In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" were "large and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been shortened to "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War. Before World War II destroyers were light vessels with little endurance for unattended ocean operations. After the war, the advent of the guided missile allowed destroyers to take on the surface combatant roles filled by battleships and cruisers; this resulted in larger and more powerful guided missile destroyers more capable of independent operation.
At the start of the 21st century, destroyers are the global standard for surface combatant ships, with only two nations operating the heavier class cruisers, with no battleships or true battlecruisers remaining. Modern guided missile destroyers are equivalent in tonnage but vastly superior in firepower to cruisers of the World War II era, are capable of carrying nuclear tipped cruise missiles. At 510 feet long, a displacement of 9,200 tons, with armament of more than 90 missiles, guided missile destroyers such as the Arleigh Burke-class are larger and more armed than most previous ships classified as guided missile cruisers; some European navies, such as the French, Spanish, or German, use the term "frigate" for their destroyers, which leads to some confusion. The emergence and development of the destroyer was related to the invention of the self-propelled torpedo in the 1860s. A navy now had the potential to destroy a superior enemy battle fleet using steam launches to fire torpedoes. Cheap, fast boats armed with torpedoes called torpedo boats were built and became a threat to large capital ships near enemy coasts.
The first seagoing vessel designed to launch the self-propelled Whitehead torpedo was the 33-ton HMS Lightning in 1876. She was armed with two drop collars to launch these weapons, these were replaced in 1879 by a single torpedo tube in the bow. By the 1880s, the type had evolved into small ships of 50–100 tons, fast enough to evade enemy picket boats. At first, the threat of a torpedo boat attack to a battle fleet was considered to exist only when at anchor. In response to this new threat, more gunned picket boats called "catchers" were built which were used to escort the battle fleet at sea, they needed significant seaworthiness and endurance to operate with the battle fleet, as they became larger, they became designated "torpedo boat destroyers", by the First World War were known as "destroyers" in English. The anti-torpedo boat origin of this type of ship is retained in its name in other languages, including French, Portuguese, Greek, Dutch and, up until the Second World War, Polish. Once destroyers became more than just catchers guarding an anchorage, it was realized that they were ideal to take over the role of torpedo boats themselves, so they were fitted with torpedo tubes as well as guns.
At that time, into World War I, the only function of destroyers was to protect their own battle fleet from enemy torpedo attacks and to make such attacks on the battleships of the enemy. The task of escorting merchant convoys was still in the future. An important development came with the construction of HMS Swift in 1884 redesignated TB 81; this was a large torpedo boat with three torpedo tubes. At 23.75 knots, while still not fast enough to engage enemy torpedo boats reliably, the ship at least had the armament to deal with them. Another forerunner of the torpedo boat destroyer was the Japanese torpedo boat Kotaka, built in 1885. Designed to Japanese specifications and ordered from the Glasgow Yarrow shipyards in 1885, she was transported in parts to Japan, where she was assembled and launched in 1887; the 165-foot long vessel was armed with four 1-pounder quick-firing guns and six torpedo tubes, reached 19 knots, at 203 tons, was the largest torpedo boat built to date. In her trials in 1889, Kotaka demonstrated that she could exceed the role of coastal defense, was capable of accompanying larger warships on the high seas.
The Yarrow shipyards, builder of the parts for Kotaka, "considered Japan to have invented the destroyer". The first vessel designed for the explicit purpose of hunting and destroying torpedo boats was the torpedo gunboat. Small cruisers, torpedo gunboats were equipped with torpedo tubes and an adequate gun armament, intended for hunting down smaller enemy boats. By the end of the 1890s torpedo gunboats were made obsolete by their more successful contemporaries, the torpedo boat destroyers, which were much faster; the first example of this was HMS Rattlesnake, designed by Nathaniel Barnaby in 1885, commissioned in response to the Russian War scare. The gunboat was armed with torpedoes and designed for hunting and destroying
Palau the Republic of Palau, is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country contains 340 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, has an area of 466 square kilometers; the most populous island is Koror. The capital Ngerulmud is located in Melekeok State. Palau shares maritime boundaries with the Philippines and the Federated States of Micronesia; the country was settled 3,000 years ago by migrants from Insular Southeast Asia. The islands were first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, were made part of the Spanish East Indies in 1574. Following Spain's defeat in the Spanish–American War in 1898, the islands were sold to Imperial Germany in 1899 under the terms of the German–Spanish Treaty, where they were administered as part of German New Guinea, although the islands were represented in the Malolos Congress of the revolutionary First Philippine Republic; the Imperial Japanese Navy conquered Palau during World War I, the islands were made a part of the Japanese-ruled South Pacific Mandate by the League of Nations.
