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  • They were designed to be the best

  • they met enemies face to face,

  • endured tragedies and enjoyed victories

  • they went down in history due to the bravery of their crews

  • they are the ships that deserve to be called

  • Naval Legends!”

  • In this episode,

  • watch Yamato

  • Life and Death of the Legendary Battleship.

  • By spring 1945, it became clear that only a miracle could save Japan from defeat in World War II.

  • The Land of the Rising Sun had lost virtually all its naval and air forces,

  • and US troops were already landing on the Japanese islands.

  • On the morning of April 6, Japan's legendary battleship Yamato sailed off to fight her last battle.

  • The last bit of hope the Japanese possessed

  • rested with this steel giant - the largest and most powerful battleship of the time.

  • That naval operation in the Pacific, dubbed Ten-ichi-go (Heaven One),

  • was a dangerous mission. But the faith in Yamato was almost religious,

  • and the Japanese believed luck would go hand in hand with the ship.

  • The history of battleship Yamato began 10 years before the ship's legendary last mission.

  • In October 1935, Japanese engineers put together a first draft of the famous naval giant.

  • Unlike the Americans, whose ships were limited to a size that could pass through the Panama Canal

  • nothing restricted the Japanese from building ships of a large size and displacement

  • and arming them as heavily as possible.

  • Japanese designers set out to make battleships powerful enough to outmatch all existing foreign counterparts

  • and any ships that would be built in the upcoming years.

  • The production facilities behind me were the Kure Naval Arsenal in those days.

  • Its dockyard saw the birth of battleship Yamato .

  • Her keel was laid in 1937, and the ship was completed 1941.

  • Yamato was the heaviest battleship in the world. Back then, the total construction expenses amounted to 130 million yen.

  • That would be over 1 trillion yen ($8 billion) in today's prices.

  • Initially Japan planned to build a total of four Yamato-class ships.

  • However, the Pacific War began, and after completing the second ship, Musashi,

  • Japan stopped building the third ship, Shinano,

  • and never started the fourth one.

  • Eventually, Shinano was converted to an aircraft carrier.

  • Yamato is the ancient name for Japan, meaning "great harmony."

  • Strict secrecy was maintained throughout her construction: a high fence of mats surrounded the dockyard,

  • all engineers swore a solemn oath of non-disclosure,

  • and the workers going in and out were compared with their photos.

  • Japanese shipbuilders certainly had something big to hide...

  • Total displacement: 72,808 t

  • Length: 863 ft

  • Beam: 128 ft

  • Draft: 35 ft

  • Armament Main battery

  • Three turrets each having three 40-SK Mod. 94 guns

  • Caliber: 18 in

  • Secondary battery

  • Two turrets each having three Type 3 guns Caliber: 6 in

  • Anti-aircraft artillery

  • Twelve coaxial Type 89 guns Caliber: 5 inch

  • Fifty triple-barrel and two single-barrel Type 96 automatic cannons. Caliber: 0.98 in

  • Air group 7 seaplanes (reconnaissance planes and spotting aircraft).

  • Armor Main belt: 11–16 in

  • Main turrets: 7–26 in

  • Conning tower: 12–20 in

  • Power plant

  • 4 Kampon turbines and 12 Kampon RO boilers

  • Power: 154,000 shp

  • Maximum speed: over 27 knots

  • Operational range: 7,200 nautical miles at 16 knots

  • Yamato's key features are her main turrets, each having three 18-inch guns.

  • The guns could fire shells weighing almost 1.5 tons with a muzzle speed of 2,600 feet per second.

  • A gun turret, including the barbette, weighed 3,000 tons. It could contain over 150 men.

  • Yamato's main turrets were guided by a fire control system, consisting of a director that provided parameters of fire,

  • range-finders, and electromechanical calculators (a form of early computers).

  • It was a state-of-the-art system for the time:

  • lack of fire control radars for engaging surface targets was compensated for by top-notch grouping of salvoes.

  • This gave the Japanese firing capability on par with that of the world's leading navies.

  • The ship's secondary battery consisted of two turrets, each having three 6-inch guns.

  • The guns featured excellent ballistic characteristics and could penetrate the armor of a typical cruiser;

  • however, their rate of fire was pretty low.

  • When commissioned, Yamato had six coaxial 5-inch anti-aircraft guns for long-range engagement,

  • plus short-range anti-aircraft artillery consisted of eight triple-barrel 0.98-inch cannons.

  • The number of AA guns was constantly built up during the war.

  • The 5-inch anti-aircraft guns and the 0.98-inch guns had different ranges of fire.

  • So if an enemy aircraft flew into this gap, neither of the guns was able to effectively intercept it.

  • Furthermore, the 5-inch guns had relatively low traverse speed and poor elevation and depression characteristics,

  • while the 0.98-inch guns failed to fire at the declared rate of 14 rounds per minute if the elevation was high or low.

  • Yamato enjoyed the heaviest armor in shipbuilding history - its US analog, battleship Iowa

  • had armor that was on average 4 inches thinner.

  • The armor belt of the Japanese giant formed a citadel that covered slightly over half of her waterline length.

