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The Liberation of the Philippines

...a new Images of War book from Pen & Sword

Title: The Liberation of the Philippines
Author: Jon Diamond
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52678-872-6

The war in the Pacific is the topic once again for a new Images of War book. This 239=page soft-cover book is another on the PTO from author Jon Diamond. General MacArthur famously said he would return to the Philippines, and this shows the story of that return thanks to another fine collection of archive images.
Presented in 7 chapters, it starts with looking at the original Japanese conquest of the Philippines in 1941-42, which in addition to the text has three maps which helpfully illustrate the strategic situation, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines and then another illustrating the 3 elements of the US assaults aimed to retake the Japanese conquests on the route towards the Japanese home islands. The second chapter has three more useful maps to accompany the text, and focuses the photo selection on Terrain, Weaponry and Fortifications. These include infantry weapons through, artillery, tanks, ships and aircraft as well as the Japanese fortifications they faced on the ground. Chapter 3 focuses on the Commanders and Combatants of each side. That leaves the final four to chart the progress of the MacArthur's route back to the Philippines. The invasion of Leyte in 1944, as well as the naval battle of Leyte Gulf, moving on the recapture of Luzon and the liberation of Manilla. Chapter 6 illustrates the battles four Manilla, Bataan and Corregidor in 1945. That leaves the last one to show the invasions of less well known places, the Visayan Group, Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago in 1945. The photos throughout the book all have informative captions which add to the main text and while a few are well known, the bulk I hadn't seen before. The devastation on some of the islands is obvious, and some pictures quite graphically illustrate the fate of so many Japanese troops who followed 'Bushido' chose death over capture, though there are more captured soldiers towards the end of the war.
Thanks to the benefit of being able to look backwards in time, we know that the Japanese Imperial forces were finally defeated in WW2, but it wasn't an easy job. These photos show the seriousness of the war in the Pacific, the effort required by the sea, air and land forces of the USA along with the fierce resistance offered by their Japanese opponents, prior to the impact of the atomic bombs which brought the war to an end. Good reading and photos for anyone interested in the history of the war in the Pacific.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.


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