‘The Battle of Manila’ (February 3 – March 3, 1945) was a major battle of the Philippine campaign of 1944–45, during the Second World War. It was fought by forces from both the United States and the Philippines against Japanese troops in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
The month-long battle, which resulted in the death of over 100,000 civilians and the complete devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater. Japanese forces committed mass murder against Filipino civilians during the battle. Along with massive loss of life, the battle also destroyed architectural and cultural heritage dating back to the city’s founding, and Manila became one of the most devastated capital cities during the entire war, alongside Berlin and Warsaw.
The battle ended the almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city’s capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur’s key to victory in the campaign of reconquest. To date, it is the last of the many battles fought within Manila’s history.
These incredible photos were taken by Life photographer Carl Mydans that documented life of Filipino civilians during and just after ‘The Battle of Manila’ in 1945.