Yamato class battleships


Displacement62,315t standard, 67,123t trial, 69,990t full load
Length244m pp, 256m wl, 263m oa
Machinery4 shaft geared turbine, 12 boilers, 150,000shp
FuelOil 6300t
Armourbelt 410mm, deck 230-200mm, barbette 546-50mm, turret 650-193mm,
CT 500-300mm
Armament9-46cm/45cal gun (3x3), 12-15.5cm/60cal gun (3x4), 12-12.7cm/45cal AA gun (2x6),
24-25mm AA, 4-13.2mm AA, 7 aircraft

Name Plan Builder Laid down Launch Complete
YamatoFY1937Kure NYd1937.11. 41940. 8. 81941.12.16BB1945. 4. 7 sunk
(air attack, East China Sea)
[30.22N, 128.04E]
1945. 8.31 disc
MusashiFY1937Mitsubishi, Nagasaki1938. 3.291940.11. 11942. 8. 5BB1944.10.24 sunk
(air attack, Sibuyan Sea)
[12.50N, 122.35E]
1945. 8.31 disc
ShinanoFY1939Yokosuka NYd1940. 5. 4--1942 convert to CV
1944.10. 8 launched
1944.11.19 completed as CV
1944.11.29 sunk
(torpedoed, S of Japan)
[32N, 137E]
1945. 8.31 disc
No.111FY1939Kure NYd1940.11. 7--1942. 3 cancelled, BU

They are well known as the world's largest battleships ever built. Their raison d'etre was the most heavy gun which equipped among the modern warships - 46cm in caliber. Yamato has been served as flagship of Admiral Yamamoto from Feb.1942 to Feb.1943. Musashi has succeeded the role until March 1944, Yamamoto and his successor Koga commanded Combined Fleet on board. Both Yamato and Musashi had been sunk by massive air attack from US task forces. The third sister, Shinano, had been converted as an aircraft carrier after destructive loss in Midway. She was the largest aircraft carrier in that time, however when she had been completed, Philippines were being lost and she had no chance to fight carrier-battle. Shinano had been torpedoed by US submarine Archerfish and sunk just after 10 days from her completion. The fourth sister had been broken up on the slipway after outbreak of war, the fifth (or later) was cancelled.
They were named after states of traditional age. Yamato is now Nara prefecture, capital in ancient era (before eighth century) resided there. Musashi insists of Tokyo Metropolis, Saitama prefecture, and a part of Kanagawa prefecture nowadays. Shinano is now Nagano prefecture, known as the area where the winter Olympic game had been held in 1998.

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Copyright © Hiroshi Nishida (Misohito), 2001.
Illustration by courtesy of Tensho