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Yamato file photo [1944]


Ship ClassYamato-class Battleship
BuilderKure Naval Arsenal
Laid Down4 Nov 1937
Launched8 Aug 1940
Commissioned16 Dec 1941
Sunk7 Apr 1945
Displacement65,027 tons standard; 72,809 tons full
Length863 feet
Beam121 feet
Draft34 feet
Machinery12 Kanpon boilers, driving 4 steam turbines with 4 triple-bladed propellers
Bunkerage6,300 tons
Power Output150,000 shaft horsepower
Speed27 knots
Range7,200nm at 16 knots
Armament9x46cm, 6x15.5cm, 24x12.7cm, 162x25mm anti-aircraft, 4x13mm anti-aircraft
Armor650mm turrets, 410mm sides, 200mm deck
Aircraft Catapult2


ww2dbaseYamato, 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:

"When you walk inside, there are arrows telling you which direction is the front and which is the back—otherwise you can't tell. For a couple of days I didn't even know how to get back to my own quarters. Everyone was like that.... I knew it was a very capable battleship. The guns were enormous. Back then I really wanted to engage in battle with an American battleship in the Pacific."

ww2dbaseBecause of her enormous size, men who served aboard reported that there was no pitch or roll when sailing, even when standing at the top of the command tower. It was almost as if they were standing on firm ground, recalled Ensign Mitsuru Yoshida who served on the Yamato as a radar officer.

ww2dbaseHer construction, started after a few iterations of design changes and refinements, was shielded in a veil of secrecy. With inadequate resources spent on military intelligence, the United States had no clue of her existence when she was commissioned in Dec 1941, a week after the start of the Pacific War. Yamato served as flagship of Combined Fleet commander Isoroku Yamamoto until his death in Apr 1943. Several reasons kept her unable to fire her 2,998lb shells on enemy ships; beyond being the flagship of Japan's naval commander, she was only too valuable to engage in battle. A ship bearing the mythical name of ancient Japan simply could not be risked. As a result, she remained near the naval base of Truk for the most of 1943 on defensive duty. During a patrol in Dec 1943, she was damaged by torpedo launched from USS Skate (SS-305), further reducing her roles on the frontlines. She finally saw action during later stages of the war, participating in actions in the Philippines Sea, then as the command ship of Admiral Takeo Kurita devastated a small American fleet off Samar (though Yamato did not play a significantly active role in the Battle off Samar).

ww2dbaseBesides the usual explosive and armor-piercing shells, Yamato was equipped with a unique anti-aircraft shell for use with the 18.1 inch main guns. The sanshiki shells weighed just under 3,000 pounds, and were filled with incendiary tubes. These anti-aircraft shells were fired toward incoming aircraft, and a timed fuse triggered an explosion in the path of the hostile aircraft, filling the air space with burning steel shrapnel. In addition to these unique shells, Yamato was also surrounded by a wide array of traditional anti-aircraft weapons at the base of the superstructure.

ww2dbaseWhile in home waters after the winter 1944-1945 refitting (more anti-aircraft weapons), she was spotted and attacked by U.S. Navy carrier planes in March 1945. She escaped with light damage, but her vulnerability against the swarming American aircraft was now clear. With the war effort in its most desperate time, she was assigned a month later to become the ultimate suicidal special attack instrument in the Ten-Go (Ten'ichigo) Operation. The operation called for a suicide mission of ten ships to sail straight into the American fleet supporting the Okinawa landing. If she was not able to sail into the American fleet, she was to beach herself on Okinawa to serve as a mighty coastal fortress while the sailors disembark to become infantry. If that failed, she then was to draw as much fire from American aircraft as possible so that a concurrent suicide operation by Kamikaze aircraft (Operation Kikusui) would confront less resistance from the air.

ww2dbaseAt 1220 on 7 Apr 1945, while still some 270 miles north of Okinawa, after being tracked by American reconnaissance aircraft and submarines almost the entire way, Yamato was attacked by waves and waves of American carrier planes. She received serious damage from falling bombs within the first 15 minutes of the battle, then was struck by torpedoes on the port side. Her strategy was to contain the damage and flooding and wait for American aircraft to dissipate. But as more waves arrive to attack at the task force, that hope quickly proved unreachable.

ww2dbaseAfter an agonizing two hours, the largest battleship in the world sank as the list reached nearly 90 degrees. She then exploded twice under water; the cause of the explosion was likely the shells from the primary and secondary magazines falling off their shelves and detonating their fuses against the overhead. Only 269 men survived the sinking super battleship.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, Yamato became an object of intense fascination in Japan, as well as in foreign countries. She also remained a sensitive topic in Japan. While still a token of national pride, the sinking of Yamato also symbolized the sad end of the once invincible Imperial Japanese Navy. Yamato's remains were located and examined in 1985 and again examined, more precisely, in 1999. She lies in two main parts in some 1,000 feet of water. Her bow portion, severed from the rest of the ship in the vicinity of the second main battery turret, is upright, and the 2-meter wide chrysanthemum crest still glowing in a faint golden aura. The midships and stern section is upside down nearby, with two large holes in the bottom section of the ship, the result of powerful internal explosions.

