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Lord_Slayer

Unsinkable! Japan's Lost Battleship

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Looked and didn't see this anywhere

 

Very interesting video on the Musashi, her wreck, and a review of her blueprints to determine how she sank (beside the fact the USN went after her)

 

 

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(Placeholder to find and view after work.)

Strangely; the lady in the video preview in your post, reminds me of a Japanese language teacher I knew way back in high school.

Edited by Estimated_Prophet

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Will check it out a bit later.  Coverage on Musashi is rare, everyone only ever talks about her sister, Yamato.

 

And nothing is unsinkable.  Put enough ordnance on something, it will go down.

 

Actually really good video.  Lots of interesting there on history, the search for the wreck, and reasons for the failure of her protection.  Of significant note is the failure of her torpedo defense.  At 40:28 of the video:  There's a part where there was a recorded interview of an IJN officer that had served on both Yamato AND later Musashi.  The video mentioned Yamato taking torpedo damage earlier.  Yamato had been attacked earlier in the war by a submarine and got hit by a torpedo.  It caused a lot of damage, breaking rivets holding Yamato's immense armor plates in place, and water rushing in.  The armor held, but water came through.  As an officer on Musashi, he was now concerned the same would happen to his ship as it did with Yamato.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Lots of cool stuff to see in there, some caps from the video:

Takao-class CA with the very unique looking superstructure.  The 2 stripes on the funnel means she's Atago.

QkoT59w.jpeg

Below will trigger some players in WoWS.  War isn't fair.

LuDdNyY.jpeg

Dat Yamato-class Citadel

GsU6IXm.jpegqDXuNmy.jpeg

The wreckage of Musashi showed only the bow and stern were intact at the sea floor.  It's believed there was a magazine explosion that basically disintegrated the center of the ship.

QPo2iAA.jpeg

G9A6x9M.jpeg

 

Another thing has to be said is the spike in power of torpedoes going into WWII.  Every navy worth anything knew the obvious lethal power of torpedoes.  That's why you saw Battleships getting torpedo bulges and whatever system they could come up for these big, super expensive ships to withstand these weapons.

From NavWeaps (USN WWI and 1920s Torpedoes)

Air Dropped Torpedo

USN 450mm Mark 7 (1920)

7D Mod A: 205 lbs. (93 kg) TNT
7D Mod 2A: 319 lbs. (145 kg) TNT
7D Mod 5A: 326 lbs. (148 kg) TNT or TPX

 

Destroyers

USN Bliss-Leavitt 533mm Mark 8 (1915)

Mods 0, 1, 2, 2A and 2B: 321 lbs. (146 kg) TNT
Mods 3A and 3B: 385 lbs. (175 kg) TNT
Mod 8: 466 lbs. (211 kg) TNT

 

Then you have the newer stuff for WWII (1930s and thru WWII).  Again, using USN as an example.  Newer stuff like Torpex and HBX is supposed to be stronger than TNT.

Air Dropped Torpedo

USN 569mm Mark 13 (1938)

Mod 0: 404 lbs. (183 kg) or 392 lbs. (178 kg) TNT
Mod 10: 603 lbs. (274 kg) TNT or 606 lbs. (275 kg) TPX or 600 lbs. (272 kg) HBX

WTUS_Torp_m13_pic.jpg

 

USN 533mm Mark 15 (1935) - The standard USN Torpedo for Destroyers and Atlanta-class CLs.

Mod 0: 494 lbs. (224 kg) TNT
Mod 3: 801 lbs. (363 kg) TNT or 823 lbs. (373 kg) HBX

 

In late December 1943, USN Submarine Skate (Balao-class) attacked Yamato with 4 torpedoes, 1 of which hit causing the rivet and flooding issues I mentioned earlier.  Skate was likely using the highly problematic Mark 14 torpedo that USN Subs were straddled with.

USN 533mm Mark 14 (1931)

Mod 0: 507 lbs. (230 kg) TNT
Mod 3: 668 lbs. (303 kg) TPX  - Torpex is more powerful than TNT.

 

For some contrast are the explosive Bursting Charge from some Battleships.

