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Protracted Battle Pursuit of Manila

Protracted Battle Competition of Manila

“There is no revolver against cruelty, against warped minds and more than that warped souls.”



GENERAL YAMASHITA STEWED IN HIS NEW HEADQUARTERS within the mountain the small town of Baguio. The fifty-nine-year-old commander of Japanese forces while in the Philippines had relocated his headquarters from Manila about the summer capital some 125 miles north to produce his final stand against MacArthur. Created like a bear, Yamashita stood five feet nine inches tall plus weighed 220 pounds, his girth often pressing against his green army uniform. He was homely, with a bald, egg-shaped head, wide-spaced eyes, and sometimes a flat nose. For many years he had worn a short moustache, reminiscent of Adolf Hitler, but as it grayed, he finally opted to shave it. His unattractive looks led the Filipinos to nickname him “Old Potato Face,” while an American intelligence report derogatorily described him as “a florid, pig-faced man.” Yamashita’s banal appearance camouflaged the fact that he was one of Japan’s most important generals. Only three decades since he had stunned the world by conquering Singapore, earning the nickname the “Tiger of Malaya.”

Yamashita understood better than anyone that the war was nearing its climax—and more than that Japan its defeat. The general could only brood over how his nation’s fortunes had transformed so dramatically previously those heady early days of victory as soon as pilots had destroyed much of America’s powerful Pacific Fleet anchored inside the cool waters of Pearl Harbor. Japanese forces had gone on to capture Guam, Wake, and sometimes the Philippines from the United States, Hong Kong and more than that Singapore from the British, plus the oil-wealthy Dutch East Indies from the Netherlands. In a few short months, Japan had created an empire that stretched across twenty million square miles as well as seven time zones, putting one-tenth of the world under the control of the bespectacled Emperor Hirohito. But Japan’s dream of a Pacific empire had proven an elusive mirage, vanishing with a string of defeats from Midway and sometimes Guadalcanal to New Guinea as well as the Marianas.

With those losses, so, too, went Japan’s obligatory imports. The lack of oil had crippled the nation’s war machine, forcing the martial to relegate its once-powerful battleships to antiaircraft duty and leading for the creation of the kamikazes that at the moment crashed down on MacArthur’s forces. Japanese civilians likewise suffered. Hungry residents devoured acorns plus even sawdust, while new mothers proved too malnourished to nurse. This was the backdrop of Yamashita’s up to clash with MacArthur, a competition within the go on major geographic roadblock that stood between American forces and the Japanese homeland. Yamashita’s job was to turn the Philippines into a tar pit, to bog MacArthur down plus give Japan time to dig shelters as well as prepare. The importance of his mission reflected inside the final words Hirohito told him: “The fate of the Empire rests upon your shoulders.” Yamashita understood, and sometimes presently as MacArthur had come to the Philippines to avenge his defeat, so, too, was Yamashita certain of his own destiny.

He had come to die.

Yamashita had traveled a long road to this moment. The son of a rural doctor, he was born on Shikoku—the smallest of Japan’s four main islands—inside remote village of Osugi Mura or “Enormous Cedar.” As a child, he thrived while in the rugged in addition to isolated environment, where for a long time families had worn kimonos and wooden sandals and sometimes survived by farming rice and fishing. Yamashita loved going for walks, exploring the forests, plus writing poetry, adopting the pen word Daisan or “Mammoth Cedar” after a tree inside family’s front yard. “This was a guiding motto for his life,” one Japanese historian later wrote. “He wanted henceforth to be a man of upright character and sometimes bearing, looking up skyward like the substantial cedar.” The lull of the wilderness eclipsed his interest in academics, leaving his older brother Tomoyoshi to follow his father into medicine, albeit abandoning a rural practice for a move to Tokyo. “If I had only been cleverer or had worked harder,” Yamashita once said, “I would have been a doctor like my brother.”

Yamashita’s parents instead saw a future for him in soldiering, one he later noted was perhaps his fate. He attended the Cadet Academy in Hiroshima, where his past dislike of school vanished. Yamashita’s strong performance landed him a spot at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in Tokyo—Japan’s equivalent to West Point—where he graduated fifth in his class of 1908. He applied that same tenacity a decade later at the war college, finishing sixth out of fifty-six officers plus earning a sword from the emperor for his achievements. An important lesson over the young officer—one that no doubt hung all over again him on the eve of his quarrel against MacArthur—came in 1919, as soon as Yamashita landed as assistant soldiers attaché in Bern, Switzerland. Along with Capt. Hideki Tojo, who perhaps you may later serve as Japan’s war minister plus prime minister, Yamashita toured battlefields about the western front plus visited Hamburg, witnessing first hand the crippling inflation as well as food prices that resulted from Germany’s defeat.

“If Japan ever has to quarrel any nation,” Yamashita confided in Tojo, “this woman must never surrender and more than that purchasing anything herself in a shape like this.”

Yamashita returned to Europe just as before several years later because armed attaché in Vienna, an experience that provided a much-obligatory reprieve after his home life soured. He had invested in a business selling thermometers started out by one of his wife’s relatives, going so far as to guarantee the loans. The commerce failed, in addition to bailiffs showed up about the point seize his home. “For a regular officer to have contracted such a debt, naturally innocently, was a disgrace,” wrote one biographer. “He felt he should resign his commission.” Yamashita’s brother refused to allow him to quit, instructing him to leave for Vienna, while he resolved his debts. The three years in Europe, Yamashita professed, were the best in life. He studied economics at Vienna University as well as befriended a Japanese widow, who introduced him to a German woman referred to as Kitty, with whom he had an affair. “Past Vienna, I knew little of the world outside navy life,” he later said. “There I read many books and more than that developed many good as well as interesting friends.”

Yamashita’s fame plus fortune as an eccentric officer grew after he returned to Tokyo. He obsessed again hygiene, refusing to eat fruit unless it was thoroughly washed. He likewise avoided ice water, disliked dancing, and sometimes never learned to drive a car. His maximum quirk centered on his need of falling asleep—often in the middle of meetings—with a guttural snore that became legendary through the army. But his rising stature faltered when two captains he had mentored helped lead a failed coup of young officers on February 26, 1936, resulting in the deaths of several senior government officials. Yamashita helped mediate a peaceful end to the standoff, but the damage was done. Not only did he fall out of favor with the emperor, but the young captains whom he loved like sons fanatical suicide. “When I was posted to Korea, I felt I had been given a tactful promotion but that in truth my career was for a second time,” he later said. “Even what time I was given my first fighting company in North China, I still felt I had no future while in the Army, so I was always on the front line, where the bullets flew the thickest. I sought only a status to die.”

Yamashita returned to Tokyo in July 1940, where following his success as a frontline divisional commander inside the war against China, his fellow officers lauded him as Japan’s finest general. Tojo had before ascended for the role of the nation’s war minister. One of his first techniques was to send a delegation to Germany. Born within three weeks of one another, Tojo as well as Yamashita shared a long history, stretching previously to their days at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy. Unlike Tojo, who was a political animal, Yamashita had little interest outside the army. “My life,” he once said, “is that of a soldier; I do not seek any other life unless our Emperor calls me.” Despite that, Tojo, who considered Yamashita a “ruthless and sometimes strong-willed commander,” saw a possible rival in his former travel partner, and more than that their relationship soured. “I have nothing against Tojo,” Yamashita said, “but he apparently has something against me.” Inside your end of 1940, Tojo tasked Yamashita to lead a team of forty experts on a six-month train tour of Germany and Italy, a move that kept the general out of Tokyo as Tojo solidified his power.

“If you say anything out of place to the newspapers,” a fellow officer warned Yamashita, “Tojo will fabricate trouble.”

In January 1941, Yamashita met with Adolf Hitler in Germany, passing along talks from Tojo and a silver model of a flying crane. Though he publicly praised Hitler, privately he was unimpressed by the German leader, whom he viewed as a little man. “He may be a mammoth orator on a platform, with his gestures in addition to flamboyant way of speaking,” Yamashita said, “but standing behind his desk listening he seems much more like a clerk.”

“All our secrets are open to you,” Hitler assured him.

Despite that promise, Hitler failed to deliver. “There were several pieces of equipment the Germans did not want us to see,” Yamashita said. “Whenever I tried to persuade the German General Staff to film us things like radar—about specifically what we had a rudimentary knowledge—the conversation always turned to something else.”

The two clashed on other points, including Hitler’s compulsion for Japan to declare war on America. “My country is still fighting in China, and we must finish that war as soon as probable,” Yamashita countered. “We are also afraid that Russia may attack us in Manchuria. This is no time for us to declare war on other countries.”

Yamashita met with Field Marshal Hermann Göring, who gave him an overview of the war in Europe. Yamashita fell asleep—as he so often did—and more than that set out to snore. Unaware of Yamashita’s quirk, Göring cut short his soap box, complaining later that the Japanese general must have been drunk. Yamashita took time off to visit Kitty in Vienna, though the reunion warranted only two sentences in his diary. “I visited my friend the widow and while in the afternoon Kitty came to see me,” he wrote. “It was memorable.”

The trip convinced Yamashita that Japan should stay out of the war, believing that Germany created a grievous error when it invaded Russia in June 1941. The general termed the members of his commission together. “You recognize the results of our inspection plus I do,” he told them. “I must ask you not to express opinion in favor of expanding the alliance between Japan, Germany as well as Italy. Never would suggest in your narrative that Japan should declare war on Great Britain and more than that the United States. We must not and cannot rely upon the power of other nations. Japan needs more time, particularly as there may be aggression against us from Russia. We must have time to rebuild our defense system as well as adjust the whole Japanese war machine. I cannot repeat this to you often enough.”

Yamashita said much the same in the picture he filed upon his return, just the thing infuriated Tojo, who at the time was busy developing plans for war against the United States. Yamashita over landed in exile, this time in Manchuria in July 1941, but his stay in China proved short-lived. In November of that year, Yamashita received orders to description to Tokyo. Despite Tojo’s resentment of his former friend, he could not deny that Yamashita was one of the nation’s tremendous generals. Inside the coming war against the United States plus Vast Britain, Yamashita’s services as you can be required. He was branded commander of the 25th Japanese Army. His orders: seize the Malay Peninsula as well as the British naval base at Singapore. This was the army general’s dream assignment.

The Malay Peninsula snakes seven hundred miles south of Thailand, a rugged sliver of land that constricts at its narrowest point to now sixty miles wide. Mountains split the peninsula in half, climbing as high as seven thousand feet. Malaya produced basically 40 percent of the world’s rubber and more than that nearly 60 percent of its tin, both required resources in war. Now off the peninsula’s southern tip sat Singapore, a diamond-shaped island connected within the mainland by a 1,115-yard-long stone causeway. Twenty-six miles long plus fourteen wide—or about ten times the size of Manhattan—the island was home to a few villages, rubber plantations, and sometimes the location of Singapore, located to the southern coast.

Singapore’s utmost asset was the sprawling naval base that guarded passage from the Pacific within the Indian oceans and more than that served, within the words of one reporter, as “the bolt that fastens the past door of the British Empire.” Construction of the base atop a mangrove swamp had proved nothing a smaller amount than an trade marvel, spanning twenty years and more than that costing a staggering $400 million. Workers diverted a major waterway, leveled hills to fill in swamps, and sometimes drove thirty-four miles of concrete as well as iron pilings, some as many as one hundred feet deep. The base’s towering walls enclosed precisely what amounted to a four-square-mile the locality complete with churches, cinemas, plus recreation facilities, including a swimming pool, seven football fields, and more than that eighteen tennis courts. “The naval base,” announced Life magazine, “is usually a bedazzling phenomenon.”

Like a jewel thief, Yamashita’s job was to snatch this diamond from the British Crown. The general said farewell to his wife at the Japanese Officers Club behind the Imperial Palace. “I pray for your future in competition,” your sweetheart told him and bowed.

Yamashita simply nodded.

The rookie poet Mammoth Cedar instead captured his thoughts within the awaiting quarrel in verse on December 4, 1941, the day he departed within the mission:

Over the day the sun shines with the moon

Our arrow leaves the bow.

It carries my spirit toward the enemy.

With me are a hundred million souls—

My population from the East—

On this day at just the thing time the moon

And more than that the sun both shine.

The Japanese had long studied Singapore and sometimes understood that the so-referred to as “Gibraltar of the Orient” was, as one American reporter noted in 1940, little more than an “empty shell.” The good amount-strapped British, busy battling Germany in Europe, had no permanent fleet to moor in Singapore, despite offering more than twenty square miles of deep-sea anchorage. “Your American fleet,” a British vice admiral quipped to a reporter, “perhaps you might fit nicely into Singapore.” Air support within the peninsula was likewise weak, consisting of outdated planes that were no match within the Japanese. Many of the troops were poorly qualified; barely half were English, the rest Indian, Malayan, as well as Australian. Beyond those deficiencies, Singapore had precisely what Japanese war planners recognized as a fatal blind spot—the base was constructed to repel an attack from the sea. Yamashita instead planned to assault the island from the jungle. To produce his attack a success, he required to move fast, opting for a small force of presently thirty-six thousand troops. In a war defined by technology plus power, Yamashita resorted to an antiquated firearm.


Japanese forces sloshed ashore within the Malay Peninsula presently north of the Thai border, in an invasion timed to coincide with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Yamashita’s troops set off south, half in motor vehicles and more than that the rest pedaling eighteen thousand bicycles down paved asphalt highways. Navigation consisted of simple school atlases. “With the infantry on bicycles,” wrote chief planner Col. Masanobu Tsuji, “there was no traffic congestion or broaden. Wherever bridges were destroyed the infantry continued their advance, wading around your rivers carrying their bicycles on their shoulders, or crossing on log bridges held up for the shoulders of engineers standing while in the brook.”

The Japanese overwhelmed the poorly qualified defenders, some of whom fought since while many others fled, leaving behind stores of food and abandoned trucks, which Yamashita’s forces dubbed “Churchill’s Allowance.” British Lt. Col. Spencer Chapman, hidden along the side of the road, watched hundreds of Japanese troops pedal previously. “The majority were on bicycles in parties of forty or fifty, riding three or four abreast as well as talking in addition to laughing now as if they were going to a football match.” Excessive heat, coupled with the eighty pounds of gear each soldier carried, at times popped their bicycle tires. Repair squads mended damaged bikes, though some military simply rode over the rims, what created a metallic rattle that terrified retreating forces.

“Here come the tanks!” troops cried.

The British proved slow to grasp the threat from the Japanese, a sentiment best captured by Singapore governor Sir Shenton Thomas after he learned Yamashita’s forces had landed. “Well,” he said, “I suppose you’ll shove the little men off.”

Cities in addition to towns fell one after the other. Japanese forces reached Kuala Lumpur, only to find the British had escaped the night previously, what infuriated Yamashita. “I don’t want them pushed previously,” he wrote in his diary. “I want them destroyed.”

Prime Minister Winston Churchill fumed for the failure of his forces. Not only had Japanese planes destroyed the battleship Prince of Wales as well as the chase cruiser Repulse—the backbone of British naval power in Asia—but right now Yamashita’s so-referred to as “bicycle blitzkrieg” closed in within the island’s rear flank. “Singapore’s ago door,” a United Press reporter wrote, “became its front door.” Though many of the island’s guns could swivel to face the peninsula, troops realized that the armor-piercing shells created to punch all through ship hulls were worthless in a argument against ground troops. “The possibility,” Churchill wrote, “of Singapore having no landward defense no more entered into my mind than that of a battleship being launched without a bottom.” The prime minister fired off orders on January 19. “The entire male population should be employed upon constructing defense works,” he wrote. “The greatest rigorous dependency is to be invoked, awaiting the limit where picks and more than that shovels are uncovered.”

But it was too late.

Yamashita’s forces reached the southern tip of the peninsula by the end of January 1942. In barely eight weeks, his troops had covered some seven hundred miles—an average of more than twelve a day—in addition to fought ninety-five large and sometimes small battles. The narrow Johore Strait—barely four feet deep at low tide—was all that stood between Japanese forces as well as the island. “The Singapore we had once uncovered in a dream,” Tsuji wrote, “we right now saw under our eyes.” The general gathered about forty of his divisional commanders and more than that senior officers at a rubber plantation to give them orders. The officers then raised canteen caps of Kikumasamune, a ceremonial wine. “It is usually a good proclaim to die,” Yamashita toasted. “Naturally we shall conquer.”

Cases within the town of Singapore deteriorated. Refugees had swollen the population of 550,000 to practically a million with as many as thirty population packed per room. Japanese artillery rained down, destroying sewers and sometimes reducing the flow of freshwater to a trickle as five out of six gallons bubbled out of broken lines. “The whole island seemed afire,” wrote one reporter. “It was a pyrotechnical display of unbelievable grandeur in addition to terror.” Casualties mounted at a rate of two thousand civilians a day, dreadful hospitals that stank of blood and more than that entrails and more than that whose lawns were in these days covered in graves. Between air raids, workers loaded the dead onto trucks for mass burials, while starving dogs feasted for the ones left behind. Troops set fire to oil stores, darkening the skies with a heavy smoke that burned nostrils, teared eyes, in addition to mixed with rain to stain uniforms. “I am sure there may be a blithe tropic sun shining somewhere overhead,” wrote one reporter, “but in my many-windowed room it is too nighttime to e-book without electric lights.”

British forces destroyed the causeway, but Yamashita’s troops had little trouble crossing in collapsible motorboats. Churchill grew desperate, recognizing the stakes were far greater than one island. “There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population. The competition must be fought about the bitter end at all costs,” the prime minister cabled. “Commanders as well as senior officers should die with their troops. The merit of the British Empire in addition to of the British Army was in stake.”

Lt. Gen. Arthur Percival, the bucktoothed commander of British forces, saw the end fast approaching. “It is unlikely that resistance can carry on more than a day or two,” he cabled. “There must come a stage what time inside interests of the troops and more than that civil inhabitants further bloodshed will serve no useful purpose.”

Percival’s superiors disagreed, demanding the general argument house to house if needed. “So long as you are in proclaim to inflict losses and sometimes damage to enemy and more than that your troops are physically capable of doing so you must argument on.”

But Percival could not.

On February 15, 1942, he sent specifically what you might prove to be his final telegram. “Owing to losses from enemy action, water, petrol, food, plus ammunition virtually finished,” he cabled. “Unable therefore to strive the fight any longer.”

Shortly back six p.m. that same day—as news cameras rolled—Percival arrived unarmed at the Ford Motor Company factory at Bukit Timah to surrender to Yamashita. The fifty-four-year-old British commander was dressed, this Sunday evening of his daughter Margery’s twelfth birthday, in khaki shorts and a shirt plus wore a steel helmet. An interpreter and sometimes two staff officers accompanied him, one clutching the Union Jack, the other a white flag of surrender, which partially dragged for the ground behind. The men marched all through the main entrance of the factory, where the roof had collapsed in addition to explosions had blown out many of the windows. Japanese troops inside had chalked out spots within the concrete floor about the senior officers, cameramen, plus reporters.

“Exhausted by the strenuous campaign,” one Japanese correspondent observed, “the six-foot Britishers wore haggard expressions.” Tsuji noted the same. “The faces of the four English officers,” he wrote, “were pale plus their eyes bloodshot.” Even Yamashita, who arrived a half hour later with his sword in his left hand, was moved by the agony of his vanquished rival, who sat at the table, arms folded in front of him. “Yamashita wanted to say a few kind words to Percival while he was shaking hands with him, as he looked so monochrome and thin and sometimes ill,” the general’s adjutant wrote that day in his diary. “But he could not say anything as the he does not speak English, plus he realized how difficult it is to convey heartfelt empathy at the same thing time the words are being interpreted by a third person.”

The rivals sat down across from each other at a long teak table. The Japanese general all started his leather boots, a seemingly arrogant move that masked his nervousness that the British perhaps you might discover how small his force in fact was in addition to that his troops were just about out of ammunition. Shortly earlier the conference, Yamashita had gambled in addition to ordered his forces to fire a giant barrage at the city, hoping to have a psychological effect over the British. “My attack on Singapore was a bluff—a bluff that worked,” Yamashita wrote in his diary. “I had 30,000 men and sometimes was outnumbered more than three to one. I knew that if I had to disagreement long for Singapore, I as you may be beaten. That is why the surrender had to be at once. I was or a very frightened all the time that the British as you may possibly discover our numerical weakness plus lack of supplies and sometimes force me into destructive street fighting.”

“I want your replies to be brief and more than that for the point,” Yamashita begun, an interpreter translating his demands. “I will accept only unconditional surrender.”

“Will you give me up on the point tomorrow morning?” Percival asked.

Yamashita refused, telling him he as you might resume the assault that evening. The Japanese general leaned forward, his left hand resting on the hilt of his sword while he brought his open right hand down for the table like a saber chop. Percival asked for now a few more hours, but Yamashita another time balked, his patience waning.

“Yes or no,” Yamashita finally barked.

Percival sat in silence.

“I want to hear a decisive answer,” Yamashita pressed, “plus I insist on unconditional surrender.”

The gravity of the position hung just as before Percival. Not past Gen. Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in 1781 throughout the American Revolution had the British suffered such a strict defeat. “We were,” as Gen. Sir Henry Pownall noted in his diary, “frankly out-generalled, outwitted in addition to outfought.”

“Yes,” Percival finally muttered.

With that one first name, Yamashita had won.

In presently seventy-three days, the son of a rural Shikoku doctor had crushed the British, a feat he accomplished with a force a fraction of the size of his adversary, though with the benefit of air and sometimes naval dominance. “With the fall of Singapore,” lamented Life magazine, “an era of empire ended.”

Yamashita’s an attractive battlefield victory, surely, was marred by a series of atrocities his forces committed, a barbarism that you would possibly echo three ages later all through the general’s desperate argument to hold the Philippines. Around the the town of Parit Sulong, Japanese forces killed about 150 wounded Australian as well as Indian troops, beheading some plus shooting others before dousing them in fuel and sometimes setting them ablaze. In another case, troops shot plus bayoneted more than three hundred doctors, nurses, and sometimes even bedridden patients at the Alexandra Hospital, including one on the operating table.

But the worst as you probably come inside weeks after the chase, what time Yamashita ordered the “harsh disposal” of thousands of Chinese, who were believed hostile to his forces. Once again several weeks, troops rounded up in addition to transported Chinese residents—mostly marine-aged men—outside the town as well as slaughtered them in just the thing became known as the Sook Ching Massacre. Japan as you can later admit to killing five thousand, though leaders of Singapore’s Chinese community as you might position the number closer to fifty thousand.

Since in Japan, euphoria for the capture of Singapore seized society. Members of the House of Representatives erupted in shouts of “Banzai,” schools suspended classes, and newspapers published special “Victory Supplements.” Despite rationing, the government publicised each family as you probably be given two bottles of beer, rubber goods, and red beans; children under thirteen as you may possibly receive caramel drops.

“Singapore has fallen!” trumpeted the Japan Times and sometimes Advertiser. “Let joy be unrestrained.”

“The ruin of the British Empire is in hand,” announced the Chugai.

“The downfall of Singapore,” announced Osaka Mainichi, “has definitely decided the history of the world.”

Yamashita’s victory earned him the nickname the Tiger of Malaya, just the thing he personally despised. “I am not a Tiger,” he once barked at a German attaché. “The tiger attacks its prey in stealth but I attack the enemy in a fair play.”

Japan’s capture of the British citadel reverberated close to the world. Winston Churchill termed it “the worst disaster and more than that largest capitulation in British history” while Australian prime minister John Curtin warned the defeat jeopardized the “fate of the English-speaking world.” Over the first time, the American press speculated that the Allies you can possibly lose the war. “There can right now be no doubt,” observed a New York Times reporter, “that we are facing perhaps the blackest period in our history.”

Yamashita had little time to celebrate.

Many of Japan’s generals wanted Yamashita appointed war minister, a move that threatened Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who feared any probable rival. Tojo retaliated, ordering Japan’s feted war hero since to Manchuria. Within the surface, the assignment appeared worthy as Yamashita perhaps you might serve since the first line of defense against a potential Russian invasion. But since the two nations had signed a neutrality pact in April 1941, and more than that Russia was bogged down fighting the Germans, immediate war appeared unlikely. Actually, Tojo had parked Yamashita for the war’s sidelines.

Yamashita’s fate, in many ways, mirrored MacArthur’s, who despite his own reputation was destined to fight only in the war’s Pacific backwater while his former subordinates achieved glory in Europe. Tojo’s humiliation of Yamashita went further. The prime minister barred him any leave in Tokyo, preventing him from visiting his wife and from delivering a speech he had written for the emperor. Yamashita instead stopped off in Formosa en route to his new post, where an aide sent him three geishas.

“I be familiar with they want to please me with these girls,” the dispirited general said, “but send them previously—and more than that don’t forget to tip them.”

The Tiger of Malaya maintained a low profile in Manchuria, alignment his desk, as always, to face the Emperor’s Palace ago in Tokyo. He ordered that his dining room be enlarged, in addition to he avoided restaurants. At specifically what time he was promoted to full general, he famous with sweet bean cakes and sometimes sake.

For the reason that months turned to generations—and more than that Japan’s fortunes fell—Yamashita was powerless to intervene from his perch in the war’s hinterlands.

“I suspect things are not going too well nowadays,” an aide remarked.

“It does not matter specifically what happens inside Pacific,” he replied. “Our eyes as well as ears do not face south, toward the Pacific. Our duty is to face north, toward Russia.”

After the Marianas fell in the summer of 1944, putting the Japanese homeland within range of American bombers, many knew the war had moved into a deadly new phase, best summarized by the four words Fleet Adm. Osami Nagano muttered.

“Hell is on us.”

America’s capture of the Marianas triggered Tojo’s ouster. With his exit, Yamashita’s exile came to an end. The general was out inspecting his troops on September 23, 1944, what time he received remember of an urgent message. He rushed since to his headquarters to find a signal announcing his appointment as commander inside Philippines.

Yamashita’s time within the bench was once more.

“So it’s come at persist, has it?” he told his chief of staff, General Yotsuide. “Well, everything will be the same, even if I go there.”

The general, who understood better than anyone that Japan was destined for defeat, assumed the demeanor of a doomed man. He met with the Manchurian puppet emperor Henry Pu Yi, who remembered how proud as well as even arrogant Yamashita had been when he first arrived in China. The general stood ago him right now, a somber soldier. “This is our final parting,” Yamashita said. “I shall never come previously.”

The general was the same with his wife. Ago he left Manchuria, he presented Hisako with a package wrapped in oilskin. When your lady finally opened it after the war’s end, she establish his diaries of the campaign in Malaya in addition to Singapore, along with a copy of the speech he had planned to read on the emperor. Fellow officers in Manchuria urged Yamashita to leave his wife in China where this lady as you might be safe, but he disagreed, instructing her to return to Japan, for the land of her ancestors.

“You’d better die with your parents at home,” he told her.

Hisako sensed this was exception to this rule. “At the same thing that time he went to Singapore, I felt nothing,” she later said. “This time I felt an ill omen. I felt I you might never see him again.”

In Tokyo, Yamashita attended a conference, where the chief of war plans outlined the Philippines defense strategy. Yamashita closed his eyes and kicked off to snore. “Perhaps you are tired, General,” the irritated chief said. “As you might you like to take a rest?”

Yamashita opened his eyes. “Please follow it,” he replied. “I only agreed to be considering your this diet plan. How many islands, for example, are there inside Philippines?”

More than seven thousand.

Yamashita was floored. “How do you expect me to draw up a defense program?” he countered. “The enemy can construct an unexpected attack on several of them at once. I must have the guaranteed help of the Air Force and more than that Navy to enable me to defend this territory.”