Yoshida Mitsuru, Requiem of the Battleship Yamato
PBS, "Sinking the Supership"
US Navy Naval History and Heritage Command

Last Major Revision: Mar 2009

Battleship Yamato Interactive Map


Battleship Yamato fitting out, Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan, Sep 1941; light carrier Hosho at extreme rightYamato on trials, 30 Oct 1941, photo 1 of 4
See all 38 photographs of Battleship Yamato


Track chart of Yamato group, Apr 1945, part of Commander Miyamoto

Yamato Operational Timeline

4 Nov 1937 The keel of Battleship No. 1 was laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal in Japan.
8 Aug 1940 Battleship No. 1, the future battleship Yamato, was launched at Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan.
12 Aug 1941 Battleship No. 1 departed Kure, Japan for trials.
5 Sep 1941 Japanese Navy Captain Shutoku Miyazato (former commanding officer of Naka) was posted as the Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1.
15 Oct 1941 Japanese Navy Captain Shutoku Miyazato, Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
1 Nov 1941 Japanese Navy Captain Gihachi Takayanagi (former commanding officer of battleship Ise) relieved Rear Admiral Shutoku Miyazato as the Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, as Miyazato was being transferred to become the Chief of Personnel for Kure Naval District.
16 Dec 1941 Captain Gihachi Takayanagi, Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, was commissioned as Yamato's first commanding officer.
21 Dec 1941 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Hiroshima Bay, Inland Sea and anchored west of battleship Nagato at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay.
18 Jan 1942 Japanese battleship Mutsu towed the old Italian-built armored cruiser Nisshin as a target ship during battleship Yamato's gunnery trials off Kurahashi Island, Japan.
10 Feb 1942 Yamato's 1.5-month fitting out period completed. Deficiencies found were corrected at Kure, Japan. Her initial AA suite was twelve 127-mm guns (6x2), twenty-four 25-mm guns (8x3 enclosed mounts), and four 13.2-mm machine guns (2x2).
12 Feb 1942 Yamato departed Kure, Japan and arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay. The flag of the Combined Fleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was transferred from Nagato to Yamato.
19 Feb 1942 Yamato departed Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan with Battleship Division 1 for training in the Iyo Nada. She returned later on the same day.
20 Feb 1942 The Chief of Staff of the Combined Fleet, Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki, began a series of war games aboard Yamato to test plans for the second-stage operations. Rear Admiral Shigeru Fukudome (Chief of the 1st Bureau (Plans and Operations) of Naval General Staff), Captain Baron Sadatoshi Tomioka (Naval General Staff), Commander Prince Takamatsu Nobuhito (brother of Emperor Showa), and Army Major Prince Tsunenori Takeda observed the war games.
23 Feb 1942 As the war games conducted by Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki aboard Yamato were completed, Ugaki noted that a simulated attack on British Ceylon had failed.
30 Mar 1942 Captain Gihachi Takayanagi conducted armament trials for battleship Yamato at a range of 23 miles, observed by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, in the Inland Sea of Japan. The trials were judged a failure. Both Takayanagi and his gunnery officer were upbraided because gun aimers manning the main rangefinder misread the horizontal settings.
1 Apr 1942 During this month, Captain Kaoru Arima, Chief Equipping Officer of the future battleship Musashi, paid an orientation visit on Yamato with members of Musashi's fitting-out crew.
11 Apr 1942 Fleet Admiral Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, former Chief of Naval General Staff, paid a call on Yamato.
16 Apr 1942 Isoroku Yamamoto, aboard battleship Yamato in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, held a meeting with Vice Admiral Marquis Teruhisa Komatsu, Captain Noboru Ishizaki, Captain Katsumi Komazawa, Captain Kaku Harada, and other officers of the Sxith Fleet. Yamamoto wished the young midget submariners well in their forthcoming missions.
1 May 1942 Captain Takayanagi, commanding officer of battleship Yamato, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. During this month, battleship Yamato would remain in the Inland Sea in Japan to conduct gunnery practice and to host Admiral Yamamoto and other officers for Midway war games.
19 May 1942 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for battle training. The new light carrier Junyo, under Captain Shizue Ishii, almost sidewiped Yamato.
23 May 1942 Yamato arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan.
27 May 1942 Yamato was deemed operational.
29 May 1942 Yamato departed Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan at 0600 hours for Operation MI.
