Great Raid, The - BATAAN and CORREGIDOR

This illustration depicts "The General Attack on the Bataan Peninsula" by Japanese artist J. Mukai. It is included in Philippine Islands:  The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II (at page 18 of the online version).


After the Japanese attacked the Philippines, including the Cavite Navy Yard (on December 10, 1941) and the Port of Manila (on December 24th), General Douglas MacArthur moved most of his men to a Philippine peninsula not far from Manila called Bataan.

MacArthur remained on Corregidor, a rocky island referred to as "The Gibralter of the East."

On January 23rd, American defenders on Bataan were forced to fall back from the main defense-line, following heavy Japanese attacks. The invaders of Bataan used captured guns to fire on their enemies.

After weeks—then months—of fighting, as his men went without adequate food and ammunition, MacArthur felt abandoned by the U.S. government. He sent urgent dispatches for reinforcements.

None came.

Instead, the Japanese continued to barrage Bataan and besiege Corregidor, the small island in Manila Bay where MacArthur was headquartered. The seemingly impregnable island was actually vulnerable, its main place of "safety" the Malinta Tunnel where thousands of ill-equipped men eventually sought cover.

Military planners in Washington understood what would happen to Filipinos and Americans if the Philippines were not properly defended. But fighting a war in Europe and the Pacific was stretching the United States and her allies beyond their capacity to send supplies and reinforcements.

The operative question was:  Where could those limited troops and supplies do the most good for the most people?

The Philippines—and the people stationed there—came out on the losing end of the analysis. If anyone in Washington had suggested that Americans should be evacuated from the Philippines, that message must have fallen on deaf ears.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Jul 07, 2019

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"BATAAN and CORREGIDOR" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2005. Jan 29, 2020.
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