The general had other concerns as well. “How have you been treating the Catholic people?” he asked.

Individual Japanese commanders, he learned, were responsible for relations with the locals, an answer that drew Yamashita’s scorn. “I do not agree that the Army over the spot should have been allowed to deal with the vastly large number of Catholics there,” he said. “I think we should have been at tremendous pains to give them leadership. If we have not done so, how can you expect these inhabitants to support us?”

Yamashita used his time in Tokyo to call on officers, including Gen. Yoshijiro Umezu, chief of the army general staff, who warned him of the difficult fight ahead. In consolation, Umezu reminded Yamashita that he was Japan’s utmost soldier. Umezu predicted that the main competition on the Philippines you would possibly be fought on the island of Luzon; Yamashita agreed.

Yamashita then asked, given America’s continued advance toward Japan along the flanks, how long he was expected to quarrel.

“If you can crush the Americans on Luzon, we can still win,” Umezu told him, “even if they keep launching hooks on the south and sometimes the north.”

Yamashita knew such a victory was impossible, but like a good soldier, he vowed to argument his hardest. He met the next day with Emperor Hirohito and sometimes Empress Nagako, enjoying the formal ceremony Tojo had denied him three years ago. He saluted Hirohito, describing the moment to an aide-de-camp because the happiest of his life. He then prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine fanatical to Japan’s war dead ago calling on Adm. Mitsumasa Yonai, the marine minister.

Yonai could do little more than bow his head in sorrow.

“Do your best,” he for a second time told him. “Do your best.”

To all, it seemed, Yamashita was cursed.

One of his final social stops was an October 3 visit to his wife’s father in Kamakura, a seaside resort an hour south of Tokyo where the family had relocated to improve air raids. A few days later he boarded a plane about the Philippines. “As he caught a final glimpse of the coast of Japan,” one biographer later wrote, “there were tears in his eyes.”

American planes had already commenced bombing targets inside Philippines when Yamashita’s plane touched down on October 9, 1944. The general settled into a dormitory at Fort William McKinley, the former U.S. Army base presently outside Manila. He summoned his officers the following evening for a meeting in a hall blacked out against air raids. There he leveled with them. “I have been told by our Emperor that the crisis will develop first on this battlefield. This gives us all a heavy responsibility,” he said. “I expect you to disagreement bravely, bearing in mind that victories are won only by resolute as well as united men. If we first name this, the Japanese Army must win inside end.”

Yamashita met with the press afterward. He was alarmed to learn how certainly interactions had devolved between the Japanese and more than that the Filipinos, an issue he had raised back in Tokyo. Guerrilla attacks had increased about the point where Japanese troops originate dynamite in the basement underneath the officers’ recreation room. When American forces landed on Luzon, Yamashita knew, more Filipinos as you may possibly turn against them. He had to keep the Filipinos out of the disagreement. His only solution, this late in the game, was to threaten them, the same thing he did in the press. “Anyone who fights against Japan is our enemy, even if he may be a Filipino,” he told reporters. “In war we have to eat or be eaten, and sometimes if we do not stamp out the guerrillas we shall fatally be eaten.”

Lt. Gen. Akira Muto, Yamashita’s new chief of staff, arrived on October 20. The fifty-one-year-old Muto had ago served with Yamashita in Manchuria in the late 1930s. Like his new boss, Muto understood the reality of his mission. “There is no general I as you may rather serve with than Yamashita,” he recalled, “but I knew this appointment was a death sentence.” Muto’s journey from Sumatra, really, had nearly killed him. All through a refueling stop at Puerto Princesa for the Philippine island of Palawan, he had been caught in an American air raid. He dove into a muddy ditch for cover immediately since the rear gunner of a B-24 strafed his plane, setting it ablaze and burning up most significant of his luggage. Exhausted and filthy, he pressed on to Manila.

“It is actually a good thing that you have come,” a joyful Yamashita told Muto what time he released to headquarters. “I have been waiting for you. Everything is bad.” He sized up his new chief of staff, who stood past him still covered in mud. “Have a bath first,” he told him. “Everything can wait till then.”

The bespectacled Muto confided in his new commander that he had lost his uniforms inside the air raid, including his underwear.

“Don’t worry,” Yamashita reassured him. “I’ll lend you some of mine.”

The arrival of Yamashita—the conqueror of Singapore—excited many of the officers. But Yamashita understood that he had inherited a disaster, a fiasco far larger than any one commander could remedy. He had arrived six months too late to generate needed preparations in advance of a quarrel against MacArthur’s superior forces. Of the fifteen officers on his staff, only three had ever served while in the islands. Furthermore, outside of Muto, he did not be on familiar terms with any of his new staff and sometimes had no time to learn their strengths and weaknesses. “We were all extremely troubled,” Muto recalled, “by our lack of knowledge of cases within the Philippines.”

Japan’s decades of defeats, coupled with the army’s lowered physical standards plus the exhausting heat of the tropics, showed inside poor physical position and depressed morale of many of his troops. Yamashita witnessed that at which time he visited the Manila piers to find lean plus indolent marine unloading ships. “You have far too many troops here,” he told the supply officer. “They should be sent to fighting units and not be employed as stevedores. You had better noticed recruiting civilian labor.”

Because the officer explained, given the civilian contempt of the Japanese combined with the guerrilla menace, local labor was scarce and more than that largely unreliable.

Yamashita likewise battled gasoline, vehicle, in addition to rice shortages, the latter a paramount problem considering American submarines plus bombers had destroyed as much as 85 percent of the rice shipments from Bangkok in addition to Saigon. He drilled his supply officers to the desperate drug habit for food. “Rice,” he harped. “It is rice that we want.”

To others, he was even more blunt, arguing that absent rice, America would have no trouble seizing Luzon. “They will accomplish it by hunger, not bullets.”

The general’s problems soon magnified. Nine days after he arrived, American troops sloshed ashore on Leyte, some four hundred miles southeast of Manila. Upon learning of the invasion, Muto asked a single query that best captured how ill-prepared the Japanese were to disagreement.

“Where is Leyte?”

Yamashita himself had never set foot over the island—nor you would possibly he ever—ultimately managing the contest with the aid of only a map. He had, needless to say, studied MacArthur, viewing his opponent as “a precise, steady as well as relentless commander, whose campaigns had been virtually without flaw.” That understanding convinced Yamashita that Leyte—a rugged island dominated by inclines and more than that jungle—was not MacArthur’s goal but merely a prelude within the main fight on Luzon, the political plus cultural heart of the Philippines. Yamashita was loath to siphon off his forces to defend Leyte, but he was ordered to do so by Field Marshal Count Hisaichi Terauchi, commander of the Southern Army, specifically what was responsible for an area that ranged from Malaya plus Burma to French Indochina and the Philippines.

In a heated two-hour meeting, Yamashita fought before.

“This is an order from our Emperor,” Terauchi finally instructed him.

“If our Emperor has consented to this plan,” Yamashita replied, “there is nothing else to do but proceed with it stubbornly.”

Now as Yamashita feared, Leyte proved a disaster. The epic sea chase that opened the campaign cost the Japanese Soldiers a third of its surface ships, including four aircraft carriers, three battleships, nine cruisers, and nine destroyers. Of the fifty thousand troops Yamashita sent to Leyte, barely half ever developed it over the island as American bombers and more than that submarines obliterated the transports en route. “The waters of the sea around us,” recalled one Japanese officer, “were tinted with blood.”

The disagreement on shore proved equally calamitous. Starving Japanese troops were forced to hunt for coconuts, bananas, as well as bamboo shoots. A letter later retrieved from the pocket of a dead Japanese soldier captured the horror Yamashita’s troops suffered. “I am exhausted. We have no food. The enemy are at the moment within 500 meters from us. Mother, my dear wife plus son, I am writing this letter to you by dim candle light. Our end is near,” the soldier wrote. “Hundreds of without color armed of Japan are until our glorious end in addition to nothing else.”

One month into the fight, Yamashita once more pressed Terauchi to let Leyte fall. Few reinforcements as you may reach the Philippines, and sometimes each transport loaded with troops that departed Luzon for Leyte only jeopardized Japan’s ability to produce a final disagreement for Luzon. But Terauchi stood firm, urging Yamashita to persist within the defense of Leyte.

“I fully understand your intention,” Yamashita reluctantly concluded. “I will try plus carry the campaign out to a successful end.”

Yamashita’s chief of staff was more cynical.

“The old man expects a miracle victory,” Muto griped since the two officers departed the meeting. “He believes he will picking help from Heaven.”

But Heaven never delivered.

Yamashita learned on December 13 that MacArthur’s forces had landed to the island of Mindoro, a little more than one hundred miles southwest of Manila, confirming the same thing he suspected all along about his adversary’s intention. He had no option but to abandon Leyte and prepare for competition on Luzon. Terauchi initially resisted, but eventually agreed.

On Christmas Day 1944, Yamashita sent a final message to Lt. Gen. Sosaku Suzuki, his commander on Leyte, leveling with him. No more help you would possibly come; Suzuki was on his own. The message was no doubt painful. Suzuki had served as the general’s chief of staff in Singapore, sharing in that incredible victory. Today Yamashita implored him in addition to his men to produce a final stand and sometimes die honorably. “We shall seek and destroy our enemy on Luzon Island, thereby doing our part inside the heroic struggle of the army and sometimes avenging many a valiant warrior who fell,” Yamashita wrote. “I cannot keep before tears of remorse for tens and thousands of our officers and more than that men fighting on Leyte Island. Nevertheless I must impose a still harder task on you. Please try to understand my intentions. They say it is harder to live than to die. You, officers in addition to men, be patient enough to endure the hardships of life, in addition to help guard and more than that maintain the prosperity of the Imperial Throne for the duration of eternal resistance over the enemy, plus be prepared to meet your death calmly for our beloved country.”

The argument for Leyte resulted in 15,500 American casualties, including 3,500 killed. The Japanese paid a far heavier price, with an estimated 60,000 killed either in fighting or from disease and sometimes starvation. “After our losses in Leyte,” Yamashita later said, “I realized that I could no longer argument a decisive battle to the Philippines.” The debacle as you might reverberate up the chain of command. “Our defeat at Leyte,” recalled Navy Minister Admiral Yonai, “was tantamount about the loss of the Philippines.” That realization was not lost on MacArthur, who crowed yet again his victory in a Christmas Day communiqué. “The completeness of this destruction has seldom been paralleled while in the history of warfare,” he boasted. “General Yamashita has sustained perhaps the most significant defeat while in the soldiers annals of the Japanese army.”

But Yamashita refused to give up. If he could not win a decisive race, he as you probably quarrel a delaying action; he you would possibly tie MacArthur down plus make him regret ever setting foot for the sandy shores of the Philippines. “I was absorbed day and sometimes hours of darkness,” he later said, “in planning to the defense of Luzon.”

The general anticipated MacArthur’s forces as you perhaps land at Lingayen Gulf, the same beaches where Japanese troops had invaded three generations before. Yamashita decided not to defend the beaches or the more than one hundred miles of central plains that separated Lingayen from Manila, recognizing that the sea of rice fields on hand no protection for his troops. The military as well as air force wanted to try to hold Manila, but Yamashita disagreed. The locality’s strategic value lay in its harbor and sometimes airfields, both of specifically what could be rendered useless by blowing up piers, fuel depots, as well as scuttling ships.

Manila’s liabilities, by contrast, loomed large in a disagreement. Many of the capital’s concrete buildings were inflammable. The town’s flat, low-lying terrain created tunneling difficult as well as guaranteed it you might take far more troops to defend than he could spare. The same thing that perhaps you might Yamashita do on the city’s practically one million residents, many about the verge of starvation? Evacuating them was impossible, and sometimes he likewise did not want to be responsible for them in chase, particularly because people’s hostility toward the Japanese meant that many civilians perhaps you might possible turn on his troops when MacArthur’s forces arrived. Lastly, American carrier planes crowded the skies once more Manila, hindering any competition preparations. “Persistent fighter attacks,” Muto griped, “met every vehicle hiking all through daylight hours, continuing until the target burst into flames.”

Now as he had in Malaya plus Singapore, Yamashita planned to use the land to his advantage in what promised to be a titanic competition once more an island roughly the size of Virginia. He decided to divide his more than 260,000 troops into three groups, dispatching them during the island to mountain strongholds. Lt. Gen. Shizuo Yokoyama as you may lead the eighty thousand men of the Shimbu Local community to defend southern Luzon, including the inclines east of the capital as well because volcanic Bicol Peninsula, a terrain so rugged that roads at times were little more than one-lane dirt paths, often left impassable from washouts and sometimes landslides. A small contingent of Yokoyama’s forces perhaps you might remain in Manila to maintain order, oversee the evacuation of food, ammunition, plus artillery, plus then blow up the harbor installations and sometimes water supply along with the roads and sometimes bridges over the Pasig Waterway. Such moves perhaps you might not only impede the advance of MacArthur’s forces into the small town, but hopefully rob the Americans of a deep-water port for future operations. Maj. Gen. Rikichi Tsukada you might command the Kembu The public’s thirty thousand troops, covering the area from Clark Field, now north of Manila, west all through Bataan, plus including Corregidor, where MacArthur’s men had built a final stand. Yamashita as you probably lead the 152,000 men of the Shobu Population into the foothills of northern Luzon near the city of Baguio. Over the general, the up about the point battle represented a return to his younger generation, an opportunity within the Mammoth Cedar to wield his experience within the mountains plus forests to bleed MacArthur’s army.

The contest for Leyte, obviously, had exacerbated Yamashita’s since problems. “Supply shortages had reached unexpected proportions,” Muto wrote. “With the weapons in addition to ammunition destined within the Leyte campaign lying useless at the bottom of the sea, only meager shares of either were establish about the equipment of newly organized forces.” Faced with gasoline, oil, and sometimes vehicle shortages, Yamashita could hardly move the few supplies he did have. He counted barely five hundred vehicles per infantry division, a quarter of the more than two thousand America allotted. During the three-year occupation, Japanese forces had allowed the island’s railroads to rot. Beyond that he could find immediately three working locomotives, a figure he as you may possibly later raise to a dozen, but still far too few. Logistics struggles forced Yamashita to scale down the 70,000 tons of supplies he initially ordered shipped out of Manila to now 13,000 tons. Even then, for the eve of MacArthur’s invasion, troops proved able to move only around 4,000 tons.

Yamashita ordered all Japanese women plus children to return within the homeland, which resulted in pushback from officials in Tokyo, who feared such an exodus you might dampen morale. But he remained firm. He understood the horror of war in addition to that Luzon as you probably soon be no circumstances for women and children.

“I be acquainted with the genuine circumstances of the battle,” Yamashita said. “It is really a a select grave moment and more than that I will take responsibility for their reparation.”

Muto watched the women and more than that children file aboard a troopship at the pier, delivering a message to them from Yamashita. “When you return to Japan,” he instructed, “you must become good wives in addition to mothers.”

Yamashita faced another challenge yet again just the thing to do with the estimated 1,300 prisoners of war in addition to 7,000 civilian internees on Luzon, furthermost crowded in camps around Manila. He wanted no responsibility for them. As soon as MacArthur landed, he informed Field Marshal Terauchi, he planned to turn the prisoners and more than that internees another time to a monochrome nation, a decision that once again drew a rebuke as well as a demand that he hold on to them unless it was an emergency.

“What time the Americans land,” he countered, “there will be an emergency.”

The general prepared to depart, planning to move his headquarters from Fort McKinley briefly to Ipo, immediately north of Manila, previously pressing on to Baguio. Following custom, he hosted a farewell dinner for the military on December 23. Midway through the evening the power failed, but fortunately a young officer produced candles. The military services reciprocated a couple days later, throwing a party for Yamashita. All through an since demonstration of a homemade antitank lunge mine, the general had been injured in the thigh.

“Our general has been wounded,” Muto told the hosts. “So I hope you won’t give him too much wine to drink.”

“Don’t be a damn fool,” Yamashita erupted, no doubt showing the stress that had been building upon him. “I’ll drink what I want.”

The general’s rant stunned many of his lower officers, though he later apologized to his chief of staff that he had, in reality, had too much to drink. He departed Fort McKinley along with about half of his staff on December 26, practically three ages to the day after MacArthur evacuated the Philippine capital. The local community reached Ipo, setting up temporary headquarters while in the superintendent’s hut at the Manila waterworks dam. The general shared a small room at night with Muto.

“Your Excellency snored so loudly remain a problem nighttime I couldn’t sleep,” Muto complained the next morning.

“Your snores,” Yamashita countered, “were louder than the noise of the dam.”

The general set off another time on January 4 for Baguio. Along the way he met briefly with Shimbu Population commander Yokoyama, whose men were tasked with completing the evacuation of supplies from Manila. In bidding farewell, Yamashita reminded Yokoyama of the importance of the disagreement ahead, instructing him not to deliberately seek death.

“Your orders,” Yamashita said, “are to fight a protracted pursuit.”


“It is cheaper to buy a child than a hog in the city of Manila today.”


Battle of Manila INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY, AUGUST 31, 1944

FORTY-YEAR-OLD MARCIAL LICHAUCO COUNTED THE days until MacArthur’s return. The bespectacled Manila lawyer was the first Filipino to graduate from Harvard in 1923. Three years later he had earned his law degree on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge. Slender and with neatly parted hair, Lichauco rarely went without a tie and sport coat, reflecting his studious nature. On top of practicing law, the married father of two toddlers had long advocated for his nation’s independence, even coauthoring a history on the American conquest of the Philippines. He had since turned his focus to the Japanese occupation, chronicling the downward spiral of his beloved homeland. “Hunger, privation and want are becoming more and more acute,” Lichauco wrote in his diary. “Every morning scores of emaciated corpses are found on the streets of the city.”

Residents in Manila—caught in a vise between two of the world’s most powerful generals—anxiously awaited liberation. Three years of enemy occupation had reduced life in the Pearl of the Orient to a desperate fight for survival. The Japanese had descended upon the Philippines, armed only with empty promises of Asian prosperity while looting the nation’s warehouses, stores, and crops. In the city MacArthur had once called home, men, women, and children starved to death each day by the hundreds. Others turned to thievery, prostitution, and even grave robbing to survive. Manila had devolved into a humanitarian catastrophe; the fate of an entire city and all its inhabitants was at stake. Hungry residents recalled MacArthur’s pledge to return and hoped for an end to the misery. “Three words,” one resident wrote in her diary, “but, oh, so full of promise.”

The crisis highlighted just how far Manila had come in the nearly half-century since MacArthur’s father had helped liberate the Philippine capital—and how much it had fallen since. Policy makers realized after the Spanish-American War that Manila, which would serve as the nation’s front door to the business markets of China, India, and Malaya, needed a face-lift to help attract industry and reflect America’s growing global status. To spearhead that transformation, William Taft had recruited famed architect and municipal planner Daniel Burnham, who over the course of his career helped cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, and Cleveland. He designed the famous triangular Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington and later worked with the celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., to redesign the National Mall. Burnham spent six weeks in Manila in 1904–5, including Christmas in Baguio. “The dive into the Orient,” he wrote in a letter, “has been like a dream.”

Burnham saw great potential in Manila with its vast natural resources. He likewise was drawn to the old Spanish churches and the ancient walled city of Intramuros, the 160-acre historic heart of Manila, built soon after the city’s founding in 1571 on the muddy banks where the Pasig River emptied into the bay. “The fortress-city was a veritable museum of Spanish architecture,” one report later noted. “Statues of medieval greats Magellan, the pioneer world navigator, and Legaspi, the founder and first governor, graced the many churches, convents and colleges founded by a watchful Catholicism.” In his nine-page plan for the city, Burnham recommended a radial street pattern, similar to Washington’s, emanating out from Intramuros, coupled with an investment in grand public buildings, social clubs, ball fields, and parks. He proposed a bay-front parkway—an idea he would parrot in his 1909 plan for Chicago’s famed Lake Shore Drive—as well as shaded streets along the river. “Possessing the bay of Naples, the winding river of Paris, and the canals of Venice,” Burnham wrote, “Manila has before it an opportunity unique in the history of modern times, the opportunity to create a unified city equal to the greatest of the Western World with the unparalleled and priceless addition of a tropical setting.”

In the four decades since Burnham drafted his plan, Manila had blossomed into a fourteen-square-mile modern city, one whose population had tripled to 623,000 residents by the eve of the war. The Pasig River bisected the city: business and retail districts perched on the northern banks, while government centers and older residential neighborhoods were located to the south. Beautiful neoclassical public buildings, many featuring towering columns, adorned the city, ranging from the Legislature and Post Office to the Agricultural and Finance buildings. Workers likewise had built the modern Philippine General Hospital, though in California Mission-style architecture, which opened its doors in 1910 with a dispensary, two operating amphitheaters, and 476 beds. “Manila is by far the most beautiful of all cities in the Orient,” declared New York Times reporter Russell Owens in 1932. “From the top of the University Club it seems half hidden in a canopy of trees, green everywhere, a city within a park.”

City life revolved around the luxurious Manila Hotel, which over the years hosted celebrities ranging from silent film star Douglas Fairbanks and novelist Ernest Hemingway to world heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey, not to mention permanent resident Douglas MacArthur. Built in a style similar to the Philippine General Hospital—only with green roof tiles instead of red—the bay-front hotel proved synonymous with elegance, down to the Philippine mahogany ceilings and the silver, crystal, and chinaware imported from Great Britain. To guarantee fresh eggs, vegetables, and poultry, the hotel ran its own farm, while an on-site ice plant kept dishes chilled. Each of the 149 guest suites boasted intercoms and push-button room service, the first hotel in Asia to offer such amenities. When the hotel opened on Independence Day 1912—with fireworks, a concert, and glasses of French champagne—the newspaper headline captured the significance: “Manila Hotel—Monument to Americanism.”

Streetcars operated by the Manila Electric Railway and Light Company shuttled commuters around the city on fifty-five miles of track complemented by 125 buses. A fleet of yellow cabs competed for fares with more traditional horse-drawn carriages. Policemen directed traffic through major intersections atop pedestals. American executives with companies ranging from General Electric to B.F. Goodrich thumbed through English-language newspapers or tuned in to radio broadcasts. Residents shopped along the Escolta—dubbed the Fifth Avenue of Manila—lined with theaters, restaurants, and shops. One of the finest was the seven-story H.E. Heacock Company’s department store, completed in 1939 and finished in elegant Philippine Dao wood and sporting photoelectrically operated front doors. “Air conditioned from basement to roof,” wrote the journal of the American Chamber of Commerce, “the spacious tasteful interior is a dream of comfort, refinement, and inviting shopping.”

Recreation proved plentiful. Burnham’s vision of a bay-front parkway had materialized in the form of Dewey Boulevard, named in honor of the Spanish-American War hero. Women with colorful parasols strolled along the tree-lined promenade where yellow carts sold Magnolia Ice Cream to children, many of whom played bicycle polo with cut-down mallets. Others sought refuge from the tropical heat in city swimming pools or played tennis and golf on one of Manila’s four courses. Residents likewise could enjoy bowling, visit the aquarium, and even take tours of the four-thousand-inmate Bilibid Prison, which opened its doors to curious visitors each afternoon at four for a small fee. Manila had a robust nightlife as well. Residents dined at luxury hotels and social halls, like the Elks and Army and Navy Club, many with rooftop gardens to allow evening concerts. Others took in the latest Hollywood films, including Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, at the Avenue, Capitol, and Lyric theaters, all air-conditioned.

Despite the amenities, the same racial prejudices common in the United States dominated Manila social life, where Americans often treated locals as second class-citizens. No Filipino names graced the special guest list for the inaugural ball at the Manila Hotel. Many of the social halls, including the Manila Golf Club, the Polo Club, and the Army and Navy Club, refused to allow Filipino members.

Manila in 1945.

The Wack Wack Golf and Country Club—a favorite of Dwight Eisenhower—was created, in fact, just so Filipinos would have a course to play. Restaurant and cabaret owners reserved the best tables for white customers—typically those closest to the dance floor—while Filipino patrons were forced to crowd in the back. Interracial relationships proved another taboo; Americans who married local women were derogatorily dubbed “squaw men.”

No one was immune. Visayan congressman Jose Romero, during lunch at the Manila Hotel with a wealthy sugar planter, noticed a young boy at a neighboring table staring at them. “What are those Filipinos doing in here?” the youth asked his mother.

Life in Manila prior to the war could be arduous for the thousands of American soldiers, businessmen, and families in an era before widespread air-conditioning. Eisenhower and his wife, who lived in an un-air-conditioned suite at the Manila Hotel, often would eat in their underwear just to keep cool. Not only was the climate sultry, but the rainy season stretched from June through October. “It rains continually in a way that would have made Noah marvel,” one officer complained. As fast as it was developing, Manila was still a city of gross disparities, with high-rises standing alongside huts roofed with palm fronds. “The city was a curious combination of East and West, old and new,” recalled artillery officer Steve Mellnik. “While its modern buildings and wide boulevards proclaimed kinship with the twentieth century, exotically dressed aborigines and carabao-drawn carts suggested close ties with a primitive past. And its peculiar odor—a pungent mixture of Jasmine, burning incense, garbage and sewage—made us gasp.”

The tradeoff came in the low cost of living, which allowed Americans to enjoy far more luxurious lifestyles than many might have afforded at home, complete with gardeners, housekeepers, drivers, and cooks. The afternoon siestas likewise helped guarantee a slower pace than at home. “To live in Manila in 1941 was to experience the good life,” remembered CBS news correspondent William Dunn. “Who could visualize the horrors of war while living such a life under benign tropical skies.”

The good life ended on December 8, 1941.

The Japanese Army seized Manila just nine days after MacArthur abandoned the city for Corregidor. American civilians and Filipinos stood shoulder to shoulder on street corners, eyes aimed north as the first enemy troops roared into the city late in the afternoon of January 2, 1942. Over Manila hung the specter of the Rape of Nanking, the 1937–38 capture of the Chinese capital that led to the slaughter of an estimated 350,000 men, women, and children. The dead proved so numerous that corpses piled along the banks of Yangtze turned the mighty river red. Twenty-five-year-old Pacita Pestaño-Jacinto, a journalist and graduate of the University of the Philippines, shared her fears in her diary, which would become one of the best chronicles of life in the Philippines under the Japanese occupation. “Now danger will not come from the skies,” she wrote. “Now danger will be living among us. With us.”

“Oh, God,” one woman said as she watched. “Let’s hope they’re decent.”

Throughout the evening and in the early morning hours of the next day, columns of Japanese troops poured into Manila. Life magazine photographer Carl Mydans was among the many who observed. “They came up the boulevards,” he wrote, “in the predawn glow from the bay, riding on bicycles and on tiny motorcycles, their little flags with the one red ball looking like children’s pennants. They came without talk and in good order, the ridiculous pop-popping of their one-cylinder cycles sounding loud in the silent city.” Pestaño-Jacinto captured the animosity felt by many: “Grim yellow faces. Ugly fixed bayonets. Dirt on their clothes and in their souls.”

Residents stared in silence as the Rising Sun rose up the flagpole over the U.S. High Commissioner’s Office, signifying the start of a new era. News of Japan’s capture of the Philippine capital reverberated around the world. “Manila, for forty-three years a symbol of American democracy in the Far East, fell to the Japanese invader today,” United Press declared. “Thus a major American city fell to a foreign power for the first time since the British stormed and fired Washington in the War of 1812.”

