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Japanese battleship Nagato from 1920 history and image.

CLASS

BATTLESHIP

ENT/SERVICE 

NOVEMBER 25th 1920

BUILT

KURE NAVY YARD / JAPAN

WEIGHT

33,900 TONS

LENGTH

700 FEET

WIDTH

95 FEET

SPEED

26 KNOTS - GEARED TURBINES - FOUR PROPELLERS

GUNS

8 - 16.1 INCH / 20 - 5.5 INCH / 8 - 24 INCH TORPEDOES

ARMOR

12 INCH SIDE / 3 INCH DECK / 14 INCH TURRET FACES

At the time of entering service, Nagato and her sister ship Mutso were the largest battleships in the world, also, the first to be fitted with 16-inch guns. The only warship larger at that time was Britain’s 41,125-ton heavy cruiser Hood. These ships were World War One era battleships built too late to see service in WWI and were 20 yeras old by WW2.

The Japanese Navy operated Nagato as their flagship until the arrival of the 65,000-ton battleship Yamato in 1941. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941 was an attempt to destroy America’s superior fleet of warships. As these attacks only destroyed three American battleships, this left the US Navy with 25 battleships available for the Pacific War compared to Japan’s 10.

Nagato Japanese Battleship image

Nagato first encountered US warships at the battle of Leyte / Philippians. She was part of the Japanese ‘Force A’ led by the battleships Yamato and Musashi. Force A was traveling through the San Bernadino strait to the north of Leyte when they came under attack by US aircraft. Although Musashi was sunk by these attacks, Nagato and Yamato pushed on to engage US warships protecting the American landing forces at Leyte. After sinking four US ships, the sighting of US submarines forced the Japanese warships to break off their assault.

Nagato’s return to Japan saw her used for shore defense in Tokyo Bay. On July 18th 1945, an attack by US aircraft succeeded in hitting her with one rocket and three 500lb bombs. US forces seized the extensively damaged Nagato after the Japanese surrender August 5th 1945. She was later sunk in the atom bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Mutso mysteriously blew up and sunk while moored at Hiroshima Bay in June 1943.

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