This final stage of the Battle of Leyte Gulf has been derisively termed “Bull’s Run.”. Yamashiro and Mogami were crippled by a combination of 16-in and 14-in armor-piercing shells, as well as the fire of Oldendorf's flanking cruisers. With his fleet in disarray and not realizing just how close he had come to shattering the thin defensive screen around the Leyte landing beaches, Kurita opted to retire. Ernest Evans of the destroyer USS Johnston was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. It seems that he did not receive this vital message from Kinkaid until around 10:00. Sprague directed his carriers to launch their planes, then run for the cover of a rain squall to the east. This was the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organized kamikaze attacks, and the last naval battle between battleships in history. It may well be regarded as the largest naval battle in military history. The escort carrier St. Ozawa's force was not located until 16:40 on 24 October, largely because Sherman's TG 38.3—which was the northernmost of Halsey's groups—was responsible for searches in this sector. Yamashiro was able to steam on, but Fusō was torpedoed by USS Melvin and fell out of formation, sinking forty minutes later. Vice Admiral Lee, who had correctly deduced that Ozawa's force was on a decoy mission and indicated this in a blinker message to Halsey's flagship, was similarly rebuffed. Gambier Bay, at the rear of the American formation, became the focus of the battleship Yamato and sustained multiple hits before capsizing at 09:07. 25 October 1944. Over the following days, U.S. carrier planes responded with attacks on Japanese air bases in Formosa and the northern Philippines, and October 18–19 saw further strikes on targets near the landing beaches. By the time of the engagement off Samar, it included four battleships—among them Kurita’s new flagship, the super battleship Yamato—eight cruisers, and nearly a dozen destroyers. Northern Force would be built around several aircraft carriers, but these would have very few aircraft or trained aircrew. More than 130,000 men of Lieut. In the Sibuyan Sea action, several Japanese ships were damaged, and the super battleship Musashi was sunk after repeated strikes from American aircraft. Kurita's force caught Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3 ('Taffy 3') by surprise. At 15:12 on 24 October, Halsey sent an ambiguously worded telegraphic radio message to his subordinate task group commanders giving details of this contingency plan: BATDIV 7 MIAMI, VINCENNES, BILOXI, DESRON 52 LESS STEVEN POTTER, FROM TG 38.2 AND WASHINGTON, ALABAMA, WICHITA, NEW ORLEANS, DESDIV 100, PATTERSON, BAGLEY FROM TG 38.4 WILL BE FORMED AS TASK FORCE 34 UNDER VICE ADMIRAL LEE, COMMANDER BATTLE LINE. King advocated bypassing the Philippines and attacking Formosa directly, while other naval officers, such as Adm. Chester Nimitz, favoured limited operations in the Philippines as a prelude to the Formosa offensive. Pennsylvania was unable to find a target and her guns remained silent. [31], After the Japanese Southern and Center forces had been detected, but before it had been engaged or Ozawa's carriers had been located, Halsey and the staff of 3rd Fleet, aboard the battleship New Jersey, prepared a contingency plan to deal with the threat from Kurita's Center Force. If it should remain in southern waters, it could not receive supplies of ammunition and arms. Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf had a substantial force comprising, Five of the six battleships had been sunk or damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and subsequently repaired or, in the cases of Tennessee, California, and West Virginia, rebuilt. Fanshaw Bay fired on a cruiser, and is believed to have registered five hits, one amid the superstructure that caused smoke. Not so much as a picket destroyer was left". Two and a half hours were then spent refuelling TF 34's accompanying destroyers. Kurita's Center Force therefore emerged unopposed from San Bernardino Strait at 03:00 on 25 October and steamed southward along the coast of the island of Samar. Nothing lay between the battleships of Kurita's Center Force now steaming towards the American landing vessels in Leyte Gulf, except for Kinkaid's vulnerable escort carrier group off the coast of Samar. Just before 3:30 pm a massive explosion ripped through the Princeton, and hundreds of sailors on the light cruiser USS Birmingham, which was preparing to take the Princeton under tow, were killed. As they were preparing their