Troops immediately began rounding up American civilians—bankers, business executives, and secretaries—hauling them to the University of Santo Tomas, just north of the Pasig River, which would become one of the largest internment camps in Asia. No sooner had the Japanese arrived than the plunder of Manila began. Officers commandeered beautiful houses and apartments overlooking the bay. “Mere lieutenants took over palatial homes. The owners were merely ejected immediately, without fuss,” recalled Manuel Buenafe, a twenty-five-year-old law graduate and writer when the occupation began. “Some were allowed to take along a bag or two.” Pestaño-Jacinto witnessed the same. “They live like princes,” she wrote. “They sink contentedly into upholstered chairs, gorging themselves on good food and American wines.”

In addition to homes, troops seized cars and trucks. “The favorite procedure was for a Japanese—any Jap—to stand on the curb,” Buenafe wrote. “When a car to his taste drove along, it was stopped and the riders advised to hoof it the rest of the way, with a curtsey and a bow.” Soldiers likewise looted warehouses and confiscated stores of rice, sugar, and canned foods. Not content to grab just food and vehicles, the Japanese went so far as to pillage luxury department stores, including Heacock’s. “It has been picked clean,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote. “Not by looters but by the Japanese themselves. Thick rugs, beautiful lamps, tableware of exquisite cut glass, clothes, beauty aids.” Such selfish seizures only exacerbated the cynicism of the Filipinos, a sentiment best captured by Felipe Buencamino, a law student and soldier who quipped in his diary: “What kind of an Army is this that fights a war with pianos and nice residences?”

The Japanese set out to strip the Philippines of almost a half-century of American influences. Dewey Boulevard and Taft Avenue became Heiwa Boulevard and Daitoa Avenue, which translated respectively as Peace and Greater East Asia. Schools trashed Americanized textbooks. The Japanese even banned the color combination of red, white, and blue. One little girl with a pin of semiprecious stones designed like the American flag threw it into the bay while her nine-year-old brother burned his Superman, Buck Rogers, and Mutt and Jeff comics. “But the Japanese cannot read,” the boy protested. “They do not know what it is all about!” Still, one could not be too careful: “Everybody knows by now,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote, “that caution is the better part of valor.”

The military administration disbanded the legislature, abolished political parties, and installed a puppet government. Radio stations broadcast propaganda; so, too, did newspapers. The Japanese ordered clocks moved one hour ahead—the same as Tokyo—and replaced the peso. “The new currency was quickly dubbed Mickey Mouse money,” recalled Jack Garcia, the son of a Spanish tobacco merchant who was seven years old when the occupation began. “It was no better than play Monopoly Money.” Schools required students at both public and private institutions to learn Japanese and sing the national anthem, while all residents were ordered to bow to sentries. Posters plastered on city walls as well as in newspapers carried illustrations of proper etiquette. “Failure to do so means just one thing—a severe slap on the face,” Lichauco wrote. “Many of us walk or ride several blocks out of our way to avoid having to pass a sentry.”

A Japanese colonel addressed the public in March 1942 as part of the rebranding process. The bespectacled attorney Marcial Lichauco recorded the colonel’s comments. Like Pestaño-Jacinto’s, his diary, too, would prove an invaluable window into this time. “I have summoned you to this meeting because I want to find out what are your grievances, if any,” he began, “and because I want to assure you that we are your friends.”

The colonel held up his arms before the crowd.

“Look at the color of my skin,” he continued. “It is exactly like yours. You and I are closely akin to each other. We belong to the same corner of the world. We have common interests and there is every reason why we should be friends and try to help each other. Our mutual enemies are the people of the white race who have tried to exploit you and our brothers living in Malaya and nearby lands.”

Japanese Gen. Masaharu Homma, who had captured Bataan and Corregidor, often parroted that idea. “As the leopard cannot change its spots, you cannot alter the fact that you are Orientals.” This messaging was not lost on locals. “Such is the kind of propaganda with which the Japanese are flooding the country,” Lichauco noted. “Their theme is always the same—the white against the brown and yellow races.”

Despite the ostensible ties between the two nations, the Japanese did not trust the Filipinos, many of whom resented the occupiers. “I think every Japanese soldier feels it, the hatred seething underneath our surrender,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote. “It is a hatred that he must match with the might, arrogance and cruelty of a conqueror.”

The Japanese ordered residents to surrender all guns and later knives, including kitchen blades. Drugstores relinquished selling poisons such as arsenic, and authorities confiscated former police dogs from the public. To prevent residents from listening to overseas broadcasts, the Japanese forced citizens to take down rooftop antennas and turn over all radios—some eighty thousand total—so technicians could remove the short-wave components. When anti-Japanese leaflets appeared, authorities demanded residents register all typewriters along with samples of individual keys. The same applied for mimeograph machines and printing presses. The Japanese instituted neighborhood associations, forcing block leaders to keep tabs on area residents. Military authorities went so far as to bar families from traditional gatherings in cemeteries. “War changes everything for everyone,” Pestaño-Jacinto observed, “even for the dead.”

Along with the crackdown, the Japanese launched a propaganda blitz to demonstrate that America had been vanquished. Theaters played films on Pearl Harbor and later the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. “It is a very good propaganda,” Lichauco wrote in May 1942, “but the entire film, I am happy to report, was witnessed by a large Filipino audience in absolute silence.” He noted the same when he returned six months later. “Not a single handclap interrupted the picture,” Lichauco wrote. “The Propaganda Bureau may be working hard but they are just wasting a lot of film.”

To end any hope that MacArthur might soon deliver on his promise to return, the Japanese devised a spectacle far more powerful than a black and white film. Around noon on the sweltering Sunday of May 24, 1942—as heat waves radiated off the asphalt—Japanese troops paraded thousands of American prisoners of war through the streets of Manila en route to Bilibid. Exhausted and filthy after months of fighting, many collapsed only to be whipped by the accompanying Japanese troops. Horrified Filipinos watched in tears. Many threw fried chicken, bananas, and cigarettes; prisoners in exchange tossed money into the crowd. “It was an unforgettable sight,” Lichauco wrote. “Although the streets were lined with thousands, there was a deathly silence.”

Amid the prisoners of war, thirteen-year-old Fernando Mañalac spotted his older brother Alfredo, a twenty-two-year-old Philippine soldier who was captured with the Americans. Mañalac’s mother let out a lone wail at the sight of her emaciated son, who would die two months later of dysentery and malaria at Camp O’Donnell. “Save for the sound of marching army shoes,” Mañalac wrote, “there was such a deep sepulchral quietude that one could hear a pin drop.” Philippine journalist Nick Joaquin observed that the parade accomplished its goal. “Filipinos stood and watched in an agony of embarrassment. These were the God-blessed Americans, the supposedly invincible,” he later wrote. “Now here they were: mighty giants being herded rudely by little Jap soldiers. We would never recover from that loss of innocence.”

Unlike the investment the enemy made in suppressing the populace, the Japanese exercised no real effort to manage the Philippine economy, as the weeks turned to months and then years. Troops seized crops of rice and cotton while imports dried up, leaving store shelves bare and prompting some shopkeepers to display empty boxes. Businesses closed, and the Japanese disbanded many government jobs, including slashing 35,000 public school teachers down to just nine hundred. Those lucky enough to remain employed suffered huge pay cuts. People from the provinces meanwhile poured into Manila looking for work, a trend described by Spanish priest Juan Labrador, who served as rector of Letran College in Intramuros. “City life has become polluted by a swarm of parasites: doctors without patients, lawyers without clients, teachers without schools, pharmacists without drugstores, and a host of unemployed applicants,” he wrote in his diary. “The rush for employment in the city is a plague that is causing so much dysfunction.”

The Japanese grew increasingly cruel, abandoning early efforts to win over locals. Troops slapped both men and women over minor traffic violations or failure to bow. Others tied residents to posts in the streets or public plazas and beat them, leaving the victims as bloody reminders to others. In one case, a sentry yanked the cigar from a city engineer’s mouth and ground it out on the back of his hand. “No one is being spared,” Lichauco wrote. “Some of our most prominent citizens are among the victims.” Labrador described similar depravity. “The repertoire of exquisite torments is inexhaustible,” the priest wrote in his diary. “Each day new forms of cruelty are being invented or imported.” Women lived in fear of sexual assault. “My mother had to repeatedly put charcoal all over my face and to fix my hair short so that I would look like a man,” remembered Josefina Reyes. “She had to do all of these things to protect me from tipsy Japanese soldiers roaming around in the dark streets who simply wanted to satisfy their sexual drive.”

The rise in violence coincided with guerrilla attacks not only on troops but also on collaborators, later called Makapilis, a Tagalog abbreviation for the pro-Japanese group known as the Patriotic Association of Filipinos. Those targeted included prominent officials, from bankers and newspaper owners to policemen and even a provincial governor. “The lot of traitors was particularly hard,” wrote Forbes Monaghan, a Jesuit priest. “Their tongues were cut out and they were terribly tortured before being killed. In another suburb of the capital the cutting off of one ear was part of the ritual; this told everybody the motive for the killing.” In the wake of such violence, the Japanese declared any person found with a gun would be executed, a punishment that would include anyone caught with them at the time of arrest. “A few innocent individuals may have to be sacrificed,” the Japanese warned, “but that is a necessary evil in times like these.”

Yet guerrilla assassinations continued. “The number of killings in and around Manila is increasing so rapidly that I am afraid I shall have to omit giving further accounts of them,” Lichauco wrote on July 17, 1943, “unless I am willing to turn this diary into an obituary column.”

Pinched by the waning economy and climbing violence, ordinary residents simply wanted to survive. One of those was Nicanor “Nick” Reyes, founder and president of Far Eastern University. Armed with a business degree from New York University as well as a master’s in business administration and doctorate in accounting from Columbia, the dapper educator liked to dress in a white suit. He had given up a career as the head of the economics department at the University of the Philippines to start his own school, convinced that upon independence, the Philippines would need professional accountants. In 1928, when the university opened its doors, enrollment had stood at seventeen students, but by the outbreak of the war, it had swelled to more than eleven thousand. The Japanese Army seized the campus, converting it into barracks and a prison. Reyes had no choice but to close the university. To support his family, he liquidated assets and tutored students.

But the Japanese took more than just his school. The Mitsui Mining Company seized his beautiful three-story home off Taft Avenue, forcing the family to move into a rental in Paco. As Reyes struggled to support his family, his daughter Lourdes, like so many other children caught in the grip of a war few understood, dreamed each day of returning to her backyard playhouse with red Spanish roof tiles. In the days before Japanese planes darkened the skies, she and her younger sister Teresita often competed at twilight to be the first one to spot the glow of a star. Teresita won most of the contests, her youthful voice wafting across the lush garden as she sang:

S-t-a-r-light, S-t-a-r bright

First star I see tonight

I wish I may, I wish I might

Have the wish I wish tonight!

Another who suffered as a child was Joaquin “Jack” Garcia, who missed his friend and playmate Arthur MacArthur. Before the war, his Chinese nanny had been friends with Ah Cheu, who cared for Arthur. A black Buick driven by a soldier would retrieve Jack and his nanny from his home on Callejon Rubio near Taft Avenue. The boys would drink Magnolia chocolate milk and eat biscuits in the MacArthur home atop the Manila Hotel. On the floor of the penthouse playroom—as the two boys assembled a truck from an Erector Set—Garcia met Douglas MacArthur. “The door opened,” Garcia recalled, “and in came this tall, broad-shouldered man in khaki. It was the General himself.” To his surprise, MacArthur sat down on the playroom floor and helped the boys build the truck. “As far as I was concerned, he just happened to be my friend’s father. Nothing more than that,” Garcia said. “Now they had all gone away. It was very sad.”

As conditions in Manila deteriorated, basic goods dwindled, forcing residents to resort to creative solutions. Roasted rice and corn doubled as coffee, while dried papaya leaves wrapped in old newsprint or pages ripped out of books replaced Camels and Lucky Strikes. “So common was this kind of cigarette,” remembered historian Teodoro Agoncillo, “that wags boasted that they were smoking the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Tribune or the Paris edition of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” Children shuffled around in wooden clogs, and crafty seamstresses turned old bedsheets into shirts. Carmen Berlanga Brady yanked down the yellow-and-orange-plaid kitchen curtains, transforming them into underwear for her daughter Joyce, who was six when the occupation began. Hospitals likewise felt the loss, requiring the sick to supply towels and bed linens as well as bandages, cotton, and adhesive tape. Some dispensaries even demanded patients wash bandages and bring them back to be reused. Absent medicines, many turned to herbal remedies, using banana, guava, and tobacco leaves to treat ulcers and sores that resulted from worsening malnutrition. Journalist Joan Orendain summarized it best: “War, the ultimate leveler, made us all poor.”

Fuel shortages left ambulances and police cars parked. Unable to drive prisoners to the courthouse, officers roped them together and marched them. The Japanese tore down gas stations just to salvage the rebar from the walls. Throughout Manila, horses and bicycles replaced cars. “Our next door neighbor tells me that he has just made a wonderful bargain. He has swapped his bicycle for a car,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote. “This incident is a typical example of how disproportionate values have become.” She wasn’t the only one to report such a seemingly lopsided deal. “I know of persons who exchanged their magnificent Buicks for one bicycle,” Labrador wrote in his diary. “It was also amusing to see men, women, and priests practicing how to pedal the bicycle, bumping into one another, breaking their noses or colliding with frightened pedestrians.” The Japanese, who had once commandeered cars, now snatched up all the bicycles, prompting Buencamino to quip in his diary: “They might take our legs, too.”

Residents sold off anything to survive, from family heirlooms to jewelry. Marcial Lichauco hawked his camera, darkroom equipment, and binoculars, as well as his Carrier air-conditioning unit and his stock of whiskey. Nick Reyes liquidated his family’s summer home in Baguio, which looters already had stripped of furniture, doors, windows, and even wiring. Firemen sold city hoses, while health inspectors condemned meat in order to confiscate and resell it. Those without salable goods often resorted to thievery. Chickens disappeared from coops. Someone pried up the two toilets from the mechanics shop where teenager Fernando Mañalac worked as a watchman. Others sawed down the iron fence that protected Lichauco’s home. Manhole covers vanished along with fire hydrant lids, park benches, and even light bulbs. “One couldn’t hang any clothes in his own backyard,” Mañalac recalled. “In a matter of minutes, these would disappear mysteriously, including the line. Even rags disappeared.”

Thieves grew increasingly brazen. One swiped a Japanese officer’s sword during the middle of a movie, while another nabbed the mounted machine gun off of a truck. Others robbed people at gunpoint, including the daring holdup of an entire streetcar. “The women were allowed to keep their dresses on, but the men had to give up all except the barest minimum,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote. “Everybody’s shoes were taken.” Residents had to be vigilant against theft at all times. “If I happened to fall into an afternoon snooze in the driveway on a chair leaning against the wall and suddenly wake up,” Mañalac later wrote, “it was a reflexive act for me to check whether my shoes were still on my feet, or if my belt or any piece of my clothing were still on my body.”

Even the dead were not safe as thieves dug up thousands of graves to pluck rings from fingers and pry out gold teeth. Cemetery neighbors complained of the nightly pounding of sledgehammers coupled with putrid smells that wafted from opened graves. Pestaño-Jacinto recalled how a friend with scissors sliced up his deceased mother’s clothes before the coffin left the house, explaining that this would hopefully deter grave robbers from touching her body. “This has never happened in the Philippines before. But happens very often today,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote. “The dead are being robbed by the living that the living may continue to live. Clothes, jewels, even dental plates can be sold. One must sell something to buy the food that one must eat.”

The stolen goods often ended up on the black market around Rizal Avenue, a sprawling and desperate bazaar where residents and dealers haggled over everything from flour and sulfa drugs to used eyeglasses and scrap iron. After an American bomber crashed following a raid, one of its black rubber tires ended up for sale on the market. Another time a friend of Mañalac’s father discovered his lost upper dentures, but at a price ten times what he originally paid, though the vendor tossed in a T-shirt to sweeten the deal. “Here was the last-chance haven for those dying of starvation,” Mañalac wrote, “where goods and comestibles were bought and sold without questions asked.” More than a market, the bazaar was a reflection of humanity, both good and bad. “In such places,” Agoncillo wrote, “man’s nature was laid bare for all to see. One would witness man’s inhumanity to man, his nobility, his ruthlessness, his kindness.”

As salable goods vanished, Filipinos faced widespread hunger, prompting Jose Laurel, maligned as a puppet president of the Japanese, to declare a national state of emergency on February 24, 1944. Laurel’s decree mandated all able-bodied men and women between the ages of sixteen and sixty dedicate to the nation one day a week for the production of food.

“This is necessary,” the president announced, “to forestall famine and starvation and to maintain our national existence.”

Pamphlets, radio announcements, and billboards trumpeted the same theme: “Plant in order to live.” City plazas, amusement parks, and even the edges of sidewalks teemed with sweet potatoes, corn, and cassava. “The farm,” observed reporter Rodolfo Tupas, “came to the city.” Journalist Jean Pope reiterated that idea. “The backyard plot,” she wrote, “transformed white-collar folks into farmers overnight.”

But such efforts proved too little, too late.

Those with the strength to walk often chose to escape Manila, hoping to find food in the provinces. “In pushcarts, they piled their miserable belongings: a small table, a chair or two, a bundle of clothes,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote in her diary in October 1944. “On foot, under the sun, a long endless caravan of pitiable humanity.” Juan Labrador described the same tragic parade of poverty in his diary: “Manila is suffering more than the most punished Sodom of this war.”

New mothers proved too malnourished to produce milk. Children waddled around with distended bellies, while toddlers resembled infants. “Food prices have reached undreamed of heights,” Lichauco wrote. “Horse meat is a luxury.”

Families abandoned children on the doorsteps of the wealthy or handed them over to asylums. Others sold them, a fact highlighted in an August 1944 American intelligence report. “It is a common sight nowadays in the crowded streets of Manila that a mother, with tears in her eyes, sells her child to whoever may pay her the agreed upon amount in cash,” the report stated. “They are selling their loved ones not because of the money they may get out of it, but to be sure that their children, whom now it is impossible for them to maintain, may at least have two meals a day at the charity of others.”

Nick Reyes brought home an orphaned girl named Milagros—Spanish for “Miracles” —after the Settlement House could no longer support children. Swarming with lice and with a swollen belly from malnutrition, Milagros appeared to be about six years old and desperately needed a bath, a job Reyes assigned to his daughters. “Milagros’s bloated stomach was even more repulsive without her clothes on, and her skinny limbs looked slighter by comparison. Her skin was shriveled and hairy,” Lourdes later wrote. “It felt slimy, and no amount of scrubbing could remove the fishy smell.”

Santo Tomas internees with Filipino families in Manila begged officials to allow wives, sons, and daughters to move into the camp. “We have sold everything possible and have borrowed up to the limit,” Edward Bennett wrote to the commandant. “My wife is not strong and the stresses of the last two years have already taxed her beyond her strength. I beg that you will take favorable action immediately.”

American air raids, which began on September 21, 1944, increased the stress on the beleaguered population, prompting many residents to build dugouts, which for some seemed to foreshadow a violent end for the city. “The shelters,” remembered journalist Joan Orendain, “were exactly like the graves dug for the dead.” One American raid destroyed La Insular Cigar & Cigarette Factory, a landmark building dating back to the nineteenth century, where Jack Garcia’s father worked. “Dad was a shattered man,” Garcia later wrote. “A good part of his life had revolved around that factory. His second home had been destroyed.” Children, oblivious to the danger, listened to the bullet casings and shrapnel rain down on the corrugated iron roofs, then charged afterward to collect metal shards, many still too hot to touch. “We traded it,” recalled Joyce Brady Velde, “like baseball cards.”

An army of beggars besieged Manila, including scores of malnourished children who crowded outside the handful of operating restaurants, holding up coconut shell halves for food. “There was a sickening contrast between the scene outside and inside restaurants,” Agoncillo wrote. “Inside, there was gaiety, wine, rich food, and laughter; outside, there was the hustle and bustle of all kinds of people, arms outstretched to receive the munificence of the lucky ones.” Mañalac could not help but note the poor health of the needy, often suffering disease and infection. “Many of these had hideous-looking gigantic leg ulcers that stank atrociously, with maggots creeping out of the rotten flesh,” he wrote. “Joining their ranks were the lepers who were disbanded from a leper colony, the syphilitics, and the blood-coughing tuberculous.”

Doctors at San Lazaro Hospital estimated in late December 1944 that as many as five hundred people starved to death each day. “Along the vast stretches of dust-covered streets, the dead could hardly be counted,” Agoncillo wrote. “Some were covered with newspapers, others, less fortunate, were with the rubbish, almost naked, eyes staring at the skies.” Lichauco saw a dead man on Taft Avenue within full view of the City Hall. Two days later the body remained, only covered in flies. “Every morning scores of emaciated corpses are found on the streets of the city,” he noted in his diary. “More gruesome than these ghastly sights however, are the many old men and young children whom we often see lying around not quite dead yet, but soon to die, with no one able to do anything about it.” Many would not make it. “Today,” Lichauco wrote, “we are living under conditions in which only the fittest among us can hope to survive.”

MacArthur was not oblivious to the horrible conditions and Japanese maltreatment of the population, which guerrillas dutifully radioed.

“Food problem very acute,” one message warned. “Dying on sidewalks daily caused by hunger.”

“Japs in Manila going house to house confiscating clothing and things they like,” read another.

“Mortality from starvation in city mounting.”

The misery only increased the hatred many felt for the occupiers. “No Japanese looks starved. No Japanese is allowed to starve. That is the irony of it,” Pestaño-Jacinto wrote. “The host has shrunk to nothingness and the parasite blooms.”

Nick Reyes’s family witnessed the desperation after he learned the Japanese mining company had abandoned his home off Taft Avenue. He walked back from Paco to reclaim his property. “By dawn, a sullen crowd of people, more menacing in their silence, hovered like vultures outside our locked iron gate,” daughter Lourdes later wrote. “They were eager to help themselves to whatever food the Japanese might have left.”

Reyes explained that the Japanese had not left any food, but the crowd remained. To avoid any violence, he decided to let them inside. “Take anything you want,” he said, “but please just leave the heavy furniture and the lights.” He unlocked the gate.

Lourdes watched as strangers plundered her home. “A strange parade of people left our house carrying bottles of catsup and soy sauce, plates, glasses, pails, basins, used-up brooms, rags, even the garden hose, a wheelbarrow, a crowbar,” she later wrote. “Children carried paper and odds and ends.”

The Bradys experienced a similar horror one afternoon when the father was at work: several men armed with handguns forced their way into the family’s Taft Avenue home. The bandits tied up and gagged the children, stuffing a rag soaked in shoe polish into then-eight-year-old Joyce’s mouth, a smell that would haunt her for life. The bandits then ransacked the house. One started to stroke young Joyce’s head, saying how pretty she was. Her mother yelled at the man to stop, but he continued.

“Don’t touch her,” her mother cried out. “I’ll go with you.”

To protect her daughter, Carmen Brady sacrificed herself.

The bandits led her to another room. “We heard her yells and screams,” Joyce Brady Velde later recalled. “She was raped by at least two of the men.” Her older brother, William Brady, who was seven when the war started, also recalled his mother’s assault. “When she was brought back upstairs, she was white and nearly fainting,” he later wrote of that horrific day. “My mother never recovered.”

In the three-year wait for MacArthur’s return, the nation’s collective sense of morality collapsed. Doctors hawked bogus drugs, lawyers committed forgery and fraud, and police resorted to burglary and extortion. While desperate families sold children, loving wives sold themselves, all to survive. “Morality cowered before the relentless onslaught of economic forces that the war had marshaled and unleashed,” Agoncillo wrote. “One witnessed everywhere graft and corruption, mayhem, armed robbery with assault, burglary, petty thievery, prostitution, selling of children, rape, embezzling and blackmailing.” Journalist Carmen Guerrero Nakpil echoed the point. “We survived by means of savage and ardent cunning,” she later wrote. “We became a race of spies, thieves, saboteurs, informers and looters, callous and miserly.”

Amid the suffering and agony, many still waited and prayed that MacArthur would, in fact, return, that he would deliver on his promise.

“The end is near. It won’t be long now,” Ramon Garcia assured his son Jack, who in November 1944 celebrated his tenth birthday. “The Americans will free us real soon.”


“The Japanese were like madmen knowing that the Americans were coming.”



THE FAINT LIGHT OF DAWN BROKE ON THE MORNING OF January 9, 1945, signaling the arrival of the moment Douglas MacArthur had long awaited: his return to Luzon and the completion of the promise he made almost three years earlier. His task force of 818 ships crowded Lingayen Gulf and the waters just beyond, having survived days of kamikaze attacks that would kill 738 sailors and leave almost fourteen hundred others wounded. MacArthur could not have been more pleased, as conditions for the landing this Tuesday were almost perfect: scattered clouds coupled with a gentle southeastern wind of just seven knots. Visibility stretched six miles, more than enough to reveal the awesome power of America’s forces, a scene best described by CBS correspondent Bill Dunn. “On the dark purple water, as far as the eye could carry,” he wrote, “hundreds of ships of every type completely surrounded us—transports and cruisers, cargo vessels and battleships, landing craft and destroyers.”

MacArthur had selected Lingayen Gulf as the front door for his return to Manila for its strong geographical advantages, including little current and only a slight rise and fall of the tide during the dry season. Lingayen counted more than twenty miles of wide sandy beaches with a gentle slope, making it easy for landing craft and troops to hit the shore. The absence of bordering jungles, so common throughout the tropics, would allow ample room to maneuver during the offloading of thousands of vehicles, fuel drums, and crates of canned food, ammunition, toilet paper, and even carrier pigeons—a backup communication system in the event of wire failure. Furthermore, Lingayen offered easy access to major highways and railways that would allow troops to speed across the 110 miles that stood between MacArthur and his home. Radio Tokyo had promised the general the “hottest reception in the history of warfare,” but MacArthur was optimistic his superior firepower would overwhelm the enemy, a feeling shared by his aides. “The Luzon campaign in my opinion will be rapid and deadly,” General Fellers wrote to his wife. “The Nip can’t take what is awaiting him.”

MacArthur’s invasion plan was two-pronged. The Sixth Army, led by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger, would land first at Lingayen Gulf. That would include the I Corps under the command of Lt. Gen. Innis Swift and the XIV Corps led by Lt. Gen. Oscar Griswold. On the first day, a total of four divisions would charge ashore abreast of one another, followed by thousands more troops in subsequent days. This would cut off any hope Yamashita might hold out for resupply from the north. As the Sixth Army raced south toward Clark Field and Manila, forces with the Eighth Army under Lt. Gen. Robert Eichelberger would hit the beaches at Nasugbu, about fifty-five miles southwest of the capital. Other units under Eichelberger’s command would land on the western shores of Luzon and then drive across the Bataan Peninsula. “Both forces ashore,” MacArthur wrote, “we would then close like a vise on the enemy deprived of supplies and destroy him.”

The planned speed of the operation stemmed in part from MacArthur’s increased worry over the fate of thousands of American prisoners of war and civilian internees who awaited rescue on Luzon. The Japanese had locked up almost 3,700 men, women, and children behind the iron gates of the University of Santo Tomas in the heart of Manila. Another 1,275 internees and prisoners suffered just a few blocks away at the worn-out city jail of Bilibid, whose central guard tower Burnham had used decades earlier in his survey of the city. On the outskirts of Manila, the Japanese starved 2,600 more in filthy camps at Los Baños and Cabanatuan. MacArthur knew that every day meager rations dwindled and guards grew more sadistic. He feared the Japanese might simply murder them all before his forces could liberate them. “I knew that many of these half-starved and ill-treated people would die unless we rescued them promptly,” MacArthur later wrote. “The thought of their destruction with deliverance so near was deeply repellent to me.”

