19 The staff of the Japanese Southwest Area Fleet estimated that the Mindoro-bound convoy would pass through Mindoro or Tablas Strait for a landing at either Tayabas Bay or Batangas Province on Luzon. Japanese Second Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part III, pp. 8-9, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC. See also Colonel Matsumae, op. cit.
20 According to Lt. Gen. Akira Muto, Chief of Staff, Fourteenth Area Army, the American landing at Mindoro thwarted Japanese plans for a counterattack in force at Carigara in northern Leyte. " We began to plan and prepare in earnest for the counterlanding at Carigara Bay," General Muto stated in describing the early December staff discussions of the Fourteenth Area Army. " On 15 December, the enemy ships stopped at San Jose on Mindoro Island, where forces were landed and the construction of a base was begun. As San Jose is 250 kilometers from Manila, all communications between Manila and the southern Philippines were cut off. This sudden turn in the situation put the counterlanding operation at Carigara Bay out of the question and made the supplying of munitions to the Visaya district impossible. Thus ended the Leyte campaign." Memoirs of Lt. Gen. Akira Muto, Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, SWPA. Hereinafter cited as : Memoirs of General Muto.
21 According to Japanese records, 53 special-attack (Kamikaze) planes supported by 160 fighters, attacked American vessels approaching Mindoro between 16 December and 5 January. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippines Air Operations Record, Phase II, Chart 17, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
22 Maj. Gen. Haruo Konuma, Deputy Chief of Staff, Fourteenth Area Army, made the following statement regarding the Japanese estimate of the situation prior to the American landing on Luzon: "I recall that although the Area Army had originally thought that the main landing points of the American forces would be the Batangas and Lingayen areas, it became greatly concerned with the Batangas area about 18 December 1944. During the period immediately subsequent to my arrival at my post (about 18 December 1944), the aftereffects of the landing of the American forces on Mindoro were the factors that had influenced the estimate of the situation. Headquarters was under tension and was devoting its efforts to strengthening the defenses of the Batangas area and the vicinity of the southern strongholds. The estimate of the situation which I heard from the Area Army Chief of Staff was as follows: 'Although the main landing points of the American forces on Luzon cannot be definitely limited to Batangas and Lingayen, there are indications that they may make landings in the Batangas area earlier than we expect (the middle of January).' I think that about 26 or 27 December, it was thought that the main landing of the American forces would take place first in the Lingayen area.... In short, during the period immediately subsequent to the American landing on Mindoro the Area Army's estimate on the main landing points of American forces on Luzon was the Batangas area. Later, however, the Area Army began to pay attention to the Lingayen area as a possible landing point. I believe it was not until just prior to the sighting of the American convoy in the waters west of Bataan Peninsula that the Area Army was able to estimate definitely that the landings would be made in the Lingayen Area." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
23 Commenting on the transport and communication problem, Lt. Col. Yorio Ishikawa, Staff Officer of the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army, stated: "After the American landing on Mindoro, our supply line between Luzon and the Visayas was completely cut off. As for our communications, we had to depend entirely on wireless to contact our forces in Leyte, Cebu, Ormoc, etc. from Manila, after the United States had seized Mindoro and Marinduque Islands." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, G-2, GHQ, FEC.
26 Commander Luzon Attack Force Report, Serial 001200, to CINC USFLT, Action Report-Luzon Attack Force, Lingayen Gulf Musketeer Mike One Operation, 15 May 1945. Hereinafter cited as : Luzon Attack Force Action Report.
29 Luzon Attack Force Action Report, p. 115. Available Japanese documents contain only the number of suicide and escort planes used against the Lingayen invasion force. Attack missions by conventional aircraft are not included. According to these records, on 5 January, 20 suicide planes and 5 escort fighters were directed against the Allied Task Force; on 6 January, a total of 58 suicide planes and 17 escort fighters were employed in attacks on the ships in the general area of Lingayen Gulf. Japanese Second Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippine Area Naval Operations, Part II, Appended Chart 8. See also Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippine Air Operations Record, Phase II, Appended Chart No. 17, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
32 The guerrillas did excellent work in leading the escort carrier planes to enemy war materiel. The commander of the air support control units reported, " Guerrilla sketches of enemy installations in the interior prepared by Lt. Col. Volckmann's command were invaluable. By means of these sketches CSA (Commander Air Support Aircraft) was able to direct pilots to specific buildings within a town where arms and fuel were stored, thus sparing from needless destruction other parts of the town. The sketches were amazing in their accuracy and were put to good use throughout the operation." Comdr Air Support Control Units Report to COM7thFLT, Report of Support Aircraft Operations, Lingayen Gulf Landings, 20 Jan 45, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal. See also G-2, GHQ, FEC, General Intelligence Series Vol I, The Guerrilla Resistance Movement in the Philippines and Vol II, Intelligence Activities in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation.
