Luzon 1945 The Final Liberation of the Philippines

Published: May 17th, 2017     
Product Image
Book cover
Author: Clayton K.S. Chun; Illustrations: Giuseppe Rava
Reviewed by: 
Phillip Cavender, IPMS# 50085
Company: Osprey Publishing
ISBN #: 9781 4728 1628 3
Other Publication Information: 96 pages, softbound with 65 BW images and 20 color images and plates.
Price: $24.00
Product / Stock #: CAM306

Note: This book is also available in two other formats, eBook (Pub) and eBook (PDF) both priced at $12.99

Mention the phrase Luzon 1945 and what immediately comes to mind is Gen. Douglas MacArthur's pledge to return to the Philippines after his defeat in 1942.

Osprey Publishing in their Military History Series and Clayton K.S. Chun, along with illustrations by Giuseppe Rava, have published an excellent book on Luzon 1945, The final liberation of the Philippines. Clayton K. S. Chun, Ph.D., is on the faculty at the U.S. Army War College and served in the U.S. Air Force, has published several books in the fields of economics, national security and military history. What you get is a softcover book covering 96 pages with high resolution black and white glossy, detailed historical photos. Twenty illustrated maps and images in color are also included. The book is divided into ten sections.

  • Origins of the Campaign: What the author presents in this chapter are the reasons for the invasion as well as nuances surrounding the plan to invade Luzon. In three pages, one can understand the reasons behind the logic as to the American plans in the Pacific. In short, if just reading these pages, one can get a better understanding of the history involved.
  • Chronology: It is always easier, in my opinion, to better understand a conflict if a chronology order is available describing the dates. Here the author presents a one page sheet from 26 September 1944 to 2 September 1945. An excellent reference to refer to during the reading of this book.
  • Opposing Commanders: The author in this section gives the reader a historical background of the opposing commanders. The Americans, led by General Douglas MacArthur. Under his leadership were two Army commanders and one Naval commander all having tremendous amounts of military experience. The Japanese under the command of General Yamashita Tomoyuki were three subordinate officers all having a wealth of experience.
  • Opposing Forces: In this section, the author discusses the American plans for the invasion and Japanese plans for the defense of Luzon. Here is an in-depth review of MacArthur's plans for the invasion began in 1943 up to the actual invasion. The invasion was given different code names based upon the ever-changing situations. The Japanese knowing that the like of troops and supplies limited their defense of Luzon did identify landings they thought MacArthur would pursue. The author in this short section gives the reader and effective understanding of the opposing forces.
  • The Campaign: The campaign consisted of acquiring and occupying Mindoro which would act as the first step toward Luzon. The next step within the campaign is MacArthur's return to Luzon followed by MacArthur's movement through the Central Plain, rescuing the POWs held in Luzon, on to Manila, taking Manila, recapturing Bataan and Corregidor. This chapter is sixty-two pages long providing many maps, charts to aid the reader's understanding. If one just wanted to read a short history of the Luzon invasion, this chapter would provide a summary of MacArthur's return to the Philippines.
  • Aftermath: In this chapter, the author discusses the results of taking Luzon. Not only did it provide a staging area for the advancement into Japan's homeland, but POWs from Manila were liberated. On the Japanese side taking, the failure to hold on to Luzon drained Japanese forces and reduced its resources to a point surrender would be impossible.
  • The Battlefield Today: While most of the fighting was done in the streets of Manila much of the city has been rebuilt. Monuments and war areas can be seen today allowing visitors a clear understanding of what happened.
  • Further Reading
  • Index

In conclusion, this book gives the reader a thorough understanding of the Luzon conflict as well as the people involved. As a suggestion, I would print out a Pacific map to refer to during the reading of this book. I for one got a better understanding of where the places were during the read. If the reader wants one book on the Luzon Campaign then this one is a must have. I highly recommend it.

Thanks to the Osprey Publishing and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review this book.

  • Back cover
    Back cover
  • Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
  • Luzon map
    Luzon map
  • Order of battle
    Order of battle
  • Sample page
    Sample page