Yamato file photo [1944]

Yamato-class Battleship

Ships in Class2
BuildersKure Naval Arsenal: 1
Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard: 1


This article refers to the entire Yamato-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseEven before Japan refused to recognize the Washington Treaty on 19 Dec 1934, the Japanese Navy had been planning for a super-battleship that would serve to intimidate any potential naval rivals. Preliminary plans called for a ship large enough to carry at least eight 46-centimeter (18.1-inch) guns as primary weapons and armor capable of withstanding a hit from her own primary weapons from a range of 20,000 to 35,000 meters. Through Mar 1937, 24 different designs were submitted; the final one, Plan No. A-140F6 by Captain Kikuo Fujimoto, was accepted to be the design for the Yamato-class battleships. The final plan called for turrets that weighed as much as a typical American destroyer, and beam so wide that the Yamato-class ships would be too wide to pass through the Panama Canal, which was a restriction for American naval vessels. The armoring plan for the Yamato-class ships was to place as much armor in the center of the ships as possible (thus making the beam even wider), and place as much vital machinery and spaces in this well protected region as possible, thus saving the need to grow longer in length. The resulting ships were floating fortresses with a relatively shallow draft for the size, stable enough even at high rudder angle to be effective gun platforms.

ww2dbaseThe armoring scheme, however, also had faults. Although the center portions of the ship were very well-protected, the entire bow and stern sections were completely unarmored. It was thought that even if the bow or stern were punctures, flood control compartments would prevent more serious damage. This theory would later prove to be flawed, as the compartments were too large to be effective.

ww2dbaseAround the same time as the plan's acceptance, the drydock at Kure Naval Dockyards in Kure, Japan was expanded so that it would be large and deep enough to house the first of the new battleship design. The drydock was also partly covered so that the construction would remain in secret. Work on battleship Yamato began on 4 Nov 1937, and she was launched 8 Aug 1940. The second ship, Musashi, was built by Mitsubishi at the Nagasaki Shipyard, Nagasaki, Japan between 29 Mar 1938 and 1 Nov 1940. The planned third Yamato-class battleship was laid down on 4 May 1940, but was converted mid-way during the construction to become an aircraft carrier; Shinano was launched on 8 Oct 1944. The planned fourth ship was scrapped in 1943 when only 30% complete.

ww2dbaseWhen Naoyoshi Ishida, an officer who served aboard the battleship Yamato, first saw her, he thought "How huge it is!" He recalled:

When you walk inside, there are arrows telling you which direction is the front and which is the back—otherwise you can't tell. For a couple of days I didn't even know how to get back to my own quarters. Everyone was like that.... I knew it was a very capable battleship. The guns were enormous. Back then I really wanted to engage in battle with an American battleship in the Pacific.

ww2dbaseBecause of the Yamato-class battleships' enormous size, men who served aboard them reported that there was no pitch or roll when sailing, even when standing at the top of the command tower. It was almost as if they were standing on firm ground, recalled Ensign Mitsuru Yoshida who served aboard Yamato as a radar officer.

ww2dbaseAs big naval guns are concerned, none were as fearsome as the Type 94 naval guns, built 46 centimeters in caliber just as originally planned. To hide their true size, they were designated "Special Type 40 cm" guns; this attempt was successful in fooling American intelligence. These guns were mounted on the battleships Yamato and Musashi in 3-gun turrets. Each one of the turrets weighed 2,774 tons, which was actually heavier than many destroyers in the WW2 time period. The range of these guns were stunning, being able to reach a target as far as 40 kilometers (25 miles) away. When they roared, a 15-meter semi-circle perimeter were considered dangerous for crew members, as the muzzle blasts generated intense heat. These Yamato-class battleships were typically stocked with:

ww2dbaseThe explosive and armor piercing shells were heavier than their contemporaries, weighing in at 1,460 kilograms (3,218 pounds) each. The armor-penetration capabilities of the armor piercing shells were so great that when they were mis-used, as seen with Yamato during the Battle off Samar, they went right through target ships without exploding. With a capable crew, they could fire at the rate of once about every 40 seconds, which translated to about 1.5 rounds per minute.

