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Yamato Class Battleship
64,027 Tons (Normal)
71,659 Tons (Full)
862'10" x | 121'1" x 32'11"
3x3 18.1" main guns
4x3 6.1 guns
6x2 127mm DP guns
8x3 25mm AA guns
2x2 13.2mm AA guns
3x3 18.1" main guns
2x3 6.1" guns
12 x 127mm DP guns
162 x 25mm AA guns
4 x 13.2mm AA guns
Waterline Belt: 410mm
2 aircraft catapults
USN October 25, 1944
USN March 19, 1945
USN April 7, 1945
Built by Kure Naval Arsenal at Kure. Laid down November 4, 1937 as "Battleship No. 1" the leading ship of the Yamato Class Battleship. Launched August 8, 1940. On August 12, 1940 departs Kure for sea trials. On September 5, 1941 begins fitting out with Captain Shutoku Miyazato assigned as chief equipping officer. On October 30, 1941 undergoes more sea trials off Sukumo. On November 1, 1941 Captain Gihachi Takayanagi is assigned as chief equipping officer. On December 7, 1941 departs Kure for gunnery tests in the Suo Sea and Inland Sea firing a full salvo at a distance of 32,500m / 35,540 yards.
Yamato and sister ship Musashi were the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as the largest and most heavily armored battleships ever constructed with 40cm/45 Type 94 naval guns measuring 18.1" the largest naval guns used on any battleship during World War II.
On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War returns to Kure and exchanges signals with battleships from BatDiv 1 departing Hashirajima. Commissioned December 16, 1941 as Yamato 大和 meaning "Great Harmony" and as a poetic name for Japan. The battleship was registered in the Kure Naval District under the command of Captain Gihachi Takayanagi and assigned to the Combined Fleet BatDiv 1 with Nagato and Mutsu. On December 21, 1941 departs Kure and steams to Hiroshima Bay and anchors to off Nagato at Hashirajima.
Between January 18-19, 1942 conducts gunnery trails in the Inland Sea with Mutsu then returns to Kure. On February 12, 1942 departs Kure to Hashirajima and becomes the flagship for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet.
Battle of Leyte Gulf
During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, U. S. Navy warships largely ignored Yamato and instead concentrated their attacks against other warships and succeeded in sinking Musashi flagship of the operation. On October 25, 1944 Yamato was hit in the bow by a bomb and takes on 3,000 tons of sea water but survived and was later repaired.
On November 25, 1944 dry docked at Kure for repairs and refit with older anti-aircraft guns removed and 9x3 25mm anti-aircraft guns were installed to increase her anti-aircraft defenses to two singled mounted 25mm AA guns and fifty tipple mount 25mm AA guns. That same day Captain Kosaku Aruga takes command.
On March 19, 1945 Yamato was underway in the Inland Sea as U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft from Task Force 58 (TF-58) including USS Essex (CV-9), USS Intrepid (CV-11), USS Hornet (CV-12), USS Wasp (CV-18), USS Hancock (CV-19), USS Bennington (CV-20) and USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) attack Kure Naval Arsenal and Kure Harbor. During the attack, Yamato maneuvered to avoid bombs but several near misses exploded nearby and bomb released by a SB2C Helldiver from USS Intrepid (CV-11) hit the bridge but only causes minor damage.
On March 28, 1945 at Tokuyama Navy Fuel Depot refueled by Mitsushima Maru with 1,000 tons of fuel oil and at 5:30pm departs Hashirajima bound for Sasebo but instead is recalled to Kure. On March 29, 1945 takes aboard a full load of ammunition including 1,170 shells for her 18.1" main guns, 1,620 shells for her secondary guns and 13,500 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition plus 11.5 million rounds of small caliber ammunition and also receives fuel from destroyers Hanazuki and Asashimo.
On April 1, 1945 learns of the U. S. landing on Okinawa and continues last minute preparations for action. On April 2, 1945 departs Kure to anchored at Mitajiri Bight and the next day receives an order alerting Yamato for a sortie to Okinawa. On April 4, 1945 Zeros from 332 Kokutai fly low over Yamato for anti-aircraft gun training for last minute training for the battleship's untrained crew members to prepare for aerial defense.
Operation Ten-Go (Operation Heaven Number One)
On April 5, 1945 at 1:59pm receives orders: "The Surface Special Attack Unit is ordered to proceed via Bungo Suido Channel at dawn on Y-1 day to reach the prescribed holding position for a high-speed run-in to the area west of Okinawa at dawn on Y-day. Your mission is to attack the enemy fleet and supply train and destroy them. Y-day is April 8th." The mission will be for the battleship to sortie to engage the U. S. fleet then beach on Okinawa with any surviving crew joining the Japanese defenders ashore. At 3:00pm Captain Aruga informs the crew of the mission. At 5:30pm 67 cadets from Eta Jima class no. 74 are sent ashore and a farewell party is held for the crew.
