Yamato and Musashi
Displacement: 65,027 ton (empty, including 21,266 tons of armor);
72,800 ton (estimated, full load)
Length: 256 m (800.5 ft) water-line ; 263 m (862.5 ft) overall
Beam: 36.9 m (121 ft)
Draft: 11 m (36 ft) maximum
• 12 Kanpon boilers, driving 4 steam turbines
• 150,000 shp (110 MW)
• Four 3-bladed propellers, 6.0 m (19.7 ft) diameter
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 11,500 km at 16 knots (30 km/h)
• 650 mm on face of turrets
• 410 mm side armor, inclined 20 degrees
• 200 mm armored deck
• 9 × 46 cm (18.1 inch) (3×3)
• 12 × 15.5 cm (6.1 inch) (4×3) (six removed, replaced by 138- 20mm)
• 12 × 12.7 cm (5 in) (6×2)
• 24 × 25 mm AA (8×3) (later 162- 20mm)(52×3, 6×1)
• 4 × 13 mm AA (2×2)
Aircraft: 7, 2 catapults
The Japanese Yamato class of battleship was the largest ever built.
At 65,000 tons they were essentially double the size of the Treaty battleships limited to 35,000 tons that expired in 1936 They were built in secret, the 18.1" main armorment was
described a "16-inch-special" to further the deception. Armament was a throwback to pre-dreadnought days of carrying anti-battleship, 18.1" guns, was built with 12- 6.1" light cruiser guns, and 24- 5" dual purpose, destroyer-size guns. Half the 6" guns were later replaced with lighter anti-aircraft guns.
Both ships were laid down in 1937. Yamato was commissioned 16 December 1941 the week after Pearl Harbor. Musashi was commissioned 5 August 1942 as US marines approached Guadalcanal. Both spent most of the war stationed at Truk,
the Japanese bastion in the Carolines in the Central Pacific. Each was struck by a submarine launched torpedo during the war and repaired in Japan where the wing 6" guns were replaced with many smaller anti-aircraft guns. Then moved in early 1944 to Singapore to be near a fuel supply. The first engagement in which either fired their guns were at Leyte Gulf where
Musashi was sunk in the Sibuyan Sea, 24 Oct 44. Yamato survived to be sent on a suicide mission towards Okinawa where she and most of her escorts were sunk partway there 5 April 1945. Each was sunk by naval aircraft and not by surface engagements for which they were intended.
Nagato and Mutsu
Displacement: 42,850 tons
Length: 221.03 m (725 ft 2 in)
Beam: 34.59 m (113 ft 6 in)
Draught: 9.50 m (31 ft 2 in)
Propulsion and power: Geared turbines, 4 shafts, 80000 hp (60 MW)
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 5,500 nautical miles at 16 knots (10,200 km at 30 km/h)
Armament: 8- 16 inch (406 mm) guns
20-(later 18) 5.5 inch (140 mm) guns
8- 5 inch (127 mm) anti-aircraft guns
98- 25 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: 3
Nagato was laid down during WWI and commissioned November 15, 1920.
She was the first battleship in the world to mount 16 inch (410 mm) guns.
She was converted from coal to oil in 1936 and anti-aircraft and armor were upgraded. She was the Imperial Flagship from which Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku from which he ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor. She saw action only once, during the battle of Leyte Gulf.
- Nagato accompanied the First Fleet to the battle of Midway but saw no action.
- Nagato was based at Truk in the Caroline Islands for most of the war. After the evacuation of Truk in February 1944, she was based at Lingga near Singapore.
- In June 1944 she was part of the attack on Allied forces in the Mariana Islands. In the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19 June 1944 she came under air attack but was not damaged.
- At the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, 24 October 1944, Nagato was attacked
and damaged by dive-bombers. Next day In the Battle off Samar, Nagato engaged U.S. escort carriers and destroyers, the first time she fired her guns at an enemy ship, but missed. Nagato and Yamato were attacked by surface torpedoes and forced to turn away from the action until the torpedoes ran out of fuel. After returning to the action, Nagato was again hit by bombs. As the fleet retreated on 26 October she was hit several more times.