ww2dbaseWhile explosive and armor piercing shells were common among battleship ammunitions, the sanshiki shells were unique. They were 1360-kilogram (2,998-pound) shells filled with 900 incendiary tubes. They were fired toward toward the general direction of incoming hostile aircraft, and timed fuses triggered them to explode. After the fuses triggered, the cone-shaped space before each exploded shell were filled with steel splinters from the destroyed shell, shrapnel, and 0.5 second later fireballs from the incendiary tubes; the fireballs lasted for 5 seconds and burned at 3,000 degrees Celsius. Sanshiki shells were used by the battleship Yamato during her run at Okinawa, when she was overwhelmed by American carrier aircraft.

ww2dbaseBattleship Musashi used her explosive shells in an interesting manner when she was attacked by American aircraft during the Battle of Sibuyan Sea. She fired explosive shells from her 46-centimeter primary guns into the water, making huge geysers aimed at knocking down torpedo bombers attacking her. "Running into one of these geysers would be like running into a mountain", recalled TBF Avenger pilot Jack Lawton, "I felt the muzzle blast each time they fired. I could swear the wings were ready to fold every tie these huge shockwaves hit us."

ww2dbaseThe Yamato-class battleships' secondary armaments consisted of four triple 6.1-inch guns, placed fore, aft, and one at each beam. As designed, they also carried 250mm guns and triple mounts and 13-mm machine guns.

ww2dbaseIn the stern, large hangar bays were found that were large enough to handle up to seven aircraft, though the battleships usually carried no more than three or four aircraft for spotting and reconnaissance purposes. Two 59-ft catapults were fitted on the quarterdeck of each battleship. During the war, Yamato and Musashi were fitted with various types of radar.

ww2dbaseAlthough Yamato and Musashi, with their thick armor and huge guns, were the most powerful battleships of the Japanese Navy, they were never fully utilized to their full potential. They remained in port for the most part of the war, not engaging in combat until nearly the very end of the Pacific War. Both were sunk by overwhelming air power. Many historians had since argued that the Yamato-class battleships were a waste of resources, and they were obsolete even before construction began. Looking at the evolution of Japanese naval development in the 1930s, however, mirrored most major navies in the world, as naval aviation was still something that not too many had grasped well, and the building of the Yamato-class ships were almost rational. Once naval aviation established its place, however, unlike the American contemporary battleships which developed into anti-aircraft platforms, the Yamato-class ships never made a similar transformation, thus truly sealing its own fate as obsolete warships.

ww2dbaseThe Yamato-class battleships carries the legacy of being the largest and heaviest battleships to this day.

ww2dbaseSources: Imperial Japanese Navy Battleships 1941-45, Requiem for the Battleship Yamato, Sinking the Supership, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2008

Yamato-class Battleship Interactive Map


Japanese Type 3 8cm anti-aircraft gun on display at the Yushukan Museum on the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, Japan, 6 Aug 2005; note shell for Yamato-class battleships in background

