||4 November 1937
||8 August 1940
||16 December 1941
||Yamato, Musashi, Shinano (completed as aircraft carrier), unnamed unit (hull 111, not completed).
|Sunk by American aircraft, 7 April 1945, whilst sailing for Okinawa.
||65,027 tonnes empty
68,010 tons standard
71,659 tons full load
||263 m (862 ft 9 in) overall
256 m (800 ft 9 in) water-line
||38.7 m (127 ft) overall
36.9 m (121 ft 1 in) water-line
||10.39 m (34 ft 1 in) design
11 m (36 ft) maximum
||2,500 (2,750 with extra AAA in 1945(?))
||4 Kampon geared turbines, generating 150,000 shp (110 MW)
Delivered on 4 shafts
3-bladed propellers, 6.0 m (19 ft 8 in) diameter
||Speed 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range 11,500 km at 16 knots (30 km/h)
9 × 18.1 in guns (3×3)
12 × 16.1 in guns (4×3)
12 × 5 in dual purpose guns (6×2)
24 × 25 mm guns (8×3)
4 × 13.2 mm guns (2×2)
9 × 46 cm (18.1 inch) (3×3)
6 × 15.5 cm (6.1 inch) (2×3)
24 × 12.7 cm (12×2)
162 × 25 mm AA (52×3, 6×1)
4 × 13 mm AA (2×2)
||Belt 16.1 in
Deck up to 9.1 in
Barbettes up to 21.5 in
Turrets up to 25.6 in
Conning tower up to 19.7 in
Torpedo bulkhead up to 11.8 in
Hanger storage for 5 floatplanes
Yamato Japanese super-dreadnought battleship
Japanese military planners knew that it would not be possible to out-build their main rival in the Pacific - the U.S.A. - and so Japan sought to gain a qualitative advantage over it's future opponent instead. In planning the Yamato class the Japanese sought a battleship that was better armed and armoured than anything built before. The resulting design was so large that it was wider than the gates of the Panama Canal. Since American battleships needed to traverse the canal to be transferred between the Pacific and Atlantic theatres it was thought the Americans would be unable to respond in kind, since they would not wish to go to the enormous expense of widening the canal.
Japan did not break it's treaty obligations with the Yamato, since in 1935 they chose to withdraw from the Second London Naval Conference. They were then free to build their super-ship, but chose to do so in absolute secrecy, so as not to incite a response from their rivals.
The Yamato carried a main armament of nine 460mm (18.1 in) guns in three triple turrets, two forward, one aft. They were the largest guns ever fitted to a battleship. Each of the turrets weighed 2,774 tons, and the guns fired shells weighing 3,240lbs at a rate of one every 30-45 seconds. Maximum range was 45,000 yards (beyond the horizon).
Secondary armament consisted of twelve 6.1 inch guns in four triple turrets. One forward, one aft and one each side of the super-structure amidships. There were twelve 5 inch dual-purpose guns, twenty four 25-mm and four 13.2-mm guns for anti-aircraft defence.
In addition to the unprecedented armament, the armour protection was on an equally grand scale. The turrets were protected with armour up to 25.6 inches thick and the deck was to be 'bomb proof'. With deck armour up to 9.1 inches thick, it was designed to protect from a 2,200lb armour piercing bomb dropped from 10,000 ft. The main armour belt was 16.1 inches thick and angled at 20 degrees to protect against armament equal to her own at 23,000 yards. The super-structure was concentrated into a small armoured citadel.