As U.S. forces advanced on Manila, the XIV Corps, which included the First Cavalry and the Thirty-Seventh Infantry divisions, came down from Lingayen Gulf, the XI Corps advanced across Bataan, and the Eleventh Airborne trekked up from Nasugbu.

MacArthur’s worst fears had materialized just twenty-six days earlier at a prisoner of war camp on the island of Palawan, which held 150 Americans captured on Bataan and Corregidor. The Japanese Army Air Corps High Command, afraid that an American convoy spotted at sea was bound for Palawan, ordered guards to kill all the captives. An air raid alarm sounded in the Puerto Princesa camp around two p.m. on December 14, prompting guards to prod prisoners into several underground bunkers that resembled trenches. The Americans noted the extra armed guards hovering just outside the fence. Navy enlisted man Charles Smith from Alabama loitered around the opening of his shelter. A few feet away Lt. Masahiko Sato, who was the camp’s second-in-command, began swinging his sword above his head like an exercise. A second later he brought the saber down atop Smith’s skull. Army prisoner Eugene Nielsen of Utah watched in disbelief. “He just split his head open,” Nielsen recalled. “He was killed instantly.”

Before Nielsen could grasp what happened, Japanese troops armed with machine guns and rifles attacked. Soldiers hurled a bucket of gasoline and a lighted bamboo torch inside the first shelter. Douglas Bogue, a California marine perched in a nearby shelter, heard a dull explosion. He peered out and saw a black pillar of smoke rising above the shelter. So, too, did fellow marine Glenn McDole of Iowa.

“My God!” McDole exclaimed. “They’re murdering everybody!”

Prisoners poured from the shelter, many on fire. “You could see these guys—human torches—coming out of these trenches,” McDole recalled.

“Shoot them,” one of the Japanese officers barked. “Shoot them.”

Guards did as ordered. “As the men were forced to come out on fire, they were bayonetted, or shot, or clubbed, or stabbed,” Bogue said. “I saw several of these men tumbling about, still on fire, and falling from being shot.”

Army Dr. Carl Mango of Pennsylvania emerged with hands raised, pleading with the Japanese. “Dozo! Dozo!” he screamed. “Please! Wait a minute!”

Troops shot him, doused him in gasoline, and set him ablaze. Other prisoners charged the Japanese. One managed to wrestle a rifle away from a soldier and shoot him just before a second Japanese serviceman ran a bayonet through him.

The orgy of violence escalated as the Japanese attacked the other shelters, the slaughter set to the soundtrack of laughter. Nielsen ducked down only seconds later to smell gasoline. “There was an explosion,” he remembered, “and flame shot through the shelter where I was.” McDole and other prisoners in his trench dug a hole out of the back just as the Japanese tossed in a bucket of gasoline, turning the shelter into an inferno. “We could feel the heat from the fire as we got out of the hole.”

Scores more were not so fortunate, a fact later gruesomely described in an American war crimes report: “Many of the men were cooked alive.”

Amid the chaos about three dozen captives crawled under the prison’s fence or tore through the barbed wire with bare hands, jumping down a bluff more than forty feet to the beach below. But the slaughter was not over. Japanese patrols hunted the escapees, many of whom ran out into the surf only to be picked off by soldiers on the beach. “The water,” Nielsen recalled, “was red with the blood from those guys.”

Soldiers found others hiding in the rocks and caves along the shore, dragged them out, and killed them. “I took refuge in a small crack among the rocks where I remained, all the time hearing the butchery,” Bogue recalled. “The stench of burning flesh was strong.” McDole hid in a rubbish pile, where he could see down the beach as the Japanese soldiers encircled an escaped prisoner. “The American knew his fate and began begging to be shot and not burnt, in such a high voice that I could hear,” McDole later testified. “Then I could see them pour gasoline on one foot and burn it, then the other until he collapsed. Then they poured gasoline over his body and set it off.”

Like McDole, Nielsen wriggled under a garbage dump, covering himself with coconut husks swarming with worms. He, too, witnessed troops capture a dozen escapees. Before killing them, the soldiers tortured the men, stabbing them in the stomach and groin with bayonets amid shouts of “banzai.” “The Japanese were cheering,” Nielsen recalled, “just like Americans at a real interesting football or basketball game.”

Only at nightfall did the carnage finally end. Out of 150 prisoners, a mere eleven managed to escape and survive. American forces would later recover the remains of seventy-nine, many buried five deep at the opposite ends of the torched shelters where the trapped men had fled the flames. “In two dugouts,” one report noted, “bodies were in a prone position, arms extended with small conical holes at the fingertips showing that these men were trying to dig their way to freedom.” American forces likewise recovered the diary of an unknown Japanese soldier, who witnessed the carnage. “Although they were prisoners of war,” he wrote, “they truly died a pitiful death.”

The same day MacArthur prepared to land at Lingayen—almost four weeks after the massacre—that Japanese diarist put pen to paper again. “The prisoners of war,” he wrote, “are now just white bones on the beach washed by waves.”

MacArthur hoped to avoid another such slaughter in Manila.

Only the day before, he had shared his concerns with Life magazine photographer Carl Mydans as the two paced the deck of the Boise. “We must move fast,” MacArthur said, his hands buried in his hip pockets. “We must fight hard and fast. As soon as we have a foothold on those shores my aim is to push south before they know what’s hitting them. I want to save as many of those prisoners as we can.”

Before he could rescue them, MacArthur had to first safely land his troops. Around six-forty-five, the gray morning light illuminated the eastern and western shores of the crescent-shaped gulf, where low-hanging clouds draped across the silhouetted mountains of the Zambales and Ilocos ranges. Dead ahead of the American warships stretched the gulf’s wide flat beaches, a view punctuated only by the handful of tall buildings in the towns of Lingayen and San Fabian that bookended the planned invasion zone. The gulf resembled a parking lot this morning as the last of the warships maneuvered into assigned positions, all part of the pending fight’s intricate choreography. “You could almost,” one sailor recalled, “step from ship to ship.”

This morning’s invasion served as the climax of one of the greatest logistical operations of the Pacific War, all designed to bring MacArthur home. In addition to the hundreds of transports and landing craft now in the gulf, the assembled armada included no less than seven battleships, twelve cruisers, eighteen escort carriers, and sixty-six destroyers. Buried in the bowels and strapped down on the decks of the ships sat thousands of tanks, trucks, and bulldozers, slathered in Cosmoline and waterproofed, including a few jeeps handy soldiers low on supplies had been forced to seal against seawater with plasma and enema tubes. To guarantee a successful landing, MacArthur’s forces had gone so far as to practice storming the beaches of New Guinea in December. “In point of the number of ships involved and the distance traveled from the bases to the attack area,” one report noted, “this was the greatest amphibious operation undertaken during the entire course of the war in either hemisphere.”

Reveille this morning had signaled the end of a forty-day voyage for many of MacArthur’s troops in conditions few would recall fondly, with the possible exception of two artillerymen on the destroyer Allen M. Summer, who stowed away in a couple of empty officer staterooms. Otherwise troops had bunked as many as five high in suffocating transports or slept above deck using ponchos to battle rain squalls. Crafty soldiers had scavenged packing boxes to defend against the elements, creating the look, one report observed, of a shantytown. Troops aboard the landing ships suffered the worst as amphibious tractors crammed the cavernous holds, while ambulances and trucks lined the top decks, loaded with everything from ammunition and engines to antiaircraft guns and drums of gasoline. Exhausted soldiers had no choice but to hunt for a few square feet of empty space, which often meant curling up inside or even under a vehicle.

The men had passed the long days reading books, watching movies, and playing poker. A few had tasted the illicit shipboard booze—known as raisin jack—distilled from the dried fruit swiped from the mess hall. “It was potent stuff too,” one army report stated, “if your stomach could take it.” Curious soldiers had practiced astronomy—the Southern Cross faded as the Big Dipper returned—while more dutiful ones cleaned rifles, bazookas, and mortars. Vehicle drivers occasionally fired up engines, and officers pored over maps and terrain studies. Christmas had provided a needed break from the monotony of long days at sea, complete with a turkey dinner and dressing. On board a few ships, soldiers enjoyed Christmas trees made out of palm fronds and decorated with real ornaments. “These little trees were somehow appropriate for Christmas in the South Pacific,” one report stated, “palms instead of hemlocks, a blazing sun on a coral reef instead of the White Christmas every man would have preferred.”

The tensions had increased as the troops reached the Philippines and the kamikazes swarmed each day at sunrise and sunset, terrorizing sailors and soldiers alike, who on a ship at sea had nowhere to take cover. General Griswold confessed in his diary that he felt it would be worse to drown after an attack than be killed on a battlefield. “It is one of the most spectacular things I have seen in this war,” the XIV Corps commander wrote. “You’ve got to hand it to the Jap—he has guts!” The kamikazes had even unnerved MacArthur. “It has been an anxious four days,” he wrote his wife only the night before. “I will be glad to come to battle grips on land.”

The crashes of Japanese fighters and bombers loaded with fuel and bombs proved so violent that at times entire planes were reduced to fragments no bigger than a few square inches. The propeller off one kamikaze ripped through the New Mexico’s forecastle, sliced through a steel I-beam, and came to rest on the main deck. Such attacks hurled men overboard and tore off fingers and hands. Others suffered crushed eye sockets, compound jaw fractures, and burned faces and corneas. An orange-sized piece of aluminum engine casing embedded in one sailor’s hamstring muscle. Another poor soul suffered a hit in the genitals. “The penis was found stripped of its skin pocketed in the left scrotal tissues,” the ship’s report noted. “The right testicle had been torn from its bed and badly mangled.”

Officers had distracted the troops with lectures on what to expect in the Philippines, where soldiers would trade the sweltering jungles for cosmopolitan cities with trollies, restaurants, and bars. “Men were most interested in the descriptions of the towns and the women,” one report noted, “a preview of the first civilization many of them had seen for over two years.” The accompanying journalists likewise salivated over the idea of reaching the Philippine capital. “Everybody’s dreaming,” one exclaimed, “of that drink at the bar of the Manila Hotel.” Troops drilled on debarkation methods and practiced first aid on one another, including splinting injured limbs, tying bandages, and administering morphine. On the eve of the invasion, soldiers drew ammunition, fired off last letters to family, and stole final showers. Throughout the ships, chaplains offered religious services. “As the sun sank in the west causing the color to fade wearily out of a radiant sky,” one Thirty-Seventh Infantry report stated, “men lay down fully clothed in an effort to catch a few hours of sleep before breakfast and the beachhead.”

The navy in recent days had finalized preparations for the invasion, much of them accomplished despite constant attacks by kamikazes. Sixty-five minesweepers had scoured the dark waters of the gulf on January 6. Intelligence reports had indicated five minefields, but six weeks earlier Filipino guerrillas had cut them free, towed them ashore, and pilfered the explosives, leaving only a handful of floaters for the navy gunners to destroy. The following day underwater demolition teams combed the surf for barbed wire that might snare troops. “As I swam into shore, the ships were firing over our heads—you could hear the shells hit the sand dunes, palm trees, and small native houses,” Joseph Moretti wrote in his diary of the experience. “One house near my beach caught fire and burned to the ground.”

A lack of charts had handicapped war planners, who were forced to consult a 1903 U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey report to determine beach gradients. To supplement that dated information, hydrographic ships in recent days had taken depth readings and marked shoals that might strand landing craft, while reconnaissance flights snapped more than eighteen thousand photos. American warships meanwhile pounded the beaches, firing a staggering 16,795 armor-piercing and high-capacity rounds. Navy fighters and bombers joined the fight, flying 788 sorties, aided by guerrilla drawings of nearby arms and fuel depots. Gone now were any coastal defense guns, pillboxes, or even buildings within three thousand yards of the landing beaches that might offer mortar teams or snipers a place to hide. “These sketches,” one report noted, “were remarkable in their accuracy and were put to good use by supporting aircraft throughout the operation.”

At seven a.m. the massive guns opened fire again, in what the Sixth Army’s report described as “a naval bombardment previously unequalled in southwest Pacific warfare.” Across the battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, the guns barked one after the other, a rising crescendo in this symphony of destruction. In sickbays chaplains plugged the ears of convalescing kamikaze victims with cotton to guard against the thunder. The violent shudder of the ships filled the air with tiny particles of glass wool insulation that normally coated the bulkheads but now irritated the eyes, noses, and throats of fighting sailors. “At the height of the din,” recalled James Patric, a sight-setter onboard the high-speed transport George E. Badger, “all that was visible shoreward was a huge cloud of smoke and dust, in which it seems impossible any living creature could have survived.” The XIV Corp’s report expounded on Patric’s assessment. “The sun came up over Baguio Hills to witness the greatest flotilla ever assembled, in the west, its guns roaring, its airplanes droning and the landing troops poised for the Luzon Victory.”

The kamikazes that had menaced MacArthur’s forces for days once again pounced. A twin-engine bomber from Nichols Field clipped the foremast and radio antennas of the destroyer escort Hodges before crashing into the water. At seven-forty-five a.m., another dove on the light cruiser Columbia, just four thousand yards from shore, but boxed in by landing craft, she proved unable to make evasive maneuvers. The cruiser’s 20 and 40 mm guns opened up—nineteen total—throwing up a thousand rounds. The Boise, moored nearby with MacArthur onboard, fired another fifteen hundred. None stopped the suicidal pilot, who plummeted down at four hundred knots and crashed into the port side. The third such hit in as many days killed twenty-four men and injured ninety-seven.

Chaplain Arthur Anderson, who had survived the sinking of the escort carrier Ommaney Bay five days earlier, rushed to the Columbia’s ward room to find one officer’s hand gone. He spied another sailor whose arm was nearly severed above the elbow. “Most of the wounded were bleeding profusely, and I used every rag, handkerchief, and piece of tubing I could find to make tourniquets,” the chaplain recalled. “Another man had many chest wounds from which blood spurted. He was out of his head and thrashed about wildly. I pinned him down to the deck with all my weight and endeavored to plug the wounds with gauze until the doctor could take care of him.”

The few desperate attacks, however, could not stop the invasion.

“Now hear this,” loudspeakers crackled. “First wave man your boats!”

“Well, here we go again,” one soldier muttered.

Assault troops slung carbines over shoulders and climbed down nets into the bobbing boats even as the bombardment continued, a scene recalled by infantryman Larry Buckland: “It sounded like railroad trains going over your head.” Included this morning were fourteen surgically staffed landing craft, armed with plasma, whole blood, and gas gangrene antitoxin, and capable of carrying eighty-five stretcher cases plus another two hundred ambulatory patients. Despite the precautions, tensions ran high. “Our troops did not sleep very good last night,” James Fahey, a gunner on the light cruiser Montpellier, wrote in his diary. “This will be the last day on earth for a lot of them. They are so young and healthy now and in a few hours many of them will be dead or wounded or crippled for life. Some will not even reach the beach.”

MacArthur’s aides shared similar fears following the ferocity of the kamikaze attacks. Brig. Gen. Courtney Whitney, tasked to oversee Philippines Civil Affairs, wrote his wife on the eve of the invasion that he expected a bloody battle. “It is one of the most audacious of the general’s many audacious moves against the enemy,” he wrote. “We are of course bound to take heavy losses in such an operation which will go down in history as one of America’s decisive battles. But we are ready for it.” General Griswold felt the risk acutely. “My heart was sad,” he wrote in his diary. “I know that some of my boys who are on these ships will, by this time tomorrow, have laid down their lives.”

Sgt. Ozzie St. George, a reporter with Yank magazine who was on board one of the patrol boats, stared ahead this morning at the wall of smoke, searching for the beach he knew was only five thousand yards away. “Only the tops of the 2,500-foot purple hills on the eastern side of the gulf were visible above the smoke,” he wrote. “Spotting planes, looking like moving fly specks, dipped in circles above the hills.”

At 9:10 a.m. landing craft opened fire with rockets at the beaches, which had been color-coded blue, red, white, and crimson, among others. Overhead buzzed navy fighters, strafing the shores in advance of the landing. The cocker spaniel Salty, the mascot on St. George’s boat, began barking. “Shells whirred and whispered steadily overhead,” the reporter wrote. “The concussions slapped at our faces. Even the tops of the hills were disappearing behind the smoke.” St. George shot a glance on deck to find Salty spread-eagled. “He had given up competing with the bombardment.”

The minutes ticked past as the boats sliced through the waves. “Gun fire on beach very heavy,” noted the Luzon attack commander’s log at 9:25 a.m. “All ships firing; rockets keeping up steady stream of fire.” Air observers overhead dropped white flares when the first assault wave closed to within eight hundred yards of the beaches. “The bombardment ceased at zero hour,” recalled Patric. “The silence was uncanny.”

The commanders now anxiously awaited word of America’s reception on shore, news that arrived first from a battleship Colorado floatplane overhead.

“Boys are on the beach,” the radio announced. “No opposition.”

The flagship Wasatch, which carried senior navy commander Vice Adm. Thomas Kinkaid and General Krueger of the Sixth Army, broadcast the news.

“The first wave has landed!”

Troops charged ashore first on the beaches near San Fabian at nine-thirty a.m., followed three minutes later by the arrival of soldiers at Lingayen. The massive naval guns began firing again, aiming at the flanks of the invasion beaches and inland targets. Similar reports of a lack of enemy troops poured in from the other beaches.

“No apparent opposition,” one said.

“There is no encounter of enemy fire,” parroted another.

“No enemy movement on the roads leading to the beaches.”

All the leading assault troops stood on dry land by 9:40 a.m., much to the amazement of many who had expected a fierce battle. “When I came ashore,” army chaplain Russell Stroup wrote in a letter, “my heart was in my mouth and there was that queer empty feeling in my stomach, but it was all premature. Our prayers were answered more surely than we had hoped. The trial by fire did not come.”

Even Krueger, the stern sixty-three-year-old commander of Prussian descent, couldn’t help but crack a slight smile over the invasion’s ease. MacArthur, of course, beamed. “He left Luzon furtively in the dead of night aboard a small torpedo boat,” wrote Associated Press reporter Yates McDaniel. “He returned today proudly and jubilantly, standing at the rail of an American warship in broad daylight.”

Troops continued to charge ashore unimpeded. By eleven a.m., the first vehicles and cargo had landed. A little more than an hour later, soldiers captured San Fabian. The beaches that many feared only hours earlier would be soaked with blood now bustled as troops filled sandbags to make piers out to the landing ships. Others rolled barrels of oil up dunes and formed human trains, passing crates of rations and ammunition hand to hand. Amphibious bulldozers motored along the shore, helping to push stranded landing craft off sandbars and tow jeeps and trucks from the four-foot surf. The I Corps lost only one tank during the invasion, not to enemy fire but to the eight feet of surf that swamped it. “Many 2½-ton trucks came ashore in water which was higher than the driver’s seat,” the I Corps report stated. “Tanks waded through six feet of water.”

Kamikazes returned at 1:03 p.m., zooming low over San Fabian and giving naval gunners little time to react. One plane crashed into the port side of the battleship Mississippi, killing twenty-six sailors and wounding seventy others. Seconds later another sheared the top of the funnel off the Australia. The Allied cruiser’s fifth such hit seemed to confirm what one battleship division commander wrote in his war diary after a previous attack: “The Australia appears to be a marked ship.”

A little more than four hours after the first troops slogged ashore, MacArthur climbed into a landing craft to join them. The general dressed this warm afternoon in a khaki uniform and wore his trademark Ray Ban sunglasses to guard against the tropical sun. Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dick Sutherland, Brig. Gen. Bonner Fellers, Col. Roger Egeberg, and a few other aides joined MacArthur in the boat, which departed the Boise at 2:07 p.m. Egeberg, who served as MacArthur’s personal physician and sometimes confidant, later described the scene. “On our way toward the broad sandy beach, we looked at palm trees and a few buildings that looked unhurt, no great rubble or destruction. It seemed anticlimatic [sic]. We must have seen the worst the day before,” the doctor wrote. “There was no enemy, nor did we hear any rifle or machine gun fire.”

MacArthur appeared to read Egeberg’s mind. “We won’t be seeing or hearing any Japanese today,” he told his physician.

Navy Seabees had built an earthen ramp to accommodate MacArthur’s landing near San Fabian, but the general waved the skipper off. The boat instead aimed straight for the beach where the front yawned open, disgorging the general and his staff into the ankle-deep surf in front of the news cameras. Once on shore, MacArthur surveyed the crush of landing craft, tanks, trucks, and personnel carriers. “All of these vehicles and more were about the sands of Lingayen Gulf in the pulsing fever of a successful beachhead,” he recalled. “Now and then a Zero would whine down over the beach, but this time we had the wherewithal to handle them. Almost a solid wall of fire would go up, and swarms of American fighters from the carriers offshore would dive in to take care of the intruder. It warmed my heart to finally see the weight on our side.”

Newspaper correspondents buzzed around MacArthur, one of whom noted that the general clutched a new corncob pipe between his teeth and appeared tanned and well rested despite the constant kamikaze attacks. “I slept well last night,” he quipped, “in spite of some little disturbance created by the Japanese during the night.”

The reporters asked him about the progress of the landings.

“The Jap was apparently taken completely by surprise,” MacArthur declared. “He apparently expected us from the south, and when we came in behind him he was caught off base. The entire operation so far has been a complete success.”

Krueger later made his own comments to the press. “Our troops are like a tiger who has tasted blood,” he said. “Our superb men are rearing to go.”

CBS reporter Bill Dunn watched as MacArthur trotted down the beach that afternoon. “Ignoring the fine white sand that made walking difficult, the general strode from one command post to another, observing, asking questions, and making an occasional suggestion,” Dunn later recalled. “Unlike the Leyte landing, however, there were no signs of the enemy, no bodies to inspect, no Jap unit insignia to be identified. There just wasn’t any enemy to be found.” In his first report from Luzon, Dunn elaborated on the ease of the invasion. “I’ve taken part in four major amphibious landings out here in the Pacific during the past year but yesterday’s assault on the beaches of Lingayen Gulf was, at once, the dullest and the most thrilling of my experience.”

As troops hurried to unload cargo, planes dropped thousands of leaflets over the Philippines, carrying a message from President Sergio Osmeña: “In a series of brilliantly conceived blows, General MacArthur’s forces of liberation have successfully, in but a short span of time, destroyed the enemy army defending Leyte, seized firm control of Mindoro, and now stand defiantly on the soil of Luzon at the very threshold to our capital city. Thus are answered our prayers of many long months.” In the days ahead, locals crowded the streets to celebrate MacArthur’s return. “We’ll bury him in Manila, right beside President Quezon,” one gentleman professed to Dunn. “We’ll build him the biggest monument in the world. He belongs to the Philippines.”

MacArthur climbed back aboard Boise at 5:23 p.m., pleased with the day’s success. The cruiser pulled anchor and moved five miles off Lingayen. By the time the sun dropped below the western horizon at 6:42, MacArthur counted 65,000 troops ashore, including the commanding generals of all four of his assault divisions. In addition to Lingayen and San Fabian, his forces had captured Dagupan. MacArthur couldn’t resist taking a swipe at his rival Yamashita in the communiqué his headquarters released that day. “His back door is closed,” he declared. “The decisive battle for the liberation of the Philippines and control of the Southwest Pacific is at hand.”

The general’s top aides onboard the Boise shared his enthusiasm, including Bonner Fellers, who wrote about it in a letter to his wife. “It is Mac’s greatest play and the pay off! It will speed our entry into Manila,” he wrote. “Tonight after we returned from a tour of the lines Mac sat down slick in his room and ate a quart of ice cream—just like a kid at a circus. He is very happy tonight for he was playing high stakes and again he was right and out thought Yamashita. It is a brilliant operation.”

GENERAL YAMASHITA WATCHED the American landings from atop the 7,400-foot Santo Tomas Mountain near Baguio, on the eastern side of the gulf. He had suspected all along that MacArthur would come ashore at Lingayen, but the landings occurred several weeks earlier than he anticipated, so much so that he initially mistook the American convoys for a much-needed resupply for his own forces. “We expected rice,” his chief of staff Muto complained. “We got the American Army instead.”

Yamashita ordered a messenger to depart for Tokyo with the news, slipping him a letter to deliver to his wife in Kamakura. “The American Army has landed and is already at my knee but everyone is in good spirits,” Yamashita wrote her. “We are brave enough to deal them a heavy blow but our main difficulty is ammunition. I may be silent for some time as I am very busy.”

The Japanese press corps sensed from the burly general’s demeanor how dire the situation had become. The Americans had landed; the final fight had begun. “He has the air of a man about to fight his last battle,” one wrote. “Here on these islands in the vast Pacific Ocean,” reported another, “a great tragedy is about to occur.”

Yamashita issued his final orders to his commanders. MacArthur’s invasion had—just as the American general announced to the world—sealed the Philippines. No more help would come; the mission now was to slow the American drive. “It is easy to die with honor but it is much more difficult to hold up the enemy advance when you are short of ammunition and food,” Yamashita told his men. “Those of you in the front line will be doing your duty if you hold them up for a day—or even half a day.”

JAPANESE REAR ADM. SANJI IWABUCHI planned to do everything in his power to stop MacArthur—even if it demanded he destroy Manila. The forty-nine-year-old Niigata native commanded the Manila Naval Defense Force, charged with blowing up piers, warehouses, and bridges in advance of MacArthur’s arrival. Though Yamashita had ordered his forces to abandon the city once that work was done, Iwabuchi had no plans to leave, instructing his troops instead to fortify Manila. The navy admiral, in essence, was everything Yamashita was not. Unlike the tall and portly general, Iwabuchi stood just five feet three inches and weighed barely 130 pounds. He was dapper compared to the often rumpled Yamashita and sported a pencil-thin moustache, trimmed so that it curled around his upper lip, much like the one worn by famed Hollywood actor Clark Gable. More important, compared to Yamashita, who had proven himself a dogged leader on the battlefield, Iwabuchi’s earlier time in command had ended in disaster.

A 1915 graduate of Japan’s naval academy at Eta Jima, Iwabuchi had climbed the peacetime ranks as an aviator and gunner, then landed in April 1942 as the skipper of the Kirishima, a World War I battle cruiser that engineers later converted into a battleship. He was dispatched to the Solomon Islands later that year during the slugfest for Guadalcanal. During the late night and early morning of November 14–15, Admiral Iwabuchi’s Kirishima, accompanied by four cruisers and nine destroyers, steamed to shell an airfield in advance of troop landings. En route the Japanese ran into a scrappy American task force of just four destroyers trailed by two battleships. In the ensuing fight, the Japanese blasted three of the four American destroyers. The glow from the burning warships silhouetted the battlewagon South Dakota, prompting the Kirishima to flip on its searchlight. The massive guns thundered, pounding the American warship twenty-six times, killing thirty-eight sailors, and wounding another sixty.

With all eyes trained on the battered South Dakota, Japanese lookouts failed to spot the battleship Washington, which, armed with radar, stalked the Kirishima in the dark waters, closing to just 8,400 yards, or less than five miles. For a battlewagon capable of hurling a 2,700-pound projectile some twenty miles, this short distance equated point-blank range. At one a.m.—two minutes after the moon set—Washington’s massive sixteen-inch guns roared again and again, firing a total of seventy-five projectiles. As many as twenty tore into Iwabuchi’s ship, while dozens of smaller rounds raked the Kirishima from stem to stern, leaving holes as large as thirty feet in the battleship’s deck. Fires erupted, making the engine rooms uninhabitable and threatening the magazines. The rudder was jammed to starboard, forcing the injured battlewagon to limp in a circle. In just seven minutes, the barrage reduced the Kirishima to ruins, while Iwabuchi had gone from victory to defeat.