Yamato-class Battleship Operational Timeline

1 Mar 1937 Some time during this month, Japanese Rear Admiral Keijii Fukuda and his design team completed the blueprint for the largest class of battleships in the world. This design would later become the Yamato-class battleship.
4 Nov 1937 The keel of Battleship No. 1 was laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal in Japan.
8 Aug 1940 Battleship No. 1, the future battleship Yamato, was launched at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
12 Aug 1941 Battleship No. 1 departed Kure, Japan for trials.
5 Sep 1941 Japanese Navy Captain Shutoku Miyazato (former commanding officer of Naka) was posted as the Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1.
15 Oct 1941 Japanese Navy Captain Shutoku Miyazato, Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
1 Nov 1941 Japanese Navy Captain Gihachi Takayanagi (former commanding officer of battleship Ise) relieved Rear Admiral Shutoku Miyazato as the Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, as Miyazato was being transferred to become the Chief of Personnel for Kure Naval District.
16 Dec 1941 Captain Gihachi Takayanagi, Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, was commissioned as Yamato's first commanding officer.
21 Dec 1941 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Hiroshima Bay, Inland Sea and anchored west of battleship Nagato at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay.
18 Jan 1942 Japanese battleship Mutsu towed the old Italian-built armored cruiser Nisshin as a target ship during battleship Yamato's gunnery trials off Kurahashi Island, Japan.
10 Feb 1942 Yamato's 1.5-month fitting out period completed. Deficiencies found were corrected at Kure, Japan. Her initial AA suite was twelve 127-mm guns (6x2), twenty-four 25-mm guns (8x3 enclosed mounts), and four 13.2-mm machine guns (2x2).
12 Feb 1942 Yamato departed Kure, Japan and arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay. The flag of the Combined Fleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was transferred from Nagato to Yamato.
19 Feb 1942 Yamato departed Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan with Battleship Division 1 for training in the Iyo Nada. She returned later on the same day.
20 Feb 1942 The Chief of Staff of the Combined Fleet, Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki, began a series of war games aboard Yamato to test plans for the second-stage operations. Rear Admiral Shigeru Fukudome (Chief of the 1st Bureau (Plans and Operations) of Naval General Staff), Captain Baron Sadatoshi Tomioka (Naval General Staff), Commander Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito (brother of Emperor Showa), and Army Major Prince Tsunenori Takeda observed the war games.
23 Feb 1942 As the war games conducted by Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki aboard Yamato were completed, Ugaki noted that a simulated attack on British Ceylon had failed.
30 Mar 1942 Captain Gihachi Takayanagi conducted armament trials for battleship Yamato at a range of 23 miles, observed by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, in the Inland Sea of Japan. The trials were judged a failure. Both Takayanagi and his gunnery officer were upbraided because gun aimers manning the main rangefinder misread the horizontal settings.
1 Apr 1942 During this month, Captain Kaoru Arima, Chief Equipping Officer of the future battleship Musashi, paid an orientation visit on Yamato with members of Musashi's fitting-out crew.
11 Apr 1942 Fleet Admiral Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, former Chief of Naval General Staff, paid a call on Yamato.
16 Apr 1942 Isoroku Yamamoto, aboard battleship Yamato in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, held a meeting with Vice Admiral Marquis Teruhisa Komatsu, Captain Noboru Ishizaki, Captain Katsumi Komazawa, Captain Kaku Harada, and other officers of the Sxith Fleet. Yamamoto wished the young midget submariners well in their forthcoming missions.
1 May 1942 Captain Takayanagi, commanding officer of battleship Yamato, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. During this month, battleship Yamato would remain in the Inland Sea in Japan to conduct gunnery practice and to host Admiral Yamamoto and other officers for Midway war games.
19 May 1942 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for battle training. The new light carrier Junyo, under Captain Shizue Ishii, almost sidewiped Yamato.
23 May 1942 Yamato arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan.
27 May 1942 Yamato was deemed operational.
29 May 1942 Yamato departed Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan at 0600 hours for Operation MI.
9 Jun 1942 The Chief of Staff of the First Air Fleet Rear Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka and staff officers Captain Tamotsu Oishi and Commander Minoru Genda arrived aboard Yamato from light cruiser Nagara.
