Sunken Japanese Battleship Found

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March 4, 2015

A long-lost Japanese battleship has been found, more than 3,000 feet under the sea.

An expedition led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced that they had found the Musashi, sunk in 1944, resting 3,280 feet under the surface of the Sibuyan Sea, near the Philippines.

The expedition released photographs and high-resolution video of the battleship, ending an eight-year search for a ship that eluded shipwreck-hunters for seven decades. Visible in the underwater footage were a turret from an 18-inch gun, a 15-ton anchor, a catapult system used to launch float planes, a valve wheel (left), and the bow of the ship. Allen's search drew on historical information from four countries.

The Musashi, named after Japan's ancient Musashi Province, was commissioned in 1942 and transferred forces and equipment between Japan and occupied islands before being torpedoed by an American submarine, in 1944. The ship returned to Japan for repairs and was in position at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, in June 1944, but did not see action.

At the Battle of Leyte Gulf, however, on October 24, 1944, a combination of bombs and torpedoes sunk the Musashi, killing half of its 2,400-man crew.

The Musashi and its sister ship, the Yamato, were the heaviest battleships ever built. American forces sunk the Yamato during the Battle of Okinawa, in April 1945. Searchers found the Yamato in 1984, 180 miles southwest of Kyushu.

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