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14in, 16in, or 18in in This Picture of CVE Being Bracketed?

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Here is a very interesting picture, one of the few times where a carrier was ever targeted by hostile battleships. We see USS White Plains, a CVE, being bracketed by main-caliber battleship shells. The pic was taken from USS Kitkun Bay during the last stand of Taffy 3 at Leyte. Some things say those are 18.1 shells from Yamato. Others say they could be 16in shells from Nagato, or 14in shells from Kongo or Haruna. To note, the smaller BBs used dye loads in their shells for identifying purposes, while the Yamato did not. It's guns would make the biggest splashes and would therefore be easier to distinguish from its compatriots. In the picture, it doesn't look like the splashes are tinted at all. So which ship of the four is making those, any ideas?


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On 1/19/2022 at 3:18 PM, Captain Basilone said:

After study of the battle, guess the shells are 18 inchers from the Yamato. Only the Yamato did not have dye shells. Also the Yamato's third salvo had a shell that, while it did not penetrate the hull, damage the right engine room.

That was what the sources on Wikipedia said, but it also admitted that Nagato was firing at her too. Somewhere else I read that Kongo and Haruna also could have fired at her. The Navy site only says that "A Japanese heavy caliber salvo splashed scarcely 300 yards off White Plains’ starboard beam at 0659, followed three minutes later by a perfect straddle." It doesn't assign credit to any one enemy: https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/w/white-plains-i.html

Here is another angle of the salvos, also taken from USS Kitkun Bay



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