Halsey on Leyte Gulf

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:03 pm

Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

paul.mercer
Senior Member
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Re: Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:10 am

Thanks for that Dave, it made very interesting reading, it seems that mistakes were made by both sides. this could possibly be one for the Hypothetical situations colimn, what if both fleets has met up in one massive battle?

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:09 pm

The massive battle opportunity was the Battle of the Philippine Sea during June 1944. The reason a massive surface fleet engagement did not develop was because of the complete domination of USN air power, and Adm. Lee's refusal to fight at night.

Actually, Philippine Sea had influence on Halsey's decision making at Leyte. Spruance was roundly criticized for not destroying the remaining Japanese carriers. Instead he remained in position to protect the invasion convoys and invasion support forces, and only belatedly turned Adm. Mitscher loose. He was told that he should have gone after the IJN carriers more aggressively with his whole force. The lesson was not lost on Halsey as he took his turn.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

paul.mercer
Senior Member
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Re: Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by paul.mercer » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:18 am

Gentlemen.
iwas watching a documentary on Letye Gulf the other day and it mentioned the battle of Surigao Strait, with 5 (old) US battleships annihilated a Japanese force by crossing their T, as far as i could make out the US forces has something like 18 x16", 48 x14" and 47 x 8" shells to play with, it must havebeen a hell of a shock fo the Japanese fleet to have this amount of firepower ranged across them.

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 655
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by Steve Crandell » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:10 pm

The three modernized BBs with Mark 8 FC radars were the only ones that had a good fire control solutions, and West Virginia actually did much of the shooting. If she had been there by herself it probably wouldn't have made much difference in terms of BB firepower.

The Japanese ships were really destroyed by the (now actually working) torpedoes from the destroyers.

paul.mercer
Senior Member
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Re: Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by paul.mercer » Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:37 pm

Thanks Steve,
It must have been pretty impressive all the same with all those big guns belching fire, I'll bet the Japanese commanders nearly wet themselves when confronted with 6 battleships!Even without modern fire control the fire from 48 x14" guns must have hit something.

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 655
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Halsey on Leyte Gulf

Post by Steve Crandell » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:13 pm

West Virginia was of course a 16" ship. She claimed hits on her first broadside and straddled on every broadside after that for I think over 10 in a row, and most were 7 or 8 guns. Really impressive performance. Probably quite a few hits, but of course you sink ships by letting water in, which is what the torpedoes were doing.

In any case, the IJN didn't have much of a chance. God only knows how many hits from the cruisers.

Post Reply