Leyte Gulf

Mar 2019
1,952
Kansas
Probably not a lack of practice at loading and aiming the guns but a lack of practice at maneuvering at night in battle conditions. On a couple of occasions US cruisers and destroyers sailed in front of US battleships, forcing the battleships to hold fire until they once again had a clear line of sight/fire at the enemy. A better trained/practiced fleet would have avoided masking each other's fire.
The battleships had not had a lot of big gun work except for shore bombardment. Which is basically conducted with stationary guns. So I think (even with the radar ships) target acquisition and ranging would have been a bit rusty. And as you mentioned night actions can be a tough time to stay organised
 
Oct 2015
924
Virginia
Morrison says admiral Weyler ordered the battle line to open fire at 26,000 yards and fire half-salvos due to the shortage of armor piercing ammunition. The battleships with the new Mark-8 fire control radar (West Virginia, Tennessee, California) had firing solutions long before this, and were responsible for most of the action. West Virginia fired 93 rounds, Tennessee 69, California 63. The ships with older Mark-3 radars had trouble finding a target; Maryland got off 48 rounds ranging on West Virginia's shell splashes, Mississippi fired one salvo and Pennsylvania never did find a target.
 

Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,016
Late Cretaceous
Divine Wind

wiki:
The 1st Air Fleet commandant, Vice Admiral Takijiro Onishi, decided to form a suicide offensive force, the Special Attack Unit. In a meeting on 19 October at Mabalacat Airfield (known to the U.S. military as Clark Air Base) near Manila, Onishi told officers of the 201st Flying Group headquarters: "I don't think there would be any other certain way to carry out the operation [to hold the Philippines] than to put a 250 kg bomb on a Zero and let it crash into a U.S. carrier, in order to disable her for a week."


Some unofficial Kamikaze type attacks had already taken place before the first operation of the Special Attack Unit, Tokushu Kogekitai, took place on the 25th October 1944.

The targets were the US escort carriers operating off the Philippines.

Zero targeting the USS White Plains on the 25th October. The Zero missed and struck the water;

 
Oct 2015
924
Virginia
USS ST LO (CVE-63) was sunk in this fist planned kamikaze attack after surviving the shellfire of Japanese battleships and cruisers in the Battle off Samar. Commissioned in October 1943 as USS MIDWAY, she ferried aircraft to Hawaii from the West coast, participated in the invasions of the Marianas, Morotai and the Palaus, then returned to the Admiralties to prepare for the attack on Leyte. On 10 October she found she had been re-named ST LO to free the name MIDWAY for a new super-carrier under construction. The "saltiest" chiefs aboard must have known that was bad luck for any ship.
 
Nov 2019
78
United States
One of the best books I have ever read was about the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It is just exceptionally well written, and cannot be put down:

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

It's mostly the story of the destroyers and their battle against the Japanese battleships that had escaped detection to arrive in front of the invasion fleet due to the deceptions of the empty aircraft carriers to the North of the Philippine Coast, and the sacrifice of the ships coming through the Southern Straits. The crews of those destroyers performed some of the most heroic actions I have ever read about.
 
Mar 2019
1,952
Kansas
One of the best books I have ever read was about the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It is just exceptionally well written, and cannot be put down:

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

It's mostly the story of the destroyers and their battle against the Japanese battleships that had escaped detection to arrive in front of the invasion fleet due to the deceptions of the empty aircraft carriers to the North of the Philippine Coast, and the sacrifice of the ships coming through the Southern Straits. The crews of those destroyers performed some of the most heroic actions I have ever read about.
The classic example of not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

I read one comment that suggested one broadside from the Yamato weighed more than the entire destroyer and destroyer escorts making up Taffy 3 :)
 
Nov 2019
78
United States
Some of those destroyers were so decimated it is hard to imagine how they continued to attack, knowing that they were going to do so only to die, but just perhaps save (as they largely did) the Jeep carriers and transport ships of the invasion fleet.

I truthfully have thought over and over how much this book should be made into a movie. The subject line is actually better fit for a movie than Tora Tora or Midway.