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Images show wreck of WWII battleship

By Agencies in Manila | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-14 08:19

The shattered wreck of a Japanese World War II battleship was shown lying on a Philippine seabed in startling detail on Friday, as the first images emerged from the historic discovery by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

US billionaire and explorer Allen announced the find of the Musashi - one of the most sophisticated battleships in history - in the Sibuyan Sea in the central Philippines eight days ago, after a high-tech mission lasting eight years.

It was the latest of many searches for the ship, with its discovery coming 70 years after it was sunk by US forces.

Giant gun turrets and propellers, a torpedo-damaged hull and a plane wing resting on silt were among the images beamed live by an unmanned mini-submarine from a kilometer below the water's surface.

"We think we are conveying something to the world which is significant. It also teaches us about the past and what happened," said Yannick Olson, captain of Allen's yacht, from where the mini-sub was being directed.

Excited historians have likened the discovery to finding the wreck of the Titanic, the famed British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg in 1912.

The wreck of the Musashi, partially buried and scattered over a large debris field, is also the presumed graveyard of some of the more than 1,000 crew members killed in the battle.

However, the video streamed on Allen's website showed no human remains.

"It's quite clear it didn't land on the bottom in one piece," Olson said.

Barnacles and light-colored coral clung to the broken hull, propellers and anchor of the 263-meter ship, as well as on corroded sections of range-finders for the ship's guns, their armor plating ripped off.

An eel was seen crawling out of the remains of the warship's airplane catapult, with instructions in Japanese script written on it, while two pink fish patrolled outside the hull.


Images show wreck of WWII battleship

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