The Philippines: War Damage

World War II Philippines
Figure 1.--Here an American doctor examines a Filipino boy on Luzon in 1945. The struggle for the liberation of the Philippines resulted in large numbers of civilian casualties. The sdhattered Phhilippines civilian infrastructure was unable to meet the needs of the population.

Outside of China, the two countries most desimated by World war II in Asia were Burma and Philippes. This is because it was in these two countries that well-equipped Allied armies fought the Japanese in extended campiagns. There was relatively little damage as a result of the Japanese City. General MacArthur declared Manila an open city and most of the fighting was confined to the isolated Batan Peninsulas. The lberation was a ver\y different matter. Much of the Pacific war was fought on lightly populated and in some case unpopulated islands. This was not the case in the Philippines. Large areas of the Philippines were devestated by the fighting. The Japanese on Luzon where their forces were concentrated retreated into the mountains of northern Luzon and held out there until Japan surendered formally (September 1945). Fortunately this was not a heavily populated area. The greatest devestation ocurred in Manila where Japanese Marine staged a fight to the death. [Aluit] In the process they murdered as many Philipino civilizns as possible. The Philippines by this time had sustained enornos physical damage. Manila in particular was virtually destroyed. There were other Japanese masacres of civilians. There is no exact acconting, but historians that 1 million Filipinos were killed. Most were killed by the Japanese in the final year of the War. The Americam liberation employed massive concentrations of naval and air firepower as well as army artillery. The damage in Msanila was particularly crippling because the city was such a major component of Philipiines social and economic life. It was the country's largest and most developed city. One assessment estimsates that the city was 80 percent destroyed. This included factories schools, hospitals, power plants, and communication facilities. It mean that the capital from which the Philippines recovery would be overseen was virtually wiped off the face of the earth.


Aluit, Alfonso J. By Sword And Fire The Destruction Of Manila In World War II, 3 February - 3 March 1945 (Bookmark Inc, 1994), 468p.


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Created: 6:55 AM 10/6/2008
Last updated: 6:56 AM 10/6/2008