Musashi

Captain Toshihira Inoguchi took over command of the Japanese Yamato-class battleship Musashi in August 1944. The Musashi and her sister ship Yamato were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed.

In June 1944, the Musashi had taken part in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Her next, and last, major operation was the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in which the Japanese surface navy made a final major effort to repulse the U.S. drive into the Western Pacific. On 24 October 1944, while en route to the prospective battle area off the Leyte landing beaches, Musashi and her consorts were attacked by hundreds of U.S. Navy carrier aircraft. In what is known as the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, she was hit by nineteen torpedoes and seventeen bombs. Although her heavy protection withstood this massive damage, to a degree probably unsurpassed by any other contemporary warship, Musashi eventually capsized and sank around four hours after receiving her last hit.

Musashi capsized at 19:36 and sank in 4,430 feet (1,350 m) at 13°07′ N, 122°32′ E.  Captain Toshihira Inoguchi chose to go down with his ship; 1,376 of her 2,399-man crew were rescued. About half of her survivors were evacuated to Japan, and the rest took part in the defence of the Philippines.

Musashi-wreck-scanIn this Merlindown digital deepscan image we see the Musashi broken in half and lying on her port side with part of her stern lying nearby. The bow compartments were completely flooded when the ship capsized, resulting in the Musashi tilting with her bows down. This compromised the rest of the hull which then broke free and collapsed under the strain of sinking to the sea floor. The individual squares could be her gun turrets which will have become detached when she rolled over prior to sinking.

Musashi-battle-1 Musashi-battle-2 Musashi-battle-3
USN battle photographs showing the Musashi sinking with her flooded bows down in the water.