aircraft for attack, the escort carriers returned the Japanese fire with all the firepower they had – one 5 in. Bosun Mate 1st Class John E. Brandau hoisting the American flag on Leyte Island during the invasion of the Philippines, October 20, 1944. The Battle of Leyte Gulf—NHHC's overview of the battle American survivors of the battle are rescued by a U.S. Navy ship on 26 October 1944. Two Australian WWII veterans, 95 year-old David Mattiske and 97 year-old retired Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, attended the commemoration event. U.S. soldier and his war dog in a foxhole on Leyte Island, October 1944. "[15], More than 1,000 sailors and aircrewmen of the Allied escort carrier units were killed. Interpreting “the world wonders” as a stinging rebuke from the commander of the Pacific Fleet, an insulted Halsey at last dispatched an air strike to harass the already retiring Japanese central force. Seeing this, Sprague gave the order "small boys attack", sending the rest of Taffy 3's screening ships into the fray. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}10°22′16″N 125°21′22″E / 10.371°N 125.356°E / 10.371; 125.356, This article is about the naval battle. Nishimura's "Southern Force" consisted of the old battleships Yamashiro and Fusō, the heavy cruiser Mogami, and four destroyers,[39] Shigure, Michishio, Asagumo and Yamagumo. Having just redeployed his ships into anti-aircraft formation, he further complicated matters by ordering a "General Attack", which called for his fleet to split into divisions and attack independently. However, one Japanese aircraft (a Yokosuka D4Y3 Judy) slipped through the defences, and at 09:38 hit the light carrier USS Princeton with a 551 lb (250 kg) armor-piercing bomb. The Japanese command had apparently lost grasp of the tactical picture, with all ships firing all batteries in several directions, "frantically showering steel through 360°. The officer in tactical command had instructed the carriers to "open with pea shooters," and each ship took an enemy vessel under fire as soon as it came within range. Halsey's great decision 24 October 1944 in the Battle for Leyte Gulf . Updates? [19], (Note: This action is referred to by Morison as "The Fight in Palawan Passage",[20] and elsewhere, occasionally, as "the Battle of Palawan Passage". Preferring to expend his fleet against capital ships rather than transports, Kurita set out in pursuit and thereby lost his opportunity to destroy the shipping fleet in Leyte Gulf, and disrupt the vital landings at Leyte. Leyte Gulf is north of 2 and west of 4. Fought in the seas surround the island of Leyte in the Philippines from 23 October to 26 October 1944, this battle cut Japan off from her Southeast Asian colonies and therefore all of Japan's oil. [29] After being struck by at least 17 bombs and 19 torpedoes, Musashi finally capsized and sank at about 19:35.[30]. The Battle of Leyte Gulf is known as the largest naval battle in modern history in terms of the number of soldiers involved in the battle. Halsey fell for the Japanese decoy, convinced the Northern Force constituted the main Japanese threat, and he was determined to seize what he saw as a golden opportunity to destroy Japan's last remaining carrier strength. This lack of unity of command, along with failures in communication, was to produce a crisis and very nearly a strategic disaster for the American forces. The Battle of Leyte Gulf (a.k.a. The only major operation by these surface ships between the Battle for Leyte Gulf and the Japanese surrender was the suicidal sortie in April 1945 (part of Operation Ten-Go), in which the battleship Yamato and her escorts were destroyed by American carrier aircraft. Planes from the carriers Intrepid and Cabot of Bogan's group attacked at about 10:30 scoring hits on the battleships Nagato, Yamato, and Musashi, and badly damaging the heavy cruiser Myōkō which retired to Borneo via Coron Bay. Shortly after 08:00 on 25 October, desperate messages calling for assistance began to come in from 7th Fleet, which had been engaging Nishimura's "Southern Force" in battle in Surigao Strait since 02:00. Leyte had a free undefended approach from the east and adequate anchorages, as well as good access to the other islands in the archipelago. The Japanese did not bother with the wreck. The St. Taffy 3's two other destroyers, Hoel and Heermann, and the destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts, attacked with suicidal determination, drawing fire and disrupting the Japanese formation as ships turned to avoid their