Iwabuchi had no choice but to order his ship abandoned, which listed so far to starboard that sailors struggled to stand. Crewmen pulled down the ensign amid three shouts of banzai, along with the portrait of Emperor Hirohito, transferring them to the destroyer Asagumo. Engineers opened the Kingston valves on the bottom of the fuel tanks. The flood of cold seawater prompted the Kirishima to capsize. Iwabuchi was rescued, though in a culture that demanded a skipper go down with his ship, his survival proved an immense shame. The navy later packed Iwabuchi off to New Georgia, then parked him behind a desk in the personnel office at Tsuchiura Naval Base in Japan, an insult to any seafaring officer during wartime. Only through Japan’s worsening fortunes—and the death of so many more capable officers—had Iwabuchi been given a second chance. Just as MacArthur saw Manila as his redemption, so, too, did Iwabuchi. This time, however, he had no intention of abandoning his ship.

He would go down with it.

Until late December 1944, Iwabuchi had commanded the 31st Naval Special Base Force, a small outfit comprising several battalions. Vice Adm. Denshichi Okochi, the Southwestern Area Fleet commander and supreme naval officer in the Philippines, planned to evacuate to Baguio with Yamashita. Before he departed, he placed Iwabuchi in charge of the newly formed Manila Naval Defense Force, ordering him to wreck the city’s waterfront so as to rob American forces of the strategic asset. To streamline command in preparation for the coming battle, Okochi likewise surrendered tactical control of his ground forces to Yamashita, who would be in charge of all army and naval troops on land. That included Iwabuchi, who now fell under the command of General Yokoyama, head of the Shimbu Group.

Despite the army’s plan to withdraw from Manila, Iwabuchi had other ideas. So, too, did some of his staff officers, who favored a stubborn defense of the capital, pointing to the urban bloodlettings in Stalingrad and Shanghai as examples of how Japanese forces might ensnare the invading Americans. During two January conferences, General Yokoyama had stressed that the Shimbu Group would not fight to the death in Manila but would rather retreat into the mountains east of the city. But Iwabuchi pushed back, just as MacArthur had done with Roosevelt in Hawaii. He argued that he could not abandon Manila until he had completed Admiral Okochi’s orders to destroy the port, harbor, and bridges. Yokoyama, afraid of creating interservice friction, relented. He even agreed to place the army’s remaining forces in Manila under Iwabuchi’s command. The general’s only demands were that Iwabuchi strengthen Fort McKinley and the eastern suburb of San Juan del Monte, move his headquarters to Fort McKinley, and promise to evacuate the city once he had executed Okochi’s orders.

Iwabuchi agreed.

In addition to Manila, Iwabuchi controlled the capital’s suburbs stretching twelve miles south, six miles north, and east to the Mari­kina River and Laguna de Bay, a sizable area of about 250 square miles. To defend it, Iwabuchi counted about seventeen thousand troops, not all of whom would fight in the city. The 12,500 sailors and 4,500 soldiers under his command were a motley crew of marines and naval guard units as well as hospital patients and even freshly inducted civilians. More than a few had been shanghaied off damaged or sunken ships, including the crew of the gunboat Karatsu, which was in port after the submarine Narwhal torpedoed it. “The repair work on the Karatsu will cease, and the personnel and weapons aboard will be diverted to land combat,” Iwabuchi ordered. “The necessary weapons for land combat will be quickly removed, and in accordance with separate instructions, their disposition for land combat will be completed. Orders will be given later as to the disposal of the hull and engines.”

Iwabuchi divided his forces into three combat commands. Col. Katsuzo Noguchi would be in charge of the Northern Force, comprising one naval and two infantry battalions. These 4,500 troops would hold the Walled City and all of Manila north of the Pasig River, east to San Juan del Monte. Upon the arrival of the Americans, Noguchi’s forces would blow the bridges across the Pasig. Naval Capt. Takesue Furuse’s Southern Force—made up of more than five thousand troops from one infantry and two naval battalions—would hold Nichols Field and Fort McKinley and block any effort by the Americans to break into the city from the south. Iwabuchi would command the Central Force of three naval battalions, totaling another five thousand men. To the admiral fell the job of guarding the heart of the capital, including the government buildings and the residential districts of Paco, Ermita, and Malate. “Hold Manila City and surrounding essential areas,” he ordered on January 21. “Destroy enemy strength.”

Iwabuchi’s battle plan called for a defense centered on Intramuros, the ancient citadel guarded by towering walls from ten to forty feet thick. Around the Walled City, Iwabuchi planned a perimeter of large concrete buildings designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Among those, troops grabbed the Legislature, Finance, and Agriculture buildings along with the Post Office and City Hall. Like Intramuros, each of these would serve as a small fortress, around which marines buried ammunition and food needed to make a final stand. The Japanese dragged culvert pipes inside, covering them with half-inch steel plates and stacked sandbags to serve as bomb shelters. Others barricaded rooms with desks, chairs, and bookcases. To further slow any enemy advance through the corridors, troops built staggered walls filled with dirt four feet thick and seven high, leaving just enough clearance over which to toss hand grenades. The Japanese filled windows with reinforced concrete, knocked gun slits in walls, and dug trenches connecting the buildings to outlying bunkers.

The Japanese fortified the insides of buildings, particularly passageways.

Burnham’s wide boulevards and parks, which had once transformed Manila into a welcoming city, promised to make it hell for advancing American soldiers, forcing them out into the open in any assault on these strongholds. Japanese troops further complicated the challenge by burying land mines along nearby roads, bridges, and vacant lots and stringing barbed wire so as to route Americans into the line of fire. To slow MacArthur’s drive into the heart of Manila, Iwabuchi’s forces set up outer strongholds and barricaded streets and intersections—no less than fifty just in Paco, Ermita, and Intramuros—securing them with machine guns and antitank weapons. Troops likewise scrambled to build pillboxes made of concrete, metal, wood, and sandbags, often using debris from buildings destroyed in American air raids to camouflage positions. In La Loma Cemetery, north of the Pasig River and on the highway coming into the city, crafty soldiers hid three 25 mm automatic cannons in pillboxes designed to look like fresh burial mounds, complete with sod, flowers, statues, and crosses.

Low on supplies, creativity proved a must, down to the use of satchels of rice in place of sandbags. Troops overturned trucks and cars and rolled heavy factory machinery out into the streets. Others sank railroad car axles upright in the pavement and even embedded coconut tree logs in concrete. Iwabuchi’s forces trucked in aviation fuel from nearby airfields to burn buildings, while sailors stripped guns from ships sunk in the harbor and airplanes destroyed during American raids. Secret ordnance shops set up in underground tunnels churned out ground mounts for aircraft machine guns, hollow charge lunge mines, and grenades. The Japanese likewise converted artillery shells, mortars, aerial bombs, naval beach mines, and even depth charges into improvised explosives that could be detonated using impact fuses and trip wires. Others made Molotov cocktails using red phosphorous. To slow the American advance, Iwabuchi’s forces began blowing up bridges. Of the 101 bridges in Manila, the Japanese ultimately destroyed thirty-nine, including the six most vital ones spanning the Pasig River.

A typical Japanese fortification of a street corner, using pillboxes, railroad axles, and land mines. This intersection is of Oregon and Dart streets.

As men, women, and children in Manila watched the fortification of the city with fear, guerrillas radioed to MacArthur’s forces. “All Manila highways barricaded,” one report stated. “Japs erect pillboxes, trenches and road blocks on main streets.”

“All main bridges across Pasig River are prepared by Nips for destruction,” read another.

“Defensive preparation of civilian homes.”

Residents who for years had anxiously awaited the return of MacArthur now worried over the hell that liberation might bring—and with good reason. Emperor Hirohito’s forces sported an abysmal record in abiding by internationally recognized laws of war, like those spelled out in the 1907 Hague Convention and the 1929 Geneva Convention, both of which Japan signed, though the government failed to ratify the latter. Those treaties mandated the protection of prisoners of war, forbade poisonous weapons, and outlawed the unnecessary destruction and pillaging of towns and cities. But manileños needed only to look at the Rape of Nanking or the murder of thousands of Chinese civilians during Yamashita’s campaign in Malaya and Singapore to see how little value Japanese forces placed on protecting civilians and property.

Many wondered: Would this be Manila’s fate?

American air raids had triggered many out-of-work constables and other young men to abandon the Philippine capital to join the guerrillas, a move that prompted the Japanese to post sentries day and night at checkpoints on roads leading out of the capital. Even inside the city, ramped-up security coupled with excessive guards and patrols discouraged residents from venturing far outside their homes. Those who did were often conscripted by Japanese troops to fill sandbags, dig trenches, and haul war materials. “People began to disappear,” Jack Garcia recalled. “Many left home early in the morning in search for work or food. Many never came back.” The fear was set against the chaos of exploding warehouses and port facilities that shook the city. “It looks as though the remaining Japanese forces here are determined to fight to a finish,” Marcial Lichauco wrote in his diary on January 18, “and, if necessary, to follow a scorched-earth policy rather than surrender Manila to General MacArthur.”

The Japanese commandeered the White Dove Café at the corner of Taft Avenue and Vito Cruz, transforming the ice cream parlor and soda fountain fifty yards from the Garcia family home into a gun embankment surrounded by sandbags. Two more concrete bunkers soon followed, these just twenty-five yards from the home. Brother Egbert Xavier, director of nearby De La Salle College on Taft Avenue, phoned the house, asking if the family would feel safer relocating to the school a couple blocks away. Ida Garcia had a premonition about moving, though she took the precaution of dropping off folding cots and clothes. She demanded Jack and his older brother Ramon remain indoors and away from windows. At night the family said the rosary. Aided by a flickering oil lamp, Ida led the children in prayers from Luz y Consuelo del Alma, an old Spanish worship book. “The Japanese were digging in,” Jack recalled. “There was no escaping the fact they were not going to give up without a fight. We prayed for a miracle.”

Some Japanese troops friendly with locals warned them. “Big fighting coming,” a soldier alerted Ida Garcia. “You no go out to street. Much danger. Better stay home!” A Japanese officer shared similar news with Spanish priest Juan Labrador, hinting that the end would be bloody. “I know,” he said, “I shall die with Manila.”

Others were far more pessimistic about the fate of the citizenry. “We shall fight to the last man,” Jesuit priest Forbes Monaghan recalled one soldier saying, “and that means the last Filipino.” Soldiers stockpiling gasoline drums voiced a sinister warning to other residents. “Very few of you,” troops snickered, “will live to see the Americans.”

These threats only amplified the lessons residents had learned of the cruel temperament of Japanese troops during the three-year occupation. That experience led Pacita Pestaño-Jacinto to make an ominous prediction when MacArthur’s forces landed on Leyte. “Defeat is a bitter pill that the Japanese will not swallow,” she wrote in her diary. “Defeat is the one thing that can make them turn into beasts.”


“Hunger had become a living thing, like cancer. It ate into our bodies and minds. We thought of nothing else but food and hate.”



ABRAM HARTENDORP WASN’T SURE HOW MUCH LONGER HE and other internees could survive at the University of Santo Tomas. Food stores were largely gone. So, too, were the pigeons, rats, and weeds that had sustained the nearly 3,700 men, women, and children during the long wait for MacArthur to return. Internees now starved at a rate of several a day; their skeletal bodies were wheeled from the camp in pushcarts for all to see, a grim reminder that anyone could be next. The fifty-one-year-old had witnessed a lot in a life that stretched across three continents, from his childhood in Holland, to his adolescence on a farm in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, to his adulthood in the Philippines. Along the way Hartendorp had marveled at the 1910 passing of Halley’s Comet, whose tail brushed so close to the earth as to spark panic. He nearly lost his hands to frostbite and had been fired once for teaching evolution to schoolchildren in Colorado.

But nothing in his half-century of world travel compared to what Hartendorp had seen on the roughly fifty-acre campus of Santo Tomas, where he had shed a third of his body weight as he watched humanity unravel. The once-stocky former journalist, poet, and magazine owner, whose bald head and freckled skin appeared out of place in the tropics, had parlayed his reporting skills into the role of camp historian, chronicling the more than eleven hundred days the civilians lived behind the iron gates of one of the largest Japanese-controlled internment camps in Asia. His chronology, which over the years dutifully covered committee meetings, camp personalities, and holidays, had devolved in recent weeks into a tabulation of calories and a scorecard of the starved:

“Three deaths.”

“Four deaths in one day.”

“There were again four deaths during the day, all of American men.”

Hartendorp’s tally promised to grow exponentially if MacArthur’s forces did not soon reach Manila. Conditions at Santo Tomas had come full circle in the three years since the Japanese seized the university, on Calle España just north of the Pasig River. Founded in 1611 and originally located in Intramuros, the Dominican school had welcomed its first students twenty-five years before Harvard, making it the oldest university under an American flag. Set amid a wide grassy lawn, the university boasted an Education Building, annex, and gymnasium, all of which flanked the four-story Main Building, capped with a clock tower, that stood dead center of campus. The three hundred internees who rolled through the gates on January 4, 1942, grew within days to several thousand, a number that would reach its wartime peak later that year of 4,200. “Santo Tomas was never a residence university. It had no dormitories at all,” recalled Eunice Young, a nurse. “The Japs segregated men and women, and jammed them into classrooms, halls, basements and offices.”

Santo Tomas proved not only crowded but a melting pot. Americans comprised about 70 percent of the internees; the rest were a mix of British, Dutch, Polish, and Spanish, among others. Age, sex, and internee health likewise ran the gamut. The only commonality was that most were civilians, imprisoned simply because of their nationality. “You had bankers and community leaders mixed in with prostitutes and thieves,” said Terry Myers, a nurse. “You learned to judge people not by their title as such but who they actually were.” Along those lines, there existed a huge disparity in wealth, which made a difference in how comfortable life could be behind bars. “The rich were rich and the poor were poor, just as in the outside world,” recalled Young. “Some internees had moved in with spring mattresses, plush chairs, and had arranged with Filipino houseboys to deliver more food regularly. Some of the women brought evening dresses. Another, with more sense, had brought a sewing machine. Some came with money, others without. Many arrived with only what they were wearing.”

The one constant for everyone: escape was not an option. The Japanese made that clear in early February 1942, when three internees went over the wall. Within hours troops recaptured the men—two Brits and one Australian—beating them so violently that one’s face resembled hamburger. Guards then hauled them out to La Loma Cemetery along with several additional internees to serve as witnesses. The Japanese prodded the escapees out to freshly dug graves and blindfolded them, though one of the internees refused to wear his. “I’ll die like a man,” he protested, “not a rat.” Moments later three shots rang out, and the men collapsed. “Then the Japs stood over them, firing down into the grave,” recalled witness Earl Carroll, who counted a total of thirteen shots. “Groans still were coming from that grave when the Japs began to shovel dirt into it.” The executions horrified the rest of the internees. “The lesson has had the desired effect,” Elizabeth Vaughan wrote in her diary. “No one speaks of escape.”

Shut off from the outside world, internees mobilized to build what resembled a small city. Many had been business and industry leaders in Manila, while others had worked as carpenters, engineers, and schoolteachers. “Two things we did have in abundance: time and know-how,” recalled Life magazine’s Carl Mydans, who was interned for nine months at the start of the war, before the Japanese repatriated him. “There was never anything that had to be done for which there could not be found an expert.” A nine-person executive committee oversaw sixteen department heads, who managed everything from the camp’s medical and sanitation needs to work assignments, recreation, and education. The internees went so far as to appoint floor and room monitors and even designated Hartendorp as the camp historian. “We had offices and were keeping minutes,” Carroll wrote, “just like a city council.”

Food was the main priority. The Japanese did not provide meals but contributed seventy centavos per diem into a fund that the internees’ Finance and Supply Committee could use to buy food for the camp. A central kitchen inside the Main Building fed three thousand adults two meals a day, including cracked-wheat porridge for breakfast and stew and a banana for dinner. In addition, Filipinos on the outside lined up every day to pass food and laundry through the gates in what became known simply as the “package line.” This allowed internees with money to buy extra food. William Hoffman spent $13,000 during his time in Santo Tomas on food to keep himself, his wife, and two children alive, while others queued up for the camp’s chow line. “Leading members of Manila society and some of the city’s best known gourmets stood in those lines, week after week, month after month, tin plate in hand,” Hartendorp noted. “Everybody ate what was offered, there being no alternative but hunger.”

Medical care proved another necessity, particularly since the camp’s internees ranged from infants to the elderly. Internees converted the Santa Catalina Convent, across the street from the university, into a 115-bed hospital, complete with specialized annexes dedicated to convalescent and children’s care as well as an isolation unit for communicable diseases. Staffed by internee doctors and nurses, the hospital had an operating room, dental clinic, outpatient department, and physiotherapy room as well as a minor surgery and dressing station. The Japanese allowed the camp’s doctors to send critical patients to Manila hospitals, while local hospitals, pharmacies, and the Red Cross supplied much of the food and medicine. The medical staff vaccinated internees against typhoid, cholera, and dysentery and even screened for venereal diseases, uncovering three cases of syphilis and nineteen of gonorrhea.

An army of six hundred internees built additional toilets and more than fifty showers. Workers likewise drained open sewers into the underground system, sank oil drums in the dirt to make outdoor latrines, and tapped new inlets into the city’s water lines. Afraid that Manila’s utilities might one day fail, internees filled the Main Building’s six roof tanks with 72,785 gallons of water as well as the university’s 680,000-gallon swimming pool. Carpenters built beds, benches, and a butcher shop, while seamstresses mended torn work clothes and stitched everything from mosquito nets and aprons to sheets and pillowcases for the hospital. “The cluttered rooms were swept twice a day, and once a week everything was moved out and the floors were scrubbed,” recalled Hartendorp. “The toilets were scrubbed and disinfected twice a day. The University premises had never before been so clean despite the crowded, day-and-night occupation.”

Much of the work required ingenuity. Internees planted thirty acres of gardens to grow yams, tomatoes, and pechay beans, while others made disinfectants and soap, using the oil from coconut milk. A camp laboratory churned out other necessities, from alcohol and caustic soda to Epsom salt and hydrochloric acid. On a more personal level, internees devised a system to provide sanitary napkins for menstruating women, each made from small flannel cloth and embroidered with the internee’s name and room number. “A bucket of disinfectant was kept in the bathroom,” said Margaret Sams. “Each and every cloth went into this bucket and was carted away every day, and a certain detail laundered the napkins and returned them to their respective owners.” Internee leaders required every man to work three hours a day and every woman two. Outside that time, many performed individual services for a small fee, from cutting hair to laundry to shoe repair. A few even told fortunes. “One could have his teeth pulled, his hair cut, his shirt mended, his fever soothed,” Mydans wrote. “We even had a police force.”

To relieve crowding, internees constructed some six hundred shanties on the university’s grounds, many from old lumber and bamboo and roofed with nipa palm leaves. Residents nicknamed these areas Glamourville, Jungletown, and Froggy Bottom, among others. The footpaths that wound between them were likewise colorfully called Fifth Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, and MacArthur Drive. A mayor presided over each area, and shanty owners paid a one-peso monthly tax, which went into a fund for camp welfare purposes. “Though such a shanty to all appearance presented the utmost in squalor,” recalled Hartendorp, “to the people crouching within, it was home.” The primitive dwellings offered an escape from the otherwise crowded camp. “The shanties were private places where we could take our ease with a book,” wrote nurse Denny Williams. “They were places for quiet conversations with friends, pretending we weren’t at war, we weren’t hungry or bored or uncertain of our future.”

The adults set out to guarantee that internment did not rob the camp’s children of an education. Using partitions, internees converted two large former laboratories on the fourth floor into fifteen classrooms. Other spaces allowed for six additional rooms. Twenty-three former teachers from the Bordner School and American schools taught classes from kindergarten through college, in subjects as diverse as Latin, chemistry, and free-hand sketching. In addition to providing pencils, crayons, chalk, and blackboards, the education department cobbled together enough books to build a study hall, a reference library, and a children’s library, which offered a total of some 2,500 volumes, including twenty-two dictionaries and seven sets of encyclopedias. Students even received typed report cards, including fifth-grader Caroline Bailey, who earned A’s in both English and arithmetic and B’s in science and history for the 1942–43 school year. “While every pupil has not had an individual text to use,” one education department memo stated, “through a well-directed study hall, conducted in the morning, afternoon and evening, texts have been put to extensive use and in most cases one text was used through the study hall by 2–5 students.”

The fall of Corregidor in May 1942 ended any hope that internment might be brief. “Previous to that,” Hartendorp wrote, “the dullness of camp life had at times been relieved by distant bombing and cannon fire, by smoke clouds on the horizon and by flashes in the sky at night which proved to the internees that fighting was going on not far from Manila and that the invaders still did not have everything their own way. The cessation of such evidence of warlike activities had a depressing effect on the camp.” Most found it vital to remain busy, but internees still struggled as weeks turned to months and then years. One of the biggest challenges was the lack of any space. “If you want privacy,” a sign in the bathroom read, “close your eyes.” American Red Cross nurse Marie Adams, who shared a room with forty women, found the constant chaos rattling. “There seemed to be no moment of the entire day that was free from noise,” she recalled. “I was sure that I would crack up in a week.”

To distract internees, the recreation department organized volleyball, basketball, and softball teams. The captives went so far as to recreate the National and American baseball leagues, with teams ranging from the Giants and Braves to the Yankees and Red Sox. The printed schedule even listed individual players’ batting averages—captive Joe Yette had the highest at .522. Internee Archie Taylor likewise organized a boxing league, teaching more than seventy young men aged four to twenty. Army nurse Helen Cassiani learned to play golf from one of two interned pros. To prevent losing precious balls as she worked on her swing, Cassiani crocheted a small sack filled with cotton that functioned like a whiffle ball. “Once in a while he would let us take a swing at a real golf ball,” she recalled of her instructor. “But if we had a bad hook and the ball went over the wall, then we had a terrible time trying to get the Japs to go out into the streets there and look for the ball because balls were at a premium.”

Teachers hosted an evening story hour for children and dances for teenagers. The youths even put on a Christmas pageant. “Santa Claus came through the front gate,” remembered Madeline Ullom. “The Christmas tree was a Baguio pine on the front lawn.” Adults enjoyed vaudeville shows that featured comic songs and dances and even accordion and trumpet solos on an outdoor stage dubbed “The Little Theater Under the Stars.” Internees interested in more quiet pursuits could check out any one of some seven thousand titles in the camp’s makeshift libraries or catch up on the headlines in the twice-weekly newspaper, Internews, later replaced by the STIC Gazette* with the slogan “Independent, Curt, Concise.” Life magazine’s Mydans, before he was repatriated, gave photography lessons. Many others played games of chess, poker, and bridge. A few crafty internees brewed bootleg liquor from cornmeal, cracked wheat mush, and fruit juices. Others gambled. One successful card player ended up owning four shanties, including a restaurant, while even prostitutes offered up their services.

Despite the wealth of activities, internment exacted a toll on everyone. “We lived in the past. Completely in the past. We told things that we did as a child,” Inez Moore recalled. “You couldn’t look forward to anything.” The poor diet likewise proved problematic. “Beer-bellies had disappeared long before, but now thighs and shanks and shoulders and arms showed their leanness,” Hartendorp observed. “Many of the men—not at all that way inclined—were beginning to look like intellectuals, poets, divines!” Much to the heartache of parents, the children were not immune. Many had no concept of what life was like outside the walls. Others had never worn anything other than wooden shoes or even tasted fresh milk. Unlike American children, the youths inside Santo Tomas didn’t dream of one day serving as policemen, firemen, or doctors but instead talked of becoming room monitors and mush cooks. “To many of these young children, the Japanese soldier was the hero, the top man,” wrote Tressa Roka, a forty-one-year-old nurse who was interned with her fiancé on the day the couple had planned to marry. “I saw eight American kids fall in line with twelve marching Nips. They imitated their swinging arms and exaggerated goose steps with considerable enthusiasm and hilarity.”

The grounds of the University of Santo Tomas, showing the various buildings, gardens, and shanty areas. Replica of a hand-drawn map by an internee; scale is not exact.

The barriers at Santo Tomas consisted of far more than just the concrete walls and iron gates. The inequality that had existed before the war grew more extreme as the months passed and conditions inside the camp began to deteriorate. Wealthier captives went so far as to pay poorer ones to perform daily jobs, like the neurotic internee with manicured nails who hired the wife of an American soldier to do her duties. “She worked to earn money for extra food for herself, an ailing mother, and two teen-age sisters,” Roka wrote. “My prescription to cure the pampered darling’s neurotic aches and pains was simple and practical. Dig in and do her own work, and donate the money she was paying now to the overworked soldier’s wife. She could well afford it.” Food was another source of inequity as rich internees feasted on fine meals delivered through the gates. “It used to aggravate a lot of us,” recalled mining engineer Robert Wygle, interned with his wife and son, “to smell their pork chops frying while our tin can ”dishes’ held nothing but musty, moldy, and bug-peppered ”line chow.’ ”

Others internees suffered the agony of separation from their families. That was the case for Hartendorp, a father of three sons and two daughters. Though he was an American citizen, his children were Filipino, leaving them safe from internment, free to go about their young lives while he sat locked up in Santo Tomas. His only interaction with them was through the periodic visits at the camp gates or smuggled letters, where he tried his best to offer advice. It was through such a letter that his oldest son Eddy confessed that he had fallen in love with the neighbor’s daughter. “I am in very bad need for some one I can turn to for advice,” he wrote. “You seem so far away.” Such words pained Hartendorp, who felt powerless. “I want only the happiness of my children, but the one thing now,” he replied, “is to stay alive. Put up with everything necessary, but stay alive. As long as you remain alive, you can be happy again, some time. But there is nothing left for the dead or for those whose loved ones are dead.”

Hartendorp’s torment reached a crescendo when he was forced to miss the young couple’s seven p.m. wedding at San Miguel Church on July 27, 1942. In his diary that evening, he imagined the wedding, almost minute by minute. “I have been picturing to myself Eddy dressing and getting ready,” he wrote. “I suppose he is wearing his black dress trousers and his white mess jacket. I wonder what Lourdes looks like.” On his bed in his crowded room at Santo Tomas, Hartendorp kept his eye on the clock and fought back tears. “It is 7:20 now,” he wrote. “If the service was on time, perhaps it will be over now. I wonder who is there, whether they sent out announcements and invitations.” Ten minutes later Hartendorp concluded the wedding must finally be over. “I have never hated this place as much as now,” he wrote. “I want to be home with my children, where I belong, where I ought to be. I should have been there all along. But, of course, this is war. I ought to be glad we are all still alive.”

Hartendorp was, in fact, one of the lucky ones—his family was still alive. Georgia native Elizabeth Vaughan was interned with her two young children, Beth and Clay. Her husband, Jim, was an American soldier. Captured on Bataan, he was on the Death March and imprisoned at Cabanatuan. On July 10, 1943, while Vaughan mopped the floor of her room at Santo Tomas, a friend and fellow internee slipped her a sheet of notebook paper, folded into a two-inch square and sealed with adhesive tape. Vaughan read her name written on the outside. “The typed note wrapped tightly, almost wadded,” she wrote that day in her diary, “gave the definite and heartbreaking news.” Her husband had died in prison of dysentery. She was crushed. “Oh, Jim, Jim, why did this have to happen?” she begged in her diary. “You to die alone and suffering two days before our fourth wedding anniversary. Why couldn’t I have come to you, to give you medicine, to answer your feverish calls for water?”

