Naval War College Review

Article Title

Battle of Surigao Strait


Richard Norton


The sprawling battle of Leyte Gulf was fought from 23 to 26 October 1944, and nearly seventy years later it still has the power both to fire the imagination and to provide enduring military lessons. As drama goes, the battle (or more pre- cisely, a series of engagements, each deserving a name of its own) is an ap- parently bottomless cornucopia of personalities, desperate gambles, and heroism, as well as of enough “what-ifs” to spawn a cottage industry of alternate histories. In at least one way, Leyte Gulf has similarities to Gettysburg. Both bat- tles have been written about so exten- sively that some authors focus on the smaller engagements that together com- plete the picture of the larger conflict.