24.10.

1944: Yamato: Largest Battleship in the World Sunk

1944: Yamato: Largest Battleship in the World Sunk
Photo Credit To http://www.maquetland.com/v2/images_articles/musashi_fin(1).jpg

Story Highlights

  • historical event:
  • That mighty ship belonged to the Yamato class, and was built in Mitsubishi's shipyard in Nagasaki. It bore the largest guns ever mounted on a ship. The mere launching of the ship caused a tsunami, which flooded some of the houses in the nearby port.

On this day in World War II, the Americans managed to sink the largest battleship in history – the Japanese Musashi. That mighty ship belonged to the Yamato class, and was built in Mitsubishi’s shipyard in Nagasaki. It served as the flagship of the Japanese Joint Fleet, commanded by the famous admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

The ship’s dimensions were never exceeded by any other battleship in history. It was 263 meters long, and had a displacement of up to 73,000 tons. In some places, its armor reached an amazing 65 centimeters of steel. Its main armament consisted of nine 460 mm guns, the largest ever mounted on a ship. They could fire shells weighing up to 1,360 kg (about the weight of a car) to a range of about 42 km. Each of the guns weighed some 147 tons (like several tanks). The deck was covered by four meters of wood. The mere launching of the ship caused a tsunami, which flooded some of the houses in the nearby port.

The ship’s engines had a total of 150,000 horsepower, which allowed it to achieve a maximum speed of 27.5 knots (50.86 km/h). Even Emperor Hirohito himself visited the Musashi once. The ship had a crew of around 2,400 men.

The Americans sank the ship on this day, using aircraft from as many as five carriers. The Musashi was attacked near the Philippines. The American pilots found out that the ship’s bow was its most vulnerable spot. After being hit by 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs, Musashi started to sink. The Japanese admiral wanted to run the ship aground at a nearby island, but it was already too late. Musashi sank at exactly 19:36 local time, taking with it the lives of 1,023 of its crew members.

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