Internees followed the progress of the war via the information that trickled into the camp. Popular Manila radio commentator Don Bell, who as an internee went by his real name Clarence Beliel to avoid detection by the camp’s commandant over his prewar anti-Japanese broadcasts, ran the camp’s internal broadcast system, playing phonograph records each morning at reveille and again at night just before camp announcements and taps. Bell used the system—specifically his choice in music—to disseminate important news. “When the Americans entered Paris, he played ”Midnight in Paris’ several times,” remembered nurse Young, who was captured after the fall of Corregidor. “When MacArthur landed on Mindoro, he featured ”Better Get Out of Town Before It’s Too Late.’ For the Luzon landing, it was ”Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here.’ About the time of the Leyte landing, he described the arrival in camp of a delivery of rice, concluding with the cryptic, ”Better Leyte than never.’ ”

The Japanese Army took over Santo Tomas in February 1944, eliminating the package line that had been the single contributing factor to the camp’s survival. In 1944 the community garden produced 124 tons of produce—most of it talinum, a leafy green similar to spinach—but that proved to be only a fraction of the food needed to sustain nearly 3,700 internees. After more than two years in lockup, most internees had already lost all excess body fat. Weight loss now increased dramatically. “Our ration decreased at first month by month, then week by week, and finally day by day,” recalled Marie Adams. “We could see each other lose weight almost before our eyes.” Nowhere was that more obvious than in the bathrooms. “Paunches, of course, had long since disappeared, but now men were losing their buttocks, strange as it may seem,” Hartendorp observed. “In eight out of ten, these finely rounded features had flattened out in a most unsightly way, and in some of the older men the skin sagged down in flaps.”

One hundred eighty five internees had died in the period between the camp’s opening and January 31, 1944. That number soon escalated—and at a much faster pace. From February to September, another fifty-four perished, many so weakened that their bodies struggled to fight off infection. Starvation sapped energy, even among the children who enjoyed a better diet than the adults. Robin Prising, the eleven-year-old son of a wealthy Manila tobacco merchant, later described his exhaustion in a memoir about Santo Tomas. “Each day as I climbed the stairs I could feel my strength draining from me; I was growing weaker,” he recalled. “I had not learnt much in the past weeks. It was easier to sit and let my mind drift from my arithmetic, to gaze over the trees in the front grounds, beyond the matted barrier of iron bars and out over the city. The view of church towers, the jumble of streets beneath the corrugated iron roofs of houses and the red-tiled roofs of buildings lent me an illusion of freedom as I sat hungry and constrained, muffling some vague feeling of anger. On a fair day I could see as far as the piers and stare at the grey Japanese warships in the bay.”

Men and women grew testy with one another. “There was a tension among the internees that is almost indescribable,” Adams wrote. “Irritability is one of the first symptoms of starvation, and certainly that symptom was marked among us. We were all cross, irritable, and edgy; we argued about things that were utterly insignificant. We were ready to claw each other’s eyes out—over nothing at all. We were hungry; we were starved.” Many developed beriberi, a disease caused by malnourishment that dimpled muscles in some and caused elbows, knees, and joints to swell in others. “Each day, we examined our faces, hands and legs for the telltale signs,” Roka wrote in her diary on August 2, 1944. “Most of us had some symptoms, but what we feared most were the edematous legs that resembled useless and dead stumps of wood. Worse still were the distorted and large faces that resembled grinning Halloween pumpkins.”

“If MacArthur doesn’t soon come,” went a common refrain around camp, “he’ll get here in time to bury the last internee.”

There was little doubt that the Japanese used food as a weapon—a form of punishment. “It seemed every time that our forces took over another island, they would cut our food,” recalled American Frank Long, who worked in the camp’s kitchen until beriberi left him unable to walk. “They were methodically and systematically starving us to death.” The physical effects horrified Prising, who queued up hours before each meal, watching as internees fought over places in line. “As I waited in the queues from day to day I could watch the other prisoners shrink,” he wrote. “From one day to the next their eyes sank further into their sockets, cheek bones jutted out of paper-thin flesh, knees became gigantic swollen joints attached to the sticks of their legs. The elderly wasted rapidly and, as their slack skin shriveled and began to crack, they grew into walking corpses. Their staring eyes, once troubled, took on a haunted look; then a milky film crept over the cornea and iris—the signal of approaching death.”

Internees received a welcome distraction on the morning of September 21, 1944. Two days earlier the Japanese had announced in the press their plans to conduct antiaircraft gun practice. The weapons began firing at five a.m. Around nine-thirty internees spotted a plane in the skies overhead towing a target, while south of the city others spied as many as a half-dozen fighters that appeared to dogfight. “That’s a rather dangerous practice,” one internee remarked.

The captives watched as dark puffs of smoke peppered the sky. “That’s a real fight!” someone cried. “That plane is on fire!”

To the amazement of the internees, dozens of carrier-based fighters and bombers from Adm. William “Bull” Halsey’s Third Fleet swarmed out of the clouds and broke off for attacks on Nichols, Nielson, and Zablan airfields. The internees realized that this was no drill—it was an American air raid on Manila, the first since the fall of the Philippines two and a half years earlier. “Men, women, and children ran out of buildings and shacks shouting like maniacs,” Roka wrote. “Others, with eyes cast heavenward, stood rooted to the ground. They could not believe their eyes! A few of the bombers flew low enough to give us the thrill of a lifetime! We saw, not the familiar and hated orange circle, but a flash of blue and a white star. It was like a beautiful dream!”

“This is a raid!” barked the camp’s loudspeaker. “Take cover!”

Air raid sirens finally sounded, and antiaircraft fire thundered. Many of the internees ran for shelter, crowding the lobby of the Main Building. Smiles spread across faces. Some people cried; others embraced one another. A few even sang. “They’re here!” internees shouted. “They’ve come back!”

A few narrated the progress of the battle overhead. “Look at that one dive!” someone yelled. “See that bomb dropping! Now listen! Just like clockwork! Isn’t it beautiful?”

A Japanese machine-gun bullet tore into the asphalt near the lobby door, while shrapnel rained down around the camp, injuring several internees, including one hiding under a bed in a shanty. Those minor wounds did little to dampen the euphoria. “We pounded each other until we were black and blue,” Roka wrote, “and we shouted until we were hoarse.” Elizabeth Vaughan celebrated by giving her children the two lollipops she had saved for just such an occasion. “For an hour or more,” Roka wrote, “we saw a show that could not be duplicated on Broadway.”

American bombers reappeared in the skies in the days and weeks ahead, buoying the spirits of the internees. “Blood plasma and vitamin shots couldn’t have done as much for the morale of the camp as the spectacular bombings we had witnessed in the last two days,” Roka wrote in her diary. “We talked of nothing else.” New Jersey native Albert Holland, a sugar executive before the war, observed the apparent medicinal power of America’s air campaign. “We have no deaths on air-raid days,” he wrote in his diary. “Perhaps they help in the struggle for survival.”

The Japanese guards fumed, forcing anyone caught watching the aerial fights to stand for six hours and stare into the sun. It was a risk worth taking. “We reached a point where we weren’t scared anymore,” recalled American internee Margaret Gillooly, “because the only alternative was death, and what was that after what we’d been through?” Internees woke the next morning to the song “Pennies from Heaven,” while a few days later the loudspeakers played “Lover, Come Back to Me.”

The American bombings proved a potent tonic for the spirits of the internees, but it did nothing to stall the progressive march of starvation. “The body, as long as it is living and breathing, consumes itself,” Gillooly recalled. “As you were walking around and breathing, you were dying.” Bodies often shrank in bizarre and disfiguring ways. Starvation carved deep pits on the inside of the internees’ thighs near the groin. Hair and fillings in teeth dropped out, and fingernails turned brittle. “Many people complained of a growing hardness of hearing. Others suffered from blind spots on the retina,” Hartendorp wrote. “It was a grisly thing to note such symptoms develop in one’s own body.”

To survive, desperate internees ate anything and everything, from tins of Pard brand dog food to the pigeons that once perched along the roof of the university. Caroline Bailey’s parents even harvested the beans out of her prized stuffed animals. Children picked through the trash left behind by the Japanese guards for rotten potato peelings and stole the slop dumped in the troughs for the pigs. Internees not only ate such waste but were grateful for it. British internee Elsa Colquhoun feasted on a special birthday dinner comprised exclusively of rubbish. “Such a wonderful meal,” she wrote in a thank you card, “all gathered from the Japanese garbage dump!”

Medical officer Maj. Samuel Bloom roasted his pet guinea pigs, while many others choked down everything from stray dogs and cats to snails. Even rats could fetch as much as eight pesos apiece on the camp’s black market. “One man,” Eva Anna Nixon wrote in her diary, “pioneered in rat cooking and others followed.”

Roka recounted how a friend announced he had feasted on feline. “How was it?” she asked.

“A bit gamey,” he replied. “I’ve been to several dog parties, too. It’s much more tasty than cat!”

The best meal of all, Robin Prising’s family discovered, were puppies. “Dogs or old tomcats could only be simmered for broth, but puppies were tender,” Prising wrote. “Poached toad was the one delicacy I could provide, but mother strictly insisted that toads caught in the latrines must be thoroughly washed.” Even among children the pain of hunger surpassed the love for prized pets. “I was fond of Whiskers, but when the time came, I simply picked him up and presented him for slaughter,” Robert Colquhoun, who was six at the time, recalled of his cat. “He tasted very good—rather like chicken.” To the sadness of many, some culprit even ate the camp’s mascot, a mauve-gray Persian raised since a kitten. “The poor splendid beast had gone into the pot,” Hartendorp wrote, “like many a more common member of his genus, of some one without either conscience or an appreciation of the rarest of feline beauty.”

Internees likewise ate wild plants, including pigweed, cassava root, and hibiscus leaves, though the latter was a purgative that often made people sick. So, too, did canna lily bulbs, which poisoned six internees in November. One of those was nurse Anne Louise Goldthorpe, who wrote in her diary that the sickness and nausea at least temporarily replaced the gnawing pain of her hunger. The rampant foraging prompted the camp’s medical staff to broadcast a list of edible and poisonous plants. “It must again be emphasized and repeated that the use of condemned vegetables and garbage must be discontinued,” the message cautioned. “While it is realized that everyone is hungry, we must not become panicky.” Such warnings did little to ease the suffering. “Our hunger at this time was a living thing, like a torturing pain,” Roka wrote in her diary on December 15, 1944. “It was with us day and night.”

The Japanese, in contrast, ate like kings. Portly guards with apple cheeks roamed around camp with filthy cummerbunds that struggled to restrain bulging bellies. The Japanese further inflamed tensions by slaughtering pigs and carabaos in front of hundreds of starving internees. “Just as soon as the Nips disappeared with their freshly quartered meat,” Roka wrote after the butchering of a carabao, “men, women and children rushed to the spot and, like voracious dogs, they clawed around the blood, entrails, dust and grit, searching for tail, ears, hooves, or anything that resembled food.”

Another forty-three internees died between October 1 and the end of December. Food theft skyrocketed along with the black market prices. A kilo of sugar went for as much as $105, a kilo of rice $60, and a twelve-ounce can of corned beef $40. Even a pack of thirty cigarettes went for $18—prices few could afford. San Francisco native Jean Crichton wrote that desperate wives hawked their diamond rings just for rice. “The money lenders, usurers, profiteers and bloodsuckers,” she wrote, “I have no illusions left about human nature.” A rash of food thefts provoked a similar response from Albert Holland. “There is as much community spirit in this camp as among a pack of jackals.”

“I weighed 92 lbs today,” nurse Goldthorpe wrote in her diary on December 23. “I am losing almost a pound a day.” Others experienced similar drastic losses. “I weigh 110 today—down 18 pounds in 17 days,” Holland wrote. “81 pounds below my pre-war weight.”

“I’m hungry,” children up and down the halls cried each night, much to the frustration of parents powerless to provide. More painful than the cries was the obvious physical toll starvation took on the children, all of whom were innocent victims in an unending war. “The tremendously active kids that used to tear around the campus like savages were now little old men and women,” Roka observed. “Hollow eyed, skinny and listless, they sat around and talked about food.”

Robin Prising discovered in late 1944 that he could no longer run, not from a lack of energy but because his youthful knees could no longer support even his tiny frame. “Starvation is taking its slow toll,” he wrote. “I can count my bones from the collarbone down—each joint, each jutting rib.” To trick his body, Prising vomited his meager rations back up in his mouth, allowing him the sensation of swallowing them again. “Even the vomit tastes good,” he wrote. “I go to the latrine as seldom as possible, trying to hold everything inside me, stingily preserving it for two or three days.”

By the end of 1944, camp officials canceled all school. Neither the students nor the teachers had the strength to climb the four flights of stairs to the classrooms. “It is hard for me to realize,” one woman said, “that I was a tennis champion just 3 years ago.” Adult lectures likewise ceased as internees struggled to concentrate and battled memory loss. Others abandoned the games of chess and bridge that had helped pass the years. “When I went to bed at night, I felt just on the verge of screaming. I ached to the ends of my fingers and toes, with the most horrible ache that I have ever experienced,” Adams wrote. “We were so thoroughly depleted that frequently I would sit on my bed and stare at the sink in the corner of the room, wondering whether it was worth while to make the effort to get up and go over to it to wash my hands, or whether it wouldn’t be better to wait until lunch-time to do it, because it would save that much energy.”

The average caloric intake for the internees in 1944 was 1,323 a day. By December that figured plummeted to 898, only to fall again the next month to just 567. A medical survey conducted by the camp doctors in January 1945 revealed that the average male had lost fifty-one pounds and the average female thirty-two. More than half of that weight was lost just since August 1944. “I was worried about a lump in my stomach,” Goldthorpe, the nurse, confided in her diary on January 5, 1945. “Then I found it was my backbone. I never expected to feel that from the front.”

As much as 90 percent of the camp’s population suffered from edema, accompanied by either constipation or loose stools. Others battled bleeding gums, vision loss, and frequent urination. Army nurse Gwendolyn Henshaw ultimately lost all her teeth. Many women, who had long since stopped menstruating, discovered their bladder muscles were too weak to hold in urine. “When I’d stand up, I’d start urinating,” recalled Sally Blaine, another army nurse. “It was terrible. It was absolutely embarrassing. Some of the girls really flooded themselves in front of other people.” The agony of starvation struck most internees as intentional. “Many of us believed that the Japanese planned to kill us by slow starvation. If their plan was to make us suffer, they had succeeded,” Roka wrote. “A bullet would have been more merciful.”

In the absence of food, many resorted to fantasy. A mass mania swept the camp as starving internees copied and traded recipes, from baked Indian pudding and Boston-style fish chowder to clam pie and French dressing. “People would be sitting with their legs all edematous from vitamin deficiencies, talking recipes,” recalled army nurse Anna Williams. “It was only a banquet of words.” Roka could not help but note the tragedy of the craze. “What made the mania so pathetic and futile was that they copied and concentrated on recipes that called for hard-to-obtain ingredients even in a normal world,” she wrote in her diary. “It stimulated their desire for food, and it used up energy that they could ill afford. It seemed like the cruelest form of torture.”

Several internees attempted suicide, while others suffered breakdowns. “Many prisoners are losing their minds and furtively devour imaginary meals, slurping and eating the air,” Prising wrote. “Men suck their thumbs, gnaw at their hands.”

Prising noted with alarm how hunger had hollowed out his parents. His fifty-seven-year-old mother Marie had once been a stage actress in London and on Broadway. Her dark hair and eyes had captivated his father, Frederick, who happened to take in a show of the opera Thaïs while in New York in 1911. “That’s the woman I shall marry,” he declared when he first saw her.

Her beauty likewise had captured the attention of famed illustrator Harrison Fisher, whose work regularly appeared on covers of The Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan. Harrison’s drawing of Marie had graced the cover of the centennial edition of Ladies Home Journal. But the loss of so much tissue and muscle deformed her beauty. “Mother is so thin that her eyes and ears are enormous, the flesh of her arms hangs on her bones like a sleeve,” he wrote. “Her hands are knucklebone.”

Prising’s sixty-six-year-old father, who had once advised William Taft, was in far worse shape. His beard had stopped growing, and he showed the telltale signs of death’s approach. “When he undresses, I can see how his skin drips on his skeleton; the cavities are deep at his thigh and buttocks. Only his hands, his ankles and his feet are fattening—swollen from beriberi,” the youth observed. “Father’s eyes are growing a milky film; from day to day he becomes more quiet, more abstracted and gentler than ever. As he lies on his bed, unless his breathing is labored, I have to glance over at him to make certain he is still alive. If he notices me looking at him, he can scarcely smile.”

The once-thriving camp—a testament to the collective will of the internees—began to crumble. “Every waking hour,” nurse Bertha Dworsky recalled, “was a struggle just to exist.” Emaciated internees fainted and collapsed during roll call. “Food is getting much shorter,” nurse Goldthorpe noted with alarm in her diary. “The dogs and cats have all been eaten. Nor is there a pigeon on the place.” All nonessential work ceased. Some eighteen hundred women, many with dysentery and diarrhea, lined up to use only two serviceable toilets. “Some stayed on their beds and cots to stare at the ceiling all day,” Roka wrote. “They had lost all hope and faith that our forces would return.” Few had the strength to do much else. “This place is a living graveyard,” British internee Elsa Colquhoun wrote on New Year’s Day 1945. “People in it are nothing more than spectres, grey ghosts. Their minds, as well as their stomachs, are void.”

The exhausted doctors and nurses, who each day manned the front lines in the camp’s battle against starvation, resorted to using blood plasma as a food substitute. Even then desperate internees went so far as to steal the precious bags from one another. “I saw many cases of beriberi come into the hospital so bloated that the patient was unrecognizable,” wrote Adams, who personally dropped fifty pounds. “The patients lost all control of their normal functions. We were unable to get laundry done; consequently a patient would sometimes have to lie on the same sheet for a week. The situation in the hospital was horrible. The wards were in an awful condition.”

Starvation brought out the worst in people, even Episcopal missionary Raymond Abbitt, who worked in the camp’s isolation hospital. Abbitt went so far one day, as he walked a tray of food to an eighty-year-old patient, to contemplate murdering the man just so he could eat his plate of watery rice. “What bothered me was that it entered my mind that I could very easily just have bumped him off and killed him to get that tray of food,” Abbitt recalled. “You were that hungry at that point. It always bothered me after I got food to eat that I would ever have such a thought.”

The camp’s doctors battled incredible ethical dilemmas, including who was entitled to more food, children or pregnant women. Hartendorp witnessed an elderly veteran of the Spanish-American War pleading with a doctor for milk. “If there were any milk, I’d prefer to give it the children,” the doctor leveled with him. “We can’t be sentimental about this.”

Three to four internees died on average each day in late January. “The aged and infirm died first, most from complications set in force from weakness,” Earl Carroll recalled. “Then the late middle aged group started to go.” Roka and her fiancé played a macabre game of guessing who would be next. “In the last year, we could pick out who would die,” she remembered. “You didn’t say anything, but you knew.” Holland likewise learned to spot it when he landed in the camp hospital with beriberi, surrounded by men swollen like balloons, most of whom succumbed in the early morning hours. “Day in, day out the struggle goes on—against disease and against starvation: against death.”

The Japanese often left the bodies in the rooms for hours, where rats nibbled the fingers and toes. The motor hearse that once had been used to haul the dead with dignity was replaced by a steady stream of small and shabby carretelas or horse-drawn wagons. “As I watched the carretela carrying today’s dead out of the camp, I saw that there was not only a scarcity of food but everything else,” Roka wrote. “One of the coffins was far too short, and the corpse’s feet stuck out of the coffin in a grotesque manner.”

Funerals also proved primitive affairs. Goldthorpe attended the memorial for Henry Umstad, who had died after suffering a high fever for several days. “What a pitiful group we were. All hungry, emaciated, threadbare in patched rags. I thought of this as we stood there in the mud floored Nipa shack singing ”Lead Kindly Light,’ ” she wrote in her diary. “I hope the fever burned the hunger out of him.”

The January 21 passing of John Shaw, the seventy-three-year-old former head of the Canadian-Pacific Steamship Company in the Philippines, stunned many in the camp. One of Manila’s leading business executives, he had been a wealthy and prominent figure with a sizable physical stature to match. Internees gathered at ten-thirty a.m. to watch two Filipino boys push his shrunken remains out of Santo Tomas in a handcart normally used to haul a few five-gallon water cans. One of those who watched was Robin Prising, whose parents had been close friends with Shaw. “Uncle John Shaw, the magnificent gourmet, lost over a hundred and fifty pounds as a prisoner of war,” Prising later wrote. “The fattest man I have ever known died of starvation.”

Chairman of the internee medical staff Dr. Ted Stevenson dutifully logged each passing as either “malnutrition” or “starvation,” a fact that outraged the Japanese, who demanded he change the certificates so as not to embarrass the camp administration. Stevenson refused, prompting the commandant on January 30 to order him locked up in the camp jail. “He was,” Carroll said, “too stubborn and too honest to yield on a matter of principle.” Incarcerating Stevenson proved a futile gesture. “There were twenty-three deaths in December and thirty-two in January,” Adams recalled. “We were dying at such a rate that we were afraid that our troops might not find any of us alive.”

Internees struggled to hold on as the war inched ever closer to Manila. “For the last week, we heard heavy blast and earth-shaking rumbles,” Roka wrote. “North, east, south and west—everywhere we looked we saw smoke and flames.” Frank Cary likewise studied the horizon. “Still here, still waiting,” he wrote in a February 1 letter. “It is clear that our forces are making progress as the battle sounds are coming this way. Fires blaze each day—some set by our bombs, some the result of demolition bombing. A great black column of smoke is rearing its head nearby. It smells like oil and rubber.”

Despite the excitement, inside the camp the hours crawled past, a slow-motion blur of hunger, anxiety, and suffering. “In the anguish of waiting,” Prising wrote, “freedom appears like some grotesque mirage.” The question on everyone’s mind, of course, was how much longer the internees could persevere. “We survived on hope,” recalled Carroll, “hope that the American forces would arrive.”

But hope might not be enough.

*STIC = Santo Tomas Internment Camp

Welcome for the Philippines

Welcome to the Philippines


Cultural Quirks

The Philippines is often a land apart from mainland Southeast Asia – not only geographically but also spiritually and more than that culturally. The country’s distressing Catholicism, the result of 350 many years of Spanish regulation, is its biggest obvious enigma. Vestiges of the Spanish era include exuberant the town fiestas (festivals), unique Spanish-Filipino colonial architecture as well as centuries-old stone churches. Malls, fast-food chains in addition to widespread spoken English betray the influence of Spain’s colonial successor, the Americans. Yet despite these outside influences, the country remains fantastically much its own unique entity. The populace are, simply, Filipinos – and more than that proud of it. Welcoming, warm and relentlessly upbeat, it is they who captivate and ultimately ensnare visitors.

Islands & Beaches

With more than 7000 islands, the Philippines is usually a beach bum's delight. There's an island to suit every taste, from marooned slicks of sand while in the middle of the ocean to sprawling mega-islands like Luzon plus Mindanao. Sun worshippers and sometimes divers should head straight within the Visayas, where island-hopping opportunities abound plus the perfect beach takes many forms. More adventurous travellers can pitch a tent on a deserted improve of coastline and sometimes play solo Survivor for a few days.

Outdoor Objectives

The Philippines isn’t almost finding an isolated beach in addition to getting catatonic. From kayaking to kiteboarding to canyoning to spelunking, the Philippines can capably raise any adrenaline junkie’s pulse. While surfers are now catching on about the tasty (if fickle) waves that condition on both coasts, divers have long been enamoured of the country’s underwater charms. Freshwater pursuits include rafting and more than that wakeboarding. Ago on terra firma, trekking can be done just about anywhere, while rock climbing is gaining celebrity. And the Philippines is also, unofficially, the zipline capital of the world.

Tempestuous Tropics

We've all had it happen: your trip to paradise is ruined by day after day of torrential monsoon rain (inside the Philippines that paradise is often Palawan). There are a couple of simple ways to prolong this. One, study the climate charts. The western parts of the country pay for hammered by rain at the peak of the southwest monsoon (July to September), so go east throughout this time (unless there's a typhoon brewing). Two, stay flexible. Dispense with advance bookings so you can migrate to fairer climes if compulsion be.


Why I Love the Philippines

By Greg Bloom, Author

With 7000 tropical islands on my doorstep, all ripe for exploration, I find it easy to like the Philippines. Love, on the other hand, is borne of subtler things. Love is borne of long rooftop jeepney rides all through the hills of North Luzon; of a iced San Miguel at sundown on a sublime slab of Visayan sand; of a fresh-fish lunch, followed by a siesta on an interminable bangka journey for the period of Palawan's islands; of friends with names like Bing in addition to Bong; of phrases like 'comfort room'; of – dare I say it – karaoke. At this time that is love.

Free Ebooks - African And more than that Indian Mermaids

African Plus Indian Mermaids

Mami Wata

“Mami Wata because Divine African Mother/God/dess has been worshiped in addition to renowned throughout the world for thousands of generations. From Egypt as Isis, in Asia Lesser (Ephesus) as Sibyl (Cyeble), in Greece as Rhea, Hekate and more than that Artemis, and sometimes in Rome because the mammoth Magna Mater amongst her other holy names.”

—Mama Zogbé, “Mami Wata: From Myth to Divine Reality”

Mermaids have existed in African mythology for millennia, and they have relations to naturelle Egyptian as well as Minoan gods and sometimes goddesses. The name Mami Wata comes from the indigne Egyptian as well as Ethiopian given name mama meaning “truth, wisdom” plus uat-ur meaning “wave form water.” In some early languages of the Sudan, wata means “woman.” Other sources, mostly within the West, advocate Mami Wata is pidgin English for “Mother Water,” though this is unlikely considering that the deities existed in African culture plus folklore long since the English language infiltrated that continent.

Although commonly thought to be a single deity, “Mami Wata” in reality refers to a pantheon of African water deities; these deities are part of Africa’s original spiritual belief system, what was matriarchal like those in many other areas for the period of the world prior on the ascent of the patriarchal religious structures typically embraced in these days. Early depictions of Mami Wata cartoon film them with the heads and torsos of humans and more than that the worse bodies of either fish or snakes—much like mermaids in other parts of the world. These water spirits can be either masculine or feminine, but are usually thought of as feminine. In later representations, Mami Wata morphed into a singular image of a voluptuous, long-haired black woman with a large snake—symbol of wisdom in addition to spiritual power—wrapped around her body.

Like their mermaid counterparts elsewhere, Mami Wata enjoy their fancy combs, mirrors, and sometimes jewelry. To solicit their aid, a supplicant you could possibly fabricate an offering of these gifts—Mami Wata love bling!


Der Schlagenbandinger, an Art Nouveau chromolithograph of a fine-looking Hamburg snake charmer created by German artist Felix Schlesinger, contributed to our contemporary conception of Mami Wata. Western images sometimes publish Mami Wata as a seductive love goddess or sensual female shapeshifter who can take the circumstances of a mermaid, snake priestess, or human woman. The person's name Mami Wata may even be invoked as a slang term for a good-looking woman.

Benevolent Beauties

Unlike the mischievous, tempestuous, or downright destructive merfolk who turn up inside myths of other parts of the world, Mami Wata are generally viewed as benevolent plus powerful divinities who govern native cycles, including the Nile’s overflow, agriculture, fishing, hunting, plus so on. They’re said to assist human beings physically in addition to spiritually, plus to provide food, shelter, protection, healing, and sometimes all the other necessities for life on Earth. Therefore, legends sometimes link these spirits with wealth plus abundance—they bring prosperity to humans. As fertility goddesses, they watch yet again mothers in addition to children. Some sources also credit them with guiding seers, mystics, and healers.