10 Jun 1942 After sunset, an unidentified submarine fired two torpedoes at Yamato about 100 miles north-northeast of Minami-Torishima (Marcus Island). Yamato and the other ships in the Main Body turn to port and both torpedoes miss.
14 Jun 1942 Yamato arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan at 1900 hours from the failed Midway attack.
14 Jul 1942 Yamato remained in Battleship Division 1 while two others transferred to Battleship Division 2.
5 Aug 1942 Battleship Musashi was commissioned into service at Nagasaki, Japan; she was assigned to Combined Fleet Battleship Division 1.
10 Aug 1942 At Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, Admiral Yamamoto convened a meeting aboard Yamato with Vice Admiral Nagumo of First Air Fleet, Vice Admiral Kondo of Second Fleet, and other top Combined Fleet staff officers. Yamamoto discussed his desire to exploit Mikawa's success and the need to protect convoys carrying troops to recapture Guadalcanal.
17 Aug 1942 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands escorted by escort carrier Kasuga Maru (later renamed Taiyo), Akebono, Ushio, and Sazanami.
28 Aug 1942 Near Truk, Caroline Islands, Yamato was attacked by USS Flying Fish. Flying Fish's Lieutenant Commander Glynn Donaho mis-identified Yamato as a Kongo-class battleship as US Navy was unaware of the existence of Yamato-class at the time. Two of the four Mark 14 steam torpedoes missed, while the other two detonated prematurely. The latter two detonations led to Donaho's conclusion that he scored two hits. Yamato launched at least one E13A1 floatplane to join the depth charge attack already started by Yamato's four escorts, which failed to destroy USS Flying Fish. Later in the day, Yamato arrived at Truk; she would remain the headquarters and flagship of the Combined Fleet.
17 Oct 1942 Battleships Yamato and Mutsu transferred 4,500 tons of fuel oil to empty oiler Kenyo Maru to refuel other ships.
1 Nov 1942 Aboard Yamato, a festive dinner was held for all captains stationed at Truk to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Santa Cruz.
17 Dec 1942 Japanese Navy Captain Chiaki Matsuda relieved Rear Admiral Gihachi Takayanagi as the commanding officer of Yamato; Takayanagi was reassigned as the Chief of Staff of the First Fleet.
11 Feb 1943 Admiral Yamamoto transferred his flag from Yamato to Musashi at Truk.
11 Feb 1943 Admiral Yamamoto broke his flag aboard Musashi at Truk, Caroline Islands.
25 Apr 1943 Admiral Mineichi Koga arrived aboard Yamato for an inspection tour; he arrived to become the new Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, but that fact would be kept secret until the news of Yamamoto's death was to be made public next month.
8 May 1943 Yamato, Chuyo, Unyo, Myoko, Haguro, Yugure, Naganami, Samidare, and Ushio departed Truk, Caroline Islands.
13 May 1943 Yamato, Chuyo, Unyo, Myoko, Haguro, Yugure, Naganami, Samidare, and Ushio arrived at Yokosuka, Japan. Later on the same day, Yamato departed for Kure, Japan.
21 May 1943 Yamato was drydocked at Yokosuka, Japan for inspection and repairs.
30 May 1943 Yamato undocked from the drydocks at Yokosuka, Japan.
12 Jul 1943 Yamato was drydocked at Kure, Japan for upgrades. A Type 21, Mod 3, air and surface search radar was to be installed. Twelve (4x3) new 25-mm AA guns were to be fitted on the weather deck. Yamato's total 25-mm AA suite would be 36 guns. Her 155-mm wing mount guns were to be provided with coaming armor and their barbettes with 28-mm of additional armor. Yamato's fuel storage would be reduced and her main and auxiliary rudder controls were to be improved.
16 Jul 1943 Yamato was visited by the German Naval AttachĂ© to Tokyo Konteradmiral Paul Wenneker, who wore a Japanese naval uniform. His tour of Yamato did not include the main turrets, and he was told that the primary armament of Yamato consisted of 40-cm guns rather than the actual 46-cm.
17 Jul 1943 Yamato was undocked at Kure, Japan.
16 Aug 1943 Yamato, loaded with troops and supplies, departed Kure, Japan with Fuso, Nagato, and Destroyer Division 16's Amatsukaze and Hatsukaze. Stopped at Yashima anchorage that night.
17 Aug 1943 Yamato departed Yashima, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands.
23 Aug 1943 Yamato arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.
7 Sep 1943 Japanese Navy Captain Takeji Ono relieved Rear Admiral Chiaki Matsuda as the commanding officer of battleship Yamato; Matsuda was reassigned to the Imperial General Staff.
18 Sep 1943 Yamato sortied from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok in response to raids by US Navy Task Force 15 on Tarawa, Makin, and Abemama Atolls.
25 Sep 1943 Yamato arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands after failing to make contact with US Navy Task Force 15.
17 Oct 1943 Yamato sortied from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok in response to radio traffic that suggested a potential American strike on Wake Island.
19 Oct 1943 Yamato arrived at Brown Atoll, Eniwetok, Marshall Islands.
