The Philippine Reserve
Major Battles of the Philippines
The Philippines were the location of two key WWII events, the Japanese invasion and the American liberation. Within these events, there were overwhelming battles. The fighting took the lives of countless people. Six Filipino divisions that consisted of guerilla forces that were reinforced by the US 26th Cavalry and had to defend Luzon. They were led by General MacArthur. Luzon was the largest and northernmost island.
The Japanese air force began air strikes on MacArthur’s men right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Half of MacArthur’s air force was destroyed on the ground. Japanese ground units began to position in northernmost Luzon. 43,000 Japanese landed at Lingayen Gulf. This caused the American and Filipino units to pull out because of their enemies’ immense size.
The Americans and Filipinos withdrew to Bataan. After the troops arrived heavy artillery was set up. MacArthur was awaiting supplies but naval planners sent his supply convoy to Australia because they assumed the Philippines was doomed. Soon the Japanese commenced an attack. After ten days of skirmishing the Japanese broke through the line of defense. MacArthur was forced to draw back. He set up a new line of defense that was harder to break through. Japanese forces attempted to land forces behind the line of defense but they ended in failure.
Japanese General Homma called off the attacks because his army wasn’t strong enough to conquer MacArthur’s forces. President Roosevelt ordered MacArthur to relieve his post because he realized that the Philippines was doomed to the Japanese. After MacArthur left he vowed to return. Wainwright took command alongside Maj. Gen. Edward P. King. While this happened the Japanese mustered enough forces to take on the American and Filipino forces. After some fighting, Gen. King surrendered. American and Filipino soldiers began the Bataan Death March. Even after this surrender Americans and Filipinos continued fighting. Later on Gen. William F. Sharp who controlled a majority of American forces on the island had to surrender. This was the fall of the Philippines. NEXT>>>
Source:<Simon and Schuster. The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978>