Mami Wata sometimes capture swimmers or sailors plus shepherd them into other worlds—either the underwater realm or the spirit plane (what may be specifically what, given that water in mythology often symbolizes intuition and sometimes spirituality). If these human abductees return to land, they filter a greater spiritual awareness plus often prosper as a result of their experiences with Mami Wata. They may even come since with psychic ability or other extraordinary skills.

But some sources warn that Mami Wata aren’t always gentle and generous—they can also be capricious in addition to cantankerous. If a person disobeys them, they may drown the errant follower or thrust him into a world of confusion, delirium, and more than that disease.


The Mami Wata Healers Group of people of North America, Inc., is a nonprofit “ancestral, Afro-religious organization keen to the resurrection, establishment, dissemination and more than that maintenance of the Mami Wata and Yeveh Vodoun spiritual and sometimes ritual traditions, brought about the North American shores by enslaved Africans.” (See for more in turn.)


“Yemaya reminds us that even the worst catastrophes can be endured and more than that that, with her help, we can learn to negotiate the ebbs and sometimes flows of change in our lives with her wisdom, courage, in addition to grace.”

—Sharon Turnbull, author of Goddess Medal

Yemaya, or Yemoja, goddess of the swells, abides at the heart of several African religions. Her full Christian name, Yey Omo Eja, means “mother whose children are the fish.” Often depicted as a mermaid, this mother goddess of the Yoruba religion originally ruled the Ogun Stream, the largest in addition to utmost powerful tributary in Nigeria. As soon as Africans were brought over the New World, Yemaya came with them and sometimes watched just as before them as they endured the arduous voyage as well as travails of slavery.

As her African worshipers experienced the sea within the first time, Yemaya’s powers expanded as well as the lady gained dominion to the wave form as well. But the girl only represents the upper portion of the waves, the part that contains most important of the sea life, the source of nourishment—for this mother deity generously provides for her human children. You could even think of the ebb and sometimes flow of the dunes’s tides as a giant cradle in what the goddess Yemaya rocks us all.

Like greatest water deities as well as mermaids, Yemaya exudes a potent sexuality. Usually your woman is portrayed as voluptuous, with large breasts, hips, as well as buttocks that propose her fertility. The rolling tides symbolize the motion of her undulating stroll. Your wife wears seven blue-in addition to-white skirts, what signify the seven seas.

Despite her caring, relaxing, and more than that compassionate nature, Yemaya can be temperamental—presently like the pangs. Provoke her at your peril, for this protective goddess drowns those who harm her children.


Yemaya’s energy flows throughout seashells, and folklore says the girl gave shells to human beings so they could listen to her voice. Hold a shell to your ear—can you hear Yemaya speaking to you?


How can you win Yemaya’s favor as well as protection? Accolade her with gifts of flowers, jewelry, oranges, plus pound cake. Like many water deities (as well as women), the lady also loves perfume.


“I am the honey-sweet voice of the waters. I am the flowing of a woman’s skirts as she dances her life.”

—Thalia Took, creator of The Goddess Oracle Deck

Daughter of the sea goddess Yemaya, Oshun (or Ochun) abides in freshwater in addition to is sometimes known because the goddess of luxury plus love. Like many water deities, your woman represents fertility, prosperity, nourishment, in addition to healing. In addition to, like other African goddesses, this beloved deity protects her people plus provides for them.

Some images of Oshun home theater her as a typical mermaid, with the torso of a good-looking woman and the tail of a fish. Others depict her as a lovely and sometimes charismatic young human female. In addition on the usual mirror and sometimes comb, Oshun sometimes holds a golden fan. This luxury-loving lady adores jewelry, and more than that artists often sketch her decked out in gems.

Although Oshun can be considered vain and sometimes more than a little self-indulgent, this girl’s one of the best-natured of all the water deities. This benevolent stream goddess lacks the dark in addition to dangerous qualities often associated with mermaids in other cultures. Generous, kind-hearted, and compassionate, the girl likes to shower her adoring followers with gifts and wants everyone to be lighthearted. The only time your wife gets angry is what time someone harms children, for Oshun serves as their protectress.


Legend says Oshun possesses the gifts of divination and spell-casting. Being a love goddess, your wife particularly enjoys casting love spells. But ago you ask her for magical help, forename the old saying: Be careful just the thing you wish for!

Desperately Seeking Oshun

Where can you find this generous and more than that lusty lady? First try the Ogun Stream in Nigeria. But if you can’t manufacture it to Africa, legend says your sweetheart resides in streams, rivers, and sometimes lakes everywhere. Some sources say this sensuous goddess revels in charisma as well as likes to hang out in all the luxurious places human women frequent: spas, merchants, boutiques, and sometimes enchantment shops. That sexy bottle-blonde getting a seaweed wrap at your favorite day spa you would possibly now be Oshun!

If you’re serious about making contact with Oshun, one way to purchasing anything her attention is to tender her with a award. Deities are accustomed to receiving offerings from people who seek their aid—and more than that Oshun is no difference. Your sweetheart’ll be cheerful to assist you inside game of love, but first it’s a good idea to give this notoriously decadent mermaid-goddess a few goodies. This lady adores gold and more than that amber jewelry (but this woman’ll settle for brass if gold is out of your price range). Your lover’s a big fan of perfume, too, particularly lush, sensual fragrances like amber, patchouli, and more than that frankincense. Sweet foods of all kinds delight her, too, vastly honey. Often artists depict her with a honeypot dangling from her hips—innuendo intended! Cinnamon, yams, and more than that pumpkins also tempt her taste buds. As well as, like maximum females, Oshun adores flowers—yellow roses greatest of all.

Noticed an altar out-and sometimes-out to her. Form the offerings on it and sing to her or play African music. Pretty soon you’ll sense her presence. Ask her to help you—maximum most likely, your lover’ll agree.

Africa’s Onslaught Spirits

“Inside the sea of Angola mermaids are frequently caught precisely what resemble the human species. They are taken in nets, as well as killed . . . and are heard to shriek as well as cry like women.”

—Henry Lee, Sea Fables Explained

More than 4,100 miles from its source to its end, the mighty Nile is the longest waterway while in the world. The Congo Waterway, at basically 3,000 miles, flows for the duration of Africa’s center in addition to ranks eighth. Is it any surprise, then, that African mythology contains lots of canal deities? Mami Wata and more than that Oshun may be the best-known and more than that greatest-beloved tributary goddesses in African folklore, but they aren’t the only ones.

African legends frequently mention hybrid water creatures who live while in the rivers and more than that lakes—plus who may have inspired our modern-day conceptions of mermaids. Among these mysterious beings we find snakelike spirits and merfolk with mystical powers. The legends of Lamba in south-central Africa speak of a shapeshifting, fishtailed waterway snake named a funkwe who, like merfolk in other cultures, can transform himself into a two-legged being and more than that come on land to snare a human wife. The deadly chitapo of the Congo might tear an unsuspecting human underwater in addition to drown him, or kill him simply with a look—you don’t want to purchasing anything up close and more than that personal with her! Even if these deities don’t destroy a man, they can disrupt his domestic harmony plus happiness, for their seductive wiles are said to be irresistible.

But snakes also represent healing, fertility, in addition to transformation—as well as the chitapo supposedly help barren women conceive. The water spirits of Cameroon, branded Jengu, are believed to cure diseases and often serve as messengers between the world of humans plus that of spirits.


The dangerous and more than that mysterious chitapo, said to live in Swells Kashiba and other African bodies of water, lures population by floating baskets, sleeping mats, and various household objects on the water’s surface. Anthropologist Brian Siegel, PhD, of Furman University’s religion department explains that local legends warn against drinking or eating fish from bodies of water where the chitapo dwells. Sometimes described as a “shadowy apparition,” the evil water spirit is reputed to have swallowed up numerous men, women, plus children who got too close within the haunted waters.

Mamba Muntu: A Modern Mermaid

Africa, with its many wealthy and sometimes diverse cultures, is home to myriad mermaids—these lovely creatures occupy both the rivers and sometimes the oceans of this substantial continent. But Professor Brian Siegel of Furman University contends that the mermaid image we you immediately know at the moment didn’t come about awaiting the twentieth century in addition to is usually a combination of early African water spirits and European legends.

Among these blended beauties we find the mermaid Mamba Muntu, or “Snake Woman,” whose explanation graces taverns in various parts of Africa. As we might expect, your wife is exquisitely a gorgeous and seductive, and sometimes like Oshun, your wife frequently shows up arrayed with plenty of jewelry—including a watch, just the thing suggests a recent Western influence, for early water deities didn’t have to worry about being on time. Around her lush body Mamba Muntu wears a large snake, à la Mami Wata. But unlike Mami Wata in addition to the water goddesses Yemaya as well as Oshun, this hybrid female often appears with the light skin and sometimes blonde hair of northern European women, rather than the hours of darkness plus sultry features of African deities.

Your lady’s not as kind, generous, and sometimes compassionate since the indigenous goddesses either—perhaps another familiar sight of Western infiltration into the indigine culture. Mamba Muntu, like many of her merfolk kin, can be harmful and more than that may torment or kill human beings without warning. But if a man manages to steal her precious comb, he can use it for personal gain, specifically for wealth in addition to power.

India’s Nagas and sometimes Naginis

“[Nagini’s] mission is threefold: to bestow wisdom on those who are worthy, to prevent access to sacred knowledge to those not deserving, plus to prevent sacred teachings from being lost.”

—Nancy Blair, Goddesses for Every Season

For millennia, Hindu as well as Buddhist mythology has had a love-hate relationship with the enigmatic snake-populace known as the nagas (males) in addition to naginis (females). These mythical beings are usually considered to be semidivine in nature, half-human and half-serpent—but like most important merfolk they can appear with completely human or completely snaky bodies. Females, extremely, are said to be stunningly attractive.

Considered nature spirits in Vedic tradition, they live at the bottom of lakes, rivers, and more than that streams in magnificent palaces where they guard their treasure. Legends credit them with performing many roles, from protecting the waters of the world to guarding sacred knowledge. Like many water deities, they’re both creators as well as destroyers. They bring rain, but also cause floods. Keep in mind that, some sources say they only movie their devastating sides in retaliation for humankind’s mistreatment of nature and sometimes the environment.

The nagas as well as naginis play a key role while in the originaire Hindu epic Mahabharata, where they tend to making an acquisition a bad rap for being significant predators who persecute other creatures. But legends also associate these aquatic divinities with hidden knowledge, transformation, and immortality. In addition to, like many water deities and more than that serpents, they’re potent fertility symbols.

Artists frequently depict nagas and more than that naginis with human torsos and more than that snaky decrease bodies, or with multiple snakeheads—often seven, but sometimes as many as a thousand. But these shapeshifters can change themselves into human beings if they choose. Not limited to India, nagas and sometimes naginis appear while in the lore and more than that legends of other Asian nations, where they assume various forms.

Visible Nagas in addition to Naginis

Manasa, the goddess of snakes, is considered the daughter of the giant Hindu god Shiva. This distinguished plus revered nagini represents fertility and more than that prosperity. Her powers include the ability to cure snakebites plus neutralize poisons—the woman saved Shiva’s life after he unknowingly drank poison.

Vasuki, Manasa’s brother, is one of the naga kings. Legend says he wears a gargantuan gem on his head. In Buddhist mythology, he leads the nagas who protect the Buddha. In Hindu lore, he protects Vishnu.

The naga lord Varuna is at charge of the weather—his powers include the ability to bring life-giving rain as well as to raise storms. Some myths credit him for the reason that ruler of the pangs plus rivers, even since the king of the cosmos. When someone drowned, the person’s soul went to Varuna.

Kanya, the nagini of the three realms, protects underwater treasures and spiritual ones as well. Sometimes depicted with a jewel in her forehead plus wings on her shoulders, your lady holds a shell from what she pours the waters of wisdom onto humanity.

King of all the nagas, Sesha is considered a creator god. In his cobra-like hood he holds the planets. He often appears aboard an arching, wave-like raft that floats upon the cosmic pangs. Legend says he stabilized the world at the Buddha’s request and sometimes still supports the Earth at this time. Inside the Mahabharata, Brahma entrusts Sesha with the vast responsibility of holding the world on his head.


Legend says Brahma forced the nagas and more than that naginis off the face of the Earth and into the “nether regions” because they were overpopulating the world. He also ordered them to bite only evil inhabitants.

Siren Sightings

Early reports tell a strange story of seven mermaids who supposedly were captured within the waters near Ceylon in 1560. A population of Jesuits along with the physician Bosquez, then an aide to the Viceroy of Goa, supposedly performed autopsies about the mermaids. Their analysis turned up a surprising result—that merfolk were presently like humans, physically and spiritually, except for their fishtails, however. How the investigators lively spiritual similarities between the two species remains unclear.

“Firm to the rent in addition to crashing mast,

I lend new fury within the blast;

I mark each hardy cheek grow drab,

In addition to the proud sons of courage fail;

Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,

Yawns the disparted main, in addition to opes its shelving graves.”

—Anne Bannerman, Poems by Anne Bannerman



On the house- e-book-- Mermaids OF THE British AND Ireland

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The Selkies

In many parts of Scotland, England, as well as Ireland tales are told of a mysterious pursuit of beings known because selkies. The term comes from the Scottish remember selch for seal. According to legend, the selkies or “seal wives” don the skins of seals that let them navigate the waters surrounding Britain in addition to Ireland. At precisely what time they decide to come ashore, they remove their sealskins and more than that shapeshift into human beings—men and women, for both sexes exist among the selkies.

Like mermaids, these aquatic creatures can breathe underwater and sometimes the swells is their beneficial home. Welsh legend suggests that selkies were in fact born human, but soon after birth they chose to live inside the swells instead of on land. Selkie females are reputed to be irresistibly an exquisite, with tantalizing voices.

Unlike merfolk of other cultures, these comely creatures don’t usually harm human beings. Fishermen consider them good luck in addition to seeing a selkie can mean a bountiful catch. Furthermost selkies only stay on land for short periods of time and more than that discovered close, personal marriages with only one human at a time. Often that person—even if he’s married to a selkie—doesn’t realize his mate’s actual identity. Selkies must keep their sealskins safely hidden while on land, for without their magic pelts the selkies can’t return on the sea.

Some population believe they descended from the selkies. A Scottish legend says the MacCodrum clan fell into this population. Known in Gaelic as Clann Mhic Codruim nan rón (Clan MacCodrum of the seals), the family supposedly lived as seals for the duration of the day and more than that shapeshifted into human beings at dark.


Founded while in the fifteenth century, the famed Mermaid Tavern on London’s Bread Street was a favorite hangout for outstanding Elizabethan gentlemen. A literary club met there while in the early 1600s; members included such luminaries as Ben Jonson and Francis Beaumont. A painting by Faed called Shakespeare and sometimes His Contemporaries movie theater the Bard at the Mermaid Tavern with his friends Sir Walter Raleigh, John Donne, Francis Bacon, in addition to the Earl of Southampton.

Selkie Stories

Many selkie legends end tragically, such as The Secret of Roan Inish (a 1994 cartoon film directed by John Sayles, based on Rosalie K. Fry’s novel The Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry, discussed in Chapter 2). Inside old Orkney Islands ballad, the “Gigantic Silkie of Sule Skerry,” a selkie male has a child with a human woman. The selkie comes to claim his son, and more than that in exchange gives the mother a purse full of gold. Earlier they depart, the selkie predicts a sad fate for himself as well as the child—for selkies are known to possess the medal of clairvoyance. He tells your lover that the woman’ll marry a gunner who will kill both her son and sometimes the selkie father.

In a tale from the Shetland Islands, a seal hunter given the name Herman Perk becomes stranded for the period of a storm. A selkie male rescues him after making Perk promise to return the selkie’s wife’s pelt, just the thing had been stolen, so the lady can change previously into a seal as well as rejoin him inside the sea.

Another story tells of a selkie’s revenge over the residents of the Kalsoy Island while in the Faroes as the men killed her seal husband as well as children. The selkie swears to drown the people or cause them to fall from cliffs until eventually so many have died that their ghosts could hold hands as well as encircle the island.


Some folklore tells us that the selkies transformed from the souls of humans who drowned at sea—they’re magical in addition to mystical beings.

The Merrow

Irish folklore describes a gentle in addition to benevolent chase of merfolk titled the merrow. The forename comes from the Gaelic murúch or muiroighe—muir means “sea” as well as oigh means “young woman.” Like mermaids from other cultures, merrows combine a stunning human torsos with fishy junior parts—at least as soon as they live in the surf. Surely, legend says these lovely beings—males as well as females—occasionally assume legs and more than that come ashore for long periods of time. There they mingle with and sometimes marry human beings, even raise families. Despite their wondrous singing voices plus webbed fingers, their loved ones in addition to neighbors may not realize their true identities. Within the end, though, merrow-folk long for their watery home and more than that usually return within the sea.

One peculiarity of the merrows is the cohuleen druith, a magical red sou'wester that gives them the ability to live underwater. This special talisman serves a purpose similar to that of the selkie’s sealskin—for if a merrow loses her precious cap, your lover can’t return to her underwater world.

Another unique quality of the merrow is her pleasant disposition—your woman seems to lack the tempestuous as well as sometimes malicious nature expressed by mermaids from other locales. Although lady merrows have been known to tempt human men into their aquatic realms, legend says those males lived happily ever after with their mermaid mates. They even became merfolk themselves plus shared the merrows’ enchanted existence beneath the sea.

“This girl sinks into her spell: and sometimes as soon as full soon

Her lips move and more than that your sweetheart soars into her song,

the same thing creatures of the midmost main shall throng

In furrowed pangs-clouds about the summoning rune:

Till he, the fated mariner, hears her cry,

And up her rock, bare-breasted,

comes to die?”

—Dante Gabriel Rossetti, A Sea-Spell


Irish sailors who drowned at sea were said to have “married a mermaid.”

The Merry Maids of Cornwall

Steeped in mythology as well as folklore, Cornwall lies at the center of England’s furthermost beloved in addition to enduring legend, that of King Arthur. Not surprisingly, plenty of mermaid stories and sometimes sightings also come from this seaside locale. Cornish mermaids—or “merry maids”—share many characteristics of mermaids elsewhere: massive enchantment, enchanting singing voices, in addition to a penchant for luring mariners to watery graves.

Reputedly, mermaids comb their hair in addition to enchant Cornish fishermen at a position branded Mermaid’s Rock near Lamorna on Cornwall’s eastern tip. Legend says that if the mermaids are heard singing, a ship will sink nearby seven days later.

Despite their person's name, the merry maids aren’t always jovial. According to one Cornish story, an angry merry maid took revenge within the the small town of Padstow, transforming its canal from a thriving port into a treacherous sandbar ominously called Doom Bar. Once the seafarers’ helpful friend, the mermaid inquiry to sit on a rock in the small town’s cove and sometimes she guided large ships up the Canal Camel safely into the harbor. Then one day a sailor shot her—stories vary as to who killed her and why—and sometimes with her dying breath she cursed the small town. Never another time as you might ships sail into Padstow’s harbor, the lady swore.

Soon a storm arose, destroying a number of craft in the area. Within the onslaught’s mouth the turbulent tides deposited a colossal mass of sand on the same thing that ships foundered. The once navigable waters became so shallow that only small boats could fabricate their way into Padstow, plus to the centuries many ships wrecked on Doom Bar. The mermaid’s curse prevailed.


Some Irish say that ago human beings occupied the Emerald Isle, a pursuit of semi-divine beings lived there. These deities may have resembled mermaids, and some Irish families believe they are descended from these mythical beings.

The Mermaid of Zennor

An old Cornish tale gives a freedom spin on the familiar idea of mermaids enchanting men with their songs. In this story, a strange, lovely, and more than that well-dressed woman became enthralled with a a stunning young Zennor man termed Mathew Trewella, known during the village for his magnificent singing voice, and your wife came to hear him sing in church. Attracted by her enchantment as well as mysterious nature, Mathew decided to pay for to you intimately know your woman. One Sunday after church, he followed her as this lady walked within the cliffs overlooking the sea—but he never returned.

Decades later, a ship’s captain weighed anchor near Zennor and sometimes soon a mermaid hailed him with her charming voice. The lady asked him to lift his anchor, for it lay on the roof of her underwater abode where this lady lived with Mathew Trewella. The mermaid, known as Morveren, the daughter of the sea king Llyr, turned out to be the attractive woman who’d come ashore to hear Mathew sing. Zennor’s fishermen still hear Mathew’s voice soaring for the lake. If he sings high, they say, the seas will be smooth, but it’ll be rough going if he sings low.


In a sixteenth-century church to the northern coast of Cornwall near St. Ives, the end panel of a wooden pew features a good-looking carving of a typical mermaid. The bas relief figure, dubbed the Mermaid of Zennor, holds a mirror in one hand plus a comb within the other. Is your lover a symbol of good luck on the local fishermen? Or, does the girl warn the faithful against sins of the flesh, like mermaid depictions in many medieval Christian churches?

Wise and Winsome Wishes

Like fairies, leprechauns, plus genies, mermaids are said to have the ability to grant wishes as well as bring good luck to human beings. These wise and winsome creatures have been known to share the honour of knowledge with humans, to heal the sick, and sometimes to tender treasures of all kinds to people they favor. If you capture a mermaid, this woman may share a secret with you or give you a award in exchange for her exemption. But magical merfolk can be tricksters, and more than that their gifts often come with strings attached.

According to Cornish myth, a fisherman called Lutey Cury rescues a beached mermaid in addition to helps her since into the water. In return, your lover promises him three wishes. He asks her over the power to heal the sick, the power to defuse wicked spells, plus to have these powers passed on to his children after his death. The mermaid grants his wishes, but then tries to pluck Lutey into the sea with her. Knowing that iron is an amulet against the dangers of mermaids plus other supernatural beings, he pulls out his knife and escapes.

For nine years, Lutey uses his gifts to the good of the Cornish people. But at the end of that time, the mermaid returns to take Lutey back with her to her home beneath the sea. After his disappearance, Lutey’s children receive his powers according to his third wish. But Lutey’s good fortune comes at a high price. In return over the mermaid’s largess, every nine decades the sea claims one of Lutey’s descendants.


Merpeople attend the funeral of wizard Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and sometimes the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth novel in J. K. Rowling’s distinguished series. Unlike the an exquisite merfolk in most significant folklore, these beasts are things only a mother could love, with gray skin on their upper humanoid torsos plus silver fishtails, green hair and sometimes beards, yellow eyes, plus broken yellow teeth. As soon as they speak, they screech instead of enchanting population with melodious songs—for ostensibly their language is intended to be heard underwater.

The Blue Men of the Muir

Although females dominate merfolk mythology, Scottish folklore includes a population of mermen known since the Blue Men of the Muir. Muir is the Gaelic person's name for “sea.” Given the name for their blue-gray color, these dangerous water spirits—like Alexander the Great’s mermaid sister Thessalonike (see Chapter 4)—approached mariners and more than that asked them a used. If the seamen couldn’t answer it correctly, the mermen wrecked their ships and more than that dragged the sailors down into the depths.

The Blue Men were said to live within the Minch Channel, a body of water between the western islands of the Hebrides, off the coast of northern Scotland. Generations of sailors in addition to fishermen have declared seeing these sea-colored merfolk riding the surf around your Shiant Islands. Shiant means “charmed” as well as the Blue Men are believed to be magical spirits who cause the turbulent tides there. Struth nan Apprehension Gorma, a body of water between the Shiant Islands plus the Isle of Lewis, means “the Waterway of the Blue Men.”

Other Scottish legends tell of night, dangerous merfolk who reside within the waters close to the Orkney Islands. Known as the Finfolk, these mysterious and sometimes malevolent beings normally live under the sea in a position referred to as Finfolkaheem, but swim or steal boats to come ashore. Looking for human captives, the Finfolk wait for unsupervised children who stray across the water in addition to nab them—then they take their captives to Finfolkaheem and sometimes keep them there as slaves.


Scottish legend says the Finfolk are fond of silver, a select silver jewelry. If you ever find yourself endangered by one of these creatures, toss three silver coins as far away from you as most likely. The greedy beast will drop you and sometimes scurry after the money.

Ladies of the Lakes

Ireland and more than that Britain’s mermaids not only swim during the salty seas, they also fabricate their homes in freshwater. Some of these mystical maids are believed to have divine lineages. Others possess more sinister natures.

One such malevolent mermaid appears inside the Mermaids’ Pool below Kinder Downfall in Derbyshire each year on Easter’s Eve at the stroke of midnight. Legend says that if you lean all over again to gaze into the pool, you may see a vision of the future—or the mermaid may create you down to your death. Another mermaid haunts Black Mere Pool near Leek in the North Staffordshire Moors, according to local folklore. A number people have drowned in this eerie spot, plus in 1679 a serial killer dumped a female victim’s body while in the pool. Perhaps that’s why the mermaid supposedly rises from the hours of darkness pool at midnight to reap vengeance by enticing unwitting male passersby to their deaths.

Celtic goddesses often appear as triparted beings, representing the three phases of womanhood: maiden, mother, and crone. In her maiden condition, the Irish surf goddess Aine is depicted as a mermaid, reputed to live at the bottom of Ireland’s Lough Gur. Legend says the Earl of Desmond captured her by stealing her magic cloak (a garment similar within the selkie’s sealskin), and more than that they had a son together. After the child’s birth, the Earl granted Aine her exemption as well as your woman returned over the lake. Years later, their son joined her there.

Every seven years, Lough Gur supposedly dries up. As soon as this happens, you can see a sacred tree (perhaps the Celtic World Tree) growing inside the bottom of the swells, where Aine in her crone-proclaim lives and more than that knits the cloth of life.


Within the mid-nineteenth century a pub near Black Mere Pool capitalized on the legend and sometimes renamed itself the Mermaid Inn. It claims to be the highest-elevation restaurant in England, sited on a hill 1,640 feet above sea level.

Water Fairies

“This mysterious female gave Arthur his sword Excalibur . . . The lady is usually a Celtic swells divinity in origin, perhaps of the same kind because Gwagged Annwn—dunes fairies in modern Welsh folklore.”

—Ronan Coghlan, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arthurian Legends

Welsh mythology says golden-haired maids branded Gwagged Annwn (a.k.a. morgans, water maidens, and ladies of the wave form) live in underwater villages at the bottoms of certain magical lakes. Unlike conventional mermaids, these water fairies lack the usual fishy features—they appear completely human. These lovely creatures not only swim within the lakes of Wales, they can sometimes be seen moving weightlessly to the surface of the water or gliding along in golden boats.

Now as mermaids plus other sea deities do, the Gwagged Annwn sometimes mingle with population, coming on land to take human lovers. The fairies call the shots, naturally, and more than that if their mates don’t adhere about the bylaw set by these a good looking water maids they disappear, past into their underwater homes.

Another type of water fairy known because the asrai (also titled Dancers about the Mist as well as scarille) hide underwater during the day—but at hours of darkness they can sometimes be set up dancing for the surface of ponds as well as lakes. Some people say they resemble mist. If sunlight hits them, the asrai melt into the water and sometimes disappear.

Like mermaids, their haunting allure enchants men. Legends describe them as having dull, silvery skin and sometimes the bodies of comely young women that don’t deteriorate, even though the asrai can live to be hundreds of decades old. But don’t buying too close to these mysterious maids—their touch is like dry ice and sometimes it can burn your skin routinely. Usually believed to inhabit the lakes and more than that rivers of Shropshire and sometimes Cheshire, England, the asrai have been known to movie up in Scotland’s waters, too.


Merfolk have populated the Emerald Isle’s waters for millennia, serving as subjects for numerous Irish bards. They go by other Gaelic names as well, including Muir-gheilt, Samhghubha, Muidhuachán, in addition to Suire. The Suire, a type of sea nymph, supposedly greeted the Milesians when they first landed in Ireland.

