The Greatest Naval Battle in History

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Which was the greatest naval battle in history?

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RF
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:40 pm

I think Leyte Gulf probably was the biggest naval battle of WW2, though Midway becomes a close second due to the vast size of seaspace covered and the compexity of the operation.

In strategic terms the battle only confirmed what was already happening - the Americans were winning already against Japan, the battle only therefore accelerated Japans' impending defeat.
Had the Japanese won at Leyte Gulf - even a landslide victory - the outcome of Japans' defeat would have been exactly the same, as it would not have prevented the atom bomb drops. In that scenario the retaking of the Philippines would have been delayed, but not the taking of Tinian or Iwo Jima.

Therefore ''greatest'' needs to be seen in context; how did the greatest battle change the course of history? I'm afraid that Leyte Gulf has to fail that question.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby jesse espinosa » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:17 pm

RF wrote:I think Leyte Gulf probably was the biggest naval battle of WW2, though Midway becomes a close second due to the vast size of seaspace covered and the compexity of the operation.

In strategic terms the battle only confirmed what was already happening - the Americans were winning already against Japan, the battle only therefore accelerated Japans' impending defeat.
Had the Japanese won at Leyte Gulf - even a landslide victory - the outcome of Japans' defeat would have been exactly the same, as it would not have prevented the atom bomb drops. In that scenario the retaking of the Philippines would have been delayed, but not the taking of Tinian or Iwo Jima.

Therefore ''greatest'' needs to be seen in context; how did the greatest battle change the course of history? I'm afraid that Leyte Gulf has to fail that question.



This is not only about that battle can change the course of history...because the battle of leyte gulf is already a history in itself and you cannot change that. what matter most is why the the biggest armada that was assembled by United States Navy was still outwitted by the japanese strategy. there is still a lot of questions to be answered. how about if the japanese northern, central and southern forces were able to coordinate their attacks. yes, maybe the americans will win but with a great price it could have wipe out the slow moving escort carriers and their escort destroyers, wreak havoc the american landing force or maybe after the central force is done with the escort carriers and the landing force it will attack from behind and exact major damage on the old battleships of the seventh fleet who were facing the southern force at that time. just imagine the whole american third fleet facing a decoy not knowing the central force and southern force were already converging in leyte gulf.

if you want a battle can change course of history then you will count out battle of jutland because it did not change the course of history its the same thing germany is still defeated in world war 1 and world war 2.

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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby jesse espinosa » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:31 pm

RF wrote:I think Leyte Gulf probably was the biggest naval battle of WW2, though Midway becomes a close second due to the vast size of seaspace covered and the compexity of the operation.

In strategic terms the battle only confirmed what was already happening - the Americans were winning already against Japan, the battle only therefore accelerated Japans' impending defeat.
Had the Japanese won at Leyte Gulf - even a landslide victory - the outcome of Japans' defeat would have been exactly the same, as it would not have prevented the atom bomb drops. In that scenario the retaking of the Philippines would have been delayed, but not the taking of Tinian or Iwo Jima.

Therefore ''greatest'' needs to be seen in context; how did the greatest battle change the course of history? I'm afraid that Leyte Gulf has to fail that question.


the invasion of tinian and iwo jima will also be delayed because the ships that were used by the americans in leyte gulf are the same ships that were used also in tinian and iwo jima. but if the japanese could give major damage to the seventh fleet in leyte gulf, the americans will think twice invading tinian and iwo jima and will wait for another date to recover on their losses and to bring more ships to replaced that were damaged or lost.

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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:34 pm

jesse espinosa wrote:that was assembled by United States Navy was still outwitted by the japanese strategy.


I'm not sure what is mean't here, as in the actual battle the Japanese strategy failed on the basis that it resulted in Japanese defeat.


there is still a lot of questions to be answered. how about if the japanese northern, central and southern forces were able to coordinate their attacks. yes, maybe the americans will win but with a great price it could have wipe out the slow moving escort carriers and their escort destroyers, wreak havoc the american landing force or maybe after the central force is done with the escort carriers and the landing force it will attack from behind and exact major damage on the old battleships of the seventh fleet who were facing the southern force at that time. just imagine the whole american third fleet facing a decoy not knowing the central force and southern force were already converging in leyte gulf.


These are fair points, and the key here is of how great the US losses are and how quickly they can be replaced. Don't forget that some 85% of the US war effort was directed against Germany with only 15% deployed against Japan: by 1944 the US was fully mobilised for total war and the Japanese portion of the US war effort could have been pushed up to something like 50% if there was any indication that the Pacific War wasn't going their way.

if you want a battle can change course of history then you will count out battle of jutland because it did not change the course of history its the same thing germany is still defeated in world war 1 and world war 2.

