I don’t really know how I got here.
The Battle of Surigao Strait is significant as the last battleship-to-battleship action in history. The Battle of Surigao Strait was one of only two battleship-versus-battleship naval battles in the entire Pacific campaign of World War II (the other being the naval battle during the Guadalcanal Campaign, where the USS South Dakota and Washington sank the Japanese battleship Kirishima). It was also the last battle in which one force (in this case, the U.S. Navy) was able to “cross the T” of its opponent.
Super interesting. But wait, there’s more!
As the Japanese Southern Force approached the Surigao Strait, it ran into a deadly trap set by the U.S. 7th Fleet Support Force. Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf had a substantial force. There were six battleships: West Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, California, and Pennsylvania. All but Mississippi had been sunk or damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and repaired, Tennessee, California, and West Virginia having been rebuilt.
OH SNAP, GRUDGE-MATCH! And then…
At 03:16, West Virginia 's radar picked up the surviving ships of Nishimura’s force at a range of 42,000 yd (38,000 m). West Virginia tracked them as they approached in the pitch black night. At 03:53, she fired the eight 16 in (406 mm) guns of her main battery at a range of 22,800 yd (20,800 m) or 12.9 miles, striking Yamashiro with her first salvo.
HOLY MOLY that is far.