The three Yamato-class battleships were launched at three different dockyards: the Musashi at Nagasaki, the Yamato at Kure, and the Shinano at Yokosuka. The Yamato and Shinano had few problems, for they were to float in their docks after completion, but the launch of the Musashi had many problems, as it set new world records.
The hull of the Musashi was eventually launched with great success in 1940 after very careful work, but many problems remained in equipping the battleship after the launch. First, she needed a huge dry dock, which was specially built for her in the Sasebo Naval Yard. Second, she required a large floating crane capable of lifting more than 300 tons in order to emplace her massive guns and armor plating, which often weighed more than 100 tons each. Finally, she required an extra large-sized ship to transport her 18-inch gun turrets from the Kure Naval Arsenal to Nagasaki. For this purpose, the Japanese Navy built the Kashino, specially designed to transport one 18-inch gun turret at a time. The Kashino made several voyages between Kure and Nagasaki, and the Musashi was finally completed nearly on schedule in August 1942.
11 May 2014
Problems of Building the World's Largest Battleships
From "Some Stories Concerning the Construction of Yamato Class Battleships," by Masataka Chihaya, in The Pacific War Papers: Japanese Documents of World War II, edited by Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon (Potomac Books, 2006), pp. 99-100 (paraphrased freely):