Battle of the Sibuyan Sea L'ATTACCO ALLA MUSASHI

Discussione in 'I Diari del Sesto' iniziata da 6S.Cipson, 6 Aprile 2012.

  1. 6S.Cipson

    6S.Cipson Active Member

    In previsione di una nuova Campagna basata sulla Battaglia del Golfo di Leyte, ho trovato questo interessantissimo Report sull'attacco alla Musashi, purtroppo solo in inglese, che descrive gli incredibili danni subiti dalla nave prima di affondare. 38 ordigni a segno.

    19 torpedo (10 port, 9 starboard) and 17 bomb hits, as well as 18 near misses.

    Una nota anche sugli aerei usati:

    Helldivers con bombe da 250 kg e solo in un attacco con le 500 kg
    Avenger con i siluri.
    Riguardo ai pochi attacchi di Hellcat, tutti i dettagli che si possono desumere sul tipo di attacco si sintetizzano in "strafe", avvalorando l'opinione che si trattasse degli aerei di scorta.

    259 aerei imbarcati furono usati contro la Task Force Jap, principalmente impiegati contro la Musashi, 18 abbattuti.


    The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea - L'ATTACCO ALLA MUSASHI



    24 October 1944: The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea:
    MUSASHI is trimmed slightly down by the stern.

    0810: A search plane from USS INTREPID (CV-11) is sighted. For the next hour, MUSASHI attempts unsuccessfully to jam the plane's radio reports.

    1018: Lookouts sight 30 enemy planes.

    1025: MUSASHI opens fire.

    1027: MUSASHI, making 24 knots, is attacked by eight Curtiss SB2C "Helldivers" from INTREPID. Four near-misses around the bow cause minor leaks below the waterline. One 500-lb bomb hits turret No. 1 but fails to penetrate its roof armor.

    1029: MUSASHI is attacked by three of INTREPID's Grumman TBF "Avengers". One torpedo hits starboard amidships slightly abaft the bridge and causes a 5. 5-degree list to starboard. She takes on 3,000-tons of water. After counterflooding, the list is reduced to one degree. A torpedo also hits cruiser MYOKO. Two "Avengers" are shot down. An Avenger from USS CABOT (CVL-28) fails to score because of the heavy flak.

    The blast from the torpedo jams MUSASHI's supposedly shockproof main armament director. This loss affects Rear Admiral Inoguchi's whole plan for MUSASHI's AA defense. Prior to the battle, Inoguchi, known as the best gunnery theorist in the IJN, designs an elaborate AA scheme based on prolific use of "sanshikidan". The fact that the main director is knocked out so easily depresses him so much that he mentions it in his last letter to Admiral Toyoda, CINC, Combined Fleet.

    During this attack, MUSASHI fires forty-eight 155-mm 6.1-inch) and one hundred sixty 127-mm (5-inch) rounds at the American planes.

    1047: Lookouts from MUSASHI, YAMATO, cruisers CHOKAI, NOSHIRO and destroyer KISHINAMI report periscope and torpedo wake sightings from that time on.

    1154: MUSASHI's Type 13 air-search radar detects approaching enemy planes on bearing 290, range 81 kilometers.

    1157: Another contact is made with aircraft bearing 210, range 80 kilometers.

    1203: Enemy planes are sighted. A second attack by eight Helldivers from INTREPID scores two bomb hits and five near-misses. A dud penetrates two upper decks, demolishes the crew's head and exits above the waterline. A second bomb strikes portside ahead of 127-mm AA gun No. 4, penetrates two upper decks and explodes on the middle deck in crew space No. 10. Fragments rupture a steam pipe in engine room No. 2 directly below. This engine room and the adjacent boiler room No. 10 fill quickly with superheated steam and are abandoned. The damage results in the loss of the port inboard shaft. MUSASHI's speed falls off to 22 knots. Two Helldivers are shot down.

    1206: Nine TBM Avengers launch another "hammer and anvil" attack. One TBM is hit by flak and turns away. The eight remaining torpedo planes score three hits to MUSASHI's portside amidships areas that cause a 5-degree list. The first torpedo hits abreast the main gun turret No. 1. The second floods hydraulic machinery compartment No. 2 and the third torpedo floods engine room No. 4. Nearby compartments are shored up and the main guns switch over to reserve hydraulic pumps. After immediate counter-flooding, the list is reduced to one degree port, but MUSASHI is down about 6 feet by the bow. Her three remaining three propellers are throttled up for a maximum speed of 22 knots to keep pace with the rest of the fleet.

    During this attack, MUSASHI switches over to her second main armament director. She fires nine 460-mm Type 3 shells, seventeen 155-mm and over two hundred 25-mm rounds. After the first main gun salvo, a bomb fragment penetrates the muzzle of the middle 460-mm gun of turret No. 1 and detonates a Type 3 shell that has just been loaded. The resulting explosion disables the turret's elevating machinery, rendering it inoperable. After this turret is disabled, the remaining two turrets fire 45 sanshikidan for a total of 54 fired in the attack.

