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Since tomorrow marks the 71th Anniversary of "Operation Ten-Go", and also the sinking of the Japanese behemoth Battleship Yamato, let's take some time to talk about this historical event that took place on 7th of April 1945.

 

Please note that most of the details in here are from Wikipedia or other history websites.


 

Operation Ten-Go 天號作戰 - The Planning

Originally, the army planned to defend Okinawa at all cost, even to the point of using Kamikaze attacks. After listening to this plan, the Emperor demanded how the navy planned to aid in the effort. Feeling pressured, the CIC (Commander in Chief) of the combined fleet, Admiral Toyoda Soemu (豊田 副武) met with his planners and came up with "Operation Ten-Go". 

 

"Operation Ten-Go" was planned to be a Kamikaze-styled mission involving Battleship Yamato, Light Cruiser Yahagi and 8 other destroyers, which were to fight their way through the Allied fleet and beach themselves on Okinawa. Once ashore, the ships will act as shore batteries until destroyed at which point their surviving crews will disembark and fight as infantry.

 

As the navy's air arm had effectively been destroyed, there would be no air cover to support the effort. Despite many, including the Ten-Go force commander Vice Admiral Seiichi Ito (伊藤整一), felt that the operation was a waste of resources, Toyoda still pushed it forward and preparations began. On March 29, Ito shifted his ships from Kure to Tokuyama.

 

Ito continued the preparations after arriving to Tokuyama, but he just could not bring himself to order the operation to commence.

 

On April 5, Vice Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka (草鹿 龍之介) arrived in Tokuyama to convince the Combined Fleet's commanders to accept Ten-Go. Upon learning the details, most of the people sided with Ito believing that the operation was a futile waste. Kusaka persisted and told them that the operation would draw American aircraft away from the army's planned air attacks on Okinawa and that the Emperor was expecting the navy to make a maximum effort in the island's defense. Unable to resist the Emperor's wishes, those in attendance reluctantly agreed to move forward with the operation.

 

Operation Ten-Go 天號作戰 - The Battle

At 16:00 on 6 April, Yamato, with Admiral Ito on board, the light cruiser Yahagi and eight destroyers departed from Tokuyama to begin the mission. The Japanese force was sighted by two submarines (USS Threadfin and USS Hackleback). Although the submarines were unable to attack, they did spend several hours shadowing the Japanese sortie and sending updates of its course to the US fleet. The submarines' messages, which were reportedly sent uncoded were also picked up by radio operators on the Japanese ships. (Not sure if the SS captains are overconfident or brainfarted at that point) 

 

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Routes of the Japanese force (black line) and US CV aircraft (red dash) to the battle area.

Pic Sauce : Wikipedia

 

At dawn on 7 April, the Japanese forced passed the Osumi Peninsula and into the open ocean heading south from Kyushu toward Okinawa. They shifted into defensive formation with Yahagi leading Yamato and the eight destroyers deployed in a ring around the two larger ships. One of the 8 destroyers, Asashimo , developed some engine trouble and turned back. US recon aircraft began to shadow the main force of ships. At 10:00, the Japanese force turned west to make it look like they were withdrawing, but at 11:30, after being detected by two US PBM Mariner flying boats, they turned back towards Okinawa. (Yamato also fired a salvo of Type 3 shells aka beehive shells to try and prevent the two planes from shadowing the Japanese force but failed)

 

Aware of Ito's progress, the eleven carriers of Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58 began launching several waves of aircraft around 10:00 AM. In addition, a force of six battleships and two large cruisers was sent north in case air strikes failed to stop the Japanese force. Flying north from Okinawa, the first wave spotted Yamato shortly after noon. As the Japanese lacked air cover, the American fighters, dive bombers and torpedo planes patiently set up their attacks. Commencing around 12:30 PM, the torpedo bombers focused their attacks on Yamato's port side to increase the chances of the ship capsizing.

 

As the first wave struck, Yahagi was hit in the engine room by a torpedo. Dead in the water, the CL was struck by six more torpedoes and twelve bombs in the course of the battle before sinking at 2:05 PM.

 

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Yahagi under intense bomb and torpedo attack. 

Pic sauce : Wikipedia

 

While Yahagi was being crippled, Yamato took a torpedo and two bomb hits. Though not effecting its speed, a large fire erupted aft of the battleships's superstructure. The second and third waves of aircraft launched their attacks between 1:20 PM and 2:15 PM. Maneuvering for its life, the battleship was hit by at least eight torpedoes and as many as fifteen bombs.

