The Philippine Reserve
Major Battles of the Philippines: Continued
This was the American’s worst defeat from foreign ground forces since the war of 1812. The US had a plan to take back the Philippines. It was well into a year in planning and on the sea the battle of Leyte Gulf began.
282 vessels and hundreds of airplanes fought to the death. This was the largest naval battle of all time considering the amount of ships and airplanes. The Japanese Navy was crushed and could no longer master of the pacific. To counter this offensive Tokyo sent reinforcements to Leyte that was ruled by Gen. Yamashita. American forces began attacking and took Carigara Bay by storm capturing five Japanese airfields. American amphibious forces advanced to Ormoc and forced Japanese forces to retreat to the mountains.
The American and Filipino forces began taking back the Philippines. MacArthur returned with 1.5 million men. The Americans and Filipinos soon took Manila and prevented Japanese forces from retreating to Bataan. Yamashita once again retreated to the mountains.
After weeks of fighting, Filipino guerillas and American forces took over the Philippine summer capital of Bagio. Yamashita continued fighting as his army depleted. The Japanese held strong resistances until the official Japanese surrender.
This battle in the Philippines was the largest of the Pacific War. What happened to the Japanese forces was beyond description. The total number of Japanese killed was about 450,000 troops. The Japanese air force was weakened and caused the ruin of the Imperial Fleet. Later on the Japanese gave their final surrender. <<<BACK
Source:<Simon and Schuster. The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978>