Major Lawrence M. Greenberg
U.S. Army Center of Military History
Washington, D.C., 1987
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20402
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 86-600597
CMH Pub 93-8--First Printed 1986
This seventh publication in the Historical Analysis Series addresses the American role in the Philippine Hukbalahap Insurrection. Brought to the verge of collapse by a wide-spread Communist-inspired insurgency, the government of the Philippines, supported by limited U.S. aid, advice, and assistance, virtually eliminated Huk resistance by 1955. This study examines this remarkable achievement and demonstrates how efforts of uniquely qualified individuals, combined with American foreign policy initiatives and international events, prevented the collapse of an important allied nation.
Published originally in the Research and Analysis Division's Special Studies Series, The Hukbalahap Insurrection has received wide acclaim and sufficient attention to warrant wider distribution. Reprinted in its entirety, it provides contemporary planners with insights and observations that remain as valid today as when American and Filipino officials combined their efforts to defeat the well-organized Huk insurgency.
WILLIAM A. STOFFT
Brigadier General, U.S. Army
Chief of Military
An important role for the Center of Military History's Analysis Branch is to provide historical perspective on matters of interest to senior Army decision makers. This entails not only those issues of current concern but also those of potential interest, requiring the branch to anticipate as well as to respond.
This study grew out of this role, specifically a time-sensitive request to the Center by the Chief of Staff, Army, for an information paper of actions taken by the U.S. Army during the Hukbalahap insurrection. In responding to the Chief of Staff's request for background information at the time of the leadership crisis in the Philippines, the Analysis Branch recognized the significance of the story, for it provides insight for those dealing with or planning for Army involvement in similar antiinsurgency situations. This case study analyzes successful U.S. Army involvement in a low intensity conflict for current and future planners, foreign policy specialists, MAAG members, and others interested in this most likely form of future conflict.
The author has examined the background of the Huk movement, discussed the Philippine response, and analyzed U.S. involvement. In doing so, he has identified several factors which proved decisive in controlling this insurgency. Critical to the American involvement in the Philippines were perceptive and innovative advisers who operated within the culture and tradition of the country while finding the proper level of support and assistance. In retrospect, such innovation and support appear to have derived more from low overall military priorities for the Philippines, which took a position behind Korea and
Europe, than from conscious individual actions by American advisers. However, the successful result is one worthy of consideration for contemporary and future application.
This study is not intended to be the definitive treatment of a highly complex political, military, and social situation. Indeed the author operated under a very tight time schedule that precluded more extensive primary research. However, the issues that he raises have sufficient relevance to current and future concerns to warrant a wider distribution than intended in his initial study. This study thus becomes the first in a new Research and Analysis Division series -- "Special Studies." Future studies in this series will likewise deal with issues raised in our shorter range and time sensitive projects.
The author, Major Lawrence M. Greenberg, is an Ordnance officer and Latin American Foreign Area Officer. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Air Command and Staff College, holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations, and has been a member of the Research and Analysis Division's Analysis Branch since March 1985. Major Greenberg also is the author of the soon-to-be published study in the "Historical Analysis Series," United States Army Unilateral and Coalition Operations in the 1965 Dominican Republic Intervention.
31 July 1986
Chief, Research and Analysis Division
With the deepest sense of appreciation I would like to thank some of those individuals who extended their time, personal experiences, insights, and criticisms tome while I was preparing this study. Without their help this study could not have been written within the deadline established, nor would it have contained information and impressions that could only be gathered by first-hand experience.
During the research phase of the study I received exceptional assistance from Ms. Marcie Stone at the Pentagon Library for requests for DTIC materials and from the entire staff at the National Archives, Modern Military Records Division, in obtaining original government documents relating to the insurrection. It was during this period that I first had contact with retired Major General Edward Lansdale at his home in McLean, Virginia. General Lansdale possessed a unique combination of experience and concern for political-military issues and operations that shed new light and perspectives on the Huk rebellion. During a time of convalescence, General Lansdale critically reviewed my draft manuscript. He both provided me with substantive corrections of fact and validated my assumptions and conclusions.
Still others who were kind enough to review the draft manuscript helped me traverse brief lapses of continuity and logic and shared their individual understandings of Philippine conditions and culture. Within the Center of Military History, I was assisted by Chief Historian Dr. David F. Trask, by Dr. Lowell K. Dyson, and by Dr. Graham A. Cosmas. I would also like to express my appreciation to my fellows in the Analysis Branch for thier time and
criticisms. To Dr. Alexander "Sandy" Cochran, Majors David Campbell, Frank Julia, Peter Kozumplik, Bruce Pirnie, and our honorary Major, Dr. Edgar Raines, thank you all.
