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

Feb 20, 2020
In the fall of 1944, the Philippine Islands served as the scene of the largest naval


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


between battleships in history. But first, let's set the stage by taking a look at what was happening in the previous ten years. In 1934, Japanese leaders decided to withdraw from the Washington and London Naval Treaties that had been restricting their shipbuilding and had stripped the Japanese navy of its numerical superiority over other states.
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships
At that time, Japan had also withdrawn from the League of Nations over the Manchuria incident and was waging war against China.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 quite turbulent places, and Japanese expansion affected virtually the entire global balance of power. While similar things were happening in Europe, the prospect of a new


war faded. Japan was increasing its military capabilities with special attention to having a formidable Navy. However, Japan's industrial production could not compete with the shipbuilding programs of the major maritime powers: Great Britain and the United States.
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships

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chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships...

Japanese admirals developed plans for new battleships that would be individually superior to their United States Navy counterparts. The Imperial Navy carried out preliminary studies for a new class of battleships with a displacement greater than the 35,000 ton standard of the now discarded Naval Treaties. Japan believed that the United States would not build ships that could not pass through the Panama Canal and estimated that the limit for this would be about 60,000 tons. The Yamato-class battleships were designed as part of the Kantai Kessen strategy of the 1930s. Imperial Japanese Navy planning envisioned that they would assume a defensive posture and wait for the enemy fleet to approach, before destroying it in a decisive battle and fierce off the coast of the Japanese mainland.
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships
The Imperial Japanese Navy developed a "gradual attrition" strategy to weaken the American fleet before its arrival in the Western Pacific. Under the first stage of this concept, fleet submarines would first be used to weaken the US fleet, then bombers would attack from land bases and aircraft carriers. Carrier-launched airstrikes would neutralize the American carrier force. Heavy fast cruisers working with destroyer flotillas would attack the American battleships at night, using their long-range torpedoes to inflict further losses. All of this would reduce the approaching American fleet to a size that the Japanese could defeat in a fleet-on-fleet surface battle.
chieftain talks the battle of leyte gulf yamato and musashi world of warships
Since the US Navy was supposed to outnumber the IJN, Japanese battleships should be superior to modern US ships. Although five Yamato-class ships had been planned, only three (two battleships and one aircraft carrier conversion) were completed. Yamato was laid down on 4 November 1937, launched on 8 August 1940 and declared operational on 16 December 1941. Musashi was laid down on 29 March 1938, launched on 1 November 1940 and declared operable in August 1942. Until the end of 1942, the battleship underwent tests, as well as equipment exercises and combat training in Japanese waters. Displacing 72,000 long tons fully loaded, the ships were the heaviest battleships ever built. For comparison: the American Iowa-class battleships, built around the same time, were the same length, but displaced only 57,000 tons.
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo's aircraft carriers dealt a severe blow to the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. Japan had started a war against the United States. This was one of more than a dozen coordinated Japanese attacks against overseas territories of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. In late 1941, they captured British Hong Kong and the American military base on Guam. In early 1942, General Yamashita led Japanese forces during the invasion of Malaya and the Battle of Singapore, capturing some 80,000 men. In the Philippines, some 70,000 Americans were taken prisoner and the commander of American troops, General MacArthur, was evacuated, leaving his men behind.
By early that 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. Battles were fought in New Guinea. Japan is preparing to look towards Australia and New Zealand. In the spring of 1942, American intelligence was able to break Japanese military codes, making the Allies aware of the enemy's intentions. It was crucial in one of the most important naval battles in history: the Battle of Midway. Luring the American aircraft carriers into a trap in 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, the Japanese planes took off from the decks of their aircraft carriers, the American bombers, following a plan developed by the new commander of the United States Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz , bombed said aircraft carriers. The surviving aircraft simply had nowhere to return: more than three hundred aircraft were lost. As a result, the best trained and experienced pilots and maintenance crew members died. The battleship Yamato, the flagship of the Combined Fleet, made only a formal appearance. She did not engage the enemy, as she was 300 miles behind the Japanese aircraft carriers.
