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WWII IJN Battleship Musashi Found

5.03.2015
WWII IJN Battleship Musashi Found

The World War Two Imperial Japanese Navy's Battleship Musashi was sunk in action at the Battle of Sibuyan Sea on Oct 24, 1944. This was the opening skirmish in what became known as the Battle of Leyte Gulf. This battle and the lost of the Musashi were a turning point in the Pacific War of WWII. The Battle of Leyte Gulf saw not only the Musashi sunk, with the loss of 1,023 lives, it also decimated the majority of the Japanese Imperial Navy's surface fleet. The lost of the battleship and the heavy damage to its sister shock the confidence of the IJN. The Musashi was a symbol of the Japanese Naval power; it had even been visited by the Emperor. To have her sink was not possible. Some historians believe that her lost at the hands of Allied air power was the trigger for the kamikaze attacks that started in the following few weeks. While her general location has been known, she had never been found before.

 PGA_MusashiGallery1010x570_Anchor.jpgOn March 1, 2015 scientist aboard the MV Octopus located the wreck, a project started some eight years before. Researchers are said to have searched documentation of four countries to narrow down the location of the ship.  MV Octopus, the personal yacht of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has found the battleship at a depth of about 1,000 meters. Allen used the online platform tweeter to announce his find to the world. Japanese officials have yet to confirm that the wreck found is the Musashi citing the need for more detail examination. Scientists in Japan, who had been in contact with Allen and his team previously, admit from what they have seen it could not be anything but the battleship.

An Underwater Marine Research Yacht

While Paul Allen is one of the richest men in the world, his yacht is very different from other rich man toys. The 414 foot MV Octopus is one of the largest yachts in the world and it is fully equipped as an underwater research vessel. It is often loaned to scientific projects, documentaries and even the British government borrowed it for Royal Navy in an effort to find the wreckage of the HMS Hood. The on-board equipment is supplemented with  Pagoo and Octo ROV. Pagoo is a 10-person commercial-class scientific exploration submarine. It has a dive operational time for up to eight hours. Octo ROV is remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that has a maximum depth of 8,843 feet.

The following is a summary of the Musashi.

Type: Yamato-class Battleship

Commissioned: August 5, 2942

Sunk: October 24, 1944

Beam: 121 ft

Length: 862 ft

Displacement: 63,000 Tons

Draft: 32 ft

Speed: 28 knots

Armament:

9x460mm guns (As known as 18 inch guns, these are the largest naval guns ever used)

6x155mm guns

12x127mm guns ( 5 inch anti-aircraft guns with secondary anti-submarine capability. )

35x3x25mm 25x1x25mm anti-aircraft guns

4x13mm guns

Aircraft: 7

Catapult: 2

Total Crew: 2,399

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