  • The most protected part was the ship's conning tower

  • The weapon systems became literally giant. 210815SUCHABIGSHIP

  • The Japanese built a superbattleship that was like 10 or 15 others put together.

  • But the problem was that it did not pay off.

  • You can build one Yamato-class battleship,

  • but she would still be destroyed when facing 2, 3, or 10 US battleships.

  • There are still such characteristics as mobility, quantity, quality, salvoes per side...

  • Yamato was commissioned in late 1941.

  • In her first mission, the Battle of Midway, Yamato served as the flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet.

  • During the battle, on June 4 through 6, 1942,

  • Yamato did not fire a single shot and was used only as an HQ ship.

  • The Japanese military command was definitely saving their two best battleships

  • for an upcoming major battle against the US fleet.

  • As a result, Japanese seamen started to feel disappointed with their flagship.

  • They even made up a saying that the world's three most useless things were

  • China's Great Wall, the Egyptian pyramids, and battleship Yamato .

  • It was not until autumn 1944 that the Japanese naval giant fought its first real battle.

  • Together with her sister ship Musashi, Yamato attacked US landing craft near the island of Leyte.

  • In that battle, Yamato was only slightly damaged,

  • demonstrated her power, and recovered the status of an unsinkable giant.

  • However, the situation in the Pacific theater had changed by that time...

  • Progress in military technology basically follows the laws of philosophy.

  • When making a new weapon system, designers and the military usually seek to enhance its specifications:

  • bigger caliber, thicker armor, etc.

  • Then they come to a dead end, where they are no longer developing the navy,

  • but improving a separate weapon type within the existing limits.

  • A radical change is carrier-borne aviation and, later, missile systems.

  • Yamato is the peak, the peak in the construction of battleships.

  • It is not about progress, it is about reaching the peak.

  • In 1945, World War II reached Japan's home islands.

  • The command of the Japanese Combined Fleet made a Bushido-style decision:

  • Yamato, with the help of a light cruiser and eight destroyers,

  • was to defend the island of Okinawa and prevent the US troops from getting any further inland,

  • or fight to the end and finish her journey gloriously.

  • Executing this order, on April 6, 1945,

  • the legendary Japanese battleship sailed off to fight her last battle....

  • The United States sent its Task Force 58 to intercept the flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet.

  • The Americans would not miss the chance to destroy the symbol of Japan's naval power.

  • As early as at 10 a.m., the first US squadrons took off from five heavy and four light aircraft carriers,

  • located about 300 miles away from Yamato.

  • A total of 227 aircraft took part in the destruction of the Japanese force.

  • The battle began at 12:34. Four aerial bombs hit Yamato,

  • taking out a 5-inch gun and several automatic cannons.

  • In just 20 minutes, two more bombs struck the battleship, and a torpedo hit her port side.

  • In response, Yamato fired her anti-aircraft weapons.

  • At 14:02, the Americans launched the last attack on the wounded, but still combat capable, Yamato

  • It was a demonstrative execution:

  • four torpedoes (three to the port side and one to the starboard side)

  • destroyed the ship's damage control center.

  • Yamato stopped moving and started listing to port more and more every minute

  • and when this huge ship capsized, a monstrous explosion erupted.

  • The pride and hope of the Japanese fleet went under.

  • Together with the ship, 3,000 crew members were lost,

  • including the commanders of the Japanese force and the ship.

  • For the Japanese,

  • Yamato still remains a symbol of the nation's might that fell in battle like a true samurai.

  • The city where the legendary battleship was built opened a museum,

  • whose centerpiece is an 85-foot model of Yamato .

  • The Kure Municipal Museum of Naval History and Science was built 10 years ago to preserve

  • the rich naval tradition of the city.

  • Now it is known as the Yamato Museum.

  • The exhibits reflect the naval history of Kure;

  • in other words, the history of naval affairs and technologies.

  • The museum has become quite popular.

  • Fans of battleships come here from all over the country.

  • However, we should remember that it was originally dedicated to all kinds of shipbuilding.

  • The violent explosion that finished the destruction of Yamato

  • was caused by the detonation of her main battery magazines.

  • However, there is plenty of debate about the reason for that tremendous explosion.

  • The answer is probably hidden on the bottom of the ocean:

  • so far researchers have been unable to lift what is left from the giant battleship...

  • It is true that Yamato had a number of drawbacks.

  • Like her sister ship, Musashi, the battleship was sunk as a result of air strikes.

  • The key reason for that was the ships' fundamental lack of ability to resist massive air attacks.

  • Yamato remains the largest and most powerful battleship in history.

  • For every person who takes interest in the history of military ships,

  • Yamato embodies military might.

  • Born to terrify and crush enemies,

  • this formidable steel giant managed to glorify her name even as she was defeated.

  • She represented a pinnacle in large battleship design, one that will probably never be surpassed,

  • and in that sense,

  • Yamato will always remain a symbol and a legend.

They were designed to be the best

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B2 H-INT US yamato battleship japanese ship naval aircraft

[World of Warships] Naval Legends: Yamato

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    陳柏志   posted on 2018/06/20
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