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Operation Ten'Ichigo - April 6-7,1945
A closeup of a detail of the previous image appears to capture a moment eerily similar to that described earlier by Yoshida during the first attack wave;
"More than one hundred enemy planes attacking!' Is it the navigation officer who calls this out? Inevitable that both torpedoes and bombs will focus on Yamato.
The captain orders: 'Commence firing.' Twenty-four antiaircraft guns and 120 machine guns open fire at the same moment... The battle begins.
Here and now we fire the first shots of this desperate, death-inviting battle... My baptism by fire...As my whole body tingles with excitement, I observe my own exhilaration; as I grit my teeth, I break into a grin.
A sailor near me is felled by shrapnel. In the midst of the overwhelming noise, I distinguish the sound of his skull striking the bulkhead; amid the smell of gunpowder all around, I smell blood.
Yoshida Mitsuru, "Requiem for Battleship Yamato"
As the Yamato Task Force had no CAP (air cover) of its own, the American bombers were free to line up methodically at 20,000 feet directly above the ship - then they dove inside a narrow vertical "cone" of space where Yamato's anti aircraft guns could not fire, dropping bombs and simultaneously firing all of their wing rockets while emptying their .50 cal machine guns all at the same time on the way down, according to Lt Edward Siebert, one of the first two pilots to score two direct bomb hits on the aft portion on the ship.