the second ship of the Yamato class of Imperial Japanese Navy World
War II battleships.
She and her sister ship, Yamato, were the heaviest and most
powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800
tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) Type 94
main guns. Neither ship survived the war.
Named after Japan's ancient Musashi Province, the Musashi was
commissioned in mid-1942, modified to serve as the flagship of the
Combined Fleet, and spent the rest of the year working up. The ship
was transferred to Truk in early 1943 and sortied several times that
year with the fleet in unsuccessful searches for American forces.
She was used to transfer forces and equipment between Japan and
various occupied islands several times in 1944. Torpedoed in early
1944 by an American submarine, Musashi was forced to return to Japan
for repairs, where the navy greatly augmented her anti-aircraft
armament. She was present during the Battle of the Philippine Sea in
June, but did not come in contact with American surface forces.
Musashi was sunk by an estimated 19 torpedo and 17 bomb hits from
American carrier-based aircraft on 24 October 1944 during the Battle
of Leyte Gulf. Over half of her crew was rescued.
Her wreck was located in March 2015 by Microsoft co-founder Paul
Allen and his team of researchers.