The Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Last Fleet Action
H. P. Willmott
Distribution: World
Publication date: 7/29/2005
ISBN: 978-0-253-00351-5
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Winner, 2006 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award
The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the greatest naval engagement in history. The battle was four separate actions, none of which were fought in the Gulf itself, and the result was the destruction of Japanese naval power in the Pacific. This book is a detailed and comprehensive account of the fighting from both sides. It provides the context of the battle, most obviously in terms of Japanese calculations and the search for "a fitting place to die" and "the chance to bloom as flowers of death." Using Japanese material never previously noted in western accounts, H. P. Willmott provides new perspectives on the unfolding of the battle and very deliberately seeks to give readers a proper understanding of the importance of this battle for American naval operations in the following month. This careful interrogation of the accounts of "the last fleet action" is a significant contribution to military history.

Author Bio

H. P. Willmott has written extensively on warfare in general and on World War II in particular. Among his books are The Last Century of Sea Power: From Washington to Tokyo, 1922–1945 (IUP, 2010) and The Last Century of Sea Power: From Port Arthur to Chanak, 1894–1922 (IUP, 2009).


". . . deliciously provocative interpretation of the nature of the conflict and the reasons for American victory." —International Journal of Maritime History

"[A]n outstanding book which can be appreciated by naval historians and those who have a general interest in the subject." —Journal of Military History

". . . supported by clear and helpful maps, helpful appendices, and lengthy footnotes that underline the scholarship involved. It is good value as a hardback and will contribute to Indiana's reputation for publishing first-rate military history." —History

"An outstanding contribution to the military and naval history of our times." — Lisle A. Rose, World War II Quarterly , 2008

The Battle of Leyte Gulf is an outstanding addition to a Pacific library." —Paper Wars , August 2008

"These pages provide the reader a veritable wealth of information. The book is a valuable addition in the historiography of the Battle of Leyte Gulf specifically and to naval history and World War Two in general. It will certainly become a classic." —
Canadian Naval Review , Vol. 6, No. 4 (Winter 2011)

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
List of Tables
1. The Nature of War and Victory
2. The Option of Difficulties: The American Situation in the Aftermath of the Victory in the Philippine Sea
3. The Search for Solutions: The Japanese Situation in the Aftermath of Defeat in the Philippine Sea
4. Preliminaries: 6-18 October 1944
5. Advance and Contact, 18-24 October 1944
6. The Great Day of Wrath: 25 October 1944
7. The Naval Battle for the Philippines: The Postscript, 26 October-30 November 1944
8. To Pause and Consider: Blame, Responsibility, and the Verdict of History.
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
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