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LEYTE
 

One of the larger islands of the Philippine archipelago, Leyte extends 110 miles from north to south and ranges between 15 and 50 miles in width. The land surface presented features both inviting and forbidding to U.S. military planners. Deep-water approaches on the east side of the island and sandy beaches offered opportunities for amphibious assaults and close-in resupply operations. The interior of the island was dominated by a heavily-forested north-south mountain range, separating two sizable valleys, or coastal plains.

The larger of the two, Leyte Valley extends from the northern coast to the long eastern shore and at the time, contained most of the towns and roadways on the island. Highway 1 ran along the east coast for some forty miles between the town of Abuyog to the northern end of San Juanico Strait between Leyte and Samar Islands. The roads and lowlands extending inland from Highway 1 provided avenues for tank-infantry operations, as well as a basis for airfield construction.

 

 

 

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