Leyte by Charles Robert Anderson; Center of Military History

By Charles Robert Anderson; Center of Military History

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Sample text

The progress of combat operations inland raised new problems as the distance between combat units and beach depots steadily increased. Many were solved by a combination of innovation and labor-intensive methods, but more effective solutions would have to await development of better air and ground delivery systems as well as the organizational reforms necessary to accommodate them. The largest single category of problems, however, were those the engineers dealt with during the continuous struggle with terrain and weather.

Learning of the seizure of the last port open to the Japanese, General MacArthur announced the end of organized resistance on Leyte. But Japanese defenders continued to fight as units until 31 December. Farther north, other American forces made faster progress against more disorganized and dispirited enemy troops. Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division reached the coast on the 28th, and two days later met patrols of the 32d Division. Also on the 28th, companies of the 34th Infantry, 24th Division, cleared the last enemy positions from the northwest corner of Leyte.

In the 1970s, the declassification of cryptanalytic documentation relating to the Pacific war allowed fuller treatment of the intelligence background to the Leyte Campaign. A scholarly example of such is “The Missing Division: Leyte, 1944,” Chapter 6 of Edward J. Drea, MacArthur’s ULTRA; Codebreaking and the War Against Japan, 1942-1945 (1992). The most extensive treatment of the campaign itself remains M. Hamlin Cannon, Leyte: The Return to the Philippines (1987), a volume in the series United States Army in World War II.

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