Siege of Catubig

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Siege of Catubig
Part of Philippine-American War
DateApril 15April 19, 1900
Location Catubig, Philippines
Result Filipino pyrrhic victory
Philippines Aguinaldo flag (obverse).svg  First Philippine Republic Flag of the United States (1896-1908).svg  United States
Commanders and leaders
Philippines Aguinaldo flag (obverse).svg Domingo Rebadulla Flag of the United States (1896-1908).svg J. T. Sweeney
600 [1] :233 Company H, 43d Infantry Regiment (PS)
Casualties and losses
~150 killed [1] :233
(Filipino claimed)
31 killed
(Filipino claimed)
19 killed, 3 wounded (American claimed) [1] :233
2 motorized small boats captured.

The Siege of Catubig (Filipino: Pagkubkob sa Catubig) was a long and bloody engagement fought during the Philippine-American War, in which Filipino guerrillas launched a surprise attack against a detachment of U.S. infantry, and then forced them to abandon the town after a four-day siege. It began on April 15, 1900, and lasted four days before the survivors were rescued. The attack was very similar to the Balangiga Massacre south of Catubig a year later.

Filipino language official language of the Philippines

Filipino is the national language of the Philippines. Filipino is also designated, along with English, as an official language of the country. It is a standardized variety of the Tagalog language, an Austronesian regional language that is widely spoken in the Philippines. As of 2007, Tagalog is the first language of 28 million people, or about one-third of the Philippine population, while 45 million speak Tagalog as their second language. Tagalog is among the 185 languages of the Philippines identified in the Ethnologue. Officially, Filipino is defined by the Commission on the Filipino Language as "the native dialect, spoken and written, in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago."

Guerrilla warfare form of irregular warfare

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. Guerrilla groups are a type of violent non-state actor.

Siege military blockade of a city or fortress

A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit. 'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static, defensive position. Consequently, an opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy. The art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siege warfare, siegecraft, or poliorcetics.



A few days before the battle, the U.S. 43d Infantry Regiment (PS) was sent to Catubig, on the northern part of the island of Samar, to stop guerrillas from getting supplies from suspected sympathizers. This was a time when conventional war in the Philippines had been abandoned and had entered the new phase of guerrilla warfare. The 43rd were relatively raw recruits and had little experience in combat. In fact, they had only been in the islands for four months before they were ordered to Catubig.

Catubig, Northern Samar Municipality in Eastern Visayas, Philippines

Catubig, officially the Municipality of Catubig, is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Northern Samar, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 33,025 people.


On the morning of April 15, General Vicente Lukban gives an order to Col. Enrique Daguhob to attack the Americans in Catubig. under the command of Col. Enrique Daguhob and hundreds of Filipino guerillas attacked American forces, armed with bolos, pistols, spears, and Mausers. The guerillas used cannon and rifles to drive the entire regiment into the church. [1] :233

A bolo is a large cutting tool of Filipino origin similar to the machete. It is used particularly in the Philippines, the jungles of Indonesia, and in the sugar fields of Cuba.

Pistol type of handgun

A pistol is a type of handgun. The pistol originates in the 16th century, when early handguns were produced in Europe. The English word was introduced in ca. 1570 from the Middle French pistolet. The most common types of pistol are the single shot and semi-automatic.

Mauser firearms manufacturer in Germany

Mauser, begun as Königliche Waffen Schmieden, is a German arms manufacturer. Their line of bolt-action rifles and semi-automatic pistols have been produced since the 1870s for the German armed forces. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Mauser designs were also exported and licensed to a large number of countries which adopted them as military and civilian sporting firearms. The Mauser Model 98 in particular was widely adopted and copied, and is the foundation of many of today's sporting bolt action rifles.

After two days of withstanding fire and attempts to set the church ablaze, the Americans retreated to the river. [1] :233 Setting fire to their barracks, the Americans made for the river, but the Filipinos were ready and the American retreat lost all coordination and in the panic 19 were killed and 3 wounded as they claimed. [1] :233 The American survivors reached the river bank and dug makeshift trenches with their bayonets. [1] :233 The Americans held out for another two days, though the Filipinos were only 100 yards away. [1] :233 They kept the guerillas in check until a rescue party in the steamer Lao Aug came to their aid.

Trench excavated channel in ground

A trench is a type of excavation or depression in the ground that is generally deeper than it is wide, and narrow compared with its length.

Bayonet bladed weapon designed for attachment to a firearm

A bayonet is a knife, sword, or spike-shaped weapon designed to fit on the end of a rifle's muzzle, allowing it to be used as a spear. From the 17th century to World War I, it was considered the primary weapon for infantry attacks. Today, it is considered an ancillary weapon or a weapon of last resort. Modern bayonets are often multi-purpose knives such as the Soviet AKM bayonet which was also a ground breaking survival knife that can be used as a wire-cutter when combined with its scabbard.


The bloody battle was reported by the American media, and Henry T. Allen was criticized for his pacification campaign with its isolated garrisons. [1] :233 Allen the directed that "a proper punishment be effected on the Catubig Valley." [1] :233

It was said that all soldiers of the 43rd, 19 were killed and 3 were wounded, although some sources state the number of killed at 31. The Philippine losses claim to be at 150, US Army accounts claims it even higher. The survivors of Company C, who were nearly annihilated during the Balangiga massacre, also claimed extremely high losses on the Filipino side.

Balangiga massacre conflict

The Balangiga massacre, also called the Balangiga incident or Balangiga conflict, took place in Balangiga in 1901 during the Philippine–American War. The terms initially referred to the killing of about 48 members of the US 9th Infantry by the townspeople allegedly augmented by guerrillas in the town of Balangiga on Samar Island during an attack on September 28 of that year. This incident was described as the worst massacre of United States Army soldiers since the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Linn, B.M., The Philippine War, 1899-1902, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, ISBN   0700612254