Unsinkable ! Japan’s Lost Battleship



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  1. Yamato and Musashi would have been unique if the gun turrets were merely held in by gravity. All other battleships used clips to hold the turrets in place on their bearing rings, otherwise the recoil from the guns would likely have tilted the turrets enough to jam there rotation.

    The shallow angle of the armor belt is to increase its effective thickness against shells that will be arriving at slight nose down trajectory. The angle is not steep enough to cause a shell to skip off, as sometimes happened on thinner deck armor.

    Normal belt armor generally does not extend much below the waterline, since hitting water will typically detonate shells. For torpedo defense, ships would have underwater bulges with air space to attenuate the blast. Even if the belts extended to the keel, they were not thick enough to withstand a half ton or more of Torpex or similar high explosive.

    • Didn’t Bismarck’s turrets fall out in a similar fashion? I seem to recall mention that her turrets were also gravity fastened.

    • USS Iowa BB-61 and USS New Jersey BB-62 are in large part riveted together, while later sister ships USS Missouri BB-63 and USS Wisconsin BB-64 replaced the riveting with welding, so riveting was hardly a 19th century throwback.

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