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EvyL

Battle off Samar

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Super Tester
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Never did touch a battle hubbub because of two things: I'm a total shlub that ran out of brain and the books I want make me cry due to prices. and I have no idea where to find glorified PDF's pirated.  A long badpost because I am error.

 

Normally, some of the most manly tear inducing naval brawls had their history but on one epic occasion, there was an event that could make anyone feel awed at what happened despite the odds, massive and all, are against you but by sheer derp and teeth grit inducing madness, they sort of prevailed, and the utter respect of the most manly tear inducing thing anyone would dare to do.

 

This was the brawl off Samar.

 

During the Fall of the Philippines in '41, Japan came knocking with an eviction notice in hand, now during '44, it was the US who were the ones who had an eviction notice.

 

That didn't mean the Japanese would take it lying face down as they still had a formidable surface fleet despite the facepalm that was the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot and so planned a reaction force to their bit: a strong unit consisting of the most toughest capital ships moving through the Viasayas island chain as center force, a small force that served as a second striking unit to move south through Surigao Strait as southern force with both meeting up offshore Leyte where the beachhead was secured and proceed to obliterate the beachhead while a decoy force lures away the powerful carrier group assigned to the Eastern Philippines AO. The decoy unit kinda worked as the carrier group containing the most powerful assets started to chase after them but before they could go all "just as planned" with a smug in their faces, Southern Force was destroyed by the battleship group greeting them in the mouth of Surigao Strait, two subs trolled the large center force somewhere near Palawan with the result in the cruisers Maya and Atago going under and Musashi when the force was in the Sibuyan sea being plane spammed so hard that she was limping to try and beach before sinking outright and in the eventuality the decoy force ceased to exist.

 

Since the big game of kill the carrier started happening up north with the fleet carriers in tow which were the same carriers that trolled the hell out of center force while they were in the Sibuyan Sea, what was left?

 

25zthxx.jpgBehold, a model of the CVE Gambier Bay, one of the Casablanca escort carriers and is also a casualty during the brawl.

 

The CVE or escort carrier was this funky flat top because it wasn't really insane like a standard fleet carrier like an Essex, Yorktown or the Saratoga or even a light carrier, it was there as a "secondary" capital ship of sorts. Now the crew aboard would name them "Combustible, Vulnerable, Expendable" because of their roles which can likely send them under with them along her although this battle proved otherwise, the escort carrier was one of the more serviceable ships when the big fleet carriers were used as anti-surface combatants since its not necessary to have a fleet carrier to do bombing missions all the time which can relegate valuable aircraft when the escort carrier can do that with the same effectiveness. Also were used as merchant escorts when the MAC ships were already superseded by them and was ready to play pin the depth charge on the u-boat if necessary. At this time, the ships in the Leyte AO were helping the forces move deeper inland by bombing the crap out of anything the ground forces didn't like. 

 

fdra6o.jpg

Samuel B. Roberts, a John Butler destroyer escort. Fight like a battleship, die like a battleship.

 

The destroyer escorts were also there as part of the small screening force left as the big ass battleships and cruisers were already screening the big carriers. Its an incidental thing that the lead ship of the class was there along with her sisters. The destroyer escort was basically a "fatter" destroyer with a slow speed but it was still a necessary thing to have as a pudgy ship when there are no cruisers around. Despite their pudgy looks, they were escorts at heart and never the same potent anti-surface ships their destroyer colleagues were. They had torpedoes but most torpedoes there had limited range and to add to boot, the DE was slow as balls so that would mean you need to YOLO through hails of gunfire THEN unload the things if you weren't sunk by then.

 

24ax5e1.jpg

Johnston. The one who began the most manly tear inducing feat ever of the Fletcher class.

 

By this time, the Fletcher was basically the "workhorse" of the US navy. Now this isn't discounting the older ships like the Benson or Gleaves, the Fletcher was practically a "do everything" destroyer and from what I could remember, it was well liked as that ship that was the backbone of for the US incursions in the Pacific Theater. It also had small gun directors outfitted for glorious guns. And if anything, this class had their mettle proven how messed up it was and how awe inspiring their sacrifice had been.

 

Because Halsey started to play tag with the decoy force which he eventually whacked, the San Bernardino Strait was gaping wide open and center force, which turned a 180 after seeing that the intensity of the air attack died down at the cost of Musashi going under, they steamed through it and in the early hours of the morning... it began.

 

Imagine this playing when center force surprised taffy 3 and opens fire. Seriously, warships OST churns the imagination when reading naval brawls.

 

2i1d18j.jpg

The saying "taste the rainbow" was a literal thing during that morning as the ships used colored dyes to tell which shots are theirs.