9 Jun 1942 The Chief of Staff of the First Air Fleet Rear Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka and staff officers Captain Tamotsu Oishi and Commander Minoru Genda arrived aboard Yamato from light cruiser Nagara.
10 Jun 1942 After sunset, an unidentified submarine fired two torpedoes at Yamato about 100 miles north-northeast of Minami-Torishima (Marcus Island). Yamato and the other ships in the Main Body turn to port and both torpedoes miss.
14 Jun 1942 Yamato arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan at 1900 hours from the failed Midway attack.
14 Jul 1942 Yamato remained in Battleship Division 1 while two others transferred to Battleship Division 2.
10 Aug 1942 At Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, Admiral Yamamoto convened a meeting aboard Yamato with Vice Admiral Nagumo of First Air Fleet, Vice Admiral Kondo of Second Fleet, and other top Combined Fleet staff officers. Yamamoto discussed his desire to exploit Mikawa's success and the need to protect convoys carrying troops to recapture Guadalcanal.
17 Aug 1942 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands escorted by escort carrier Kasuga Maru (later renamed Taiyo), Akebono, Ushio, and Sazanami.
28 Aug 1942 Near Truk, Caroline Islands, Yamato was attacked by USS Flying Fish. Flying Fish's Lieutenant Commander Glynn Donaho mis-identified Yamato as a Kongo-class battleship as US Navy was unaware of the existence of Yamato-class at the time. Two of the four Mark 14 steam torpedoes missed, while the other two detonated prematurely. The latter two detonations led to Donaho's conclusion that he scored two hits. Yamato launched at least one E13A1 floatplane to join the depth charge attack already started by Yamato's four escorts, which failed to destroy USS Flying Fish. Later in the day, Yamato arrived at Truk; she would remain the headquarters and flagship of the Combined Fleet.
17 Oct 1942 Battleships Yamato and Mutsu transferred 4,500 tons of fuel oil to empty oiler Kenyo Maru to refuel other ships.
1 Nov 1942 Aboard Yamato, a festive dinner was held for all captains stationed at Truk to celebrate the victory at the Battle of Santa Cruz.
17 Dec 1942 Japanese Navy Captain Chiaki Matsuda relieved Rear Admiral Gihachi Takayanagi as the commanding officer of Yamato; Takayanagi was reassigned as the Chief of Staff of the First Fleet.
11 Feb 1943 Admiral Yamamoto transferred his flag from Yamato to Musashi at Truk.
25 Apr 1943 Admiral Mineichi Koga arrived aboard Yamato for an inspection tour; he arrived to become the new Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, but that fact would be kept secret until the news of Yamamoto's death was to be made public next month.
8 May 1943 Yamato, Chuyo, Unyo, Myoko, Haguro, Yugure, Naganami, Samidare, and Ushio departed Truk, Caroline Islands.
13 May 1943 Yamato, Chuyo, Unyo, Myoko, Haguro, Yugure, Naganami, Samidare, and Ushio arrived at Yokosuka, Japan. Later on the same day, Yamato departed for Kure, Japan.
21 May 1943 Yamato was drydocked at Yokosuka, Japan for inspection and repairs.
30 May 1943 Yamato undocked from the drydocks at Yokosuka, Japan.
12 Jul 1943 Yamato was drydocked at Kure, Japan for upgrades. A Type 21, Mod 3, air and surface search radar was to be installed. Twelve (4x3) new 25-mm AA guns were to be fitted on the weather deck. Yamato's total 25-mm AA suite would be 36 guns. Her 155-mm wing mount guns were to be provided with coaming armor and their barbettes with 28-mm of additional armor. Yamato's fuel storage would be reduced and her main and auxiliary rudder controls were to be improved.
16 Jul 1943 Yamato was visited by the German Naval AttachĂ© to Tokyo Konteradmiral Paul Wenneker, who wore a Japanese naval uniform. His tour of Yamato did not include the main turrets, and he was told that the primary armament of Yamato consisted of 40-cm guns rather than the actual 46-cm.
17 Jul 1943 Yamato was undocked at Kure, Japan.
16 Aug 1943 Yamato, loaded with troops and supplies, departed Kure, Japan with Fuso, Nagato, and Destroyer Division 16's Amatsukaze and Hatsukaze. Stopped at Yashima anchorage that night.
17 Aug 1943 Yamato departed Yashima, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands.
23 Aug 1943 Yamato arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.
7 Sep 1943 Japanese Navy Captain Takeji Ono relieved Rear Admiral Chiaki Matsuda as the commanding officer of battleship Yamato; Matsuda was reassigned to the Imperial General Staff.
18 Sep 1943 Yamato sortied from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok in response to raids by US Navy Task Force 15 on Tarawa, Makin, and Abemama Atolls.
25 Sep 1943 Yamato arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands after failing to make contact with US Navy Task Force 15.
