Movement and Maneuver – The discussion should include how both sides conducted maneuver and movement as well as the capabilities each side possessed.
Japanese Movement and Maneuver
The first thing that should be noted was the reason why the Northern Force was used to lure the 3rd Fleet away from the Philippines. Four months earlier in June 1944 the battle of the Philippine sea took place. This was the Japanese attempt to defeat the US Carrier Force with everything they had. The end result was 3 Japanese aircraft carriers sunk and over 600 Japanese aircraft shot down or destroyed. After this engagement, the Japanese carrier force was virtually useless because of the lack of planes and pilots, especially experienced pilots.
Because of the supplies and routes to/from the Philippines, the Japanese command knew that if the Philippines were lost, then the war was lost. The Japanese came up with another plan for an all out battle to destroy the US invasion force just as they tried to do before in the battle of the Philippine sea. This time they took extreme measures that if all worked as planned could possibly destroy the US invasion fleet. They knew that the US regarded aircraft carriers as the most valuable/dangerous targets in the Navy so they used their remaining four carriers to lure the 3rd Fleet away.
Vice Admiral Ozawa, came down from the North and drew off the main American covering force. At the same time, the Central and Southern forces would try to penetrate the C...
... middle of paper ...
... in charge but not each other. Without having a proper chain of command with an intact plan allows things like this to happen. Halsey left Nimitz, did not tell him, and almost ruined the entire invasion. Luckily for the US, the IJN had the same problems.
Total US Forces lost were:
• 1,500+ dead;
• 1 light aircraft carrier,
• 2 escort carriers,
• 2 destroyers,
• 1 destroyer escort sunk
Page 58 Leyte: by Samuel Morison
Page 25 Leyte: The Return to the Philippines
Page 29 Leyte: The Return to the Philippines
Page 332 Nimitz, by E.B. Potter
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