WWII Japanese battleship Musashi found

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WWII Japanese battleship Musashi found

March 06, 2015 - 13:57
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The famous battleship has been located at a depth of more than 1km (3,280ft) on the floor of the Sibuyan Sea off the Philippines. The Musashi and its sister vessel, the Yamato, were two of the largest battleships ever built. US warplanes sank the Musashi on 24 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, believed to be the biggest naval encounter during the second world war.

Musashi under attack by American carrier aircraft during the Battle of Leyte Gulf

Musashi and her sister ship, Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) Type 94 main guns. Neither ship survived the war. Musashi '​s main battery consisted of nine 45-calibre 46 cm (18.1 in) Type 94 guns mounted in three triple gun turrets, numbered from front to rear, each with an elevation range of −5 to +45 degrees. They fired a 1,460-kilogram (3,220 lb) armour-piercing (AP) shell to a range of 42,000 metres (46,000 yd). These were the largest-calibre guns ever fitted to a ship.

A team led and funded by Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen has located the Musashi on the seabed of the Sibuyan Sea in the Philippines. Allen, 62, whose father served in World War II, says his research team discovered the Musashi's wreckage on March 1 and uploaded a number of pictures of what he described as the ship’s rusty bow, with a Japanese seal clearly visible.

Using historical records from four different countries, detailed topographical data and advanced technology aboard his yacht, M/Y Octopus, Mr. Allen and his team discovered the wreckage in the Sibuyan Sea off the Philippines on March 1, 2015.

Musashi was sunk by American forces on October 24, 1944 in the lead up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The discovery of the ship marks an important milestone in the annals of World War II naval history. The Musashi, and her sister ship Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed.

Commissioned in 1942, Musashi weighs 73,000 tons fully loaded. It featured eighteen-inch armor plating and was armed with nine eighteen-inch guns, the largest ever mounted on a warship. Roughly half of the crew members were killed when the ship sank. Additionally, the United States lost 18 aircraft during the attack on the Musashi, though we do not have an accurate number of American losses from those aircraft.

Exploration

M/Y Octopus is one of the world’s largest and most recognizable yachts and reflects Mr. Allen's passion for exploring the sea. Launched in 2003, Octopus is regularly used for exploration projects, scientific research initiatives and rescue missions. Octopus was inspired by Mr. Allen's recollections of Jacques Cousteau’s underwater adventures and a curiosity about what lies beneath the ocean’s surface. In 2012, Director James Cameron used Octopus for his expedition to the Earth's deepest point, a seven-hour solo journey to explore a place 120-times larger than the Grand Canyon.

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