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Spruance or Halsey?

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Watson, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Bosspac

    Bosspac recruit

    Aug 29, 2010
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    As I understand it, Admiral Halsey was dupped into believing that the Japanese force was headed north in a retreat, not realizing that it was a ruse, so that; I Think that Kurita's force could sneak in and create havoc for the landings on the beachhead. His force being a Battle Force, (no Carriers). Thanks to the DD's and DE's, along with the Jeep Carriers, which by the way suffered heavy losses, Kurita was dupped into reatreating, thinking he had run into a much larger force. I also think it was this battle that Admiral Nimitz radioed the famous message " The world wonders" Where is the Third Fleet??
  2. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

    Oct 12, 2009
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    As a Fleet Commander, Adm. Spruance was the better choice. I believe that Adm. Spruance receives unwarranted criticism for the Battle of the Phillipine Sea. Mainly that he failed to offensively position his fleet, prior to the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot. As a result, there was the "stern chase" allowing Japanese carriers to slip away. However, he did what the planning designated and required of him. Namely, Cover The Invasion Force. It is similar to what he did on the evening of June 6, 1942. He didn't charge after a lure, risk a night time naval action and leave uncovered his primary goal.
    In October 1944 Adm. Halsey was provided with the opportunity to achieve the destruction of Japanese carriers, the last great Battle Line action and Cover The Invasion. He was given the authority to do all of these things. It was the June 1942 scenario, which Adm. Halsey missed, all over again. However, he charged after the lure, left uncovered the San Bernardino Strait, and missed the chance for the last great surface action of the Pacific War.
    In retrospect, the black shoes (Fletcher and Spruance) and tennis shoes (Nimitz) understood the nature of the Pacific Naval War, better than the brown shoes (Halsey and King)? The black shoes seemed to have understood that naval war changed at Pearl Harbor. Great Fleet Commanders adapt as changes in tactics, armaments and material come about.
  3. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Active Member

    Feb 28, 2021
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    Halsey was a fighter. Spruance was a chess player. Each has his place in war. I prefer Spruance's studied, unemotional style; it takes into consideration potential enemy actions more thoroughly, in my opinion.

    I wonder if Halsey sending his carriers north against the lure, under a subordinate, and keeping TF34 under his own command to pursue and destroy Center Force might not have been a better solution. Granted there's a heavy pinch of hindsight in that recipe, and I'm not sure Halsey would consider it an option, given his temperament.

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