- At Yokosuka, Japan, for repairs, the lack of fuel had her reassigned as a coastal defence ship. On 18 July 1945 she was attacked by naval aircraft
- The last active Japanese battleship was towed to Bikini Atoll and went through airburst and underwater atomic tests in July 1946. Nagato was allowed to sink five days later.
Mutsu was laid down during WWI and commissioned October 24, 1921.
- Mutsu formed part of the Main Body at the Battle of Midway along with
Yamato. Neither battleship where part of the engagement and withdrew when the Carrier strike Force of four carriers was sunk.
- Mutsu was part of Main Body at the Battle of Eastern Solomons, and again, did not engage when the carrier force was damaged, light carrier Ryujo sunk, and the invasion force withdrew.
- Mutsu exploded in Hiroshima harbor on June 8, 1943. This resulted in the loss of over 1,100 officers and men, including 140 instructors and cadets from an aviation training group on a familiarization tour. An accident investigation attributed the loss on a disgruntled seaman who had brooded over theft charges.
Ise and Hyuga
Name Tons Comm Guns Sunk By Where
Ise (BBV) 36,500 1917/43 6x2-14' 28July45 CV TF-38 Kure
Hyuga(BBV) 36,500 1918/43 6x2-14" 24July45 CV TF-38 Kure
Displacement: 30,000 tons
Length: 640 feet
Beam: 94 feet
Draft: 28.7 feet
Machinery Turbines ; Boilers 24 ; H.P. 45,000
Speed: 23.3 knots
Armarment (as built)
12- 14" (6x2)
18- 5.5" surface
8- 5" (4x2) anti-aircraft
Armor 8" to 12"
Aircraft: 3. 2 catapults
Ise was laid down May 1915, during WWI, commissioned 15Dec 1917.
Hyuga was laid down May 1915, during WWI, commissioned 30April. 1918.
After the loss of four fleet carriers at Midway, these two battleshps were converted to hybrid carriers. Each had the two rear turrets removed to make a small flight deck.
In their only engagement, they were part of the Northern Fleet of
decoy carriers in the battle off Cape Engano. These battleships survived, the four carriers did not.
Both returned to Japan and were destroyed in the navy yard at Kure in July 1945 by naval air.
Kongo 32,250 1913 4x2-14" 21Nov44 SS-315 off Formosa
Hiei 32,250 1914 4x2-14" 13Nov42 TG 67.4;Air Guadalcanal
Kirishima 32,250 1915 4x2-14" 15Nov42 BB-56 Guadalcanal
Haruna 32,250 1915 4x2-14" 28July45 CV TF-38 Kure
Fuso 35,900 1915 6x2-14" 25Oct44 BB TF-77 Surigao Sea, Leyte, P.I.
Yamashiro 35,900 1917 6x2-14" 25Oct44 DD, PT Surigao Sea, Leyte, P.I.
Ise (BBV) 36,500 1917/43 (6)4x2-14' 28July45 CV TF-38 Kure
Hyuga(BBV)36,500 1918/43 (6)4x2-14" 24July45 CV TF-38 Kure
In case you think these were old battleships, the USN started the war with fifteen BBs commissioned from 1912 (Arkansas) to 1923 (West Virgina). Those stationed in the Pacific were sunk at Pearl Harbor.
Japan's first steam-powered ironclad warship was Kotetsu, ex-CSS Stonewall, 1865 . She dispatched with seven other steam warships in 1869 and remained in service until 1888.
Japan had designs for a super Yamato of similar weight, 70,000 tons, but armed with six 20 inch guns, to be laid down in 1942, but was discontinued after Midway showed the need for more aircraft carriers.
(Planned USN Montana class would have been 65,000 tons with twelve 16" guns, also never built.).
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About this page: Brief description of Japanese Battleships.
Last updated on 29Oct 2009 -- add Kotetsu and super Yamato.
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