We will continue our World War I and World War II theme for November with Battle 360. This episode is about the Battle of Leyte Gulf. My great-granduncle took part in this battle.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf was the last great naval battle. The USS Enterprise took part in this battle. It also took place in the air and under the sea. There was nowhere to run nor nowhere to hide. The aircraft carrier’s mission was to scout the Philippine Sea for the Japanese Navy. Both the Musashi and Yamato battleships were going to take part in this battle.
To get ahead of the ships, the pilots went to search for these super battleships. They were also looking for the last aircraft carrier to partake in Pearl Harbor. The pilots search carefully for enemy vessels. The American ships also search for the navy. The American Ships find a Japanese task force. The super battleships were not among them.
The Enterprise pilots start their formation to target the Japanese ships. Additional pilots join them to strafe the ships. The Japanese ships are firing with different flak charges. The sky is colored with a rainbow from the flak. This is to help determine what ships are what in the Japanese Navy. The American pilots pull up quickly after dropping their loads. Three bombs make direct hits. This will slow down the Japanese fleets.
However, there is a larger Japanese force making their way to Leyte. They are making their way to kill more American troops and to get rid of the American carriers. The Japanese Navy plans a bit of trickery to gain victory over the Americans. For three years the American and Japanese Navies have been slugging it out in the Pacific. The battle for the Pacific continues. At the battle of the Leyte Gulf, the Japanese Navy has lost over 400 planes. There were only 100 plans left. However, they still have several heavy gun warships including the Musashi and Yamato.
Musashi and Yamato were the biggest battleships built. They were 863 feet long, 172 feet wide, and weighed 72,000 tons. They had nine 18-inch guns. They were heavily armored, but they were fast. The level of punishment these battleships could take was unbelievable. Now the Admirals had to rely on these two battleships to defeat the Americans. They wanted to go after the landing crews and landing areas in the Pacific. They wanted to stop the invasions. To secure the victory, they will use their carriers to distract the American aircraft carriers to pull them out of action in the Leyte Gulf.
The Americans are still holding their own against the Japanese. There are plenty of battleships and cruisers at the American’s disposal. They are ready to target the Philippines and Musashi and Yamato. Cutting off the Philippines would cut off the supplies the Japanese war machine needed to fuel the war. Leyte needs to be captured first. Two fleets will be used to accomplish this.
To learn more about what happened at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, then continue to watch this documentary.
This is a good series to show in both a World and American history class or for an independent study student who wants to learn about specific battles. If you have a substitute teacher in the classroom, and you are studying World War II, then you can have a substitute teacher show them an episode from Battle 360. Over the years I have known a few students who enjoyed military history, whether or not they were allowed to do an independent study on war history, I do not know. However, if you have a student that has a strong interest in military history then you can share these documentaries with them.
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