This episode begins a series on the battles fought in the Philippines during 1944 and 1945, pitting the Americans and Filipinos against the Japanese. Here we will see General Douglas MacArthur land the US 6th Army on the island of Leyte, thereby keeping the promise he made two years earlier. Then the entire Japanese Navy will gather in the waters around Leyte to stop the landing, resulting in the biggest naval battle in all of World War II. Finally we will see the first use of Japan's desperate last tactic, kamikaze planes.

Here is the famous photo of MacArthur wading ashore at Leyte. Today on the spot where this happened, you can see a war memorial with seven bronze statues of MacArthur and his associates, re-enacting the landing (second picture). The man wearing the pith helmet is Sergio Osmena, the Philippine president at the time.




To understand the battle of Leyte Gulf you will need a map. This one comes from a 1959 Time Magazine article, which commemorated the 15th anniversary of the battle. You are looking at a thumbnail; click on it to see the map full size in a new tab.
Battle of Leyte Gulf.

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