The Philippines Invasion

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
Catnip
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by Catnip » 14 Apr 2020 15:31

HMan wrote:
13 Dec 2016 00:25
Hastings claims that Leyte was unsuitable for airfields and was a poor
choice to launch an invasion against. This author is very anti-MacArthur,
so I am skeptical, but I wonder if anyone has an idea of the truth of this.
Yes, that is true. His own engineers told him the monsoon season (including in October, November) would make it highly unlikely heavy bombers could be operated from airfields on Leyte.

Catnip
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by Catnip » 14 Apr 2020 16:04

So would anywhere in the Philippines have had the same problems
of being in the rainy/monsoon season? E.g. no matter where the
Allies landed in Oct. they would have had problems with construction?
All the islands in the Philippines suffered from the same problem with weather. The poor conditions affected the Japanese ability to operate aircraft significantly.

But MacArthur's motives are suspect. After all, Manuel Quezon "gifted" him $75,000 not long after his escape from Bataan. They also gave substantial monetary gifts to MacArthur's staff, including Dwight Eisenhower. Yes, MacArthur's motives are suspect. He also got 100,000 innocent civilians killed and the cultural heritage of the Filipino people was destroyed in the fight for Manila.

A much better plan would have been to bypass the Philippines, bypass Okinawa and take the islands of Okinoerabu Jima, Amami Oshima and Kikai Shima. These small islands have excellent topography for airfield construction and very few civilian inhabitants. Amami Oshima and Kikai Shima I think are juuuust close enough to Tokyo to base fighters there to escort B-29's to Tokyo. If they couldn't make the round trip then a couple of judiciously placed aircraft carriers could have aided the fighters in refueling. A much better plan with the bonus of not having to invade Iwo Jima and the Marianas.

The shipping lanes could be controlled from a large airbase on Okinoerabu Jima as well as being the jump off point for B-29 raids to Tokyo. The fighters would fly from Amami Oshima and Kikai Shima and aided by aircraft carriers if necessary. Even better, just use fighters from carriers over Tokyo which in post war interviews with Japanese were much more effective because they did not have to worry about fuel and were much more aggressive than P-51s from Iwo. The navy would continue its program of suppressing Japanese aircraft operations to help protect the forward bases. The end result would have been the same, Japan homeland bombed until surrender with much less loss of innocent civilian and military lives.

paulrward
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by paulrward » 14 Apr 2020 23:45

Hello All :

Mr. Catnip stated :
But MacArthur's motives are suspect. After all, Manuel Quezon "gifted" him $75,000 not long
after his escape from Bataan. They also gave substantial monetary gifts to MacArthur's staff, including
Dwight Eisenhower. Yes, MacArthur's motives are suspect. He also got 100,000 innocent civilians killed
and the cultural heritage of the Filipino people was destroyed in the fight for Manila.
Let us get a few things straight: The payments from the Philippine Government to MacArthur, Ord,
and Eisenhower were NOT Gifts from Manuel Quezon, they were PAYMENTS for contracted services.

MacArthur retired from the U.S. Army in 1935, and moved to the Philippines, where he was hired
to act as Military Advisor to the Philippine Government carrying the rank of Field Marshall, and granted
a salary of $ 30,000.00 per anum, the term of service to last for ten years, and the payment to be made
upon the completion of the contract in 1945. Eisenhower and Ord accompanied MacArthur to the
Philippines, and were granted a Per Diem Allowance of $ 10.00 per day, or $ 3,650.00 per year, for each
year they stayed in the Philippines. Payments in all these cases were to be made in Gold coin. After
Ord was killed in an accident, Eisenhower was asked to stay on an additional year, and he renegotiated
his contract, increasing the annual payment to $ 6,000.00 per year, again paid in gold. In the case
of Eisenhower and Ord, this was IN ADDITION to their regular army salary as active duty officers.

Ord's widow took his payment after his death, Eisenhower was paid off the last of his salary when
he left the Philippines in 1939. and, just before the collapse of the Philippines in 1942, Manuel Quezon
approached MacArthur and, emphasizing that it might become difficult or impossible for MacArthur to
ever be paid for the five years he had already served of the ten years in his contract, suggested that
MacArthur accept the payment he had already accrued. After consideration, MacArthur accepted,
and the funds were transferred from the Philippine Government's accounts in a New York Bank to
MacArthur's account. There was no ' stash of gold bullion ' loaded onto any of the PT Boats that
carried MacArthur, his staff, and his family away from Corregidor.

Now, MacArthur had been recalled to active duty in 1941, and the payments at that time had
theoretically ceased. However, he was still owed his ' back pay ' from the Philippine Government,
and it is obvious that the payments made to MacArthur were simply Quezon honoring the debt his
government owed to MacArthur for his years of loyal service leading up to the outbreak of the war.



The concept of bypassing an active, well supplied enemy base is always risky. What is more,
the capture of the islands you mentioned would NOT have have severed the supply lines between
the Dutch Indies, Malaya, the Philippines, and the Home Islands. When Leyte was invaded, and
the U.S. a few months later was able to move air power onto the island, and freely transit the
Philippine Archipelago with warships and submarines, it meant that ALL of the Japanese Southern
Resource Area was now severed from the Empire. This resulted in the complete end to all supplies
of OIL, Rubber, Tin, Tungsten, Aluminum, Rice, and Hardwoods from the this region. It was from
this moment that Japan essentially collapsed as an credible threat in the War.

In addition, the invasion of the Philippines was rightly seen by the IJN as critical threat to their
survival, both economic and militrary. As a result, they committed their entire Navy to it's defence,
with the subsequent loss of 4 aircraft carriers, 3 battleships, 10 cruisers, 11 destroyers, over 300 aircraft,
and some 12,500 sailors. This can be compared to the USN losses of 3 carriers, ( all small ) 3 destroyers
or destroyer escorts, some 200 aircraft, and less than 3,000 U.S. sailors and marines were killed.

