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The attack on the Philippines started on December 8, 1941 tenhours after the attack on Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. As the Japanese forced advanced, Manila was declared an open city to prevent it from destruction. meanwhile, the government was moved to Corregidor. The Japanese occupied MAnila on January 2,1942.

In Maarch of 1942 U.S. General Douglas MacArthur and President Quezon fled the country. The cruelty of the Japanese military occupation of the Philippines is legendary. The 76,000 starving and sick American and Filipino defenders in Bataan surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942. The Japanese led their captives on a cruel and criminal Death March on which 7-10,000 died or were murdered before arriving at the interment camps ten days later.

Finally in October of 1944 McArthur had gathered enough additional troops and supplies to begin the retaking of the Philippines, landing with Sergio Osmena who had assumed the Presidency after Quezon's death. The battles entailed long fierce fighting; some of the Japanese continued to fight until the official surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945.

The liberation of the Philippines was costly. In the Philippinesm alone, the Americans lost 60,628 men and theJapanese an estimated 300,000. Filipino casualties are estimated at over a million and, sadly, these occured mainly in the last months of the war when the final outcome had long been decided in any event.

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