Sinking of Yamato | Nihon Kaigun

Sinking of Yamato
(April 7, 1945)

With the battle for Okinawa raging full force, it was decided to send super battleship Yamato on a suicide mission to the island. Ostensibly, her sortie was designed to draw off American air power in order to allow a massive suicide strike (kikusui) by land-based aircraft from Japan to hit the American invasion forces ringing the island. Accordingly, Yamato was fueled for a one-way trip, and sent out with nine escorts led by the light-cruiser Yahagi, skippered by Tameichi Hara. In the event Yamato made it to the island, her orders were to beach herself and make use of her 18.1" guns in support of the land fighting there.

She was met by aircraft of Task Force 58 shortly after noon on April 7th. Attacked in waves, Yamato could do little but absorb the punishment inflicted by at least five 1,000 lb bombs and ten torpedoes. By approximately 1420 hours it was all over; Yamato had capsized to port and exploded. Five of her escorts had been sunk as well. A total of 2,498 men had been lost aboard Yamato, 446 from Yahagi, and a further 721 from the destroyers. The Japanese Navy was effectively kaput. There would be only one more grisly act to play out.

Sinking of YamatoJapanAllied
Starting Forces x1
x1
x8
x386
Losses x1 sunk (Yamato)
x1 sunk (Yahagi)
x4 sunk (Asashimo, Hamakaze, Kasumi, Isokaze)
x4 damaged (Fuyuzuki, Suzutsuki, Yukikaze, Hatsushimo)
x12 (approx.) destroyed

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WW2DB article on Okinawa Campaign


Map of major Pacific War engagements, 1942-1945View of a devastated area on Okinawa, Japan, 1945Japanese officers Rear Adm. Minoru Ota, Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima, Lt. Gen. Isamu Cho, Col. Hitoshi Kanayama, Col. Kiuji Hongo, and Col. Hiromichi Yahara, in numbered order, Okinawa, early Feb 1945Aerial photograph taken during bombing of a Japanese forward submarine base on Okinawa, Japan, Mar 1945Ships making smoke screen off Iwo Jima per original caption, but appearance of battleship Colorado or Maryland in another photo of this set indicate it might had been Okinawa; circa 1945, photo 2 of 2
Map of major Pacific War engagements, 1942-1945View of a devastated area on Okinawa, Japan, 1945Japanese officers Rear Adm. Minoru Ota, Lt. Gen. Mitsuru Ushijima, Lt. Gen. Isamu Cho, Col. Hitoshi Kanayama, Col. Kiuji Hongo, and Col. Hiromichi Yahara, in numbered order, Okinawa, early Feb 1945Aerial photograph taken during bombing of a Japanese forward submarine base on Okinawa, Japan, Mar 1945Ships making smoke screen off Iwo Jima per original caption, but appearance of battleship Colorado or Maryland in another photo of this set indicate it might had been Okinawa; circa 1945, photo 2 of 2
Ships making smoke screen off Iwo Jima per original caption, but appearance of battleship Colorado or Maryland indicate it might had been Okinawa; circa 1945, photo 1 of 2Vice Admiral Richmond Turner aboard USS Eldorado off Ryukyu Islands, Japan, Mar 1945Men of the US 77th Division landing from LVTs onto Zanami Island of the Kerama Islands near Okinawa, Japan, 27 Mar 1945Battleship Colorado bombarding Okinawa, Japan, 29 Mar 1945; cropped photoAerial view of Tokashiki Island, Okinawa, Japan, 1945
Ships making smoke screen off Iwo Jima per original caption, but appearance of battleship Colorado or Maryland indicate it might had been Okinawa; circa 1945, photo 1 of 2Vice Admiral Richmond Turner aboard USS Eldorado off Ryukyu Islands, Japan, Mar 1945Men of the US 77th Division landing from LVTs onto Zanami Island of the Kerama Islands near Okinawa, Japan, 27 Mar 1945Battleship Colorado bombarding Okinawa, Japan, 29 Mar 1945; cropped photoAerial view of Tokashiki Island, Okinawa, Japan, 1945

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