Further, the occupation of the Philippines, from which the IJA was unable to extract any of their forces,
resulted in the loss to the Empire of some 425,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen killed. In contrast,
U.S. forces suffered some 24,000 dead. It effectively ended the ability of the IJA to fight a ground
war against U.S. forces, and, as a result, the IJA began such expedients as training women and children
on the Home Islands in suicide attack tactics.

Finally, there is the political aspect: The United States was NOT fighting AGAINST Japan, the United
States was fighting FOR FREEDOM. To leave the Christian Philippinos at the mercy of the Japanese was,
at the time, politically unacceptable to many in the U.S. The United States had pledged to redeem their
freedom and liberate them from the tyranny of the Japanese Army. To fail to do this because it was
inconvenient or difficult would be a betrayal of our commitment to them as a people who, at that time,
were STILL Citizens of the United States.

Besides, it gave the USN a chance to get some real, Lorena Bobbit style revenge on the IJN for what they
had done to the USN at Pearl Harbor.



Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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rcocean
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by rcocean » 15 Apr 2020 22:14

It was impossible to invade Luzon in October 1944. Invading Leyte was "hurry up and keep them off balance" choice by the JCS in September 1944. Halsey had convinced them that the Japanese air strength in the Philippines was much weaker then supposed. Three divisions that were supposed to invade Yap and Pelieu were switched over to the Leyte invasion. Those - along with another four divisions from Krueger - were considered adequate to defeat the estimated 50,000 jps on Leyte but definitely NOT the 180,000 on Luzon.

Further, there are no good invasion beaches or harbors on the eastern side of Luzon. Any invasion would have to be on the western side, an impossibility since it would mean the US navy and transports would have to sail around northern Luzon and then be attacked on three sides by kamikazes and aircraft.

Leyte on the on other hand was a a beautiful natural harbor on the east side, and would allow us a supply line directly east to the open pacific. Further, the whole point of capturing Leyte was to cut the Philippines in half. isolating the Japanese garrisons, and destroying the Japanese air-power near Clark Field allowing us to invade Luzon or Formosa as the next step.

Problems with developing the airfields related to (1) the unexpected Jps resistance and (2) worse then usual weather. Nobody thought the Japanese would be fool enough to send men and airplanes in a futile attempt to hold Leyte. It was expected they would keep their main forces on Luzon. Yamishita agreed - but was overruled. Further, more rain fell in November than expected. It was the wettest November in years.

Ignore anything Max Hastings writes about the Pacific. His book is trash. Read the US Army official history its quite good.

rcocean
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by rcocean » 15 Apr 2020 22:23

A much better plan would have been to bypass the Philippines, bypass Okinawa and take the islands of Okinoerabu Jima, Amami Oshima and Kikai Shima. These small islands have excellent topography for airfield construction and very few civilian inhabitants. Amami Oshima and Kikai Shima I think are juuuust close enough to Tokyo to base fighters there to escort B-29's to Tokyo. If they couldn't make the round trip then a couple of judiciously placed aircraft carriers could have aided the fighters in refueling. A much better plan with the bonus of not having to invade Iwo Jima and the Marianas.
You know nothing about the pacific war. This is pure fantasy. Where were the B-29s to be based, if we didn't have to invade the Marianas? Why do you think the Japanese would've surrendered if there was no threat of invasion, and merchant ship could sail from the Dutch east indies to Japan? Here my suggestion: the whole Invasion of Italy and France was a waste of time. All we had to do was sit on our duffs, and let the A-Bomb and the USSR win the war.

paulrward
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by paulrward » 16 Apr 2020 01:26

Hello All :

On the Evening of July 26th, 1944, in the legendary meeting between Roosevelt, Adm Leahy, Adm, Nimitz, and
MacArthur, as they finished dinner, Roosevelt pointed at a map pinned to the wall, gesturing at Mindanao,
and asked, " Well, Douglas, where do we go from here ? "

MacArthur instantly spoke up, forcefully announcing, " Leyte, Mr. President, AND THEN LUZON ! "

The next morning, in the formal strategy conference, MacArthur expanded on his plans, and further
pointed out that bypassing the Philippines, with it's population of 17,000,000 loyal, suffering American
citizens, would be a permanent stain on the honour of the United States. Though Nimitz was given
the opportunity to show his ( and Adm. King's ) plan for directly invading Formosa, bypassing the Philippines,
by the end of the conference, even he was convinced that MacArthur was correct, and that both national
honour and sound military strategy made the Liberation of the Philippines the only correct choice.
Macarthur meeting.jpg

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Delta Tank
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by Delta Tank » 23 Apr 2020 00:12

To all,

Read this, it explains why the Philippines over Formosa.

https://history.army.mil/books/70-7_21.htm

Mike

checkov
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by checkov » 04 May 2020 08:51

I've been doing a bit of research on the Leyte invasion of 44 and found an interesting picture to share. A lone infantryman stands atop Hill "120" soon after its capture near Dulag. The Japanese positions on the hill was laying down mortar and light artillery fire on the invasion craft but after supressed with US mortars and Naval fire support was easily taken.

Something interesting to note is how flat and low lying the majority of the terrain is.

checkov
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by checkov » 04 May 2020 08:59

IMG_5203.PNG
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checkov
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by checkov » 04 May 2020 09:00

The same general area after a short time and the supplies come rolling in:

checkov
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Re: The Philippines Invasion

Post by checkov » 04 May 2020 09:06

Ouch, can't post that one. File too large.

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