The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a crucial naval battle between the United States and Japan which took place in October 1944. What factors make it especially distinctive however?

Answer: It was the first battle in which the Japanese carried out organised kamikaze attacks. These were planes, filled with explosives, flown into enemy ships as a suicide mission. The battle was also the largest naval battle in the Second World War, with some arguing it was probably the largest ever naval clash. The commanding officer of the Kamikaze squadron was Admiral Takijio Onishi. He wrote a Haiku – a traditional short Japanese poem – for the unit: ’In blossom today, then scattered. Life is so like a delicate flower. How can one expect the fragrance to last forever?’

Source: Sea of Thunder by Evan Thomas; General Historical Texts

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