|Operation Victory, also known as Sho-go ("Victory Operation")
was the Japanese plan to turn the Pacific in their favor at Leyte Gulf. The plan
was to divide the U.S. with a wave of three Japanese naval forces and then destroy the
sections one by one. However, the operation's commander, Admiral
Toyoda, was very cautious and did not commit his fleet soon enough.
The Japanese arrived days after the U.S. and could not even surprise
the Allied forces, as two submarines attacked the first Japanese
force before the operation was even underway. Japanese air power
was also extremely lacking, and the operation was a total failure.
Even though the United States fell for the original diversionary
force, they stationed another force, expecting a second wave.
When this wave came, all but one destroyer was sunk.
The next day the third force arrived but was met by a force of sixteen carriers and their destroyers. The Japanese fleet was forced to retreat, and lost three cruisers, while it destroyed only one carrier and three destroyers. The Japanese forces never reached the beachhead, which allowed the Marines to secure it for invasion. This operation is also significant in that it was the first appearance of kamikaze tactics in World War II.
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