Battle of Leyte Gulf

1944 the largest naval battle of World War II

The Battle of Leyte Gulf, was the biggest naval battle in modern history. The battle was part of World War II, and happened in the seas near the Philippines island of Leyte. It took place from 23 October to 26 October 1944, between the Allies and the Empire of Japan. The Allies started the battle to cut the way between Japan and its colonies in South East Asia. Japan took its oil for fuel from that area. The Japanese gathered all the ships they had left to fight the Allied troops. However, they failed and lost many ships and aircraft.

Battle of Leyte Gulf
Part of the Pacific War, World War II

The light aircraft carrier USS Princeton afire, east of Luzon, 24 October 1944.
Date23–26 October 1944
Leyte Gulf, The Philippines
Result Decisive Allied victory
 United States
 Empire of Japan
Commanders and leaders
United States William Halsey, Jr
(3rd Fleet)
United States Thomas C. Kinkaid
(7th Fleet)
Japan Takeo Kurita (Center Force)
Japan Shōji Nishimura  (Southern Force)
Japan Kiyohide Shima (Southern Force)
Japan Jisaburō Ozawa (Northern Force)
Japan Yukio Seki   (Kamikazes)
8 fleet carriers
8 light carriers
18 escort carriers
12 battleships
24 cruisers
141 destroyers and destroyer escorts
Many PT boats, submarines, and fleet auxiliaries
About 1,500 planes
1 fleet carrier
3 light carriers
9 battleships
14 heavy cruisers
6 light cruisers
35+ destroyers
300+ planes (including land-based aircraft)
Casualties and losses
~2,800 dead;
1 light aircraft carrier,
2 escort carriers,
2 destroyers,
1 destroyer escort sunk
200+ planes [1]
~10,500 dead;
1 fleet carrier,
3 light carriers
3 battleships,
10 cruisers,
11 destroyers sunk
~500 planes [1]

The battle was the last big naval fight of World War II. Without fuel, the Imperial Japanese Navy never again sailed to battle. Most of their ships returned to Japan, and were inactive for the rest of the war.

The first use of kamikaze aircraft was during this battle. A kamikaze hit the Australian flagship HMAS Australia on 21 October. Many other suicide attacks by the "Special Attack Force" began on 25 October, and did great damage to the Allied ships.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Parkinson, Roger (March 1977). Encyclopedia of modern war. p. 132. ISBN 0-586-08321-9.

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