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    Manila National Capital Region | Luzon Philippines

Click For Enlargement
Salternik February 1945

Click For Enlargement
US Army 1945

Location
Lat 14° 31' 0N Long 121° 0' 0E  Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Borders Manila Bay to the west, Navotas and Caloocan City to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong City and Pasig City to the east, Makati City and Taguig City to the southeast and Pasay City to the south. Prewar, Manila was dubbed "Pearl of the Orient".

Wartime History
During 1935 - 1941 General MacArthur lived in the penthouse of the Manila Hotel while serving as a military advisor to the Philippines. After the Japanese attack on December 8, 1941 panic gripped Manila about Japanese air raids and landings on Luzon. On Christmas Eve, MacArthur ordered troops to begin moving from Manila to defensive positions on the Bataan Peninsula.

On December 26, 1941 General MacArthur declared Manila an "open city" in hopes of saving the city from bombing and civilian casualties. Regardless, Manila was bombed on December 27, 1941 and January 2, 1942. Occupied by Japanese forces soon afterwards. Civilian expatriates were detained at Santo Thomas University and Bilibid Prison.

After the American landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945, US Army troops reached the northern outskirts of the city by early February. The US Army 37th Division led by General Robert Beitler was tasked with capturing the city. Although the Japanese Army General Yamashita had withdrawn from the city, Japanese Navy Rear-Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi defended the city with an estimated 20,000 troops.

The Battle of Manila lasted from February 4 to March 3, 1945. During the battle, the city was heavily damaged by American artillery and street-to-street and often house-to-house urban combat was required to liberate areas. Japanese defended practiced a scorched earth policy in the city and committed atrocities against the civilian inhabitants and used them as human shields.

On February 6, 1945 General MacArthur declared Manila liberated and the next day toured the northern part of the city. Meanwhile, most of the city was still occupied by the Japanese and bitter fighting was required to free the rest of the city. The battle ended with fanatical Japanese resistance from Intramuros.

An estimated 100,000 Filipinos died in Manila during the battle, resulting in the highest civilian casualties in urban combat in World War II, second only to the Battle of Stalingrand.

Afterwards, Manila slowly rehabilitated. Manila Harbor remained closed due to damage to harbor facilities until April 1945. Manila was designated "Base X" in the US Army Letter Base designation. Thousands of American serviceman were stationed in Manila during the remainder of the war and immediate postwar period.

  Northwestern Manila
  Northern central Manila borders Pasig River to the south
  Northeastern Manila
  Central Manila bordering Pasig River to the north
  Southern Manila bordering Manila Bay to the west
  Southern Manila bordering Manila Bay to the west
  Central Manila bordering Pasig River to the south
  Central Manila bordering San Miguel
  Central Manila bordering Pasig River to the south
San Nicolas
  Central Manila bordering Pasig River to the south
Santa Mesa (Sta. Mesa)
  Eastern Manila bordering Pasig River to the south
Port Area
  Eastern Manila bordering Manila Bay
Paco
  Central Manila bordering Pasig River to the north
Pandacan
  Central Manila bordering Pasig River to the north
Santa Ana (Sta. Ana)
  Eastern Manila bordering Pasig River to the north
San Andres (San Andrés Buki)
  Southeastern Manila

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Last Updated
January 8, 2014

 

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