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Naval Historical Center #NH 63433. Cropped by author.
||Bagged AP round.
Time-fuzed HE and incendiary shrapnel rounds were also available.
The San Shiki Model 3 was a specialized antiaircraft shrapnel round of little effectiveness.
|Velocity||2575 feet per second
785 meters per second
|Maximum elevation||45 degrees|
|Firing cycle||30 seconds|
The Japanese 18"/45 gun was the largest gun ever mounted on a warship and was used only on the Yamato-class battleships. The triple 18" gun turrets on the Yamato weighted over 2500 tons apiece, as much as a large destroyer. The Kashino was commissioned specifically to transport this heavy weapon and its turrets from foundry to shipyard. The true caliber of the gun was disguised by referring to it as the 40cm (16") Type 94, and Allied intelligence did not get any idea of its real capability until two captured Japanese sailors revealed its characteristics under interrogation. As a result, the Yamatos were still listed as having 16" guns in Allied intelligence publications as late as December 1944.
The gun was the ultimate embodiment of the Japanese Navy
philosophy of shūchū dai enkyori shakegi
("very long range, concentrated fire"). However, while
unquestionably a very
powerful weapon, its ballistic performance was unremarkable for
size and its
fire was very low. The unusual wire-wrapped construction meant
that the liners could
be replaced only if the worn inner "A" tube was completely bored
out. Willmott (1983) has concluded that the 18" had no advantage
over the U.S. 16" that
could justify the enormous expense of its development.
The San Shiki Model 3 was a specialized antiaircraft
round resembling a giant shotgun round. It was a weapon of last
because of its potential for bore damage. It was also almost
ineffective, inflicting no known casualties on Allied aircraft in
two engagements in which it was used (Battle of the Sibuyan
Sea and Battle of Okinawa).
Evans and Peattie (1997)
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