AO121 FUSO Japanese Battleship WWII

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FUSO 1944 Japanese Battleship

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Fus�?�, a classical name for Japan) was the lead ship of the two Fuso-class dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy. Launched in 1914 and commissioned in 1915, she initially patrolled off the coast of China, playing no part in World War I. In 1923, she assisted survivors of the Great Kanto Eartquake.

Fus�?� was modernized in 1930–35 and again in 1937–41, with improvements to her armor and machinery and a rebuilt superstructure in the pagoda mast style. With only 14-inch guns, she was outclassed by other Japanese battleships at the beginning of World War II, and played auxiliary roles for most of the war.

Fus�?� was part of Vice-Admiral Shoji Nishimura's Southern Force at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was sunk in the early hours of 25 October 1944 by torpedoes and naval gunfire during the Battle of Surigao Straitt. Some reports claimed that Fus�?� broke in half, and that both halves remained afloat and burning for an hour, but according to survivors' accounts, the ship sank after 40 minutes of flooding. Of the few dozen crewmen who escaped, only 10 survived to return to Japan.

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