The loss of the Phillipines in 1942 was the worst defeat in American military history. General Douglas MacArthur, the 'Lion of Luzon', was evacuated by order of the President just before the fall, but he vowed to return, and in August 1944 he kept his word when he led the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War to date on the island of Leyte. This is the full story of that fateful battle, one of the most ferocious campaigns of World War II and one of huge strategic and symbolic significance. Preceding it had been the largest naval battle ever fought: the battle of Leyte Gulf, in which the Imperial Japanese Navy was decisively crushed. This paved the way for four divisions of Lieutenant-General Krueger's Sixth Army to spear-head the assault. In the face of stubborn Japanese resistance, including the first systematic use of kamikaze attacks, the US forces ground slowly forwards before another amphibious assault took the vital position of Ormoc in the last decisive battle of the campaign.
Based on extensive research in the US Army's Military History Institute, along with other archival and veteran sources, this important study sheds new light on the operation that saw the US finally return to the Phillipines and in doing so placed another nail firmly in the coffin of the Japanese Empire.