Spoiler

 

USN 16"/50 (Iowa-class)

AP Mark 8 - 40.9 lbs. (18.55 kg)
HC Mark 13 - 153.6 lbs. (69.67 kg)
HC Mark 14 - 153.6 lbs. (69.67 kg)

 

German 380mm (Bismarck-class)

APC L/4,4: 41.4 lbs. (18.8 kg)
HE L/4,5 base fuze: 71.9 lbs. (32.6 kg)
HE L/4,6 nose fuze: 141.5 lbs. (64.2 kg)
HE L/4,6 nose fuze AA: 141.5 lbs. (64.2 kg)
Siegfried HE L/4,5: 152.2 lbs. (69.0 kg)

 

Japanese 460mm (Yamato-class)

  APC Type 91: 74.6 lbs. (33.85 kg)
APC Type 1: 74.6 lbs. (33.85 kg)
Common Type 0 HE: 136 lbs. (61.7 kg)
Common Type 3 IS: N/A

 

As you can see, not even Battleship shells had the explosive power of torpedoes.

 

I'm thinking torpedo protection even in the interwar years could no longer keep up with the power torpedoes received.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Some more WWII-era torpedos and explosives carried.  Even Air Dropped Torpedoes packed a lot of power that made Battleships look like pea shooters in explosive power.

 

Japan

Air Dropped

450mm Type 91 Torpedo

Mod 1 (1933) 331 lbs. (150 kg) Type 97

Mod 2 (1941) 452 lbs. (205 kg) Type 97

These were used in the attack and sinking of Prince of Wales.  Modified versions of Mod 2 were used for the Pearl Harbor attack.

Mod 3 (1943)

Mod 3 Improved and Strong: 529 lbs. (240 kg) Type 97
Mod 4: 679 lbs. (308 kg) Type 97
Mod 7: 926 lbs. (420 kg) Type 97

 

And of course the famed 610mm Type 93 (1933) Long Lances.

1,080 lbs. (490 kg) Type 97

 

533mm (1935) Type 95 for Submarines.

 

1,213 lbs. (550 kg) Type 97

 

British

450mm Mk XII (1937) Air Dropped Torpedo

388 lbs. (176 kg) TNT

 

450mm Mk XIV (1943) Standard Air Dropped Torp as well as on Motor Torpedo Boats.

545 lbs. (247 kg) Torpex

 

533mm Mk IX and IX** (1930) - Leander and later cruisers, "A" and later destroyer classes.  Also replaced the old Mark VII in some 8" (20.3 cm) cruisers during the war.

Mark IX and IX*
   750 lbs. (340 kg) TNT

Mark IX**
   Originally: 722 lbs. (327 kg) TNT
   Later: 805 lbs. (365 kg) Torpex

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Two things the video missed, and were likely big contributors to her sinking were:

The Yamato class alone of then "modern" battleships had a dry torpedo defense system.  Everybody else designing in that era had gone to a liquid loaded system.  What this means is that every ton of seawater admitted to the torpedo defense system due to damage was a ton that was going to add weight and cause the ship to settle.  It would also cause a list much more readily than a liquid loaded system would were most of the damaged defense system was already filled with liquid, be it seawater or fuel.

8mMq8Tn.jpg&key=62b82c19f5cce2203a6df80372ffcc248be16d091ff409196006f195e14a25b5

The second thing is Japanese damage control techniques at the time called for trying to keep the ship on an even keel and eliminate list.  This was done primarily by deliberate counter flooding.  The problem with this is that is just adding more seawater that is sinking the ship.  It also reduces the effectiveness of the torpedo defense system amplifying damage in those areas.

For example, we know the above was a major contributor to the sinking of Kirishima off Guadalcanal.  It is extremely likely that the same thing, for the same reasons, happened to Musashi.

Adding tens of thousands of tons of seawater from torpedo hits and counterflooding might well be enough to sink the ship on its own.  If the torpedo defense bulkhead was sprung at many locations allowing progressive flooding on top of that it would have doomed the ship.

Edited by Murotsu
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1 hour ago, Murotsu said:

For example, we know the above was a major contributor to the sinking of Kirishima off Guadalcanal.

Not sure what you mean by that. Kirishima was sunk by multiple salvos of sixteen and five-inch gunfire from the Washington at point-blank range, something that would obliterate any BB regardless of their torpedo bulkheads.

