March 02, 2015
That's the first view tweeted out earlier today, of the great ship's bow Imperial Chrysanthemum (which appears to have either fallen off or been covered by sea gunk) as seen from a ROV piloted from Allen's yacht Octopus. Amazingly, the Octopus, at over 400 feet, is about half the length of the Musashi.
At last report, they are still trying to prove conclusively that the ship is the Musashi, but it's very hard to confuse her with anything other than her sister ship Yamato which has been precisely located for years. We have no real idea about the orientation of the above picture... she could be upside-down on the sea floor for all we know.
We'll find out soon enough... exciting times ahead!!!
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 02, 2015 10:15 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Ben at March 02, 2015 10:45 PM (DRaH+)
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 02, 2015 11:51 PM (jGQR+)
Posted by: Ben at March 02, 2015 11:57 PM (DRaH+)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 03, 2015 12:00 AM (+rSRq)
Wonderduck, is it true that one reason the TAFFY's were hung out to dry was that the fleet carriers had exhausted their magazines in the attacks on Kurita's force? Or were they just not in range?
Posted by: Brickmuppet at March 03, 2015 09:05 AM (jGQR+)
TAFFY 3 was left out to dry because Halsey's ego wouldn't allow him to do his job correctly. He took all the fleet carriers AND all the modern battleships to hunt down the toothless and impotent Japanese carriers. As it was, planes from the big carriers did get involved towards the end of the Battle off Samar, which probably finalized Kurita's decision to withdraw.
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 03, 2015 09:05 AM (jGQR+)
Brickmuppet, I think you're confusing Halsey's Third Fleet with Kinkaid's Seventh Fleet.
Seventh Fleet (old battleships plus cruisers and destroyers) used up most of their fuel and much of their ammunition at the Battle of Surigao Strait, and thus weren't able to steam back to Leyte Gulf to help out there. They didn't use everything, though the destroyers had fired all their torpedoes, but they were all low on fuel. Kincaid heard the calls for help and his fleet was refueling as fast as they could, but he didn't finish in time to help out.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 03, 2015 12:43 PM (+rSRq)
Of course he wasn't correct in stripping the landing fleet of the surface assets, especially because they weren't and couldn't have been particularly useful in the kind of battle he was heading to fight. Some of that was doctrine too, though; even if the age of Mahan was over, and the big naval battle wasn't two battle lines slamming into each other, it's hard to see an admiral saying "I have a bunch of heavy ships, but I'm going to head to battle with just my screen and my carriers".
The real goof was the response to the radio message... but even if he'd reacted to it instantly, could Task Force 34 have reached the battle area by then? The damage may have already been done. (But he would have looked like less of a jerk!)
Posted by: Avatar at March 03, 2015 01:41 PM (a38fD)
What's a good book on the Turkey Shoot? I find that I don't know much about the naval campaign aside from the high points, mainly the name and the outcome. Avatar, are you saying that Halsey was fighting the last battle at Leyte?
Posted by: Mitch H. at March 03, 2015 02:58 PM (jwKxK)
Posted by: Avatar at March 03, 2015 05:21 PM (zJsIy)
For a general overview of the entire four day event which spread over 100000 square miles of land and ocean, go with Cutler's Battle of Leyte Gulf. It does the best at a difficult task, trying to cover such a horrendously large struggle in one book. It accomplishes the task, but it also kinda proves that this might be a battle that's too large for one book. Which is why you need to go deeper. Fortunately, the two BIG conflicts inside the Battle of Leyte Gulf have drawn plenty of attention.
Anthony Tully's Battle of Surigao Strait uses more pages to describe the last battleship fight than Cutler's book uses to cover the entire Leyte Gulf. If the name sounds familiar, Tully is half of the team that wrote Shattered Sword.
Then, for the Battle Off Samar, aka "Taffy3 vs The IJN", there really isn't any better place to go than Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James Hornfischer. While imbalanced towards the Americans, it still does a great job of explaining just what happened on both sides. The book is so good that I recommend it wholeheartedly, despite my personal dislike of Hornfischer's writing style. There's something about it that sets my teeth on edge, and it's not just this book but the other by him that I've read as well.
That, however, doesn't matter. Tin Can Sailors is good enough that I'll deal with the writer's "voice". I've not seen any other gripes about it, so I'm just going to have to assume it's just me.
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 03, 2015 06:27 PM (jGQR+)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 03, 2015 07:55 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: Ben at March 04, 2015 10:18 AM (S4UJw)
The caption for the still picture of the bow mentions the place where the chrysanthemum "would have been" and describes it as being made of teak. There seems to be something nontrivial that remains attached, but it's been 70 years underwater, so knowing "the answer in the back of the book" is a big help.
Posted by: Ad absurdum per aspera at March 04, 2015 10:27 AM (470Py)
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 04, 2015 11:35 AM (jGQR+)
Can't wait to see how it settled on the bottom...
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 04, 2015 11:42 AM (jGQR+)
I guess I have some interest in the idea of a one-sided slaughter considered at the time to be a disappointing failure by the victors.
Posted by: Mitch H. at March 04, 2015 01:47 PM (jwKxK)
Clash of the Carriers by Barrett Tillman is probably the most useful book on the Turkey Shoot that I've read.
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 04, 2015 01:57 PM (jGQR+)
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