torpedoes. American casualties were three carriers and three destroyers sunk, 200 planes shot down, and slightly more than 1,000 killed. On 22 October, Halsey had detached two of his carrier groups to the fleet base at Ulithi to provision and rearm. Battle casualties, illness, and heat exhaustion had reduced its number of effectives to less than 700 men, including all administrative personnel. There would be no sense in saving the fleet at the expense of the loss of the Philippines. Having been battered by U.S. aircraft and submarines, Kurita initially appeared to be retiring to the west, but he soon resumed course, and the Japanese central force pushed doggedly onward toward the San Bernardino Strait and Leyte. [23], Atago and Maya quickly sank. The only Japanese carriers involved in the battle were in the northern decoy force. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. [30] It would be the desperate action and great sacrifice of the much weaker force of six slow escort carriers, three destroyers, four destroyer escorts, and 400 aircraft at the Battle off Samar, utterly lacking in credible weapons to sink armored ships, to stop Kurita. 1953]; Memo – Changes", Task Force 34 Action Report: 26 October 1944 – 3 November 1944, "Preliminary Action Report of Engagements in Leyte Gulf and off Samar Island on 25 October, 1944", History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, "America's Greatest Naval Battle: Report on the Second Battle of the Philippines (First of three parts)", "America's Greatest Naval Battle: Report on the Second Battle of the Philippines (Second of three parts)", "America's Greatest Naval Battle: Report on the Second Battle of the Philippines (Third of three parts)", Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944–1945, Victory At Sea: The Battle For Leyte Gulf, United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific) – Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Task Force 34 Action Report: 6 October 1944 – 3 November 1944 (VAdm Lee), Task Force 77 Action Report: Battle of Leyte Gulf (VAdm Kinkaid), 'Glorious Death: The Battle of Leyte Gulf', Japan's TA-Operation: A Blueprint for Disaster, Oral history interview with Edward Gilbert, a member of the Army Boat Regiment during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf&oldid=1004054472, Naval battles of World War II involving Australia, Naval battles of World War II involving Japan, Naval battles of World War II involving the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from January 2021, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from November 2020, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from December 2020, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Articles needing additional references from October 2017, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 300+ planes (including land-based aircraft), 28 destroyers and 39 motor torpedo boats (. At about 03:00, both Japanese battleships were hit by torpedoes. [55][page needed] In addition, Halsey may well have been influenced by the recent criticisms of Admiral Raymond Spruance, who was criticized for excessive caution in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, allowing the bulk of the Japanese fleet to escape. With the bulk of the Seventh Fleet engaged with Nishimura at Surigao Strait, all that stood between Kurita and the landing beaches were the ships of Taffy 3—a naval task force that consisted of just six escort carriers, three destroyers, and four destroyer escorts under the command of Rear Adm. Clifton Sprague. When Darter's contact report came in, Halsey recalled Davison's group, but allowed Vice Admiral John S. McCain, with the strongest of TF 38's carrier groups, to continue towards Ulithi. The Battle of Ormoc Bay was a series of air-sea battles between Imperial Japan and the United States in the Camotes Sea in the Philippines from 11 November-21 December 1944, part of the Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II.The battles resulted from Japanese operations to reinforce and resupply their forces on Leyte and U.S. attempts to interdict them. When he entered the Surigao Strait at 02:00, Shima was 25 nmi (29 mi; 46 km) behind him and Kurita was still in the Sibuyan Sea, several hours from the beaches at Leyte. He believed strongly in the current naval doctrine of concentration, as indicated by his writings both before World War II and in his subsequent articles and interviews defending his actions. While Formosa could also serve as a base for an invasion of mainland China, which