I have been looking into Operation Ten-Go and noted something curious - nearly all online sources only list the number of planes for the first wave (280).
But none really the makeup of the subsequent waves.
How many aircraft in total attacked the Yamato and her escorts and what was the makeup of planes?
The details of the engagement were included in an after-action report submitted by the Commander of Task Force Fifty-Eight (which carried out the attacks) to the Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet on 18 June 1945.
[The original document is held by the United States National Archives, and may not be available online. However, part of the report, at least, has been digitised, and is available to download from Fold3 as a 'Premium document' (This will incur a cost unless you are a member of Fold3).]
The first wave of 280 aircraft flew from Task Force 58.1 and Task Force 58.3. A further wave of 106 aircraft flew from Task Force 58.4. The report observes that:
"The original intention was for all Task Groups to launch together, but Task Group 58.4 could not be ready in time."
As a result, the aircraft from Task Group 58.4 attacked the Japanese vessels about 45 minutes after the initial strike by aircraft from Task Forces 58.1 and 58.3.
The air-attack was thus organised as follows:
"A tracking and covering force of 16 fighters were launched at 09156 [sic] and they were followed at 1000 by the strikes of Task Groups 58.1 and 58.3, and 45 minutes later by Task Group 58.4."
[I don't have access to the original, but I suspect the '09156' in the text is a simple transcription error, and should probably read just '0915']
Task Force 58.1 included the carriers:
- Hornet (CV-12)
- Bennington (CV-20)
- Belleau Wood (CVL-24)
- San Jacinto (CVL-30)
Task Force 58.3 included the carriers:
- Essex (CV-9)
- Bunker Hill (CV-17)
- Hancock (CV-19)
- Bataan (CVL-29)
Task Force 58.4 included the carriers:
- Yorktown (CV-10)
- Intrepid (CV-11)
- Enterprise (CV-6)
51 aircraft from the USS Hancock (part of the first wave) took off 15 minutes late, failed to join up with the other aircraft, and subsequently did not find the enemy. This group included 12 Avengers, 15 Helldivers and 24 fighters.
A full list of the ships involved on 7 April 1945 has been collated by Dan Muir on this page.
The total aircraft that participated in the attack are tabulated below:
From the report,
"All Avenger (VT) aircraft carried torpedoes, the Helldivers (VB) were armed with a mixed load of 1000-lb. SAP, GP, and two 250-lb. GP, and the fighter aircraft with a 500-lb. GP bomb as well as a long-range tank."
Battle of Leyte Gulf
The Battle of Leyte Gulf raged from October 23 through 25, 1944. It was the largest naval battle ever fought — ending in the eclipse of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and its last sortie in force. Leyte Gulf also was the scene of the first organized use of Kamikaze (suicide) aircraft by the Japanese. The Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia was hit on October 21, and suicide attacks by the "Special Attack Force" began on October 25th. Prologue Naval, air and ground forces had joined hands to bring the Allies to the Japanese-held Philippines. On October 20, Lt. General Walter Krueger's U.S. Sixth Army gained two beachheads on the central island of Leyte. It confronted a 270,000-man Japanese army and air force in the Philippines, commanded by Field Marshal Count Hisaichi Terauchi. General Douglas MacArthur and his staff waded ashore at Tacloban about five hours following the first landings — the old warrior had fulfilled his promise to return. Starting on October 25, 1944, and for more than a month, Japanese re-supply groups called TA convoys headed for Ormoc Bay (west of Leyte), and brought to the defenders of Leyte Island the reinforcements needed to prolong the resistance well beyond what the Allies had expected. By December, however, the Sixth Army had captured the island. Four months before MacArthur's Leyte landings, at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Japanese Navy staged its final major effort to defeat the U.S. fleet with carrier-borne aircraft. Nearly 200 of their aircraft were shot down over or near Task Force 58* in one afternoon. Three Japanese carriers were sunk in the battle, and the IJN lost nearly 500 carrier- and land-based aircraft in two days. As a result of the destruction of the IJN's air groups, the Japanese carriers were drastically reduced in number by the time of the Leyte campaign. Some of the carriers were placed as decoys to divert the Americans. IJN's still largely intact battleship and heavy-cruiser forces would then be able to pursue the U.S. with surprise attacks. The battle commences The Battle of Leyte Gulf consisted of two preliminary strikes against the Japanese forces on the way to battle and three massive engagements once the fleets tangled. In other words, the last great battleship engagement of World War II, and in all of history, was staged in five parts, each bearing its own name: The Palawan Passage. The first Japanese force to be located by American forces was Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita's Center Force.** The fleet was encountered in the Palawan Passage early on October 23rd by two U.S. submarines, the USS Darter (SS-227) and USS Dace (SS-247). Kurita had unaccountably failed to deploy destroyers in an anti-submarine screen ahead of his heavy ships — resulting in disaster for the Japanese. As Kurita sailed his mighty force northward, he was suddenly ambushed by an array of undetected torpedoes. The Darter successfully sank the heavy cruiser Atago (Admiral Kurita's flagship), while the Dace torpedoed two heavy cruisers, sinking the Takao and severely damaging the Maya, which was forced to withdraw. Although Admiral Kurita went down with his flagship, he was quickly rescued from the sea off Palawan by sailors aboard the Maya, putting him back into command of his fleet aboard the Yamato by day's end. Battle of the Sibuyan Sea. Early on the morning of October 24th, the Japanese Center Force was spotted entering the narrow Sibuyan Sea by planes from the USS Intrepid. Two hundred planes from the Intrepid, USS Bunker Hill and other carriers of Task Force 38*** successfully attacked the Nagato, Yamato, and Musashi, and severely damaged the Myoko. The second wave of planes zeroed in on the Mysashi, scoring numerous direct hits with more bombs and torpedoes. Finally, a third wave of terror was once again unleashed by planes aboard the Enterprise — 11 bombs and eight torpedoes. Admiral Kurita turned his fleet around to get out of the range of U.S. planes and passed the sinking Musashi as he retreated. Amid the bombardment of Kurita's fleet, Vice Admiral Onishi Takijiro had directed his First Fleet of 80 planes (based in Luzon) against the U.S. carriers Essex, Lexington, Princeton, and Langley. The USS Princeton was hit by an armor-piercing bomb, killing 200 sailors, and 80 aboard the Birmingham, which was alongside helping to suppress fires. Japanese forces successfully sank the Princeton and forced the Birmingham into early retirement. The Battle of Surigao Strait. Meanwhile, on October 24th, Rear Admiral Shoji Nishimura's southern forces failed to synchronize with other Japanese central forces (Vice Admirals Shima and Kurita) because of strict radio silence that had been imposed. When Nishimura entered the narrow Surigao Strait, Shima was about 25 miles behind him, and Kurita was still in the Sibuyan Sea. As the Japanese southern forces passed the cape of Panoan Island, they ran into a deadly trap set for them by Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf's Seventh Fleet Support Force. In order for Nishimura to pass the strait and reach the Leyte landings, he would have to run a gauntlet of torpedoes from PT boats, evade two groups of destroyers, proceed up the strait under close-range fire from six battleships and then break through a screen of cruisers and destroyers. Mistakenly, Nishimura's fleet proceeded farther through the Surigao Strait. The destroyers Asagumo, Yamagumo, and Mishishio were hit by torpedoes that severely crippled them. Battleships Yamashiro and Mogami were then riddled by 16-inch armor-piercing shells delivered by American long-range battleships, ultimately sinking the Yamashiro. When Shima's force entered the site of destruction, he quickly ordered an immediate retreat. As a result, his flagship Nachi collided with the Mogami and quickly went down, while the Mogami fell behind in the retreat and was sunk by aircraft the next morning. Of Nishimura's force of seven ships, only the Shigure survived. The Battle off Cape Engaño. On October 24th, while the U.S. was attacking Kurita and dealing with the air strikes from Luzon, Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa's Northern Force intercepted a misleading American communication of Admiral Kurita's