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Chieftain Talks. The Battle of Leyte Gulf. Yamato and Musashi | World of Warships

Chieftain Talks. The Battle of Leyte Gulf. Yamato and Musashi | World of Warships
In the autumn of 1944, the Philippine Islands served as the stage for the largest naval

battle

in history. It was fought by the combined American and Australian forces on one side and the Imperial Japanese Navy on the other. and involved about 300 ships, 2,000 aircraft,and more than 200,000 personnel. This was also the last naval

battle

between

battle

ships in history. But first, let’s set the stage by having a look at scene what was going in the ten years prior to that. In 1934, the Japanese leadership decided to withdraw from the Washington and London Naval Treaties that had been restricting its naval construction and had stripped Japan’s navy of its numerical superiority over other states. By that time, Japan had withdrawn also from the League of Nations over the Manchurian Incident, and was waging war against China. The ambitions of the leaders of the Land of the Rising Sun made the Pacific Ocean and Southeast Asia in generally rather turbulent place, and the Japanese expansion affected pretty much the entire global balance of power. As similar things were happening in Europe, the prospect of a new

world

war lumed. Japan was building up its military capacity with special attention to having a formidable Navy. However, the industrial output of Japan couldn’t compete with the shipbuilding programs of the main maritime powers —Great Britain and the USA. The Japanese admirals developed plans for new

battle

ships that were to be individually superior to their...
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships
counterparts in the United States Navy. The Imperial Navy held preliminary studies for a new class of

battle

ships with greater displacement than the 35,000 tons standard from the now discarded Naval Treaties. Japan believed that the United States wouldn’t build ships that couldn’t pass through the Panama Canal And they estimated that the limit to this would be about 60,000 tons.

Yamato

-class

battle

ships were designed as part of the Kantai Kessen strategy of the 1930s. The planning of the Imperial Japanese Navy envisioned that they would assume a defensive posture and wait for the enemy fleet to approach, before destroying it in a decisive and sharp

battle

off the coast of the Japanese mainland. The Imperial Japanese Navy developed a strategy of "gradual attrition" to weaken the US fleet prior to its arrival in the Western Pacific. According to the first stage of this concept, fleet submarines would first be used to weaken the American fleet, then bombers from land bases and aircraft carriers would attack. Airstrikes launched from carriers would neutralize the American carrier force. Fast heavy cruisers working with destroyer flotillas would attack the US

battle

ships at night, making use of their long-range torpedoes to inflict further losses. All of this would whittle down the approaching US fleet to a size that the Japanese could defeat in a fleet-versus-fleet surface

battle

. Since it was assumed that the American Navy would outnumber the IJN, the Japanese...
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships

battle

ships should be superior to the modern American ships. Although five

Yamato

-class vessels had been planned, only three—two

battle

ships and an aircraft carrier conversion—were completed.

Yamato

was laid down on November 4, 1937, launched on August 8, 1940, and declared operable on December 16, 1941.

Musashi

was laid down on March 29, 1938, launched on November 1, 1940, and deemed operable in August 1942. Until the end of 1942, the

battle

ship underwent trials, as well as outfitting and combat training exercises in Japanese waters. Displacing 72,000 long tons at full load, the vessels were the heaviest

battle

ships ever constructed. For comparison: the American Iowa-class

battle

ships, built around the same time, had the same length, but displaced only 57,000 tons. On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, the aircraft carriers of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo struck a crushing blow to the US Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor. Japan had started a war against the United States. This was one of more than a dozen coordinated Japanese attacks on overseas territories of The United States, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands. By the end of 1941, they captured British Hong Kong and the American military base on Guam. At the beginning of 1942, General Yamashita led Japanese forces during the invasion of Malaya and the

Battle

of Singapore, capturing about 80,000 men. In the Philippines, about 70,000 Americans were taken prisoner, and the commander of the American troops, General MacArthur,...
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships
was evacuated, leaving his men behind. At the beginning of the same year, resource-rich Indonesia (which was under the control of the Dutch government in exile) and British Burma had been almost completely conquered. Japanese troops reached the borders of India.

