Defense of the Philippines, 1941 (World War II Documentary)

On 8 December 1941, Imperial Japanese bombers and fighters launched an unprovoked attack on U.S. airfields in the Philippines. Simultaneously, Japanese infantry landed at several key beaches on the main island of Luzon. This was but the first phase of Japan’s plan to seize the Philippines and use its strategic harbors as intermediate staging bases for further aggression in the South Pacific. However, General Douglas MacArthur and the U.S. and Filipino forces on the islands had prepared as best they could for just such an event. Over the next few weeks, they mounted a determined defense in an effort to turn back the Japanese forces and upset their plans for further conquest.

This film, the first in the Philippines film series, covers the first weeks of Imperial Japan’s invasion and General MacArthur’s eventual application of War Plan Orange in late December 1941.

Introduction – 1:05
Rising Storm – 1:32
Preparing for the Future – 4:44
Operational Plans – 9:58
Preparing the Defense – 11:59
Enemy Forces – 18:20
8 December 1941 – 21:02
9-19 December 1941 – 23:28
22 December 1941 – 25:44
23 December 1941 – 31:02
24 December 1941 – 36:21

Delay (ADP 3-90) – 4:30
Indications and Warnings – 7:54
Joint Planning (JP 5-0) – 9:04
Taking advantage of terrain – 11:19
Rearward Passage of Lines – 31:25


  1. Corregidor's defense canons were fixed to the ground and could not accurately acquire approaching tora tora…according to the tour guide
    The last film shown at corregidor island is "Gone with the Wind".

  2. Vote #USAirForce #Veteran #BradHartliep2024 President, the only candidate for President since #Eisenhower and #Reagan fighting for a stronger, more robust US Military and protecting and defending America and our Allies against #Communism, #Fascism, Oligarchy and Dictatorship .. Brad is the ONLY candidate for President who will work with our #USNavy, #USMarines, #USArmy and #USAirForce to protect the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Australia, our Pacific Allies and Ukraine against invasion by #Russia, #China, #Iran and #NorthKorea ..

  3. I am not talking about questions of war crimes or atrocities but only military factors that weren't mentioned.
    1. I have been looking for the initial authorized Tables of Organization and Equipment for the Army of the Commonwealth of the Philippines as established by the 1935 law which established independence in 1946. Originally, it allowed a 7,500 man division. By 1941, this was somewhere between 9,500 and 10,000 men. To date, I have been unable to find details of actual unit structures. This data would have helped understand some of the difficulties involved. The Indian basic concept was a limited force that required US Forces for long term defense; in other words a constabuary organization capable of stopping internal revolt.
    2. MacArthur between the plan to withdraw to Bataan and what was described. As a result, the supplies needed to hold Bataan were held in Manila where they were either destroyed or captured by the Japanese. He had reverted to the hold Bataan strategy but had failed to move the supplies.
    3. Philippine Divisions had roughly 100 man companies with between one and 3 BARs. They lacked much of their support weapons and of course their artillery.
    4. Despite having more tanks than most commands in the US, they were used in small packets. Despits the fact enough BREN Gun carriers (originally intended for Hong Kong), no use of them to provide armored infantry support to the armored units. Added to M-3 scout Cars, these could have been used to form an armored strike force. This points out that General MacArthur that MacArthur staff were largely WWI minded officers, who thought mainly in terms of WWI.
    5. The Army Air Corps Force in the Philippines were commanded by a General who had no air corps service, which actually caused a number of issues. The worst, which wasn't mentioned, was the scrambling the aircraft early on, resulting them to be on the ground refueling when the Japanese attackers (delayed by fogged in bases) hit the base. The commander, had failed to maintain a cap or early warning system. By the way, depending on the source, the air corps B-17s flew armed recon missions over Formosa, so the Japanese air build up should have been known, and which meant the B-17 crews could have been airborne to hit those bases so that even the Japanese aircraft would have had bombed bases to return to and be less able to affect future operations.
    6. Yes, a great deal of weapons and ammo were still hadn't arrived; so perhaps the change to fully island chain defense was rash, and definitely changing plans which prevented the movement of needed supplies to Bataan.

    After the failure of the Philippine's defense, MacArthur got a forward looking staff which much improved the operations for the rest of the war.

  4. My grandmother's sisters were poured hot water into their mouths during WW2.
    One day while pretending to be crazy to avoid being raped by the Japanese soldiers a barrage of explosions were heard near her. Then she saw hope as she saw American planes against the Japanese. and now, I'm going to marry a Japanese woman lol the irony. but, grandmother would be happy for me if she's still with us.

  5. 14:20 clearly he was saying the Philippine infantry on that time are very Incompetent, poorly train and lack of proper equipment, don't get me wrong Filipinos have the heart and the will to carry on but they're really not ready for combat.

  6. My grandfather and great grandfather was in the Philippines. My grandfather was in the military when the Japanese invaded. Instead of surrendering like everyone else he and my great grandfather hid in the mountains of Mindanao and started a Guerrilla units and my grandfather became head of intelligence and helped General MacArthur where to land in the invasion. Once General MacArthur arrived my grandfather transferred to the 6th Infantry division and was promoted to Major.. 😎

  7. The beach landing in Lingayen Gulf is in Pangasinan province. We have a home near there. My dad was 10 years old in 1941. He told me he would sell 'brandy' (probably rum) to the Americans who were camped at the grounds of the house in Santa Barbara, Pangasinan. I thought it was a funny story to hear since I would imagine him hustling to make a buck.

  8. Propaganda, but  NOT History, has led us to believe that the Empire of Japan began its territorial expansion in the 1930s, invading China, creating the puppet state of Manchukuo and provoking the West to take over the Philippine Islands and the entire South East Asia.  Was this really how events happened?  Did Japan invade China and South East Asia?  It seems so. However, the Propaganda does  NOT say that for centuries, all of South East Asia was invaded by Western powers.  England occupied, India, Burma (Myanmar); Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Nanking, etc.  France dominated Indochina.  And Holland, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and of course, also the United States were in South East Asia cuz, this country, the US, occupied the Philippines since 1898.  Thus the panorama in the 30's, the Empire of Japan, when defeating to the Tsarist Russian Empire, it also decided to "Grow" by invading its neighbors.  In those years, all European nations had colonies in Africa, the Middle East, and America. (England, came to occupy almost ¾  parts of the planet).  For its part, the US, in 113 years of existence as a nation in those years, had "Grown"  711 times the size of its territory from its original  13 colonies.  Now is the picture clear?  Japan, for its part, had fought on the side of the winners in World War I (1914-1918), and they, the Japanese, were not awarded any "Gain" The western victors of WWI divided the world.  Japan was excluded.  Thus, Japan's motives for attacking and expanding as the Europeans and the US did seem clearer.  Then they, the Japanese, attacked China, which was occupied by 6 western powers.  They, the Japanese, attacked Hawaii, which in turn, this Island had been occupied and annexed by the US in 1898. In 1900, Hawaii became US territory and Hawaii ceased to be an independent nation after more than 600 years of sovereignty. (The US seized the Island of Guam and also 13 Islands of Oceania in 1912).  They, the Japanese, attacked Singapore, which was then a colony of England.  They, the Japanese, attacked the Philippines, which was occupied by the US and whose Governor, Douglas MacArthur, reigned as Emperor.  Therefore, the Japanese did  NOT attack Singapore, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.  In reality, the Japanese attacked England, France, the US, etc.  That is, the Japanese attacked the Western powers invading all of Asia.  That is the verifiable truth.  But, Propaganda has made us believe that the good guys were us, the US, and that the bad guys were the Japanese…  (???).

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