The "Battle" of Leyte Gulf was actually a campaign consisting of four interrelated battles: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape Engaņo and the Battle off Samar.The first use of kamikaze aircraft was during this battle. A kamikaze hit the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia on 21 October, and organized suicide attacks by the "Special Attack Force" began on 25 October.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", was the largest naval battle in modern history. It was fought in the Pacific Theater of World War II, in the seas surrounding the Philippine island of Leyte from 23 October to 26 October 1944, between the Allies and the Empire of Japan. The Allies commenced the invasion of Leyte in order to cut off Japan from her South East Asia colonies and hamper the source of crucial oil supplies for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese gathered all their remaining major naval forces in an attempt to repel the Allied troops, but they failed to achieve their objective and also suffered heavy losses. The battle was the last major naval engagement of World War II; the Imperial Japanese Navy never again sailed to battle in such large force, being deprived of their fuel, returning to Japan to sit inactive for the remainder of the war.
The plan was likely to result in the destruction of one or more of the forces, but Toyoda later justified it to his American interrogators as follows:
Should we lose in the Philippines operations, even though the fleet should be left, the shipping lane to the south would be completely cut off so that the fleet, if it should come back to Japanese waters, could not obtain its fuel supply. If it should remain in southern waters, it could not receive supplies of ammunition and arms. There would be no sense in saving the fleet at the expense of the loss of the Philippines.
At the conclusion of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the debate on the continuation of the war once more started. Two distinct factions were opposing each other: the Navy, led by Admirals Nimitz and King, vowed to take Formosa in the ultimate extension of island-hopping, neutralizing the Philippine Japanese Army garrison by air blockade. Formosa, sitting astride the seaways from the Dutch East Indies to Japan, would be the perfect base for economic strangulation of Japan and was capable of serving as base for the final attack on the Japanese home islands.
The Musashi One of two superbattleships was also sunk in this battle when she was hit by at least 10 bombs from dive bombers and 19 torpedos.
Tags: World, war, 2, Empire, japan, axis, Leyte gulf, battle, phllipines, Allies, USA, naval fleet, largest, kamikaze, sea, suicide, landings, portracted, Centerforce, Musashi, oil, truth
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