Nombre de messages : 44722 Age : 53 Localisation : Quaregnon (Bel) Date d'inscription : 27/06/2007
Sujet: The Battle of Leyte Gulf (WW II) Lun 3 Déc 2007 - 21:55
The Battle of Leyte Gulf - (Videos Running Time 01:55:00 in 12 Parts)
This episode of "Battlefield" chronicles the U.S. Navy's triumph over the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) at Leyte Gulf.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf consisted of 4 battles extending from Surigao Strait to Cape Engano.
The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet's main task was to support and land the U.S. 6th Army at Tacloban beach in Leyte Gulf. The 7th Fleet (Kinkaid) consisted of: transports, destroyers cruisers, old battleships and escort carriers.
Protecting 7th Fleet was the massive U.S. Navy's 3rd Fleet. Third Fleet's task was too attack any Japanese Fleet presence and destroy Japanese land based air power.
A huge Japanese armada, the IJN Central Force (Kurita), was spotted by American reconnaissance planes, attempting to enter Leyte Gulf through the Sibuyan Sea. This fleet was attacked by the 3rd Fleet's carrier aircraft. The 68,000 ton super battleship Musashi was sunk in this battle.
While the 3rd Fleet (Halsey) was attacking the IJN Central Force, the IJN Southern Force (Shima and Nishimura) was attempting to enter Leyte Gulf, from the southern route, through Surigao Strait. The Southern Force was, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. In perhaps the most successful U.S. Navy torpedo attack in history, U.S. destroyers settled the Battle of Surigao Strait before any American battleships began firing.
Third Fleet believed that the IJN Central Force was in full retreat from the Philippines. However, Central Force had reversed direction and was attempting to re-enter Leyte Gulf. This Japanese plan succeeded and the Central Force began attacking elements of the escort carrier force in Leyte Gulf off Samar (Taffy 1, 2, 3). The Japanese attack was completely disorganized. Small U.S. Navy escort destroyer attacks through the whole Japanese fleet into confusion. The Central Force retreated thinking that larger American forces heard the desperate pleas from the Taffy carriers and were fast approaching the area. The U.S. escort destroyer's incredible bravery saved many lives during this lopsided engagement. The IJN Northern Force (Ozawa) was a diversionary force. The IJN plan to lure 3rd Fleet from supporting 7th Fleet had completely succeeded. This force was decimated by 3rd Fleet's carrier aircraft off Cape Engano.
Leyte Gulf was an American victory. However, the mistakes made by American commanders clearly indicated the short comings, of the political decision, of not having an overall commander in chief of the invasion of the Philippines.