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Shinano was an aircraft carrier built by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, the largest one built up to that time. Laid down in May 1940 as the third of the Yamato-class battleships, the ship's partially complete hull was ordered to be converted to a carrier following Japan's disastrous loss of four fleet carriers at the Battle of Midway in mid-1942. Her conversion was still incomplete in November 1944 when she was ordered to sail from the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal to Kure Naval Base to complete her fitting out and to transfer a load of 50 Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka rocket-propelled kamikaze flying bombs. Hastily dispatched with an inexperienced crew and serious design and construction flaws, the ship had inadequate pumps, no fire-control systems, and no carrier aircraft. She was sunk en route, just 10 days after commissioning, on 29 November 1944, by four torpedoes from the US Navy submarine Archerfish. Over a thousand sailors and civilians were rescued, but some 1,435 were lost, including her captain. She remains the largest warship ever sunk by a submarine. (Full article...)

Part of the Yamato-class battleships series, one of Wikipedia's featured topics.

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Today's featured picture

Lichtbringer at Böttcherstraße

Bernhard Hoetger's 1936 relief Lichtbringer at the entrance to Böttcherstraße, a street in the historic centre of Bremen, Germany. The artist and his patron, Ludwig Roselius, intended to promote a Nazi worldview and to glorify the victory of Adolf Hitler "over the powers of darkness", but Hitler's reaction was negative.

Relief: Bernhard Hoetger; Photograph: Andrew Shiva

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