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Yamato Battleship


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Scalecraft Price:: $699.00
Item Number: IJN Yamato
First conceived in 1934, the Yamato-class battleships were the biggest ever built, and they were surpassed in size only by the American supercarriers built after World War II. The class was to have consisted of five ships, but only Yamato and Musashi were commissioned as battleships; Shinano was reconfigured as an aircraft carrier when she was half built, one hull was broken up before completion, and the fifth was never begun. Despite their enormous size and strength, there were many advocates of naval air power who believed that battleships were obsolete and that these ships were a waste of scarce resources. Ironically, one of the most vigorous opponents was the air-minded Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, whose flagship Yamato would become, on February 12, 1942—just two months after Japan had proven the tactical effectiveness of naval aviation against battleships with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse off Singapore.

During the Allied assault on the island of Okinawa, south of the Japanese home islands, Yamato was designated as the center of Vice Admiral Seiichi Ito's Special Surface Attack Force, consisting also of eight destroyers and one light cruiser. The purpose of this suicide run to Okinawa—Yamato had only enough fuel for a one-way trip—was to disrupt the amphibious landings there. On April 6, 1945, the force was sighted coming out of the Inland Sea and tracked as it threaded its way west along the southern tip of Kyushu into the East China Sea. Planes from Task Force 58 began their attack at 1232 on April 7. Yamato was hit by 10 aerial torpedoes and 23 bombs, including near misses. The world's greatest battleship finally sank with the loss 2,498 men. In the words of Samuel Eliot Morison, "When she went down, five centuries of naval warfare ended."

Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/350. Length 30 inches.

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