"Yamato" and "Musashi" was the world's largest artillery ships capable of hitting targets in any foreseeable distance from Mars. The recoil of artillery was so strong that the designers had to introduce a ban on the introduction of broadside — the simultaneous firing of all 9 branches — in order to avoid irreversible physical damage to the ship hull.
Reservations are made on a "all or nothing" and included a 410-mm oblique belt and the thickest in the world in the deck (200-230 mm.), Even the bottom of the ship was protected by 50-80mm. armor plates. This concept involves the creation of an armored bulwark that protects all the important points of principle of the vessel, providing buoyancy to him in store, but leaving all of this all the more vulnerable. Bastion of "Yamato" was the rather short in the middle of battleships built in the late 30's in relation to the total length of the ship — only 53.5%. Endplate towers head-caliber battleship armor was 650 mm — the thickest armor ever installed on warships. Steep angle-plate tower snaryadosoprotivlyaemost increased even more, it was believed that no projectile in the world can not break it even when fired at close range.
Japanese shipbuilders should pay tribute, they created almost everything that was in their power. The final word was left to the admirals, and then the descendants of famous samurai and students Togo suddenly showed up difficulties. At the very beginning of the war the officers and airmen of Japanese aircraft carriers bitterly joked that in the world there are 3 largest and worthless things: the Egyptian pyramids, and the majestic Chinese wall battleship "Yamato". Japanese fleet is often lacking in their own battleships, which saves up command of the fleet. Their introduction at the end of the war could no longer change its finale, the joke turned out to be very true.
Last campaign "Yamato"
Battleship "Yamato" has gone into its own last campaign in April 1945. Problem compounds except where the battleship entered the cruiser "Yahagi" and 8 destroyers, among whom were two special types of air defense destroyer "Akidzuki" (at that time were available, and other mission-capable ships, but they had no fuel), was on the narrow side between combat operations and suicide. The squadron was to repel all attacks by U.S. aircraft and reach the landing of U.S. troops on. Okinawa. The command of the Japanese fleet was able to raise for the operation only 2,500 tons of fuel. In this case, if the return of the squadron was considered difficult, battleships were ordered to throw the saving value in Okinawa and to support the defense of the island of fire of their own guns. Such acts Japanese fleet would be dictated only by the full despair, but the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun could not be themselves, if not taken this self-destructive tests.
Commander of the Japanese Fleet, Admiral Toyoda believed that there is no operation and a 50% chance for a happy ending, for all that he believed that if it does not hold, the ships would never go out to sea. Even more skepticism was the vice-admiral Seynchi Ito, who had to lead the squadron. His arguments against the self-destructive campaign were: the lack of fighter cover, a huge Yankees an advantage in surface ships, not to mention the aircraft, delay the surgery — Planting of the main forces of South American troops on Okinawa has been completed. But is every reason to vice admiral were rejected.
The most powerful ship of the Japanese fleet had to act as bait. In order to extend his very last campaign, he has been given the ambiance of 9 ships. They all had to serve as a cover of "Operation Kikusuy" — a massive attack by kamikaze pilots in the South American fleet in the landing troops. Specifically, with this operation the Japanese command link their main hopes.
April 4 the escort battleship decreased by 1 ship. The destroyer "Hibiki" near the base faced with a floating mine, and out of order. The next day at 15 o'clock connection has received the final order the release into the sea. At 17:30 on a battleship-sparing were sent to all the cadets that took place on its practices and unhealthy. All trees that are on the ship, was thrown overboard or sent to the saved. Because the sailors and the team had to spend all evening, drinking sake issued by the campaign, squatting — no chairs or tables on the ship left.
The mood on the "Yamato" was upbeat and coupled with the fact hopeless. At 18 hours the team put on a pure form, was read the appeal of the fleet commander, the crew is met by triple "Banzai". The forthcoming fate of the ship and sailors are entirely in the hands of the enemy.
Americans did not miss the chance to own. Already after 1 hour 40 minutes after squadron South American submarine was found, and on the morning of the 7th of April and reconnaissance from the 58th stroke aircraft carrier connections. At first the Americans were going to miss the connection as far as possible to the south and only later storm. From 9:15 in the morning a group of 16 American fighters began producing constant tracking of the squadron. Americans were so confident of victory that passed messages on the movement of the Japanese plaintext message data is intercepted on the battleship and does not contribute to raising the morale of the ship.
At 11:15 Japanese squadron suddenly turned to the south-east, for fear that the people of the country of the rising sun do not go to Okinawa, and, although not to miss this tasty prey, the Americans decided to storm. The first group of aircraft from aircraft carriers of the 58th stroke of a compound that was about 300 miles from the squadron began to take off in another 10 hours. Strike Group for the destruction of the Japanese fleet consisted of 280 aircraft, of which 98 were torpedo "Avenger." Almost in the attack has taken the role of 227 cars, 53 more just "get lost" and did not found the target. In addition another 106 aircraft took off for a strike on the squadron, but too late to take part in the battle.
