WELCOME TO THE INTERNET'S YAMATO & MUSASHI BATTLESHIP PHOTO ARCHIVE! (EST. 08/2008) MAJOR UPDATE - 08/2019 WITH DOZENS OF NEW HIGH RES PHOTOS!
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Archive photos are from the USA National Archives & the USN, & are in the Public Domain.
THE ROBERT LUNDGREN HISTORICAL RESOURCE Historian Anthony Tully, (co-author of "Shattered Sword - The Untold Story of The Battle of Midway"), Forum: 3 indispensable books for any Yamato enthusiast: Reconstruction of Yamato as she appeared during her Final Sortie in April 1945:
Historian Anthony Tully, (co-author of "Shattered Sword - The Untold Story of The Battle of Midway"), Forum:
3 indispensable books for any Yamato enthusiast:
Reconstruction of Yamato as she appeared during her Final Sortie in April 1945:
"The overwhelming number of torpedoes has made it impossible, even with this ship's agility, to dodge them all.
A veritable circle of fire closes in on us: from above, from all points of the compass, glistening."
Yoshida Mitsuru, "Requiem for Battleship Yamato"
A description of the battle during the second attack wave, by which time the Yamato has already sustained heavy damage from multiple bomb hits described earlier.
Note: The torpedo strike in this photo - the plume of water rising about 50 stories above sea level - appears to depict the impact of one of the three hits described by Yoshida. If you look closely, a faint torpedo wake appears to be visible, leading to the point of the geyser of water. The smoke from the aft fire caused by the explosion of 6" Turret #2 is also visible.
Learning from the 9 hours it took to sink the Musashi 6 months earlier, the US Navy pilots are instructed to aim all of their torpedoes at one side of the ship (it turns out to be the port side), additionally aiming for the more lightly armored bow and stern sections. By creating massive flooding on just one side of the ship the idea was to make her capsize more quickly. It worked. It did not help matters any that a bomb knocked out the pumping control room during the second attack wave, making it impossible to flood the special exterior starboard compartments ('bubbles' ) that were meant specifically to help the ship keep her trim in just such an event.
In desperation, the aft starboard engine and boiler rooms are ordered flooded instead. This move rights the ship initially and buys her perhaps an additional 30 minutes of life, but cuts her speed in half to about 12-13 knots, at the cost of the lives of hundreds of sailors in those compartments, most of whom probably did not have time to get out once the alarm was sounded.
Probably 2/3 of the 18-20 torpedoes that hit struck the ship's port side.