Download PDF by B.W. Robinson, Photographs: Arms and Armour of Old Japan

By B.W. Robinson, Photographs

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From the very beginning of his assignment, the young officer had carried out his duties with zeal and commendable judgment. In the past few months, a special professional relationship had developed between the commanding officer and Ensign Yasuda. The skipper had in effect assumed the role of the junior officer's mentor. It had been done discreetly in order to avoid an appearance of favoritism and to spare Yasuda harassment by his peers. Still, when the occasion permitted, Captain Abe gave the ensign useful tidbits of information to help him in discharging his responsibilities.

The target had been large enough to be detected by radar and sighted at a range of more than 12 miles. I sifted through my mental file cards in search of a clue to her identity. S. Naval Intelligence in mid-1938. By then the Japanese had commenced construction on the first of four of this new type. The size and power of those superbat-tleships were mind-boggling. At 70,000 tons they would be twice as heavy as our battleships then in commission. They would have a speed of 27 knots versus our 21 knots ...

Ensign Shoda withdrew without partaking of any of the hot tea and snacks left by the messmen for the crew members on duty throughout the night. Weary and chilled after the strain of the twohour watch, he went to his cabin to take a nap. Drifting off, he saw flickering visions of periscopes cutting through dark Pacific water. They were everywhere, circling Shinano like the fins of sharks. Several decks below within the citadel of Shinano—the huge, heavily protected heart of the carrier that had begun as a battleship—Lieutenant Commander Yasuma, the senior medical officer, prowled restlessly through his extensive medical department.

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Arms and Armour of Old Japan by B.W. Robinson, Photographs


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