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Book Review
Fall Of The Philippines
The Fall Of The Philippines 1941-42
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]

Originally published on:

The Philippine Islands stood in the way of the Japanese expansion in the Pacific, and were therefore an immediate target when war broke out in December 1941. Defended by a mixed Filipino-American force under the flamboyant Douglas MacArthur, the islands were hit by surprise Japanese aerial attacks that all but wiped out the American air forces in the Philippines. An amphibious assault followed. Despite desperate attempts by the US and Philippine Armies, they were unable to halt the Japanese advance and Manila was lost with the beleaguered defenders retreating to Bataan and Corregidor. Here they made their last stand on May 9, 1942. Although the campaign ended in an American defeat, and for the US prisoners of war the horrors of the Bataan Death March and years in Japanese captivity, the heroic defense had inspired the Americans to return in 1944. **Authors words quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released The Fall Of The Philippines 1941-42 as Number 243 in their Campaign series. It is a paperback book with 96 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, black and white and color illustrations, maps, a glossary of military abbreviations, a key to military symbols, 3-dimensional ‘bird’s-eye-views’, and detailed captions. It has a 2012 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-609-7. The book is dedicated - To those that fought for freedom in the Philippines.

- Japan and the United States: opposing powers in the Pacific
- Japanese interests and motivations for war
- The Philippines: America’s far Eastern outpost
- Chronology
- Opposing Commanders
- US commanders
- Japanese commanders
- Opposing Forces
- US and Philippine Forces
- Imperial Japanese Forces
- Orders of battle
- Opposing Plans
- Japan’s move to war
- American defense of the Philippines
- The Battle For The Philippines
- Japanese air superiority and the bumbling nincompoops
- The Japanese invasion of Luzon
- The Japanese strike south
- Defending northern Luzon
- The Lingayen Gulf landings
- “WPO-3 is in Effect”
- The Japanese strike at Lamon Bay
- The retreat to Bataan
- Bataan: the final refuge
- The Japanese break the Abucay and Mauban lines
- The Battle for the Points
- Homma retreats north
- MacArthur’s last stand on Corregidor
- The final assault and fall of Bataan
- The Bataan Death March
- Corregidor falls
- Southern Philippines operations
- Final Surrender
- Aftermath
- The Battlefields Today
- Bibliography
- Index
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. I didn’t notice and spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Clayton Chun covers all of the details of the fall of the Philippines from the beginning stages to the end of the associated operations very well. It is obvious that the author has gone to great lengths to research the conflict and provides a very well written and accurate history of the before, during and after details of the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese forces. Anyone interested in world war two battles in the pacific theater and the allied and axis forces fighting in the pacific will find this book very informative and interesting.
There are a total of 47 black and white photographs and 2 color photographs shown throughout the book. Shown throughout the book is a wide variety of photographs of the action taken by both sides during the fall of the Philippines. The photographs are in a correct chronological order. Several different subjects are shown that would interest not only the military historian but the scale modeler as well. Some of the subjects shown are, ships, landing craft, artillery, armor, aircraft, small arms, soft-skinned vehicles as well as uniforms of both the allied and axis forces. Many of the photographs will be a benefit to the diorama oriented military modeler as they show several different scenes that would make interesting modeling subjects and the photographs also provide a wealth of detail material. Most of the photographs are nice and clear, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear too dark whereas some appear too light. I have seen several military photographs that have this look to them so that is just typical. Several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and it needs to be taken into consideration that some of the photographs are over 70 years old. I haven’t seen the majority of the featured photographs before, and I was pleased with this, however there are some of the more famous images from this period of history shown as well. I definitely consider that a bonus as it is nice to have a reference book that contains several lesser known photographs as opposed to the same old overused photographs that many books tend to contain. Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.
There are 3 color illustrations by illustrator Howard Gerrard that are very well done and nicely detailed. The illustrations are accompanied by a black and white version of the color illustration detailing what is taking place in the illustration. The illustrations are of:
Attack On Clark Field, December 8, 1941
- The Fight At Baliuag
- Dyess Takes Agloloma Bay

Along with the 3 color illustrations by illustrator Howard Gerrard there are several war time illustrations by both Japanese and American artists shown throughout the book.
There are 6 maps provided. They are of:

- Japanese plans for Pacific Area operations
- American military forces in the Philippines
- Japanese landings along the Lingayen Gulf
- Japanese landings at Lamon Bay
- Manila area defenses
- The fall of Mindanao
There are 3 two-page 3-dimensional ‘bird’s-eye-views’ provided in this volume. They are of:

- The Japanese Drive On The Central Luzon Plain
- Homma’s men push past the US defensive lines on their way to Manila
- The Fall Of Bataan, January 9-April 9, 1942
- The major US and Filipino effort to defend the Bataan Peninsula against the Japanese
- Homma Takes Corregidor
- The last major bastion of American and Filipino resistance on Luzon is overrun by Japanese amphibious forces.
All of the photographs and illustrations are accompanied by captions that are in English text. The captions that accompany the photographs and illustrations are well written and go into great detail in regards to the scene that is shown. It is obvious that Clayton Chun has taken the time to study the photographs and illustrations and research them so that they are well detailed and point out several items of interest. As I read through the captions as well as the main pages of text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It details the fall of the Philippines very well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.
World War II Day by Day
An Illustrated Almanac 1939-1945
Donald Sommerville
Dorset press

WWII Time-Life Books History of the Second World War
By the Editors of Time-Life Books
Foreword by Eric Sevareid
Prentice Hall Press

The American Heritage Picture History of World War II
C.L. Sulzberger
American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc.

The Military History of World War II
Consultant Editor: Barrie Pitt
The Military Press

Illustrated History of World War II
Ian Beckett
Portland House

The Second World War
Martin Gilbert
Owl Books

World War II
Ronald Heiferman
Octopus Books Limited

Absolute Victory
America’s Greatest Generation and Their World War II Triumph
By the Editors of Time

Look inside the book at the Amazon website.


Osprey Publishing web site


Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text and captionsNice accompanying photographs, illustrations, and maps
Lows: The quality of some of the photographs and images
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written that details the fall of the Philippines very well.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-609-7
  Suggested Retail: US $19.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 08, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Philippines

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2020 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Armorama. All rights reserved.



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