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Japanese battleship Musashi

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Japanese_battleship_Musashi.jpg
Japanese battleship Musashi


Musashi leaving Brunei in October 1944 for the battle of Leyte Gulf
Career RN Ensign
Ordered: June 1937
Laid down: March 29, 1938
Launched: November 1, 1940
Commissioned: August 5, 1942
Fate: sunk October 24, 1944
Struck: August 31, 1945
General Characteristics
Displacement: 68,200 tons
Length: 263 meters
Beam: 38.9 meters
Draught: 11 meters
Propulsion: 12 Kanpon boilers, driving 4 steam turbines, 150,000 shp (110 MW) (estimated)
Speed: 27 knots
Range: 7,200 NM
Complement: 2,300
Armour: 650 mm on front of turrets, 409 mm side armour, 198 mm armoured deck
Armament: 9-46cm guns
Aircraft: 6

Musashi (武蔵), named after the Musashi Province, was a battleship belonging to the Imperial Japanese Navy, and was the second and final ship of her class. With her sister ship, Yamato, she was a member of the largest and most heavily armoured class of battleships ever constructed.

In June of 1937, executives from the Nagasaki Shipyard including Director Kensuke Watanabe and yard engineer Kumao Baba were ordered to begin preparations for construction and fitting out of one of the new series of battleships. Expansions of the Number 2 slipway had originally inspired naval executives to issue Nagasaki Shipyard the lucrative contract. Built under the strictest of security, the battleship was launched November 1 1939 and spent the better part of eighteen months fitting out. The completion date was revised to accommodate the changes requested by the Navy, including strengthening armor on the wing turrets, and the installation of extra communications gear.

Commissioned in August 1942, she proceeded to Truk Lagoon, where Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto made Musashi his flagship. After he was killed on 18 April 1943, Musashi returned to Japan carrying his ashes. On 29 March 1944, Musashi was torpedoed by USS Tunny, and had to return to Japan for repairs and modifications to her anti-aircraft armament.

She formed part of Vice-Admiral Takeo Kurita's Centre Force along with Yamato at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. There, she fired the only artillery shells ever shot at an enemy aircraft carrier by a battleship in time of war. During the battle (22 October 1944), she was attacked and sunk by American carrier-based aircraft armed with bombs and torpedoes, taking more than 1,000 of her 2,900 crew with her. The battleship absorbed an estimated eighteen heavy bombs and twenty torpedoes.

For more details on this class of ship, see the entry for Yamato.

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Hiro-Hito_on_Musashi.jpg
Emperor Hirohito visiting the Musashi
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Musashi under attack at the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, 24 October 1944.


External links

Template:Yamato class battleshipde:HIJMS Musashi ja:武蔵 (戦艦) fr:Musashi (navire)

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