withdrawal, and started to withdraw as well. However, Admiral Soemu Toyoda ordered Ozawa's forces to stop their retreat and attack with all means necessary. Admiral Halsey saw that he had an opportunity to destroy the last Japanese carrier forces in the Pacific, a blow that would cripple Japanese sea power and allow the U.S. Navy to attack the Japanese home islands. With a massive arsenal, Halsey's Third Fleet began to pursue the badly out-gunned northern forces of Ozawa. On the morning of October 25, Ozawa launched 75 planes to attack the Americans, but inflicted minimal damage. Most of the aircraft were shot down by U.S. covering patrols, while a handful of survivors made it to Luzon. At 8 a.m., 180 American fighters destroyed the remaining screen of 30 defensive aircraft, then air strikes began and continued until evening, by which time the American aircraft had flown 527 sorties against the Northern Force and sunk three of Ozawa's carriers, the Zuikaku, Zuiho, Chiyoda, and the destroyer Akitsuki. The fourth carrier, Chitose, was disabled, as was the cruiser Tama. Ozawa was forced to transfer his flag to the Oyodo. With all the Japanese carriers sunk or disabled, the main targets remaining were the converted battleships Ise and Hyuga. Therefore, with word of heavy resistance near Samar, Halsey detached only a small force of cruisers and destroyers, under Rear Admiral Laurence T. DuBose, to sink the disabled Japanese ships. Only the Ise and Hyuga escaped and returned to Japan — where they were sunk at their moorings in 1945. Battle of Samar. On October 25, 1944, Admiral Kurita passed through San Bernardino Strait at 3 a.m. and progressed southward along the coast of Samar. Under Admiral Thomas Kinkaid's command, three groups of the Seventh Fleet, each with six escort carriers, eight destroyers and destroyer escorts, would ultimately be responsible for stopping Kurita. Admiral Thomas Sprague's Task Unit Taffy 1, Admiral Felix Stump's Task Unit Taffy 2, and Admiral Clifton Sprague's Task Unit Taffy 3, led the way. Each escort carrier carried about 30 planes, comprising more than 500 aircraft in all. Incorrect communications led Admiral Kinkaid to believe that Admiral Willis A. Lee's Task Force 34 of battleships was guarding the San Bernardino Strait to the north, and that there would be no danger from that direction. The Japanese detected Taffy 3 at 6:45 a.m. and took the Americans completely by surprise. Then, with 18-inch guns, Kurita targeted the escort carriers for the fleet carriers — thinking that he had the whole of the American Third fleet in his sights. In defense, Admiral Sprague's destroyers began to unleash munitions, scattering the Japanese formations as their ships turned to avoid torpedoes. The Yamato found itself between two torpedoes on parallel courses, and for 10 minutes it headed away from the action, unable to turn back for fear of being hit. The American destroyers Hoel and Johnston, and destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts, were sunk, while four others were damaged. However, they had provided enough time for Sprague to get his planes into the air. American fighter planes attacked with whatever they had aboard, including depth charges for some. With artillery raining down all around him, Sprague turned and fled south. The rear carrier Gambier Bay sank while most of the others were hit and damaged. Taffy 3 could now see the light as Taffy 2 (the next unit to the south) appeared over the horizon, which forced Kurita to the north. The Japanese commander had suffered the loss of his heavy cruisers, the Chokai, Suzuya, and Chikuma, which had been sunk by Taffy 3's desperate sea and air attacks. With thoughts of perhaps once again steaming in the sea off Palawan, Kurita disengaged the Yamato, Haruna, Kongo and Nagato, followed by the few remaining cruisers and destroyers. As they turned and fled to the north and then west through the San Bernardino Strait under continuous air attack, the Nagato, Haruna and Kongo were severely damaged. The Imperial Japanese Navy had begun the battle with five battleships when the remaining forces returned to Japan, only the Yamato was combat worthy. The Divine Wind The first organized Kamikaze planes began to dive into the escort carriers that had just fought the Battle off Samar, which inflicted additional losses. That new form of warfare took the Americans by surprise. They had to somehow compensate for it because the Japanese would frequently resort to that deadly tactic until the end of the war.
*The Fast Carrier Force was known as Task Force 58 - consisting of the large fleet carriers of the Essex Class, augmented by the two surviving pre-war carriers Enterprise and Saratoga and the light fleet carriers of the Independence Class.
**Admiral Kurita's powerful Japanese Center Force consisted of five battleships and 12 cruisers, supported by 13 destroyers.
***Admiral Halsey's Third Fleet was known as Task Force 38, which primarily consisted of the same fleet from the earlier Task Force 58.
How many aircraft participated in each of the three waves against the Yamato? - History
64,027 Tons (Normal)
71,659 Tons (Full)
862'10" x | 121'1" x 32'11"
3x3 18.1" main guns
4x3 6.1 guns
6x2 127mm DP guns
8x3 25mm AA guns
2x2 13.2mm AA guns
3x3 18.1" main guns
2x3 6.1" guns
12 x 127mm DP guns
162 x 25mm AA guns
4 x 13.2mm AA guns
Waterline Belt: 410mm
2 aircraft catapults
On November 1, 1941 Captain Gihachi Takayanagi is assigned as chief equipping officer. On December 7, 1941 departs Kure for gunnery tests in the Suo Sea and Inland Sea and for the first time fires a full salvo from her main guns ranging to a distance of 32,500m / 35,540 yards.
Yamato and sister ship Musashi were the pride of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as the largest and most heavily armored battleships ever constructed with 40cm/45 Type 94 naval guns measuring 18.1" the largest naval guns used on any battleship during World War II.
On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War returns to Kure and exchanges signals with battleships from BatDiv 1 departing Hashirajima. Commissioned December 16, 1941 as Yamato 大和 meaning "Great Harmony" and as a poetic name for Japan. The battleship was registered in the Kure Naval District under the command of Captain Gihachi Takayanagi and assigned to the Combined Fleet BatDiv 1 with Nagato and Mutsu. On December 21, 1941 departs Kure for Hiroshima Bay and anchors off Nagato at Hashirajima.
On January 18, 1942 and January 19, 1942 conducts gunnery trails in the Inland Sea with Mutsu then returns to Kure. On February 12, 1942 departs Kure for Hashirajima and becomes the flagship for Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet.
Battle of Leyte Gulf
During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Yamato was largely ignored by U.S. Navy warships and instead concentrated their attacks against other warships and succeeded in sinking Musashi flagship of the operation. On October 25, 1944 Yamato was hit by a bomb in the bow and took on 3,000 tons of sea water but escaped further damage and was later repaired.
On November 25, 1944 dry docked at Kure for repairs and refit with older anti-aircraft guns removed and 9 batteries of tripple 25mm anti-aircraft guns were installed to increase her anti-aircraft defenses to two singled mounted 25mm AA guns and fifty tipple mount 25mm AA guns. That same day Captain Kosaku Aruga takes command.
On March 19, 1945 Yamato was underway in the Inland Sea as U.S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft from Task Force 58 (TF-58) including USS Essex (CV-9), USS Intrepid (CV-11), USS Hornet (CV-12), USS Wasp (CV-18), USS Hancock (CV-19), USS Bennington (CV-20) and USS Belleau Wood (CVL-24) attack Kure Naval Arsenal and Kure Harbor. During the attack, Yamato maneuvered to avoid bombs but several near misses exploded nearby and bomb released by a SB2C Helldiver from USS Intrepid (CV-11) hit the bridge but only causes minor damage.
On March 28, 1945 at Tokuyama Navy Fuel Depot refueled by Mitsushima Maru with 1,000 tons of fuel oil and at 5:30pm departs Hashirajima bound for Sasebo but instead is recalled to Kure. On March 29, 1945 takes aboard a full load of ammunition including 1,170 shells for her 18.1" main guns, 1,620 shells for her secondary guns and 13,500 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition plus 11.5 million rounds of small caliber ammunition and also receives fuel from destroyers Hanazuki and Asashimo.
On April 1, 1945 learns of the U.S. landing on Okinawa and continues last minute preparations for action. On April 2, 1945 departs Kure to anchored at Mitajiri Bight and the next day receives an order alerting Yamato for a sortie to Okinawa. On April 4, 1945 Zeros from 332 Kokutai fly low over Yamato for anti-aircraft gun training for last minute training for the battleship's untrained crew members to prepare for aerial defense.
