The attack on the Philippines started on December 8, 1941 ten hours after the attack on
Pearl Harbour on Hawaii. As the Japanese forced advanced, manila was declared an
open city to prevent it from destruction, meanwhile, the government was moved to
Corregidor. The Japanese occupied Manila on January 2, 1942.
In March of 1942 U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and President Quezon fled the
country. the cruelty of the Japanese military occupation of the Philippines is legendary.
The 76,000 starving and sick American and Filipino dependers in Bataan surrendered to
the Japanese on April 9, 1942. The Japanese led their captives on a cruel and criminal
Death March on which 7-10,000 died or were murdered before arriving at the
internment camps ten days later.
Finally in October of 1944 MacArthur had gathered enough additional troops and
supplies to begin the retaking of the Philippines, landing with Sergio Osmeña who had
assumed the Presidency after Quezon's death. The battles entailed long fierce fighting;
some of the Japanese continued to fight until the official surrender of the Empire of
Japan on September 2, 1945.
The liberation of the Philippines was costly. In the Philippines alone, the Americans lost
60,628 men and the Japanese estimated 300,000. Filipino casualties are estimated at
over a million and, sadly, these occured mainly in the last months of the war when the
final outcome had long been decided in any event.