17 Oct 1943 Yamato sortied from Truk to Brown Atoll, Eniwetok in response to radio traffic that suggested a potential American strike on Wake Island.
19 Oct 1943 Yamato arrived at Brown Atoll, Eniwetok, Marshall Islands.
23 Oct 1943 Yamato departed Brown Atoll, Eniwetok, Marshall Islands and sortied to a position 250 miles south of Wake Island.
26 Oct 1943 Yamato arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands.
12 Dec 1943 Yamato departed Truk to cover for troop transport operation BO-1.
13 Dec 1943 American code breakers learned that battleship Yamato was scheduled to arrive at Truk, Caroline Islands on 25 Dec 1943 ferrying men and supplies.
17 Dec 1943 Yamato arrived at Yokosuka, Japan and took on elements of Japanese Army 1st Independent Mixed Regiment and supplies.
20 Dec 1943 Yamato departed Yokosuka, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands escorted by Yamagumo and Tanikaze of Destroyer Division 4.
25 Dec 1943 American submarine USS Skate ambushed Yamato 180 miles northeast of Truk. Skate detected Yamato at 27,300 yards and dove. Skate passed down the starboard beam of Yamato, turned, and at 0518 hours fired four stern torpedoes at 2,200 yards. Crew of Skate heard one explosion and a muffled explosion as one or two torpedoes hit Yamato on the starboard side near turret No. 3, ripping a hole that extended some 15 feet downwards from the top of the blister and longitudinally some 75 feet between frames 151 and 173. The upper turret magazines flooded through a small hole punched in the longitudinal bulkhead; the hole was caused by failure of the armor belt joint between the upper and lower side protection belts. The upper magazine for No. 3 turret flooded. Yamato took on about 3,000-tons of water, far more than anticipated by the designers of the side protective system. The transport mission was aborted. The follow-up depth charge attack by Yamagumo, Tanikaze, or both failed to hit Skate, which made its escape three hours later. Later, Yamamto arrived at Truk and received emergency repairs by repair ship Akashi which also prepared a damage assessment report. US Navy intercepted a message from Yamato that read "Hull damage summary resulting from torpedo attack. Details affecting armament and machinery will be submitted later. 1. Hole from frame 163 to 170. 11 meters in diameter above the 'bilge' [sic] and 5 1/2 meters below penetrating outer plates of 'bilge' [sic]."
10 Jan 1944 Yamato departed Truk, Caroline Islands for Kure, Japan with three destroyers (Michishio, Asagumo, and Fujinami) in escort.
11 Jan 1944 Yamato was spotted by USS Halibut at 1800 hours, but Halibut was unable to attack.
14 Jan 1944 Yamato was detected by the radar of USS Batfish at 2330 hours, but Batfish was unable to close in for an attack.
16 Jan 1944 Yamato arrived at Kure, Japan and docked in No. 4 drydock for repairs. Yamato would also receive a sloping plate fitted at a 45-degree angle across the lower corner of the upper void compartment between the two longitudinal inboard bulkheads. This modification, proposed to run the full length of the citadel, was installed only in Yamato in the area affected by the torpedo damage received in the previous month.
25 Jan 1944 Captain Nobuei Morishita relieved Rear Admiral Takeji Ono as the commanding officer of Yamato.
3 Feb 1944 Yamato undocked from Drydock No. 4 at Kure, Japan.
25 Feb 1944 Assigned to the Second Fleet, Yamato was drydocked at Kure, Japan to receive upgrades. Two beam triple 6.1 inch (155-mm) turrets were to be removed and replaced by six (3x2) 5-inch (127-mm) HA AA mounts. Twenty-four (8x3) and 26 single 25mm AA mounts were to be added. Shelters were also added on the upper deck for the increased AA crews. Type 13 air search and Type 22 Mod 4 surface search/gunnery control radars were to be installed. The main mast was to be altered. Two 150-mm searchlights were to be removed (later installed ashore at Kure, Japan). Yamato was to be fitted with Type 2 infrared (IR) Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF)/signaling devices mounted midway up on each side of the bridge; the system might had been based on the German Seehund IR device, built around a telescopic sensor that received light-waves in the IR range and registered a readout in the radio shack. The IFF system also included a pair of 20-mm binoculars coaxially mounted with the transmitting IR lamp on the bridge so that another ship could use the IR detector for elementary signaling or as a formation light for station keeping. About this time, Yamato was also fitted with multiple E27 radar detectors copied from the German FuMB 1 Metox R.600.
18 Mar 1944 Yamato exited drydocks at Kure, Japan.
11 Apr 1944 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for trials in the Iyo Nada; she arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay that evening.
17 Apr 1944 Yamato arrived at Kure, Japan to load supplies.
