IJN YAMASHIRO

 
 

As seen in 1944 before the Battle of Surigao Strait (Leyte Gulf)

 
 

Pit-Road Hi Mold Resin kit no. HM-033 

Scale 1:700 

See how I build the kit on the bottom of this page

Click on the pictures to enlarge.  

 
     
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  Yamashiro history:

The Yamashiro (山城) was the Imperial Japanese Navy's second Fusō-class battleship, and was laid down at the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal on November 20, 1913, launched on November 3, 1915, and commissioned on March 31, 1917. She was the first Japanese vessel equipped with aircraft catapults. The ship was named after the Japanese province where Kyoto is located.

The Yamashiro was reconstructed from December 1930 to March 1935. The original 24 coal-fired Mijabara boilers producing 24,000 hp were replaced with six new Kanpon oil-fired boilers producing 75,000 hp. Torpedo bulges were fitted, increasing beam from 94 feet to 100 feet, 6 inches. The stern was lengthened by 24 feet to improve the fineness ratio and restore lost speed. Deck armor was thickened to a total of 7 inches on three decks. Elevation of the main armament was increased from 30 degrees to 43 degrees. The forefunnel was removed, but converted later, the Yamashiro differed slightly from its sister ship Fusō in the arrangement of gun turrets; by altering the "dead angle" of "C" turret from foreward training to aft, deck space was left for a larger superstructure (see picture above.) Eight 5-inch/40 heavy anti-aicraft guns were fitted, one twin mount on each side of the bridge forward, and the other pair of twin mounts high up on the tower structure aft.

At the battle of Surigao Strait on October 25, 1944, she came under attack and was sunk by U.S. naval forces, receiving four hits from destroyer torpedoes and numerous 14" and 16" shells from U.S. battleships.

Nearly all from Yamashiro 1400 crew were lost.

 

Battle of Surigao Strait

Nishimura's "Southern Force" consisted of the battleships Yamashiro and Fusō, the cruiser Mogami, and four destroyers. They were attacked by bombers on October 24 but sustained only minor damage.

Because of the strict radio silence imposed on the Central and Southern Forces, Nishimura was unable to synchronise his movements with Shima and Kurita. When he entered the narrow Surigao Strait at about 02:00 Shima was 40 km behind him, and Kurita was still in the Sibuyan Sea, several hours from the beaches at Leyte.

As they passed the cape of Panaon Island, they ran into a deadly trap set for them by the 7th Fleet Support Force. Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf had six battleships (Mississippi, Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, California, and Pennsylvania, all but the Mississippi having been resurrected from Pearl Harbor), eight cruisers (heavy cruisers USS Louisville (Flagship), Portland, Minneapolis and HMAS Shropshire, light cruisers USS Denver, Columbia, Phoenix, Boise), 29 destroyers and 39 PT boats. To pass the strait and reach the landings, Nishimura would have to run the gauntlet of torpedoes from the PT boats, evade two groups of destroyers, proceed up the strait under the concentrated fire of six battleships in line across the far mouth of the strait, and then break through the screen of cruisers and destroyers.

At about 03:00, Fusō and the destroyers Asagumo, Yamagumo, and Mishishio were hit by torpedoes launched by the destroyer groups. Fusō broke in two, but did not sink. Then at 03:50, about half of the American battleships opened fire. Radar fire control allowed about half of the American battleships to hit targets from a distance at which the Japanese did not reply because of their inferior fire control systems. Yamashiro and Mogami were crippled by a combination of 14-inch (356mm) and 16-inch (406 mm) armour-piercing shells. Shigure turned and fled, but lost steering and stopped dead. Yamashiro sank at 04:19.

At 04:25, Shima's two cruisers (Nachi and Ashigara) and eight destroyers reached the battle. Seeing what they thought were the wrecks of both Nishimura's battleships (actually the two halves of Fusō), he ordered a retreat. His flagship, Nachi, collided with Mogami, flooding the latter's steering-room. Mogami fell behind in the retreat and was sunk by aircraft the next morning. The bow half of Fusō was destroyed by Louisville and the stern half sank off Kanihaan Island. Of Nishimura's seven ships, only Shigure survived.

Yamashiro was the last battleship to engage another in combat, and one of very few to have been sunk by another battleship during World War 2. The battle itself was the last in naval history to take place solely between all-gun warships. This was also the last battle in which one force (the Americans, in this case) was able to cross the T of its opponent, enabling the U.S. ships to bring all their firepower to bear on the Japanese ships.

Technical specification:

Launched 3.11.1915

Completed 31.03.1917

Rebuild in 1933, 1935, 1944

Sunk 25.10. 1944

displacement: 39,154 tons

length: 212.75 m

beam:  30.64 m

draught: 9.69 m

ship horse power: 75,000 Shp.

speed : 24,7 knots

main guns 12 (6x2) 14´ = 35,6 cm 

secondary guns 14 (14x1) 6´= 15,5 cm

medium guns AA 8 (4x2)  5 = 12.7 cm

light guns AA 92 25mm =  (8x3)+(17x2)+(34x1) 

light guns AA 16 18mm =  (3x2)+(10x1) 

3 aircraft (DAVE) 1 catapult

crew: approx 1396

Build process:

Let me say this at first, this is a very good model kit with no need for any improvement, but will be even better if  one choose to use PE-sets etc.

I have made some parts of paper and metal wire etc. But the only new "milestone" for this building project was plating on the hull for and after section with the help of masking tape also "real "glass windows on the bridge (clear plastic behind horizontal ladders) and hand painted signal flags on metal sheets (house hold metal foil). For a more deeply explanation regarding the building process please see my models of  HIEI and YAMATO.


The last picture is made with Photo Shop -its a merge of a darken picture of Yamashiro and a fireworks explosion from New Years night.


Reference: 

Mostly from the net.

Mr. Jeff Lin from Taiwan http://blog.roodo.com/duroyal420/archives/2031763.html

Mr. MoXing from Taiwan http://blog.roodo.com/gf13_001nhii/archives/2558322.html

Vangurd Factory in Japan http://homepage2.nifty.com/vanguard/intro/main2.htm

Books:

Die Japanischen Kriegsschiffe 1869-1945 by Hansgorg Jentschura, Dieter Jung, Peter Michel

Japanese Warships of World War II by A.J.Watts

Conway´s All the World´s Fighting ships 1906-1921, 1922-1946

Anatomy of the ship The Battleship FUSO by Janusz Skulsk 


The building time was 7 weeks. 
Jan. 2007. 
Aeronautic

 
 

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