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Lorenzo

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Re: Imperial Japanese Navy Battle Ship "Nagato(長門)"
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 12:31:19 AM »
Nagato (Japanese: é•·é–€, named after Nagato province) was a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy, the lead ship of her class. She was the first battleship in the world to mount 16 inch (actually 16.1 inch, or 410 mm) guns, her armour protection and speed made her one of the most powerful capital ships at the time of her commissioning.

She was the flagship of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto during the attack on Pearl Harbor. She saw action only once, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, due to the Japanese Navy's strategy of keeping major units in reserve for a decisive battle.

At the outbreak of World War II, Nagato, under the command of Captain Yano Hideo, and her sister ship Mutsu formed Battle Division 1. Nagato was the flagship of the Combined Fleet, flying the flag of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. On December 2, 1941 Nagato sent the signal Niitakayama nobore 1208 "Climb Mount Niitaka on 12/08 (Japanese Time)" that committed the Carrier Strike Force to the attack on Pearl Harbor and Japan to the Pacific War.

On February 12, 1942 Admiral Yamamoto transferred his flag to the new battleship Yamato.

Nagato sailed with the Yamato, Mutsu, Hosho, Sendai, nine destroyers and four auxiliary ships as Admiral Yamamoto's Main Body during the Battle of Midway in June 1942 but saw no action. She returned survivors of the aircraft carrier Kaga to Japan.

In 1943, under the command of Captain Hayakawa Mikio, Nagato was based at Truk in the Caroline Islands. After the evacuation of Truk in February 1944, she was based at Lingga near Singapore.

In June 1944 she took part in Operation A-Go, an attack on Allied forces in the Mariana Islands. In the battle of the Philippine Sea on June 19, 1944 she came under air attack but was not damaged.

In October 1944 she took part in Operation Shō-1, an attack on the Allied landings at Leyte. On October 24, 1944 in the battle of the Sibuyan Sea Nagato was attacked by several waves of American dive-bombers. At 14:16 she was hit by two bombs dropped by planes from Franklin and Cabot. The first bomb disabled a number of guns and damaged the air intake to the No. 1 boiler room, stopping one shaft for 25 minutes until the air intake was cleared. The second bomb hit the canteen and forward radio room, killing 52 men and wounding 106. On October 25 the Central Force (including battleships Yamato, Nagato, Kongō, and Haruna), navigated the San Bernardino Strait and headed for Leyte Gulf. In the battle off Samar, Nagato engaged the escort carriers and destroyers of the US Task Group 77.4.3. At 06:01 she opened fire on St. Lo, the first time she fired her guns at an enemy ship, but missed. At 06:54 the destroyer Heermann fired a spread of torpedoes at Haruna; the torpedoes missed Haruna and headed for Yamato and Nagato on parallel courses. The two battleships were forced to turn away from the action to the north for 10 miles (16 km) until the torpedoes ran out of fuel. After returning to the action, Nagato continued to engage the American carriers, firing 45 16.1 inch (410 mm) and 92 5.5 inch (140 mm) shells.

At 09:10 Admiral Takeo Kurita ordered the fleet to break off the engagement and head north. At 10:20 he ordered the fleet south once more, but as the fleet came under increasingly severe air attack he ordered a retreat again at 12:36. At 12:43 Nagato was hit in the bow by two bombs but the damage was not severe.

As it retreated on October 26, the Japanese fleet came under continuous air assault. Nagato was attacked by dive-bombers from Hornet and hit by four bombs, suffering 38 killed and 105 wounded. In the course of the day she fired 99 16.1 inch (410 mm) and 653 5.5 inch (140 mm) shells.

On November 25, 1944 Nagato arrived at Yokosuka, Japan for repairs. Lack of fuel and materials meant that she could not be brought back into service, and in February 1945 she was reassigned as a coastal defence ship. In June 1945 her secondary and anti-aircraft armament were moved ashore. On July 18, 1945 she was attacked at Yokusuka by fighter bombers and torpedo bombers from Essex, Randolph, Bennington, Shangri-La and Belleau Wood and hit by three bombs, one hitting the bridge and killing her commanding officer, Rear Admiral Otsuka Miki.

On August 30, 1945, following the Japanese surrender, Nagato, the last surviving Japanese battleship, was boarded and secured by American sailors from the USS Horace A. Bass (LPR-124).

In March 1946 she was taken to Bikini Atoll for Operation Crossroads, a series of atomic bomb tests. On this, her last voyage, she was commanded by Captain W. J. Whipple with a United States Navy crew of about 180 men. She was in such poor repair that on the way she had to be towed to Eniwetok Atoll for emergency repairs.

In the first test (ABLE, an airburst) on July 1, 1946 she was 1,640 yards from ground zero and was not severely damaged. In the second test (BAKER, an underwater explosion) on July 25, 1946 she was severely damaged, eventually capsized and sank five days later.

The Times has named the Nagato as one of the top ten wreck diving sites in the world.


source: Wikipedia

Alice008

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xx - Imperial Japanese Navy Battle Ship "Nagato(長門)"  - History
Re: Imperial Japanese Navy Battle Ship "Nagato(長門)"
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 02:58:56 PM »
Good article that you wrote, thank you!



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