    1312: Kurita orders fleet speed reduced to 22 knots so that MUSASHI can keep up.

    1331: MUSASHI undergoes a third attack, this time by 29 aircraft from USS ESSEX (CV-9) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-16). MUSASHI is strafed by two F6F "Hellcats". Then four SB2C Helldivers score two near hits starboard amidships and abreast the aft main gun turret No. 3 that cause casualties among the nearby AA gun crews.

    Six TBM Avengers launch three more hammer and anvil attacks. They score four torpedo hits. The first torpedo hits starboard forward of the main gun turret No. 1. The blast from it penetrates fuel tanks, watertight compartments and wrecks the log and sounding rooms. A temporary hospital at the bow fills with carbon monoxide. There are many casualties.

    Next, three flights of Helldivers score four bomb hits port side near main gun turret No. 1. Another torpedo hits the starboard bow area and floods storerooms and causes a further list to starboard. The third torpedo hits portside forward of the main gun turret No. 1 and the fourth hits port amidships.

    1350: The third attack is over. Counter-flooding reduces the heavy list to starboard to one degree. The ship is now down 13 feet by the bow with almost all trim tanks and voids filled. MUSASHI's speed drops to 20 knots and she starts to lag behind the First Section of Force A. During this attack, MUSASHI fires thirty-five 460-mm Type 3 shells, seventy-nine 155-mm and over five hundred 25-mm AA rounds.

    1412: The fourth attack by eight Hellcats and 12 Helldivers from ESSEX is directed against YAMATO and NAGATO. MUSASHI continues to steam behind her section. Rear Admiral Inoguchi reports to Admiral Kurita that, despite the damage to his ship, he is able to make 20 knots.

    1445: Captain Mayuzumi Haruo, skipper of cruiser TONE, suggests that the entire Second Section of the First Striking Force provide fire support for MUSASHI to defend her against further torpedo attacks.

    1455: Sixty-nine aircraft from USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6) and FRANKLIN (CV-13) begin the fifth attack of the day on Kurita's fleet. Pilots from ENTERPRISE report MUSASHI lagging behind the other ships, trailing oil and making but eight knots. MUSASHI hoists the signal 'Enemy aircraft sighted'.

    1515: Nine of ENTERPRISE's SB2C Helldivers score four 1,000-lb AP bomb hits. The first three strike in the port bow area and cause damage below decks. The entire forward damage control team is annihilated. The fourth bomb wrecks the Chief Steward's office.

    Eight Avengers launch a hammer and anvil attack and score three torpedo hits. The first two torpedoes hit the bow from both sides. The third hits starboard abreast the funnel, near the where the first attack's torpedo hit. Cooling machinery room No. 3 and starboard hydraulic machinery compartment flood. Leaks start in Damage Control Central that are shored up. The departing American pilots report MUSASHI smoking, heavily down by the bow and dead in the water.

    MUSASHI is, in fact, down by the bow, but is making 16 knots on three shafts. After counter-flooding, her starboard list is reduced to 1-2 degrees, but her speed falls off to 13 knots.

    Seventy-five aircraft from INTREPID (34), FRANKLIN (30) and CABOT (11) make the day's sixth attack on the fleet replacing the departing ENTERPRISE's planes. Thirty-seven planes attack MUSASHI.

    1525: Three of FRANKLIN's Helldivers claim two 500-lb AP bomb hits. Nine of her Avengers attack next. Two are shot down.

    1530: Seven of INTREPID's Helldivers attack, followed by two of her Avengers. A 500-lb AP bomb penetrates the right wing of the air defense station and detonates on the first bridge. Both the bridge and the adjacent operations room are set afire. Fifty-two crewmen are killed and 20 wounded, including MUSASHI's skipper, Admiral Inoguchi. After the fire is extinguished, Inoguchi assumes command from the second bridge.

    Three bombs detonate in a row portside on the forecastle deck, abreast the forward main gun turrets. They knock out two single and one triple 25-mm AA gun mounts, the main communications room, telegraph room No. 1 and the telephone room. The blast penetrates boiler rooms Nos. 4 and 8.

    The next two bombs explode on the forecastle deck starboard, abreast the superstructure. They wreck two single and one triple 25-mm AA mounts. The seventh bomb hits the middle AA gun crew shelter, causing extensive damage on the flag deck. The eight bomb explodes portside in crew's space No. 5 and demolishes the nearby hospital. The ninth bomb strikes the forward main gun turret No. 1. Finally, the tenth bomb explodes starboard in the officer's wardroom.

    Three torpedoes strike to port and two strike to starboard almost simultaneously, causing extensive damage and flooding in starboard area. The first of these torpedoes hits port (near a previous hit from the second attack) abreast the main gun turret No. 1, flooding its lower powder handling room. The second torpedo slowly floods port boiler room No. 8 and soon thereafter the adjacent No. 12 abaft. Almost simultaneously, a bomb explodes over boiler room No. 8 and its blast penetrates that boiler room.

