In point of fact, Admiral Ozawa was the only Japanese admiral who accomplished his mission at Leyte. This is the most important part of the Battle at Leyte Gulf. Although he was unaware of the fact, his was now the only Japanese force within striking distance of Leyte. Air searches were conducted to the north and north-east but did not find Ozawa's battleships until 1540, and did not find the enemy carriers until an hour later. Unsourced material may be challenged and. Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941—1945.
The fighting in Ormoc itself before its fall was of the most desperate character, the entire defending garrison being destroyed. At the same time Cargo plains were landing food supplies, fuel and ammunition at a furious pace to keep up with the P57ï¿½s. The landing was preceded by heavy naval and air bombardments which were devastating in effect. Preceded by bombing attacks and a smokescreen, about 25o hostile paratroops descended at twilight on the San Pablo and Burt airstrips. Answer My father, Joe B.
A Japanese lookout reported sighting two battleships, two carriers and six destroyers off the island the attack force actually contained two light cruisers, four destroyers and eight destroyer transports. United States forces suffered no surface losses in the engagement. His cruisers sank the carrier Chiyoda at around 1700 and the American surface force at 2059 sank the destroyer Hatsuzuki after a stubborn fight. Let me just point out that the Philippines was not a source of oil for Japan but it controlled the sea lanes that Japan required to transport oil from the Dutch East Indies to the Japanese Home Islands. On 5 December, the 7th Division at Damulaan drove northward and succeeded in breaching the enemy defenses at the Palanas River.
Leyte Gulf was not a decisive battle in the same sense that the Battle of Midway had been. Aware of American intentions in the Philippines, Admiral Soemu Toyoda, commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, initiated plan Sho-Go 1 to block the invasion. Every phase of their ambitious Sho plan for the defense of the Philippines met with complete and irretrievable failure. But, perhaps just as significant, the course of the war was permitted to continue as a result of the Leyte Gulf battle. While it has been suggested that Halsey should have taken Kurita's continued advance as evidence that his force was still a severe threat, this view cannot be supported given the well-known propensity for members of the Japanese military to persist in hopeless endeavours to the point of suicide. At about 23:10, the American submarine torpedoed and sank the light cruiser Tama of Ozawa's force.
Things were still bound to go wrong. As early as 16 October, it was recognized that the heaviest concentration of Japanese fleet units was in the Singapore-Brunei area, that most of the remaining ships were located in Japanese home waters and Formosa and that there were no important naval units in the Philippines. Their intention was to cover the San Bernardino Strait with a powerful task force of fast battleships supported by two of the 3rd Fleet's equally swift carrier groups. The decision had to be pressed. After almost two and one-half hours of continuous battle the flanking enemy units began closing in, firing salvo after salvo at the escort carriers dodging desperately to avoid more damage.
The Allies stopped the German advance and threw them back across the Rhine with heavy losses. Halsey ignored Mitscher's insights, and made an understandable and, to him, prudent threat-conservative judgment that Ozawa's force was still capable of launching serious attacks. Leyte Gulf also was the scene of the first organized use of suicide aircraft by the Japanese. On 2 November the combined attack was launched and the X Corps units moved forward only to discover that the town had been abandoned by the enemy. The late October occurrence of this battle placed it just before a presidential election. Admiral Halsey did not know that Japan 's carriers were to be deliberately sacrificed in a bold gamble to keep the Philippines from falling to the Allies. The Leyte operation emphasized the inherent risks of divided command.
Bogan to proceed south toward San Bernardino Strait. The next day the American divisions along the coast established contact at Ipil. These raids marked the first appearance of the suicidal Kamikaze attack pilot, whose startling debut caused considerable consternation to Allied naval commanders and inflicted widespread destruction on U. Halsey concentrated on the Northern Force,leaving the escort carriers unprotected. That new form of warfare took the Americans by surprise. Moreover, the outlook for more effective land-based air support improved when five Marine fighter squadrons began operating from Leyte airfields on 4 December.
Not only this: it was a massacre for the air force as well as for the navy: many irreplaceable ships were either damaged or sunk and a huge number of pilots never returned from the useless attempts to attack the American Forces. In an effort to meet the heavy pressure developing simultaneously from three directions the Japanese hurriedly shifted all available forces to the threatened fronts. The pilots, seeing their carrier decks ripped open or their ships sunk, made forced landings on the already overcrowded airstrip at Tacloban. It was in the political arena that a potential for an American disaster was greatest. McCain, Commander of Task Group 38. This battle is considered the largest naval battle in World War 2 and possibly in history.