4 These operations were designated as follows: Palawan, Victor III; Zamboanga, Victor IV; Panay and northern Negros, Victor I; Cebu, southern Negros, and Bohol, Victor II; central and eastern Mindanao, Victor V. The date of the last-mentioned operation was changed to 17 April by Amendment No. 2, 6 Mar 45, to Montclair III.
5 HQ Eighth Army, Operational Monograph on the Palawan Operation, Victor III, p. 4. Hereinafter cited as Eighth Army, Palawan Operation. Report of the Commanding General, Eighth Army on the Leyte-Samar Operation, pp. 20-21. Hereinafter cited as: Leyte-Samar Operation.
11 HQ Eighth Army, Field Order No. 20, 17 Feb 45, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 18 Feb 45 (S) ; Eighth Army, Palawan Operation, p. 31; Palawan-Zamboanga Operations, pp. 5-6. The major units participating in the Puerto Princesa landing were as follows:
15 "The Puerto Princesa area," declared Major General Yoshiharu Tomochika, Thirty-fifth Army Chief of Staff, "was considered important ... since it offered the enemy a possible staging base for air operations against our supply lines from our homeland to the southwest Pacific area." Major Chuji Kaneko, a staff officer of the 102nd Division, stated: " It was considered most important to secure the air and sea route between ... Borneo and our homeland via Manila." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
16 "In case of an enemy landing," asserted Major Kaneko, "our troops were to resist as long as possible and to protect ... the Puerto Princesa airfield.... After the Americans had landed on Luzon, an order was handed down from Thirty-fifth Army to the units on Palawan to engage in guerrilla warfare and to resist from the mountains instead of Puerto Princesa." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
25 Although the American invasion of Zamboanga obviously was not totally unexpected, subsequent interrogations of surviving Japanese revealed that the landings caught them unprepared. Maj. Yasura Hanada, Chief of Staff and only surviving staff member of the 54th Independent Mixed Brigade, Thirty-fifth Army stated: "We expected that when the Americans landed on Luzon they would proceed to the Homeland. We did not expect Zamboanga to be attacked. However, in February, there were indications of a landing, and by then it was too late to do much about it. That was where our error lay." 10th Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of the Japanese Activities in the Zamboanga (Victor IV) Operation. Hereinafter cited as: Eighth Army, Staff Study, Zamboanga.
27 In commenting on the Japanese tactics of withdrawing to the hills rather than putting up a stiffer resistance on the beaches of Zamboanga, Major Hanada said: "It was indicated from the Battle of Leyte that such tactics would have resulted in a great loss of troops to us. Rather than take such a risk and lose so much, it seemed wiser to remain in the hills and take a delayed action strategy." Eighth Army, Staff Study, Zamboanga.
32 The original plans of the 55th Independent Mixed Brigade for the defense of Jolo Island called for an all-out defense at the shoreline, with vigorous counterattacks, to be followed by a retreat to prepared positions inland, if necessary, for a final stand. This plan, however, was altered early in March when the incidence of malaria and jungle ulcers had cut the strength to a point where it was considered impracticable to have a double line of defense. The constant attrition from guerrilla attacks and the fear of a guerrilla attack from the rear to aid the American landing were other factors in the change of plans. Interrogation of Maj. Tokichi Tenmyo, CO, 365th Battalion, 55th IMB, Eighth Army, Staff Study, Zamboanga.
35 HQ Eighth Army, Operational Monograph on the Panay-Negros Occidental Operation, pp. 5-6. Hereinafter cited as: Eighth Army, Panay-Negros Occidental Operation. Report of the Commanding General, Eighth Army on the Panay -Negros and Cebu Operations, p. 1. Hereinafter cited as: Panay-Negros-Cebu Operations.
38 CG 40th Div. Report to TAG, "Victor One & Victor One Able Operations, 40th Inf. Div." G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 1 Jul 45 (S). Hereinafter cited as: 40th Div. Victor I Report. Eighth Army, Panay-Negros Occidental Operation, pp. 37-42.
39 The Japanese retreat was explained by Capt. Sadoyoshi Ishikawa, Staff Officer of the 77th Brigade, 102nd Division: "Lacking adequate supplies of ammunition and equipment, the Japanese units were broken up and scattered soon after the American assault landing. Believing that direct combat would prove disastrous, an all-out clash with the Americans was avoided and the fighting limited to defensive tactics. This was particularly true in the mountain areas where the final stand was made." 10th Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of Japanese Operations on Panay Island.
42 Lt. Col. Shigekatsu Aritomi, Staff Officer of the 77th Infantry Brigade, Japanese 102nd Division, revealed that it had been planned to destroy all bridges on the route to Bacolod, but the rapidity with which the American forces secured them, plus the fact that the detonators of the explosive charges were mechanically defective, prevented their destruction. Continuing, Colonel Aritomi said: Since our supplies were cut off, our policy was to obstruct the Americans as long as possible and to destroy the airfields so that they would be useless to the Americans. We also planned to destroy all the bridges but failed in this. "10th Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of Japanese Operations on Negros Island.
45 Op. cit., Apr 45; 40th Div, Victor I Report; CO 503rd PRCT, Report to TAG, "Historical Report for the Operation V-1, 7 April-20 June 45, (503rd RCT)" G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 20 Jun 45 (S); CO 164th Inf. Report to TAG, "Operations Report, Cebu, Negros, 164th Inf." G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 30 Jun 45 (S).