Previously, on May 7 and 8, another major naval battle took place in the Coral Sea. The objective of the advancing Japanese force was Port Moresby in New Guinea, which was to be the springboard for the landings in Australia. On paper, the Japanese Navy was victorious, but its forces were so depleted that they had to abandon the attack. To allow further attacks and bombing of Australia, the Japanese needed to control the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The fight for the island lasted from May 1942 to February 1943 at the cost of enormous losses for both sides, but in the end the Allies were victorious.
A possible turning point in the war was the death of the best Japanese commander, Admiral Yamamoto. On April 18, 1943, the Americans carried out a deliberate operation to shoot down the plane carrying it. With all this grueling attrition, Japan's ability to replace its losses in materiel and men quickly became insufficient to cope with mounting casualties, while America's enormous industrial and training capabilities made losses much easier. to replace. By mid-1943, they were launching one aircraft carrier every month and their aircraft production rate was three times that of Japan. Everything for the offense 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 battles. The Americans' next objective was the main Japanese stronghold in the Marshall Islands. Powerful air strikes from aircraft carriers destroyed Japanese aircraft in the area, but did little to assist the landing party. After a series of massive air raids and bombardments from battleships, the Americans captured the fortress of Kwajalein. Once again the Japanese held their ground, but the atoll was captured on February 5. The Japanese Combined Fleet did not respond to the threat, as the American Navy had become immensely stronger.
The US Pacific Fleet received new Essex-class aircraft carriers, plus battleships armed with 16-inch guns, destroyers and submarines. Threatened by the American advance in the central Pacific, the Combined Fleet was unable to assist garrisons in New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, 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 aircraft carrier, and one battleship. Now all the Japanese shipyards were full of damaged ships. Next was Enewetak Atoll, the largest in the western Marshall Islands. This was followed by the air attack on Truk, which housed some 350 Japanese aircraft and was also the anchorage for the Combined Fleet with 50 transport and escort ships in port.
Between air raids and attacks on surface ships over the two days, the blow to the Japanese was the destruction of some 300 fighter aircraft, with the resulting irreplaceable loss of experienced pilots. Once the Japanese air threat was eliminated, planes and battleships moved in to sink anything that floated. The Japanese decided to maintain the internal defense line that passed through the Mariana Islands, Palau and western Dutch New Guinea. They called it operation KON. Behind this line, they concentrated forces in threatened areas, built new airfields, and moved forward the Combined Fleet. Under increasing pressure from the US fleet and MacArthur, the plan was revised several times.
The Japanese believed that the main blow would be struck from New Guinea to Mindanao. There they hoped to carry out the "decisive battle." However, MacArthur's advance northward could not be contained. In May he captured Sarmi and then Wakde, 120 miles north of Hollandia. This forces the Japanese to abandon the KON operation. А-GO's plan was then to confront the American fleet: the “decisive battle” in the region of the western Caroline Islands, where the Japanese Navy could count on the help of aircraft from the garrisons of the nearby islands. The battle of June 20 became known as the Battle of the Philippine Sea, nicknamed by American aviators the Great Mariana Turkey Shoot, while the Japanese, perhaps understandably, preferred its designation: Operation A-GO.
Vice Admiral Kurita's 2nd Fleet was actively involved, being about 100 miles ahead of Ozawa's attack carriers. The battleships Yamato, Musashi, Congo and Haruna with seven heavy cruisers formed the apparently most powerful group of Japanese ships, although the large ships were supported only by three light aircraft carriers: Chitose, Chiyoda and Zuiho. This pointed to their implicit role as bait. However, the Americans were not fooled. They decided to avoid the option of attacking these ironclad forts because they had other tasks to perform. However, it was here, on June 19, 1944, that Yamato first fired her main guns in anger. Although the incoming aircraft had been reported to be Japanese, Yamato and her escort turned to port and opened fire.