21 Apr 1944 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Okinoshima and loaded troops.
22 Apr 1944 Yamato departed Okinoshima, Japan with cruiser Maya, destroyer Shimakaze, destroyer Yukikaze, and two other destroyers.
28 Apr 1944 Yamato arrived at Manila, unloaded troops and supplies, and then departed.
1 May 1944 Yamato arrived at Lingga, Dutch East Indies south of Singapore.
3 May 1944 Yamato was designated the flagship of Battleship Division 1 under Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki.
11 May 1944 Yamato departed from Lingga, Dutch East Indies for Tawi-Tawi, Philippine Islands with Mobile Fleet under Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa.
14 May 1944 Yamato arrived at Tawi-Tawi, where she would remain for gunnery drills at range of nearly 22 miles with sister ship Musashi through Jun 1944.
10 Jun 1944 Yamato departed Tawi-Tawi for Batjan, Halmahera at 1600 hours for Operation KON; this was reported by American Submarine USS Harder. Shortly after, the Japanese fleet spotted a periscope and carried out evasive maneuvers that nearly resulted in a collision between Yamato and Musashi.
12 Jun 1944 Yamato arrived at Batjan, Halmahera after Operation KON was postponed.
13 Jun 1944 Yamato departed Batjan, Halmahera at 2200 hours to rendezvous with the Mobile Fleet.
15 Jun 1944 Yamato was sighted and reported by USS Seahorse east of Mindanao, Philippine Islands.
17 Jun 1944 Yamato refueled from oilers of the 1st Supply Force, then joined the Mobile Fleet. Later, the Mobile Fleet was sighted by USS Cavalla in the Philippine Sea.
19 Jun 1944 Yamato fired Sanshiki-dan anti-aircraft shells in combat for the first time against incoming aircraft, but it was discovered that they were friendly.
22 Jun 1944 The Mobile Fleet, including Yamato, arrived at Nakagusuku, Okinawa. The destroyers were refueled before the Mobile Fleet departed again.
24 Jun 1944 The Mobile Fleet, including Yamato, arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay, Japan.
29 Jun 1944 Yamato departed for Kure, Japan to receive five new triple-mount 25mm AA guns; during the installation, the entire hinoki deck would also be replaced.
8 Jul 1944 Yamato departed Kure, Japan for Okinawa, Japan with the 106th Infantry Regiment of the 49th Division on board.
10 Jul 1944 Yamato arrived at Okinawa, Japan then departed for Lingga, Dutch East Indies.
17 Jul 1944 Yamato arrived at Lingga, Dutch East Indies where she was to remain in the following three months for training.
15 Oct 1944 Japanese Navy Captain Nobuei Morishita, commanding officer of Yamato, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral.
18 Oct 1944 Yamato and Musashi's decks were painted black with soot for the intended night operation in the San Bernardino Strait before departing Lingga for Brunei Bay, Boreno in the Dutch East Indies. Destroyer Yukikaze, among other ships, provided escort.
20 Oct 1944 Yamato refueled in Brunei Bay.
22 Oct 1944 Yamato received Mitsubishi F1M2 aircraft from Nagato, then set sail for Operation SHO-I-GO.
23 Oct 1944 Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita transferred his flag aboard Yamato after his former flagship Atago was sunk by submarine USS Darter.
25 Oct 1944 In the Battle off Samar in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, destroyers USS Hoel and Heerman launched three Mark XV torpedoes at two different Japanese cruisers and missed. The torpedoes went on to advance on the battleship Yamato, the Japanese force flagship. Yamato’s evasive action took the force commander, Admiral Takeo Kurita, so far from the action that he effectively lost his ability to command the battle and likely contributed to his ultimate decision to break off the engagement and withdraw his force.
5 Apr 1945 At 1359 hours, while at Mitajiri anchorage in Japan, battleship Yamato's commanding officer Captain Kosaku Ariga received the order to participate in a surface special attack on 7 Apr 1945. Ariga informed the crew at 1500 hours. At 1730 hours, 67 recently arrived cadets from the Naval Academy at Etajima were sent ashore. A farewell party was then held aboard Yamato, with a photographer taking portraits of officers.
6 Apr 1945 The sick and the older sailors aboard Yamato were disembarked at Mitajiri anchorage in Japan before the battleship departed for Operation Ten-Go. She passed through the Bungo Channel between Shikoku and Kyushu at 1830 hours, sailing west and then turning south at 2100 hours to avoid American submarine USS Threadfin. Meanwhile, USS Threadfin continued to follow Yamato's position though unable to attack.
7 Apr 1945 While enroute to attack the US fleets off Okinawa, Japan, battleship Yamato was attacked by US carrier aircraft resulting in her loss, along with several of her escorts.
31 Aug 1945 Battleship Yamato was removed from the Japanese Navy list.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Klaus says:
4 Oct 2006 04:51:07 AM

