Storm Over Leyte
The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network October 13, 2016 Bob Wintermute
Narratives of the Pacific War frequently examine the 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf from the operational perspective, focusing on the desperate actions of the US Seventh Fleets escort carriers, Task Unit 77.4.3 (“Taffy 3”) against the much larger Japanese Center Force, commanded by Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita. The ensuing drama, including the famous call for help and rebuke of US Third Fleet commander, Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., has become legend. In his latest book, Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy (NAL, 2016), seasoned historian John Prados places Leyte Gulf as the denouement of a larger campaign for control of the Central Pacific Ocean, one which was the swan song of Japanese naval power. Incorporating the naval intelligence of both sides, he restores agency to the Imperial Japanese Navy as the unwitting architect of its own destruction. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including many hitherto unseen Japanese primary documents, memoirs, and interviews, Prados unveils one of the most comprehensive comparative treatments of this controversial campaign.