Yamato fired its 460mm shrapnel rounds at a distance of approximately 16 miles. Musashi, on the other hand, turned out to be the only ship that did it well and on time. She didn't open fire. Four Zero fighters were damaged. But this episode was just a small drop in the ocean of the enormous losses suffered by Japanese carrier-based aircraft. The battleships had dodged the bullet for now: all American attacks were focused on their aircraft carriers. On June 22, the Mobile Fleet arrived at Okinawa to refuel and on the 24th returned to Hashira-jima. At the end of June, both super battleships arrived at Kure.
There, Yamato received five more triple 25mm anti-aircraft mounts and loaded an infantry regiment and materials for delivery to Okinawa. After further reorganization, the formation now consisted of Group A (1st Battleship Division: Yamato and Musashi, 4th and 7th Heavy Cruiser Divisions: eight ships, the light cruiser Noshiro and escort) and the 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 in Okinawa, the groups separated. Group A headed to Lingga's rear anchorage to rendezvous with the rest of the Mobile Fleet. On July 16, the 1st Battleship Division anchored at Lingga and remained 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 British dark gray paint captured from the Singapore Maritime Arsenal. In one day Musashi was repainted. All these activities were not in vain: soon the battleships would finally have a real job to do. The Americans were preparing to land in the Philippines, and this time the Japanese command was ready to do everythingthe possible. So, after all that, we have painted a bigger picture of the war with Japan, and now we can begin the largest naval battle of World War II.
Note that at the beginning of the war, Japan had one of the most powerful navies in the


, even if it had somehow been built in violation of international treaties. However, it was a testament to the pace of industrial development in Japan. And it was partly the reason for the flourishing of militaristic ideas among the ruling elite. After all, if you hold a hammer, all problems start to look a lot like nails. The rapid offensive of 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 They were able to take the initiative at sea and, with a series of powerful blows, reduced the Japanese fleet. In the fall of 1944 came perhaps the last fatal blow dealt to the Japanese Navy. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, or in Japan Operation Sho-Go, was undoubtedly the pinnacle of the Pacific maritime war. The Combined Fleet command basically used everything it had. The stakes were high: if the Americans captured the Philippines, this would undermine the entire Japanese defensive line, with most of the islands and army forces trapped behind enemy lines either withering away or suffering detailed defeat.
The Americans, among other things, wanted to fulfill McArthur's promise to return to the Philippines anyway. The ignominious surrender of the blockaded American asset by the Japanese Navy in 1942 simply demanded a symmetrical response. The landing in the Philippines was essential and would also require a great effort on the part of 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", were to draw 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 aircraft carriers would serve as the main bait and would carry only a hundred aircraft. As American covering forces were drawn in, two other surface forces would advance toward Leyte from the west. The "Southern Force" under Vice Admirals Shoji Nishimura and Kiyohide Shima would attack the landing zone through the Surigao Strait. The "Central 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 south, and then also attack the landing area. If the "carrier bait" plan had failed, and if the Americans had rushed south to Nishimura, the assault would have been executed by Kurita and Ozawa or, at worst, by a single group.
Therefore, the composition of each task force included battleships (Fuso and Yamashiro with Nishimura, and the converted aircraft carrying the battleships Ise and Hyuga with Ozawa). However, the main effort remained Kurita's first strike force with five battleships, 10 heavy and two light cruisers, as well as 15 destroyers. By the time the Japanese fleet reached Philippine waters, the commander of the 6th Carrier Fleet, Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome, had lost virtually most of his aircraft and could not provide the necessary air cover, although the Imperial Supreme Command was counting on him to assist. Time to plan defense against enemy landing. After landing on Leyte Island, without opposition from the Japanese fleet, Admiral Halsey detached two of his carrier groups to the fleet base at Ulithi to resupply and rearm.
The groups were supposed to do this in sequence, with McCain's group being the first to go up. It was then that Halsey received a contact report from the American submarine Darter, which detected the Japanese formation on radar and then its captain had visually confirmed 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 carrier group of TF 38, to continue to Ulithi, rendezvous with the oilers, refuel, and will approach the Philippines. On October 24, at 5:24, Darter, traveling with his sister ship, the USS Dace, made the first, surprisingly successful attack.
