ROAD TO TOKYO COUNTDOWN: EXHIBITS WITHIN PHILIPPINES
As we continue down the Road to Tokyo and through the Philippines gallery, we stop next at the exhibit Destroying the Japanese Navy, which will discuss the invasion of Leyte, one of the key turning points in the Pacific war.
DESTROYING THE JAPANESE NAVY
General Douglas MacArthur returned in a joint military landing with Filipino forces, landing on Leyte in one of the largest amphibious operations in the Pacific. The Destroying the Japanese Navy exhibit will describe the beginning stages of the American campaign, the major battles that took place, and how the Allies were able to retake the Philippine Islands.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf proved to be a resounding victory for American forces. The battles of Sibuyan Sea, the Surigao Straight, Cape Engano, and Samar proved to be excellent opportunities for the Americans to strike at the Japanese Navy. After the battle at Samar, the capital ships that had escaped the carnage would never leave their ports for the rest of the war, and the Japanese Navy would never again field a comparable fleet. This was also the first time that the Japanese used kamikaze pilots, a terrifying new tactic which indicated a fanatical Japanese will to resist that would increase the costs of victory and lengthen the war. The invasion of Leyte gave the Americans the presence and force they needed to advance through the Philippines, while simultaneously crippling the Japanese Navy once and for all.
The Destroying of the Japanese Navy exhibit has been made possible through a generous gift by Thomas C. Terrell III In Honor of Lt. Col. Thomas C. Terrell WWII AC B-24.