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  • Yamato versus Musashi

    Being that I'm lazy and don't feel like looking this up, I thought I'd pop the question here.

    I've heard that the famous Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi were sister ships of the same class. Yet, at the same time, it is the Yamato that is touted as the 'world's biggest battleship' and receives all the attention. Was the Yamato really bigger than the Musashi, or does the Yamato receive more attention simply because of its (slightly) longer life and more dramatic death?
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Consul View Post
    Being that I'm lazy and don't feel like looking this up, I thought I'd pop the question here.

    I've heard that the famous Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi were sister ships of the same class. Yet, at the same time, it is the Yamato that is touted as the 'world's biggest battleship' and receives all the attention. Was the Yamato really bigger than the Musashi, or does the Yamato receive more attention simply because of its (slightly) longer life and more dramatic death?
    Most sources point to the Yamato class, not just the Yamato. The Musashi was actually heavier than the the Yamato and did put up a bigger fight at the end.
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    • #3
      Just in case some people have no idea what we're talking about (hardly likely)

      Yamato

      End of the Yamato (NOTE: VIOLENT)
      Last edited by Consul; 19 Sep 07, 23:17.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Consul View Post
        Being that I'm lazy and don't feel like looking this up, I thought I'd pop the question here.

        I've heard that the famous Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi were sister ships of the same class. Yet, at the same time, it is the Yamato that is touted as the 'world's biggest battleship' and receives all the attention. Was the Yamato really bigger than the Musashi, or does the Yamato receive more attention simply because of its (slightly) longer life and more dramatic death?
        Depending on what books you read, you will find Displacement of each ship being anywhere from 60,000 Tons up to 85,000 Tons, but Janes Fighting Ships of World War II gives them both a Full Load Displacement of 69,990 Tons.

        Unlike Salinator, I was not aware of The Yamato & The Musashi weighing any differently from each other.

        Perhaps later in the war, there might have been some difference in their weights due to the changing of weapons as in the increasing of Anti-Aircraft Armaments, but that is probbaly the only difference.

        There was of course, the 3rd Sister Ship, The Shinano which was completed as an Aircraft Carrier & was The Largest Aircraft Carrier ever built up until The Commissioning of The United States Super Carrier USS Forrestal some 11 Years later.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanes...arrier_Shinano

        Of course, I would be willing to bet that had The Super Yamato's been built, they would no doubt have exceeded 100,000 Tons.
        Last edited by Duke William; 19 Sep 07, 23:57.

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        • #5
          Here Ya Go Consul.....Deployment & The End of Both Ships

          Like their German counterpart, the Tirpitz, Yamato and Musashi made little direct impact during the war. The Musashi did not engage any Allied battleships during the war, yet the Yamato did have limited success when in October 1944 she opened fire on US escort carriers and destroyers. It was the first and last of her battles with enemy ships. She fired a total 104 rounds of 46cm projectiles as a result of which one escort carrier and one destroyer were sunk.

          Both Yamato and Musashi were sunk by the bane of capital warships: overwhelming air power. Musashi was sunk by repeated aerial attack during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 24, 1944. After being hit by an estimated 17 torpedoes and 20 bombs, she went down with 1,700 of her 2,400 man crew.

          The end of Yamato was even less glorious. Having seen little action during the previous four years (She served as Yamamoto's flagship during the Midway operation, as well as the action off Samar on 25 October 1944) she was sent on a planned suicide mission against the U.S. Navy forces massing for the attack on Okinawa. On April 7, 1945 she was hit by successive waves of US carrier based aircraft and sank after absorbing 8 bombs and at least 13 torpedo hits. Fewer than 300 out of 3332 crew onboard survived.

          The book "Sea of Thunder" covers the extent of the Yamato's role in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and its commander Admiral Kurita. In addition, in 2005, Nova made a documentary titled: Sinking the Supership. It covers a diving expedition that discovers the wreckage and explores the final moments of this mother of battleships.

          Taken From This Link:

          (That's Funny, I Didn't Know There Were 5 Planned Yamato Class Ships)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamato_class_battleship

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          • #6
            She was a big ship, so was her ending!

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            • #7
              These ships were absolutely colossal. One Japanese said after the war that "mankind's three greatest follies were the Pyramids, the Great Wall, and the battleship Yamato."

              It is interesting to postulate what difference would have occurred had all of the Yamato-class been completed as carriers and actively used. Probably wouldn't have changed the end much, but they would have been a major problem, particularly early in the war.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Duke William View Post
                Depending on what books you read, you will find Displacement of each ship being anywhere from 60,000 Tons up to 85,000 Tons, but Janes Fighting Ships of World War II gives them both a Full Load Displacement of 69,990 Tons.

                Unlike Salinator, I was not aware of The Yamato & The Musashi weighing any differently from each other.