During World War II, including the major Battle of Peleliu, were fought between American and Japanese troops as part of the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign. Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. Having voted against joining the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, the islands gained full sovereignty in 1994 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Politically, Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States, which provides defense and access to social services. Legislative power is concentrated in the bicameral Palau National Congress. Palau's economy is based on tourism, subsistence agriculture and fishing, with a significant portion of gross national product derived from foreign aid; the country uses the United States dollar as its currency. The islands' culture mixes Micronesian, Melanesian and Western elements. Ethnic Palauans, the majority of the population, are of mixed Micronesian and Austronesian descent.
A smaller proportion of the population is descended from Filipino settlers. The country's two official languages are Palauan and English, with Japanese and Tobian recognized as regional languages; the name for the islands in the Palauan language, Belau derives from either the Palauan word for "village", beluu, or from aibebelau, relating to a creation myth. The name "Palau" entered the English language via the German Palau. An archaic name for the islands in English was the "Pelew Islands". Palau is unrelated to Pulau, a Malay word meaning "island" found in a number of place names in the region. Palau was settled between the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE, most from Indonesia or the Philippines. Sonsorol, part of the Southwest Islands, an island chain 600 kilometers from the main island chain of Palau, was sighted by Europeans as early as 1522, when the Spanish mission of the Trinidad, the flagship of Ferdinand Magellan's voyage of circumnavigation, sighted two small islands around the 5th parallel north, naming them "San Juan".
After the conquest of the Philippines in 1565 by the Spanish Empire, the archipelago of Palau became part of the territory of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, established in 1574 as part of the Spanish East Indies with the capital based in the colonial centre in Manila. However, the Spanish presence only began to express with evangelization, began at the end of the 17th century, its dominance began to take shape in the 18th century; the conscious discovery of Palau came a century in 1697 when a group of Palauans were shipwrecked on the Philippine island of Samar to the northwest. They were interviewed by the Czech missionary Paul Klein on 28 December 1696. Klein was able to draw the first map of Palau based on the Palauans' representation of their home islands that they made with an arrangement of 87 pebbles on the beach. Klein reported his findings to the Jesuit Superior General in a letter sent in June 1697, equaling to the discovery of Palau; this map and the letter caused a vast interest in the new islands.
Another letter written by Fr. Andrés Serrano was sent to Europe in 1705 copying the information given by Klein; the letters resulted in three unsuccessful Jesuit attempts to travel to Palau from Spanish Philippines in 1700, 1708 and 1709. The islands were first visited by the Jesuit expedition led by Francisco Padilla on 30 November 1710; the expedition ended with the stranding of the two priests, Jacques Du Beron and Joseph Cortyl, on the coast of Sonsorol, because the mother ship Santísima Trinidad was driven to Mindanao by a storm. Another ship was sent from Guam in 1711 to save them only to capsize, causing the death of three more Jesuit priests; the failure of these missions gave Palau the original Spanish name Islas Encantadas. Despite these early misfortunes, the Spanish Empire came to dominate the islands. British traders became prominent visitors to Palau in the 18th century, followed by expanding Spanish influence in the 19th century. Palau, under the name Palaos, was included in the Malolos Congress, the first revolutionary congress in the Philippines which aimed to become independent from colonialists.
Palau, at the time, was part of the Philippines. Palau had one appointed member to the Congress, becoming the only gr
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 until 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's surrender in World War II. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force was formed after the dissolution of the IJN; the Imperial Japanese Navy was the third largest navy in the world by 1920, behind the Royal Navy and the United States Navy. It was supported by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service for aircraft and airstrike operation from the fleet, it was the primary opponent of the Western Allies in the Pacific War. The origins of the Imperial Japanese Navy go back to early interactions with nations on the Asian continent, beginning in the early medieval period and reaching a peak of activity during the 16th and 17th centuries at a time of cultural exchange with European powers during the Age of Discovery. After two centuries of stagnation during the country's ensuing seclusion policy under the shōgun of the Edo period, Japan's navy was comparatively backward when the country was forced open to trade by American intervention in 1854.
