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Friday, March 13, 2015

Japanese Battleship Musashi Located

     Ever since I lived in North Carolina and visited the battleship North Carolina, I have been fascinated by those behemoths.
     I recently noticed a story on Yahoo about the discovery of the Japanese battleship Musashi which was, along with a sister ship, the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleship ever constructed.
     The Musashi was commissioned in mid-1942, modified to serve as the flagship of the Combined Fleet, and spent the rest of the year working up. The ship was transferred to Truk in early 1943 and sortied several times that year with the fleet in unsuccessful searches for American forces. She was used to transfer forces and equipment between Japan and various occupied islands several times in 1944.
     Torpedoed in early 1944 by an American submarine, Musashi was forced to return to Japan for repairs, where the navy greatly augmented her anti-aircraft armament. She was present during the Battle of the Philippine Sea in June, but did not come in contact with American surface forces.
     Musashi was sunk by an estimated 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits from American carrier-based aircraft on 24 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Over half of her crew was rescued. Her wreck was located in March 2015 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his team of researchers.
     Mushasi's size and armor is hard to imagine. Its waterline armor was 16.1 inches thick and below that its armor ranged in thickness from 10.6 to 7.9 inches over the magazines and machinery spaces respectively and tapered to a thickness of 3.0 inches at its bottom edge.
     The deck armor ranged in thickness from 9.1 to 7.9 inches. The turrets were protected with an armor 25.6 inches thick on the front and 9.8 inches on the sides. Musashi contained 1147 watertight compartments (1065 underneath the armor deck, 82 above) to preserve buoyancy in the event of battle damage. 
Visit the live stream HERE
You will also want to visit the investigator's site HERE

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