Kurita's force traveled in a tight formation, covered on the sides by destroyers, but with no visible screen in front. The second group followed in a similar formation about 6,500 meters behind. Darter fired a salvo of six torpedoes, at least four of which hit Kurita's flagship, the heavy cruiser Atago. Ten minutes later, he scored two hits on Atago's sister ship, Takao, with another series of torpedoes, setting fires and flooding her boiler rooms. Takao returned to Brunei, escorted by two destroyers, including Nagamani. At 05:56, Dace scored four torpedo hits on the heavy cruiser Maya (which was sister to Atago and Takao).
Atago and Maya sank quickly. In fact, Atago sank so quickly that Kurita was forced to swim to survive. Which is quite undignified. She was rescued by the Japanese destroyer Kishinami, along with 529 of her men, and then transferred to Yamato. Kiruta had just recovered from dengue fever and this immersion was of no use to him. Atago took 360 sailors with him to the bottom. The death toll from the Maya was about 336. The destroyer Akishimo managed to rescue 769 people. Admiral Kurita, now aboard Yamato, took the same course again and entered the Sibuyan Sea at 06:30. Nishimura and Sima's forces had been detected.
The next phase of the battle was to exit the Sibyan Sea, but Kurita hoped that Fukudome's pilots would clear the sky. Kurita even catapulted his deck plane to help them. But it was a pipe dream, as Fukudome had lost at least 200 aircraft in the Philippines. Meanwhile, Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi led three waves of aircraft from his Luzon-based First Air Fleet against Rear Admiral Frederick Sherman's aircraft carriers. Each of the attack waves was composed of between 50 and 60 aircraft. Most of the attacking Japanese aircraft were intercepted and shot down or driven away by the Hellcats of Sherman's combat air patrols.
However, a Japanese aircraft sneaked through the defenses and hit the light aircraft carrier Princeton with a 250 kg armor-piercing bomb. The resulting explosion caused a serious fire in Princeton's hangar and its emergency sprinkler system was inoperative. As the fire spread rapidly, there was a massive explosion in the carrier's aft bomb store, resulting in more casualties aboard Princeton and even more casualties aboard the light cruiser Birmingham, which returned to assist in extinguishment. of the fire. 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 rest of the crew were evacuated, she was eventually sunk, torpedoed by the light cruiser Reno.
Of the Princeton's crew, 108 men were killed, while 1,361 survivors were rescued by nearby ships. The USS Princeton became the largest American ship lost during the battles around Leyte Gulf. Although the light carrier was sunk, most of the Japanese aircraft were destroyed, leaving few to cover Kurita's ships. Therefore, when Kurita turned east, she would suffer five airstrikes by Task Force 38, without any air cover. The attacks began later in the morning and lasted almost into the night, involving around 259 aircraft. The attacks focused on Musashi, which received 13 torpedo hits to port and seven to starboard, 10 bomb hits to starboard and seven to port, not counting the 18 that were nearly hit.
When the crippled Musashi was left behind, the heavy cruiser Tone stayed with her, before being replaced by the destroyers Kiyoshimo and Hamakaze. No ship could withstand such an attack, and no matter how big it was, at 6:35 p.m. the Musashi capsized and sank. Of her 2,279 crew members, 991 died. At 1:30 p.m., two bombs hit Yamato. The impact on her port bow turned out to be serious, she sent about 2000 tons and began to list, but damage control teams managed to right her. At 14:20 Nagato received two direct hits. One in the first port boiler compartment, which slowed it down, disabled the fourth turret and destroyed four center guns.