    The next four torpedoes strike port, further flooding boiler room No. 8 and the aft 25-mm gun magazine. Three of those four torpedoes strike port amidships in the vicinity of engine room No. 4. A 30-foot long section of the ship's side is gouged out. The engine room floods causing MUSASHI to lose her other portside shaft. Her speed drops to six knots.

    The last two torpedoes strike port aft, flooding the 127-mm AA gun No. 6's magazine, the after gyro room and the port outboard shaft's tunnel. One of those two hits under the aft 155-mm. turret. MUSASHI develops a 10 degree list to port. The crew counter-floods again and reduces the list to six degrees. MUSASHI's main steering engine is shorted out temporarily and her main rudder jams 15 degrees left. She starts to swing to port, but the damage is repaired quickly and she resumes course. Another Avenger is shot down and three others damaged, as are three Helldivers.

    In all, Force A endures raids by 259 U.S. carrier aircraft during the day. MUSASHI sustains a total of 19 torpedo (10 port, 9 starboard) and 17 bomb hits, as well as 18 near misses. [3]

    1530: Vice Admiral Kurita orders the fleet to assume course 290.

    1621: Kurita's force again approaches MUSASHI. She is heading north with a 10-degree list to port, down by the bow more than 26 feet, with her forecastle deck awash. Kurita dispatches cruiser TONE and destroyers SHIMAKAZE and KIYOSHIMO to escort her.

    All free hands and the wounded are assembled topside starboard to counter the list. The port main anchor is dropped into the sea. Rice and other consumables from the storerooms, as well as timber used in damage control operations, are loaded on the starboard side. In a last attempt to reduce the list, the crew's spaces starboard aft, some boiler rooms and starboard outboard engine room No. 3 are flooded using the Kingston valves. As a result, MUSASHI loses another shaft. Admiral Inoguchi attempts to beach MUSASHI, but her engines stop before he can do so.

    1915: When the list reaches 12 degrees, Inoguchi gives the order to "standby to abandon ship". The Executive Officer, Captain Kato Kenkichi (former XO of CHOKAI), assembles the crew on the afterdeck. The battle flag is lowered. Admiral Inoguchi retires to his cabin and is not seen again.

    1930: After her list reaches 30 degrees to port, MUSASHI slowly starts to turn over. Captain Kato gives the order to abandon ship. He orders the Emperor's portrait removed. SHIMAKAZE removes 635 of 769 of MAYA's survivors taken aboard MUSASHI earlier.

    At 1936, MUSASHI capsizes to port and sinks by the bow in 4,430 feet of water in the Visayan Sea at 13-07N, 122-32E. Two underwater explosions are heard.

    Destroyers KIYOSHIMO, ISOKAZE and HAMAKAZE rescue 1,376 survivors including XO Captain Kato, but 1,023 of her 2,399 man crew are lost including her skipper, Rear Admiral Inoguchi who is promoted Vice Admiral, posthumously.

    The Americans lose 18 planes shot down.

    25 October 1944:
    At 0230, USN codebreakers intercept and decrypt a message that reads: ”Completed Musashi – BB rescue operations at 0215 on the 25th. Following numbers of personnel rescued: Hamakaze: Executive officer and 800 men (of which 30 were officers). Isokaze: 30 officers and 410 men. Escorts arrive Coron at 1730.” [4]

    MUSASHI's survivors are taken to Corregidor Island at the entrance to Manila Bay because their arrival at Manila would have acknowledged MUSASHI's loss. They are given the designation "Kato Regiment" after the name of their surviving second in command, Captain Kato.

    Later, most are then sent home, about 200 on carrier JUNYO and some on YAMATO. When they reach Japan these survivors are sent to the Kurihama Paratroop Regiment barracks at Kure.

    On 23 Nov ’44, 420 survivors are embarked on MANJU MARU (ex-SANTOS MARU) at Corregidor along with about another 2,000 soldiers, but on 25 Nov ’44, USS ATULE (SS-403) sinks MANJU MARU and about 700 soldiers, including about 50 MUSASHI survivors, are KIA. When they reach Japan, the MUSASHI survivors who were rescued after MANJU MARU’s sinking are confined to one of the smaller islands in the Inland Sea.

    The remaining 709 survivors are divided between defending IJN units. 42 at Corregidor (Mizuho) Island, 320 at Clark Field, 35 at Gunkan Island, 39 at Yamato Island and 35 at Fuso Island. An unknown number served at Cavite Naval Base, Fort Drum in Manila Bay, the Caraballo Mountains and the Cabaruan Hills, many of whom probably died of illnesses or wounds.
    146 survivors are incorporated into the Special Naval Landing Force of Rear Admiral (Vice Admiral, posthumously) Iwabuchi Sanji's (former CO of KIRISHIMA) 31st Naval Base Force. 117 are listed as KIA or MIA defending Manila.

    31 August 1945:
    Removed from Navy List.

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