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[Includes 10 tables, 9 charts, 54 maps and 88 illustrations]
The landing of the American forces on Leyte on 20 October 1944 brought to fruition the long-cherished desire of General Douglas MacArthur to return to the Philippine Islands and avenge the humiliating reverses suffered in the early days of World War II. The successful conclusion of the campaign separated the Japanese-held Philippine Archipelago into two parts, with a strong American force between them. More important, it completed the severance of the Japanese mainland from the stolen southern empire in the Netherlands Indies from which oil, the lifeblood of modern warfare, had come.
The Leyte Campaign, like other campaigns in the Pacific, was waged on the land, in the air, and on and under the sea. In this operation all branches of the American armed forces played significant roles. Therefore, although the emphasis in this volume is placed upon the deeds of the United States Army ground soldier, the endeavors of the aviator, the sailor, the marine and the Filipino guerrilla have been integrated as far as possible into the story in order to make the campaign understandable in its entirety. At the same time, every effort has been made to give the Japanese side of the story.