The second impact destroyed the crew's accommodation. It took almost an hour to repair the boiler, during which time her speed was limited to 21 knots. At 13:38 the heavy cruiser Tone received two small bombs and two others exploded near her, none of which affected her combat capability. At 13:15 the destroyer Kiyosimo received a direct hit, five bombs exploded near her, damaging the cables and destroying the anti-aircraft machine guns amidships. Her speed also dropped to about 21 knots. A fatal bomb exploded the starboard bow of the destroyer Fujinami, sending her to the bottom on 27 October. Several accidents nearly destroyed the Urakaze's radio station, breaking several rivets and reducing her speed to 28 knots.
Kurita could not have known that the fifth attack was going to be the last, and Halsey called the plane to attack Ozawa's ships. Therefore, it is 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 his ships, but Fukudome was unable or unwilling to comply with his requests. On his own initiative, Kurita turned around and headed west from 15:00 to 16:14, completely disrupting the schedule and arriving late for a rendezvous with Force C. However, he turned around and passed the Strait of San Bernardino at night.
Kurita expected to engage TF 38 at dawn on October 25. Kurita's Central Force emerged unopposed from the San Bernardino Strait on 25 October and sailed south along the coast of Samar Island. In their path were only the Seventh Fleet's three escort carrier groups, with a total of sixteen small, slow, unarmored escort carriers, protected by a screen of unarmored and lightly armed destroyers and smaller escort destroyers. . This began what is known as the last stand of the tin sailors. Kurita's force took Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's units by surprise. Sprague ordered his carriers to launch all ready aircraft and drop everything they had (including depth charges and antipersonnel bombs) and then take cover from a rain storm to the east.
He ordered the destroyers and destroyer escorts to make a smoke screen to conceal the retreating carriers. His own daring "fight against overwhelming obstacles from which no survival could be expected" damaged the heavy cruiser Kumano and forced it out of line. The escort carriers and destroyers responded to Japanese fire with all the firepower they had: five-inch guns. and even scored some hits. As the desperate surface action drew to a close, Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi put his Special Attack Units into operation from bases on the island of Luzon, launching kamikaze attacks and attacking the escort carrier St. Lo with a single kamikaze aircraft.
She sank after a series of internal explosions. The ferocity of the defense apparently confirmed the Japanese assumption that they were attacking important fleet units rather than simply escorting aircraft carriers and destroyers. The confusion was compounded by air and torpedo attacks, and Kurita failed to eliminate the almost defenseless carriers. He then abruptly stopped the fighting and gave the order to all ships to follow him and regroup. Although, overall, Kurita did not lead the biggest battle, his decision to retreat from it was quite reasonable based on what he knew. He had sunk an escort carrier, two destroyers and a destroyer escort.
But since they left Brunei, his force had lost a battleship, five heavy cruisers, and two other damaged heavy cruisers. Almost all of the Northern Force's ships 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 stood no chance without air cover. Even when they were only facing aircraft carriers covered only by destroyers and destroyer escorts and torpedo boats, if they had enough determined planes and pilots and destroyer men. And, while we point fingers, that really wouldn't be the fault of the commanders who led their fleet on this desperate mission in the first place, but rather Admiral Toyoda and the Imperial Supreme Headquarters for their rather misplaced position.
Confidence that such a battle could be won against the American fleet with its overwhelming advantage in ships and aircraft. ByOf course, Taffy-3's escorts were hell-bent on protecting their carriers, but aircraft from only three carrier-based groups forced Kurita to break the line and begin focusing primarily on defending against air strikes. Vice Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa was aware of his task of luring TF38 away from Kurita. His Northern Force was built around four aircraft carriers, which included two World War I battleships that had been partially converted into aircraft 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, stripped of all but 108 aircraft, and he was well aware of his sacrificial mission. When word arrived on October 24 that Kurita was moving away, Ozawa also began moving north. However, around 8 p.m., Toyoda gave the order to turn south and attack "with faith in divine providence." Although Ozawa did not hear from Kurita during the night of October 24, he proceeded as ordered. But he now knew that Halsey was heading north and had a pretty good idea of ​​what Halsey could do to his plane: devised force. Around dawn on October 25, Ozawa launched 75 aircraft, most of his few remaining aircraft, to Philippine airfields (Clark and Tuguegarao), leaving only 13 fighters for him, as they assumed there was no hope of repel the expected attack. of the TF38 aircraft.
