The Yamato-class battleships were battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy constructed and operated during World War II. Displacing 72,000 long tons at load, the vessels were the heaviest battleships ever constructed. The class carried the largest naval artillery ever fitted to a warship, nine 460-millimetre naval guns, two battleships of the class were completed, while a third was converted to an aircraft carrier during construction. Musashi was sunk during the battle by American carrier airplanes, Shinano was sunk ten days after her commissioning in November 1944 by the submarine USS Archerfish, while Yamato was sunk by US naval air power in April 1945 during Operation Ten-Go. Their question to answer was, What were designs and specifications for a powerful enough to intimidate likely adversaries. Programs that had begun during the conflict, and, that were now inspired by the lessons learned. The subsequent Washington Naval Conference resulted in the Washington Naval Treaty, lastly, the treaty did not proportionately reduce fleet sizes equally for the Japanese Navy in the Pacific theater. But the reductions were to the ratio of,5,5,3. This meant the scrapping of existing or planned capital ships to give a 5,5,3,1.75,1.75 ratio of tonnage with Britain, Japan accepted this, but seriously resented it. In the 1930s, the Japanese government began a shift towards ultranationalist militancy and this movement called for the expansion of the Japanese Empire to include much of the Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asia. The maintenance of such an empire—spanning 3,000 miles from China to Midway Island—required a sizable fleet capable of sustained control of territory and this modernization included, among other things, additional speed and firepower, which the Japanese intended to use to conquer and defend their aspired-to empire. When Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1934 over the Mukden Incident, Japan would no longer design battleships within the treaty limitations and was free to build warships larger than those of the other major maritime powers. The U. S. possessed significantly greater power than Japan. Furthermore, several leading members of the United States Congress had pledged to outbuild Japan three to one in a naval race. Each of these battleships would be capable of engaging multiple enemy capital ships simultaneously and these early plans varied greatly in armament, propulsion, endurance, and armor. Main batteries fluctuated between 460 mm and 406 mm guns, while the secondary armaments were composed of differing numbers of 155 mm,127 mm, propulsion in most of the designs was a hybrid diesel-turbine combination, though one relied solely on diesel and another planned for only turbines. Endurance in the designs had, at 18 kn, a low of 6,000 nmi in design A-140-J2 to a high of 9,200 nmi in designs A-140A, armor varied between providing protection from the fire of 406 mm guns to enough protection against 460 mm guns. After these had been reviewed, two of the original twenty-four were finalized as possibilities, A-140-F3 and A-140-F4, differing primarily in their range, they were used in the formation of the final preliminary study, which was finished on 20 July 1936
Image: Yamato sea trials 2
Musashi, August 1942, taken from the bow.
The bridge of Musashi.
Yamato and Musashi anchored in the waters off of the Truk Islands in 1943.