American Defenses of Corregidor and Manila Bay

The Fall of the Philippines and the Siege of Corregidor 1942

This post gives a summary account of early preparations and deployment of US / Philippine Armed Forces at WW2’s outbreak (December 1941). On December 29, and for several days thereafter, the Japanese Air Force attacked the four fortified islands guarding the entrance to Manila Bay. Afterwards, attacks by air and artillery bombardments from Cavite became sporadic. The capitulation of US/Philippine forces on Bataan in early April marked the beginning of a new phase in the war. Artillery bombardments intensified as April wore on. On May 1st shelling became continuous day and night, and intense. Finally, on May 5 and 6 the Japanese assaulted Corregidor, landing on the Islands Tail. Fighting on the beaches was desperate. The Japanese were successful in landing several tanks, against which the defenders had no weapons. Fearing a massacre in the Malinta Tunnel Complex, General Jonathan Wainwright, Commander of US / Philippine Forces, called a halt to fighting and ordered a surrender. Nearly 15,000 America and Philippine soldiers based on the four islands fell into Japanese hands. They became Prisoners of War. Most Filipino soldiers were released in mid-1942. But Americans were held in various POW Camps in the Philippines, Manchuria and Japan until Japan’s surrender in August 1945. –BB

(Source: T.C. McGovern / M.A. Berhow Osprey Publications)


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