In this twelfth volume of the definitive History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Admiral Morison records the penultimate phase of the Pacific War. The Battle for Leyte Gulf is not only the greatest naval battle of all time, but one of the most controversial engagements in the American War in the Pacific. This account makes the full story now available to the public for the first time.
The Japanese sent three separate fleets to attack the American naval and landing forces in Leyte Gulf. Ozawa's Northern Force was demolished by Halsey's Third Fleet, with Mitscher in tactical command; the Southern Force was wiped out by Seventh Fleet in what probably will be the last battle line engagement in naval history, the night action in Surigao Strait; the Center Force, although lucky to surprise off Samar a vulnerable group of American escort carriers under Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague, was thrown back in confusion and suffered grave damage.