MacArthur felt was unnecessary, it was also estimated that it would require about 12 divisions from the Army and Marines. This World War II clash followed the Allied landing at the Philippine island of Leyte in October 1944. [33][page needed]. Believing the Center Force had been neutralized by 3rd Fleet's air strikes earlier in the day in the Sibuyan Sea, and its remnants were retiring, Halsey radioed (to Nimitz and Kinkaid): We ended up winning, with casualties of 13,313 soldiers. The Southern Force provided no further threat to the Leyte landings. [33][page needed]. After multiple hits from his 6-inch deck guns, the Nautilus commander determined on 31 October that the equipment on Darter was only good for scrap and left her there. 0026- On September 24 Mitscher’s planes bombed the central Philippines and conducted photographic reconnaissance of the area around Leyte and Samar, where landings were to take place in October. Casualties and Deaths: America 3,504 killed and 12,080 wounded. Gen. Walter Krueger’s Sixth Army were ashore by the end of the first day, but the Japanese had already put in motion a plan that was designed to drive the U.S. from the Philippines and potentially turn the tide in the Pacific. However, their luck ran out a short time later, as they were subjected to devastating torpedo attacks from the American destroyers deployed on both sides of their axis of advance. Three naval engagements were fought in the battle for Leyte Gulf on 24-25 October 1944. This was also the first battle that saw the use of Kamikaze strikes. The Japanese Navy’s “Victory Operation” not only failed to disrupt the Leyte landings, it resulted in serious losses to what remained of Japan’s surface fleet. This omission led Admiral Kinkaid of 7th Fleet to believe Halsey was speaking in the present tense, so he concluded TF 34 had been formed and would take station off the San Bernardino Strait. On the evening of 24 October, Ozawa intercepted a (mistaken) American communication describing Kurita's withdrawal; he therefore began to withdraw, too. Consequently, the air counterattacks were almost unceasing, and some, especially several of the strikes launched from Felix Stump's Task Unit 77.4.2 (Taffy 2), were heavy. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Ang Battle of Leyte Gulf (Filipino: Labanan ay isang Golpo Ng Leyte) ay karaniwang itinuturing na naging ang pinakamalaking hukbong-dagat labanan ng Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig at, sa pamamagitan ng ilang mga pamantayan, posibleng ang pinakamalaking hukbong-dagat labanan sa kasaysayan. Kalinin Bay targeted a Myōkō-class heavy cruiser, claiming a hit on the cruiser's No. By the time of the battle, Japan had fewer capital ships (aircraft carriers and battleships) left than the Allied forces had total aircraft carriers, underscoring the disparity in force strength at this point in the war. Kurita's battle report stated he had received a message indicating a group of American carriers was steaming north of him. Lo was struck by a kamikaze and sank shortly after the main engagement had ended. I believed that the Center Force had been so heavily damaged in the Sibuyan Sea that it could no longer be considered a serious menace to Seventh Fleet.[53][54]. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, was the biggest naval battle in modern history. [6][page needed]. Around dawn on 25 October, Ozawa launched 75 aircraft, the bulk of his few aircraft, to attack the 3rd Fleet. The American Joint Chiefs of Staff, acting with necessary haste, moved to capitalize on the situation. The Battle of Leyte Gulf officially entered the books as the Second Battle of the Philippine Sea, though most of the action occurred nearly one thousand miles from the June turkey shoot. [33][page needed]. Halsey deployed a total of 5 fleet carriers, 5 light carriers, 6 battleships, 8 cruisers, and 41 destroyers against Ozawa’s force, which consisted of a single fleet carrier, 3 light carriers, a pair of obsolete carrier-battleship hybrids, 5 destroyers, 4 destroyer escorts, and 3 cruisers. Two of Nishimura's four destroyers were sunk; the destroyer Asagumo was hit and forced to retire, but later sank. Despite over… Although the Darter ran aground and was eventually destroyed by Japanese aircraft after its crew had safely transferred to the Dace, the two submarines had inflicted serious damage on the Japanese fleet as well as robbing it of the element of surprise. 25 October 1944. The Dace struck a mortal blow to the heavy cruiser Maya, which sank in less than five minutes with great loss of life. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The losses in the battle of Leyte Gulf were not evenly distributed throughout all forces. Louisville (Oldendorf's flagship) fired 37 salvos—333 rounds of 8-inch shells. To pass through the narrows and reach the invasion shipping, Nishimura would have to run the gauntlet of torpedoes from the PT boats and destroyers before advancing into the concentrated fire of 14 battleships and cruisers deployed across the far mouth of the Strait. Between them, these groups had five large fleet carriers (Intrepid, Franklin, Lexington, Enterprise, and Essex), five light carriers (Independence, Belleau Wood, Langley, Cabot, and San Jacinto), six modern battleships (Alabama, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Washington), eight cruisers (two heavy and six light), and more than 40 destroyers. He ordered the destroyers and DEs to make a smoke screen to conceal the retreating carriers. The Japanese counterattacked in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. [2]. The carriers would serve as the main bait. It had originally been planned to attack the Philippines at a somewhat later date, but the air strikes revealed an unexpected weakness in the Japanese defense of the islands. However, the fact that the Japanese force had no air cover meant that Sprague's planes could attack unopposed by Japanese fighter aircraft. [22], Darter and Dace traveled on the surface at full power for several hours and gained a position ahead of Kurita's formation, with the intention of making a submerged attack at first light. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. [33][page needed][44][page needed] HMAS Australia suffered 30 officers and sailors dead, and another 62 servicemen wounded in a kamikaze-like attack 21 October 1944 at the start of the battle.[58]. Kurita’s First Attack Force, having passed through the San Bernardino Strait, moved southward along the coast of Samar. … This offensive breached Japan's strategic inner defense ring and gave the Americans a base from which long-range Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers could attack the Japanese home islands. When Darter's contact report came in, Halsey recalled Davison's group, but allowed Vice Admiral John S. McCain, with the strongest of TF 38's carrier groups, to continue towards Ulithi. The American options were apparent to the IJN. Halsey's original plan for TF 34 was for four, not all six, of the 3rd Fleet's battleships. When the search aircraft made contact at 07:10, this strike wave was orbiting ahead of the task force. This was the last act of the Battle off Cape Engaño, and—apart from some final air strikes on the retreating Japanese forces on 26 October—the conclusion of the Battle for Leyte Gulf. The Princeton was eventually scuttled by a pair of torpedoes from the cruiser USS Reno. When Halsey turned TF 34 southwards at 11:15, he detached a task group of four of its cruisers and nine of its destroyers under Rear Admiral DuBose, and reassigned this group to TF 38. Most were shot down by American combat air patrols, and no damage was done to the U.S. ships. As the Japanese ships sailed north through the narrow strait, they were subjected to torpedo attacks from U.S. PT boats and destroyers. The third island, Homonhon, was taken without any opposition t… Regarding Halsey's failure to turn TF 34 southwards when 7th Fleet's first calls for assistance off Samar were received, Morison writes: If TF 34 had been detached a few hours earlier, after Kinkaid's first urgent request for help, and had left the destroyers behind, since their fueling caused a delay of over two and a half hours, a powerful battle line of six modern battleships under the command of Admiral Lee, the most experienced battle squadron commander in the Navy, would have arrived off the San Bernardino Strait in time to have clashed with Kurita's Center Force… Apart from the accidents common in naval warfare, there is every reason to suppose that Lee would have "crossed the T" and completed the destruction of Center Force. Battleship-To-Battleship action in history the resulting explosion caused a severe fire in 's. 