That is quite a nice homepage you got there. Interesting and easy to navigate. Keep up the good work.

Klaus from Worldwartwozone
2. Mike Dunne says:
27 Jan 2007 11:17:30 PM

I agree! Pete has done a marvelous job with this site
3. Anonymous says:
2 May 2007 01:04:40 PM

You know, its ironic how both the Bismarck and the Yamato were the biggest and most powerful battleships in the war, but really both were a non-factor. The only real victory was Bismarcks sinking of Hood, which could be called a draw since it pissed off the English Navy so much. They paid for that.
4. Generalderpanzertruppen says:
7 May 2007 07:44:02 AM

Nice one mate! I appreciate the work youve put into your own site, hope it goes well for you!
5. facundo says:
13 Jul 2007 08:01:37 PM

nice pictures, just im 13 and i am very exited with the battleship, i have got the imperial armi in 1:350scale and i think it is a great page to see. you did a nice work
6. Anonymous says:
19 Aug 2007 12:02:03 AM

anyone who has info about yamato 4 mail me.
7. Anonymous says:
18 Nov 2007 02:43:51 AM

very good history.keep up the good work t.c
8. Mike (www.battleshipyamato.info) says:
12 Mar 2008 03:40:13 AM

Hi Pete! Thanks for your post! I will check your site, so far it looks good!
9. Anonymous says:
12 Jun 2008 11:00:49 PM

Can you elaborate on what is meant by "chrysanthemum credit"?
10. francisco antonio de souza says:
15 Sep 2008 09:19:31 AM

this page is very good. Congratulations.
11. Capt. Tariq says:
24 Oct 2008 10:50:31 AM

iam looking for marine art for the battleship YAMATO . if any one have and art print plz send it to me?
12. Anonymous says:
27 Dec 2008 05:39:57 PM

thanks for the great info on the yamato's ship. now l can go on reading my book about the ww2. it helps undersand history.
13. Anonymous says:
16 Jan 2009 02:18:30 PM

A most enjoyable article of the famed warship.
14. Wm Rhoades says:
27 Jan 2009 01:33:09 AM

I think that since the IJN Yamato has been found, there should be some attempt at finding the wreckage of IJN Musashi and IJN Shinano.
IJN Musashi (BB) was lost on 10-24-45 in Sibuyan Sea, within CLOSE Site of Land Mass ISLAND to PORT of ship...close.
IJN Shinano, on way to KURE sinks # 33-07*N, 137-04*E...go find them too. We know of defects from Archerfish 4 TPD Hits, and there appears to have been 'huge multi-explosions on Musashi 'during action' in Sibuyan Sea manouvering, in pictures taken.
15. Dustin J. Pulid says:
5 Apr 2009 11:21:14 AM

This is very interesting information. While I had been learning world war 2 in school, I had not learned about the Yamato. IT seems like to me that they Yamato was a very serious ship. If we had engaged in old school naval battle with Japan, out in the Pacific it would have been a very difficult battle. It seems that the ship was equipped with alot of weapons. Its surprising to see that a ship like that was able to carry so much without losing any of its speed.
16. Dustin J. Pulid says:
5 Apr 2009 11:25:38 AM

This is very interesting information. While I had been learning world war 2 in school, I had not learned about the Yamato. IT seems like to me that they Yamato was a very serious ship. If we had engaged in old school naval battle with Japan, out in the Pacific it would have been a very difficult battle. It seems that the ship was equipped with alot of weapons. Its surprising to see that a ship like that was able to carry so much without losing any of its speed.
17. trojantjl says:
20 May 2009 03:44:59 PM

The Axis were stupid for not building aircraft carriers.
18. Anonymous says:
8 Jul 2009 11:58:50 PM

lol bismarck wasnt even that great

none of the KM ships were, it was just becuz their small numbers, the big ships were mythologized

even stories of sinking scharnhorst and graf spee became epic -__-
19. Arie Tiele says:
20 Aug 2009 02:18:18 AM

Great Story.
Alway's very interested in these stories
I have build the Yamato from photo material in a 1:175 scale, complete RC controlled and fully operational, even as the Tirpitz and more WW2 ships
You can see them on:
20. black jack says:
28 Dec 2009 09:43:05 AM

