- Feb 16, 2009
ALL news and events of the world war II here please.
Yamato, along with her sister ship Musashi, were the largest battleships ever built in history. Her design plans were based upon Japan's belief that a powerful navy sporting big guns were the key to control the Pacific by intimidation. Based on this philosophy, naval designer Captain Kikuo Fujimoto gave the original 1934 design of the Yamato nine 18.1 inch guns, and made the hull versatile enough to be re-armed for larger guns later. Her massive guns dwarfed all other guns used in naval warfare, with each turret weighing as much as a typical American destroyer. Unlike the American battleships whose width were limited due to the Panama Canal restriction, the Yamato had the freedom to be equipped with some of the thickest armor on her two sides for unsurpassed protection. Her bow was also of a special design, allowing this heavy hulk of a ship to travel up little above 27 knots. When Naoyoshi Ishida, an officer who served aboard the Yamato, first saw her, he thought "How huge it is!" He recalled:Yamato
Ship Class Yamato-class Battleship
Builder Kure Naval Yard
Laid Down 4 November 1937
Launched 8 August 1940
Commissioned 1 December 1941
Sunk 7 April 1945
Displacement 65027 tons standard; 72809 tons full
Length 863 feet
Beam 121 feet
Draft 34 feet
Machinery 12 Kanpon boilers, driving 4 steam turbines with 4 triple-bladed propellers
Bunkerage 6,300 tons
Power Output 150000 SHP
Speed 27 knots
Range 7,200nm at 16 knots
Armament 9x46cm, 6x15.5cm, 24x12.7cm, 162x25mm anti-aircraft, 4x13mm anti-aircraft
Armor 650mm turrets, 410mm sides, 200mm deck
Aircraft Catapult 2
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Ship Class Bismarck-class Battleship
Builder Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, Germany
Laid Down 1 July 1936
Launched 14 February 1939
Commissioned 24 August 1940
Sunk 27 May 1941
Displacement 41700 tons standard; 50900 tons full
Length 824 feet
Beam 118 feet
Draft 33 feet
Machinery 12 Wagner high-pressure; 3 Blohm & Voss geared turbines, 3 three-blade propellers
Power Output 150170 SHP
Speed 30 knots
Range 8,525nm at 19 knots
Armament 4x2x380mm L47 SK-C/34 guns, 12x152mm L55 SK-C/28 guns, 16x105mm L65 SK-C/37 / SK-C/33 guns, 16x37mm L83 SK-C/30 guns, 12x1x20mm L65 C/30 machine guns, 8x4x20mm L65 C/32 machine guns
Armor 145-320mm belt, 110-120mm deck, 220mm bulkheads, 130-360mm turrets, 342mm barbettes, 360mm conning tower
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Bismarck was Germany's first "real" post-World War I battleship, with guns and protection of similar scale to those of the best foreign combat ships. Built to a relatively conservative design, she featured a main battery of eight 38 centimeter (15-inch) guns in four twin turrets, two forward and two aft. Her secondary battery of twelve 15 cm (5.9-inch) guns, mounted six on each side in twin turrets, was optimized for use against enemy surface ships, especially destroyers. Her anti-aircraft battery, including sixteen 10.5 cm (4.1-inch) guns in eight twin mounts and several 37mm and 20mm machine guns, reflected the prevailing pre-World War II underestimation of the threat from the air, a failing common to all the World's navies.
The two ships of this class, Bismarck and her "sister" Tirpitz, were quite fast, at just over thirty knots maximum speed. Their steam turbine powerplants, producing some 150,000 horsepower, consumed a great deal of fuel oil, limiting their oceanic "reach" to a degree that was especially critical to a nation with Germany's geography. Future German battleship designs, which World War II aborted, featured diesel engines, intended to produce far greater endurance on the high seas.
Bismarck was very heavily protected against the gunfire of other battleships. With a standard displacement of well over 41,000 tons (about 50,000 tons fully loaded), she was also quite a bit larger than her European and American contemporaries. As shown by the photographs below, originally collected by the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence, this ship's construction greatly interested foreign navies.
Built at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Bismarck's keel was laid at the beginning of July 1936. She was launched with considerable ceremony, including the attendance of Adolf Hitler, on 14 February 1939. Her outfitting, which included the addition of a new "clipper" bow (which the Germans called an "Atlantic" bow), lasted nearly two years. She was commissioned in August 1940, ran trials during the following months, and was not fully ready for service until late in 1940.
She was commissioned in August 1940 and spent the rest of that year running trials and continuing her outfitting. The first months of 1941 were largely devoted to training operations in the Baltic sea. Bismarck left the Baltic on 19 May 1941, en route to the Atlantic, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. On the morning of 24 May, while west of Iceland, the German vessels encountered the British battlecruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales. In the ensuing Battle of the Denmark Strait, Hood blew up and sank. The seriously damaged Prince of Wales was forced to break off contact. Bismarck also received shell hits that degraded her seakeeping and contaminated some of her fuel.
Later on 24 May, Prinz Eugen was detached, while Bismarck began a voyage toward France, where she could be repaired. She was intermittantly attacked by carrier planes and surface ships, ultimately sustaining a torpedo hit in the stern that rendered her unable to steer effectively. British battleships and heavy cruisers intercepted the crippled ship on the morning of 27 May. After less than two hours of battle, shells and torpedoes had reduced Bismarck to a wreck. She capsized and sank, with the loss of all but 110 of her crew of some 2300 men.
Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's reaction to Bismarck's loss produced a very cautious approach to future German surface ship operations against Britain's vital Atlantic sea lanes. In June 1989, just over forty-eight years after she sank, the German battleship's battered hulk was located and photographed where she lies upright on a mountainside, nearly 16,000 feet below the ocean surface.
Source: Naval Historical Center
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