The battle for the liberation of Manila—waged from February 3 to March 3, 1945, between Philippine and American forces, and the Imperial Japanese forces—is widely considered to be one of the greatest tragedies of the Second World War. One hundred thousand men, women, and children perished. Architectural heritage was reduced to rubble—the City of Manila was the second most devastated Allied capital of World War II.
“The destruction of Manila was one of the greatest tragedies of World War II. Of Allied capitals in those war years, only Warsaw suffered more. Seventy percent of the utilities, 75 percent of the factories, 80 percent of the southern residential district, and 100 percent of the business district was razed.”
— William Manchester, author and historian, in American Caesar
“We remember them, nor shall we ever forget.”
— National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin, on the lives taken during the Battle of Manila, in the inscription of the Memorare Manila 1945 Monument in Intramuros
A short documentary on the Battle of Manila, waged from February 3 to March 3, 1945, to liberate the Philippines after three years of Imperial Japanese occupation.
This documentary was produced by the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office and the Presidential Museum and Library, in partnership with Memorare Manila 1945 Foundation, National Museum of the Philippines, Filipinas Heritage Library, Lopez Museum and Library, and the Ortigas Foundation Library.
Key events of the month-long battle for the liberation of Manila.
Original scans of historical photographs taken during the Battle of Manila.
Historical photos set against contemporary counterparts, superimposed, colorized, and relevant to our understanding of Manila’s changing landscape brought by World War II.
Filipino guerrillas played a vital role in the liberation of the country. See the guerrilla groups’ involvement in the Second World War, which led to the defeat of Imperial Japanese forces in 1945.
Beyond the destruction of buildings and institutional landmarks, roughly 100,000 innocent civilians were killed during the liberation of the capital.
Learn more about the monument built at the center of Intramuros, a memorial and a tribute to the 100,000 fallen civilians.
Renowned historian Benito Legarda Jr. addresses common misconceptions about the Battle.
Unclassified maps and sketches from the U.S. Army, illustrating the strategic planning undertaken during the battle for the liberation of Manila in 1945.
Learn more about the historic significance of the battle; attend commemoration activities organized by participating institutions.
Click to pop out the photos. Drag right to left to view the historical photo; drag left to right for the contemporary photo.
The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office and the Presidential Museum and Library would like to thank the following for their invaluable help and assistance in this project: Mr. Jose Custodio, Dr. Benito J. Legarda Jr., Dr. Ricardo T. Jose, Mr. Paulo Alcazaren, Mr. Robert Hudson, Ambassador Juan Jose Rocha, Mrs. Sylvia Lichauco de Leon, Mr. John Tewell, Mr. Lou Gopal, Mr. Manuel Angelo Carreon II, Ms. Lorelei Stewart Mayer, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, National Museum of the Philippines, Memorare Manila 1945 Foundation, Tiger Films Productions, Filipinas Heritage Library, Lopez Museum and Library, Ortigas Foundation Library, Heritage Conservation Society, and the Battle of Manila Online website.
BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines
MANUEL L. QUEZON III
Undersecretary of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning
70th anniversary of the Battle of Manila
MANUEL L. QUEZON III
Editor in Chief
JOSE ANTONIO CUSTODIO
MARK PHILIPPE LEGASPI
MA. KRISTINA ABELLA
CHEREY ANN MAE BIGAY
COLINE ESTHER CARDEÑO
FRANCIS KRISTOFFER PASION
Researchers and Writers
ARZENIUS JOSEPH ARCILLA
JOHN MARK PEROCHO
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