23 Oct 1943 Yamato departed Brown Atoll, Eniwetok, Marshall Islands and sortied to a position 250 miles south of Wake Island.
26 Oct 1943 Yamato arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.
12 Dec 1943 Yamato departed Truk to cover for troop transport operation BO-1.
13 Dec 1943 American code breakers learned that battleship Yamato was scheduled to arrive at Truk, Caroline Islands on 25 Dec 1943 ferrying men and supplies.
17 Dec 1943 Yamato arrived at Yokosuka, Japan and took on elements of Japanese Army 1st Independent Mixed Regiment and supplies.
20 Dec 1943 Yamato departed Yokosuka, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands escorted by Yamagumo and Tanikaze of Destroyer Division 4.
25 Dec 1943 American submarine USS Skate ambushed Yamato 180 miles northeast of Truk. Skate detected Yamato at 27,300 yards and dove. Skate passed down the starboard beam of Yamato, turned, and at 0518 hours fired four stern torpedoes at 2,200 yards. Crew of Skate heard one explosion and a muffled explosion as one or two torpedoes hit Yamato on the starboard side near turret No. 3, ripping a hole that extended some 15 feet downwards from the top of the blister and longitudinally some 75 feet between frames 151 and 173. The upper turret magazines flooded through a small hole punched in the longitudinal bulkhead; the hole was caused by failure of the armor belt joint between the upper and lower side protection belts. The upper magazine for No. 3 turret flooded. Yamato took on about 3,000-tons of water, far more than anticipated by the designers of the side protective system. The transport mission was aborted. The follow-up depth charge attack by Yamagumo, Tanikaze, or both failed to hit Skate, which made its escape three hours later. Later, Yamamto arrived at Truk and received emergency repairs by repair ship Akashi which also prepared a damage assessment report. US Navy intercepted a message from Yamato that read "Hull damage summary resulting from torpedo attack. Details affecting armament and machinery will be submitted later. 1. Hole from frame 163 to 170. 11 meters in diameter above the 'bilge' [sic] and 5 1/2 meters below penetrating outer plates of 'bilge' [sic]."
10 Jan 1944 Yamato departed Truk, Caroline Islands for Kure, Japan with three destroyers (Michishio, Asagumo, and Fujinami) in escort.
11 Jan 1944 Yamato was spotted by USS Halibut at 1800 hours, but Halibut was unable to attack.
14 Jan 1944 Yamato was detected by the radar of USS Batfish at 2330 hours, but Batfish was unable to close in for an attack.
16 Jan 1944 Yamato arrived at Kure, Japan and docked in No. 4 drydock for repairs. Yamato would also receive a sloping plate fitted at a 45-degree angle across the lower corner of the upper void compartment between the two longitudinal inboard bulkheads. This modification, proposed to run the full length of the citadel, was installed only in Yamato in the area affected by the torpedo damage received in the previous month.
25 Jan 1944 Captain Nobuei Morishita relieved Rear Admiral Takeji Ono as the commanding officer of Yamato.
3 Feb 1944 Yamato undocked from Drydock No. 4 at Kure, Japan.
25 Feb 1944 Battleship Musashi was reassigned to the Second Fleet.
25 Feb 1944 Assigned to the Second Fleet, Yamato was drydocked at Kure, Japan to receive upgrades. Two beam triple 6.1 inch (155-mm) turrets were to be removed and replaced by six (3x2) 5-inch (127-mm) HA AA mounts. Twenty-four (8x3) and 26 single 25mm AA mounts were to be added. Shelters were also added on the upper deck for the increased AA crews. Type 13 air search and Type 22 Mod 4 surface search/gunnery control radars were to be installed. The main mast was to be altered. Two 150-mm searchlights were to be removed (later installed ashore at Kure, Japan). Yamato was to be fitted with Type 2 infrared (IR) Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF)/signaling devices mounted midway up on each side of the bridge; the system might had been based on the German Seehund IR device, built around a telescopic sensor that received light-waves in the IR range and registered a readout in the radio shack. The IFF system also included a pair of 20-mm binoculars coaxially mounted with the transmitting IR lamp on the bridge so that another ship could use the IR detector for elementary signaling or as a formation light for station keeping. About this time, Yamato was also fitted with multiple E27 radar detectors copied from the German FuMB 1 Metox R.600.
18 Mar 1944 Yamato exited drydocks at Kure, Japan.
11 Apr 1944 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for trials in the Iyo Nada; she arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay that evening.
17 Apr 1944 Yamato arrived at Kure, Japan to load supplies.
21 Apr 1944 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Okinoshima and loaded troops.
22 Apr 1944 Yamato departed Okinoshima, Japan with cruiser Maya, destroyer Shimakaze, destroyer Yukikaze, and two other destroyers.
28 Apr 1944 Yamato arrived at Manila, unloaded troops and supplies, and then departed.