Operation Ten-Go (Operation Heaven Number One)
On April 5, 1945 at 1:59pm receives orders: "The Surface Special Attack Unit is ordered to proceed via Bungo Suido Channel at dawn on Y-1 day to reach the prescribed holding position for a high-speed run-in to the area west of Okinawa at dawn on Y-day. Your mission is to attack the enemy fleet and supply train and destroy them. Y-day is April 8th." The mission will be for the battleship to sortie to engage the U.S. fleet then beach on Okinawa with any surviving crew joining the Japanese defenders ashore. At 3:00pm Captain Aruga informs the crew of the mission. At 5:30pm 67 cadets from Eta Jima class no. 74 are sent ashore and a farewell party is held for the crew.
On April 6, 1945 in the early morning at Mitajiri anchorage a floatplane delivers Vice Admiral Kusaka Ryunosuke and Commander Mikami Sakuo to confer about the mission. Meanwhile, sick and elderly sailors disembark then Yamato proceeds to Tokuyama Oil Depot and is refueled with 3,400 tons of oil. Departing for the mission, Yamato leaves port with a large banner attached to the main mast that read: "Injustice - Fairness - Law - Power - Heaven".
At 3:20pm departs with destroyer escort to the Bungo Channel as part of the Surface Special Attack Force. The force includes Battleship Yamato, Light Cruiser Yahagi escorted by destroyers Isokaze, Hamakaze and Yukikaze, DesDiv 21's Kasumi, Hatsushimo and Asashimo, DesDiv 41's Fuyuzuki and Suzutsuki
At 6:30pm a Japanese aircraft spots an enemy submarine USS Theadfin (SS-410) and the force changes course and assumes an anti-submarine formation and the enemy submarine is spotted on the surface by Isokaze. At 9:00pm the force turns to the south. At 9:44pm tracking submarine USS Theadfin (SS-410) reports the presence of the force by radio but the report is intercepted by Yamato and they are aware the force has been detected. Later, USS Hackleback (SS-295) also spots the force but is unable to make an attack but continues pursuit.
Battle of the East China Sea
On April 7, 1945 at 2:00am passes Miyazaki on eastern Kyushu and reaches the entrance to Osumi Kaikyo Channel at the southern end of Kyūshū and enters the East China Sea. At 6:00am launches her E13A1 Jake to patrol then returns to Kyūshū. Starting at 6:30am escorted by A6M Zeros from 203 Kokutai that patrol in small groups over the force for 3.5 hours.
At 8:32am the attack force is spotted by F6F Hellcats from USS Essex (CV-9) and escorting Zeros fail to spot them or intercept. At 10:14am spotted by two PBM Mariner flying boats and three minutes later turns to engage, jamming their radios and opens fire but a minute later visual contact is lost as the Mariners enter clouds. Meanwhile, Yamato learns U.S. Navy (USN) Task Force 58 (TF-58) has been spotted 250 nautical miles from the Attack Force and launches her planes in what will become known as the Battle of the East China Sea.
At 11:07am radar on Yamato spots aircraft approaching in two groups and the force increases speed to 25 knots and begins a turn and prepares for action. At 11:15am a delayed report is received that 150 enemy planes were spotted from Kikaigashima Island headed northwest. At the same moment, F6F Hellcats arrive over the Attack Force and begin circling as Yamato and Yahagi open fire and begins evasive maneuvers. Meanwhile, two groups of aircraft are approaching with overcast skies and a low cloud base that hampers efforts to visually tracking enemy planes or fire barrages. At 11:29 the force turns to a course of 205° towards Okinawa and at 12:22 her lookouts spot three Japanese ships heading for Amami-Oshima.
At 12:32 lookouts aboard Yamato spot the first wave of 280 carrier aircraft including 132 fighters, 50 bombers, 98 torpedo planes from Task Group 58.1 (TG 58.1) and Task Group 58.3 (TG 58.3). Aircraft from USS San Jacinto CVL-30 attack and sink Asashimo lagging behind with engine trouble. At 12:34 Yamato opens fire on the enemy aircraft with her main guns and anti-aircraft guns. At 12:35pm stops zig-sagging and increases speed to 24 knots and fires Sanshikidan anti-aircraft shells from her main guns.
During the Battle of the East China Sea, Yamato was attacked by over a thousand U.S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft attacking in three waves. The cloud base was low and her anti-aircraft gunners were unable to achieve an adequate barrage overhead. Attacking aircraft also had trouble, fifty-three from USS Hancock never found Yamato and attacking planes were hampered by the same low cloud cover.
At 12.37 Yamato was attacked by the first wave of carrier aircraft first attack wave descended out of the low cloud base 132 fighters, 50 dive-bombers and 98 torpedo bombers. 2 bombs struck her to starboard, aft of her funnel and level with the after fire control director, 5 minutes later 2 more struck her, one struck just forward of her aft 6 inch turret and the other passed through her after secondary battery control position. Both shells detonated against her 7.9 inch armored deck, there was no damage below this deck, but fires were started that were never extinguished on the deck. These flames spread and detonated the cordite in her 6" turret, the roof blown away in the explosion. The flash doors to her magazine kept the explosion from spreading. Next, Avengers made torpedo attacks with two torpedoes hitting the port side amidships. As a result, water leaked into number 8 fire room and then the port outward engine room, with the flooding initially controlled by pumps with the battleship taking a list of 6° that was counteracted by flooding her starboard outboard torpedo protection voids. There are also reports of 2 more hits during this first attack wave but these have never been confirmed.
At roughly 1:00pm Yamato was attacked by the second wave of carrier aircraft. No bombs hit her. Torpedo bombers honed in on her port side and 3 or 4 hit her very close to the first 2. Fire room 8 had already been abandoned but now the flooding was spreading to no 12 Fire room aft. The port hydraulic machinery space and the outboard port engine room were also flooded. Most other ships would have capsized. She was now listing at 16 degrees, and the loss of one shaft had reduced her speed to 18 knots. Further counter flooding to her starboard side reduced this list to about 5 degrees. This list was temporarily brought under control by a torpedo strike to her starboard side, which caused flooding to her starboard no 7 fire room.
After a lull of 30 minutes the third attack wave descended out of the clouds towards her, even so, her list was starting to rise again. Three bombs struck her port side amidships another hit her port side capstan causing her anchor to fall into the sea. Even so, not one of these bombs managed to pierce her armored deck.
Three torpedoes struck her seriously ruptured port side, in fact they passed straight through her open hull side and detonated in her outboard engine room - already flooded, which lead to flooding in her port inner engine room and loss of power to that shaft. Another torpedo struck her starboard amidships, causing the flooding of her starboard outer engine room.
Yamato was now listing back at 16 degrees, and the captain ordered the flooding of the remaining starboard areas, without warning to the crew members stationed there. Hundreds died as a result of this counter flooding. This had no effect and her list climbed to 23 degrees, she was also reduced to 8 knots, by this time flooding was uncontrollable and spreading.
Around 2:00pm all power was lost and permission was given to abandon ship. At 2:10pm Yamato rolled over and began to sink with fires from her aft 6.1" turret reaching her no. 1 magazine causing a huge explosion with a mushroom smoke cloud that was visible for 100 miles away. The explosion and smoke cloud downs a circling U.S. aircraft above. The battleship sank in the East China Sea at roughly Lat 30° 22' N Long 128° 04' E approximately 290 km / 180 miles southwest of Kyūshū. Officially, Yamato was removed from the Navy list on August 31, 1945.
Fates of the Crew
Yamato sank with an estimated 3,055 of her crew including captain Captain Aruga (posthumously promoted two ranks to the rank fo Vice Admiral) plus fleet commander Vice-Admiral Seiichi Itō (posthumously promoted to the rank of Admiral).
A total of 276 crew members from Yamato were rescued by the surviving destroyers including Rear Admiral Nobuei Morishita, chief of staff for the second fleet and formerly captain of the battleship.
The attack began at 12:37pm and lasting forty-six minutes until Yamato sank and exploded at 2:23pm. During the attack, Yamato was hit by at least eleven torpedoes and six bombs. Possibly, two additional torpedoes and two additional bombs hit but they have never been confirmed.
