The Battle of Luzon (Filipino: Labanan sa Luzon), was a land battle of the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II by the Allied forces of the U.S., its colony the Philippines, and allies against forces of the Empire of Japan. The battle resulted in a U.S. and Filipino victory. The Allies had taken control of all strategically and economically important locations of Luzon by March 1945, although pockets of Japanese resistance held out in the mountains until the unconditional surrender of Japan.While not the highest in U.S. casualties, it is the highest net casualty battle U.S. forces fought in World War II, with 192,000 to 205,000 Japanese combatants dead (mostly from starvation and disease), 8,000 American combatants killed, and over 150,000 Filipinos, overwhelmingly civilians who were murdered by Japanese forces, mainly during the Manila massacre of February, 1945.
The Philippines were considered to be of great strategic importance because their capture by Japan would pose a significant threat to the U.S. As a result, 135,000 troops and 227 aircraft were stationed in the Philippines by October 1941. However, Luzon—the largest island in the Philippines—was captured by Imperial Japanese forces in 1942. General Douglas MacArthur—who was in charge of the defense of the Philippines at the time—was ordered to Australia, and the remaining U.S. forces retreated to the Bataan Peninsula.
A few months after this, MacArthur expressed his belief that an attempt to recapture the Philippines was necessary. The U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Chester Nimitz and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest King both opposed this idea, arguing that it must wait until victory was certain. MacArthur had to wait two years for his wish; it was 1944 before a campaign to recapture the Philippines was launched. The island of Leyte was the first objective of the campaign, which was captured by the end of December 1944. This was followed by the attack on Mindoro, and later, Luzon.
Before U.S. forces could launch the attack on Luzon, a base of operation needed to be established close to the island. Airbases in particular had to be established in order to provide the advancing troops with air support. Troops under Brigadier General William C. Dunckel captured the island of Mindoro, with the assistance of the 7th Fleet. By 28 December, two airbases were controlled by the U.S. and were ready to assist in the attack on Luzon, which was scheduled to be launched on 9 January 1945. With the capture of Mindoro, U.S. forces were positioned south of Luzon. However, MacArthur intended to land his forces at Lingayen, further north.This would place his troops close to several roads and railways on Luzon, which led to Manila—the main objective—through the plains in the center of the island.
U.S. aircraft constantly made reconnaissance and bombing flights over southern Luzon, intending to deceive the Japanese forces into believing that the attack on Luzon would come from the south. In addition, transport aircraft were used to make parachute drops with dummies. Minesweepers were used to clear the bays of Balayan, Batangas, and Tayabas, located to the south of Luzon, and Filipino resistance fighters conducted sabotage operations in southern Luzon. These deception operations failed to convince General Yamashita, the leader of the Imperial Japanese Army in the Philippines, and he built significant defensive positions in the hills and mountains surrounding the Lingayen Gulf in Northern Luzon.
Allied Forces, Southwest Pacific Area
General Douglas MacArthur
Lieutenant General Walter Krueger
Western Landing Area (Lingayen):
Eastern Landing Area (San Fabian):
Fourteenth Area Army
General Tomoyuki Yamashita
The assault on Luzon was launched, as planned, on 9 January 1945, codenamed S-day. The Japanese forces reported more than 70 Allied warships entering the Lingayen Gulf. Pre-assault bombardment of Japanese shore positions from these ships began at 7:00. The landings were commenced an hour later.The landing forces faced strong opposition from Japanese kamikaze aircraft. The escort carrier Ommaney Bay was destroyed by a kamikaze attack, while a destroyer and several other warships were also sunk. Aircraft from the 3rd Fleet assisted the landings with close air support, strafing and bombing Japanese gun positions.
The landings at the Lingayen Gulf on 9 January were carried out by the 6th Army under the command of General Walter Krueger. Approximately 175,000 troops from the 6th Army landed along the 20-mile (32 km) beachhead within a few days, while the I Corps protected their flanks. XIV Corps under General Oscar Griswold then advanced south toward Manila, despite Krueger's concerns that his eastern flank was unprotected and vulnerable if the Japanese forces attacked. However, no such attack occurred, and the U.S. forces did not meet much resistance until they reached the Clark Air Base on 23 January. The battle there lasted until the end of January, and after capturing the base, XIV Corps advanced toward Manila.
A second amphibious landing took place on 15 January, 45 mi (72 km) southwest of Manila. On 31 January, two regiments of the 11th Airborne Division made an airborne assault, capturing a bridge, and later advanced toward Manila. On 3 February, the 1st Cavalry Division captured the bridge across Tullahan River leading to the city. They advanced into the city that evening, and the battle for the capture of Manila began. On 4 February, the paratroopers of the 11th Airborne—approaching the city from the south—came to the main Japanese defences south of the city of Manila where their advance was halted by heavy resistance. General Yamashita had ordered his troops to destroy all bridges and other vital installations as soon as the U.S. forces entered the city, and Japanese forces entrenched throughout the city continued to resist U.S. forces. General MacArthur announced the imminent recapture of Manila on the same day. On 11 February, the 11th Airborne Division captured the last Japanese outer defences, thus encircling the whole city. U.S. and Filipino forces carried out clearing operations in the city in the following weeks. Military casualties totalled 1,010 Americans, 3,079 Filipinos and 12,000 Japanese.[ citation needed ]
Battles continued throughout the island of Luzon in the following weeks, with more U.S. troops having landed on the island. Filipino and American resistance fighters also attacked Japanese positions and secured several locations. [ citation needed ]The Allies had taken control of all strategically and economically important locations of Luzon by early March. Small groups of the remaining Japanese forces retreated to the mountainous areas in the north and southeast of the island, where they were besieged for months. Pockets of Japanese soldiers held out in the mountains—most ceasing resistance with the unconditional surrender of Japan, but a scattered few holding out for many years afterwards. Casualties were stunningly high for the Japanese. Japanese losses were 205,535 dead, with 9,050 taken prisoners. U.S. losses were far lower, with 8,310 killed and 29,560 wounded. Civilian casualties are estimated at 120,000 to 140,000 dead.
