World War II sights in the Philippines
Pacific War Memorial, Corregidor by yeowatzup
During World War II, the Philippines suffered incredible pain, damage and suffering. Although there are fewer military sights than you’d expect, somber memorials across the archipelago commemorate key battles, historic landings and gruesome death marches. When Japan bombed Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor in 1941, other forces attacked Clark Field, where General Douglas MacArthur was caught napping, despite many hours’ warning, setting off a string of events that would lead to the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945.
In 1944, MacArthur honoured his now-famous pledge to return, landing at Leyte, determined to dislodge the Japanese. The main battle ground in this onslaught was Manila, where defenceless residents suffered horrifically in the ensuing crossfire during February 1945. By the time MacArthur marched into the city, the combination of Japanese atrocities and American shelling had killed at least 150,000 civilians, and a city that had been one of the finest in Asia was destroyed.