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Battle of Manila (Paperback)

Nadir of Japanese Barbarism, 3 February – 3 March 1945

WWII Photographic Books Japan & the Pacific Front Military

By Miguel Miranda
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: History of Terror
Pages: 128
ISBN: 9781526729057
Published: 16th April 2019

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Nearly four years of brutal Japanese occupation in WW2 has dimmed Manila’s lustre. The Philippine capital, surrounding an old Spanish fortress, was once a glittering jewel among America’s overseas possessions. And now a vast Allied army led by the indomitable MacArthur is ready to take it back from the Japanese. It is a necessary mission and an urgent one for trapped within the old University of Santo Tomas are thousands of ailing prisoners: men and women, young and old, at risk of torture and death by their captors.

But the token Japanese garrison has other ideas as desperate units of the Japanese navy dig in to fight to the death against the advancing Americans. Caught in this cruel vice are thousands of Filipinos still trapped in the metropolis, with no hope of escape. From the closing days of January until early March 1945, Manila is to endure the most bitter fighting in the Pacific theatre, leaving it a charred wasteland littered with the bodies of the dead, soldier and civilian alike, the latter deliberately targeted by Japanese death squads. Such is the carnage and conquest of Manila.

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About Miguel Miranda

Miguel Miranda, formerly a regional reporter, is an author from the Philippines and writes for several Pen & Sword military history series including ‘Cold War 1945–1991’ and ‘History of Terror’. Writing about the battle of Manila has been an opportunity for him to confront a very dark period in Philippine history, one that is still misunderstood today. To amass the wealth of research and insight for his latest work he pored over volumes of official histories and archives, assembling a detailed narrative on the topic.


Not only did the battle of Manila liberate the Philippines from cruel foreign domination but it set the stage for total independence in 1946. It bookended the American colonial period (1899–1945) and closed a chapter in a long saga of conflict and struggle that has visited his homeland again and again. As a country whose history is shaped by the designs of various empires, the battle of Manila showed how vital the Philippines is to the region, the gateway to the Asian landmass and the rampart of grand strategy for a would-be superpower. As it was then, as it is today.

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