** Rape of Manila World War II : Japan war crimes attrocities Philippines

World War II Japanese Atrocities in the Philippines: Rape of Manila (February 1945)

Japanese attrocities Rape of Manila
Figure 1.--Here Amerucan soldiers reach Manila women and teenagers that were shelterring in the ruins of the Santa Clara Monastery in Intramuros. Intramuros means 'inside the walls'. It is the historic walled area which the modern city nof Manilagres arround. The walled city was the religious and educational center of the Spanish East Indies. Here the japanese made a suisidal last stand andf were determinbed to take every Filipino they could find with them as the Ameruicans closed in on them.

Despite the countless attrocities perpetrated against the Japanese people, nothing approached, however, what the Japanese did in Manila. The Americans after securing Leyte, landing in overwealming force at Lingayen Gulf on Luzon. The American 6th Army began and trapid drive south toward Manila (January 9, 1945). Advanced American units reached Manila and tanks crashed throgh the gates Santo Tomas University in the northern suburbs of the city. The Japanese had used the University as a POW camp. The Americans after the Japanese invasion (December 1941) had declared Manila an open city. It was hoped that the Japanese woild do the same. And General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the 'Tiger of Malaya' had been assigned to oversee the defense of the Philippines just before the American landings on Leyte. Realising that he did not have a force capable of defending Manila, he fought a delaying action whikle he withdrew his 14th Army and supplies to the mountains of northeastern Luzon. Here in the rugged terraine he could fight a protracted defensive campaign. The Japanese navy forces, including marines, did not come under his direct command. He ordered Rear Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi when the Americams reached the city to retreat into the mountains and join him. Iwabuchi had no intention of doing so. Rather he decided to fight it out to the last man and tragically last Filipino. The Imperial Marines and others in the Manila garison refused to either evacuate the city or surender. And they decided to take every civilian in their grasp with them, often after first raping the women. Japanese Marines and other navy troops retreated across the Pasig River and blew all the bridges. This began the 30-day battle for Manila. Some 50,000 Filipino civilians would be killed and the city leveled. Photographs of Manila rotinely showed bodies of Filipino civilains scattered everywhere. It was the worst attrocity committed by Japanese troops outside of China. The only difference with Nanking other than the number of murders is that the Japanese in Manila mainly attacked civilians in individual acts of savegery rather than large-scale killing orgnazed by higher echelons. Much of the slaughter was individual massacres and gang rapes. Several killing actions stamd out. Japanese soldiers broke into the cappel at De La Salle University and bayonetted some 50 men women and childrten. The Japanese machine gunned 800 men, women and children seeking sanctuary at St. Paul's College. And even larger action was conducted in the barrio of Calamba where 2,500 Filipinos were shot and bayoneted. [Bergee] A reader writes, "I recently watched a war documentary that claimed that Manila was the second most destroyed city in the war after Berlin." We are not sure about the metrics here. I'd say that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were fairly destroyed and Tokyo as well as a result of the fire bombingd. Central Berlin was destroyed, both because of the Allied bombing and then Red Army assault, but the outlying suburbs were often intact. Manila was surely in the running. Manila was not heavily bombed, but was largely destroyed when the Americans went after the Japanese which turned every important building into a strong point.


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Created: 10:23 AM 2/28/2022
Last updated: 10:23 AM 2/28/2022