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Re: & would have still missed him because of ...
You miss the point, the old Battleships were between the landings and the Japanese fleet. They had to go through the escort fleet to reach the amphibs. No way they could have.
distance & lack of speed as can only do max 21 knots as they are OBBs.
Nowhere did Kurita have instructions to sacrifice his fleet. The point of attacking the beachhead was attrition. Yes they knew the war was lost but their goal was to inflict as many American casualties as possible in the hopes of negotiations. Which for some reason the Russians kept advising them was possible.
Did Kurita fail In attacking the beachhead yes. Did he sink a number of DDs and a CVE yes. Did not Kurita lose two heavy cruisers? So if attrition was the goal then victory may lean towards the USN for the beachhead was empty.
The main reason the remnants of the IJN was not seen again in was from lack oil. Not lack of fight. Yamato sailed on her one way mission to Okinawa and the Indianapolis was still torpedoed.
And yes the BBs were almost out of AP shells but they were being resupplied.
That's my opinion anyway. Kurita's job was to destroy the landing force and US Mistakes had given him his chance..
He failed in his mission.
There was no point in preserving his fleet. The war was lost,a victory here would have prolonged the war, but not changed the final outcome. More people on both sides would have died, so thank goodness he screwed up.
The Old US battle ships would not have made much difference, they were about out of main battery ammo.
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