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the war in the Philippine Islands

Discussion in 'Land Warfare in the Pacific' started by Philscout, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Philscout

    Philscout Member

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    Outstanding facts on the war in the Philippines AT RANDOM By Miguel A. Bernad, S.J.
    The Philippine Star 08/29/2005

    The National Historical Institute, Manila, Philippines recently organized a 2-day Conference to discuss the various aspects of World War II as it affected the Philippines. The Conference was held at the University of Santo Tomas. The discussion was timely because it marked that year the anniversary of the end of that war (the most terrible in human history) and that event being commemorated in various European capitals.

    One of the papers read was that by Dr. Benito Legarda Jr. who pointed out that, far from being on the periphery of that war, the Philippines was one of the major battlefields. He listed several outstanding facts regarding the Philippines in that war. Here are some of them.


    1. The naval battle in and near Leyte Gulf was the biggest naval battle in history.
    We might add that it was not only a big battle in itself, but was also decisive in its results. Had the Japanese won that battle,
    the American troops that had landed on Leyte the biggest American seaborne invasion force in WWII might have been wiped out and the liberation of the Philippines might have been retarded.

    Leyte Landing, Oct 20 to Dec. 31, 1944 * 2 months and 1 week campaign

    US Strength: 6th Army = 202,500 ground troops + 3,189 Filipino Guerrillas, 858 ships ( 157 warships & 701 Aux ships)

    US casualties: KIA - 3,504 WIA - 12,080 Japanese Casualties 49,000



    2. The biggest military surrender in American history was the surrender of the USAFFE to the Japanese, first in Bataan, later in Corregidor.



    3. Manila "THE Pearl of the Orient" was the only allied capital in the Pacific that was destroyed. And the only major urban city street to street fighting in the Pacific. Including the mountain resort of Baguio city.

    When Gen Eisenhower visited the capital city of Manila, he stated that only Warsaw in Europe was more damaged than Manila.



    4. It was also the only time in Philippine history that Manila was destroyed by military action. (Parts of Manila had previously been destroyed by earthquakes or fire.)



    5. 1.1 million died during the war in the Philippines, the biggest number of war casualties in Philippine history.



    6. The killings by the Japanese in Manila and the nearby provinces was the biggest massacre of civilians in Philippine history.
    There had been a massacre of civilians by the Dutch in the town of Abucay (Bataan) in 1647, but there, only about 100 were killed,
    whereas in Manila 100,000 perished.



    7. The mortality of prisoners of war in the Philippines was the highest in the world.
    50 % of Filipino prisoners died. (A much higher percentage for American prisoners died 38.2 % while POW to 41.1 % dead ) Elsewhere in the world, the average mortality was 27 percent.

    THE Largest US National cemetery outside the US, Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines
    17,202 US war dead are buried at 152 acres on Philippine soil.



    8. As Dr. Legarda puts it,
    "The stopping for five months of tough veteran Japanese troops by half-trained recruits, mostly Filipinos, while all around them the Asian bastions were falling like ninepins."

    Gen. Homma was given 50 days to capture the Phillipines Gen Homma asked for more veteran reinforcements from China in the end was relived of his command by Gen Yamashita.

    Bataan & Corregidor – January 1 to May 6, 1942 (5 month seige ) * NO Air, naval support ( bottom of Pearl) and nor seaborne reinforcements

    USAFFE Strength: (US 30,000, Filipino 120,000) Bataan = 150,000 Corregidor; 13,000

    Bataan USAFFE casualties: KIA - 10,000 WIA - 20,000 captured - 75,000

    Corregidor USAFFE casualties: KIA - 800 WIA - 1000 captured - 11,000

    Japanese casualties KIA - 7,900 WIA - 13,200 Disease stricken - 10,000



    9. The number of civilians who died in Manila was next only to those who died in the Rape of Nanking by the Japanese.



    10 the Kamikazi originated and based in the Philippines. Were "The Tiger of Malaya" Gen Yamashita surrendered. the sister of the Yamato the Musashi one of two biggest warship in the Japanese imperial fleet sank.