On April 6, 1945 in the early morning at Mitajiri anchorage a floatplane delivers Vice Admiral Kusaka Ryunosuke and Commander Mikami Sakuo to confer about the mission. Meanwhile, sick and elderly sailors disembark then Yamato proceeds to Tokuyama Oil Depot and is refueled with 3,400 tons of oil. Departing for the mission, Yamato leaves port with a large banner attached to the main mast that read: "Injustice - Fairness - Law - Power - Heaven".
At 3:20pm departs with destroyer escort to the Bungo Channel as part of the Surface Special Attack Force. The force includes Battleship Yamato, Light Cruiser Yahagi escorted by destroyers Isokaze, Hamakaze and Yukikaze, DesDiv 21's Kasumi, Hatsushimo and Asashimo, DesDiv 41's Fuyuzuki and Suzutsuki
At 6:30pm a Japanese aircraft spots an enemy submarine USS Theadfin (SS-410) and the force changes course and assumes an anti-submarine formation and the enemy submarine is spotted on the surface by Isokaze. At 9:00pm the force turns to the south. At 9:44pm tracking submarine USS Theadfin (SS-410) reports the presence of the force by radio but the report is intercepted by Yamato and they are aware the force has been detected. Later, USS Hackleback (SS-295) also spots the force but is unable to make an attack but continues pursuit.
Battle of the East China Sea
On April 7, 1945 at 2:00am passes Miyazaki on eastern Kyushu and reaches the entrance to Osumi Kaikyo Channel at the southern end of Kyūshū and enters the East China Sea. At 6:00am launches her E13A1 Jake to patrol then returns to Kyūshū. Starting at 6:30am escorted by A6M Zeros from 203 Kokutai that patrol in small groups over the force for 3.5 hours.
At 8:32am the attack force is spotted by F6F Hellcats from USS Essex (CV-9) and escorting Zeros fail to spot them or intercept. At 10:14am spotted by two PBM Mariner flying boats and three minutes later turns to engage, jamming their radios and opens fire but a minute later visual contact is lost as the Mariners enter clouds. Meanwhile, Yamato learns U. S. Navy (USN) Task Force 58 (TF-58) has been spotted 250 nautical miles from the Attack Force and launches her planes in what will become known as the Battle of the East China Sea.
At 11:07am radar on Yamato spots aircraft approaching in two groups and the force increases speed to 25 knots and begins a turn and prepares for action. At 11:15am a delayed report is received that 150 enemy planes were spotted from Kikaigashima Island headed northwest. At the same moment, F6F Hellcats arrive over the Attack Force and begin circling as Yamato and Yahagi open fire and begins evasive maneuvers. Meanwhile, two groups of aircraft are approaching with overcast skies and a low cloud base that hampers efforts to visually tracking enemy planes or fire barrages. At 11:29 the force turns to a course of 205° towards Okinawa and at 12:22 her lookouts spot three Japanese ships heading for Amami-Oshima.
At 12:32 lookouts aboard Yamato spot the first wave of 280 carrier aircraft including 132 fighters, 50 bombers, 98 torpedo planes from Task Group 58.1 (TG 58.1) and Task Group 58.3 (TG 58.3). Aircraft from USS San Jacinto CVL-30 attack and sink Asashimo lagging behind with engine trouble. At 12:34 Yamato opens fire on the enemy aircraft with her main guns and anti-aircraft guns. At 12:35pm stops zig-sagging and increases speed to 24 knots and fires Sanshikidan anti-aircraft shells from her main guns.
During the Battle of the East China Sea, Yamato was attacked by over a thousand U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft attacking in three waves. The cloud base was low and her anti-aircraft gunners were unable to achieve an adequate barrage overhead. Attacking aircraft also had trouble, fifty-three from USS Hancock never found Yamato and attacking planes were hampered by the same low cloud cover.
Three torpedoes struck her seriously ruptured port side, in fact they passed straight through her open hull side and detonated in her outboard engine room - already flooded, which lead to flooding in her port inner engine room and loss of power to that shaft. Another torpedo struck her starboard amidships, causing the flooding of her starboard outer engine room.
Yamato was now listing back at 16
degrees, and the captain ordered the flooding of the remaining starboard
areas, without warning to the crew members stationed
there. Hundreds died as a result of this counter flooding. This
had no effect and her list climbed to 23 degrees, she was also reduced
to 8 knots, by this time flooding was uncontrollable and spreading.
Yamato's defensive torpedo bulge was air
filled behind this was an inclined armor plated bulkhead that tapered
down in size to her keel from 8" to 3", inboard of this
there were two additional thinner water tight bulkheads, but these lacked
the flexibility to deform without puncturing or cracking, when her main
armor plated bulkhead was displaced inwards by an explosion.
429.7m / 1,410'
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