【 The Yamato's Last Battle 】
This set brings together all the Japanese Navy warships that took part in the ill-fated Operation Ten No.1, also referred to as "Operation Kikusui." From the battleship Yamato to her destroyer escorts, this 1/700 Scale Waterline Series set will enable naval modelers to recreate the Japanese naval force that departed for Okinawa on April 6, 1945.
Asashimo (Hasegawa), and
<10 ships total>
【 About "Operation Kikusui" 】
As the war in the Pacific was reaching its final stages, the remnants of the Imperial Japanese Navy departed from Tokyuama on the afternoon of April 6, 1945. Japanese High Command had conceived a plan to send a combined air and sea force on a one-way mission in a final desperate effort to repel the Allied invasion of Okinawa,
The naval force that took part in this "Operation Kikusui" consisted of the battleship Yamato, light cruiser Yahagi, and 8 destroyers (Yukikaze, Hamakaze, Isokaze, Suzutsuki, Fuyutsuki, Hatsushimo, Asashimo, and Kasumi), and the warships were designated "Naval Special Attack Force."
The Yamato and her escorts were supposed to reach Okinawa, beach themselves to become floating batteries, and then the crew would join the island's defenders once the ships were destroyed. It was a mission from which few, if any, would survive. As the force proceeed through the Bungo Channel, the ships sailed in Number 1 Alert Formation (left formation in image below) due to reports of U.S. submarines. The ships then switched to the ring-shaped Number 3 Alert Formation (right formation in image below). The ships would be vulnerable once outside the range of air cover from Kyushu, but even before that, they had been spotted by U.S. submarines and had their positions reported.
On the morning of April 7th, the ships were spotted by American reconnaissance aircraft, and by noon, the first wave of Helldiver dive bombers, Avenger torpedo planes, and Hellcat fighters from 12 U.S. aircraft carriers began their attack. The Yamato's anti-aircraft guns blazed away at the attacking planes, including the massive 18in. main guns, and she took evasive action. Yet the bombs and torpedoes from the unrelenting waves of U.S. aircraft eventuall found their mark, with the torpedoes in particular focusing on the port side of the ship. After taking many bomb and torpedo hits, the Yamato finally capsized and exploded. Many of the escorts were also sunk, with only Yukikaze, Hatsushimo, and Suzutsuki being able to return to Sasebo Naval Base. Thus the Yamato, with all her massive guns, became more known for her sinking than for any actual combat achievements.