    Any of the above would have been enough to make the fighting in the Philippines a major part of the global war. It was one of the major tragedies of the war that the United States decided to focus its attention on the fighting in Europe, giving minor importance to the defense and liberation of the Philippines which was its primary responsibility.



    My additions;

    The first Tank to Tank battle by American Armor was fought in Bataan and again the major tank to tank battle during the liberation of the Phillipines ever fought in the Pacific.

    First and only time in WWII's history that the US 26th Cavalry on horseback charged against Japanese Armor in the Philippines.

    And the last US Cavalry mounted charge on horseback in US Military history was made against advancing Japanese Infantry in the town of Morong Bataan, January 1942

    The battle of Bataan was America's last battle of WWI and the first ground battle of the United States Army in WWII.


    Philip
     
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  2. krieg

    krieg Ace

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    a good read there philip very interesting thanks for showing us
    cheers krieg
     
  3. texson66

    texson66 Ace

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    Now those are "kewl" facts! Thanks for the posting!
     
  4. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I think I have to disagree with some of those facts, unless they are just looking at the PTO Only when making such claims. The facts regarding prisoners, civilian casualties, and the US Cemetery.
     
  5. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    I would say that this to is debatable. The Battle of Leyte Gulf was a series of seperate battles lumped together due to the small window in which they occured.
    Battle of the Sibuyan Sea - 24 October
    Battle of Surigao Strait - 25 October - 0200
    Battle off Samar - 25 October - 0645
    Battle of Cape Engaño - 25-26 October
     
  6. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Not only did all of these battles occur in a short space of time, but for both sides, they all had the same ultimate objective; for the US it was to secure the beachhead on Leyte, and for the Japanese it was to prevent the Americans from securing that beachhead. Therefore, in my opinion, these naval battles, though occurring over a wide geographic range were all part of the same massive battle.
     
  7. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    While I do not disagree, I guess that it depends on how we want to define The largest naval battle. Certainly given the space between each separate part of the battle it would classify as the largest in terms of ocean used. Also, easily in terms of tonnage sunk as well. In terms of ships engaged some 15-1600 ships fought at the Battle of Salamis. In terms of personnel used, the Battle of Lake Poyang makes claims to over 800,000 sailors and marines. It all depends on the context of how we would like to view the "Largest Naval Battle in History"

    PS. I to view Leyte Gulf as one large engagement and (no pun intended) was just trying to play the part of Devils Advocate
     
  8. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    salamis had neither airplanes nor submarines. i would say the biggest single engagement of modern times was when the british drew the 'T' at jutland.
     
  9. Philscout

    Philscout Member

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    As for largest single US cemetery outside the Continental United States I have found only one that comes close to 14,000 plus US war dead buried in this Meuse Argonne American cemetery in France? And this was WW I, nothing close to the US war dead buried in the Philippines from WWII. And this was even confirmed to me by the Director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

    American Battle Monuments Commission - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  10. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Since wiki is regarded by many as not a reliable source, I checked out matter of the military cemeteries personally.
    The data checks out. There are 17,202 buried in the Manila cemetery while the next largest one is 14,426 in Europe.
    Still, why haggle over the numbers? They are, after all, the honored dead.

    As for Manila being the most devastated city after Warsaw, well...
    at first I believed this because this was what teachers were telling us when we were in school. However, as I grew older and became a journalist, I take that statement as subjective judgment.
    That assessment, as Philscout rightly mentions, was made by Ike, who as a colonel was assigned in the Philippines. I haven't yet found a good record of in terms of area destroyed, etc. etc. to make a good comparison to verify this claim. What I am sure of, it's been repeated so often in the Philippines that it has been taken as gospel truth.
    As for the 26th Cavalry regiment, it was a unit of the Philippine Scouts. So I think the statement should read as "the last mounted cavalry charge of the US Army was made by the US 26th Cavalry Regiment (Phil. Scouts)."
    That's giving credit where credit is due.
     