I would also like to thank Dr. Charles A. Endress (LTC, USAR) who managed to give the manuscript a most complete review amidst his full-time responsibilities as Head, Department of History, Angelo State University.
Lastly, I would like to express special thanks to Congressman Ben Blaz (Guam) and his entire staff for reviewing the manuscript and providing me candid commentary. Congressman Blaz, a retired Marine Corps general officer and Pacific-region historian, was suggested to me as an expert reader. Despite his busy schedule, he reviewed the manuscript and forwarded to me his comments on its timeliness and continued relevance.
To others I have not mentioned by name, thank you as well. Without support from each of you, this study could not have been written. For interpretations of events or errors of fact or omission, I alone retain full responsibility.
31 July 1986
Lawrence M. Greenberg
|I. THE EVOLUTION OF THE HUKBALAHAP MOVEMENT||3|
|U.S. POLICY BEFORE WORLD WAR II||5|
|PRE-WAR DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUK||8|
|II. WORLD WAR II AND HUK EXPANSION||13|
|III. BETWEEN LIBERATION AND INDEPENDENCE||29|
|CONDITIONS AT LIBERATION||29|
|U.S. POLICY TOWARD THE PHILIPPINES||32|
|THE RESUMPTION OF HUK/CPP ACTIVITY||37|
|IV. THE INSURRECTION - PHASE I (1946-1959)||42|
|CONDITIONS AT INDEPENDENCE||42|
|ORGANIZATION FOR THE INSURRECTION||47|
|HUK MILITARY OPERATIONS||56|
|ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES OPERATIONS||67|
|V. RAMON MAGSAYSAY, EDWARD LANSDALE, AND THE JUSMAG||79|
|MAGSAYSAY'S RELATIONSHIP WITH EDWARD LANSDALE||95|
|THE JOINT U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE GROUP||99|
|VI. THE INSURRECTION - PHASE II (1950-1955)||112|
|AFP ORGANIZATION - PHASE II||112|
|AFP INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS||123|
|MILITARY OPERATIONS - PHASE II||128|
|THE HUK GUERRILLAS||144|
|UNITED STATES SUPPORT||147|
|Communist Party Evolution Before 1941||12|
|Central Luzon Topography||13|
|Huk Organization (ca. 1944)||25|
|CPP/HUK Organization (ca. 1950)||49|
|Huklandia (after 1946)||60|
|The Philippines (Military Areas)||87|
|Organization of JUSMAG-Philippines||103|
|Organization of Army Section - JUSMAG||104|
|P-51 Mustang and L-5 Sentinel||106|
|Armed Forces of the Philippines Organization||113|
|Battalion Combat Team Organization||114|
|"The Eye" Leaflet||118|
|HMB/CPP Strength (1950-1955)||142|
|1565||Spanish explorers arrive on Luzon and claim the islands. Also name the Philippines in honor of King Philip II of Spain.|
|1583-1896||Period of numerous peasant-based revolts, many based on rising feelings of nationalism.|
|1898||Spanish-American War and United States annexation of the Philippines.|
|Dec 1941||Taruc and supporters establish base of operations in Mount Arayat/Candaba Swamp area|
|Mar 1942||Hukbalahap organization established by Taruc and CPP leaders|
|Apr-May 1942||Bataan and Corregidor fall to the Japanese|
|Jan 1945||U.S. invasion of Luzon Island|
|May 1947||Taruc returns to mountains and insurrection begins|
|Nov 1948||Taruc's Huk faction adopts the name Hukbong Magapalaya ng Bayan, the People's Liberation Army, (HMB)|
|Apr 1949||Huk forces murder former President Quezon's widow|
|Sep 1950||Ramon Magsaysay appointed Secretary of National Defense and begins to revitalize Philippine military|
|Oct 1950||Successful government raid on Politburo disrupts Huk operations|
|Feb 1951||EDCOR project instituted for former Huks -- quickly becomes resounding success|
|Nov 1951||Magsaysay provides peaceful general elections|
|Nov 1953||Magsaysay elected President of Philippines|
|May 1954||Luis Taruc surrenders to Ninoy Aquino -- mass surrenders follow|
page created 14 February 2002
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