1 May 1944 Yamato arrived at Lingga, Dutch East Indies south of Singapore.
3 May 1944 Yamato was designated the flagship of Battleship Division 1 under Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki.
11 May 1944 Yamato departed from Lingga, Dutch East Indies for Tawi-Tawi, Philippine Islands with Mobile Fleet under Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa.
14 May 1944 Yamato arrived at Tawi-Tawi, where she would remain for gunnery drills at range of nearly 22 miles with sister ship Musashi through Jun 1944.
14 May 1944 Musashi arrived at Tawi Tawi, where she would remain for gunnery drills at range of nearly 22 miles with sister ship Yamato through Jun 1944.
10 Jun 1944 Yamato departed Tawi-Tawi for Batjan, Halmahera at 1600 hours for Operation KON; this was reported by American Submarine USS Harder. Shortly after, the Japanese fleet spotted a periscope and carried out evasive maneuvers that nearly resulted in a collision between Yamato and Musashi.
12 Jun 1944 Yamato arrived at Batjan, Halmahera after Operation KON was postponed.
13 Jun 1944 Yamato departed Batjan, Halmahera at 2200 hours to rendezvous with the Mobile Fleet.
15 Jun 1944 Yamato was sighted and reported by USS Seahorse east of Mindanao, Philippine Islands.
17 Jun 1944 Yamato refueled from oilers of the 1st Supply Force, then joined the Mobile Fleet. Later, the Mobile Fleet was sighted by USS Cavalla in the Philippine Sea.
19 Jun 1944 Yamato fired Sanshiki-dan anti-aircraft shells in combat for the first time against incoming aircraft, but it was discovered that they were friendly.
22 Jun 1944 The Mobile Fleet, including Yamato, arrived at Nakagusuku, Okinawa. The destroyers were refueled before the Mobile Fleet departed again.
24 Jun 1944 The Mobile Fleet, including Yamato, arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan.
29 Jun 1944 Yamato departed for Kure, Japan to receive five new triple-mount 25mm AA guns; during the installation, the entire hinoki deck would also be replaced.
8 Jul 1944 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Okinawa, Japan with the 106th Infantry Regiment of the 49th Division on board.
10 Jul 1944 Yamato arrived at Okinawa, Japan then departed for Lingga, Dutch East Indies.
17 Jul 1944 Yamato arrived at Lingga, Dutch East Indies where she was to remain in the following three months for training.
15 Oct 1944 Japanese Navy Captain Nobuei Morishita, commanding officer of Yamato, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
18 Oct 1944 Yamato and Musashi's decks were painted black with soot for the intended night operation in the San Bernardino Strait before departing Lingga for Brunei Bay, Boreno in the Dutch East Indies. Destroyer Yukikaze, among other ships, provided escort.
20 Oct 1944 Yamato refueled in Brunei Bay.
20 Oct 1944 Musashi refueled in Brunei Bay.
22 Oct 1944 Yamato received Mitsubishi F1M2 aircraft from Nagato, then set sail for Operation SHO-I-GO.
23 Oct 1944 Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita transferred his flag aboard Yamato after his former flagship Atago was sunk by submarine USS Darter.
24 Oct 1944 Japanese battleship Musashi was lost in the Battle of Sibuyan Sea to overwhelming American air power.
25 Oct 1944 In the Battle off Samar in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, destroyers USS Hoel and Heerman launched three Mark XV torpedoes at two different Japanese cruisers and missed. The torpedoes went on to advance on the battleship Yamato, the Japanese force flagship. Yamato’s evasive action took the force commander, Admiral Takeo Kurita, so far from the action that he effectively lost his ability to command the battle and likely contributed to his ultimate decision to break off the engagement and withdraw his force.
7 Nov 1944 Kumano shifted to Santa Cruz Harbor, Luzon, Philippines and began repairs.
5 Apr 1945 At 1359 hours, while at Mitajiri anchorage in Japan, battleship Yamato's commanding officer Captain Kosaku Ariga received the order to participate in a surface special attack on 7 Apr 1945. Ariga informed the crew at 1500 hours. At 1730 hours, 67 recently arrived cadets from the Naval Academy at Etajima were sent ashore. A farewell party was then held aboard Yamato, with a photographer taking portraits of officers.
6 Apr 1945 The sick and the older sailors aboard Yamato were disembarked at Mitajiri anchorage in Japan before the battleship departed for Operation Ten-Go. She passed through the Bungo Channel between Shikoku and Kyushu at 1830 hours, sailing west and then turning south at 2100 hours to avoid American submarine USS Threadfin. Meanwhile, USS Threadfin continued to follow Yamato's position though unable to attack.
7 Apr 1945 While enroute to attack the US fleets off Okinawa, Japan, battleship Yamato was attacked by US carrier aircraft resulting in her loss, along with several of her escorts.
31 Aug 1945 Battleship Yamato was removed from the Japanese Navy list.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
12 Aug 2008 01:38:31 AM