 

Center force was still pretty much wary on where the fleet carriers might be and they didn't know that the decoy force masterfully baited them... okay now that sounded wrong... did their job in luring em away leaving the north side open and pretty soon, Yamato unloaded the opening salvo with colored geysers in the water following soon after because "HOLY CRAP CARRIERS BLAST THEM!" and all the taffy groups turned tail and ran southward and into a squall hoping optical rangefinders will have a harder bead on them as the capital ships were spacing for their anti-aircraft formation as they were facing carriers although its pretty likely they don't know what kind of carriers they were. That small silhouette of a flat top isn't really helping in knowing what it is. They thought it was an element of the main carrier unit. After the destroyers started laying smoke, it was then that one destroyer turned tail and had a case of an NCO during the battle of Belleau Wood in WWI screaming "alright you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?!" by charging straight to the enemy, popping 5 inch gunfire as she zigzagged to evade in order to get into a range where she could unload torpedoes which prompted the other ships to try and be meat shields for the carriers to get out of dodge and if circumstances arose, link up with the dreads that obliterated southern force. A strange thing is that there were prospects that the spotters mistook the destroyers as light cruisers.

 

This OST reminded me of this battle when I heard it first during Alpha. I salute the RUdevs for the nice OST's.

 

Johnston unloaded so much ordnance and presented a stubborn target to the enemy as well as a hard target to bead because the optical rangefinders the Japanese used were rather clunky at most that you had to dye your shots to check the fall of shot when you needed to aim while the fire control on the Fletchers just had you focus at a target and unload away... although this enabled Johnston to wreak havoc to the forces in the squall with her guns alone after the torpedo run (note: USN destroyers like the Fletchers don't have a "reload". You move in for a torpedo run then get the hell out of dodge. There is no "second run" had you emptied your tubes), she was eventually totaled, with some of the severe damaged dealt to her coming from battleships including one rumored shell from Yamato, and sank with her last moments of action unloading at the enemy despite the ship getting enough ordnance to send her under. Not everyone could YOLO towards the enemy and deal as much chaos and damage as they go down, with one victim of her aggressive attacks being the heavy cruiser Kumano which had her prow blown off apart from eating torpedo and got 5 inch shells to the superstructure.

 

Samuel B Roberts had her own share of slugfest in the chaotic melee as she joined in the pummeling of the Tone sister ship Chikuma with all available rounds and had a hand in giving glaring damage to Chokai which was also wracked with a torp det because a 5 inch shell managed to hit the tubes which set off the oxidized torpedoes, the shooter was one of the 5 inch guns on the escort carriers, most directed at White Plains.

 

Hoel, despite being the first to go under after taking grueling punishment, had fired her guns first and was one of the few destroyers there whose torpedo runs had reported to practically "shoo" the supreme flagship as it was trying to turn away from the torpedo spread which affected the outcome of the battle as the commanding officer was aboard the large battleship. Got chucked by Tone but still made her mark.

 

5nlqmr.jpgGambier Bay under fire. She was the only carrier to go under from shelling. EVER. The one with Scharnhorst shooting Glorious is just hax. A perfect example why cruisers with good AA suites need to babysit these defenseless flat tops or else another Samar happens.

 

The carriers weren't safe as the stronger Japanese surface fleet, despite the valiant action of their escorts, were still at their tails and were in the shit, literally. Gambier Bay was the one that got beaded and sank soon after and not even Johnston's maneuvers could not prevent the enemy from dealing volley after volley at the damned ship. As the destroyers and the destroyer escort decided to begin their runs, this battle also saw the beginning of the divine winds of Leyte to strike and be a drastic measure which crashed to the carrier St. Lo and brought her under. It was during the heat of those few hours that the taffy groups commander Kinkaid started pinging distress messages as they were already in the thick of it. Now the dreadnought battleship group under Oldendorf which was still there at Surigao Strait consolidating the hell out of their bit and given that most of them are part of the Big Five standard battleships with the Colorados being the last of that thought, having a speed of 22 knots can't really do them favors and had they reached the carrier group, its likely they might not have enough AP to continue the slugfest with the Japanese battleships which were relatively intact at most or the worst case was that they decimate the beachhead and get the hell out of dodge long before Halsey realized the decoy. There was this funny talk that center force didn't need to chase the carriers and obliterate them because their intent was to simply decimate the Leyte beachhead and that the CVE couldn't even be combat effective vs the might of the Japanese surface ships when in fact it was effective enough to wreak havoc. 

