Battle of Leyte Gulf

Category: Battles, Military, Wars
Last Updated: 27 Jul 2020
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The thesis of this essay is to find out the important decisions, planning and action taken by the American and Japanese forces during Leyte Gulf operations, which was a major event of the Battle in World War II. The important events will be depicted in the light of the Major strategic plan adopted for better use of the strengths of the forces by competent authority of both side of America and Japan.

The cause of the battle and a brief history to commence major events like destruction of Pearl Harbor by Japan’s air forces, the loss of fate of Bataan Peninsula, the role of Philippines, their degrade of faith from Japanese due to defeat, etc.

Will be estimated directly when considering the major achievements of General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz during effecting of the Leyte Gulf operation The essay In the greatest history of mankind, the World War II has topmost disgrace in terms of violence and the conflicts of the armed forces, where numerous innocent persons had to lose their life due to the global political strategic plan for the preparation of military strength to show their power as fascism.

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The operational decisions, mainly of America and Japan, were such a thoughtful act to acquire the power on each other that can be remembered throughout the history of mankind if any such things happen in future. Among various operations happened in this World War II, the operation of Leyte was very much important as any battle that occurred in Pacific war. Japanese had not stopped even after destroying the Battle Fleet of Pearl Harbor and in December 1941, their forces continued their attack on the Philippines.

Bataan Peninsula was knocked down in April 1942, and in May 1942 General Wainwright along with remaining US forces and Filipino forces were bound to lay down their arms at Corregidor. After two and half year of descends of Bataan, allied forces commenced the recapturing of the Philippines with most important corridors on Leyte. The consequence and effect of this war was mainly dependent on destiny of the Philippines and the outlook itinerary of the war in opposition to Japan.

Leyte, situated in the middle of the archipelago, was the central point, so the forces of Southwest Pacific controlled by General MacArthur and the forces of Central Pacific lead by Admiral Nimitz converge here to extort the Philippines from the seize of the rivals. General MacArthur had advantage of Leyte due to its reachable distance to other islands for the strike either by ground or air forces. Leyte was place were Japan would be forced to surrender in central Philippines providing launch pad for final attack against Japan.

General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz were dedicated to make use of the utmost resources at their authority (Reports of General MacArthur, 197-200). It was obvious that Japan would put its best effort with all its strength up to the eleventh hours to set aside the Philippines. But Japan was continuously facing difficulties to keep hold in the battle and before reaching the end of the year 1944, the situation of this nation was very much dangerous and frantic. Almost all the allies had contracted their hand from external fringe of her defense system.

According to Reports of General MacArthur (197-200), “They were now poised with their full power at the very threshold of her inner structure and if they should break through, the Homeland itself would stand dangerously exposed-an inviting target for the next invasion”. Due to behavior of the allies and the inferior qualities of the forces of Japan in comparison to America, the war had reached to a decisive stage and only one defeat of Japan would lose all the glory of empire of the century.

The inhabitant of Philippines had only one chance to offer to Japan for saving from the forces of General MacArthur. Undoubtedly the Japanese forces came with all its strength and efforts to face the invasion of America. Japanese were aware with the fact that if the Philippines were defeated then there were no any chances to be in the war and the war was also lost consequently. Henceforth, they prepare a destructive plan risking their left behind surface forces offering Philippines a distant possibility of demolishing the American assault fleet and separating the Allied forces on ground on Leyte.

This plan was mainly reliant on the use of decoy force, which was already, tried early as operational plan by Japan. Now Japanese carriers were prepared fully except it had no trained-aircrew, so the ships were chosen for playing the most important role of decoy. Vice Admiral Ozawa arranged four aircraft carriers together with other twelve ships from the North and siphon off the major American force. At the same time two more commanding battleship forces would infiltrate the Central Philippines and then congregate on the assault ship in Leyte Gulf.

In the consequence of the combat against the Americans for the Philippines, the Japanese had to invest a great deal in terms of battle force, finance and dignity in Leyte only to lose. In this campaign they had to sacrifice four divisions and many distinct combat units. The naval force had also to lose major warships nearly twenty-six full-fledged units along with forty-six great transportation and merchantmen. The land-based air capabilities were also diminished by nearly fifty percent and Japanese had to rely on only kamikaze pilots who act was totally suicidal. But America had to face mixed result due to this campaign.

As the duration for this battle was not expected to be such long, so the island become difficult for the base of the army. Other set back like quite a lot of intelligence failures including the failure of MacArthur's headquarters failure to discriminate Japanese purpose to fight a crucial battle on Leyte, made the battle unexpectedly long. This causes less air force and naval force to cover the battle troop and they could not prevent additional enemy troops to arrive at the position. This was a major drawback in planning and strategy of the battle by the American side.

The valor shown by a Japanese soldier with full dedication in defensive war methods to use the difficult terrain for his own advantages and his commanders willing to sacrifice their life, cause difficulty in fighting any decisive war. When Admiral Halsey took the bait on 24th October in the afternoon, one of his search planes marked the Japanese Northern Force decoy convoy which were carrying four carriers faraway to the north of Leyte. Taking the attention toward this happening, Admiral Halsey commanded his whole third fleet into chase, he left Leyte Gulf in total exposure as Japanese had expected.

By the next morning a heavy battle was fought at Cape Engano where Japanese Northern Force were lost to Halsey carrier planes of third engagement which also included battleships' guns. To fight the main combat, Halsey had to return at Cape Engano leaving that battle. In The Battle of the Surigao Strait, the Japanese Center Force along with Southern Force, had survived the air combat in the night of 24th and 25th of October and motivated on their divided paths in the direction of Leyte Gulf and MacArthur's conveys and escort carriers. In The Battle of Samar Island, Kurita's Center Force, including the super battleships viz.

Yamato and Musashi, fruitfully stirred through the constricted San Bernardino Strait, after that south down the east coast of Samar Island, situated northeast of Leyte, in the range of the Seventh Fleet's softly targeted by dawn on 25th October 1944. In the Battle off Samar, the Japanese were conflicting by slighter, frivolously armored ships, which in principle had no counterpart for heavyweights of Kurita. The commander of Japanese Center Force, Kurita by mistake understood that he was betrothed with America’s Third Fleet carriers.

Sprague took benefit of smoke screens and a rainsquall to decrease the visibility of Japanese and accuracy of fire. All the engagement together were known as the Battle of Leyte constituting the biggest naval battle at the time of World War II in the Pacific. This may be regarded as the largest in any history till date. The Japanese had to lose more than twenty-six vessels of warships. On the other hand America lost only six battleships including five at the Battle of Samar, in this operations.


August 2, 2009. http://www. history. army. mil/books/wwii/macarthur%20reports/macarthur%20v1/ch08. htm Morison, Samuel Eliot. "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II" Volume XII "Leyte" . (Little, Brown & Co. , Boston 1963) Fuller, Major-General J. F. C.. "Decisive Battles of the Western World" - Volume 3 (Eyre and Spottiswoode, London 1956) Woodward, C. Vann. "The Battle for Leyte Gulf" (Macmillan & Co. , New York 1947) Clancey, Patrick.. “Leyte-The U. S. Army Campaigns of World War II”. HyperWar Foundation. August 2, 2009. http://www. ibiblio. org/hyperwar/USA/USA-C-Leyte/index. html

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Battle of Leyte Gulf. (2016, Jul 23). Retrieved from

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