Jutland didn't change the course of history because nobody clearly won - the British had heavier losses than the Germans but the Germans failed to break Britain's blockade and supremacy at sea. But unlike Leyte Gulf a massive Allied defeat here could have had two major and immediate impacts - firstly the German fleet could have closely blockaded Britain, supported by U-boats, and secondly the east coast of England would have been wide open to a German seaborne invasion. Either of these could have led directly to British capitulation. A US defeat at Leyte Gulf would not mean a defeat of the USA in World War 2, but instead a massive increase in the US war effort directed to the Pacific. Thus Jutland had far greater strategic significance to the outcome of WW1 than Leyte Gulf did to WW2.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:42 pm

jesse espinosa wrote:the invasion of tinian and iwo jima will also be delayed because the ships that were used by the americans in leyte gulf are the same ships that were used also in tinian and iwo jima. but if the japanese could give major damage to the seventh fleet in leyte gulf, the americans will think twice invading tinian and iwo jima and will wait for another date to recover on their losses and to bring more ships to replaced that were damaged or lost.


Well, it really depends on what happens to these ships, how many are lost and how quickly losses can be replaced with new ships.

I don't think the Americans would have to rethink their Pacific strategy and wouldn't be put off their ''island hopping '' campaign. The invasion of these islands may be delayed if the US faced substantial Japanese naval forces in attacking them; the US would seek further engagements to wear down the Japanese by attrition so the timetable might be delayed by weeks rather than months.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby jesse espinosa » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:41 am

RF wrote:
jesse espinosa wrote:the invasion of tinian and iwo jima will also be delayed because the ships that were used by the americans in leyte gulf are the same ships that were used also in tinian and iwo jima. but if the japanese could give major damage to the seventh fleet in leyte gulf, the americans will think twice invading tinian and iwo jima and will wait for another date to recover on their losses and to bring more ships to replaced that were damaged or lost.


Well, it really depends on what happens to these ships, how many are lost and how quickly losses can be replaced with new ships.

I don't think the Americans would have to rethink their Pacific strategy and wouldn't be put off their ''island hopping '' campaign. The invasion of these islands may be delayed if the US faced substantial Japanese naval forces in attacking them; the US would seek further engagements to wear down the Japanese by attrition so the timetable might be delayed by weeks rather than months.



thanks friend for the information..really nice to discussed about the past but for sure there will be a lot revealed in the discussion
but from the philippines the battle of leyte gulf is very significant for us because the american think tank in world war 2 could have
bypass us when in fact we are colony of america at that time. it would be agonizing for the philippines and for the thousands
american prisoner of war (or maybe no one be left if they proceed to formosa as planned) it will take another year to liberate us.

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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:08 am

Don't forget that Douglas McArthur had made a public pledge to return to the Philippines and it was he who pushed for that invasion in preference to invading Taiwan, which was the Americans alternative option.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby jesse espinosa » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:50 am

yes Mcarthur is instrumental to that effort to proceed to the philippines and the battle of the philippine sea "turkey shoot" also speed up the plan to invade the philippines instead formosa. however, Mcarthur has still a lot of explaining after an advance notice of the bombing of pearl harbor he allowed his airforce in clark airbase and his naval assets to be wipe out in the first wave of attack of the japanese. it is even said that what happened in the philippines is even worse than pearl harbor because Mcarthur is aware of the events and at that time the american air assets (with fighters and b-17s) and naval forces could have given the japanese a hard time having also a fleet of submarines (but armed with dud torpedoes). what if the american air assets and naval force is intact during the invasion of the japanese in the philippines. if bataan and corregidor was able to withstand the japanese onslaughts for several months what if the air assets and naval forces were intact. there was even a proposal to attack the japanese airfield and naval assets in formosa but Mcarthur sit on the plan and the rest is history. history was just too kind with Mcarthur he is still up their one of the top generals of world war 2.

