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The Battle for Leyte, 1944: Allied and Japanese Plans, Preparations, and Execution [Kindle Edition]

Milan Vego
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

One of the largest and most complex military efforts ever undertaken, the Leyte Operation was the Allies' first and most important major combined operation to liberate the Philippine archipelago. The stakes were high: a successful landing at Leyte was critical to a subsequent assault on Luzon and total control of the Philippines. If Japan lost the Philippines, its supply of oil and other strategic raw materials would be cut off and its Navy doomed to an inglorious end. In this comprehensive study, one of the world's leading authorities on the subject addresses all aspects of the two-month-long ground, sea, and air invasion, and presents a complete evaluation of theater-wide command, organization, intelligence, and logistics.

Drawing on a wealth of Allied and Japanese primary documents and countless secondary sources, Milan Vego describes and analyzes the operational planning and preparation as well as the execution of actions on both sides. Focusing on the operational versus tactical aspects of the struggle, he critically assesses the major decisions made by the senior commanders. His access to the Allied Magic radio intercepts allows him to shed light on what Allied and Japanese commanders knew and did not know about each other. Unlike other books on the subject, Vego draws conclusions and provides operational lessons learned based on his conclusions. A large number of maps, figures, and tables enhance the text.



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Milan Vego has been professor of operations at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, since 1991. A native of Bosnia & Herzegovina, he obtained political asylum in the United States in 1976. He served for 12 years as a naval officer and four years as 2nd Officer (Deck) in the Merchant Marine. Dr.Vego holds a PhD in Modern European History from George Washington University (1981). He also has a Master Mariner's license (1973). He is the author of four books--Soviet Navy Today (1986); Soviet Naval Tactics (1992); Austro-Hungarian Naval Policy, 1904-1914 (1996); and Naval Strategy and Operations in Narrow Seas (1999; 2nd ed., 2003)--and the author of the textbook Operational Warfare (2000), used at the Naval War College and a number of other service colleges in the United States and overseas. Dr. Vego has also published numerous articles and essays in various professional journals.




Product Details

  • File Size: 3515 KB
  • Print Length: 479 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (March 11, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BKRWZJG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,234 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid wealth of detail October 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Per its title, this book describes the plans, preparations and execution of Allied and Japanese forces in the battle for Leyte. Unlike the many authors nowadays who rely heavily on "human interest" anecdotes, Vego describes in great detail not only the thoughts and decisions of the officers directing the various actions of the battle, and what happened as a result, but also the geographical, meteorological, logistical, organizational, and intelligence- and communication-systems contexts.

To give a few examples, Vego relates that 35 inches of rain fell in the 40 days of the main actions, saturating the soil so as to seriously hinder American airfield and road construction and movement of supplies and heavy equipment, and that Japanese possession of weather stations out to the west enabled them to accurately predict movement of fronts in the area and bring reinforcements and supplies in under cloud cover. He also describes in detail the situation existing in the American radio message handling networks, providing vital context as to why communications among the commanders were so poor.

The description and analysis of the controversial decisions by Halsey, Kinkaid and Kurita in the naval battle, in particular, surpass in depth and detail those in any of the many other books I've read over the years.

Note, however, that the depth and detail are in regard to the thoughts, actions and informational and cognitive context of those directing the planning, preparation and execution, and of the resulting outcomes from the viewpoints of those providing that direction.

There are no stirring, blow-by-blow narratives of the actual combat.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece of Research and Analysis April 25, 2006
Format:Hardcover
The battle for Leyte was one of the big ones. It was one of the few where Nimitz and MacArthur worked together to come up with the forces needed to begin taking back the Phillipines. In this book Mr. Vego shows an extraordinary amount of research in what both the Allies (mostly American) and the Japanese were doing to prepare for and fight the battle.

The most famous part of the battle was Halsey's decision to take virtually all of his carrier force north to fight the Japanese northern decoy force. This, of course, left the naval forces around Leyte very weak. This event again shows the careful research that characterizes the book.

Years later Halsey still defended his actions saying, 'given the same circumstances and the same information ..., I would make it again.' The author's conclusion, 'no decision can be considered sound if the commander does exactly what the enemy wants him to do.'

Writing many years after the battle Mr. Vego has the ability to draw a whole series of conclusions about the battle (too many to go into here) and his final chapters are a masterpiece of conclusions and lessons learned.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Drier with more Jargon than I care for. October 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I haven't not finished it yet but I am plodding through. Tons of acronyms and jargon and more detail than I ever wanted to know but it is covering the subject well. Be prepared for a real slog of a read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fine story and commendable writing May 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Fine story of how these naval operations may likely have changed the course of history told with panache and literary style. The author has obviously done his homework here, and it shows throughout the story. I want to point out how much I especially liked the way the parts concerning marine battles was portrayed. Here were parts I thought took a lot of skill to write and might not have been realized as well as they were if the author didn't get it all precisely right, but it went well, and helped make this a commendable and very accurate book.
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