A Force to be Reckoned With
The Musashi was the second ship in the Yamato class of battleships built by the Japanese Navy. Her most distinguishing features were her nine huge 46cm guns, which had a range of 41km and could penetrate 43cm of armor plating at a distance of up to 30km. The massive ship had a displacement of over 70,000 tons, and was laid down on March 29, 2013. Some two and a half years later in November 1940 she was launched and finally commissioned for service on August 5, 1942. In order to provide the best defensive capability possible, she employed an astonishing 21,000 tons of armor plating; in addition, the ship was made a short as possible and its layout grouped key parts such as the bridge in the center of the ship. After serving as the flagship of the Japanese fleet from February 1943 to March 1944, she took part in combat operations in the Philippines. On October 24, 1944, Musashi was attacked by several U.S. planes and took a number of torpedo hits leading to her sinking.