The horizontal deck armor on Yamato protected the battleship from bombs and performed excellent. None of the eight bombs managed to pierce the deck. Forward of no. 1 turret and aft of no. 3, Yamato had no armored deck and was why she flooded badly when damaged during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Her enormous armor plating was concentrated around her central area that encompassed all vital machinery inside.
Yamato's defensive torpedo bulge was air filled behind this was an inclined armor plated bulkhead that tapered down in size to her keel from 8" to 3", inboard of this there were two additional thinner water tight bulkheads, but these lacked the flexibility to deform without puncturing or cracking, when her main armor plated bulkhead was displaced inwards by an explosion.
Did her torpedo defenses fail? During the attack, Yamato was struck by an estimated fourteen aerial torpedoes with seven confirmed. Seven or nine torpedoes impacted a relatively small area on the port side amidships within about 150' of each other. The U.S. Navy Mark 13 aerial torpedoes used was far more powerful than early war models. Aboard, flooding began after the second impact. After five to six torpedo hits, Yamato was in serious trouble. As the third wave began their attack, her list had begun to increase despite damage control.
During the attack, Yamato's anti-aircraft defenses lacked fire coordination and were hampered by low cloud cover. Previously, the Japanese were aware of Yamato's poor anti-aircraft defense and removed her two amidships 6" gun turrets and replaced them with 25mm anti-aircraft gun batteries that were deemed to be too small in caliber for an adequate defense.
As the U.S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft approached, her 18.1" main guns fired san shiki anti-aircraft shells that when they detonated spread thousands of steel balls to damage any aircraft in the vicinity. In practice, san shiki fire was ineffective because her main turrets and 5" guns had a slow training speed. During the attacks, bomb hits destroyed or disabled her anti-aircraft guns and carrier aircraft strafed the decks killing and wounding sailors manning defenses.
The exact number of torpedo strikes she received will never be precisely known, at least 150 torpedoes were released at Yamato and the battleship was hit by roughly fourteen. Previously, Musashi was hit by roughly twenty torpedoes on October 24, 1944 and the crew broke off from the main fleet and headed for a nearby island in an attempt to beach to save the battleship but instead sank.
During 1982, a Japanese expedition searched for Yamato and found some wreckage but it could not be identified. Two years later another Japanese expedition returned to the same area and photographed wreckage that was confirmed to be associated with Yamato by one of the original designers, Shigeru Makino.
On August 1, 1985, a Japanese team using submersible Pisces II locate the shipwreck of Yamato broken into two pieces on the sea floor at a depth of 429.7m / 1,410'. Other sources list the depth as 340m / 1,200'. During the expedition, the submersible recovers small artifacts from the shipwreck. In 1999 another survey of the shipwreck recorded more footage and recovers some additional small artifacts.
The shipwreck of Yamato is broken into two pieces with a large debris field surrounding the area. The forward section including the bow shows evidence of torpedo damage is broken off past her B turret is on its starboard side. In the middle is the superstructure. The rear rear section is upside down with a propeller missing and turrets laying nearby and the keel area is crumpled. One of her anchors is missing because it fell off due to a bomb impact.
During 2009, the Kure Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced plans to salvage parts of the shipwreck including raising one of the 18.1" main guns an the front portion of the hull with plans to fund raise for the effort. To date, no salvage effort has yet happened.
In May 2016, the shipwreck was again documented with with digital video that documented the bow chrysanthemum crest, propeller and one of the detached main gun turrets.
In April 1968, a memorial tower was built at Cape Inutabu on Tokunoshima Island in the Amami Islands to commemorate the Japanese Navy sailors lost during Operation Ten-Go.
During May 1979, a stone monument was dedicated in the Navy graveyard at Kure memorializing the crew who died aboard Yamato.
Yamato Museum (Kure Maritime Museum) is largely devoted to Battleship Yamato and has exhibits and displays including a 1/10 scale model of Battleship Yamato and shows a nine minute video of the May 2016 dive footage of the shipwreck.
Yamato was the pride of Japan and still has a strong impact on Japanese culture during World War II that continues to this day as a symbolic of Japanese engineering and Naval power and represents the defeat of Japan.
Many books, documentaries and movies have been spawned by Yamato including anime seres Space Battleship Yamato with three seasons released in 1974, 1978 and 1980. Released in the United States as Star Blazers with english language tracks that was first released in 1978 with wider release in 1979. During 2012, remade as Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (2012) and release in the United States in 2014.
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The Battle of Samar: How 6 U.S. Aircraft Carriers Battled Japanese Battleships
In the pre-dawn glow of October 25, 1944, four tubby TBF Avenger torpedo bombers took off on a routine patrol from the USS St. Lo. She was one of sixteen small escorts carriers in Taskforce 74.4 steaming sixty miles east of Samar island in the Leyte Gulf—protecting the invasion fleet which had landed the 6th Army on Leyte Island to liberate the Philippines after three brutal years of Japanese occupation.
Suddenly at 6:37, Avenger pilots William Brooks reported a nightmarish sight: a powerful Japanese fleet—four battleships, eight cruisers, and ten destroyers—only twenty miles to the west, steaming directly towards the lightly defended carriers.
Twenty-two minutes later, the gigantic 18.1” guns of the battleship Yamato opened fire from over nineteen miles away. The 3,300-pound shells straddled the carrier White Plains, a near miss buckling her hull and tripping her circuit breakers. Shells from the other battleships loaded with green, pink and red dye (to assist in ranging) rained down amongst the unarmored flat-tops.
For only the second time in history, enemy battleships had managed to close within gun-range of aircraft carriers. But in the Battle of Samar, nothing went as expected for either side.
Halsey’s Fatal Mistake
In the four-day Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Imperial Japanese Navy deployed most of its remaining capital ships to counterattack the landing in the Philippines—resulting in the largest naval battle in history in terms of sheer tonnage.
The Japanese planned to lure American surface combatants into chasing the sacrificial Northern force, composed of largely empty aircraft carriers—leaving the Central and Southern forces to ravage an unguarded Leyte beachhead.
Admiral Takeo Kurita’s Central Force included the two largest battleships ever built, the 65,000-ton Yamato and Musashi. However, on October 23, U.S. submarines detected the force and sank two cruisers, including Kurita’s flagship. Then, air strikes from U.S. fleet carriers sank the Musashi on October 24. A shaken Kurita pulled his bloodied fleet out of range.
Assuming the Center Force was dealt with, Admiral William “Bull” Halsey reassigned the fast battleships of Task Force 34 covering the beachhead to assist his 7th Fleet in crushing the Japanese Southern Force in the Battle of Surigao Straits on the night October 24-25.
But Halsey had gambled recklessly. Kurita doubled the Central Force back through the San Bernardino Strait into Leyte Gulf, intending for his capital ships to fall upon the virtually defenseless invasion transports like wolves amongst sheep.
Taffy 3’s Last Stand
All that stood in Kurita’s way was Task Force 77.4, which was divided into three squadrons named Taffy 1 through 3.
Taffy 3 under Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague was closest to Kurita’s fleet. It consisted of six 7,800-ton Casablanca-class escort carriers mass-produced to defend convoys from aircraft and submarines, freeing larger fleet carriers for heavier combat duties. The “jeep carriers” were crewed by over 900 personnel, typically carried 28 aircraft, and could only attain 20 knots (23 mph) at full steam compared to the 30-33 knots of fleet carriers.
Screening the carriers were three 2,000-ton Fletcher-class destroyers and four smaller 1,370-ton Destroyer Escorts—anti-submarine frigates in modern parlance. Their radar-guided 5” guns were fast-firing and accurate, but lacked the range and penetration to duel cruiser and battleships. Their short-range torpedoes, however, could pose a threat.
Sprague immediately appreciated Taffy 3’s peril: the escort carriers were too slow to outrun the Japanese capital ships, and even if they did escape, that would leave the beachhead exposed. His superior, Admiral Thomas Kinkaid, sent multiple requests for reinforcements to Halsey without reply. Chester Nimitz, commander of the Pacific fleet, chimed in “Where is Task Force 34?”