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11 hours ago, 1Sherman said:

Not sure what you mean by that. Kirishima was sunk by multiple salvos of sixteen and five-inch gunfire from the Washington at point-blank range, something that would obliterate any BB regardless of their torpedo bulkheads.

Kirishima took half-a-dozen 16" (hits 6, 7, 11, 15, 16, 19, and 20) penetrating hits at or below the waterline that let in massive flooding.

KGV_Kirishima2.jpg

Kirishima Damage Analysis (navweaps.com)

This is explained in detail starting on page 16.  Counterflooding to right the ship was ordered and this caused the Kirishima to lose more buoyancy, settling more.  Progressive flooding through splinter and shell damage higher in the ship began the process of her sinking.  I think WoW needs to make waterline shell hits cause flooding in ships far more often than it does.  Right now, their modeling of this is inaccurate.  Shells often cause flooding when they hit near the waterline or below it on a ship.  PoW vs. Bismarck is another case.  There are others as well.

If all the shell damage were higher in the ship, Kirishima would have been able to escape most likely as the main spaces would have been intact and the ship not facing massive flooding. 

The problem with this damage is the officers ordered the wrong action in controlling the damage.  What was needed was to patch every hole the crew could find and begin pumping water out of the ship.  But Japanese damage control techniques, based on WW 1practice was to counterflood and the result was they let more and more water in resulting in the loss of stability (negative GM--metacentric height) and the ship sinking from progressive flooding.

It's very likely the Musashi suffered the same fate for the same reasons as the IJN didn't change their damage control techniques from 1942 to 1944.

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@Murotsu I wasn't around for the early alpha / beta versions of WoWS, I came in late with Open Beta.  From friends that were in during those very early versions, WoWS was vastly different and more in depth.

AP could cause floods for below water line penetrations.

Bouyancy was a mechanic that if lost, your ship was done.

Underwater shell explosions causing damage.

Etc.

It really sucked being a Destroyer.

 

The game that went Live is an extremely "Lite" version from what I understand.  One friend got upset when WoWS went in his words, "Full arcade mode."

 

As for Musashi, the USN learned its lessons because it took too long to put her down.  The hits were all over the place.

https://www.ussflierproject.com/2015/04/musashi-the-final-days/

 

When it was sister Yamato's turn several months later, the USN applied lessons learned and focused the torpedo attacks on the port side of the ship.  Counterflooding was still standard practice for IJN in April 1945 when Yamato went down.  Another fun mention in wikipedia: "Many near misses drove in her outer plating, compromising her defense against torpedoes."

The end result is Yamato went down eating less ordnance than her sister Musashi did.

 

Lots of things don't happen in WoWS.  Lots and lots and lots of things.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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Thanks for sharing.

Hooray for Paul Allen's family.

Unless something has changed; RV Petrel is currently in port; from BEFORE Covid; as they consider it's future use.

IOW; that stupid old man was wasting too much of our money looking for meaninless rusty wrecks; and we don't intend to continue doing so.

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Maybe it's confirmation bias since I do not think Battleships were obsolete in WWII, but the fact that it took 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits to put down Musashi is indicative to me that naval aviation was still in its infancy in WWII.  The pilots simply did not know how to efficiently kill a modern Battleship, opting to target anything and everything.  Such tactics may have worked when attacking fragile Carriers or Destroyers but against a floating fortress, a surgical strike was needed.

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3 hours ago, Sventex said:

Maybe it's confirmation bias since I do not think Battleships were obsolete in WWII, but the fact that it took 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits to put down Musashi is indicative to me that naval aviation was still in its infancy in WWII.  The pilots simply did not know how to efficiently kill a modern Battleship, opting to target anything and everything.  Such tactics may have worked when attacking fragile Carriers or Destroyers but against a floating fortress, a surgical strike was needed.

Given the poor performance of the Mk 13 torpedo, even by 1944 when most of the issues had been solved or minimized as best the Navy could, it was still a rather unreliable weapon.  It's very possible, and likely, that Musashi took fewer hits and sank than what was claimed.  Given the condition of the wreck, we'll never know for sure exactly how much damage was really done.