This led to the Meiji Restoration. Accompanying the re-ascendance of the Emperor came a period of frantic modernization and industrialization; the navy had several successes, sometimes against much more powerful enemies such as in the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, before being destroyed in World War II. Japan has a long history of naval interaction with the Asian continent, involving transportation of troops between Korea and Japan, starting at least with the beginning of the Kofun period in the 3rd century. Following the attempts at Mongol invasions of Japan by Kubilai Khan in 1274 and 1281, Japanese wakō became active in plundering the coast of China. Japan undertook major naval building efforts in the 16th century, during the Warring States period, when feudal rulers vying for supremacy built vast coastal navies of several hundred ships. Around that time Japan may have developed one of the first ironclad warships when Oda Nobunaga, a daimyō, had six iron-covered Oatakebune made in 1576.
In 1588 Toyotomi Hideyoshi issued a ban on Wakō piracy. Japan built her first large ocean-going warships in the beginning of the 17th century, following contacts with the Western nations during the Nanban trade period. In 1613, the daimyō of Sendai, in agreement with the Tokugawa Bakufu, built Date Maru, a 500-ton galleon-type ship that transported the Japanese embassy of Hasekura Tsunenaga to the Americas, which continued to Europe. From 1604 the Bakufu commissioned about 350 Red seal ships armed and incorporating some Western technologies for Southeast Asian trade. For more than 200 years, beginning in the 1640s, the Japanese policy of seclusion forbade contacts with the outside world and prohibited the construction of ocean-going ships on pain of death. Contacts were maintained, with the Dutch through the port of Nagasaki, the Chinese through Nagasaki and the Ryukyus and Korea through intermediaries with Tsushima; the study of Western sciences, called "rangaku" through the Dutch enclave of Dejima in Nagasaki led to the transfer of knowledge related to the Western technological and scientific revolution which allowed Japan to remain aware of naval sciences, such as cartography and mechanical sciences.
Seclusion, led to loss of any naval and maritime traditions the nation possessed. Apart from Dutch trade ships no other Western vessels were allowed to enter Japanese ports. A notable exception was during the Napoleonic wars. Frictions with foreign ships, started from the beginning of the 19th century; the Nagasaki Harbour Incident involving HMS Phaeton in 1808, other subsequent incidents in the following decades, led the shogunate to enact an Edict to Repel Foreign Vessels. Western ships, which were increasing their presence around Japan due to whaling and the trade with China, began to challenge the seclusion policy; the Morrison Incident in 1837 and news of China's defeat during the Opium War led the shogunate to repeal the law to execute foreigners, instead to adopt the Order for the Provision of Firewood and Water. The shogunate began to strengthen the nation's coastal defenses. Many Japanese realized that traditional ways would not be sufficient to repel further intrusions, western knowledge was utilized through the Dutch at Dejima to reinforce Japan's capability to repel the foreigners.
Numerous attempts to open Japan ended in failure, in part to Japanese resistance, until the early 1850s. During 1853 and 1854, American warships under the command of Commodore Matthew Perry entered Edo Bay and made demonstrations of force requesting trade negotiations. After two hundred years of seclusion, the 1854 Convention of Kanagawa led to the opening of Japan to international trade and interaction; this was soon followed by treaties with other powers. As soon as Japan opened up to foreign influences, the Tokugawa shogunate recognized the vulnerability of the country from the sea and initiated an active policy of assimilation and adoption of Western naval technologies. In 1855, with Dutch assistance, the shogunate acquired its first steam warship, Kankō Maru, began using it for training, establishing a Naval Training Center at Nagasaki. Samurai such as the future Admiral Enomoto Takeaki were sent by the shogunate to study in the Netherlands for several years. In 1859 the
Douglas MacArthur was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II, he received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines Campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur Jr. the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the US Army, the only one conferred the rank of field marshal in the Philippine Army. Raised in a military family in the American Old West, MacArthur was valedictorian at the West Texas Military Academy, First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he conducted a reconnaissance mission, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In 1917, he became chief of staff of the 42nd Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times.
From 1919 to 1922, MacArthur served as Superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, where he attempted a series of reforms, his next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. In 1925, he became the Army's youngest major general, he served on the court-martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and was president of the American Olympic Committee during the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army; as such, he was involved in the expulsion of the Bonus Army protesters from Washington, D. C. in 1932, the establishment and organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He retired from the US Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East. A series of disasters followed, starting with the destruction of his air forces on 8 December 1941 and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.
MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until May 1942. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff left nearby Corregidor Island in PT boats and escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. Upon his arrival, MacArthur gave a speech in which he famously promised "I shall return" to the Philippines. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled that promise. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor, he accepted the Surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, he oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic and social changes, he led the United Nations Command in the Korean War with initial success. Following a series of major defeats, he was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman on 11 April 1951, he became chairman of the board of Remington Rand.
A military brat, Douglas MacArthur was born 26 January 1880, at Little Rock Barracks, Little Rock, Arkansas, to Arthur MacArthur, Jr. a U. S. Army captain, his wife, Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur. Arthur, Jr. was the son of Scottish-born jurist and politician Arthur MacArthur, Sr. Arthur would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions with the Union Army in the Battle of Missionary Ridge during the American Civil War, be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. Pinkney came from a prominent Norfolk, family. Two of her brothers had fought for the South in the Civil War, refused to attend her wedding. Arthur and Pinky had three sons, of whom Douglas was the youngest, following Arthur III, born on 1 August 1876, Malcolm, born on 17 October 1878; the family lived on a succession of Army posts in the American Old West. Conditions were primitive, Malcolm died of measles in 1883. In his memoir, MacArthur wrote "I learned to ride and shoot before I could read or write—indeed before I could walk and talk."
MacArthur's time on the frontier ended in July 1889 when the family moved to Washington, D. C. where he attended the Force Public School. His father was posted to San Antonio, Texas, in September 1893. While there MacArthur attended the West Texas Military Academy, where he was awarded the gold medal for "scholarship and deportment", he participated on the school tennis team, played quarterback on the school football team and shortstop on its baseball team. He was named valedictorian, with a final year average of 97.33 out of 100. MacArthur's father and grandfather unsuccessfully sought to secure Douglas a presidential appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, first from President Grover Cleveland and from President William McKinley. After these two rejections, he was given coaching and private tutoring by Milwaukee high school teacher Gertrude Hull, he passed the examination for an appointment from Congressman Theobald Otjen, scoring 93.3 on the test. He wrote: "It was a lesson I never forgot.
Preparedness is the key to success and victory."MacArthur entered West Point on 13 June 1899, his mother moved there, to a suite at Craney's Hotel, which overlooked the grounds of the Academy. Hazing was widespread at West Point at this time, MacArthur and his classmate Ulysses S. Gr
The Philippines the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon and Mindanao; the capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, Malaysia and Indonesia to the south; the Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of 300,000 km2, according to the Philippines Statistical Authority and the WorldBank and, as of 2015, had a population of at least 100 million.
As of January 2018, it is the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. 10 million additional Filipinos lived overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, they were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Malay, Indian and Chinese nations occurred. Various competing maritime states were established under the rule of datus, rajahs and lakans; the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for the Spanish, in Homonhon, Eastern Samar in 1521 marked the beginning of Hispanic colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from Mexico City, in 1565, the first Hispanic settlement in the archipelago was established.
The Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. This resulted in Catholicism becoming the dominant religion. During this time, Manila became the western hub of the trans-Pacific trade connecting Asia with Acapulco in the Americas using Manila galleons; as the 19th century gave way to the 20th, the Philippine Revolution followed, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic, followed by the bloody Philippine–American War. The war, as well as the ensuing cholera epidemic, resulted in the deaths of thousands of combatants as well as tens of thousands of civilians. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until after World War II, when the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation. Since the unitary sovereign state has had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a dictatorship by a non-violent revolution; the Philippines is a founding member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the East Asia Summit.
It hosts the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank. The Philippines is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has an economy transitioning from being based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Along with East Timor, the Philippines is one of Southeast Asia's predominantly Christian nations; the Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then-Prince of Asturias; the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before that became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were used by the Spanish to refer to the islands; the official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of its history. During the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic.
From the period of the Spanish–American War and the Philippine–American War until the Commonwealth period, American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. Since the end of World War II, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines. Philippines has gained currency as the common name since being the name used in Article VI of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, with or without the definite article. Discovery in 2018 of stone tools and fossils of butchered animal remains in Rizal, Kalinga has pushed back evidence of early hominins in the archipelago to as early as 709,000 years. However, the metatarsal of the Callao Man, reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago remains the oldest human remnant found in the archipelago to date; this distinction belonged to the Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 26,500 years ago. Negritos were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, but their first settlement in the Philippines has not been reliably dated.