Intentionally or by coincidence, that message ended with the code hash “The world wonders.” The seeming rebuke so incensed Halsey he did not dispatch Task Force 34 until 11:15 AM, hours too late.
To buy time for his pokey carriers to escape, Sprague had his destroyers lay a thick smoke screen (photo here) while the carriers belted eastward into a sea squall, temporarily obscuring his ships from Japanese gunners.
Meanwhile, every available plane was scrambled to harry the Japanese battle force. Combined, Task Force 74.4’s carriers mustered roughly 250 FM-2 Wildcat fighters and 190 Avenger TBM torpedo bombers. However, these were loaded with high-explosive bombs, depth charges and rockets for attacking ground targets and submarines, not anti-ship torpedoes and armor-piercing bombs.
Nonetheless, the swarming warbirds didn’t hesitate to lob anti-submarine depth charges, strafe armored decks with machineguns, and even buzz overhead with depleted weapons in an effort to draw fire away from the vulnerable escort carriers, before landing at Tacloban on Leyte to reload and refuel.
Kurita, meanwhile, released his ships with a “general attack” order to chase down the carriers —a decision which caused the Japanese formations to blunder into each other’s path.
However, Taffy 3’s eastward course was drawing it further away from hoped-for reinforcements. At 7:30, Sprague reluctantly ordered a hard turn to the south. To prevent Kurita’s ships from heading him off, he instructed the escorts to launch torpedo attacks.
Popping in and out of concealing smoke screens, the destroyers Hoel, Hermann and Johnston, and the destroyer escorts pressed the attack against ships many times their size. The self-sacrificing “charge of the tin-can sailors” is described in a companion article.
The destroyer’s sacrifice bought time, but by 8:30 Japanese cruisers had closed within ten miles of Taffy 3’s trailing ships. The closest carrier, Gambier Bay, was struck by 8” shells from the heavy cruiser Chikuma, then battered by Yamato’s huge turrets. Her engines crippled, the carrier was consumed by fire and capsized around 9 AM—the only U.S. carrier sunk by naval gunfire in combat.
The Casablanca-class carriers were only armed with a single 5” gun in a tail “stinger.” This proved perfectly situated to exchange fire with cruisers and destroyer hot on their stern. Though early carriers often carried heavier gun armaments, Taffy 3’s “pea-shooter”-armed flat-tops of were the only to ever engage enemy surface combatants in a gun duel.
The Kalinin Bay was struck by at least fifteen 8” and 14” shells—several of which penetrated clean through her unarmored hull without detonating. In reply, her 5” battery hit two pursuing cruisers and a destroyer. After missing with shellfire, Japanese destroyers launched a volley of torpedoes, but the Kalinin Bay and an Avenger gunned down three “tin fish” seconds before impact.
St. Lo too managed to score three hits on the charging cruisers while sustaining minor damage in return. 5” shells from the White Plains, assumed to have been disabled early in the battle, detonated a Long Lance torpedo on the deck of heavy cruiser Chokai, knocking out her rudder and engines.
By then, Avengers re-loaded with torpedoes and bombs began swooping back into the fight. One dropped a 500-pound bomb that exploded Chokai’s engine room, setting the cruiser ablaze. She was scuttled shortly afterward.
Aerial bombs also detonated a Long Lance on the deck of the cruiser Suzuya, after she had already lost her rudder to torpedoes. A torpedo from another Avenger slammed into the Chikuma, disabling her port screw and rudder. The crippled cruiser was then struck twice more. Both ships were eventually abandoned.
Even the mighty Yamato was forced to break formation to evade incoming torpedoes. Finally, at 9:20, Kurita signaled to begin withdrawing through the San Bernardino Strait. He misidentified the light ships of Taffy 3 to be full-size fleet carriers and cruisers and feared the 3rd Fleet would arrive momentarily.
Taffy 3’s ordeal was not yet over. At 10:47 land-based Zero fighters laden with 550-pound bombs came barreling towards the escort carriers in the first Kamikaze strike ever attempted. Their leader, 23-year-old Lt. Yukio Seki, had expressed his disapproval of “bleak” Kamikazi tactics to a journalist but insisted he would follow orders.
The carriers’ 40-millimeter flak guns stitched the sky with black puffs of smoke, destroying three Zeroes before they could impact. But Seki smashed his A6M2 into the deck of St. Lo. At first, the carrier seemed likely to weather the new hole in her flight deck but an internal explosion in her hangar full of fuel and bombs tore the ship open, sending her aircraft elevator spinning a thousand feet into the sky (pictured here).
Kalinin Bay was also struck by two kamikazes, losing her smokestack and the port-side flight deck. Three other carriers sustained minor damage.
Consumed by gasoline fires and secondary explosions, the St. Lo slipped under the waves thirty minutes later, her surviving crew having abandoned ship.
Taffy 3’s officers and seamen had skillfully strung along Kurita’s faster and more heavily armed ships on a wild goose chase. The escort carriers’ swarming airplanes were more effective at range than the Yamato’s 18” guns, and even the carriers’ “pea-shooters” gave a surprisingly good account of themselves.
But that victory was paid for with extraordinary acts of sacrifice, with two escort carriers, two destroyers and destroyer escort consigned to the deep waters of the Philippine Trench. 1,583 Americans perished, mostly on the destroyers—five times more casualties than incurred in the Battle of Midway. Around 2,000 survivors waited two days for rescue, many succumbing to shark attacks and exposure.
“The Most Tragic and Heroic Act of the War”
By early October 1944, the Americans had “island-hopped” their way across the Pacific and were preparing to invade the Philippine Islands. The Japanese naval defense plan was code-named named Sho-I-Go (“Victory”), and its objective was simple: Sink the American invasion fleet, maintain the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, and, by doing this, protect Japan from invasion.
To accomplish this goal, the Japanese committed virtually everything that was left of the IJN in a desperate effort to destroy the American invasion force. However, they were committing what remained of a navy that had no air support left. Significantly, both the Yamato and the Musashi were committed to stop America at what became known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
On October 24, 1944, the Musashi was sunk during this battle by 17 bomb strikes and 19 torpedo strikes 1,023 of the Musashi’s crew of 2,399 perished, while the Americans lost 18 planes. The Yamato suffered relatively little significant damage during the battle and slipped away.
The Japanese were beaten at Leyte Gulf and the Americans pushed closer to the Central Japanese Home Islands by invading Okinawa in Operation Iceberg on April 1, 1945. Okinawa was in the Ryukyu Islands which, despite Chinese objections, had been incorporated into the Japanese empire in 1879. Because of this incorporation, the Japanese considered Okinawa a part of their homeland and would do everything to defend it.
The Japanese grew desperate as the American invasion of Okinawa was under way. The American success forced the Japanese to resort to the full deployment of their powerful last-gasp countermeasure, the “Special Forces”—the suicidal kamikaze, and, for the first time, this included the Navy. Japanese Combined Fleet commander in chief, Admiral Soemu Toyoda, overrode strong objections from members of his Naval General Staff concerning the naval usage of suicidal “special forces.” On April 3, 1945, he informed the men of his just-formed Special (Suicidal) Sea Attack Force that “the fate of our Empire depends upon this one action. I order the Special Sea Attack Force to carry out on Okinawa the most tragic and heroic act of the war.”
An illustration of the Yamato as she appeared at the time she was sunk.
Admiral Toyoda’s “most tragic and heroic act of the war” involved ordering all of the SSAF’s sailors to embark on a mission to fight “to the last man.” On April 5, 1945, the SSAF staff received the following order: “The Surface Special Attack Unit is ordered to proceed via Bungo Suido Channel at dawn on Y-1 Day to reach the prescribed holding position for a high-speed run-in to the area west of Okinawa at dawn on Y-Day. Your mission is to attack the enemy fleet and supply train and destroy them. Y-Day is April 8th.”
Shizuo Kunimoto, a lieutenant junior grade on the Yamato, reported: “The special order sending the Yamato to Okinawa was written with large letters on white paper and posted on the port side of the first deck. After the Yamato set sail, all hands not on duty (about 2,000 men) were assembled on the forecastle to hear their specific orders read by the ship’s Executive Officer.”