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6 hours ago, Sventex said:

Maybe it's confirmation bias since I do not think Battleships were obsolete in WWII, but the fact that it took 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits to put down Musashi is indicative to me that naval aviation was still in its infancy in WWII.  The pilots simply did not know how to efficiently kill a modern Battleship, opting to target anything and everything.  Such tactics may have worked when attacking fragile Carriers or Destroyers but against a floating fortress, a surgical strike was needed.

They may have hit the Musashi with 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs, but the sinking was likely assured before that.

How much more, we'll never know.

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10 hours ago, DrHolmes52 said:

They may have hit the Musashi with 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs, but the sinking was likely assured before that.

How much more, we'll never know.

I am curious though, how close did Musashi get to saving herself by beaching?

Watch the incredible underwater footage of the Japanese warship Musashi,  which has been lying at the … | Battleship, Yamato class battleship,  Imperial japanese navy

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2 minutes ago, Sventex said:

I am curious though, how close did Musashi get to saving herself by beaching?

Watch the incredible underwater footage of the Japanese warship Musashi,  which has been lying at the … | Battleship, Yamato class battleship,  Imperial japanese navy

I don't know.  But that wouldn't have been much of a saving.  Perhaps further bombed and left to rust/be salvaged (that's a lot of steel).

But a salvage might have allowed portions of the ship to be returned to Japan.

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On 12/4/2020 at 10:59 PM, HazeGrayUnderway said:

 

The wreckage of Musashi showed only the bow and stern were intact at the sea floor.  It's believed there was a magazine explosion that basically disintegrated the center of the ship.

QPo2iAA.jpeg

 

It was actually rather incredible they were able to 'rebuild' the Musashi digitally from the photos taken of the wreckage. So many things were able to be recognized (such as that section of Turret 2 above), and yet there is so much missing.

 

15 minutes ago, DrHolmes52 said:

I don't know.  But that wouldn't have been much of a saving.  Perhaps further bombed and left to rust/be salvaged (that's a lot of steel).

But a salvage might have allowed portions of the ship to be returned to Japan.

It's rather debatable.

If it was beached, it likely would have been continued to be bombed and even possibly shot at by artillery, either ship or land based, until it was a burning wreck. Any surviving crew would likely abandon ship, destroying anything of value, and either rejoin the IJN, or whatever Japanese force was in the area. Some might try to fight from the ship, but that might all depend on what was still functional or able to function depending on damage. The USN might move in as it would be an example of a new IJN BB (remember they would know another still existed, the Yamato) and they would likely go over it to find anything of value.

Post War, its really alot closer to civilization then Guadalcanal is, so it would likely have been scrapped in place. Anything that remained would probably buried in the sands. Remember, there really isn't that much left of Tirpitz either. There are bits of Mutsu around, but she was salvaged during the 70s when feelings from the war weren't quite as bad.

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@Lord_Slayer  Several years ago, they discovered Musashi's blueprints.  It was stored somewhere in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki, Japan, her birthplace.  It's one of those big, old shipbuilding companies and had been doing so since the 1800s.  Nagasaki was heavily invested into the defense industry and was the primary reason it was chosen as one of the Atomic Bomb drop targets.

Unfortunately the link to the NHK News page covering the incident is dead, I think.

 

Mitsubishi is a pretty big name and is one of those that dives in all sorts of different military and non-military work.  They did lots of aircraft for Japan.  The A6M Zero and G4 Bombers are examples of Mitsubishi aircraft products for WWII.  They still do defense aerospace stuff.  Can't mistake that logo.

logo_en.svg

The blueprints find was a very nice surprise because when Japan was going to surrender, orders came down for lots of records to be burned and destroyed.

 

The video below is in Japanese, not even subtitled for other languages.

NHK had a news page up regarding the story in that video.  Again, the page is gone now but I still remember reading it some time ago.  At the time of the video the guy interviewed was 91 years old and was a veteran of Destroyer Yukikaze.  He spoke about being ordered to take a bunch of the ship's records and burn them.  The concern was the Allies using records against Japan itself once the war was over, the same way it was happening with Germany who surrendered earlier.  He did as ordered but as the years have gone on he had deep regrets on carrying out the orders.  There's a lot of information about accomplishments, sacrifices his comrades did during the war that will never be made known.

Edited by HazeGrayUnderway

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