Battle

s were waged in New Guinea. Japan set to look towards Australia and New Zealand. In the spring of 1942, American intelligence was able to decrypt the Japanese military codes, which made the Allies aware of the enemy’s intentions. It proved crucial in one of the biggest naval

battle

s in history—the

battle

of Midway. Luring the American aircraft carriers into a trap at the Aleutian Islands and occupying Midway was part of an overall "barrier" strategy to extend Japan's defensive perimeter and eventually capture Hawaii. When, at the start of the

battle

on June 4, 1942, Japanese aircraft took off from the decks of their aircraft carriers, American bombers, following a plan developed by the new US Pacific Fleet Commander, Admiral Chester Nimitz, bombed those aircraft carriers. The surviving aircraft simply had nowhere to return to—more than three hundred aircraft were lost. The best trained and most experienced pilots and maintenance crewmen were killed as a result.

Battle

ship

Yamato

, the flagship of the Combined Fleet, made only a formal appearance She didn’t engage the enemy, as she was 300 miles behind the Japanese aircraft carriers. Earlier, on May 7-8, another major naval

battle

took place...
in the Coral Sea. The goal of the advancing Japanese force was Port Moresby in New Guinea, which was intended to be the springboard for landings in Australia. On paper, the Japanese Navy were victorious, but their forces were so depleted that they had to abandon the attack. To enable further attacks and the bombing of Australia, the Japanese needed to control the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Fighting for the island went on from May 1942 to February 1943 at the cost of enormous losses to both sides, but in the end, the Allies secured the victory. A possible turning point in the war was the death of the best Japanese commander, Admiral Yamamoto. On April 18, 1943, the Americans conducted a deliberate operation to shoot down the aircraft transporting him. With all of this exhausting attrition, Japan's capacity to replace its losses in materiel and men rapidly became insufficient to cope with the mounting casualties, while the United States' massive industrial and training capabilities made losses far easier to replace. By mid- 1943, they would launch an aircraft carrier every month and their aircraft production rate was three times that of Japan. Everything for the offensive was in place. The Americans began the offensive in the central Pacific at the end of 1943. On November 20, they landed at Makina and Tarawa. The Tarawa garrison was overwhelmed after 3 days of fierce

battle

s. The next target for the Americans was the Japanese main stronghold on the...
Marshall Islands. Powerful carrier-based air raids destroyed the Japanese aircraft in the area, but they did little to help the landing party. After a series of massive air raids and bombardment from

battle

ships, the Americans captured the Kwajalein stronghold. Again, the Japanese held their own, but the atoll was captured by February 5. The Japanese Combined Fleet did not respond to the threat, as the American Navy had become immensely stronger. US Pacific Fleet received new Essex-class aircraft carriers, more

battle

ships armed with 16 inch guns, destroyers, and submarines. Threatened by the American advance in the central part of the Pacific, the Combined Fleet couldn’t help the garrisons in New Guinea, on the Admiralty Islands, in New Ireland, or New Britain. From April 9, 1943 to February 14, 1944, the Japanese lost 33 ships—25 destroyers, five light cruisers, one escort carrier, one seaplane carrier, and one

battle

ship. Now, all of the Japanese shipyards were slammed with damaged ships. Next was the Enewetak Atoll, the largest one of the western Marshall Islands. Then followed the airstrike on Truk, which hosted some 350 Japanese aircraft, and it was also the anchorage of the Combined Fleet with 50 transports and escort ships in the harbor. Between the air attacks and surface ship attacks over the two days, the blow to the Japanese was about 300 warplanes destroyed, with the concurrent irreplaceable loss of experienced pilots. After the Japanese air threat was...
eliminated, planes and

battle

ships went in to sink everything floating. The Japanese decided to keep the internal defense line passing through the Mariana Islands, Palau and western Dutch New Guinea They called it operation KON Behind this line, they concentrated the forces iin threatened areas, built new airfields and pulled forward the Combined Fleet. With growing pressure from the American fleet and MacArthur, the plan was revised several times. The Japanese believed that the main blow would be delivered from New Guinea to Mindanao. It was there that they hoped to conduct the "decisive

