Episode 1 - background
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The US had been island hopping throughout the South Pacific, driving Japanese forces backwards
Even though Japan's ability to launch planes from carriers was hindered, there was still a sizable land based force in the Philippines
In a meeting, Admiral Chester Nimitz wanted to invade Taiwan and create a blockade around the Philippines. General MacArthur however, wanted to invade the Philippines
The problem with invading Taiwan was that it would require more ground forces than the US had available in the Pacific, and the Australian army was tied up in the Solomon Islands
In a meeting with President Roosevelt, it was decided that the US would invade the Philippines
The 7th Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Kinkaid would invade Leyte Gulf, which was in the center of the Philippines
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