The Japanese Yamato Mega Battleship…

The Day after Pearl harbor, lets look at the other side of the coin. The Japanese Yamato Class Battleships of World War Two were superweapons.

They were huge
Displacement: 65,027 tonnes (64,000 long tons) standard
71,659 tonnes (70,527 long tons) (full load)
Length:     256 m (839 ft 11 in) (waterline)
263 m (862 ft 10 in) (overall)
Beam:     38.9 m (127 ft 7 in)
Draft:     11 m (36 ft 1 in)

In scale this is larger than any other warship that saw the light of day until the US Super Carrier Forrestal came down the ways in 1955, and even then the Yamato was still heavier in standard displacement (the USS Forrestal’s standard design displacement was a mere 59,650 tons) what a goof!

These ships were amazingly armored, more so than any ship before or since.
This included
650 mm (26 in) on face of main turrets (YES, 26-inches!)
410 mm (16 in) side armour belt
200 mm (7.9 in) central(75%) armoured deck
226.5 mm (8.92 in) outer(25%) armoured deck

As point of reference the second place winner for the most armor carried was on the USS Iowa class battlewagons, which had some 19.7-inches on turret faces and a 12-inch belt.

These ships could put up some lead, carrying an amazing 205 pieces of artillery from the giant 18.1-inch main guns (the largest in the world) to a huge array of AAA weapons.
This included (in 1945)
9 × 46 cm (18.1 in) (3×3)
6 × 155 mm (6.1 in) (2×3)
24 × 127 mm (5.0 in)
162 × 25 mm (0.98 in) Anti-Aircraft (52×3, 6×1)
4 × 13.2 mm (0.52 in) AA (2×2)

ultimately they were not capable of winning the war by themselves and when presented with air attacks from literally hundreds of American Helldivers and Avengers, they succumbed.

Musashi sank after being hit with 17 torpedoes and 19 bombs during the Battle of the Philippine Sea

Yamato herself exploded dramatically, the yin to the USS Arizona’s Yang after Yamato was hit by at least eleven torpedoes and eight bombs. The mushroom cloud from her explosion was seen 100-miles away.

However the Yamato is far from forgotten in Japan. A huge scale model of the ship, more than 80-feet long (the actual size of a WWII PT-boat!) is on display and The Space Battleship Yamato is one of the most popular manga (comic books), tv shows and movie series in that country in the past dozen years.

Everything goes full circle I guess.

Happy December 8th

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