In the book "MAC ARTHUR IN THE PACIFIC" A passage states the following.
"The main American attack on Intramuros began on February 23rd, 1945, with 105mm, and 155mm, shells blasting huge chucks out of the ancient wall. In conjunction with the artillery fire, the U.S. Navy ships supporting the invasion force opened up with a massive bombardment of their own."
I had thought that Manila Bay wasn't considered open for the fleet to move that far into the bay to bombard from near the Manila Hotel! Does anyone have any information of this occurring as this book states?
Although Corregidor was in Japanese hands, we did keep destroyers off Corregidor's coast to be used as floating shore batteries as long as we were fighting on Corregidor and the other Bay forts. But what of mines in the harbor etc.? Drum was taken on April 15th, and Fort Frank was found abandoned when attacked a little later.
If you can keep destroyers in the bay maybe they sailed their battleships etc. past Corregidor to help take Intramuros?
I have my doubts that any battleships were in Manila Bay on shore bombardment missions, although I have nothing to confirm it. The newer fast battleships were escorting carrier groups, and the older battleships were providing shore bombardment on invasion beaches. The largest ships I have read about fighting inside the bay were light cruisers. This will be an interesting area to research.
I agree with oozlefinch. There were light cruisers, destroyers and minesweepers in Manila Bay on Feb 1945 own-wards supporting the invasion of Corregidor and clearing the mines in the bay area
Note that the US Army employed the use of 8-inch and 240mm Howitzers to blast Intramuros. The 544th FA (240mm) and 465th FS (8-inch) pounded Intramuros and the 240s were able to breach the eastern wall. This may have been interpreted as use of "naval firepower" due to large caliber shells that they used. They used around 72 rounds of 8-inch and 39 rds for the 240mm.
Hey Battery/finch....I have never heard/read/anywhere, no way, no how, of heavier USN stuff operating inside Manila Bay during this period. Around the Forts in support of the retaking of COorregidor, yes, but inside the Bay, no. In all honesty, I have yet to learn of DDs or DEs being in Bay proper during the Manila fighting. Could be in error. If so, it certainly ain't the first time. I had a close friend (older than myself) who, as a member of the First Cavalry Division, when Santo Thomas was liberated,etc and he never mentioned Naval gunfire being utilized in support of the ground forces in their quest to oust the Japanese from the area. Cheers.
fissures in the walls, since the unfuzed shells penetrated more deeply before explosion than did those with impact or delayed fuze settings. The fissure thus opened was easily enlarged by subsequent employment of high-explosive shells with delayed settings.
ARTILLERY IN SUPPORT OF THE ASSAULT ON INTRAMUROS Units and Their Locations Weapons North Bank of Pasig Battery B, 136th Field Artillery 4 155-mm. howitzers 6th Field Artillery 12 105-mm. howitzers Platoon, 637th TD Battalion 4 76-mm. guns East of Intramuros Battery A, 136th Field Artillery 4 155-mm. howitzers Battery A, 140th Field Artillery 4 105-mm. howitzers One piece, 756th Field Artillery 1 155-mm. howitzer Six tanks, 754th Tank Battalion 6 75-mm. tank guns Two platoons, 637th TD Battalion 8 76-mm. guns Division and Corps Artillery at Rear Positions Companies A & D, 82d Chemical Mortar Battalion 24 4.2-inch mortars 135th Field Artillery 12 105-mm. howitzers 82d Field Artillery 12 105-mm. howitzers Batteries B & C, 140th Field Artillery 8 105-mm. howitzers Battery C, 136th Field Artillery 4 155-mm. howitzers 756th Field Artillery (less 1 weapon) 11 155-mm. howitzers Battery C, 465th Field Artillery 4 8-inch howitzers Battery C, 544th Field Artillery 2 240-mm. howitzers
By 1030 on 24 February the 145th Infantry had compressed the last resistance in its zone into the Aquarium, located in a bastion off the southwest corner of Intramuros. Since Japanese holed up in the government buildings across Padre Burgos Street covered the Aquarium's outer walls with rifle and machine gun fire, the 145th Infantry was hard put to devise a plan of attack until the 1st Battalion discovered a tunnel connecting the bastion to the main wall. Company C used the tunnel as an assault route, while the rest of the Battalion provided fire support for the attack from the south wall and Cannon Company SPM's conducted a preparatory shelling. The Japanese neglected to defend the tunnel approach, and Company C, employing hand grenades and bazookas liberally, broke into the Aquarium with little trouble. The final assault began about 1600. An hour and a half and 115 dead Japanese later, the 145th Infantry had overcome the last organized resistance within Intramuros.
Is the talked about tunnel still in existence?
I didn't see any battleships, Cruisers, Destroyers or P.T. Boats used against Intramuros, but the Mac never did give them much credit did he? It would have been Mac's Navy though, Admiral Kinkaid in charge, wonder when the Navy did get into the actual Bay and the port area?
I believe that many of these "tunnels" might well have been trenches, topped with a covering of corrugated metal sheeting and soil above them. They weren't trenches in the accepted sense that we think of WWI trenches, being covered and camouflaged. They were like a "rat run" - barely visible on the surface, and big enough to allow a quick transfer at a crouching run from one area to another. I have been looking at a lot of images of MAnila recently and saw such a tunnel running from the Army Navy Club under the road, and into the Luneta Extension.
That tunnel exploration under parts of Intramuros would be a real trip batteryboy. I had read somewhere the Spanish had built several escape tunnels in case they needed to beat a hasty retreat.... connecting their government buildings and churches. ( Ever seen the ancient Basilica in Taal town? On the coast south of Taal lake? A fortress church in original condition as neither the American's or Japanese defended the area in the second World War)
There may be a problem of flooding,as Intramuros continues to sink in the former swamp it was built on by the Spanish. Low tide "look see" anyone?
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