36 In reply to his critics, Col. Shigeo Kawaii, Operations Staff Officer of the Japanese 2nd Tank Division on Luzon, said the following: "The employment of the tank division in the Philippines is generally considered a great blunder. The fact remains that the American forces had command of the air, preventing movement along the highways and cross-country movement in an area covered with rice paddies was impossible. Consequently, even though the tanks were organized for combat maneuvers, they were soon immobilized because of the lack of air cover and the destructive American aerial attacks which the tanks could not counter. They were, therefore, converted into armored, fixed defenses to be used by the infantry in key positions along the defense lines. This adaptation of the tanks was so successful that, in one instance, a line 60 kilometers long was held for a period of one month." 10th Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of Japanese Operations on Luzon, Part IV, p. 7 (R).
40 Interrogation of Col. Shujiro Kobayashi, Senior Staff Officer, Fourteenth Area Army and later Tactical Staff Officer of the Japanese Forty-first Army, Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC. Col. Ryoichiro Aoshima, Chief of Staff, Line of Communications, Fourteenth Area Army described the evolution of Japanese strategy on Luzon as follows: "Prior to the Leyte Campaign, Fourteenth Area Army had planned to make Luzon the decisive battleground, but from November on, plans were gradually changed from an aggressive counterattack to delaying tactics. Not, however, until the landing on Mindoro, on December 15th, 1944, were the actual preparations for delaying action gotten underway." loth Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of Japanese Operations on Luzon, Part I, p. 11 (R).
41 The extent of the Japanese dependence on the Cagayan Valley for food was emphasized by General Muto in his story of the Philippine Campaign. "I have already mentioned,"he stated," that the Japanese forces endeavored to requisition rice on Luzon because of the shortage of provisions. We knew that, even if central Luzon rice could be requisitioned as anticipated, the Army could not expect much after the amount required by the Filipinos had been subtracted, but we were counting very heavily on the Cagayan River valley rice; indeed, our lives depended on it. When General Yamashita had decided on the Luzon defense positon, the stationing of the Japanese main force in northern Luzon had of course been based upon the deployment of our troops at that time and the enemy situation estimate, but the availability of food in the Cagayan River valley was also an important factor." Memoirs of General Muto, p. 28.
43 General Muto held that the Leyte battle had revealed the impossibility of contending with American mechanized units in open maneuvers. "Ample demonstration had been given in the Leyte campaign," he declared, "of the manner in which American firepower and mechanized strength could maneuver and advance under aerial protection. To the question of what could be expected to result from a clash on an open plain and without air support between the Japanese Army and its superior adversary, the most steadfast believer in the power of spiritual factors had perforce to answer that the outlook was dark for Japan." Memoirs of General Muto, p. 12.
46 The American landing along Zambales Province cut off the Japanese forces west of Clark Field from all contact with the rest of their units on Luzon. General Muto stated: "American elements landed at San Antonio on 30 January, putting the Kembu Group between two enemy forces and leading subsequently to its complete encirclement. Communication between the Kembu Group and General Yamashita was cut off in the middle of January, and we lost all track of it until the end of the war." Memoirs of General MUM, p. 25.
49 The Japanese had a total of approximately 30,000 troops of the " Kembu Group " defending the Clark Field-Fort Stotsenburg sector. This figure included 8,000 troops of three army detachments (Takayama, Eguchi, and Takaya Butai), 15,000 naval troops deployed in the hills to the northwest in the rear of the Clark Field defenses, and 7,000 miscellaneous air service troops who had been located at the various airfields. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippines Operation Record, Phase III, Supplement 2 to Vol III, " Kembu Group Operations in the Clark Sector," G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
54 Two days earlier, during the evening of 30 January, a force of guerrillas, assisted and led by elements of the 6th Ranger Battalion, raided the enemy prison camp near Cabanatuan. Over 500 Allied prisoners of war were liberated in this successfully executed attack and the Japanese garrison was virtually annihilated. See Chapter X, p. 318.
60 These forces were under the command of Rear Adm. Sanji Iwabuchi, Commander of the Japanese 31st Naval Special Base Force. According to Japanese records, naval troops in the Manila-Cavite area at the time of the Lingayen invasion numbered about 17,000 men. In addition, approximately 3,000-4,000 army troops were sent to the Manila area and placed under the control of Admiral Iwabuchi for ground operations. A considerable number of these troops succeeded in effecting a withdrawal to join forces with the "Shimbu Group "east of Manila. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippines Operations Record, Phase III, Supplement I to Vol III, " Shimbu Group Operations East of Manila," p. 21, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC. See also: Japanese Second Demobilization Bureau Report, Operations by Manila Naval Defense Force, May 47, Part I, pp. 49-64 and Part II, pp. 49-50, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC; and Statement of Comdr. Koichi Kayashima, Operations Staff Officer, 31st Naval Special Base Force, Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
65 During this inspection tour of Manila, General MacArthur was accompanied by General Willoughby and Brig. Gen. Bonner Fellers. At this time also, General MacArthur visited briefly the liberated internees at Bilibid Prison and Santo Tomas University.