  11. Philscout

    Philscout Member

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    Thanks for the added info on the PS Falcon Jun!

    It saddens and pains me to keep seeing historians, documentary filmmakers and movies always emphazing the American Participation in Normandy as an "American show"! Considering there were only 73,00 US troops ( 15,500 airborne) as "THE greatest" portrayed as the All American Invasion. And again media, film and publications always focusing on the Normandy Cemetery as if it's the only place on earth and gives an impression that has the largest number of US war dead buried in the world.

    When you ask a person on the street what he knows about the WWII pacific war, what is the first thing that comes to their mind? Rasing of the Flag in Iwo Jima , that's it!

    Thanks to Clint Eastwood's films FOF and from his "Japanese" POV being an American director on LOIJ again it reinforces to the American public that the pacific war was only and entirely fought as a "marine show"! Plus again with the coming on the new mininseries on the Marines again!

    And thanks to Speilberg and Hanks who focused on ETO with SPR and BOB considering his father served in the CBI theater who was his inspiration and not in Europe.

    other examples- HARDLY none or very little documentation and researched on the early part of the war in the Pacific except again about Pearl Harbor, Ken Burn's "The War", it always ends on Pearl Harbor. Nothing at all on the thousands of American and Filipino Soldiers of UNCLE SAM who fought and held the Japanese for 5 months in Bataan and Corregidor.

    Famous Historian Steven Ambrose wrote almost covered nothing on this part of WWII in the pacific specially on the Philippines. It's always Europe he focused on as being a consultant for Speilberg.

    Oh and yes the D-Day museum in New Orleans, were they later had an after though of adding the pacific exhibits!

    Here is one American Death march Veterans's angry reponse-

    " Everyone ( US public) remembers the Alamo! There were what only a few hundred of them in the Alamo, while we suffered and died in the death march, there were thousands of us in Bataan. Damn it Bring us back into the history books!"

    In fact I have the video interview of this Vet's statement.

    I see this as a response to the forgotten American and Filipino Veterans who fought on the Philippines. And hopefully try and keep theiri legacy alive of the "Forgotten Generation" be again remembered as part of the "Greatest generation".

    Philip
     
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  12. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Movie that are about the Philippines.
    Between Heaven and Hell
    The Great Raid
    Bataan
    Just off the top of my head

    The Thin Red Line - while Guadalcanal was a mainly Marine affair it follows a Army Privet
    Some other movie about the Pacific that I enjoyed was
    None but the Brave By Frank Sinatra
    Merrill's Marauders by Samuel Fuller
    Never so Few starring Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen.
    Run Silent, Run Deep - Forget who did this one
    Now, I agree that more should be done with the Pacific in Hollywood, but there are many films out there that do do justice to those brave men as well. Sometimes they are just a bit older and you have to look for them a bit harder.
     
  13. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Sea Bees (i think its name of movie) is another. As is Halls of Montezuma, Flags of Our Fathers, Letters from Iwo Jima.
     
  14. dgmitchell

    dgmitchell Ace

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    Here are some more films set in the PTO. I copied the lists from a couple of other sites and I think I got rid of titles that have already been listed in this thread. Forgive me if I missed any.

    WAKE ISLAND (1943), ONCE BEFORE I DIE (1966), GUADALCANAL DIARY (1944), GUNG HO (1943), THE GALLANT HOURS (1960), TOO LATE THE HERO (1971), HALLS OF MONTEZUMA (1950), BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL (1956), NONE BUT THE BRAVE (1965), MACARTHUR (1981), SANDS OF IWO JIMA (1949),

    Also "Tora, Tora, Tora", "Midway", "Air Force" (an old classic), "Purple Heart", "30 Seconds over Tokyo" and "Pearl Harbor".
     