There are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos. F. Landa Jocano theorizes. Wilhelm Solheim's Island Origin Theory postulates that the peopling of the archipelago transpired via trade networks originating in the Sundaland area around
Battle of Leyte
The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the amphibious invasion of the island of Leyte in the Philippines by American forces and Filipino guerrillas under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, who fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines led by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. The operation, codenamed King Two, launched the Philippines campaign of 1944–45 for the recapture and liberation of the entire Philippine Archipelago and to end three years of Japanese occupation. Japan had conquered the Philippines in 1942. Controlling it was vital for Japan's survival in World War II because it commanded sea routes to Borneo and Sumatra by which rubber and petroleum were shipped to Japan. For the U. S. capturing the Philippines was a key strategic step in isolating Imperial Japan's military holdings in China and the Pacific theater. It was a personal matter of pride for MacArthur. In 1942, just a month before Japan forced the surrender of all USAFFE forces in the Philippines, U.
S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ordered MacArthur to leave the Philippines and organize the U. S. forces gathering in Australia, which were meant to relieve the USAFFE. Those relief forces were non-existent. Still, MacArthur had vowed, he stated that it was a moral obligation of the U. S. to liberate the Philippines as soon as possible. In March 1944, the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered MacArthur to plan an attack on the southern Philippines by the end of the year, Luzon in early 1945. In July 1944, Roosevelt met with MacArthur and Chester Nimitz in Hawaii, where the decision was made to invade the Philippines, from which land air bases could be used for the Pacific Theater of Operations. Over the summer of 1944, planes from the aircraft carriers of the U. S. 3rd Fleet under Admiral William F. Halsey carried out several successful missions over the Philippines and found Japanese resistance lacking. Halsey recommended a direct strike on Leyte, canceling other planned operations, the Leyte invasion date moved forward to October.
Leyte, one of the larger islands of the Philippines, has numerous deep-water approaches and sandy beaches which offered opportunities for amphibious assaults and fast resupply. The roads and lowlands extending inland from Highway 1, that ran for 40 mi along the east coast between Abuyog town to the north and the San Juanico Strait between Leyte and Samar Islands, provided avenues for tank-infantry operations, as well as suitable ground for airfield construction. American air forces based on Leyte could strike at enemy bases and airfields anywhere in the archipelago. A forested north-south mountain range dominates the interior and separates two sizable valleys, or coastal plains; the larger Leyte Valley extends from the northern coast to the long eastern shore and contains most of the towns and roadways on the island. The other, Ormoc Valley, situated on the west side, was connected to Leyte Valley by a roundabout and winding road, Highway 2; this continued south to the port of Ormoc City along the western shore to Baybay town.
The road turned east to cross the mountainous waist of the island and it connected with Highway 1 on the east coast at Abuyog. Below these towns, the mountainous southern third of Leyte was undeveloped. High mountain peaks over 4,400 ft, as well as the jagged outcroppings and caves typical of volcanic islands offered formidable defensive opportunities; the timing late in the year of the assault would force combat troops and supporting pilots, as well as logistical units, to contend with monsoon rains. Leyte's population of over 900,000 people—mostly farmers and fishermen—could be expected to assist an American invasion, since many residents supported the guerrilla struggle against the Japanese in the face of harsh repression. Japanese troop strength on Leyte was estimated by U. S. intelligence at 20,000. Southwest Pacific Area General Douglas MacArthur in light cruiser Nashville US Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid in amphibious command ship Wasatch Task Group 77.4 – Escort Carrier Group Rear Adm. Thomas L. Sprague Task Force 78 – Northern Attack Force Rear Admiral Daniel E. Barbey in amphibious command ship Blue Ridge Embarking Maj. Gen. Franklin C.