battle

." However, the advance of MacArthur to the north couldn’t be contained. In May, he captured Sarmi and then Wakde, 120 miles north of Hollandia. This force the Japanese to abandon operation KON. The А-GO plan was then to engage the American fleet instead — the “decisive

battle

” in the region of the western Caroline Islands, where the Japanese Navy could count on the help of aircraft from the nearby island garrisons. The

battle

of June 20 came to be known as the

Battle

of the Philippine Sea, nicknamed the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot by American aviators, while the Japanese, perhaps understandably, prefer their designation— Operation A-GO instead. The 2nd Fleet of Vice-Admiral Kurita was actively involved, being about 100 miles ahead of the Ozawa’s strike carriers.

Battle

ships

Yamato

,

Musashi

, Congo and Haruna with seven heavy cruisers formed the seemingly most...
powerful group of Japanese ships, although the big-gun ships were supported only by three light aircraft carriers: Chitose, Chiyoda, and Zuiho. This pointed to its implied role as bait. However, the Americans didn’t fall for it. They decided to bypass the option of attacking these strong

battle

ships Because they had other tasks to perform. Nevertheless, it was here on June 19, 1944,

Yamato

first fired her main guns in anger. Although the incoming aircraft had been reported as Japanese,

Yamato

and her escort turned to port and opened fire.

Yamato

fired her 460 mm shrapnel rounds at a range of about 16 miles.

Musashi

, on the other hand, turned out to be the only ship to get it right, and in time. She did not open fire. Four Zero fighters were damaged. But this episode was only a small drop in the sea of the huge losses suffered by Japanese carrier-based aircraft. The

battle

ships had dodged their bullet for now: all the American attacks were focused on their aircraft carriers. On June 22, the Mobile Fleet arrived at Okinawa for splash-and-go refueling, and on the 24th returned to Hashira-jima. In late June, both super-

battle

ships arrived in Kure. There,

Yamato

received five more triple 25 mm anti-aircraft mounts and loaded an infantry regiment and materials for delivery to Okinawa. After one more reshuffling, the formation now consisted of Group A (1st

Battle

ship Division -

Yamato

and

Musashi

, 4th and 7th Heavy Cruisers Divisions —eight vessels, light cruiser Noshiro and...
escort) and Group B (Nagato and Kongo, heavy cruiser Mogami, light cruiser Yahagi and fleet destroyers). After leaving Kure on July 9 and arriving the next day to Okinawa, the groups split up. Group A went to the rearward anchorage in Lingga to rendezvous with the rest of the Mobile Fleet. On July 16, the 1st

battle

ship division anchored in Lingga and stayed there for quite some time. For three months, the sister ships would practice together, forming a well-coordinated operational unit. On August 12, 1944, Captain Toshihira Inoguchi assumed command of

Musashi

(on October 15, he was promoted to rear admiral). One of his first jobs was an emergency order concerning captured British dark gray paint from the Singapore Maritime Arsenal. Within one day

Musashi

was repainted. All of these activities were not for nothing: soon the

battle

ships would finally have a real job to do. The Americans were preparing to land at the Philippines, and this time Japanese command was ready to go all-in. So, after all that, we’ve painted a bigger picture of the war with Japan, and we can now start on the biggest naval

battle

of the Second

World

War. Bear in mind, that by the beginning of the war, Japan had had one of the most powerful Navies in the

world

, even if it had somehow been built in violation of international treaties. Nevertheless, it was testimony to the pace of industrial development in Japan. And it was partly the reason for the flourishing of militaristic ideas amongst the ruling...
elite. After all, if you are holding a hammer, the problems all start to look a lot like nails. The rapid offensive of the Japanese troops in the Pacific theater during the early stages of the war was largely the work of the Imperial Navy, which was the undisputed ruler of the seas until late 1942. However, the United States and the Allies were able to seize the initiative at sea and, with a series of powerful blows, reduced the Japanese fleet. The autumn of '44 saw, perhaps the last, fatal blow delivered to the Japanese Navy. The

