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Battleship Yamato

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发表于 5-14-2018 16:26:22 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Tom Nagorski, Big Guns, Outgunned. In April 1945 a massive Japanese warship embarks upon a suicide mission. No white flag will be raised. Wall Street Journal, May 12, 201
https://www.wsj.com/articles/bat ... utgunned-1525980532
(book review on Jan Morris, Battleship Yamato; Of war, beauty and irony. Liveright, 2018)


Quote:

"The first thing to note about 'Battleship Yamato: Of War, Beauty and Irony' is what the book is not: It's neither a historical account of the ill-fated Japanese warship Yamato nor a history of the last days of the Pacific war. It is, in [Ms; the short form of a given name 'Jan' can be male or female] Jan Morris's own words, 'a sort of illustrated reverie, a literary meditation' inspired by the battleship itself.

"As for the historical moment, it is April 1945. The Americans have landed on Okinawa, and kamikaze pilots are not the only agents of imperial Japan engaged in suicide missions. So too is Yamato, a warship so massive that each of its turrets weigh as much as a destroyer. Its mission is to attack the US forces on Okinawa. Ultimately, it is to beach itself in a last-gasp effort to save the island. 'There is not a hope in hell for Yamato,' Ms Morris writes, 'except the wan and glorious hope of sacrifice.'

"On April 7, 1945, Yamato's radar room buzzed with reports of enemy aircraft approaching. A battle ensued, with nearly 400 American warplanes engaging Yamato and its task force. * * * In the 'frenzy' of that afternoon, she writes, 'the noise is deafening . . . there repeatedly sound the deep tremendous roars of Yamato's 18-inch guns.' No white flags would be raised: 'The battleship never gives up, never stops firing, never lowers its flags, but its defiance makes no difference.' Yamato's commander, Adm Sei[-]ichi ITŌ 伊藤 整一, is 'silent' [quoting Morris] on the bridge. When the time comes, he gives the orders to abandon ship, locks himself in his cabin and prepares to meet death with 2,278 of his crewmen.

" 'If there is much misery to Yamato's story, there is beauty too,' Ms Morris writes, but the beauty is hard to divine here, expect perhaps in one of the book's final images, an underwater view of the warship at its resting place. You can make out the chrysanthemum crest of imperial Japan, still visible in a photograph made seven decades after the sinking. Terrible beauty, indeed.

My comment:
(a) This review is not locked behind paywall, but there is no need to read the rest, mainly because what quotation explains. This book is more poetic and factual: somewhat similar to historical fiction.

(b) Japanese battleship Yamato  大和 (戦艦)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_battleship_Yamato
(Dec 16, 1941-Apr 7, 1945 (sunk); was the lead ship 1番艦 of the her class [Yamato-class 大和型 battleships] of battleships, her sister ship, Musashi 武蔵 [named after 武蔵国 (emcompassing today's Tokyo and surrounding areas); sunk on Oct 24, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf]; Both warships "were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 in) Type 94 main guns, which were the largest guns ever mounted on a warship"// named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province 大和国 [corresponding to present-day 奈良県; Yamato served as the flagship of the Combined Fleet 連合艦隊旗艦, and in June 1942 Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto directed the fleet from her bridge during the Battle of Midway, a disastrous defeat for Japan"// section 3 Wreck discovery: photographic and video records [of the wreckage] were later confirmed by one of the battleship's designers, Shigeru MAKINO 牧野 茂)
(i) The ja.wikipedia.org says of this battleship: "大和は戦艦として史上最大の排水量に、史上最大の46cm主砲3基9門を備え."  For 3基9門, the above en.wikipedia.org says, "3x3." See
戦艦大和の最期から73年 激戦フォトなどアーカイブ化 「世界最大最強」より鮮明に. Sankei, Apr 1, 2018
https://www.sankei.com/life/news/180401/lif1804010008-n1.html
(photo)
(ii) Japanese-English dictionary:
* ki 基 【き】 (n): "counter for installed or mounted objects (eg stone lanterns, gravestones)"
* misaki 岬 【みさき】 (n): "cape"
* saki 崎 【さき】 (n): "small peninsula"

(c) 坊ノ岬沖海戦
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/坊ノ岬沖海戦
(location: 九州坊ノ岬沖; table: 戦力 demonstrates the battle was one-sided -- Japanese was not only outnumbered in ships but had no airplanes; "大和以下6隻が沈没(沈没〈大和・矢矧・朝霜・浜風〉・自沈〈磯風・霞〉)。日本海軍による最後の大型水上艦による攻撃となった"))  
(i) The (last) quotation says: Among the six Japanese ships in the battle, 4 were sunk and 2 were scuttled; according to Japanese navy, this battle is the last for its large ships.
)ii) On the other hand, Allied (including US) did not name the battle: ie, no English name. 沖 means offshore.
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