 

Losing power, Yamato began listing severely to port. Due to the destruction of the ship's water dame-con station, the crew was unable to counter-flood specially designed spaces on the starboard side. At 1:33 PM, Ito ordered the starboard boiler and engine rooms flooded in an effort to right the ship. This effort killed the several hundred crewman working in those spaces and reduced the ship's speed to ten knots.

 

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Yamato listing to port and on fire

Pic sauce : Wikipedia

 

At 2:02 PM, Ito ordered the mission canceled and the crew to abandon ship. Three minutes later, Yamato began to capsize. Around 2:20 PM, the battleship rolled completely and began to sink before being torn open by a massive explosion. Four of the Japanese destroyers were also sunk during the battle.

 

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The only known photo of the Yamato exploding. The ship capsized after numerous bomb and torpedo hits.

Pic sauce : Wikipedia

 

Oh before I forgot, let's take a look at the MM for this battle.

 

Task Force 58 (USN) :

11 Aircraft Carriers

386 aircraft

Battleship

11 Cruisers

30+ Destroyers

 

2nd Fleet, Combined Fleet (IJN) :

1 battleship

1 light cruiser

8 destroyers

115 aircraft, mostly kamikaze

 

And you complain your MM is *!@# in World of Warsheeps.

 

 

Operation Ten-Go 天號作戰 - The Aftermath

Operation Ten-Go cost the Japanese between 3,700-4,250 dead as well as Yamato, Yahagi and four destroyers. American losses were a mere twelve killed and ten aircraft. Operation Ten-Go was the Imperial Japanese Navy's last significant action of World War II and its few remaining ships would have little effect during the final weeks of the war. The operation had minimal effect on the Allied operations around Okinawa and the island was declared secure on June 21,1945.

 


 

Well tl;dr,

IJN went YOLO and tried to defend Okinawa from freedom, but failed. 

Yamato got rushed by TB and DB, hit, damecon on cool-down, low HP, flooding + 3 fires + no repair kit.

 

 

 

Edited by xDave1337x

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ST Coordinator
2,325 posts
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IJN went YOLO and tried to defend Okinawa from freedom, but failed. 

Yamato got rushed by TB and DB, hit, damecon on cool-down, low HP, flooding + 3 fires + no repair kit.

 

Yamato probly has a 1 point captain, while the US captains were 19points :P

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Moderator
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Senior Moderator
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I liked WG's legends series on Yamato and showing her final operation and what she faced, was impressive.

 

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Member
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Additional to the Aftermath:

 

US Battleship Task Force's Commander complains to US Pacific Fleet Command that Carrier Task Force stole their job. :P

 

USN BB task force is not happy with that kill steal

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Super Tester
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USN BB task force is not happy with that kill steal

 

It's not actually kill steal coz the Battleship Task Force never actually engage the JP Yamato Task Force. The Carrier Task Force have it all to themselves and takes the credit. Funny, It's actually true though. Task Force commanders arguing about stolen job when the US sub made a contact/sighting report. :P
Edited by Mingfang47

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ST Coordinator
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I liked WG's legends series on Yamato and showing her final operation and what she faced, was impressive.

 

 

There is also that movie about the Yamato's Ten-Go (which is quite bloody) which portrays what might be happening on the deck of the ship and inside of the Yamato during her final hours.

 

Even though in WW2, they were the enemy and did a lot of cruel acts, I still salute the brave sailors who would ride into death just to protect their country. They knew they were not going to make it back, they only had one way to go, forward into death and honor for the country.

Edited by Windforce

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Alpha Tester
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Well tl;dr,

IJN went YOLO and tried to defend Okinawa from freedom, but failed. 

Yamato got rushed by TB and DB, hit, damecon on cool-down, low HP, flooding + 3 fires + no repair kit.

 

 

 

 

Well, at least she got Detonation

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Senior Moderator
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There is also that movie about the Yamato's Ten-Go (which is quite bloody) which portrays what might be happening on the deck of the ship and inside of the Yamato during her final hours.

 

Even though in WW2, they were the enemy and did a lot of cruel acts, I still salute the brave sailors who would ride into death just to protect their country. They knew they were not going to make it back, they only had one way to go, forward into death and honor for the country.

 

I've seen the clip of that movie of her final battle. I agree, you have to absolutely respect their devotion to their duties and their country no matter the circumstances. It always amazes me when reading some of the final acts of sailors, soldiers and airmen of any nation in the World Wars. 

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