Edited by Gerald Boerner
While most of the battles in the Pacific were focused on recapturing those islands that would put our B-29 bombers within range of the Japanese home islands, one of the most significant naval battles occurred while regaining control of the Philippines for General Douglas MacArthur. The Battle of Leyte Gulf pitted battleship against battleship rather than the more common battles between the planes of one aircraft carrier against another. This Battle of Leyte Gulf has been called by some “the largest naval battle in history.”
The naval forces of the U.S. Navy’s 3rd and 7th fleets under the command of Admiral William “Bull Run” Halsey. It consisted of four separate engagements with the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). These were the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle off Cape Engaño and the Battle off Samar. During these skirmishes, Halsey took his Task Force 13, with most of the aircraft carriers, to pursue a decoy group of Japanese carriers; Halsey was criticized for this move.
In the end, the U.S. Navy was victorious and MacArthur made a successful landing of troops on Leyte. This act was a fulfillment that MacArthur made to the Philippine people when he withdrew to Australia at the beginning of the war. He DID return!
But let us now get on with our examination of the general details of this major encounter of World War II in the Pacific. As opposed to the war in the European theater, war in the Pacific theater was heavily dependent upon the Navy and its aircraft. So, let’s get going… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
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Quotations Related to William F. Halsey & Douglas MacArthur:
“I never trust a fighting man who doesnt smoke or drink.”
— William Halsey
“A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding.”
— Douglas MacArthur
“If you want to go anywhere in modern war, in the air, on the sea, on the land, you must have command of the air.”
— William Halsey