Battle

of

Leyte

Gulf

, or in Japan operation Sho-Go was undoubtedly the pinnacle of the Pacific maritime war. Combined Fleet command used basically everything it had. The stakes were too high: if the Americans captured the Philippines this would undermined the entire Japanese defensive line, with most islands and army forces deeped behind enemy lines,whether they would be left either wither away or suffered defeat in detail. The Americans, amongst other things, wanted to make good on McArthur’s promise of returning to the hilippines anyway. The inglorious surrender of the American asset blocked by the Japanese Navy in 1942 simply demanded a symmetrical response. Landing on the Philippines was a must, and it would also require a major effort from the Fleet. Operation Sho-Go was an extremely elegant and thoughtful plan. The Japanese fleet was divided into three large groups. Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa's ships—known as the "Northern...
Force"—was to lure the main American covering forces away from

Leyte

. The Northern Force would be built around several aircraft carriers, but these would have very few aircraft or trained aircrew. The carriers would serve as the main bait, carrying only about a hundred aircraft. As the U.S. covering forces were lured away, two other surface forces would advance on

Leyte

from the west. The "Southern Force" under Vice Admirals Shoji Nishimura and Kiyohide Shima would strike at the landing area via the Surigao Strait. The "Center Force" under Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita—by far the most powerful of the attacking forces—would pass through the San Bernardino Strait into the Philippine Sea, turn southwards, and then also, attack the landing area. Had the "carrier bait" plan failed, and if the Americans had rushed south at Nishimura, the assault would have been executed by Kurita and Ozawa, or, in the worst-case scenario, by only one group. Therefore, the composition of each task force included

battle

ships (Fuso and Yamashiro with Nishimura, and the converted aircraft carrying

battle

ships Ise and Hyuga with Ozawa). However, the main effort was still to be Kurita’s 1st raiding force with five

battle

ships, 10 heavy and two light cruisers, as well as 15 destroyers. By the time the Japanese fleet had arrived in Philippine waters, 6th Carrier Fleet Commander Vice-Admiral Shigeru Fukudome had lost pretty much the majority of his aircraft and was...
unable to provide the required aircover, although the Imperial Supreme Command was counting on him when plotting the defense against the enemies landing. After the landing on

Leyte

Island, with no opposition from the Japanese fleet, Admiral Halsey detached two of his carrier groups to the fleet base at Ulithi to provision and rearm. The groups were supposed to do this in sequence, with McCain’s group being the first to go up. This was when Halsey received a contact report from the American submarine Darter, which detected the Japanese formation on radar and and then it’s captain had confirmed visually the approach of Vice-Admiral Kurita with offensive intentions. When Darter's contact report came in, Halsey recalled Davison's group, but allowed Vice Admiral John S. McCain, with the strongest of TF 38's carrier groups, to continue towards Ulithi, rendezvous with oilers, refuel, and get closer to the Philippines. On 24 October, at 5.24, Darter, travelling with her sister, USS Dace, made the first and surprisingly successful attack. Kurita’s force was travelling in a closed formation, covered on the sides by destroyers, but without a noticeable screen up front. The second group was following in a similar formation some 6500 yards behind. Darter fired a salvo of six torpedoes, at least four of which hit Kurita's flagship, the heavy cruiser Atago. Ten minutes later, she scored two hits on Atago's sister ship, Takao, with another spread of torpedoes,...
starting fires and flooding her boiler rooms. Takao turned back to Brunei, escorted by two destroyers, including Nagamani. At 05:56, Dace scored four torpedo hits on the heavy cruiser Maya (which was a sister to Atago and Takao). Atago and Maya quickly sank. Indeed Atago sank so rapidly that Kurita was forced to swim to survive. What at all is quite undignified. He was rescued by the Japanese destroyer Kishinami, along with 529 of his men, and then later transferred to

Yamato

. Kiruta had just recovered from dengue fever, and this dipping did not do him any good at all. Atago took 360 sailors with her to the bottom. Maya’s death toll was about 336. The destroyer Akishimo managed to rescue 769 personnel. Admiral Kurita, now aboard

