A Blog Made Out Of Boredom II

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Blog: English · Categories: Non-Erotic · Tags: ,
Date: December 8, 2021 (1 month ago)

Author's Note: at dahil nga ako ay bored na naman, naisipan ko na namang gumawa ng blog, history ulit, but by this time, dito naman sa Pilipinas siya nangyari, exactly 80 years ago today. Pinublish ko ito bilang tribute na rin sa mga Pilipinong beterano ng World War II, at bilang pag-alala na rin na kung hindi dahil sa mga sakripisyo nila, kasama na ang kanilang mga buhay, wala tayong tinatamasang kalayaan ngayon. Maraming Salamat.

Addy. :)

"The first wave of Japanese bombers approached Clark Air Field undetected on Monday, December 8, 1941. By the time US airmen realized that they were under attack, the bombs were already falling..."

Almost all of the American airplanes at Clark—45 miles north of Manila and the main operational base of the Far East Air Force in the Philippines—were lined up neatly on the ground when the strike came at 12:40 p.m. Japanese A6M * fighters followed the bombers, dropping down to strafe the ramp. The fighter base at Iba on the western coast of Luzon, 42 miles from Clark, was struck almost simultaneously. By end of the first day, the strength of Far East Air Force was reduced by half, and it was eliminated as an effective fighting force. The FEAF response was scattered and ineffective. Of approximately 200 aircraft in the Japanese strike force, all but eight returned to their bases on Formosa. Air superiority established; the land invasion began. The fighting continued for several months, but the Japanese victory was inevitable, leading to a surrender of US forces on May 6, 1942.

It was not as if US commanders in the Philippines had no warning. Ten hours had elapsed since the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, where in addition to the naval losses, the US air forces were caught on the ground. Now, it had happened again. When Pearl Harbor was struck at 7:55 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, in Hawaii, it was 2:25 a.m. on Dec. 8. Reports reached the Philippines soon afterward. In addition to warning messages received, the movement of Japanese aircraft was detected by radar and ground observers and there were several preliminary attacks. Maj. Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, chief of the Army Air Forces, called FEAF commander Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton to ask, "How in hell could an experienced airman like you get caught with your planes on the ground? That's what we sent you out there for, to avoid just what happened. What in the hell is going on there"? The question has never been answered satisfactorily. Pearl Harbor generated 10 official investigations. The senior officers in Hawaii, Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Gen. Walter C. Short, were relieved of command and forced into retirement. By contrast, there was no official investigation of events in the Philippines, and no one was held accountable.

Most historians and analysts place primary blame on Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of US Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). MacArthur and his loyalists—especially his Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland—blamed Brereton. However, a close look focuses on the inexplicable actions of MacArthur and Sutherland. Planners and strategists in Washington must also bear some fault. The war plan then in effect was unrealistic in its expectations, and MacArthur and Brereton did not have nearly enough resources to carry out its provisions. There was no real chance of repelling the Japanese attack completely, but it might have been possible to slow the advance and disrupt the Japanese timetable in the Pacific. Any potential strategic value in doing so was lost in the addled US response.


The United States had never known quite what to do with the Philippines, which came under its control as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898, was granted commonwealth status in 1935, and promised independence by 1946. There was considerable opinion that the Philippine Islands—more than 7,000 miles from the California coast and closer to Tokyo than to Hawaii—were indefensible. The Navy wanted to keep a strong naval presence but the Army, responsible for protection of the bases, regarded the Philippines as a liability. War Plan Orange in 1928 and the follow-on Rainbow 5 plan in early 1941 visualized nothing more than defensive operations by the Army garrison and the Asiatic Fleet until reinforcements got there.

However, the Philippines had one great military asset: MacArthur, the former US Army Chief of Staff and a field marshal in the Philippine Army since his retirement in 1937. His relationship with the Philippines was special, dating back to 1900 when his father was military governor. With the prospect of war deepening, MacArthur was recalled to Active Duty in July 1941 as commander of the newly created USAFFE. The Rainbow 5 plan was revised, setting aside the defensive strategy, shifting the emphasis to the offensive, and prescribing "air raids against Japanese forces and installations" in the event of war. MacArthur's copy of the plan was delivered by FEAF commander Brereton, who arrived from Washington on Nov. 3. Like other US leaders in the Pacific, MacArthur had received warnings of the possibility of a Japanese attack, but he told Brereton that his own estimate was that hostile action was unlikely before the spring of 1942. The Army ground forces consisted largely of indigenous Philippine Scouts under US command. MacArthur's critical military strength was provided by his air forces.