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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:34 pm

This does assume that McArthur had full tactical command over all the US forces in the Philippines and that he could react immediately in full to all the Japanese moves. As C in C Philippines it is unlikely that he or anyone else could excercise such close command 24 hours a day.
I think your criticism is a little harsh. The aggressor always has the initial advantage in striking first and in striking again in the resulting confusion and chaos.
I believe the Americans did everything in the defence of the Philippines that they reasonably could. That they underestimated the Japanese isn't a crime in itself, what is more important is how they ultimately deal with it. Japan was defeated in a shorter time scale than Germany was in both world wars.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby neil hilton » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:15 pm

jesse espinosa wrote:the battle leyte gulf maybe an engagement but it could be and exception from other naval
engagement. first, in the american side, the seventh fleet and third fleet primary aim is
to guard the landing invasion in leyte. second, japanese side, the northern force and southern
force primary aim is to to lure the seventh fleet and third fleet out of position in order the
central force can wreck havoc of the americans landing force and remaining american naval
forces guarding the landing force. Therefore, both forces have the same aim, control of
leyte gulf. Further, with the massive array of naval ships of both sides those not make the battle
of leyte gulf as mere engagement. in addition the japanese plan that their 3 fleets will coincide
their attack of the their on the same date was not materialized its because of miscommunication
of the japanese commanders particularly of their central and southern force. it is only the
japanese northern force that really serve their purpose as decoy.

again unlike any other naval battles were tactics is really used, it is only in leyte gulf all ships
in all kinds were engage. pt boats, submarines, destroyers, cruisers, battleships and all
kinds of aircrafts carriers were used. further engagements ships against planes, planes
against planes, ships against ships, in vast array were used. no question the battle of
leyte gulf is the greates naval warfare in history.


If you can classify Leyte Gulf as a battle by the strictures listed here then by those same points the battle of the Atlantic would also be classed as a battle rather than a campaign. And the battle of the Atlantic makes Leyte Gulf look like a mere skirmish in all respects.
IMO Leyte Gulf is a campaign, like the battle of the Atlantic and should not be listed here.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby José M. Rico » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:36 pm

I've just changed the poll settings.
Users can now change their vote if they want to.

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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby paul.mercer » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:45 pm

Gentlemen,
While Leyte and Midway were undoubtably very significant battles I think that Trafalgar was probably the most significant under sail and Jutland under steam.
It maybe that I am biased, but although Jutland did not produce an outright winner (unlike Trafalgar) it was the German Fleet that turned away when confronted by the entire British line, and is was they who never really came out in force again.

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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:22 pm

Can I ask a very basic question here. In what way was the Battle of Jutland historically significant beyond the scale of forces deployed?

The outcome did not change the existing pre-battle situation.

In my view the Battle of Corenel was more historically significant than Jutland - leading to the ''correcting'' Battle of the Falklands.

I would argue that the voyage of the Wolf was more historically significant than Jutland, not just in terms of providing a blueprint for the long range raider without a harbour but in bringing WW1 to the shores of South Africa, Australia and Singapore, along with causing the only Japanese naval losses of WW1.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby neil hilton » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:28 pm

RF wrote:Can I ask a very basic question here. In what way was the Battle of Jutland historically significant beyond the scale of forces deployed?

The outcome did not change the existing pre-battle situation.

In my view the Battle of Corenel was more historically significant than Jutland - leading to the ''correcting'' Battle of the Falklands.

I would argue that the voyage of the Wolf was more historically significant than Jutland, not just in terms of providing a blueprint for the long range raider without a harbour but in bringing WW1 to the shores of South Africa, Australia and Singapore, along with causing the only Japanese naval losses of WW1.



The historical outcome of Jutland didn't have much of a significant change in the war but if the Germans had won a significant victory then it would have had significant historical effects such as the raising of the RN blockade of Germany which won ww1.
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Re: The Greatest Naval Battle in History

Postby RF » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:49 pm

Raising the blockade is a possibility but it depends on just how big a victory the Germans have and how much of the Home Fleet is left.

Britain mounted a distant blockade at the point of entrances to the Atlantic. French forces can cover the English Channel. Germanys' battleships are short ranged, and to break out need supply ships in the Atlantic; they are also vulnerable on passage through the channels nearest to Scapa Flow to submarines and mines not to mention other small torpedo carrying craft. Supply ships on their own are easy targets for cruisers, if they are shepherded by the battleships then the battleships are slowed down.

No Britain still has the advantage in the North Atlantic, with Norway neutral, Biscay in French hands plus French support for the RN.

Where the Germans do gain advantage by winning a substantial victory at Jutland is in the North Sea, as it raises the prospect of invading eastern England. But unless the Germans get a substantial victory even this becomes hazardous.

I think only with virtual annihilation of the Home Fleet can the Germans break Britains' blockade. Now that would have made Jutland the greatest battle of all.
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