The greatest of the fighting giants of the sea was the Japanese Yamato. She gave her name to a class four battleships designed to be invincible. Yamato displaced 72,000 tons. Her main armament consisted of nine 45.9 cm guns in triple turrets – overwhelmingly superior to any other battleship in the world. The Yamato was completed soon after the Japanese attack on the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Her last mission was to Okinawa, with enough fuel for a one-way trip. The object was to act as a diversion, and to give the Japanese ‘suicide’ pilots a better chance against American aircraft carriers in action there. On 7 April 1945 she survived seven heavy bomb hits by U.S. aircraft, and at least twelve torpedo strikes, before blowing up.
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