                Perhaps later in the war, there might have been some difference in their weights due to the changing of weapons as in the increasing of Anti-Aircraft Armaments, but that is probbaly the only difference.

                There was of course, the 3rd Sister Ship, The Shinano which was completed as an Aircraft Carrier & was The Largest Aircraft Carrier ever built up until The Commissioning of The United States Super Carrier USS Forrestal some 11 Years later.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanes...arrier_Shinano

                Of course, I would be willing to bet that had The Super Yamato's been built, they would no doubt have exceeded 100,000 Tons.
                Yes, and they would have undoubtedly been even more colossal failures than their smaller sisters were.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                  Yes, and they would have undoubtedly been even more colossal failures than their smaller sisters were.
                  Both ships were unparalleled, fuel-guzzling hogs. They burned so much bunker oil that the Yamato was tied up in Truk Lagoon for nearly a year to save on fuel and was referred to by her crew as the "Yamato Hotel" because she never left harbor in spite of all the savage fighting that was going on in the Pacific.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by achtung baby View Post
                    She was a big ship, so was her ending!

                    The left, uppermost cloud of the Yamato's funeral pyre always reminded me of the side profile of the head of a Samurai Warrior.
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                    • #11
                      I was thinking about whether the Yamato-class could have been used as aircraft carriers, as I was saying above.

                      However, I remember reading that the American Midway-class never carried their full potential complement of prop aircraft, because it was impossible to actually control that many planes. Considering that the Yamato-class ships were around 10,000 tons larger than the Midway, they probably wouldn't have made that big of a difference. The Shinano was never really used as an aircraft carrier, but more of a seaplane carrier/tender.

                      Interesting comment about the Yamato's death pyre there, johnbryan, never really looked at it that way before.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Consul View Post
                        I was thinking about whether the Yamato-class could have been used as aircraft carriers, as I was saying above.

                        However, I remember reading that the American Midway-class never carried their full potential complement of prop aircraft, because it was impossible to actually control that many planes. Considering that the Yamato-class ships were around 10,000 tons larger than the Midway, they probably wouldn't have made that big of a difference. The Shinano was never really used as an aircraft carrier, but more of a seaplane carrier/tender.

                        Interesting comment about the Yamato's death pyre there, johnbryan, never really looked at it that way before.
                        The Shinano wasn't really used as anything unless you count target practice for the USS Archerfish. If I recall correctly from my reading she was sailing from Yokosuka to Kure for her final fitting out and had not even completed her watertight compartment installation at the time she sailed. Couple that with a crew that was pretty green and some key damage control mistakes and you have a recipe for a disaster. For a fairly thorough description of the Yamato class battleship and how she would compare with the other BB's of her time, http://www.combinedfleet.com/baddest.htm is quite good as is the rest of the site if looking for information on the Japanese navy of the second world war.
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                        • #13
                          That is an excellent site, and, unless you want to shell out the big bucks for the book Kaigun (absolutely the best book on Japan's navy) it's one of the best resources.

                          cst784, you're absolutely correct regarding the Shinano, the Japanese Navy had a crippling lack of carrier pilots through much of the war, and the ship was never used as a real carrier. It was touted as a sort of "superweapon" that would drive the Americans from the sea. Considering she was sunk on her maiden voyage, someone's brilliant idea to send the ship forth without all her watertight doors being installed was laughably stupid.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Consul View Post
                            That is an excellent site, and, unless you want to shell out the big bucks for the book Kaigun (absolutely the best book on Japan's navy) it's one of the best resources.

                            cst784, you're absolutely correct regarding the Shinano, the Japanese Navy had a crippling lack of carrier pilots through much of the war, and the ship was never used as a real carrier. It was touted as a sort of "superweapon" that would drive the Americans from the sea. Considering she was sunk on her maiden voyage, someone's brilliant idea to send the ship forth without all her watertight doors being installed was laughably stupid.

                            The Shinano sortied in such an unfinished state because it was feared that she would suffer damage from the B-29 raids that were then laying waste to much of Japan's cities. Captain Joe Enright and the men of the Archerfish scored one of the greatest coups of the war.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Consul View Post
                              I was thinking about whether the Yamato-class could have been used as aircraft carriers, as I was saying above.

                              However, I remember reading that the American Midway-class never carried their full potential complement of prop aircraft, because it was impossible to actually control that many planes. Considering that the Yamato-class ships were around 10,000 tons larger than the Midway, they probably wouldn't have made that big of a difference. The Shinano was never really used as an aircraft carrier, but more of a seaplane carrier/tender.

                              Interesting comment about the Yamato's death pyre there, johnbryan, never really looked at it that way before.
                              Re: "the death pyre" It's something that I noticed the first time that I saw the picture when I was still a kid. Those pic's were a series of shots taken from a departing US Navy aircraft. Some of the other snap shots are much clearer and have a much more pronounced and chilling effect.
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