Battle of Corregidor

Following the Pearl Harbor Attack in December 1941, the Japanese invaded the Philippine Islands. The American-Filipino military force under the command of General Douglas MacArthur was forced onto the Bataan peninsula, where they carried out a delaying action.The Japanese knew that with enough force, they could take American- and Filipino-occupied Corregidor, a small rock-strewn island south of Bataan. Corregidor was strategically located at the entrance of Manila Bay, one of Asia's finest natural harbors. Like the stopper of a bottle, control of Corregidor meant control of the bay.Often called the Gibralter of Asia, Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allied forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. Wainwright was the commander of the Filipino-American forces on the Island of Luzon, the island of Manilla and Manilla Bay.On the 29th of December, the Japanese commenced their attacks on the island's massive fortifications. The attacks caused extensive damage to the above-ground barracks and supply depots.Those attacks continued until January 6, when the main focus of the Japanese onslaught turned to the Bataan Peninsula. Because Bataan received so much attention, it temporarily eased the attacks on Corregidor, allowing the garrison to re-supply and defend the island with much more effect.It was not until early February that Japanese artillery opened fire on Corregidor. The enemy had experience with island warfare and had camouflaged his guns, making it nearly impossible for the Americans to aim at any targets.The capitulation on Bataan on April 9 resulted in the seizure of thousands of Americans and Filipinos who would be forced to begin the infamous Bataan Death March, to the hellhole called Camp O'Donnell.The attacks on Corregidor were then occurring so often that the soldiers cherished every moment when there was a break in the shelling. Its surface was blasted to smithereens, which forced the garrison into the island's caves and tunnels. The men had a very hard time keeping their spirits up, especially in the Malinta Tunnel, where the lack of space could drive a man insane.Now that the Japanese had cut off Corregidor's supply line from Bataan, it was certain that the Japanese would invade more easily. On April 29, especially heavy artillery and air bombardment rained down on the Americans and Filipinos, thanks to the Japanese forces showing off what they could do on their emperor's birthday. From that time on, it continued daily.On May 3, General Wainwright sent a message to MacArthur in Australia: “Situation here is fast becoming desperate.” It was not long after this message that the Japanese staged their main invasion. The Americans tried desperately to counterattack, but when Japanese tanks entered the fray, their fate became apparent.On May 6 at noon, Wainwright made the decision to surrender Corregidor, because of the lack of supplies and the losing battle. The surrender signaled the beginning of the end of organized resistance to the Japanese in the Philippines.With the Americans and Filipinos now surrendering, Wainwright was taken to Cabcaben, Bataan, to meet Homma. They eventually decided that the orders were not valid and ordered their men to begin guerrilla attacks against the Japanese.Wainwright had to send letters to all the organized forces in the area to let them know that his surrender was for real. If they didn't, they would face courts martial for insubordination. General Sharp and virtually all of the American commanders in the Visayas decided to follow the orders after receiving the letter from Wainwright.Even after so many officers and men had surrendered, some did not want to give up, and remained behind to fight. They were taken to Manilla where they were put on parade, and then by train to Prison Camp Cabanatuan in the Philippines.On June 9, all organized resistance in the Philippines officially ended. The Japanese began to invade the islands to the south that had not yet seen any action, and guerilla warfare against them began when organized resistance ended.On January 22, 1945, Corregidor was again exposed to the wrath of combat as Americans reoccupied the island following a costly airborne assault.

Watch the video: Battle for the Rock - WW2 u0026 the Island Fortress of Corregidor (January 2022).