Yamato

, set the same course again and entered Sibuyan Sea at 06:30. Nishimura and Sima’s forces had been detected. The next phase of the

battle

was to break outout of the Sibyan sea, but Kurita hoped that Fukudome’s pilots would clear the sky. Kurita even catapulted his deck aircraft to aid them. But it was a bit of a pipedream, since Fukudome had lost at least 200 aircraft in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi directed three waves of aircraft from his First Air Fleet based on Luzon against the Rear Admiral Frederick Sherman's carriers. Each of the strike waves consisted of some 50 to 60 aircraft. Most of the attacking Japanese aircraft were intercepted and shot down or driven off by Hellcats of Sherman's combat...
air patrols. However, one Japanese aircraft slipped through the defenses, and hit the light carrier Princeton with a 250 kg armor-piercing bomb. The resulting explosion caused a severe fire in Princeton's hangar and her emergency sprinkler system failed to operate. As the fire spread rapidly, there was an enormous explosion in the carrier's bomb stowage aft, causing more casualties aboard Princeton, and even heavier casualties aboard the light cruiser Birmingham, which come back alongside to assist with the firefighting. Birmingham was so badly damaged that she was forced to retire. Another light cruiser and two destroyers were also damaged. All efforts to save Princeton failed, and after the remaining crew were evacuated, she was finally scuttled—torpedoed by the light cruiser Reno. Of Princeton's crew, 108 men were killed, while 1,361 survivors were rescued by nearby ships. USS Princeton became the largest American ship lost during the

battle

s around

Leyte

Gulf

. Although the light aircraft carrier was sunk, most of the Japanese aircraft were destroyed, which left few to cover Kurita’s ships. Therefore, when Kurita turned to the east, he was to suffer five air attacks by Task Force 38, with no air cover at all. The attacks began later in the morning and lasted until almost the evening, comprising about 259 aircraft. The attacks were focused on

Musashi

, who received 13 torpedoes hits port side and seven starboard, 10 bomb hits starboard and seven portside, not...
counting the 18 near misses. When the crippled

Musashi

fell behind, heavy cruiser Tone stayed behind with her, before being replaced by destroyers Kiyoshimo and Hamakaze. No single ship could withstand such a pasting, and no matter how large, at 18.35

Musashi

capsized and sank. Of the 2,279 crew members, 991 died. At 13.30, two bombs hit

Yamato

. The hit to her port bow turned out to be serious, she shipped some 2000 tons and started listing, but damage control parties managed to right her. At 14:20 Nagato received two direct hits. One to the 1st boiler сompartment portside, which slowed her down, disabled the 4th turret and destroyed 4 midship guns. The second hit took out the crew quarters. It took almost an hour to repair the boiler, during which time her speed was restricted to 21 knots. At 13:38 heavy cruiser Tone received two small bombs, and another two exploded nearby, none of that affected her combat capability. At 13:15 destroyer Kiyosimo received a direct hit, five bombs exploded nearby, damaging cables and destroying anti-aircraft machine guns in the middle of the ship. Her speed also dropped to some 21 knots. A fatal bomb exploded destroyer’s Fujinami starboard bow, sending her to the bottom on October 27. Several near misses destroyed Urakaze’s radio station, knocked out a number of rivets and reduced her pace to 28 knots. Kurita couldn’t have known that the fifth attack was going to be the last, and Halsey recalled the aircraft to take on Ozawa’s ships....
Therefore, it’s not surprising that Kurita requested permission for a temporary withdrawal until his fighters arrived to help. He also requested that his seaplanes be returned to their ships, but Fukudome was unable or unwilling to fulfill his requests. On his own initiative, Kurita turned back and went west from 15:00 to 16:14, completely disrupting the schedule and being late for a rendezvous with Force C. Nevertheless, he turned back and passed the San Bernardino Strait at night. Kurita expected to engage TF 38 at dawn on October 25. Kurita's Center Force emerged unopposed from the San Bernardino Strait on 25 October and steamed southward along the coast of the island of Samar. In its path stood only the 7th Fleet's three escort carrier groups, with a total of sixteen small, slow and unarmored escort carriers, protected by a screen of lightly armed and unarmored destroyers and smaller destroyer escorts. This began what has become known as the last stand of a tin can sailors. Kurita's force caught Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague’s Units by surprise. Sprague directed his carriers to launch every ready aircraft and drop whatever they had (including depth charges and anti-personnel bombs) and then make for the cover of a rain squall to the east. He ordered the destroyers and Destroyer’s escorts to make a smoke screen to conceal the retreating carriers. Their own daring "fight against overwhelming odds from which survival couldn’t be expected" damaged...
the heavy cruiser Kumano and forced her out of line. The escort carriers and destroyers returned the Japanese fire with all of the firepower they had—five inch guns. and even scored some hits. As the desperate surface action was coming to an end, Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi put his Special Attack Units into operation from bases on Luzon island, launching kamikaze attacks and hitting the escort carrier St. Lo with a single kamikaze aircraft. She sank after a series of internal explosions. The ferocity of the defense seemingly confirmed the Japanese assumption that they were engaging major fleet units rather than merely escort carriers and destroyers. The confusion was compounded by air and torpedo attacks, and Kurita failed to pick off the almost defenseless carriers. He then abruptly broke off the fight and gave the order to all ships to follow and regroup. Although, generally speaking, Kurita didn’t lead the greatest