First attack on the battleship started at 12:20, it assumed the role of up to 150 aircraft. At this time the squadron was at a speed of 24 knots and kept all the fire of their own guns, including a 18-inch single "Yamato". 1st South American attacks were targeted against ships traveling in the order first — the destroyer "Hamakaze" and the cruiser "Yahagi". Destroyer sank after hitting the first torpedo. In the same attack in "Yamato" Hit 3-4 aircraft bomb that damaged a number of 127-mm guns and anti-aircraft installations, also knocked out the post fire control medium caliber. At 12:41 the Japanese battleship data received 2 more bombs hitting near the mainmast, with the result that was rendered inoperable radar type "13". At this time, the Japanese battleship was getting to the 3-4 torpedoes, although accurate look only 2 hits, both on the port side. Damage from torpedo led to significant flooding, especially in the outer left side of the engine room, with the battleship appeared slope of 5-6 degrees, which eventually kontrzatopleny was reduced to 1 degree.
Second wave of attacks began in 13 hours. At this time, "Yamato" was sailing at 22 knots. South American pilots, being under heavy fire, used a very effective strategy. By accessing the nose with battleships and aircraft translating into a shallow dive, they fired their guns onboard, trying to move in zigzags, not staying on the same course. Japanese air defense simply does not keep up with them (they differed insufficient speed horizontal and vertical lay). In addition, the Japanese gunners were put down American planes, which also affected the efficiency of their operations. This is not denied, and the surviving members of the last battle battleship.
Approximately 50 aircraft participated in the attack did not have gained bomb hits "Yamato", but out of 20 torpedo bombers attacked the battleship at least 4 were able to hit the target (3 torpedoes on the port side, one to the right). As a result of torpedo attack ship received a slope of 15-16 degrees, the ship's speed was reduced to 18 knots. Kontrzatopleniem once again managed to reduce the slope, in this time of up to 5 degrees, the flow of sea water has been under control. As a result of torpedo attack has failed auxiliary control car had been damaged electrical equipment out of service of the artillery. Battleship position has not been an issue, but the reserves of vitality and stamina were already at the limit. Apparently, 6-7 torpedoes were the limit which could withstand the ships of this class.
At 13:45 started the last attack on the wounded battleship, during which the "Yamato" was struck, the very small, 4 torpedoes, again mostly in the left side (1 PB, 2-3 in LB). Also battleship Hit some bombs, which led to strong destruction in the middle part of the body is actually swept all are here flak. Vessel speed fell to 12 knots. During this time he worked on the battleship only one propeller shaft, and the sailors were soon abandoned and flooded all the boiler rooms. The ship immediately lost speed, its inclination to the left side again headed for 16 degrees. Large losses in personnel and damage to the central station of damage control have deprived the crew the ability to fight for the salvation of the ship.
Battleship tried to cover up the air defense destroyers "Yukikaze" and "Fuyutsuki," only two of these ships were doing their puzzle to the end, having a significant speed and being able to avoid severe damage. At this time, the battleship has agonized, the slope on the left side headed for 26 degrees, none of the 127 mine or anti-aircraft guns could not keep consuming as much of the anti-aircraft machine guns. Out of order control device and communications equipment.
Towering superstructure was riddled with cannon and machine guns: the staff add languid suffered loss. At the center of this hell was sitting squadron commander, Vice Admiral Ito. The admiral did not say a word to the moment when the attack began, giving control of the commander of the vessel, it may be an attempt to express the attitude Makarov against hopeless case, which it was all the same to do.
At a time when the "Yamato" fell on the board with a slope of 80 degrees, there was a powerful explosion Straseni. Its power was such that he beheld a highlight on the ships of the American squadron, located just 10 miles from the framework of the fight. Smoke plume rose to a height of 6 km and to the form of a nuclear explosion, the height of the flame headed for 2 km. The cause of the explosion could be only one — detonation powder magazines brain size (about 500 tons of explosives), with all this, what specifically triggered an explosion, forever remains unknown.
Coupled with the ship crew members were killed in 2498, including the squadron commander and the captain of the ship. Overall, in the battle, not including battleships, were sunk 4 destroyers and the cruiser, and the total number of people killed 3665 people have gained. In the last battle "Yamato" shot down five planes and 20 injured, all compound killed 10 aircraft: 4 dive bombers, torpedo bombers and 3 3 fighter — not a very expensive cost for the death of pride of the fleet and escort ships. All in "Yamato" got about 10 torpedoes with 270 kg. "Torpeksa" (equivalent to 400 kg. TNT) and 13 bombs of 250 kg.