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Explotion of the USS Arizona during the attack of Pearl Harbor

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Explotion of the USS Arizona during the attack of Pearl Harbor

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Date Posted:July 18th, 2007
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Description: At 08:06 a bomb from a Hiryū Kate hit between and to starboard of Turrets #1 & 2. The subsequent explosion which destroyed the forward part of Arizona was due to the detonation of the ammunition magazine, located in an armoured section under the deck. Most experts seem to agree that the bomb could hardly have pierced the armour. Instead, it seems widely accepted that the black powder magazine (used for aircraft catapults) detonated first, igniting the smokeless powder magazine (used for the ship's main armament). A 1944 BUSHIP report suggests that a hatch leading to the black powder magazine was left open, with perhaps inflammable materials stocked nearby. A US Navy historical site goes as far as to suggest that black powder might have been stockpiled outside of the armoured magazine. However, it seems unlikely that a definitive answer to this question might be found. Credit for the hit was officially given to Japanese pilot Tadashi Kusumi. The cataclysmic explosion ripped through the forward part of the ship, touching off fierce fires that burned for two days; debris showered down on Ford Island in the vicinity.


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