battle

to begin with, his decision to retreat was quite reasonable to what he knew. He had sunk an escort carrier, two destroyers, and a destroyer escort. But since leaving Brunei his Force had lost one

battle

ship, five heavy cruisers, with another two heavy cruisers crippled. Almost all of the ships of the Northern Force were damaged in one way or another. The results of the

battle

left no doubt that even the most powerful combination of gun armed ships now stood no chance without air cover. Even when only facing jeep carriers covered by only destroyers...
and destroyer escorts and torpedo boats, if they had enough aircraft and determined pilots and destroyer man. And, as long as we’re pointing fingers of people, that really wouldn’t be the fault of the commanders who led their fleet on this hopeless mission in first place, but more of Admiral Toyoda and the Imperial Supreme Headquarters for their rather misplace confidence that one could win such a

battle

against the American fleet with their overwhelming advantage in ships and aircraft. Of course, the Taffy-3 escorts were hellbent on protecting their carriers, but the planes of only three carrier-based groups forced Kurita to break the line and start to focus mainly on defending against air attacks. Vice-Admial Jisaburō Ozawa knew his task of luring TF38 from Kurita. His Northern Force was built around four aircraft carriers, which included two

World

War I

battle

ships that had been partially converted into seaplane carriers Hyūga and Ise (but neither ship carried any aircraft in this

battle

), also three light cruisers, and eight destroyers. Ozawa's carrier group was a decoy force, divested of all but 108 aircraft, and he was well aware of his sacrificial mission. When the message arrived on October 24th that Kurita was moving away, Ozawa also started moving north. However, at about 8 pm, Toyoda gave the order to turn south and attack "with faith in divine providence." Although Ozawa didn’t hear from Kurita during the night of October 24th, he proceeded...
as ordered. But now he knew that Halsey was heading north and he had a fairly good idea to what Halsey could do to his aircraft – devisioned force. Around dawn on October 25th, Ozawa launched 75 aircraft, the bulk of his remaining few aircraft, to the airfields of the Philippines (Clark and Tuguegarao), leaving only 13 fighters for himself, since they figured there was no hope in repelling the expected raid of the TF38 aircraft. Having spotted the incoming aircraft, at 07:07, Zuikaku and Chitose sent 11 fighters into the air. Ozawa had divided his Mobile force into two groups. Group five consisted of the fleet carrier Zuikaku and light aircraft carrier Zuiho, covered by the

battle

ship-made-aircraft carrier Ise; light cruisers Oyodo and Tama; destroyers Hatsuzuki, Wakatsuki, Akikuki, and Kuva. It was followed by Group six: light carriers Chitose and Tiyoda; the none aircraft carrying converted