We was found the point on the sea bad. See the russian web
It is just 50 miles to nord-west from Japan.
Go to diving, guys! Not so deep!
21. passanger says:
1 Feb 2010 03:20:18 AM


There was a large stall in Yamato^^

At the stall,Luxury goods like Cigarette
or a softdrink we call"Lamune"in Japan was sold^^

Lamune drink : http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%A9%E3%83%A0%E3%83%8D_(%E6%B8%85%E6%B6%BC%E9%A3%B2%E6%96%99)
22. arjay714 says:
27 Mar 2010 02:21:22 AM

I was a Navy Combat Aircrewman trained in the TBM/TBF torpedo plane. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately the war ended the week I got my wings. That prompts me to add the fact that Yamato was sunk by TBMs. I do not remember the squadrons'designations. But I remember that it cost us 23 TBMs with the lives of 69 aircrews, small,of course, compared with concurrent loss of Japanese sailors, but that is not the point
Students interested to know more about the ship can learn a lot from a book, YAMATO, by an IJN Ensign who survived the sinking.
23. Anonymous says:
4 Jun 2010 07:59:30 AM

While shipwrecks were being tried to be located, no report of any kind was mentioned that gold fortune were also in it.. hunters are looking for Japanese shipwrecks because they know they were mostly loaded with fortune especially between 1943-1945.
24. Ariel Arcebido says:
18 Jul 2010 01:45:45 PM

Why would the Japanese tell the German admiral that the main guns are only 40 cm? Aren't they supposed to be allies back then?
25. Leonard Brodt says:
12 Nov 2010 06:38:29 PM

Just in case my comment is misunderstood..I was a seaman in anti naircraft gunnery on board the USS Missouri through ww2..!!Lenny909
26. gilgabriel says:
5 Dec 2010 11:46:12 PM

Thank you so much for that well researched and written effort on a great battleship! By great, I mean due to its size, armaments, firepower, number of crew and armor protection. Not so much though for sea battles won since it only sunk hapless and helpless escort carriers and destroyer escorts in a running battle. How ironic that Japan which ushered in the might of air power (Pearl Harbor, Sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse[?]) came to see its sea power decimated by American and Allied air power and its beautiful cities bombed to ashes. There are no victors in war for it only leaves widespread destruction, widows and orphans, famine, chaos and disorder.
27. Andy McGeechan says:
18 Jan 2011 04:47:46 AM

24: Ariel Arcebido says:
18 Jul 2010 01:45:45 PM

"Why would the Japanese tell the German admiral that the main guns are only 40 cm? Aren't they supposed to be allies back then?"

The Japanese Military régime did not trust the Germans, despite receiving lots of technology from them (via Submarine transport missions)
This may stem from the fact that, as Europeans, they where little different from the the rest of the imperialist westerners whom they wished to throw out of their "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere"(1938) and mixed feelings about Germany signing a pact with the USSR, even though Japan itself to resort to a similar. agreement by 1941
28. CliSwe says:
6 Sep 2011 03:23:07 AM

Quite an awe-inspiring ship. Seriously though, she was obsolete as soon as she commissioned - and the new breed in the IJN knew it. Only the old-school admirals saw her as a viable combat asset. Like the Colours of an infantry regiment: a powerful traditional symbol, but never seen on the battlefield today.
29. Steven says:
21 Jan 2012 04:48:30 PM

I wonder if they can ever raise the Yamato lke they did with the Kursk. It would be an awesome museum if they could repair it once lifted or even convert it with new modern weapons to make it the last battleship in service. thats never been done before, but the country that built it should do it. the last active battleship or they could make a copy without raising it all!
30. Leonard Brodt says:
17 Jul 2012 07:10:24 PM

The Yamoto was commissioned in 1941 and sunk in 1945 so it lived only four years..!!And the Japanese kept it out of action out of fear of losing it....
31. Davidicus Maximus says:
3 Feb 2013 08:27:34 PM

Japanese blew it--the battleships should have been 100 miles in front of the carriers at Midway rather than the other way around. Destroy Midway defenses by bombardment, take the first wave of US planes, then strike back with all carrier planes. They would have won that battle. As it was the battleships may as well never have been built.
32. Robert says:
11 Apr 2013 06:42:15 AM

So much for 'Kantai Kessen' they had the optimal weapon for a decisive battle, yet were too scared to lose it. Vanity project, that's all that was.
33. Shootpetoet says:
13 Nov 2013 05:35:16 AM

To commemmorate the battle, and the loss of Yamato, I had my bike painted: https://scontent-b-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/208242_10150228354680030_1818894_n.jpg
34. Anonymous says:
7 Jan 2014 06:43:42 PM

got to do a report on yamato this really helped #love it....<3....=]
35. Dom P. says:
16 Jul 2014 12:07:16 PM

