Magazine article Sea Classics

BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT: A Radical Reassessment of a WWII Naval Battle

Magazine article Sea Classics

BATTLE OF SURIGAO STRAIT: A Radical Reassessment of a WWII Naval Battle

Article excerpt

BATTLEOFSURIGAOSTRAIT: A Radical Reassessment of a WWII Naval Battle By Anthony P. Tuttie 352 Pages, Illustrated, 6-in ? 9-in, Hardback. ISBN: 978-0-25335242-2 - $27.95. University of Indiana Press, Bloomington, IN; http:// iupress.indiana.edu

When only one ship like the IJN Shigure out of a section survives, one can be assured there will be considerable discussion about such stunning losses many years after one of WWH's most savage sea battles. Such is the complexity of the pivotal Battle of Surigao Strait that, 61-yrs after its fiery happening, Naval historians are still debating exactly what happened to who, and why it went down the way it did.

Author Tony Tuttie does not consider himself a revisionist. If anything, his usual historical pursuits follow more orthodox lines by merely expanding on well-established themes. But in this latest effort, he has uncovered so much from new sources that dispute recognized history that he felt the record had to be set straight for all time. Hence, the Battle of Surigao Strait becomes an important addition to the study of the last of the four major encounters collectively known as the battle of Leyte Gulf.

The Surigao encounter is most important because it was the last of the Leyte Gulf actions in addition to being the last battle between opposing surface ships. Oddly, there has been no significant analysis ofthat battle since the Naval War College's 1958 report and the 1956 publication of Vol. 12 of Morison's History of U.S.Naval Operations in WWH,

Articles published in the late-1990s spurred the author's interest for further study when he noticed that certain contradictions, erroneous data, and outright errors in fact were being taken as unquestioned truth by a number of historians. …

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