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Tomoyuki Yamashita was a Japanese general of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Yamashita led Japanese forces during the invasion of Malaya and Battle of Singapore, with his accomplishment of conquering Malaya and Singapore in 70 days earning him the sobriquet The Tiger of Malaya and led to the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, calling the ignominious fall of Singapore to Japan the "worst disaster" and "largest capitulation" in British military history. Yamashita was assigned to defend the Philippines from the advancing Allied forces later in the war, and while unable to prevent the Allied advance, he was able to hold on to part of Luzon until after the formal Surrender of Japan in August 1945.
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The Battle of Bataan was a battle fought by the United States and the Philippine Commonwealth against Japan during World War II. The battle represented the most intense phase of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines during World War II. In January 1942, forces of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy invaded Luzon along with several islands in the Philippine Archipelago after the bombing of the American naval base at Pearl Harbor.
The Battle of Manila was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944-45, during the Second World War. It was fought by American forces from both the U.S. mainland and the Philippines against Japanese troops in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The month-long battle, which resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater. Japanese forces committed mass murder against Filipino civilians during the battle. Along with massive loss of life, the battle also destroyed architectural and cultural heritage dating back to the city's founding, and Manila became one of the most devastated capital cities during the entire war, alongside Berlin and Warsaw. The battle ended the almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest. It is the last of the many battles fought within Manila's history.
The Manila massacre, also called as the Rape of Manila, involved atrocities committed against Filipino civilians in the City of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, by Japanese troops during World War II at the Battle of Manila. The combined death toll of civilians for the battle of Manila was about 100,000.
The Battle for the Recapture of Bataan from 31 January to 21 February 1945, by US forces and Allied Filipino guerrillas from the Japanese, part of the campaign for the liberation of the Philippines, was waged to secure the western shore of Manila Bay to enable the use of its harbor and open new supply lines for American troops engaged in the crucial battle for the liberation of Manila.
The Invasion of Lingayen Gulf, 6–9 January 1945, was an Allied amphibious operation in the Philippines during World War II. In the early morning of 6 January 1945, a large Allied force commanded by Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf began approaching the shores of Lingayen. U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy warships began bombarding suspected Japanese positions along the coast of Lingayen from their position in Lingayen Gulf for three days. On 9 January, the U.S. 6th Army landed on a 20 mi (32 km) beachhead between the towns of Lingayen and San Fabian.
The Philippines campaign, Operation Musketeer, Battle of the Philippines or the Liberation of the Philippines, , was the American and Filipino campaign to defeat and expel the Imperial Japanese forces occupying the Philippines during World War II. The Japanese Army overran all of the Philippines during the first half of 1942. The liberation of the Philippines commenced with amphibious landings on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on October 20, 1944. United States and Philippine Commonwealth military forces were progressing in liberating territory and islands when the Japanese forces in the Philippines were ordered to surrender by Tokyo on August 15, 1945, after the dropping of the atomic bombs on mainland Japan and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
Events in the year 1945 in Japan.
The Battle of the Visayas was fought by U.S. forces and Filipino guerrillas against the Japanese from 18 March – 30 July 1945, in a series of actions officially designated as Operations Victor I and II, and part of the campaign for the liberation of the Philippines during World War II. The battle was waged to complete the recapture of the central portions south of the archipelago and secure them from remaining Japanese forces.
The Japanese occupation of the Philippines occurred between 1942 and 1945, when Imperial Japan occupied the Commonwealth of the Philippines during World War II.
The Battle of Bessang Pass was a major battle during the Philippines Campaign of World War II. It was fought from 9 January through 15 June 1945 in Cervantes, a municipality in the province of Ilocos Sur, located 260 km north of Manila. The area serves as a gateway to the Cordillera mountains and the city of Baguio. Bessang Pass was a stronghold of the Japanese imperial forces under Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, known as the “Tiger of Malaya” and conqueror of Singapore. It was part of the triangular defense of General Yamashita in the north, namely the Balete Pass, Villaverde Trail and Bessang Pass, guarding the Ifugao-Benguet-Vizcaya borders. Its fall at the hands of the United States Army Forces in the Philippines - Northern Luzon (USAFP-NL) on June 14, 1945 paved the way for the entrapment of Yamashita’s forces in the Cordillera until the general’s surrender in September 1945.
The Battle of Baguio occurred between 21 February and 26 April 1945, and was part of the greater Luzon campaign during the Allied liberation of the Philippines at the end of World War II. During the battle, American and Philippine forces recaptured the city of Baguio on the island of Luzon from a Japanese occupation force. One of the last tank engagements of the Philippine campaign took place during the battle. Baguio later became the scene of the final surrender of Japanese forces in the Philippines in September 1945.
The Battle for Luzon cost Japan some 205,535 killed and 9,050 captured.
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