Last week, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced the discovery of the sunken Japanese super battleship Musashi. His team has now released a second video showing the historic wreck in extraordinary detail.

The 73,000-ton Musashi, along with her sister ship, the Yamato, were the largest and most heavily armored battleships the world had ever seen. Commissioned in 1942, the Japanese Imperial Navy were planning to build a class of "super battleships" capable of outdoing any imaginable opponent. Among the new features were the so-called Kanpon hull line designed to avoid transverse stresses, and the weirdly shaped hull which produced low drag. It was also armed to the teeth, including the largest-caliber guns ever fitted to a warship.

(Alexpl/CC)

But it was all for naught. The Musashi was sunk by U.S. warplanes on October 24, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte. Its sister ship was sunk by U.S. forces nearly six months later while en route to Okinawa.

Last Tuesday, Paul Allen made this sudden announcement via Twitter:

Lost for over 70 years, the ship was found off the Philippines at a depth of more than half a mile using a remotely operated underwater vehicle deployed from the yacht Octopus. Allen says the discovery marks "an important milestone in the annals of World War II naval history."

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The new video (at top), released this past weekend, shows the ship's outer port propeller, main rudder, twin-barrel 15.5 cm guns, steam turbine, and combat bridge with a 15-meter range finder. The starboard superstructure can also be seen, along with its machine-gun placements.

Here's the first video released by Allen:

Allen and his team of researchers are still surveying the site using the Octo ROV. Salvaging the wreck is considered impossible, but the team intends to share the findings with the Japanese government and the world.

[ Japan Times | Guardian ]