46 Panay-Negros-Cebu Operations, p. 56; HQ Eighth Army, Operational Monograph on the Cebu-Bohol-Negros Oriental Operation, pp. 1 and 19. Hereinafter cited as: Eighth Army, Cebu-Bohol-Negros Oriental Operation.
59 Lt. Gen. Ryosaku Morozumi, Commanding General, Japanese 3oth Division estimated the general situation prior to the landings as follows: "I had anticipated American landings on Mindanao to be in the order of Davao, Cagayan, and Cotabato respectively. Approximately ten days prior to the American landings at Cotabato, the guerrilla units in the area carried out violent activities and surprise attacks on our airfields, etc.; furthermore, air attacks by American aircraft became very intense and more or less gave us a clue to the fact that American landings would be carried out in the very near future. However, we still did not believe that they were going to land at Cotabato, and even when an American task force moved into Cotabato Bay [Polloc Harbor], we had figured that they were merely trying to fake a landing there when they were actually headed towards points further north.... Just after the task force moved into Cotabato Bay, troops started to land on shore near Parang and it was at this time that we first learned that they were really going to make landings in that area." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
60 Report of the Commanding General, Eighth Army on the Mindanao Operation, p. 23. Hereinafter cited as: Mindanao Operation. HQ Eighth Army, Operational Monograph on the Mindanao Operation, pp. 33, 52-54. Hereinafter cited as: Eighth Army, Mindanao Monograph.
61 The following comments on the American invasion of Mindanao are based on interrogations of General Morozumi: "On the 18th of April, following the [American] landing at Parang defense plans were put into effect. The American assault proved so forceful, however, that the 166th Battalion, the only combat unit in the area, experienced a serious setback. Realizing the futility of holding at this point, the Division Commander decided to withdraw the Battalion to Palma [4 kilometers north of Kibawe] so as to protect the rear of the Division. This plan, however, never materialized because of the swiftness of the American advance and the difficult terrain did not allow the necessary time. . . ." 10th Information and Historical Service, HQ Eighth Army, Staff Study of Japanese Operations on Mindanao Island, pp. 7-8. Hereinafter cited as: Eighth Army, Staff Study, Mindanao.
64 The following statements concerning the Japanese delaying tactics during this retreat to Digos are based on an account of Gen. Jiro Harada, Commanding General, Japanese 10th Division: "To delay the rapid advance, the division commander ordered the 163rd Independent Infantry Battalion to destroy the bridges on the Digos-Kabakan road. The completion of this mission was reported to General Jiro Harada, but this action did not delay the Americans. They had quickly surmounted these obstacles, either repairing or rebuilding the bridges, and were continuing the headlong advance. In a last desperate attempt to hold the enemy long enough to permit the Japanese garrison in Davao to effect an orderly withdrawal the division commander directed the Digos troops to make a stand along the Digos-Davao Road . This attempt to delay also proved futile." Eighth Army, Staff Study, Mindanao, p. 14.
66 The following comment is based on an account by Lt. Gen. Morozumi : "The destruction of bridges coupled with our harassing actions along the [Sayre] highway did not delay the [American] advance as much as was anticipated. The Americans' ability to keep up with our rapid withdrawal caused considerable amazement and consternation." Eighth Army, Staff Study, Mindanao, p. 8.
73 Even the average Japanese soldier in the field realized that the fall of Leyte was the beginning of the end in the Philippines, as shown by the following statement of Col. Shujiro Kobayashi, Tactical Staff Officer, Fourteenth Area Army : " Until almost the end of the Leyte campaign, morale was indeed high as the men and officers fully expected that the remnants of the invasion fleet would be annihilated in Leyte. After this campaign resulted in complete failure for the Japanese and it appeared to be only a prelude to the invasion of Luzon, morale while still high was that rather of men doomed eventually to extinction but willing to take as great a toll as possible before the end. By the time the Luzon assault was under way, morale had fallen very low, due to the fact that there no longer seemed any hope of communication with Japan. Isolated and starving, the troops had lost almost all will to continue." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.
80 General Miyazaki, Chief of Operations Bureau, Imperial General Headquarters, analyzed the reasons for the Japanese defeat in the Philippines as follows: "In the final analysis I believe that success and failure were accounted for by the absolute disparity between the Japanese and, American fighting power and the qualitative value of the defense against attack.... Historically speaking, the greatest errors that the Japanese Army committed were probably the following: (1) The Japanese Army collapsed at the very front in operations in the southern regions, but then lacked interest and force to make thorough and serious preparations for the American attacks which were due to come. They failed to utilize their precious time. (2) In the Philippines the headquarters of General Terauchi and of General Yamashita, or rather his successor, were set up parallel, and then when the islands were about to be invaded by the American forces General Terauchi's headquarters were moved to Saigon. This invited any number of inconveniences and deficiencies as far as the division of responsibility of the two headquarters and the shift in command of the subordinate units were concerned. (3) As soon as the invasion of Leyte was known, the defense plans for all the Philippines were changed. Ground units were taken from Luzon and committed to battle in Leyte. As soon as the battle in Leyte had proved to be a failure, the defense preparations in Luzon also automatically failed. Just before the American troops were about to land on Luzon, the general defense plans for Luzon were all completely changed. Disposition of units was entirely changed but execution of movement was almost impossible due to the fact that air superiority was in the hands of the American air force. For this reason, there was not enough time before the American landings to prepare defenses." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.