The Yamato sailors bravely continued to honor their traditions after hearing their collective death warrant. Kunimoto commanded his men to bow toward the Imperial Palace and then toward their homes. He then led them in singing patriotic military songs for about 10 minutes, but patriotism and courage didn’t change what most of the Yamato’s sailors realized would happen to them.
On April 6, 1945 (Y-2 Day for the SSAF), waves of Japanese planes dove in suicidal attacks into Allied Pacific Fleet ships as part of Operation Kikusui (“Floating Chrysanthemums”), so named after the chrysanthemum crest of Kusunoki Masashige, a 14th-century samurai hero. Kusunoki, in what became remembered as an ultimate act of samurai fidelity, accepted a fatal and foolish command from his emperor and obediently and knowingly led his army and himself to death while fighting to carry out this absurd command. Absolute devotion to their emperor, who was considered a deity before and during World War II, was one of the foundations of kamikaze.
First Japanese pilots and now the sailors of the SSAF, allegedly all volunteers, were ordered to end their lives in the same heroic manner as Kusunoki Masashige. The IJN named their mission Ten Ichi-Go (“Heaven Number One”), and the orders to the SSAF were grimly simple: The SSAF was to sail directly into the American ships and transports supporting the Okinawa landing and inflict as much punishment on them as possible.
After this, the Yamato would be beached and use its 18.1-inch main batteries and other weapons as support for Okinawa’s land defense forces. “Surplus” Yamato crew members (that is, all nongunners) would then leave the beached Yamato and die on land while fighting together with soldiers of Okinawa’s defense garrison. The sailors on the escort ships would also die fighting. Absolutely no one was to return alive.
Nevertheless, while the Japanese Naval General Staff instructed that each ship be given only enough fuel for a one-way trip to Okinawa, harbor officials risked execution by disobeying this order and refueling the entire SSAF to capacity, giving them more than enough oil to return home if they somehow survived.
BATTLE OF THE CORAL SEA AND JAPANESE TORPEDOES
Captain Kamero Sonokawa was a combat aviator and staff officer throughout the Pacific War. Interviewed for the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey in 1945, he reported:
Although the ordnance department claimed that the torpedoes could be dropped at an altitude of 500 meters, we found by experience that only 10 per cent would run properly at 200 meters and 50 per cent at 100 meters. Consequently, an effort was made to drop at from 20 to 50 meters. Since the aircraft torpedo was dropped at short ranges, the low altitude also afforded protection because of depressing limit of AA guns. Pilots were instructed to attempt to drop the torpedo in such a manner that it struck the ship immediately after it leveled off at set depth. Of course conditions varied but a standard drop was made from a range of 600 to 400 meters, at a speed of 160 to 170 knots and at an altitude of from 20 to 50 meters. The aircraft torpedo was armed immediately after striking the water. It weighed 800 kg. [1,760 pounds] and had a 145 kg. [320-pound] warhead. The above tactics were used by our carrier planes against your Lexington. After the battle of the Coral Sea the size of the warhead was increased to 220 kg. [485 pounds].
History [ edit | edit source ]
Origins [ edit | edit source ]
Yamato under disguise prior to its first launch.
Earth's first contact with an alien civilization in 2191, the Great Garmillas Empire, quickly turned into a war that overwhelmed its limited abilities over the following years ("Messenger of Iscandar", "A World I Once Saw", "Out of the Forest of Memory"). As the ships of the UN Cosmo Navy were outclassed by their alien opponents and as the human homeworld was turned into a radioactive desert by a ceaseless Garmillan onslaught, the leadership of the Earth Federation saw escape as the only option. Under Project Izumo, humanity would build its first interstellar spaceship and ferry a small group of survivors out of the solar system to find a new planet to inhabit. A site underneath the dry seabed of the East China Sea, off the Bonomisaki Cape of Japan, was chosen for construction. The new ship was built partially underground and partially above the surface its exposed upper hull was disguised as the wreck of the naval battleship IJN Yamato, which sank in the area almost two and a half centuries earlier, to hide the project from enemy forces ("Messenger of Iscandar", "Toward a Sea of Stars", "A Choice for the Future").
As construction commenced on the vessel and a crew was selected, a surprise alien visitor arrived in early 2198 with information that would shake up the Izumo Plan. Princess Yurisha Iscandar presented an invitation to travel to the distant world of Iscandar and take possession of the Cosmo Reverse System, a device that would remove the radiation threatening Earth's surviving population and restore Earth's ravaged biosphere. She also offered plans for a highly advanced wave motion system to power the human ship for the round trip journey to the Large Magellanic Cloud and back. Izumo was secretly scrapped, and as part of the new Yamato Plan, the vessel was re-designed to accommodate a wave motion engine. Recognizing the incredible energies that could be generated, Major Shiro Sanada, a scientist serving in the UNCF, designed a wave motion shield for defense, along with an unparalleled weapon of mass destruction, a wave motion gun. Just as work was being completed one year later, a sister of Princess Yurisha arrived in the solar system with a wave motion core that would drive the engine. The space battleship Yamato was ready for flight, and the crew were notified of their new mission by their commanding officer, Admiral Juzo Okita, only a day prior to launch ("Messenger of Iscandar", "Toward a Sea of Stars", "Out of the Forest of Memory", "They're Coming!").
2199: Voyage to Iscandar [ edit | edit source ]
The battleship tests its warp engines.
Yamato's outbound flight through the solar system became a trial for its new technologies. Its shock cannons easily took out a Garmillan carrier and an interplanetary missile sent to destroy it before liftoff, and the wave motion shields safely deflected the missile's explosion at point blank range ("Toward a Sea of Stars"). One day later, the battleship conducted its first warp and traveled from Mars to Jupiter almost instantaneously, and at Jupiter, Yamato obliterated a massive Garmillas floating continent hidden in the gas giant's atmosphere with its wave motion gun ("Escape from the Jupiter Sphere"). A condenser failure on the main engine the very next day forced a detour to the moon Enceladus for supplies of cosmonite-90 to make repairs ("Gravestone on a Frozen Field"), but the battleship was soon ready for a full assault on Pluto. Combined with its full fighter squadron, Yamato fended off a counterattack, bombarded the main enemy base, and wiped out the Garmillas presence in the solar system ("The Trap on All Sides", "The Sun Sets on Pluto").
Yamato on the brink of defeat at Carell 163.
The ship was ready for the demands of the long mission ahead and headed out into the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond--but the Garmillans were no longer taking their human adversaries for granted. As word of the ship's successes reached the highest levels of the empire and inspired conquered worlds to defy the empire's rule, Leader Abelt Dessler grew increasingly focused on stopping it ("Wish Upon a Star", "What Lies Beyond"). Yamato was very nearly destroyed at the Battle of Carell 163, and was saved only by a surprise Garmillan withdrawal ("Point of No Return"). Delayed in reaching Iscandar and with morale lower than ever, members of the crew who had been conspiring to re-start the Izumo Plan launched a short-lived mutiny ("A Choice for the Future"). After the mutiny was put down, officers who had been exploring a nearby Earthlike planet returned with information that would save the mission: a network of ancient alien subspace gates that could trim months off Yamato's journey ("Out of the Forest of Memory"). To access the network, though, the ship would have to confront those who currently controlled it--the Garmillas Empire. Admiral Okita and his crew devised a plan to charge through the network before destroying the hub located at the planet Balun with the wave motion gun. The ship arrived safely at the far side of the network on the edge of the Large Magellanic Cloud, having not only rendered the network nearly useless, but also destroying thousands of enemy warships in the process and crippling the Garmillas military ("Over the Black Light").