Fed up with the recent US-biased effort to demean the Yamato & all other non-US ships by using selective data & formulae, I ask someone with the appropriate training but respect for the Scientific Method(ie. neutral, impartial objectivity) to do a proper study ranking the worlds dreadnoughts.
2. Alejandro says:
29 Oct 2008 07:50:15 AM

me parece buena y completisima informacion!
3. Anonymous says:
25 Sep 2009 11:02:58 AM

I'm thinking that the huge carrier sunk in Tokyo Bay was also a part of this class, however it was obviously made over to be the worlds largest (at the time)carrier. I just can't think of the name of the ship.
4. ChrisG says:
18 Dec 2009 09:40:30 PM

Carrier was the Shinano, was to have been the 3rd battleship the 4th was scrapped on the slipway if I recall correctly
5. T-ball says:
13 Oct 2011 08:34:39 PM

I am American and yes I believ that the victors right the history no matter how inaccurate. (lies!!!!!!!!)If you took the yamato., musashi,Missouri and New Jersey and Terpit an Bizmark and let teams fight it out the fight would come down to the the better tactics eventually. Surprize the better gun ballistics wise is the Richelue a French weapon. Figures pussies would build the best weapon out of fear. Bizmark had it between the big 3 in terms of range, kinetic energy and firing time. Better target aquisition and precision goes to the Iowa class, Armor to the Yomato. Just Me talking first shot goes to the Bizmark. Fire solution The Iow theoretically could take both out in rough seas with luck on their sid and if it was night and calm seas I think the Yamato could wipe them both out
6. johnybizaro says:
24 Feb 2013 04:32:38 AM

Again the battle ships needed to be bigger ( much wider)and longer. It also needed smaller and more numerous water tight compartments and deeper draft so even multiple bombs would never reach the magazine. If this had happened we would of seen the entire US fleet engaging one ship and it would of escaped. The design flaws made it fail.
7. Anonymous says:
17 Jul 2017 05:50:50 PM

Iowa's superior radar would put it at an advantage in a night battle.

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Japanese Type 3 8cm anti-aircraft gun on display at the Yushukan Museum on the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, Japan, 6 Aug 2005; note shell for Yamato-class battleships in background

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