Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Japan's WW2 'Musashi battleship wreck found'

The Musashi came under sustained attack by waves of US aircraft in October 1944
American billionaire Paul Allen has announced the discovery of the famous World War Two Japanese battleship, the Musashi, more than 70 years after it was sunk by US forces.

Mr Allen said the vessel was found by his private exploration team.

It was at a depth of more than 1km (3,280ft) on the floor of the Sibuyan Sea off the Philippines.

The Musashi and its sister vessel, the Yamato, were two of the largest battleships ever built.

US warplanes sank the Musashi on 24 October 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, believed to be the biggest naval encounter of World War Two in which American and Australian forces defeated the Japanese.

Photo of a valve from the Musashi underwater (March 2015) Photos of parts of the Musashi have been released on Mr Allen's Twitter account, including this image of a valve

Part of the bow of the Musashi underwater (March 2015) This photo is said by Mr Allen to show part of the bow of the Musashi

Mr Allen announced the discovery on his Twitter page, which also showed photos of the submerged vessel.

He began his search for the Musashi eight years ago, "because since my youth I have been fascinated with Second World War history," he was quoted by CNBC as saying.

The Musashi was found in the middle of the Philippine archipelago using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) after Mr Allen's team had carried out a thorough survey of the seabed.
Attacking aircraft
The Musashi was a "mighty battleship" with "mammoth 18-inch guns", the US Navy's website says.

Its twin ship, the Yamato, was damaged in the fighting, according to the US Navy, and American warships finally sank it a year later as it tried to get to Okinawa.

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