 

As Kinkaid was practically yelling for help, Nimitz, who was monitoring the chatter, sent this which made Halsey ragequit when he was getting the gist of what the CVE's left there were getting in the mix with:

 

TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS TASK FORCE THIRTY FOUR RR THE WORLD WONDERS

 

To those that may not be familiar, the "turkey trots to water" and "the world wonders" was just code garbage or "padding" so that it won't be easily cracked but the Bull took "the world wonders" at face value because he was busy playing tag with the decoy force and although he destroyed them at Cape engaño, he couldn't react fast enough to the point Kinkaid raged at who was camping at San Bernardino Strait. Sent a small group headed by Vice Admiral McCain to aid the beleaguered fleet and was reported to have blasted Nowaki while it was trying to run away from the AO. As the surviving ships of center force start pulling out as the elements of 3rd Fleet was already nearing to aid the battle damaged 7th fleet, it was this funny notion that they thought that the carrier group that had only three taffy groups comprising of escort carriers would have enough ferocity to emulate a fleet that had fleet carriers with them. Halsey tried to run after them but they already slipped away.

 

Its not like the Japanese were relatively intact from this fierce attack however. Yamato, after dodging torpedoes was out of contact with the commander all "holy crap that IS a big task force for them to cause such a fierce attack like that", Kumano was decked badly with her prow blown off because torpedo Chikuma got pummeled and went under, Suzuya... torp detted because of a near miss... a near miss... Chokai was scuttled after being torp detted as well.

 

Though miscommunication happened at both sides, it was a strange turn of events that had shown manly feats to happen.

 

Derp.exe has encountered a serious error and needs to close.

 

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Super Tester
1,779 posts
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Close to home?? :teethhappy:

 

yeah, well not too close lol~

 

Battle took place on the eastern part while I currently live on the western part, but I guess it's near.. my other home province is Leyte (I frequently visit cuz lol family)

 

I wonder if some ppl restored the WW2 spots after the storm, I recall seeing WW2 Pillboxes(MG nests or something) in a local beach in Tacloban lol~ :teethhappy:  Leyte Landing memorial was restored though after the storm..

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Member
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yeah, well not too close lol~

 

Battle took place on the eastern part while I currently live on the western part, but I guess it's near.. my other home province is Leyte (I frequently visit cuz lol family)

 

I wonder if some ppl restored the WW2 spots after the storm, I recall seeing WW2 Pillboxes(MG nests or something) in a local beach in Tacloban lol~ :teethhappy:  Leyte Landing memorial was restored though after the storm..

 

Good thing that they did, McArthur was sad that his hat and pipe were missing after Yolanda...:D

 

My airsoft team had this place in Talisay, Cebu we called "Lost Hiroshima" which I wondered why until one of our games I found out why... I stumbled on a vined and ruined concrete Japanese Bunker with the little painted flags on the walls (killcount?) and lots of japanese writing on the walls and a lot of bullet holes everywhere... I went thru a rusting steel door and I was shocked to to see a huge deep crater and a long deep dark crack and a gaping hole in the ceiling (sent chills down my spine)... My friends stopped me from going any further coz the ground was not stable... Many years passed and I stopped to visit the place only to find out that it's a Residential Subdivision now... :(

 

My mom was born in Samar, and her dad fought in the war... I do recall some pictures of my grandad in usual Filipino WW2 getup (wierd soup plate helmet and all) and his small band of raiders :playing:...

 

Edited by Kreigg

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I love the original sighting report on Centre Force. Plane flying a regular, boring patrol. Then its pilot sees a horde of heavy ships and goes "thank god they're on our side". Then realizes they aren't. Then radios back to the carriers the sighting report. And then the admiral chews him out over the radio for misidentifying friendly ships. And the pilot screams back that he sees pagodas and the biggest meatball flag he ever saw on the biggest ship he ever saw. And then pants were collectively shat.

 

Also worth noting that the DDs and DEs were outweighed by Yamato's turret.

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Super Tester
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Though I'd like to ask was Oldendorf still camping at Surigao Strait when Kinkaid was pinging frantically for Halsey because of facepalm inducing open San Bernardino Strait?

 

There was this strange argument about center force being nigh-unstoppable and that a destroyer squadron alone can't deal much damage against a composition of that size without aircraft and basing their bits from an alternate story which had a funky way of showing the battle.

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Beta Tester
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I think you can mention a bit more on the Japanese side of things. And what "Could-have"s and "Would-have"s.

Then again, History is written by the victors, and the Americans stood firmly either against overwhelming force.

 

For how brutal the task that is given to Admiral Takeo, I think he did what he can, and minimized the damage his forces had taken.

