SHO-1 prescribed a pincer attack on Leyte Gulf with Nishimura attacking through the Surigao Strait and the main force under Kurita through the St. Bernardino Strait. I wonder if attacking through Surigao Strait with the whole force would have been a better option for the Japanese. As it turned out Kurita was detected and ambushed by two US submarines West of Palawan and was then attacked by carrier aircraft while crossing the Sibuyan Sea, suffering crippling losses. The route to Surigao was shorter and would have avoided the subs in the dangerous waters of Palawan. The whole force could have arrived earlier if they had chosen to force the Surigao Strait in daytime. Kurita left Brunei at 7:00 on 22 October, Nishimura at 15:00 on the same day. If the whole force had left in the morning they could have arrived in the strait in the late afternoon. Of course, considering Japanese proficiency in night fighting they may have preferred to cross at night anyway. It's likely they would have been detected, because Nishimura was indeed bombed on the morning of 24 October. However only one or two US Task Groups would have been in position to attack. If Ozawa decoy force had moved faster it is also possible that Halsey would had sailed to the north earlier and left only Oldendorf to deal with Ozawa. Then the climatic surface battle the Japanese had prepared for would have occurred. Meanwhile Shima could have tried to sneak through St. Bernardino Strait during the night instead of following Nishimura in the south. Difficult to say what the result would have been, but it seems a simpler plan than the one that was actually carried out. I have the impression that Japanese plans for naval operations were often unnecessarily complicated. Ideas?