IJN Musashi

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IJN Musashi was the second Japanese battleship of the Yamato-class, and the first of the class to be sunk. Never firing her 18.1" guns, the largest in the world, at anything except aircraft, she sank, on 24 October 1944, after attacks by three waves of U.S. carrier aircraft during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She never came into sight of an enemy ship.

The first strike, at 1026, damaged her; the second strike at 1245 did little damage; but the third strike left her sinking. She was abandoned at approximately 1830 and sank at 1935. While the exact damage she took is not definitely known, the most frequent Japanese estimates are 11 torpedo hits, 10 bomb hits and six near-misses. 1,023 of her 2,399 crew were lost, including her captain, Toshihira Inoguchi. The U.S. lost 18 aircraft in the attacks.[1]

While it had been well understood by 1944 that ships could not fully protect themselves with the antiaircraft guns of the time, Japanese defensive fire was shockingly ineffective. The Japanese had consoled themselves that they had 120 antiaircraft guns, but most were the 25mm-60 caliber gun: short range, awkward to aim, slow rate of fire, and only manual fire control.


  1. Bob Hackett and Sander Kingsepp, IJN MUSASHI: Tabular Record of Movement (Revision 10 ed.), CombinedFleet.com