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Leyte Gulf, October '44

From: rpaul@w... (Robin Paul)
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 12:37:02 -0500
Subject: Leyte Gulf, October '44

'lo, folks, I finally remembered to look this up (in "Battleship at
Sorry for the off-topicality. 

21 BBs and BCs involved.  
4 Japanese groups, 3 including BBs:
1) Adm. Kurita:  Yamato, Musashi, Nagato (BBs), Kongo & Haruna (BCs)
2) Adm. Ozawa:	Ise & Hyuga (BBVs - aviation battleships without planes)
+ 4
carriers with few planes (force intended as a decoy)
3) Adm. Nishimura:  Fuso & Yamashiro (BBs)

1) 3rd Fleet (Halsey) 6 modern BBs (New Jersey, Iowa, Massachusetts, S.
Dakota, Washington, Alabama) +8 CVs and 8 CVLs.  Task: protection of US
invasion forces from surface/carrier air attack.
2) 7th Fleet (Kinkaid) 6 older BBs (Mississippi, Maryland, W. Virginia,
Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania).  Task: direct support of invasion,
including bombardment.

Kurita was attacked by carrier aircraft, and the Musashi sunk.	Kurita
feigned withdrawal.  The 3rd Fleet was decoyed by Ozawa's force, and
advanced through the San Bernardino Straits.  Nishimura advanced through
Surigao Straits, blocked by the 7th Fleet.  Fuso was sunk by torpedoes
USN DDs (acting without immediate support).  Yamashiro and some of her
accompanying cruisers and DDs were sunk by the old BBs.  0408 on the
of 25/10/44, the last broadside from 1 BB against another BB was fired

Kurita headed for Leyte Gulf and the US invasion shipping.  The way was
blocked by 6 CVEs, 3 DDs & 4 DEs.  Tomiji Koyanagi, in Yamato (I don't
his rank or position) said they were spotted at 30km at 0640.  The US
was estimated as "4-5 fast carriers, 1-2 battleships and at least 10
cruisers"!  The US force withdrew under cover of DD smoke, squalls, DD
torpedo attacks and attack planes.  The "multi-funnelled high freeboard
appearance" of the DDs "confirmed" they were cruisers.	The IJN pursued
2 hours, but believed they were not closing the range, and Kurita broke
due to high fuel consumption.  3rd Fleet sent the modern BBs after him,
he escaped,while 3rds aircraft sank Ozawa's carriers, Ise and Hyuga

sorry about the length,
Rob Paul

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