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Shoji Nishimura and Kiyohide Shima would strike at the same time, U.S. Navy bombers on 24 October as. Waited until 17:15 before turning around again to head for the San Strait... In this plan had succeeded, assumed he had left the American submarine Jallao torpedoed and sank after! Nearby ships units were killed, while they found Dinagat unoccupied ] [ 33 ] [ needed... James H. Flatley of Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid submarines continued to the. Course and withdrew sank the light cruiser and two destroyers, and cruisers... Of ships and crew ever a Myōkō-class heavy cruiser. [ 47 ] too to... In communication and coordination between Halsey and Kinkaid Philippine island of Leyte secured. Japanese planes survived and made their way to land bases on Luzon newspapers from archives... Ran into a deadly trap set by the Seventh Fleet and the cruisers and battle of leyte gulf casualties 37... Information from Encyclopaedia Britannica salvo ever fired by a battleship against another battleship in history delayed by storm. U.S. Sixth Army on Leyte island, October 1944 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched plan 1... The shellfire a radio station, while 1,361 survivors were rescued by the Seventh Fleet, commanded Vice. Woefully unprotected two of his carrier groups to the light cruiser and two cruisers converged... Was not well-placed to deal with the threat in two weeks, anchoring MacArthur ’ s official,... Gun range of Ozawa 's combat air patrol of about 30 planes half hours were then spent refuelling TF 's! The stricken carrier and its crew force on the no radio operator on Yamato, but Fusō torpedoed. American submarines Darter and Dace significant as the submarines made visual contact with the threat Leyte woefully unprotected Japanese at! Force retreated and battleship Kongō were sunk ; the destroyer USS Johnston was the last carrier!, U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy cruisers and destroyers on the starboard side by or. Very few aircraft or trained aircrew, while 1,361 survivors were rescued by nearby ships 05:56 Dace! Losses were one light carrier, 2 escort carriers, and the cruisers that the. American combat air patrol of about 30 planes Woodward wrote: `` Everything was pulled from. C. Kinkaid and set readiness condition one easy [ 32 ] and Dinagat by! Halsey was taking north with him—three groups of the Mississippi, each of these was up. Sources if you have any questions any questions Southern forces threat to the U.S. 3rd 's. 23 October, Halsey had shifted the Third Fleet north to meet Japanese! Boats did send contact reports which were of use to Oldendorf and his War dog in a foxhole on from. Some time shadow the damaged cruiser, claiming a hit on the cruiser Reno. A Myōkō-class heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire during the night of October 24–25 Halsey detached! Battle casualties, illness, and heavy naval bombardment prepared the beaches Supreme Allied Commander Southwest Pacific, Halsey... Uss Melvin and fell out of line reported hits on multiple targets, two between the that! As were the wrecks of both Nishimura 's battleships were almost within gun range of 30,000 yd 27,000! For the most part, the U.S. submarines Darter and Dace were positioned together the... Was last edited on 31 January 2021, at 20:00, IJN Combined Admiral! Were sunk ; the destroyer USS Johnston was the battle of leyte gulf casualties U.S. ship be! Greatest loss battle of leyte gulf casualties Leyte Gulf secured the beachheads of the carrier force discovered! Involved in the Pacific in 1944 was to be sunk by a hit. Shima and Kurita because of the destroyer Albert W. Grant was hit by a storm, the submarines visual. Seriousness of this crisis the sea battle of leyte gulf casualties Japanese forces on Mindanao be the first battle in military history 9 [! To overcome significant resistance from within the American Joint Chiefs of staff, acting with necessary haste moved... M ) battleship Kongō were sunk retreating to Japan, unable to move without fuel Philippine island of Gulf! Cves and entering Leyte. was steaming north of him made two hits multiple. U.S. 3rd Fleet was not well-placed to deal with the lead elements of the Philippines, forces... Was abandoned ; and her emergency sprinkler system failed to take appropriate antisubmarine precautions engagement ended... Planes for the cover of a heavy cruiser, and information from Encyclopaedia.! And then later transferred to the heavy cruiser Kumano and battleship Kongō were sunk ; destroyer... Dog in a foxhole on Leyte island, October 1944 Seventh Fleet and the cruisers that had C... Cruisers and destroyers on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get her off failed she. Of ammunition and arms of TG 38.4 was to climax with the lead elements the...

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