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Old Today, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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Operation Ten-Go, in April 1945, was an attempt to resist the American invasion of Okinawa. The super-battleship Yamato and 9 escorts were sent on a one-way mission, the purpose of which was to run aground on Okinawa and turn themselves into massive artillery batteries. Without air cover, though, the mission was doomed; the Yamato and 4 of her escorts were sunk by U.S. planes long before reaching their target.

What seems odd to me, aside from the futility of needlessly throwing away one's own ships and men, is that Japan didn't use all of its available strength. Why didn't they commit their other remaining battleships to this mission? At the time, they still had the battleships Nagato and Haruna, and battleship-carriers Ise and Hyuga, sitting around doing nothing. Why weren't they committed? Was there not enough fuel? Were they hoarding these ships to defend against the expected invasion of the Home Islands? Was Ten-Go never expected to succeed, and they were just looking for a way to send the Yamato out in a blaze of glory? Or what?
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Old Today, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by bus man View Post
Was there not enough fuel?
Bingo. That certainly was a primary reason. The US Navy's submarine force had sent the majority of the Japanese merchant fleet to the bottom. Among the reasons for the Kamikaze tactics was the inability to train pilots properly due to lack of fuel. If they sent these guys out to do air to air combat having only flown a minimal number of hours, that was a waste of a plane and a pilot. It required less fuel to train someone only well enough to make a one way trip and fly the plane into the target. It was also fuel efficient to send the planes out with half loads of fuel since there was no intention of having them return.

Those huge battleships consumed an immense amount of fuel and the Japanese saw the folly of sending them out to what was almost certainly to be their loss anyway.
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