As recently as 1940, airpower in the Philippines had amounted to a handful of obsolete B-10 and B-18 bombers and open-cockpit P-26 "Peashooter" pursuit airplanes. The first P-40 fighters and B-17 bombers came in 1941. The Philippine Department Air Force was reorganized as FEAF, with subordinate Bomber and Interceptor commands. The US War Department projected almost 600 combat aircraft to be stationed in the Philippines, but that was a distant goal. When the Japanese struck on Dec. 8, FEAF had a total of 181 aircraft—among them 19 B-17s and 91 P-40s—on Luzon, the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. These aircraft were of great concern to the Japanese. The B-17s could reach the southern tip of Japan, and the Imperial Army and navy air bases on Formosa (the island now called Taiwan) were well within range. The P-40 interceptors were the only force that could interfere with Japanese air superiority in the Philippines. The P-40 could not match the A6M * in agility or climbing speed, but it was the front-line fighter of the Army Air Forces and fully capable in the air defense role over Luzon.

The objective of the strikes at Pearl Harbor and the Philippines was to shield Japan's drive southward to seize the oil and natural resources of Southeast Asia and the Dutch East Indies. The strategy was to clear the US forces in the Philippines out of the way. Key targets were the fighter bases. If the Japanese could knock out the P-40s, they could operate at will against the rest of the defenders. Only two landing fields in the Philippines could handle heavy bombers in the wet season. One was Clark, and the other was Del Monte on the island of Mindanao, some 600 miles to the south. As a security measure, Brereton dispersed 16 of his B-17s to Mindanao on Dec. 5 and kept the other three at Clark.

The remaining capacity for B-17s, at Del Monte, was reserved for a bomb group due to deploy from the United States. USAFFE possessed seven radar sets, of which two—one at Iba Field and the other outside Manila—were operational on Dec. 8. Ground observers at critical locations served as additional lookouts, but it took almost an hour for their reports to reach Interceptor Command. Most of Japan's carriers were allocated to the Pearl Harbor attack so land-based navy and army aircraft from Formosa would carry out the strike on the Philippines. The plan was to launch them as soon as confirmation of the strike on Pearl Harbor was received. The airplanes were gassed and ready, but a thick fog rolled in at midnight and delayed takeoff. According to information obtained after the war, the delay caused anxiety among the Japanese, who anticipated that B-17 strikes had been ordered and knew that their defenses were "far from complete" and "would have been ineffective against a determined enemy attack."


The first report from Pearl Harbor reached Manila at 2:30 a.m.—five minutes after the attack—in a message from Hawaii to the US Asiatic Fleet, but the information was not relayed immediately to the Army. USAFFE heard the news from a commercial radio station around 3 a.m. and alerted base commanders. Sutherland awakened MacArthur at 3:30 when official notice was received. At 3:40, Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, chief of the Army War Plans Division, called MacArthur from Washington, D.C., with a longer account. At 4 a.m. Gen. George C. Marshall sent MacArthur a cablegram directing him to "carry out tasks assigned in Rainbow 5 as they pertain to Japan." The War Plans Division called again at 7:55 to check on the situation in the Philippines and to give an additional warning. Brereton, seeking permission to strike the Japanese bases on Formosa, tried to see MacArthur at 5 a.m. but was denied access by Sutherland.

With the B-17s standing by for takeoff, Brereton made another attempt to see MacArthur at 7:15 but was again turned away by Sutherland. At 8:50, Sutherland instructed Brereton to "hold off bombing of Formosa for the prese...

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Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting. - Sun Tzu
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December 8, 2021 (1 month ago)


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December 8, 2021 (1 month ago)


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james2400's Profile Picture
December 8, 2021 (1 month ago)

The americans underestimated the might of japan. They knew that Japan i building up and expanding its clout, they want war but the americans doesnt believe that japan has the balls to fight them.

Reap what you sow

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Addy_Lanzon's Profile Picture
December 8, 2021 (1 month ago)

Well, Japan can hold out for 6 months after the attack at Pearl Harbor, as what Japanese Admiral Isoruko Yamamoto had said, but after that they don't know what would be next. They only speculated you know.

Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting. - Sun Tzu

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