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The Japanese commanders at the Battle Off Samar thought they had engaged and sunk several fleet carriers, cruisers, and destroyers.

Did they find out they only faced light escort ships? Did they find out how close they were to attacking the American landings? If so, how did they react?

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  • Are you interested mainly during the war, or after the war?
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 13 at 14:28
  • You might be interested in this answer of mine on a similar question about the misidentification of ships at the Battle of Coral Sea. It was in fact so common that nobody should have been overly surprised.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 13 at 14:35
  • An interesting tidbit from web.archive.org/web/20170906182035/http://www.aviewofwwii.net/… (actually USNI Naval History 2004) - "The Japanese did fatally wound a jeep carrier, the Gambier Bay (CVE-73). The Yotnato passed so close, her sailors could see their U.S. counterparts battling fires with hoses. Koitabashi was surprised when Kurita declined the chance to finish off the carrier, presumably because the carrier obviously was sinking." - Passing close by suggests they knew pretty well right then that they were not fleet carriers.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 13 at 15:50
  • Note that an Essex is about 10 feet longer than the Yamato, but Gambier Bay is 350 feet shorter than either.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 13 at 15:51
  • (And, yes "Yotnato" should be "Yamato" - copying off the pdf did not work out well.) Kurita was on board the Yamato during the battle.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 13 at 20:38

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