Yamato was now seen as the single greatest threat to Dessler's empire. A particularly brutal engagement in the Rainbow Star Cluster failed to stop its progress toward Iscandar ("Under a Rainbow Sun"), and after happening upon a liberated prison world, Yamato was given drydock repairs and military intelligence from members of the Garmillan resistance movement against Leader Dessler ("Prison Planet 17", "The Planet That We Head For"). When Yamato arrived in the home star system of both Iscandar and Garmillas, Dessler attempted to take down the battleship by any means necessary, even if it meant annihilating his own capital city. During the battle, Yamato fired its wave motion gun against Dessler's attack, saving not only itself but the entire capital. In doing so, Yamato demonstrated humanity's honorable intentions, even as their own ruler proved himself a menace to his own people. Dessler was assumed to have died during the battle, and with the war having come to an abrupt end, Yamato was allowed to fly on to its destination ("One Man's War", "The Distant Promised Land").
Installing the Cosmo Reverse System.
After arriving on Iscandar, the crew of Yamato learned that the ship itself may have caused the mission to fail. Queen Starsha Iscandar, having been told about Yamato's wave motion gun by Dessler and witnessing it herself during the fight over Garmillas, was horrified that her planet's technological gift had been used to create a superweapon. She refused to deliver the long-awaited Cosmo Reverse System, concluding that humanity was too dangerous to survive. However, the intervention of two people who were very close to her eventually changed her mind, and she personally brought the device to Yamato--but she demand Admiral Okita's pledge that humanity would never again create wave motion-based weapons. The firing components of Yamato's wave motion gun were removed and replaced with the Cosmo Reverse System, turning the battleship itself into the instrument of Earth's survival. The forward muzzle of the gun was sealed, and a plaque announcing a new treaty signed by representatives of Earth, Iscandar, and the Great Garmillas Empire was mounted on the muzzle cover ("The Distant Promised Land", Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark).
Flying into battle with new Garmillan allies.
The return voyage to Earth was much faster and less eventful, except for two major incidents. The first, occurring a month after departing Iscandar, began when Yamato was ambushed by an expeditionary fleet of the Gatlantis Empire that sought to take the ship as their own. Yamato escaped, but found itself trapped inside a region of space with seemingly no connection to the rest of the universe. On the planet at the heart of the region, Shambleau, a human landing party discovered members of a Garmillas task force that had also been trapped. Yamato and the task force cooperated and fought side-by-side after the Gatlanteans tracked Yamato to Shambleau (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark). The second took place one month later when Yamato attempted to reactivate the only undamaged subspace gate at Balun. The ship was hit by a surprise attack from rogue Garmillan forces and fled through the gate and into a subspace corridor--only to be seized and boarded by troops serving Abelt Dessler, still alive and intending to use Yamato to reclaim the empire for himself. After repelling the
Yamato prepares to finish its first mission.
boarding party, Yamato opened fire on Dessler's flagship with a volley of shells from its shock cannons, fatally crippling it ("The Forever War").
Yamato returned to Earth on December 8th. The Cosmo Reverser was activated almost immediately upon arrival, and Yamato turned the dying desert planet back into the watery, green world it had once been (Space Battleship Yamato 2199: Odyssey of the Celestial Ark, "Memories of the Blue Planet").
2202-2203: Terezart and the War with Gatlantis [ edit | edit source ]
Following the removal of the Cosmo Reverse System, Yamato's systems are upgraded and the ship is readied for new military service Γ] (Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love).
How many aircraft participated in each of the three waves against the Yamato? - History
SUNDAY, 7 December 1941
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor and Oahu in the Territory of Hawaii (Hawaii) in the United States. The attack involved five midget submarines and two waves of carrier aircraft launched from six aircraft carriers.
Japanese Midget Submarines
South of Oahu, five Japanese Navy fleet submarines: I-16, I-18, I-20, I-22, I-24 each launch a Type A midget submarine that attempt to penetrate Pearl Harbor while submerged then navigate counterclockwise around Ford Island, fire their torpedoes then exit to rendezvous with the "mother" submarines seven miles west of Lanai Island. All l five were lost or sunk, with only one managing to enter the anchorage as planned. When detected, the U.S. Navy gave each submarine a letter designation (A-E) based on the order they were detected or sunk.
The first, HA-20 (Midget A) at 3:20am the periscope was spotted by USS Condor AMc-14 two miles off the entrance to Pearl Harbor and at 3:57am she notified USS Ward DD-139 that begins searching for the submarine. At 6:30am spotted by lookouts aboard USS Antares (AG-10) as it approaches the outer gate for Pearl Harbor. At 6:37am USS Ward DD-139 spots the periscope and at 6:45am opens fire with her 4" gun, overruns the submarine then releases depth charges that destroy it at 6:55am.
The second, HA-22 (Midget B) entered Pearl Harbor, sunk by USS Monaghan DD-35. The third, HA-19 (Midget C) grounded off Waimanaio, one crew member captured and became the first Prisoner Of War (POW). The fourth, HA-18 (Midget D) was damaged by depth charges and sank in Keehi Lagoon. The fifth, HA-21 (Midget E) was the only submarine that managed to enter Pearl Harbor and is believed to have fired two torpedoes at USS St. Louis (CL-49) then was sunk in West Lock.
Japanese Aircraft Carriers
The main attack force was the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) "Kido Butai" First Air Fleet Striking Force comprised of six aircraft carriers: Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku that launched carrier aircraft including A6M Model 21 Zero fighters, D3A1 Val dive bombers and B5N1 Kate torpedo bombers from 230 nautical miles north of Oahu.
Japanese First Strike (First Wave)
The first strike consisted of 213 aircraft. Although spotted approaching Hawaii on radar, they were mistaken for a formation of thirteen B-17 Flying Fortresses scheduled to arrive on a ferry flight from Hamilton Field in California over the Pacific Ocean bound for Hickam Field on Oahu. At 7:55am, D3A Val tail EI-238 piloted by Lt Cdr Takahashi released the first bomb, a single Type 98 land bomb weighing 242 kg / 533.5 pounds hit the seaplane ramp in front of Hanger 6 at Ford Island Seaplane Base (NAS Ford Island) in the southeastern of Ford Island in the center of Pearl Harbor.
B-17 Flying Fortress that arrived during the Japanese attack
Thirteen B-17s on a ferry flight from Hamilton Field to Hickam Field led by Major Richard H. Carmichael. The formation arrived during the first wave of attacking Japanese aircraft and the bombers landed at various airfields on Oahu, some attacked by Japanese aircraft and others accidentally fired on by American anti-aircraft gunners that mistook them for enemy aircraft.
38th Reconnaissance Squadron (38th RS)
B-17E 41-2413 pilot Landon (crew no. 1)
B-17E 41-2408 pilot Barthelmess (crew no. 2) landed safely Hickam Field
B-17C 40-2074 pilot Swenson (crew no. 3) strafed while landing at Hickam Field set on fire causing the rear to separate
B-17C 40-2063 pilot Allen (crew no. 4) landed safely Hickam Field
B-17C 40-2054 pilot Cooper (crew no. 5) landed safely Hickam Field
B-17E pilot 1st Lt Harold T. Hastings (crew no. 6) delayed by engine trouble and did not take off with the original group
B-17C "Skipper" 40-2049 pilot Richards (crew no. 7) force landed Bellows Field salvaged for parts
B-17E pilot 1st Lt Boris M. Zubko (crew no. 8) delayed by engine trouble and did not take off with the original group
Japanese Second Strike (Second Wave)
The second strike consisted of 170 aircraft. Afterwards, the attack force departed westward back to Japan.
During the Japanese attack, roughly twenty American fighter planes managed to get airborne including five obsolete P-35s. Several P-40B Warhawks manged to intercept including 2nd Lt. George S. Welch and 2nd Lt. Kenneth "Ken" Taylor who both claimed aerial victories.
Immediately after the attacks, U.S. planes searched unsuccessfully for the Japanese fleet. Among the search aircraft was JRS-1 Baby Clipper 4346 pilot Ensign Wesley Hoyt Ruth took off on a patrol 250 miles north and found nothing.
2,403 killed in action and 1,178 wounded in action
US Army : 218 KIA, 364 WIA
US Navy: 2,008 KIA, 710 WIA
US Marine Corps: 109 KIA, 69 WIA
Civilians: 68 KIA, 35 WIA
Battleships sunk or damaged
USS Arizona BB-39 sunk by an armor piercing bomb that detonated her forward magazine
USS Oklahoma BB-37 capsized and sank as a total loss, salvaged 1943-1944, sunk while being towed May 17, 1947
USS California BB-44 sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS West Virginia BB-48 sunk at her berth. Later raised and repaired.