It was unfortunate for him to be remembered for the decision to flee from the CVEs, but personally after book after book my conclusion is that - he make the best decision base on what he know.

He and his subordinates haven't slept for 3 days, and it's not like after breaking through the CVEs it will be just a massacre - it's absolutely false - and this is also why so many people misunderstand the situation and simply just blame Takeo for not brave enough.

 

The thing is, Takeo had essentially the last hope of the entire Japanese Navy - Yamato, Mushashi (which is already lost), Nagato, Kongo, Haruna and a couple of heavy cruisers.

What will face them (Give they sunk TG77.4.3 and kept charging) are:

 

- TG77.2 lead by Rear Admiral Oldendorf, as you mentioned, which consist of 3 Battleships (Tennessee, Pennsylvania and California), 4 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruisers and 13 DDs.

May sound a bit weak, but do you think they will get crushed through easily when you consider all American sailors know their boys on the beach are doomed if they got rekted?

And remember, all of these older Battleships are although old (Duh), they are all modernized and equipped with Advanced Fire Control system (MK8, the same you see on Iowa(s)).

 

- Kek given you broke through that. Halsey isn't sitting there can watchin. He's already announced that IF Takeo's task forces break through, he will form the Emergency Task force 34, Which consist of 4 bloody battleships (And not your old 1920s Battleships, these are the big boys - 1 South Dakota Class - Alabama, 1 North Carolina Class - Washington, 2 Iowa class - Iowa and New Jersey), 2 Heavy cruisers,3 Light cruisers and 14 DDs. Imagine the wounded and extremely exhausted Japanese force come across these monsters.

Oh and to add insult to injury, the American force is sitting there waiting for the Japanese force, this mean Battle of Surigao 2.0 - Another crossing the T - just that this time it's not the old battleship anymore, it's the best Battleships among the entire world firing at you. Imagine that. Yamato would be long gone before it can do it's suicide mission.

 

If all is lost, what next for the Japanese Navy, Fuel is an issue, but if you lost all of your ships, would it matter anyway? At least it's a nice "Problem" to have.

All in all, the task given to Admiral Takeo is simply impossible in the first place, and IMO just for saving a lot of men from the Pacific Ocean he deserve a lot of credits. I think this is also why he refused to talk about the battle as well after WWII, as he knows he's gonna get blamed, but the truth is he did his best.

 

When a essentially doomed Japanese force meets the Brave and relentless Taffy 3, personally, I think the fate of the battle is already decided.

Edited by Alvin1020

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Super Tester
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I think you can mention a bit more on the Japanese side of things. And what "Could-have"s and "Would-have"s.

Then again, History is written by the victors, and the Americans stood firmly either against overwhelming force.

 

For how brutal the task that is given to Admiral Takeo, I think he did what he can, and minimized the damage his forces had taken.

It was unfortunate for him to be remembered for the decision to flee from the CVEs, but personally after book after book my conclusion is that - he make the best decision base on what he know.

He and his subordinates haven't slept for 3 days, and it's not like after breaking through the CVEs it will be just a massacre - it's absolutely false - and this is also why so many people misunderstand the situation and simply just blame Takeo for not brave enough.

 

The thing is, Takeo had essentially the last hope of the entire Japanese Navy - Yamato, Mushashi (which is already lost), Nagato, Kongo, Haruna and a couple of heavy cruisers.

What will face them (Give they sunk TG77.4.3 and kept charging) are:

 

- TG77.2 lead by Rear Admiral Oldendorf, as you mentioned, which consist of 3 Battleships (Tennessee, Pennsylvania and California), 4 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruisers and 13 DDs.

May sound a bit weak, but do you think they will get crushed through easily when you consider all American sailors know their boys on the beach are doomed if they got rekted?

And remember, all of these older Battleships are although old (Duh), they are all modernized and equipped with Advanced Fire Control system (MK8, the same you see on Iowa(s)).

 

- Kek given you broke through that. Halsey isn't sitting there can watchin. He's already announced that IF Takeo's task forces break through, he will form the Emergency Task force 34, Which consist of 4 bloody battleships (And not your old 1920s Battleships, these are the big boys - 1 South Dakota Class - Alabama, 1 North Carolina Class - Washington, 2 Iowa class - Iowa and New Jersey), 2 Heavy cruisers,3 Light cruisers and 14 DDs. Imagine the wounded and extremely exhausted Japanese force come across these monsters.

Oh and to add insult to injury, the American force is sitting there waiting for the Japanese force, this mean Battle of Surigao 2.0 - Another crossing the T - just that this time it's not the old battleship anymore, it's the best Battleships among the entire world firing at you. Imagine that. Yamato would be long gone before it can do it's suicide mission.

