We all use statistics to tell a story, so I thought I would publish the following snippet of information.

During the 1930's, Japan decided to built three battleships which would be omnipotent.  They were to be twice the size of a conventional battleship with guns which could out perform any other guns and with engines which could drive them through the water at getting on for 30 knots.  So, they built the YAMOTA class of ship, each ship to be 70,000 tons [approx 73000 when fully loaded]  with 18 inch guns: the majority of ours were 15 inch, with two ships, Nelson and Rodney, with 16 inch.  They were named the YAMOTA, MUSASHI and the SHINANO.

Much has been written about the first two ships, which, like the Bismarck [although a baby by comparison], took some punishment before being sunk, the Bismarck by naval air and surface attack, and the Japanese ships by naval air attack only.  The Yamota was caught at sea without fighter air cover in April 1945, and punished without mercy by the carrier borne aircraft - nearly four full years after Bismarck's destruction.  During a two hour strike she took seven direct bomb hits and twelve torpedoes into her port side before rolling over onto her port side and sinking.  The MUSASHI was similarly punished and sunk.

So, as a 'stat' nothing new yet!

The third ship, the SHINANO is my main story line, because her fate is not well known!

SHINANO was converted into an enormous fleet aircraft carrier, and launched on the 8th October 1944.  Her completion was a much rushed affair and considered temporary, which finished on the 19th November [1 month 11 days after launch].  Conscious of their own successes against American aircraft carrier, the Japanese had built her with an armoured flight deck which would withstand a 500kg dive bomb. On the evening of the 28 November she sailed for Kure, where her completion would be finalised [now 1 month and twenty days old]. The next day a US submarine pumped four torpedoes into her belly and without being completed properly, her watertight system wasn't watertight and within seven hours she was on the sea bed south of Japan. Her life from launch day, just 1 month and twenty one days.  Thus ended perhaps the shortest life of any man-of-war in the world.