USS Nevada BB-36 beached to prevent sinking. Later repaired.
USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) light damage
USS Maryland (BB-46) light damage
USS Tennessee (BB-43) light damage
USS Utah (AG-16) total loss, sunk
USS New Orleans (CA-32) light damage
USS San Francisco (CA-38) undamaged by the attack but under overhaul
USS Detroit (CL-8) light damage.
USS Raleigh (CL-7) heavily damaged but repaired
USS Helena (CL-50) light damage
USS Honolulu (CL-48) light damage to the hull from a near miss bomb
Destroyers sunk or damaged
USS Downes (DD-375) destroyed, parts salvaged
USS Cassin (DD-372) destroyed, parts salvaged
USS Shaw (DD-373) very heavy damage
USS Helm (DD-388) light damage
USS Ogala (CM-4) sunk, later raised and repaired.
Seaplane Tender Damaged
USS Curtiss (AV-4) severely damaged, repaired
Repair Ship Damaged
USS Vestal (AR-4) severely damaged but later repaired.
Harbor Tug sunk
USS Sotoyomo (YT-9) sunk but later raised and repaired.
Fortunately for the U.S. Navy none of the three Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers were at port in Pearl Harbor. Also, the strategic fuel reserves and dry docks at Pearl Harbor were not targeted.
A total of 188 American aircraft were destroyed:
US Navy: 92
US Army: 92
American aircraft lost (partial list)
SBD 2159 pilot Willis MIA December 7, 191
PBY 2357 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2359 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2361 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2362 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2363 sunk December 7, 1941 afterwards, salvaged and rebuilt and operated until stricken August 28, 1944
PBY 2364 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2365 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2369 sunk December 7, 1941
PBY 2451 destroyed December 7, 1941
PBY Kaneohe sunk December 7, 1941 into Kaneohe Bay (likely PBY 2364, PBY 2365 or PBY 2369)
American aircraft on Oahu December 7, 1941
Aeronca 65TC Chief NC33768 in flight at the start of the attack displayed at the USS Missouri Memorial
J2F Duck 1649 stationed at NAS Pearl Harbor and survived the attack
P-40B 41-13297 stationed at Wheeler Field, survived the attack
PBY- 2446 stationed at NAS Pearl Harbor survived the attack, lost August 16, 1943
PBY 2447 stationed at NAS Pearl Harbor survived the attack, crashed October 26, 1943
SBD 2106 stationed at Luke Field survived the attack, ditched June 11, 1943
JRS-1 4346 stationed at NAS Pearl Harbor survived the attack displayed at NASM Udvar-Hazy Center
Japanese aircraft losses
A total of 29 Japanese aircraft were lost from the 353 planes that participated in the attack,
A6M2 Zero Fighters
A6M2 Zero 2266 Tail BII-120 pilot Shigenori Nishikaichi force landed Niihau Island, POW, suicide
A6M2 Zero 3277 Tail B1-151 pilot Fusata Iida crashed Ford Island
A6M2 Zero 5289 Tail AI-154 pilot Takeshi Hirano crashed Hickam Field
A6M2 Zero crashed December 7, 1941 at 8:30am, clock displayed at the USS Arizona Memorial and Museum
D3A1 Val Dive Bombers
D3A1 Val 3133 crashed Aiea Heights
D3A1 Val 3178 crashed Pearl Harbor
B5N1 Kate Torpedo Bombers
B5N Kate crashed Pearl Harbor piece of left tail stabilizer displayed at USS Arizona Museum
Japanese Type A midget submarines losses
HA-20 (Midget A) sunk at 6:55am by gunfire and depth charges from USS Ward DD-139
HA-22 (Midget B) entered Pearl Harbor, sunk by USS Monaghan DD-354
HA-19 (Midget C) grounded Waimanaio, one crewman captured, salvage displayed National Museum of the Pacific War
HA-18 (Midget D) damaged by depth charges, located and salvaged 1960, displayed Eta Jima
HA-21 (Midget E) believed to have fired two torpedoes at USS St. Louis (CL-49) then sunk West Lock
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
D-Day Statistics: Normandy Invasion By the Numbers
The Normandy Invasion consisted of 5,333 Allied ships and landing craft embarking nearly 175,000 men. The British and Canadians put 75,215 troops ashore, and the Americans 57,500, for a total of 132,715, of whom about 3,400 were killed or missing, in contrast to some estimates of ten thousand.
The foregoing figures exclude approximately 20,000 Allied airborne troopers. Extensive planning was required to move all these troops.
The U.S. VII Corps sustained 22,119 casualties from 6 June to 1 July, including 2,811 killed, 13,564 wounded, 5,665 missing, and seventy-nine captured.
American personnel in Britain included 1,931,885 land, 659,554 air, and 285,000 naval—a total of 2,876,439 officers and men. While in Britain they were housed in 1,108 bases and camps.
The Allied forces for Operation Overlord comprised twenty-three infantry divisions (thirteen U.S., eight British, two Canadian) twelve armored (five U.S., four British, one each Canadian, French, and Polish) and four airborne (two each U.S. and British)—for a total of twenty American divisions, fourteen British, three Canadian, and one each French and Polish. However, the assault forces on 6 June involved two U.S., two British, and one Canadian division.
Air assets included 3,958 heavy bombers (3,455 operational), 1,234 medium and light bombers (989 operational), and 4,709 fighters (3,824 operational), for 9,901 total and 8,268 operational. Allowing for aircrews, 7,774 U.S. and British Commonwealth planes were available for operations on 6 June, but these figures do not include transports and gliders.
Of the 850,000 German troops awaiting the invasion, many were Eastern European conscripts there were even some Koreans. There were sixty infantry divisions in France and ten panzer divisions, possessing 1,552 tanks, but not all were combat ready. In Normandy itself the Germans had deployed eighty thousand troops, but only one panzer division.
Approximately fifteen thousand French civilians died in the Normandy campaign, partly from Allied bombing and partly from combat actions of Allied and German ground forces.
History [ edit | edit source ]
Like the Andromeda class, Dreadnought-class battleships were armed with wave motion weaponry in violation of the Earth Federation's treaty with Iscandar, and were built in secret. With the clandestine assistance of the Great Garmillas Empire, the Earth Federation was able to take advantage of a hidden zone of time distortion for its production facility inside this dimensional time fault, time flowed much faster than in the outside world, allowing a factory to build Dreadnought class and other ships for Earth and for Garmillas in the span of only a couple of years ("Shock – Legacy of the Cosmo Reverse"). By the end of 2202, fourteen Dreadnought vessels left the assembly line and participated in a fleet exercise over Jupiter, easily blasting away rocky space debris with shock cannon fire ("Clash! Yamato Versus Andromeda").
A Dreadnought in action at Saturn.
With the threat of invasion by the Gatlantis Empire looming, production of Dreadnought vessels inside the dimensional time fault was stepped up unlike the first run of the class, these ships were not named and were given only registry numbers and letters. Dozens of them were ready to engage waves of increasingly powerful Gatlantis attackers at the Battle of Saturn, and assisted other ships of the Cosmo Navy fleet to fight back the invaders with their firepower and their sheer numbers. Near the end of the battle, though, the Gatlanteans transported the planet-sized White Comet fortress to Saturn, which proved able to withstand the combined blasts of the fleet's wave motion guns. Gravitational distortions created by the mechanisms of the White Comet sent many of the surviving Dreadnoughts tumbling out of control, allowing Gatlantis to pick them off at will ("Battle off the Coast of Saturn - Gather the Wave Motion Gun Fleet!", "Yamato in Crisis - The Devil's Alternative Once More").
Laboratory Prometheus inside the dimensional time fault.
During this period, the Laboratory Prometheus, under the command of Saki Toudo and with a crew that included several veterans of Yamato, oversaw construction of new warships inside the dimensional time fault to be used in the Earth Federation's next assault on Gatlantis ("Yamato in Crisis - The Devil's Alternative Once More").