68 On 23 February, a specially constituted task unit, composed of guerrillas and 11th Airborne Division troops, speared into the Japanese prison camp at Los Banos to add more than 2,100 Allied civilians to the long list of liberated prisoners. See Chapter X, p. 318.
69 This staff included Generals Sutherland, Willoughby, R. K. Marshall, Marquat, and Casey. Even before the outbreak of the war these officers had been associated with General MacArthur, serving with the Military Advisor's Group, with the Philippine Department, or with USAFFE.
71 Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippines Operations Record, Phase III, Supplement 1 to Vol III, "Shimbu Group Operations East of Manila," attached map No. 1, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
76 The cabinet moved to Baguio on 22 December 1944; General Yamashita's headquarters, on 4 January 1945. Memoirs of General Muto, pp. 19, 22. Besides the puppet president of the Philippines, Jose P. Laurel, some of the other high officials included in the transfer to Baguio were Benigno S. Aquino, Speaker of the Congress; Jose Yulo, President of the Supreme Court; Manuel Roxas, Minister of the Planning Board; and Claro M. Recto, Foreign Minister. Statement of General Utsunomiya, 18 Jul 49, Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
77 These guerrillas were under Col. Russel W. Volckmann, USAFIP, NL, who was the recognized leader of all guerrilla forces in the northern sector of Luzon. See G-2, GHQ, FEC, Intelligence Series, Vol I, "The Guerrilla Resistance Movement in the Philippines "; see also Chapter X, p. 320.
80 Commenting on the Japanese attempt to escape from Munoz, Colonel Kawai said," The enemy [6th Division] cut off the only retreat route and covered it with anti-tank guns. Thus, this force [at Munoz] was annihilated. Retreat through other areas was impossible because of the flooded rice fields." 10th Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of Japanese Operations on Luzon, Part IV, p. 22.
82 General Muto expressed great admiration for the feats of American engineers in breaking through the stra- tegic passes of the Cagayan Valley. "In our estimate, based on the past concept of tactics," he stated, " the terrain features of these areas provided impregnable fortification. However, the American forces started attacking in the beginning of February and kept it up incessantly. The superior enemy bombardment and shelling gradually obliterated the jungle area. Bulldozers accomplished the impossible. Tanks and artillery appeared in positions where we had thought they would never penetrate. Our front line troops destroyed bulldozers, tanks and artillery by valiant hand to hand fighting. However, the enemy advanced inch by inch, capturing this mountain, taking that hill." Memoirs of General Muto, pp. 36-37.
84 In describing the rapidly deteriorating condition of the remnants of the Japanese units which had withdrawn into the mountains of eastern Luzon, Colonel Kobayashi stated: "From the beginning of the retreat into the hills, the basic strategy had been to secure positions which could be easily defended by taking advantage of the contours of the land. Offense against the American invaders was to consist of night infiltration raids. Until the end of June we had been able to continue these operations, but after this time the troops were so weak from hunger that only those areas near positions could be guarded, and no infiltration attacks were carried out. From this time on, groups were organized to hunt for food. These often infiltrated American lines to steal supplies. They had not the power to attack any sizeable group of American or Filipino troops." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
91 General Yamashita still had under his command in northern Luzon at this time remants of the 2nd Armored, 19th, 23rd, and 105th Divisions and the 58th Independent Mixed Brigade. These forces, heavily depleted by casualties, sickness, and ineffectives, were operating at less than half strength. Most of their equipment, artillery, and other weapons had been either lost or destroyed in battle and their rations were virtually exhausted. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Philippines Operations Record, Phase III, Vol III, "Operations on Luzon," p. 274, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
94 Continuing his retreat, General Yamashita had moved his headquarters to Kiangan in mid-May. In June, he went farther into the mountains, establishing himself at Jabangan on the 23rd. As the American forces pursued northward, a new headquarters was established on 12 July at a location along the upper reaches of the Asin River. Memoirs of General Muto, pp. 40- 41, 49-54.
96 On 20 August, the Eighth Army turned over command of the Philippines to the Commanding General, Army Forces Western Pacific. This Headquarters, previously responsible for the logistic support of United States forces in the Southwest Pacific, undertook to bring about the individual surrender and disposition of all Japanese troops remaining in the Philippines.
97 According to General Muto, it was impossible to carry on any longer. Describing the conditions in Japanese Headquarters at the beginning of August, he stated: "The wireless facilities of the Area Army, which for a long period had made no contact with the Southern Area General Army in Saigon and the Imperial Headquarters, re-established communication on about 30 July. I felt that it was necessary to make a report on the general situation of the Area Army and I personally drafted a report concerning the disposition of troops, military resources, the enemy situation, the food situation, etc. In conclusion I stated that the Area Army estimated that its organized battle would cease in early September. General Yamashita, after making a few changes, authorized its dispatch. Thus, General Yamashita had decided that the final stage would be in early September." Memoirs of General Muto, p. 56.