Sibert's X Army CorpsTask Force 79 – Southern Attack Force Vice Admiral Theodore S. Wilkinson Embarking Maj. Gen. John R. Hodge's XXIV Army CorpsAllied Air Forces Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, USAAF Fifth Air Force Thirteenth Air ForceUS Sixth Army Lieutenant General Walter Krueger X Army Corps Lieutenant General Franklin C. Sibert Left Sector: 24th Infantry "Taro" Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. Frederick A. Irving 19th Infantry Regiment 34th Infantry RegimentRight Sector: 1st Cavalry Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. Verne D. Mudge 5th Cavalry Regiment 7th Cavalry Regiment 12th Cavalry Regiment Reserve: 7th Cavalry RegimentXXIV Army Corps Lieutenant General John R. Hodge Left Sector: 7th Infantry "Bayonet" Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. Archibald V. Arnold 17th Infantry Regiment 32nd Infantry Regiment 184th Infantry RegimentRight Sector: 96th Infantry "Deadeye" Division Division commander: Maj. Gen. James L. Bradley 381st Infa
A convoy is a group of vehicles motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. A convoy is organized with armed defensive support, it may be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas. Arriving at the scene of a major emergency with a well-ordered unit and intact command structure can be another motivation. Naval convoys have been in use for centuries, with examples of merchant ships traveling under naval protection dating to the 12th century; the use of organized naval convoys dates from when ships began to be separated into specialist classes and national navies were established. By the French Revolutionary Wars of the late 18th century, effective naval convoy tactics had been developed to ward off pirates and privateers; some convoys contained several hundred merchant ships. The most enduring system of convoys were the Spanish treasure fleets, that sailed from the 1520s until 1790; when merchant ships sailed independently, a privateer could cruise a shipping lane and capture ships as they passed.
Ships sailing in convoy presented a much smaller target: a convoy was as hard to find as a single ship. If the privateer found a convoy and the wind was favourable for an attack, it could still hope to capture only a handful of ships before the rest managed to escape, a small escort of warships could thwart it; as a result of the convoy system's effectiveness, wartime insurance premiums were lower for ships that sailed in convoys. Many naval battles in the Age of Sail were fought around convoys, including: The Battle of Portland The Battle of Ushant The Battle of Dogger Bank The Glorious First of June The Battle of Pulo Aura By the end of the Napoleonic Wars the Royal Navy had in place a sophisticated convoy system to protect merchant ships. Losses of ships travelling out of convoy however were so high that no merchant ship was allowed to sail unescorted. In the early 20th century, the dreadnought changed the balance of power in convoy battles. Steaming faster than merchant ships and firing at long ranges, a single battleship could destroy many ships in a convoy before the others could scatter over the horizon.
To protect a convoy against a capital ship required providing it with an escort of another capital ship, at high opportunity cost. Battleships were the main reason that the British Admiralty did not adopt convoy tactics at the start of the first Battle of the Atlantic in World War I, but the German capital ships had been bottled up in the North Sea, the main threat to shipping came from U-boats. From a tactical point of view, World War I–era submarines were similar to privateers in the age of sail; these submarines were only a little faster than the merchant ships they were attacking, capable of sinking only a small number of vessels in a convoy because of their limited supply of torpedoes and shells. The Admiralty took a long time to respond to this change in the tactical position, in April 1917 convoys were trialled, before being introduced in the Atlantic in September 1917. Other arguments against convoys were raised; the primary issue was the loss of productivity, as merchant shipping in convoy has to travel at the speed of the slowest vessel in the convoy and spent a considerable amount of time in ports waiting for the next convoy to depart.
Further, large convoys were thought to overload port resources. Actual analysis of shipping losses in World War I disproved all these arguments, at least so far as they applied to transatlantic and other long-distance traffic. Ships sailing in convoys were far less to be sunk when not provided with an escort; the loss of productivity due to convoy delays was small compared with the loss of productivity due to ships being sunk. Ports could deal more with convoys because they tended to arrive on schedule and so loading and unloading could be planned. In his book On the Psychology of Military Incompetence, Norman Dixon suggested that the hostility towards convoys in the naval establishment were in part caused by a perception of convoys as effeminating, due to warships having to care for civilian merchant ships. Convoy duty exposes the escorting warships to the sometimes hazardous conditions of the North Atlantic, with only rare occurrences of visible achievement; the British adopted a convoy system voluntary and compulsory for all merchant ships, the moment that World War II was declared.
Each convoy consisted of between 30 and 70 unarmed merchant ships. Canadian, American, supplies were vital for Britain to continue its war effort; the course of the Battle of the Atlantic was a long struggle as the Germans developed anti-convoy tactics and the British developed counter-tactics to thwart the Germans. The capability of a armed warship against a convoy was illustrated by the fate of Convoy HX 84. On November 5, 1940, the German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer encountered the convoy. Maiden, Kenbame Head and Fresno were sunk, other ships were damaged. Only the sacrifice of the Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Jervis Bay and failing light allowed the rest of the convoy to escape; the deterrence value of a battleship in protecting a convoy was dramatically illustrated when the German light battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, mounting 11 in guns, came upon an eastbound British convoy in the North Atlantic on February 8, 1941. When the Germans detected the slow but well-protected battleship HMS Ramillies escorting the convoy, they f