Naval Losses in the Naval Battle of (November 11-15, 1942)
It cost them a dozen transports, seventy thousand tons of precious, top-quality shipping. The IJN took heavy punishment in the air, where they were beginning to feel the continuing large losses. Halsey was made a full admiral.
But the battle was more than that, by not being more. This was Tokyo's chance to win that Mahanian "decisive battle" Yamamoto was always seeking. At Midway in June, he had failed in this. Here the opportunity had come again. Here he was still overwhelmingly superior, again. Almost everything the United States had in the Pacific was here. Yamamoto was well-positioned, free to maneuver. Halsey was tied to defending CACTUS. If Halsey could be annihilated, CACTUS would fall by itself. But in this case, Yamamoto allowed the opportunity to pass. He failed to commit more than a part of his available fleet, he failed to force the issue, and missed his chance. He would never have another.