Was Admiral Spruance right to prefer a defensive battle at the Battle of Philippine Sea?

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The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19–20, 1944) was one of the greatest American victories of the war. It has been argued that it could have been an even greater victory if Admiral Raymond Spruance had been more aggressive. Spruance was the victor in the decisive battle of Midway in 1942, and criticism of his conduct in the battle two years later is unfair. In fact, after Midway, the Battle of Philippine Sea ranked as his greatest triumph.

Spruance knew he had to protect the landing at Saipan. He did that and dealt a crippling blow to the Japanese at the same time. Had he pursued the Japanese and suffered a reverse, the whole landing could have been jeopardized. Spruance won praise for his role. Indeed, the outcome was so decisive that it was called a "turkey shoot." Tojo Hideki, head of the Japanese government, resigned after the defeat.

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