The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: The Largest Naval Battle

What was the largest naval battle in history? I and some of my fellow PT boaters have always considered the battle of Leyte gulf the largest battle ever. Perhaps it was the largest surface battle ever. The Philippine Sea Battle, another huge engagement, was conducted at long range.

Incidentally, I missed the battle. On the day the boats departed from Mios Woendi, or perhaps one day earlier, my relief took over and I was sitting on the beach at Mios Woendi.

Posted By: QM | Posted on: Oct 12, 2008 - 8:05am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

QM; Leyte Gulf was the largest Naval battle where Naval ships fought each other at close range. However Historians say that the Battle of Midway should be considered the largest because of the magnitude of destruction we imposed on the Japanese aircraft carriers that were sunk or damaged.

Posted By: Gary Szot | Posted on: Oct 12, 2008 - 8:16am
Total Posts: 193 | Joined: Feb 12, 2007 - 1:00pm

My research on the battle of Midway discloses the sinking of four Japanese carriers, two cruisers, and three destroyers, with no surface ship battles. Numerous aircraft were also destroyed. This was a much needed victory for us. It was a turning point in the war.

In the Philippine Sea battle three carriers and two oilers were sunk. About six hundred aircraft were destroyed.

At Leyte Japanese losses to three groups commanded by Admirals Oldendorf, Sprague and Halsey were four carriers, one battleship [one page in At Close Quarters reports two battleships], six cruisers, and seven destroyers. Three carriers, five cruisers and seven destroyers were damaged. In Halsey's group no surface contact was made. Some of the ships were sunk by submarines as the Japanese were approaching the battle area.

Any and all corrections are welcome.

Leyte still has my vote as the greatest.

Posted By: QM | Posted on: Oct 13, 2008 - 7:07pm
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Hi QM,
I always thought that at Surigao straights both Japanese Battleships Yamashiro and Fuso were sunk. Fuso broke in two, and Yamashiro was sunk later that night/morning by Admiral Jesse oldendorfs force of PT's DD's CG's and BB's. So 2 japanese battle wagons not one. But then again I was not there, so I defer to your experience. Jerry

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Oct 13, 2008 - 8:42pm
Total Posts: 1218 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm

As I mentioned earlier, I was not there. There is a beautiful lagoon and beach at Mios Woendi. I was there on the beach awaiting transportation back to the states.

My computer research ability is limited, I grew up using reference books, but I did find more on the battleships. The Yamashiro was sunk by fire from a battleship. The Fuso was hit with two torpedos fired from a destroyer, and it later was sunk. The Musashi was was sunk by aircraft in the Sibuyan Sea. The article that I was reading referred to the Sibuyan Sea action as a part of the Leyte battle.

Do we now have three battleships?

Posted By: QM | Posted on: Oct 14, 2008 - 10:31am
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I don't have the books in front of me but . . .

in terms of numbers of men, aircraft, and tonnage of ships engaged Leyte Gulf is the largest naval battle in history. It had four sections:

Sibuyan Sea
Cape Engano
Surigao Strait
The Battle off Samar

There are many books about this conflict; it well deserves reading.

"The Last Stand of the Tin-Can Sailors" is excellent; it points out how US servicemen can fight even when we are outnumbered by the enemy. (Our foes allege that swamping the enemy with material is the only way Americans can win. Samar and the early stages of the Bulge are decisive counters of that slur.)

Posted By: fredtheobviouspseudonym | Posted on: Oct 20, 2008 - 7:08pm
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