Battle of Leyte Gulf Luke Sturm and Sydney Micheau

Where did it occur?

The four engagements of the battle of Leyte Gulf: 1 – Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, 2 – Battle of Surigao Strait, 3 – Battle off Cape Engaño, 4 – Battle off Samar

The battle took place surrounding the Philippines and covered over 100,000 square miles of sea. This made it the largest naval battle in history.

Who was involved?

The battle was the United States and Australia under William Halsey (3rd Fleet), Thomas Kinkaid (7th Fleet), Clifton Sprague (Taffy 3 / Task Unit 77.4.3), Jesse Oldendorf (Task Group 77.2), and John Collins (Task Force 74) against Japan under Admiral Takeo Kurita (Central Force), Shōji Nishimura (Southern Force), Kiyohide Shima (Southern Force), Jisaburō Ozawa (Northern Force), Yukio Seki (kamikazees).

Why?

The Philippines are very close to Japan

The reason the allies invaded was to set up for an invasion of the Philippines and to be closer to Japan.

When did it occur?

The battle lasted from October 23, 1944 – October 26, 1944. This meant it was cooler than usual for the Philippines, but still very warm and humid. It was a short battle of huge proportions.

Who won?

The United States lost less lives and ships so they won; when they did, they had an outlet much closer to Japan and were able to use the land they won to reclaim the Philippines.

Was it significant?

This battle was significant because it helped the U.S. be close enough to drop bombs on Japan and the Philippines were back under U.S. control. The battle crippled the Japanese fleet and helped the Allies gain control over the Pacific. It was now much harder for Japan to ship to their southeast Pacific islands.

Three interesting facts are:

  1. Some of the largest battleships in history were used in this battle.
  2. Considered the largest naval attack in history with some 800 ships and 1,800 aircraft were used.
  3. First time the Japanese used Kamikaze tactics -- crashing their planes into American ships to inflict damage but also committing suicide.

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