Jump to content
You need to play a total of 5 battles to post in this section.
Klaatu_Nicto

David Versus Goliath On The High Seas

7 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

106
[WOLF2]
Members
264 posts
11,912 battles

It's October 25th, 1944 and MacArthur has returned to the Philippines with the Allied invasion at Leyte Gulf. The Japanese Navy knew an invasion of the Philippines would eventually occur and had a plan involving three fleets. The southern fleet will advance on the Leyte beachhead from the south. The main fleet, the 'Center Fleet,' will advance from the north through the San Bernadino Straight. The third fleet, a castrated carrier group whose purpose is to serve as a decoy on what's basically a suicide mission, will circle north of Luzon in an attempt to of pull the American carrier fleet, led by Admiral 'Bull' Halsey, away from Leyte and out of range of supporting the beachhead.  

The old battleships - some of them are the resurrected and/or repaired ships from the Pearl Harbor attack - move south of the beachhead to Surigao Strait and early on the morning of the 25th the U.S. fleet engages the Japanese fleet completely destroying it. To the north of the beachhead, with the last sighting of the Center Force showing them in retreat after the beating they took the on the 24th in the Sibuyan Sea, Admiral Halsey has moved north where he engages the Carrier Fleet near Cape Engano. Both of these U.S. fleets are now hours away from being in a position to support the beachhead.

 

 

Meanwhile, during the night, the Center Force turned around.   :ohmy:

Now the only U.S. Navy fighting ships off the Leyte beach head are three Taffy Units. Each Taffy unit is comprised of six escort carriers, three destroyers and several destroyer escorts. The escort carriers carry about 20 planes each which conduct submarine patrols and provide ground support at the beachhead so their planes do not carry bombs that can cause heavy damage to fighting ships. The fate of the invasion is now in the hands of the sailors and pilots aboard three destroyers, four destroyer escorts and six escort carriers.

Shortly after daybreak the commander of Taffy 3, the northern most group of Taffy units and the only Taffy unit between the Center Force and the beachhead, gets a call - "Japanese ships to the north!" The commander thinks they must be seeing elements of Halsey's carrier fleet but then they report "pagoda masts!" Within seconds the shells from the Yamato, the largest and most powerful battleship in the world, start falling around Taffy 3. The commander of Taffy 3 orders his destroyers to lay smoke and for the jeep carriers to launch planes then take evasive action but with a top speed of 20 knots they cannot outrun the Japanese ships.

Captain Ernest Evans, commander the destroyer USS Johnston, after laying smoke to mask the carriers and without orders gives the command "hard left, flank speed," and charges the Japanese fleet consisting of the largest battleship most powerful in the world, the Yamato, plus the battleships Nagato, Kongo and Haruna along with 8 cruisers and eleven destroyers. One of the worlds biggest mismatches in naval history has begun. As support ships at anchor near the beachhead began picking up calls for help from Taffy 3 some sailors are so certain they know what the outcome will be they jump ship and swim ashore.  

In a battle which could be decided in minutes but with help hours away, the fate of the invasion force on the beachhead and the support ships at anchor are now in the hands of a handful of tiny 'tin cans' and their valiant crews.

 

LCdr. Ernest E. Evans, USN (1908-1944) at the commissioning ceremonies of USS Johnston (DD-557), Seattle, Washington, 27 October 1943. Evans posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle off Samar.

image.png.c69ba4e711d43cbdaebe3ca21bf73356.png

 

Taffy 3's USS Gambier Bay (CVE 73) under fire. She capsized and sank as the only U.S. carrier sunk by gunfire in World War 2

image.png.0bbc28a8f37681019b1396f100d793ef.png

 

Taffy 3's USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) known in navy lore as the "destroyer escort that fought like a battleship"

image.thumb.png.d1430b5f719fa3fefcba2461bfe27e24.png

 

The General Returns: http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/559048-the-general-returns/

  • Cool 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
699
[STW-D]
Members
1,833 posts
5,651 battles

Probably the US navy's finest hour.

It takes much more courage and skill than the average human to look at all these ships, including the largest battleship in the world, and attack instead of retreat, all in the name of protecting the landing sites and escort carriers, especially when you know that you have no feasible means of getting reinforcements. Doubly so when your efforts actually end up convincing the superior force to concede the battle.

Quite a few of them probably knew that they were severely outmatched—most of their planes didn't even have proper anti-ship weapons, and Yamato by herself outweighed the entire American flotilla there. Yet they did their duty—indeed, they went above and beyond the call. And they won, even if it cost them the majority of their unit.

You know you've fought ferociously when your enemies—in particular one that view surrender or even retreat as suicide-worthy and are known for their fanaticism in battle—salute you and your crew as they sail past.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
106
[WOLF2]
Members
264 posts
11,912 battles

My father, a Seabee.

image.png.f6c6b04d33588c05f1e8d814b9df8ab3.png

 

My father with a truck stolen from the Marines.

image.png.831cc2b71152d02596f1646d188b5c46.png

 

Leyte

image.png.c52c17d34427b2393fdd538960f1e80d.png

image.png.8cdc6c5856034b09e189a9f6916e5421.png

image.png.769ca176b0f79c5dafcf098bbabbf815.png

image.png.9ad5cf5d06ebc48aae6ae445cd83cc22.png

image.thumb.png.fa141912f075f2600fa3ba0fb4577db2.png

image.thumb.png.ff0f3a86c901ddcad537b0d97e4f459e.png

image.png

Edited by Klaatu_Nicto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,582
[SALVO]
Members
16,618 posts
17,249 battles
1 hour ago, Avenge_December_7 said:

Probably the US navy's finest hour.

It takes much more courage and skill than the average human to look at all these ships, including the largest battleship in the world, and attack instead of retreat, all in the name of protecting the landing sites and escort carriers, especially when you know that you have no feasible means of getting reinforcements. Doubly so when your efforts actually end up convincing the superior force to concede the battle.

Quite a few of them probably knew that they were severely outmatched—most of their planes didn't even have proper anti-ship weapons, and Yamato by herself outweighed the entire American flotilla there. Yet they did their duty—indeed, they went above and beyond the call. And they won, even if it cost them the majority of their unit.

You know you've fought ferociously when your enemies—in particular one that view surrender or even retreat as suicide-worthy and are known for their fanaticism in battle—salute you and your crew as they sail past.

No doubt about it.  Those DD and DE's fought like enraged Tigers.  At the same time, the Japanese fleet screwed up.  If they'd have done what they should have, those tincans would have been turned into scrap.  Mind you, that's not to denigrate the efforts of those DD/DE's.  Heck, their efforts probably contributed greatly to the confusion in the IJN fleet that eventually drove them off.  

IIRC, the IJN fleet commander hadn't slept in something like a couple of days and was exhausted when this engagement started, and there's little doubt that that contributed to his bad decisions.  But good decisions and amazing bravery on the part of DD/DE's took advantage of the enemy's bad decisions and won the day.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,258
[HINON]
Members
8,773 posts

I highly recommend The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors for those who want to read more about this. 

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×