2011)
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August 4, 2020