battle

ship Hyuga; light cruiser Isuzu; and destroyers Kiri, Simotsuki, Suty, and Maki. American aircraft also attacked in several waves. The first (consisting of about 80 aircraft) appeared after starboard bow of group five. The second ( of about 50 aircraft) passed between the two groups, and then launched a starboard attack on Group six. Attacking aircrafts started then coming in from all directions. Zuikaku was immediately hit by a torpedo and started listing to port, losing speed and dropping out of

battle

. Her radio also failed. Two bombs exploded by Ise’s side, and Oedo...
received 1 direct hit and 2 near misses, which caused little damage. Akitsuki received a direct hit at 07:50, caught fire, exploded at 07:56 and sank. In Group six, Chitose was damaged - she was listing heavily to port and lost her speed. The first attack lasted from 07:20 to 07:59. 170 aircraft made up the second wave, sinking the carrier Chitose. Ozawa's force retreated north, pursued by the American fleet. The third attack began at 12:05. Zuikaku, the last carrier, which had participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, was now the main target. She was attacked by about 100 bombers and torpedo aircraft. In addition to, obviously firing all her guns, she also tried using rocket launchers. The rockets threw metal cables that the Japanese hoped would entangle the propellers and wings of attacking aircraft. which seem to little be late in the attack profile, but anyway. She was also hit with eight torpedoes and four bombs (and also suffered several near misses), which caused a major fire and rendered her immobile. Zuikaku sank at 13:14. Three cruisers survived the

battle

(Admiral Ozawa returned on Oyodo), as did seven destroyers. In this

battle

, the Japanese lost their last remaining aircraft carriers. But Ozawa had succeeded in his mission: and he had given Kurita’s force the opportunity to attack Kinkaid and retreat safely. Admiral Halsey’s force ( again he was on New Jersey) he hurried south to intercept Kurita’s squadron, but Halsey arrived in the San Bernardino...
Strait two hours after Kurita’s ships had passed through. Off the coast of Samar, American ships found the destroyer Novaki, and sank it after a 45-minute bombardment. At about 23:10, the American submarine Jallao torpedoed and sank the light cruiser Tama of Ozawa’s force. And this marked the conclusion for the

Battle

of

Leyte

Gulf

. The Imperial Japanese Navy losses and casualties were as follows: four aircraft carriers (Zuikaku, Zuiho, Chitose, and Chiyoda); three

battle

ships (

Musashi

, Yamashiro, Fuso); eight cruisers (including Atago, Maya, Chokai, Chikuma, Suzuya, Mogami); and 12 destroyers (including Yamagumo, Mitisio, Wakaba, Asagumo, Novaki, Fujinami, Akitsuki, Hatsuzuki). Several other destroyers were lost in the following days on their way back to port. Total casualties were estimated about 10,000 personnel, while the American losses were significantly lighter: one light carrier, two escort carriers, three destroyers, and an escort vessel – about 3,500 personnel. During the

battle

, the American Navy did make a number of mistakes: they misjudged the strength of the Southern Force, incorrectly estimated the losses sustained by Kurita in the Sibuyan Sea, and left the San Bernardino Strait open. However, they were so superior in strength and numbers that these errors had no meaningful impact on the course of

battle

. On the other hand, Japanese command also acted somewhat questionable (for example, the lack of a coordinated actions by Shima and Nishimura and the...
withdrawal of Kurita from Samar). The

battle

demonstrated the navy’s inability to perform without aircover. After this

battle

, Japan wouldn’t plan any more major maritime operations. The United States managed to seize a bridgehead in the Philippines and launch an offensive deep into the archipelago, with their aircraft completely cutting of the supply lines of oil from Sumatra and Bornei to Japan. The

battle

had seen the first sorties of kamikaze aircraft, which had proven effective. After this crushing defeat, Japan affectively no longer had a navy. Part of the surviving ships of the Combined Fleet went to the bay of Brunei, and then to Lingga Rhodes in Singapore, where there was plenty of fuel, but little ammunition. The rest returned home, where there was enough ammunition, but no fuel. So that was all, but the last page of the story of Japanese maritime operations, except for the grim list of ships sunk by submarines and aircraft. three more

battle

s remained—Mindoro, Penang, and

Yamato

's suicide mission.