 

If all is lost, what next for the Japanese Navy, Fuel is an issue, but if you lost all of your ships, would it matter anyway? At least it's a nice "Problem" to have.

All in all, the task given to Admiral Takeo is simply impossible in the first place, and IMO just for saving a lot of men from the Pacific Ocean he deserve a lot of credits. I think this is also why he refused to talk about the battle as well after WWII, as he knows he's gonna get blamed, but the truth is he did his best.

 

When a essentially doomed Japanese force meets the Brave and relentless Taffy 3, personally, I think the fate of the battle is already decided.

Lel sorry for that. Was focusing on the battle itself.

 

Though to be fair, Sibuyan thinned out the ranks of center force a bit. I kinda forgot who in the Imperial High Command said that if they lose PH, they're effectively screwed. Though for Kurita, it wasn't cowardice IMHO as well, it was a "lesser evil" I suppose. Also, I have no idea if Oldendorf was slowly making his way upwind at that time when Kinkaid was pining the hell out of the relay.

 

Something more strange to happen would be the prospect of Oldendorf's happy dreads engaging center force into a bloody melee and having "not enough AP" to force the big ass group to a standstill for the carrier planes to start raking the shit out of them as they were reported to unload a sizable amount of AP at Surigao Strait and there was a fun notion that the IJN GFCS was actually good at that time comparable to the computer assisted GFCS. Add the argument that Halsey was far away for the lead elements of his air wings to reach center force if Kurita was still hellbent in sending them under.

Edited by EvyL

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Alpha Tester
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Something more strange to happen would be the prospect of Oldendorf's happy dreads engaging center force into a bloody melee and having "not enough AP" to force the big ass group to a standstill for the carrier planes to start raking the shit out of them as they were reported to unload a sizable amount of AP at Surigao Strait and there was a fun notion that the IJN GFCS was actually good at that time comparable to the computer assisted GFCS. Add the argument that Halsey was far away for the lead elements of his air wings to reach center force if Kurita was still hellbent in sending them under.

 

Related:

 

VDkGbKX.png

 

Add the factor of further damage accumulated if they do pursue the operation.

It's a no-win game at all

 

 

friendly note: Fanatics won't be happy with this. At all. cuz Imperial Japan will nvr lose :'D

 

EDIT: Those loadouts were somehow weird for a bombardment role, which they were assigned with as stated in the Order of Battle

Edited by Kotono_Amaha

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Super Tester
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Although to be fair, if no deviations were present like squalls and the destroyers escorting not smoking (though what moron would NOT screen the carriers with smoke?) early, there was a good chance that Taffy 3 will cease to exist, adding the fact kaze strike intensity was starting to blare. Although the question would be this: had center force broken through that and smashed the Leyte beachhead with a bombardment then get the hell out of dodge, there still throws in the question about where they will run and at this point, if there were stragglers from the taffys making runs, be them armed or dry, as well as the battleship reaction force given Halsey should have destroyed the decoy force about the time and started sending available planes that finished their run in another sortie.

 

I'm starting to wish I had full crap on both the Japanese side and the US side.

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Beta Tester
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Very true.

 

The Japanese isn't all that great either. (I think) Their surviving heavy cruisers had something like 150 or less AP rounds left, which as you can imagine being less hard-hitting and fire faster, these guys are in a even worse state for another battle.

 

friendly note: Fanatics won't be happy with this. At all. cuz Imperial Japan will nvr lose :'D

 

Fanatics would be in GD/Off-topic ranting how IJN could have rekted USN. This is the "Historical Section" we're talkin-bout - would fanatics read here in the first place anyway? :D

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Alpha Tester
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Very true.

 

The Japanese isn't all that great either. (I think) Their surviving heavy cruisers had something like 150 or less AP rounds left, which as you can imagine being less hard-hitting and fire faster, these guys are in a even worse state for another battle.

 

 

Fanatics would be in GD/Off-topic ranting how IJN could have rekted USN. This is the "Historical Section" we're talkin-bout - would fanatics read here in the first place anyway? :D

 

The destroyers and PT were very low on torpedoes as noted too. Though the battleships are more than ready. And they are way too close in the gulf too.

 

Welp, you can't tell. Maybe the brave ones were still asleep since they will assert their "possible" alternate history where Japan can make US negotiate for peace by either dealing more damage to Pearl Harbor/winning Midway/blasting Mac Arthur in Samar.

 

the first two were meh. cuz production power. The last one's meh too. given the circumstances available lmao

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