Davidicus maximus....
you don't understand naval amphibious assaults....the carriers go first, to soften up the target area, and to destroy any enemy craft (air or sea), in the area...the destroyers, cruisers, and battleships then escort the assault ships in, conducting a prelanding bombardment, and support during landing operations. If the heavies had been 100 miles in front of the carriers, they would have probably been lost to midway based aircraft, since they would have been operating without air cover. :D
36. Ethan the duck says:
6 Mar 2015 09:45:21 AM

The time line is good
37. Anonymous says:
18 Sep 2015 06:31:19 PM

tht is the model iwant for christmas
38. steve skellyAnonymous says:
25 Feb 2016 11:26:06 AM

A little history:My uncle Raymond John Skelly from Cohasset Minnesota was a TBF pilot. He and his crew of two were the first wave to attack the Yamato. They dove down and he released their torpedo and scored a direct hit on the Yamato only to be shot down by anti-aircraft fire and lost at sea
39. Gem Burke says:
10 Nov 2016 10:45:13 AM

You have some errors in your Yamato specs. The spec on the big guns are off by a decimal place. The Main guns (9) were 460 cm not 46 cm looking at the rest and I'm going to say they are really messed up too. e.g. the 6 15.5 cm were 155 cm I believe 162x25mm, really?? Somebody had too much coffee.
40. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
10 Nov 2016 11:15:56 AM

Gem Burke (above):
I don’t think there is a decimal point issue here so much as there is a centimeter vs. millimeter issue here. The specifications listed for the Yamato’s armaments are correct. The bore of the 9 main guns was 46 cm or 460 mm and certainly not 460 cm (that would be 15 feet!). Similarly, the bore of the 6 secondary guns was 15.5 cm or 155 mm and not 155 cm (5 feet). And, Yes; 162x25mm, really. 25 mm is roughly 1 inch and was a pretty standard anti-aircraft caliber for all nations.
41. Kemp Gibson says:
18 Sep 2017 03:08:32 PM

I am the son of Lt William K
Gibson Jr, one of the pilots of Torpedo Squadron Nine that finished off the Yamato in 1945.

I have an autographed photograph of seven squadron members, including Thomas Stetson, that I wish to submit to someone for its historic significance.

Is this something you would be interested in receiving or do you know someone or some organization that would like to have it?

I can send it via email if provided with an email address.

Thank you.
42. Joseph FP Harty says:
18 Jan 2018 01:31:32 AM

Read this book about 10 years ago about a US sub that caught this Japanese behemoth 70,000 ton Yamato running at night with a skelton amatuar crew with a light escort. The story went that after being repaired from severe aerial attacks the harbor it was at was no longer able to protect it. So they took a scram [WWII slang for bugging out ] to get to another safer port and the sub had it's torpedos run near the surface, as the belt around it was set up for normal deep running torpedo attacks. This book was published with the commanders consent, any you Navy historians read this book?
43. Joseph F Harty says:
18 Jan 2018 06:16:12 PM

Kemp Gibson so did one sub take this behemoth out, or was the book I read pure bull? Wish I could remember the captions name am going to go through all my books, sure that one was kept, it was almost a like a sit-rip.
44. Kaleb Ross says:
22 Jan 2018 09:55:18 AM

actually, the submarine you are talking about was the uss skate, which fired i think 1 or 2 and one of those torpedoes hit the Yamato, badly damaging the ship and make out of action for a few months
45. Anonymous says:
21 Mar 2019 10:09:54 PM

I believe the book that you are recalling is Gallant Lady by Ken Henry and Don Kieth which details the sinking of the Japanese carrier Shinano (converted from a Yamato class battleship hull) by the submarine USS Archerfish. Commander Enright of Archerfish set the torpedoes for shallow in an attempt to capsize the target.
46. Robert Fish says:
22 Feb 2022 10:13:47 AM

I am the great nephew of William K. Gibson Jr. To respond to Joseph Harry. I read in my Uncle Billa Navy Cross report his airplane torpedo (13th in all) made a direct hit and it sank two minutes later. He never talked about it.
47. Mike says:
13 Mar 2022 07:44:36 PM

Does anyone know the maximum elevation of the Yamato's anti-aircraft armaments? I read somewhere that it was 72 degrees, but someone else said it was 90 degrees. Just curious.

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» Requiem for Battleship Yamato

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Battleship Yamato Photo Gallery
Battleship Yamato fitting out, Kure Naval Arsenal, Japan, Sep 1941; light carrier Hosho at extreme rightYamato on trials, 30 Oct 1941, photo 1 of 4
See all 38 photographs of Battleship Yamato

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