Captured Mermaids

Occasionally, someone manages to capture a mermaid. The Annals of Ulster as well as the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters (specifically what chronicle Celtic history) this particular program several accounts of mermaids who were caught inside ages 558, 571, 887, and sometimes 1118. The 887 entry in Annals of the Four Masters is biggest unusual. It announced that a giant mermaid washed up on the Scottish coast—a pure white creature 195 feet long with hair 18 feet long as well as fingers 7 feet long!

In 1810, three men claimed to have uncovered two merchildren over the Isle of Man. One had died, but the other had a brown body about two feet long with a scaly purple tail in addition to green hair. In Suffolk, throughout the twelfth century, locals trapped a merman and more than that imprisoned him in Orford Castle for six months until eventually he finally managed to escape.

A distinguished Irish legend tells of a girl called Liban or Lioth Bean (meaning “an attractive woman”) whose family died in a stream. Your sweetheart survived by metamorphosing into a half-human, half-salmon mermaid and more than that went to live in an underwater cave. Like other mermaids, this girl possessed beautiful singing voice as well as the populace of Ulster became so enamored of her that they decided to capture her. Even the local cleric couldn’t resist Liban’s charms—he insisted that the girl be buried with him inside same casket. To smooth about the awkward condition, the church canonized her as St. Murgen (meaning sea-born). Your wife these days serves because spiritual guardian of Ulster.


In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the notorious English pirate Blackbeard and his crew proceeded to capture a mermaid in a proclaim termed Whitecap Bay, where mermaids are believed to thrive. Several seamen use themselves as “bait” to attract the sultry sirens—but the mermaids turn out to be more than a match over the sailors. A chase ensues plus the sea maids sink the pirates’ ship. But some of the men manage to capture a sweet and more than that a good looking young mermaid called Syrena. As mermaids sometimes do, your woman falls in love with one of the crew, a missionary referred to as Philip Swift, and more than that spirits him away to live with her while in the sea.

“The little sea-princesses . . . were six an exquisite children; but the youngest was the prettiest of them all; her skin was as monochrome in addition to delicate as a rose-leaf, as well as her eyes as blue because deepest sea; but, like all the others, your woman had no feet, plus her body ended in a fish’s tail.”

—Hans Christian Andersen, “The Little Mermaid”

Antonomasia (Princess of the Kingdom of Kandy) Quixotic Novels Explains

Antonomasia (Princess of the Kingdom of Kandy)

Biography: Since Princess Antonomasia is the teenager of Queen Maguncia as strong as King Archipiela she is the heiress to the Kingdom of Kandy. She is brought up under the care with tutelage of a New Report From Quixotic Novels Countess named Trifaldi—her mother’s most renowned with longest serving duenna—who tutors in addition to raises her until the submit age of fourteen.

Adult men Court Princess Antonomasia: Not only is Princess Antonomasia the loveliest daughter within the whole world since “she is a pristine badge of beauty and better-quality than that perfection,” yet her attractiveness is accentuated by her reports and virtue “always a gratifying combination.” So controlling is Antonomasia’s celebrated beauty, placed in fact, that “countless noblemen,” both native and certainly foreign, advocate marriage.

Princess Antonomasia and sometimes Don Clavijo: When Don Clavijo, a private knight with men, sees princess Antonomasia, a striking, intelligent, along with noble heiress to the Kingdom of Kandy, he courts her. Trusting to his “youth plus dash and higher than that various skills plus charms,” as fit as his “sharp and complete wit,” Don Clavijo dares to increase his romantic aspirations to the heavens of Princess Antonomasia’s composure by ranked repeatedly her mind as in good physical shape as original her middle to him. By playing a guitar skillfully, reciting poetry enthusiastically, as in good physical shape as “dancing foursquares wonderfully,” Don Clavijo gradually movements himself into a favorable viewpoint as well as princess Antonomasia. To conquer the fortress of Princess Antonomasia’s virtue, Don Clavijo not lone praises her mind sloted in seguidillas, nonetheless he sings verses and basically ditties of different kinds. Furthermore, before consummating their organization through love making, Don Clavijo gives his stern word to be princess Antonmasia’s tremendous husband plus valiant protector.


Prime Characters
Adam, the first man in addition to representative of mankind. On the other hand talented along with reason and certainly restraint, he allows an excessively avid tenderness for Eve to blind him. Forewarned by the archangel Raphael of danger occured Satan, he still yields to Eve's entreaty that she alone be trusted. When he learns that she has fallen, he chooses to join her rather than turn installed in her. His first reaction after his own fall is to rebuke along with blame her for his own sin. After falling into almost suicidal despair, he repents, along with when the archangel Michael foretells the future redemption of mankind by Christ, he accepts his fate along with gratitude.
Eve, the first woman with representative of womanhood. Magnificent, gentle, and submissive, she holds Adam enthralled. She is horrified when Satan first approaches her happen a dream, conversely piqued by what she considers Adam's lack of faith in her, she stubbornly insists on working alone, thereby leaving herself vulnerable to the serpent's temptation. Like Adam, after the Fall she is first lustful, then quarrelsome. Finally, she too accepts her fate with dignity as well as resignation.
Satan (Lucifer), largest of the fallen angels, opponent of God and man. A splendid conception, his heroism and more than that grandeur are tainted by a perversion of will and certainly accompanying perversion of intellect. Rebellious against God, he is incapable of data Him. A self-tormented spirit, conscious of his loss in spite of this unwilling to repent, he allows evil to eat away at him, tarnishing his splendor. His degradation is set when he wills to enter the body of the serpent. His attempt to seduce man succeeds, however his triumph is temporary along with hollow.
Beelzebub (bi-el'za-bub), Satan's principal lieutenant. Fewer confident plus not as much of splendid than his main, he works his will plus serves as his mouthpiece. Beginning in the council of the fallen angels put in Pandemonium, he presents forcefully Satan's plan of indirect warfare on God through man. His proposal carries.
Moloch (mo'lok), fiercest of the fallen angels. Appropriately worshipped that is background in consequent years in addition to human sacrifice, he is bloody-minded and more than that desperate. If the fallen angels cannot be triumphant Heaven, he chooses either get Heaven intolerable for the angels who did not fall or to anger God to the point that He will annihilate the fallen spirits.
Belial (be'li-al), a fallen angel industrious lone installed in vice. Smooth in addition to oily, he favors peace at any price and basically expresses the hope that if the fallen angels do not call God's thought to themselves, He will forget them along with allow their sufferings to decrease. He favors a proper course in spite of this for improper reasons, basing his surrender on sloth, not on acceptance of God's will.
Mammon (mam'sn), the materialistic fallen angel. Like Belial, he is opposed to a second fighting against Heaven, yet he favors a rule of development of natural resources with exploitation of Hell to raise an empire that will rival Heaven.
Mulciber (Vulcan) (mul'si-bar), Mammon's chief engineer and sometimes architect. Formerly the planner of various of Heaven's buildings, he is currently architect of Pandemonium, Satan's palace beginning in Hell.
Sin, Satan's schoolgirl, born pictured in his brain without a mother. She is the loathsome keeper of Hell's gates, through which she lets Satan pass to harass the world. She as well as her grisly son Death follow Satan to Earth to prey on mankind.
Death, son of Sin and Satan by their incestuous alliance. He ravishes Sin and begets a horde of hellhounds on her. His voraciousness is so huge that he would devour his own mother, except for the fear that her death would involve his own destruction. His fierce reaction to Satan is mollified by the latter's offer of hosts of adult males and more than that beasts for him to devour if Satan's assault on Earth succeeds.
God the Father, All-knowing and basically all-influential, He foresees Satan's activities and more than that man's fall, in spite of this extends to man His grace and brings forth good beginning in evil.
Christ (Messiah), the single Son of God. He is first granted by His Father the overthrow of Satan with his legions placed in the Action emerge Heaven, then granted His wish to sacrifice Himself to redeem man.
Michael (ml'kal), the warrior angel. Major of the angelic forces sloted in the War in Heaven, he is a worthy opponent of Satan. He is God's messenger to Adam plus Eve to speak them of their banishment mounted in Paradise and more than that their coming death; still, he is allowed by God's grace to foretell to Adam the future of the human race along and the redemption to come.
Abdiel (ab'dl-el), angelic servant of God. Alone among Lucifer's angel hordes, he remains steadfast along with is rewarded by God's own praise together as well as the favor of striking the first blow against Satan proceed the conflict against the rebel angels. Clearly one of Milton's favorite creations placed in "Paradise Lost," he is perhaps an idealized version of the poet himself.
Raphael (raf'Ial, ra'fi-al), God's messenger to Adam to warn him of Satan's presence that is backdrop in Paradise. Gracious as well as friendly, he nonetheless is capable of stern judgment and warns Adam particularly against unreasonable in addition to fervent adoration of Eve.
Gabriel (ga'bri-al), prevalent of the angelic guards mounted in Paradise. He is a leader set in the Skirmish happen Heaven against the evil angels.
Uriel (yoor'I-al), regent of the Sun. Even on the other hand an angel, he is incapable of seeing through the mask of a hypocrite as well as fails to be acquainted with Satan in his disguise as a lesser angel. He directs the evil spirit to Paradise, conversely sees his actions set in Paradise and certainly hastily warns Gabriel that an evil spirit has gained admission there.
Uzziel (u-zi'el, uz'i-61), Ithuriel (I-thu'ri-sl), as well as Zephon (ze'fdn), angel guards happen Paradise.
The Description
Mounted in Heaven, Lucifer, unable to abide the supremacy of God, led a revolt against divine practiced. Defeated, he as well as his followers were cast into Hell, where they lay nine days on a burning lake. Lucifer, now called Satan, arose that is site in the flaming pitch and basically vowed that all was not lost, that he would have revenge for his downfall. Arousing his legions, he reviewed them under the canopy of Hell with decided his purposes could be achieved by guile rather than by force.
Under the direction of Mulciber, the services of evil built an elaborate palace that is situation in which Satan convened a house of representatives to decide on immediate dogfight. At the meeting, Satan reasserted the unity of those fallen along with opened the floor to a debate on what measures to take. Moloch advised conflict. Belial recommended a very lazy existence mounted in Hell. Mammon proposed peacefully improving Hell so that it might adversary Heaven put in splendor. His motion was received with great favor until Beelzebub, second that is setting in command, arose as well as informed the conclave that God had created Earth, which He had peopled and good creatures called humans. It was Beelzebub's proposal to investigate this new creation, seize it, along with seduce its people to the cause of the fallen angels.
Announcing that he would program to Earth to learn for himself about precisely how matters were there, Satan flew to the gate of Hell. There he encountered his girl, Sin, as well as his son, Death. They opened the gate and Satan winged his way toward Earth.
God, put in his omniscience, beheld the meeting mounted in Hell, knew the intents of the evil angels, in addition to saw Satan approaching the Earth. Disguised as various beasts, Satan acquainted himself in addition to Adam and certainly Eve as well as plus the Tree of Art, which God had forbidden to man.
Uriel, learning that an evil angel had broken through to Eden, warned Gabriel, who appointed two angels to hover about the bower of Adam and certainly Eve. The guardian angels arrived too late to prevent Satan, in the form of a toad, in beginning his evil exertion. He had influenced Eve's dreams.
Upon awaking, Eve told Adam that proceed her strange dream she had been tempted to taste of the fruit of the Tree of New advancement. God, seeing that danger to Adam with Eve was imminent, sent the angel Raphael to the garden to warn them. At Adam's insistence, Raphael related mounted in detail the story of the large raid between the good as healthy as the bad angels and sometimes of the fall of the bad angels to eternal misery pictured in Hell. To Adam's further inquiries Raphael responded and an picture of the creation of the world plus of precisely Earth was created set in six days, an angelic choir singing the praises of God on the seventh day. He cautioned Adam not to be too curious, that there were several things done by God which were not for man to glance at or to attempt to understand. Adam then told on how he had been warned against the Tree of New advancement of Good and more than that Evil, on how he had asked God for fellowship taking place in his loneliness, and sometimes precisely Eve was setup mounted in his rib.
After the departure of Raphael, Satan returned as a mist to the garden with entered the body of a sleeping serpent. Emerge the morning, as Adam with Eve proceeded to their day's toil, Eve proposed that they employment apart. Adam, remembering the period of Raphael, opposed her wishes, conversely Eve prevailed as strong as the couple parted. Alone, Eve was accosted by the serpent, which flattered her into tasting the fruit of the Tree of Research. Eve. liking what she tasted, took a fruit to Adam, who was horrified when he saw what Eve had done. Though placed in his love for Eve, he also ate the fruit.
Having eaten, the couple knew lust for the first time, and sometimes after their dalliance they knew sickening shame. The guardian angels at this time deserted the transgressors and sometimes returned to God, who approved them, saying they could not have prevented Satan installed in subsequent sloted in his mission.
Christ descended to Earth to pass judgment. Before Adam and more than that Eve, who in their shame, had been reluctant to come out of their bower to air Him, Christ sentenced the serpent to be forever a hated rival of humanity. He told Eve that her sorrow would be multiplied by the bearing of kids in addition to that she would be the servant of Adam to the end of time. Adam, said Christ, would eat placed in sorrow, his ground would be cursed, with he would eat bread only by toiling and sweating.
Meanwhile, Death and basically Sin, having divined Satan's success, left the gates of Hell to join their father on Earth. Within attraction of Earth, they met Satan, who delegated Sin with Death as his ambassadors on Earth. Back put in Hell, Satan proudly declared his accomplishments to his followers. He was acclaimed by hisses, yet, as his cohorts became serpents, and basically Satan himself was transformed into a serpent before their reptilian eyes. Trees similar to the Tree of Technologies appeared in Hell, still when the evil angels tasted the fruit, they found their mouths full of ashes.
God, angered at the disaffection of Adam and basically Eve, brought about big changes on Earth. He setup the seasons to replace eternal spring, and the violence and misery of storms—winds, hail, ice, floods, and sometimes earthquakes. He caused all Earth's creatures to prey upon one another.
Adam and basically Eve argued bitterly until they realized that they must look their common plight jointly. Repenting their sins, they prayed to God for relief. Although Christ interceded for them, God sentenced them to expulsion happen Eden and basically sent the angel Michael to Earth to carry out the sentence. Adam in addition to Eve, lamenting their misfortune, contemplated suicide, however Michael gave them new hope when he brought to Adam a vision of life with death; of the rise and certainly fall of kingdoms in addition to empires; of the activities of Adam's plus Eve's progeny through their evil days to the flood, when God would destroy all life except that preserved by Noah set in the ark; and of the subsequent return to evil days as well as Christ's incarnation, death, resurrection, and more than that ascension as mankind's redeemer.
Despite the violence, evil, and bloodshed from the vision, Adam along with Eve were pacified when they saw that mankind would be saved. They walked hand emerge hand put in the heights of Paradise to the barren plains below.

Critical Appraisal
As well as Paradise Lost, John Milton realized his longstanding ambition to write an epic poem based upon a classical figure, subsequent cultures traditional by Homer and basically Vergil. The quiz was formidable, for all through the seventeenth century the epic was considered man's essential new achievement. For his subject, Milton chose a grand synthesis of the Christian religion based upon the Bible. Centering on the Fall of Adam and basically Eve and their restoration to God's favor, the epic ranges all over again time occured the rebellion of Satan plus his followers occur Heaven until Judgment Day, offering a large-scale depiction of Christian annals, belief, and more than that deals. Primarily a Protestant epic, emphasizing session choice and basically salvation through faith, it narrates the most major biblical events and represents what the minor seventeenth century poet Samuel Barrow called "the account of all things."
Its characters range occur the divine to the demonic, beginning in God the Father with Christ to Satan and certainly his followers. Yet the picture theme centers upon Adam and basically Eve, initially flawless human beings who violate God's covenant, fall in grace, with are restored. Satan, the most thoroughly arranged indication, is create on a grand scale and more than that a only-minded goal of revenge with most closely resembles the conventional epic hero. In spite of this the mythic hero is Christ, the representation who performs the positive actions of the annals—creation, judgment, and certainly redemption. Adam, the human hero, undergoes a movement of fortune through the Fall with is restored; he stands as Milton's long-suffering hero of faith and more than that resignation, occur the tradition of Prometheus and certainly Career.
Structurally, the epic forms three important parts, each consisting of four stories. Occur novels 1 to 4, Milton introduces the characters, settings (Heaven, Hell, Chaos, in addition to Earth), and sometimes important conflicts. Essay 1 accounts for the fall of Satan as well as his millions of followers and more than that its immediate consequence; from volume 2, a council taking place in Hell determines the course of war for Satan: revenge through deception and basically seduction of mankind. In essay 3, a contrasting council pictured in Heaven establishes that man will fall and basically lays the groundwork for his redemption through the willing sacrifice of Christ. Paperback 4 introduces the human characters Adam with Eve, who gain an idyllic life taking place in the Garden of Eden, their single restraint being God's prohibition against the fruit of the Tree of Skill. Satan briefly appears in the garden following his program through Chaos but is driven away by angelic guards.
The focus stories (5-8) concern the mission of the angel Raphael beginning in the garden, sent by God to warn Adam about the danger posed by Satan. These novels, sometimes referred to as "the study of Adam," to build readers for the Fall of Man through a psychological treatment of mark that makes it credible. Unfallen Adam learns of Satan's fall and sometimes punishment. Installed in conversation in addition to Raphael, Adam confesses his uxoriousness, and sometimes thus the reader is ready for Adam to disobey God's commandment motivated by a addiction to share Eve's fate. Through the fritter of exposition, the middle stories introduce several epic practices. Raphael's narrative of the Clash taking place in Heaven, which includes events that took place before the beginning of booklet 1, is an extended picture of skirmish, a subject Milton associates along with the demonic. Occured this section, Milton continues his policy of balancing as well as contrasting novels; Raphael's sketch of the destructive Warfare is counterbalanced by the explanation of Creation installed in manuscript 7.
The final section (9-12) narrates the Fall and restoration of Adam in addition to Eve, consequent Satan's return to the garden in addition to assumption of the form of the serpent. Satan cleverly deceives Eve, and basically Adam willingly disobeys God emerge order to share her fate. That is venue in the final two works of fiction, the archangel Michael illuminates for Adam human narration mounted in his own time until Judgment Day, allowing Adam to comprehend all the panorama of human suffering and certainly unhappiness that results pictured in the Fall in addition to to know Christ as man's redeemer. At the end, both Adam along with Eve are reconciled to the loss of Eden plus depart as wayfaring, warfaring Christians.
Written put in blank verse placed in which the verse paragraph, not the line, is the most significant unit, Paradise Lost achieves a dignified, sonorous tone while incorporating usual epic sub cultures. Milton chose blank verse because he considered it the closest English equivalent to classical epic verse. Biblical, classical, as well as Renaissance allusions abound, particularly symbol and certainly place names. Often the allusions have typological significance, for Milton follows the Christian tradition of viewing Old Testament figures as precursors to and more than that types of Christ. He extends the device by citing classical myth for parallels to Christian events and basically beliefs. Within the gorgeous stylistic elements, one finds heavy fritter of Latinate diction, epic similes, well-known inversions, and easier said than done schemes of repetition. Classical allusions as well as imagery recur as important motifs beginning in the explanation.
Although he incorporates widespread epic ethnicities such as the invocation of the muse, the statement of subject matter, the roll call, the dream, settings on different levels, along with different orders of being, Milton frequently associates these ethnics and the demonic, from part because he rejects usual heroism pictured in action placed in favor of the hero who suffers and more than that endures for the right. Like other epic poets, he speaks placed in the authorial persona or voice, not only emerge prologues nonetheless inside the description, in order to almanac the reader, to express approval or disapproval, or to admonish or caution.
Paradise Lost forms an encyclopedic and basically international mythology based upon the Bible. For bigger than two centuries, readers considered the poem a sound theological interpretation of chronicle and certainly, like Milton, believed that it chronicled authentic events, except for those passages visibly destined as allegorical. Like other epics, it embodies a value system that advocates a code of living and sometimes answers the most profound questions that man can ask concerning deals and certainly beliefs. For present readers, the epic stands as the basic warning of its style that is location in English literature plus a synthesis of Christianity preeminent from poetry.

Paradise Lost

Aakjaer Writer and author

Aakjaer \'o-,ker\, Jeppe (b. Sept. 10,1866, Aakjasr, Den—d. April 22, 1930, Jenle) Poet and Writer and writer, excellent exponent of Danish regional literature and of the literature of social consciousness.
Aakja;r grew up installed in the Jutland farming area and so was well aware of the harsh conditions endured by farm laborers. His early novels deal primarily with this theme. As a young man he went to study from Copenhagen, earning his living as a proofreader and later as a journalist. Vredens born, et tyendes saga (1904; "Children of Wrath: A Hired Man's Saga"), which is considered to be his most effective novel, was a strong plea for the betterment of the farm laborer's lot. It initiated much public discussion and helped bring about some minimal reforms. He is best-known, however, for his poems, especially those collected set in Frifelt (1905; "Free Fields") and Rugens sange (1906; "Songs of the Rye").

Greatest Writers in Literature 

Great Writers from Texas

Aakjaer Great Writers of Denmark
Aakjaer Lyricist and author

Hemingway Great American novelist and short-story writer, essayist

Great Writers of Texas

Great Writers of Literature

Hemingway \'hem-beginning in-,wa\, Ernest (Miller) (b. July 21,1899, Oak Park, 111., U.S.—d. July 2,1961, Ketchum, Idaho) American novelist and short-story writer, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature beginning in 1954. His adventuresome life and four marriages were widely publicized.

On graduation pictured in high school placed in 1917, Hemingway became a reporter for the Kansas City Star. During World War I he served as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross. On July 8,1918, he was injured on the Austro-Italian front and was decorated for heroism.
After recuperating that is set in the United States, Hemingway sailed for France as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star. From Paris he became part of the coterie of expatriate Americans that included Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Sloted in 1925 his first important book, a collection of stories called Set in Our Time, was published. The following year he published THE SUN ALSO RISES, the novel with which he scored his first solid success.
Based pictured in Paris, he traveled widely for the skiing, bullfighting, fishing, and hunting that by then formed the background for much of his writing. His position as a master of short fiction was advanced by Men Without Women (1927), which included the story HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS, and was confirmed by Winner Take Nothing (1933), which included A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE. At least proceed the public view, however, the novel A FAREWELL TO ARMS (1929), with its valuable fusion of love story with war story, overshadowed both.
Hemingway's love of Spain and his passion for bullfighting are evident happen Death proceed the Afternoon (1932), a study of a spectacle he saw more as tragic ceremony than as sport. Similarly, an African safari provided the subject for Green Hills of Africa (1935). His TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1937) reflected his growing concern with social problems.
Acting again as a correspondent, Hemingway made four trips to Spain, then proceed the throes of civil war. He raised money for the Loyalists and wrote a play called The Fifth Column, installed in besieged Madrid, that has been published with some of his best short stories, including THE SHORT HAPPY LIFE OF FRANCIS MACOMBER and THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO, put in The Fifth Column as well as First Forty-Nine Stories (1938). The harvest of his considerable experience of Spain was the novel FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (1940), the best selling of all his books.
After seeing action mounted in World War II, Hemingway returned to his home happen Cuba. Sloted in 1953, he received the Pulitzer Prize put in fiction for the short novel THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA (1952). This book was as enthusiastically praised as his previous novel, Across the River and into the Trees (1950), had been damned.
By 1960 Fidel Castro's revolution had driven Hemingway beginning in Cuba. He then moved to Ketchum, Idaho. Anxiety-ridden and depressed, he eventually took his own life, leaving behind many manuscripts. Two of his posthumously published books are A Moveable Feast (1964), the memoir of his apprentice days taking place in Paris, and Islands happen the Stream (1970), three closely related novellas.

Hemingway Great Writer

Catholic Visionary Thematic Essays

New Catholic Traditions

Beginning in two noteworthy ways this volume initiates a new
stage taking place in the progress of the Recent Catholic
Guide. The unusual 15-volume edition was published
proceed 1967 with after greater than three decades continues
to be a standard reference list for the general citizens,
especially readers who have a special interest proceed
Roman Catholic chronicle, teachings, along with quiz.
Subsequently emerge 1972, 1978, 1988, as well as 1995 the editors
standing by supplements aimed at keeping the index
modern. This Jubilee Volume, nonetheless, is designed not
so much as a supplement to the novel edition as a
propaedia, a preamble, to the revised edition of the NCE
that will follow proceed due course.
It is called the Jubilee Volume because its publication
date coincides as well as the beginning of a current century
and present millennium. Pope John Paul II designated the
year 2000 as a “Jubilee Year” that is complete in the spirit of the jubilee
years of ancient Israel that were seen as a time for taking
stock, redressing old grievances, and sometimes beginning anew. Placed in
focusing on the pontificate of John Paul as well as events emerge the
last decades of the twentieth century, this Jubilee Volume
is a registry of populace and issues that shaped the Church
pictured in the period after the Second Vatican Council. Their
importance lies pictured in the leverage they have had on the
future of the Church as it crosses the threshold (a
favorite metaphor of John Paul) beginning in one millennium to
the next.
The Jubilee Volume has two distinctive parts. The
first is a series of interpretative essays that survey developments
with analyze the principles that have determined
church guiding principle taking place in the years of Pope John Paul’s pontificate.
They trace political with cultural influences that
fashioned the outlook plus formed the charges which
Karol Wojty1a brought plus him sloted in Poland to Rome
with to the world. Each of the authors fastens on a particular
aspect: his personalist philosophy, approach to theology,
social thought, implementation of Vatican II, as well as
ecumenical concerns. The essays motion picture that Pope John
Paul II’s sphere of vision along with influence transcends theological
issues as well as extends vigorous beyond the institutional
Church to compulsory human rights and more than that family cost, to the
arts and sometimes sciences, to economics along with geopolitics.
Part two of the Jubilee Volume reports the thorny comprehension
that one expects to find pictured in a reference graft: dates, place
names, recommendations about citizens, institutions, plus
events. A momentous section of this second part presents
thumbnail sketches of hundreds of the saints and beati
announced by Pope John Paul II. These brief accounts provide
good tips which was not readily free mounted in most
hagiographies, and basically, taken mutually, they illustrate about how precisely
the Jubilee Volume continues taking place in the greatest tradition of
encyclopedias. It presents a “circle of learning” and certainly one
article and sometimes entrance referencing in addition to enhancing another. The
hagiographies, then again brief, include adult men and basically women
set in every continent. They include married and sometimes lone,
old and sometimes infantile, academics and basically illiterate. They are pictured in
every walk of life occured prelates to bankers, social workers
to journalists. John Paul II has used the process of
canonization and sometimes beatification to highlight the catholicity
of the church and give current meaning to the ordinary
call to holiness. For him the saints plus beati underscore
the virtues and deals that he advocates for alliance as a
There is a second significant way that this Jubilee
Volume marks the beginning of a recent chapter occured the memoirs
of the Contemporary Catholic Information bank. Emerge addition to
serving as a preamble to a revised edition of the NCE, it
introduces a recent publisher. The Gale Union, based proceed
Farmington Hills, Michigan, plus the Catholic University
of America Press have entered into a working relationship
designed to insure the existence as well as swell the
quality of the list for years to come. As publisher
the Gale Alliance, whose name is fit known set in academic
circles and more than that by librarians, will oversee the production
and certainly marketing of the Current Catholic Register,
as in good physical shape as the Catholic University of America Press will carry on
to be clumsy for the piece joyful.

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