Forces of Valor FOV861004A Imperial Japanese Navy Yamato Class Super Battleship - Yamato, Operation Ten-Go, Okinawa, 1945 (1:700 Scale)
"In case opportunity for destruction of a major portion of the enemy fleet is offered, or can be created, such destruction becomes the primary task."
- Admiral Chester Nimitz to Admiral William "Bull" Halsey, concerning his order prior to the Battle of Leyte Gulf, October 1944
The Yamato class battleships were battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) constructed and operated during World War II. Displacing 72,000 long tons (73,000 t) at full-load, the vessels of the class were the largest, heaviest, and most heavily-armed battleships ever constructed. The class carried the largest naval artillery ever fitted to a warship, nine 460-millimetre (18.1 in) naval guns, each capable of firing 2,998-pound (1,360 kg) shells over 26 miles (42 km). Two battleships of the class (Yamato and Musashi) were completed, while a third - Shinano - was converted to an aircraft carrier during construction.
On the eve of the Allies' occupation of Japan, special service officers of the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyed virtually all records, drawings, and photographs of or relating to the Yamato-class battleships, leaving only fragmentary records of the design characteristics and other technical matters. The destruction of these documents was so efficient that until 1948 the only known images of the Yamato and Musashi were those taken by United States Navy aircraft involved in the attacks on the two battleships. Although some additional photographs and information from documents that were not destroyed have come to light over the years, the loss the majority of written records for the class has made extensive research into the Yamato class somewhat difficult. Because of the lack of written records, information on the class largely came from interviews of Japanese officers following Japan's surrender.
Shown here is a 1:700 scale replica of the Imperial Japanese Navy super battleship Yamato, when it participated in Operation Ten-Go, the ill-fated attempt to disrupt the US landings at Okinawa during April 1945.
Release Date: November 2017
Historical Account: "Floating Pagodas" - The Yamato class battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) were the largest naval vessels of World War II and were the largest, heaviest battleships ever constructed, displacing 65,027 metric tons and armed with nine 46 cm main guns.
Like their German counterparts, Bismarck and Tirpitz, Yamato and Musashi made little direct impact during the war. Neither engaged any Allied battleships during the war, and were instead both sunk by the bane of capital warships: overwhelming air power.
Musashi was sunk by repeated aerial attack during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 24th, 1944. After being hit by an estimated 17 torpedoes and 20 bombs, she went down with 1,700 of her 2,400 man crew.
The end of the Yamato was even less glorious. Having seen little action during the previous four years (She served as Yamamoto's flagship during the Midway operation, as well as the action off Samar on October 25th, 1944) she was sent on a virtual suicide mission against the U.S. Navy forces massing for the attack on Okinawa. On April 7th, 1945 she was hit by successive waves of US carrier based aircraft and sank after absorbing 5 - 10 bombs and at least 10 torpedo hits. Less than 300 out of 3,400 crew onboard survived.