Fujimi Model Ships 1/350 IJN Yamashiro Battleship Kit
Yamashiro was the second of two Fuso-class battleships but was the first Japanese battleship equipped with aircraft catapults. Between Dec 1930 and Mar 1935, she underwent a modernization that replaced her boilers, added aircraft handling facilities, and added better armor protection, particularly against torpedo attacks. After this modernization, her appearance became rather different than her sister ship Fuso: the pagoda-style tower was larger after being extended further aft, which required that the stowed position of Turret 3 in the aft position, as opposed to forward as on Fuso. Between 15 Nov 1934 and 15 Nov 1935, she was under the command of Captain Chuichi Nagumo, of later carrier warfare fame.
During the first few months of the Pacific War, Yamashiro remained largely in Japan, often at the Combined Fleet's anchorage at Hashirajima in Hiroshima Bay. Between 15 Sep 1939 and 1 Sep 1942, she was commanded by Captains Aritomo Goto, Teizo Hara, Masaki Ogata, and Chozaemon Obata. On 29 May 1942, she sailed with the fleet that provided distant cover and saw no action. In Aug 1942, after the great losses at the Battle of Midway, the Fuso-class was considered candidates to be converted as battleship-carrier hybrids, with construction scheduled to start in Jun 1943, but the plan was eventually abandoned. Between Sep 1942 and Mar 1943, she was under the command of Captain Noboru Owada, followed by Captain Mikio Hayakawa until 2 Aug 1943. In Jul 1943, she was fitted with a Type 21 radar. In Sep, she was designated as a midshipmen training ship. In Jul 1944, she received 66 25-mm anti-aircraft guns, 16 13.2-mm machine guns, 2 Type 13 radars, and 2 Type 22 radars. Between 2 Aug and 25 Dec, she was under the command of Captain Soijiro Hisamune. The following commanding officer, Captain Yoshioki Tawara, died of natural causes on 5 May 1944; Captain Katsukiyo Shinoda took command on the following day.
In Oct 1944, Yamashiro sailed as the flagship of Admiral Shoji Nishimura's Southern Force which engaged in the Battle of Surigao Strait. At 0321 on 25 Oct, she was hit by a torpedo on her port quarter, which forced two magazines to be flooded to prevent an explosion, which led to the disabling of two main gun turrets. At 0331, another torpedo hit amidships and forced the ship to slow to the speed of 5 knots; she was eventually able to get back to 15 knots. When she entered the strait, she became the focus of concentrated battleship and cruiser gunfire. She was hit many times by shells and was able to damage a destroyer with her return fire. She attempted to flee the scene of battle as American gunfire slowed, but was caught by a destroyer and was hit by two torpedoes by 0409. She sank at 0419. Shinoda was killed in action, and only three men were rescued.