This week marks the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Leyte Gulf — extensively generally known as the most important battle of World Struggle II, and by some accounts, the most important Naval battle in historical past — a sequence of 4 WWII Naval engagements through which U.S. maritime forces would reclaim a beachhead in Southeast Asia after being expelled in 1941 and 1942. All 4 resulted in victory for the U.S. Navy, crippling the Japanese mixed fleet, and driving a stake by the Japanese empire by splitting off Tokyo’s Southeast Asian holdings from Japan correct. Though the Imperial Japanese Navy mobilized practically all of its main remaining vessels, it was unable to defeat the U.S. Navy’s third and seventh Fleets.
The battle was fought within the waters off Leyte Gulf, close to the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar, and Luzon, from October 23 – October 26, 1944, by mixed Australian and American forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. As a part of a technique to isolate Japan from its occupied territories in Southeast Asia and its important oil provides, U.S. troops invaded the island of Leyte in late October. The Japanese responded with their just lately formulated plan “Sho-Go” (that means “Operation Victory”), a plan to decoy the U.S. third Fleet north and away from the San Bernardino Strait, whereas uniting three forces on Leyte Gulf to assault the touchdown. However on October 23, as Japanese forces moved into place, U.S. submarines found the primary of the three Japanese assault forces and sank two heavy cruisers west of Palawan. Steady floor and air clashes adopted, whereas america third Fleet chased the Japanese decoy.
Essentially the most notable engagements of the battle have been fought on October 25, 1944. Within the north, off Cape Engaño, a part of the third Fleet was sinking Japanese carriers whereas the opposite half moved south in pursuit of the Japanese First Assault Pressure. Because the Japanese First Assault Pressure traversed the unguarded San Bernardino Strait ravaging U.S. escort carriers, it regarded like they may take the U.S. seventh Fleet, however then unexpectedly withdrew. In the meantime, on the Surigao Strait U.S. ships and cruisers from the seventh Fleet destroyed the Japanese C Pressure, forcing the Second Assault Pressure to withdraw.
In his ebook, One Hundred Years of Sea Energy: The U.S. Nave, 1890 – 1990, Naval Struggle School professor George Baer referred to as Leyte, “in tonnage engaged and area coated, the best naval battle of all time.”
THE BATTLE OF LEYTE GULF BY THE NUMBERS:
- 8 fleet carriers
- 8 mild carriers
- 18 escort carriers
- 12 battleships
- 24 cruisers
- 141 destroyers and destroyer escorts
- 1 fleet provider
- 3 mild carriers
- 9 battleships
- 14 heavy cruisers
- 6 mild cruisers
- 35+ destroyers