I don’t normally write about Navy stuff, but I was looking through some articles which referenced the Japanese anime ‘Space Battleship Yamato‘ which reminded me of the actual battleship the show is named after.
The Yamato and her sister ship Musahi were the biggest warships ever constructed. I first learned about the Yamato as a kid playing Koei’s P.T.O. (Pacific Theater of Operations) which is a strategy game that allows you to play as either the Allies or Axis powers during WWII in the Pacific. For an old game (it was made in 1989) it was incredibly detailed. The graphics and gameplay weren’t anything exciting, but the in-depth control and historical accuracy made the game addicting.
It was in some random sea encounter that I saw a Japanese battleship that had a slightly larger sprite. The bow was canted slightly upwards, which made it look like a katana (terrible orientalist trope, I should know better, but that’s actually what it reminded me of). It was a menacing looking ship, and it had the armor and guns to back it up.
The Yamato was never really tested during the war. She did some beach shelling at Leyte Gulf but never saw a ship-on-ship engagement. She was sunk by torpedo bombers in 1945 in the war’s final days. The other two Yamato-class ships were also sunk by either planes or a submarine.