Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Japanese Battleship Musashi

The Vintage News shared a WarHistoryOnline link
In addition to three turrets of 18.1" guns and lots of smaller guns, it also carried some aircraft and had two catapults for launching them. The navy wanted five of these Yamato-class battleships, but they got "only" three. Some people did think they should build aircraft carriers instead, but they were outvoted. In fact, one of the battleships was a converted aircraft carrier. [WarHistoryOnline]

Rendition of the Musashi. Alexpl – CC BY-SA 4.0
Some of the Facebook comments are informative:
Charley Seavey "Musashi was sunk by an estimated 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits from American carrier-based aircraft on 24 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Over half of her crew was rescued. Her wreck was located in March 2015 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his team of researchers." You have to wonder how many of those torpedoes and bombs were redundant.
Bill Steinborn I guess that 5-foot thick armor at the waterline did not help when airplanes were dropping bombs through that wooden deck, eh?
Pete Kona Still took almost 10 hours to sink it.
Richard White The wood on top of the deck armor was only a thin layer that made footing easier during peacetime. Once war broke out it was removed. U.S. battleships and cruisers had exactly the same thing.
Bill Steinborn I see.
Brian Edward Brumfield Fatal flaw was that they couldn't fire their AA batteries at the same time as the main cannons. They had to clear the decks in order to fire those 18 inch guns.
Warren Will No battleship or heavy cruiser in any navy in history used main guns under air attack. That is why they had main, secondary, and AA battery's Yamato and Musashi could fire their 15.5 ,12.7, and all their light AA guns at once. Our air power simply over powered them with bombs and torpedo's. The age of the battleship was over before WWII and Yamamoto knew it, that's why he wanted more aircraft carriers and no more battleships.
Richard White You are mostly correct. However the Japanese did in fact develop a "shotgun shell" type of ammunition for their heavy guns which could be used against aircraft. It was used during the final sortie of the Yamato.
Grant Speece The final sortie of the Yamato was a suicide run. They knew it would never survive. The entire crew toasted the Emperor before launch just like the kamikaze pilots did.
Grant Speece The battleship quickly became obsolete at the beginning of World War II. Pearl Harbor, The Battle of the Coral Sea, and The Battle of Midway all showed the superiority of aircraft carriers over battleships.

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