Incredible Photos of ‘The Battle of Manila’, 1945

‘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.

Filipino women rescued by American soldiers, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines, March 1945
American sailors on the north bank of the Pasig River east of the Jones Bridge, Manila, Philippines, September 1945
American soldiers helping a Filipino lady to safety and help, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Arched bridge at O’Campo Pagoda, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Battle for Manila, a lone soldier, Philippine Post Office Building, Manila, March 1945

Chinese volunteers in Manila, Philippines, 1945
Everywhere are ruins, just after the Battle for Manila, Manila, Philippines, March 1945
Filipino citizens find safety, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Filipino citizens find safety, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Filipino citizens fleeing the fighting, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Filipino citizens fleeing the fighting, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Filipinos returning home after the Battle for Manila, March 1945
Friends during a troubled time, north of Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Injured Filipino woman being help by American soldiers, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Japanese barricaded road, Manila, Philippines, March 1945
Jose M. O’Campo complex during the Battle for Manila, February 1945
Jose M. O’Campo complex during the Battle for Manila, February 1945
Just after the Battle for Manila, March 1945, Manila, Philippines
Ladies having their hair done at a hair salon, Manila, Philippines, September 1945
Legislative Building, Manila, Philippines, WWII damage, September 1945
Liberation of Manila, Philippines, March 1945
Life after the war and lucky to be alive, Manila, Philippines, 1945
Looking east across Quezon Blvd. with Times Movie Theater from the east tower of the church, Quiapo Church, Manila, Philippines, May 1945
Looking south into Intramuros from the Puerta Isabel Gate, Manila, Philippines, March 1945
Looking west down Carriedo Street from the west church tower, Quiapo Church, Manila, Philippines, May 1945
Manila to Cavite bus being checked by Military Police, September 1945
Manila, looking southeast across the Pasig River, September 1945
Manila, Philippines right after the Battle for Manila, 1945
Manila, Philippines, September 1945
Marketplace, Manila, Philippines, May 1945
Metropolitan Theater after the Americans took control, Battle for Manila, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
O’Campo Pagoda, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
O’Campo Pagoda, Quiapo, Manila, Philippines, February 1945
Older Filipino woman giving a child a bath by the ruins of her home, Manila, Philippines, March 1945
Philippines, February 1945, Executive Order No. 24
Quezon Boulevard, Times Theater, Manila, Philippines, May 1945
Rubble that was Manila just after the Battle for Manila, March 1945
San Augustin Church and destroyed Intramuros, Manila, Philippines, September 1945
Santo Domingo Church just after the Battle for Manila, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines, March 1945
Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines, early February 1945
Shoes in a market, near the WWII ruins of Santa Cruz Church, Manila, Philippines, May 1945

The eyes tell the truth, sadness, and innocence stolen, WWII Manila, Philippines, 1945

The fruits of war is destruction, Manila, Philippines, September 1945
The innocent, WWII Battle for Manila, Philippines, February 1945
The shambles that was Manila, near San Marcelino Street, Philippines, February 1945
The shambles that was Manila, Philippines, March 1945
View from Quiapo Church, Manila, Philippines, May 1945
WWII destruction of Santa Cruz Church and area, Manila, Philippines, May 1945

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