Having sighted 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 aircraft carrier Zuikaku and the light aircraft carrier Zuiho, covered by the aircraft carrier Ise; the light cruisers Oyodo and Tama; destroyers Hatsuzuki, Wakatsuki, Akikuki and Kuva. Group Six followed: the light aircraft carriers Chitose and Tiyoda; none of the planes carried by the converted battleship Hyuga; Isuzu light cruiser; and the destroyers Kiri, Simotsuki, Suty and Maki. American planes also attacked in several waves. The first (consisting of about 80 aircraft) appeared behind group five's starboard side.
The second (of about 50 aircraft) passed between the two groups and then launched an attack to starboard against Group Six. Attacking planes began to arrive from all directions. Zuikaku was immediately hit by a torpedo and began to list to port, losing speed and abandoning the battle. His radio also failed. Two bombs exploded next to Ise and Oedo took 1 direct hit and 2 near misses, causing little damage. The Akitsuki took a direct hit at 07:50, caught fire, exploded at 07:56 and sank. In group six, Chitose suffered damage: she listed heavily to port and lost speed. The first attack lasted from 07:20 to 07:59. 170 aircraft formed the second wave, sinking the aircraft carrier Chitose.
Ozawa's force retreated north, pursued by the American fleet. The third attack began at 12:05. Zuikaku, the last aircraft carrier to have participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor, was now the primary target. She was attacked by about 100 bombers and torpedo planes. In addition to shooting all of her weapons, obviously, she also tried using rocket launchers. The rockets dropped metal cables that the Japanese hoped would entangle the propellers and wings of the attacking planes. They seem a little delayed in the attack profile, but anyway. She was also hit by eight torpedoes and four bombs (and also suffered several accidents), which caused a large fire and left her immobile.
Zuikaku sank at 13:14. Three cruisers survived the battle (Admiral Ozawa returned to Oyodo), as did seven destroyers. In this battle, the Japanese lost their last remaining aircraft carriers. But Ozawa had succeeded in his mission and had given Kurita's forces the opportunity to attack Kinkaid and retreat safely. Admiral Halsey's force (he was again in New Jersey) rushed south to intercept Kurita's squadron, but Halsey reached the San Bernardino Strait two hours after Kurita's ships had passed. Off the coast of Samar, American ships encountered the destroyer Novaki and sank it after a 45-minute bombardment. At approximately 23:10, the US submarine Jallao torpedoed and sank the light cruiser Tama of Ozawa's force.
And this marked the conclusion of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The losses and casualties of the Imperial Japanese Navy were as follows: four aircraft carriers (Zuikaku, Zuiho, Chitose and Chiyoda); three battleships (Musashi, Yamashiro, Fuso); eight cruise ships (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 to be about 10,000 personnel, while American losses were significantly smaller: one light aircraft carrier, two escort carriers, three destroyers, and one escort ship (about 3,500 personnel).
During the battle, the US Navy made a series of mistakes: they misjudged the strength of the Southern Force, incorrectly estimated the losses suffered 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 significant impact on the course of the battle. On the other hand, the Japanese command also acted somewhat questionably (e.g. Shima and Nishimura's lack of coordinated action and Kurita's withdrawal from Samar). The battle demonstrated the navy's inability to act without air cover. After this battle, Japan would plan no more major maritime operations.
The United States managed to seize a bridgehead in the Philippines and launch an offensive deep in the archipelago, completely cutting off the oil supply lines from Sumatra and Bornei to Japan with its aircraft. The battle saw the first raids by kamikaze planes, which proved to be effective. After this crushing defeat, Japan effectively no longer had a navy. Part of the surviving ships of the Combined Fleet headed to Brunei Bay 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 it except the last page of the history of Japanese maritime operations, except for the grim list of ships sunk by submarines and aircraft. There were three more battles left: Mindoro, Penang, and the Yamato suicide mission.

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