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Paperback Leyte, June 1944-January 1945: History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume 12 Volume 12 Book

ISBN: 159114535X

ISBN13: 9781591145356

Leyte, June 1944-January 1945: History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume 12 Volume 12

(Book #12 in the History of United States Naval Operations in World War II Series)

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Book Overview

Recounts the role of the United States in World War II at sea, from encounters in the Atlantic before the country entered the war to the surrender of Japan. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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Kurita collides with the Taffies

This is volume XII of Samuel E. Morison's History of United States Naval Operations in WWII, and the seventh of nine on the Pacific theater. In it, Morison recounts the merging of Macarthur's southern Pacific drive up from New Guinea with Nimitz's central Pacific thrust coming from the Marianas by way of the Marshalls and Gilberts. The confluence of these two pincers results in the amphibious assault on Leyte (MacArthur's famous return) and the attempt by the Japanese navy to intervene in that operation which resulted in what is known to history as the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Morison displays his customary delight over amphibious operations in his description of the Leyte beach assaults. He even compares the sounds of the different naval guns pounding the beach to the different instruments of an orchestra. The Japanese attempt to intervene consists of three parts: First, the southern force, which makes a suicidal attempt to enter Leyte Gulf via the Surigao Strait the night of October 24-25, 1944. Second, the central force, which passes through the central Philippines and debouches undetected from the San Bernardino Strait off Samar on the morning of October 25. Third, the northern force which consists of carriers ostensibly coming south to menace U.S. ships east of Luzon, but really to lure Halsey into uncovering the eastern approach to Leyte Gulf for the benefit of the central force. The southern force is pounded into oblivion by combined attacks from waiting PT boats, destroyers and an old-fashioned battle line of several cruisers and battleships. The northern force draws Halsey north and is decimated, but accomplishes its mission in causing the uncovering of the route of approach of the central force. The collision of the central force of battleships and cruisers, commanded by Admiral Kurita, and the U.S. escort carrier groups known as Taffies, presents the central drama of this volume. The Taffies are caught by surprise and spring into action even though outnumbered, outgunned and out-armored. It is one of the few times American forces have to fight this way during WWII. Other rare examples are Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Bulge. Here U.S. forces acquit themselves gallantly, but unlike almost all other operations in the war, it is without the air of inevitable victory hanging over the engagement. It is desperate battle against long odds, with the outcome anything but certain. Morison spreads the blame around for the surprise off Samar. Unlike many later assessments, Halsey only gets partial blame. Morison says that "Even the stationing of one destroyer off San Bernardino Strait to give warning would have helped the escort carriers." It is unclear whether this hypothetical destroyer should have come from Halsey's group, or one of the Taffies.

Leyte June 1944-January 1945

A terrific well written, exciting account. Colorful first hand stories set within hard facts.

The Greatest Naval Battle of All Time

LEYTE is the story of what many consider to be the greatest naval battle of all time and it is also a tale which focuses on some of the most famous personalities of World War II such as MacArthur, Nimitz, Halsey, Stillwell, Arnold and Lemay.Morison had a small but capable staff assisting him in his research efforts for this book as well as the other volumes in the series. One of his staff members actually sailed up to Leyte in Vice Admiral Wilkinson's flagship. In 1950 Morison himself visited Japan and discussed the Battle for Leyte Gulf with leading Japanese participants.LEYTE is one of the most important studies in the HISTORY OF UNITED STATES NAVAL OPERATIONS IN WORLD WAR II.

Leyte June 1944-January 1945

The best book in the "Naval Operations of WWII" series. If you are a combat veteran (Army or Navy, any war), it will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

First rate account of the Leyte Operation in WWII.

Morison was the official historian of the USN during WWII. He experienced the action as it was happening and therefore brings a unique perspective to the acccount. It is presented in a highly readable manner and is exhaustive in detail. Well worth the time and expense.
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