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Date

Feb 03 2024

Time

All Day

Battle of Manila

Battle of Manila / Manila

After the successful landing of General MacArthur and his troops in Leyte on 20 October 1944, the American Liberation Forces started its campaign moving towards the north.  As early as January 9 of the succeeding year, a successful landing by the American Forces through the aid of Filipino guerillas took place in Lingayen, Pangasinan, allowing them to establish a military position in the northern Luzon area.  After the earlier success, the American troops, as well as Filipino guerilla fighters, looked forward to securing the city of Manila.

The Liberation of Manila was marked by a race between the 37th Infantry Division headed by Maj. Gen Robert Beightler, and the 1st Cavalry Division consisting of three flying divisions headed by Brigadier General William Chase.  On 3 February 1945, after clearing much of the island of Luzon, allied troops began to liberate Manila City from Japanese control. After hard urban fighting house to house that destroyed huge portions of the cityscape, the capital city was finally reclaimed—freeing the Philippines’ capital at last. The American artillery shelling and mortar fire caused loss of lives and properties in Manila. Survivors, however, were all happy to see the Americans. The constant shelling and street-by-street fighting was a high price to pay for freedom. The battle left 1,101 U.S. soldiers dead and 5,565 wounded. An estimated 100,000 Filipino civilians were killed, both deliberately by the Japanese and from artillery and aerial bombardment by the U.S. military force. Within Intramuros alone, 16,665 Japanese perished.

The Battle for Manila ended on March 3, 1945, a month following the arrival of the 1st Cavalry Division. With 100,000 Filipinos killed, government buildings laying in ruins—Manila was Pearl of the Orient no more. The catastrophic battle resulted to serious damages. Every February 3, the Liberation of Manila is commemorated.