Last Epic Naval Battle: Voices from Leyte Gulf

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Overview

Often overshadowed by other Pacific War engagements such as Midway or Guadalcanal, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was characterized by some of the most gallant hours in seagoing history: the U.S. Navy's defeat of the combined Japanese fleet during the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944. Involving more ships than even the gargantuan First World War Battle of Jutland and two hundred thousand men, it was the biggest naval battle in world history. It marked the last time that huge capital ships fought within sight and sound of each other. Using the personal accounts of the men who were there, Sears tells this mammoth and compelling story.

This moving tale uses personal accounts of the veterans who achieved victory in the biggest and last great naval battle, largely fought with aging ships, untested reserve crews, and teenaged combat aircraft pilots. Often overshadowed by other Pacific War engagements such as Midway or Guadalcanal, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was characterized by some of the most gallant hours in seagoing history: the U.S. Navy's defeat of the combined Japanese fleet during the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944. Involving more ships than even the gargantuan First World War Battle of Jutland and two hundred thousand men, it was the biggest naval battle in world history. It marked the last time huge capital ships fought within sight and sound of each other. Using the personal accounts of the men who were there, Sears tells this mammoth and compelling story.

The Battle of Leyte Gulf could have been the Pacific War's Battle of the Bulge. In a space of 12 hours, Japan, a beaten, cornered enemy, was able to devise and execute a strategy that very nearly pierced the heart of America's war machine. The real margin of victory would come from surprising quarters: from aging ships risen from the graveyard of the war's infamous first day; from small, hastily constructed ships with largely untested reserve crews; from fragile support ships never intended to be anywhere near battles of this scale; and from combat aircraft piloted by teenagers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Taking place in October 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was the biggest naval battle in world history. Drawing upon the personal accounts of participants, Sears describes how the American forces overcame overwhelming odds to defeat the combined Japanese fleet during the invasion of the Philippines. The volume is illustrated with B&W historical photographs. Sears is a business consultant with a special research interest in military leadership."

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Reference & Research Book News

"This fascinating book offers yet another story of the Navy's victory over the combined Japanese fleet during the U.S. invasion of the Philippines in October 1944. It was the largest battle in naval campaign history, marking the last time major capital ships fought within sight and sound of each other….The author's account relates events from the viewpoints of 60 seamen and airmen, including ship and PT boat commanders, pilots, gunner's mates, firemen, and torpedomen. He sees the true margin of victory coming from surprising quarters; aging ships risen from the graveyard of the attack on Pearl Harbor; small hastily constructed ships with largely untested reserve crews; fragile support ships never intended for battles on that scale; and combat aircraft piloted by teenages….By concentrating this book on deckplate and cockpit operations, heavily flavored with the heartfelt personal recollections of Leyte Gulf veterans, he has added an invaluable perspective to naval history."

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Proceedings

"Reading eyewitness accounts of these … Leyte actions makes this an enthralling book to read and I thoroughly recommend it."

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The Naval Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275985202
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

David Sears is a business consultant who has researched many battles for examples of military leadership applicable to business settings. He lives in Morris Plains, New Jersey, and is the author of Successful Talent Strategies and Best Sellers.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface : ships in the seas of the south
Voices of Leyte Gulf and glossaries
1 Citizen sailors 1
2 Forming up 23
3 Opening shots 49
4 Crossings 71
5 Night in Surigao 99
6 Morning off Samar 125
7 Divine winds 151
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