  15. Philscout

    Philscout Member

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    Thank you gentlemen for those films made about the pacific. But if you will notice all of them are so dated and Hollywood interpretation of the pacific war. BTW a lot of Vets hate. One perfect example is the "Bridge in the river Kwai' every veteran I heard who suffered in that building of that bridge hated that "Hollwood" version.

    Sadly the only one that was recently made that had something to do with the war in the Philippines was a one and only film called "The Great Raid" and which the distributor Miramax did not know how to promote the film to it's best potential. So it was never widely shown and easily forgotten.

    Anything new war film about the Pacific war is always about the Marines again! Yes they did make a huge sacrifices in the Pacific, what about the much bigger branch of US Army in the Pacific.

    it's just that today's historians have again overlooked and repeatedly documented countless time the war in Europe. What is so unbelievable is that America entered WWII in the Pacific and ended the war in the Pacific and yet it major battles of the pacific were fought in the Philippines by a huge presence of the US armed forces, including marine contingents As I have shown facts and incredibly has all been ignored, overlooked and forgotten.

    Sorry for the rant gentlemen, But I have met so many Pacific war veterans who are slowly fading away their sacrifices and legacy forgotten by public's ignorance of their stories. And who else would keep their legacy alive?

    Philip
     
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  16. dgmitchell

    dgmitchell Ace

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    HBO does have its series on the Pacific coming out in a few months.
     
  17. John Odom

    John Odom Member

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    I grew up in the Philippines. There wasn't much left undamaged. I didn't see the other capitals, but I believe Ike.

    Read "War in the Pacific" by General Jerome T, Hagen. There are four volumes now.

    See my webpage: The Flag of Freedom
     
  18. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    There was one movie made about guerrillas in the Philippines and that was based on the book "American Guerrilla in the Philippines" written by Ira Wolfert, published I think in 1945 or 1946. The movie was made in 1950. I've seen the movie and enjoyed it and I have read the book years ago. Now, I intend to go over my old book pile and hopefully, I'll find that book again. Mentioning it made me want to read it all over again. Unfortunately, I haven't seen that film being shown again on cable recently.
     
  19. dgmitchell

    dgmitchell Ace

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    Here are a few more (connections to Phillipines noted in parens, along with a couple of other comments):

    Pacific Rendezvous
    Stand by for Action
    Aerial Gunner
    Air Force (a Howard Hawks film specifically about the Battle of the Phillipines)
    Behind the Rising Sun
    Bombardier
    Gung Ho! The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders
    Pilot No. 5
    Rookies in Burma
    Salute to the Marines (specifically about the Phillippines)
    So Proudly we Hail (about Battle of Phillippines)
    Marine Raiders
    Wing and a Prayer (Midway)
    God is my Co-Pilot
    Objerctive Burma!
    Pride of the Marines
    They were Expendable (pt Boats in the Phillippines)
    Francis (as in, the "Talking Mule")
    Three Came Home (Battle of Borneo)
    Flying Leathernecks
    Okinawa
    Destination Gobi
    From Here to Eternity
    The Caine Mutiny
    Battle Cry
    The Eternal Sea
    Mr. Roberts
    Away All Boats
    Battle Stations
    Between Heaven and Hell (National Gaurd in the Phillippines)
    A Town Like Alice
    Hellcats of the Navy
    The Wind Cannot Read
    Run Silent, Run Deep
    Never so Few
    Hell to Eternity
    PT 109
    None but the Brave
    Beach Red
    Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
    Paradise Road
    To End All Wars
     
  20. Philscout

    Philscout Member

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    My few favorite Pacific war film classics on the Philippines are:

    They were expendable, great film by John Ford. All time favorite

    So proudly we hail another two thumbs up for me!

    Air Force

    I have not seen "I was an American Spy"

    "Great Raid" most recent I still enjoy!
     

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