These images are from the WW2 RADIO Facebook Website run by Peter De Forest. He reproduces them in a larger size, and the site is definitely worth a visit because you are sure to be diverted for hours.
I was surprised at the extent of the bombing, as was Karl, and I was wondering why so few of the images ever made it into the public consciousness? Was it that America couldn't cope with more disaster and defeat? Did the photos not suit the narrative? Had the facts overtaken the story? ("The most important news is never to be found in the newspapers, its the stories that the newspapers don't print that are most important," my father used to say.) Of course, within days, the Japanese were in control of Manila and its newspapers, but these photographs presumably remained in Carl Mydans' possession. Maybe there wasn't enough time to get them published. Maybe Carl Mydans didn't want to make himself unpopular with the Japanese? Indeed, were there newspapers being published at that time? Anyone got any ideas?
MANILLA - DECEMBRE 1941
Bombardement japonais sur Manille en décembre 1941. Photos Carl Mydans - LIFE Collections
My guess is you hit the nail on the head when you asked "Had the facts overtaken the story?".
He and his wife were captured very early in the war and were interred for two years before being released in a prisoner exchange. By then, pictures of the bombing of a city that had fallen two years past was old news, I would think. Especially with the Invasion of Italy in September of 1943 and the Pacific campaigns of the Marshall and Gilbert islands in November of 1943. All this a scant month or two before Mydans' release in December that same year. This is all just a swag mind you, but there certainly was no shortage of fresh war news at that time. In fact, one might think that between December of 1941 to August of 1945, there was no such a thing as a slow news day.
I am currently doing a short presentation and a section covers the bombing of Manila in 1941 and the area where the Japanese bombs fell. (approximately). While Manila was not as destroyed like the 45 liberation, there were stories and reports that the Japanese indiscriminately bomb Manila at will in 41. Got to find out that some of the destruction that was attributed to the Japanese were actually caused by the USAFFE as they were withdrawing the capital for their retreat to Bataan. More later....
Post by joeconnor53 on Mar 19, 2018 21:00:19 GMT 8
Only happy news was being sent out of the Philippines, probably the result of military censorship.
In the first few days of the war, American papers ran front-page stories reporting that the Philippine Army had repelled an attempted landing in Lingayen Gulf. The stories were quite detailed and included things like the precise number of Japanese landing craft sunk. There was only problem. Not a word of it was true.
Carl Mydans, the Life photographer who took those photos of the bombing of Manila, was the only reporter enterprising enough to actually go to Lingayen Gulf, and he learned the story wasn't true. Nevertheless, Life never corrected the record and continued to cite the repelled invasion as fact. When Mydans got back to Manila, he told MacArthur's PR guy that the story wasn't true, but the PR guy shrugged his shoulders and never corrected the false story.
I did an article on this for World War II magazine. If anyone is interested, shoot me a PM and I'll email you a copy.
I too am surprised at the extent of the damage. I had been under the impression that the bombing was quite limited, but these photos would suggest otherwise. I will be very interested in hearing more of Tony's mention about USAAFE caused damage and why. Was the "Open City" not quite as open as thought?
The photos taken by Mydans on Dec. 29 were in the areas vicinities near the estuary (Pasig) river and docks. They were not in the central heart of Manila (Civilian and Main Office and buildings)). The buildings and structures that you see there are located in the port area and parts of Intramuros near or at the river side. Now there were civilian communities in the area but they were not the intended targets.
The Japanese were preventing further supplies or anything of military in value to escape Manila as they know that the retreat to Bataan was in effect. A large part of materiel and supplies were sent via water surface vessels to the peninsula.
Last Edit: Apr 16, 2018 6:59:27 GMT 8 by batteryboy
I now see that these photos were indeed limited to the areas Tony has mentioned. Unlike the Germans, the Japanese tended to be very pragmatic with their expenditure of munitions. The Japanese intent was to win over the Philippine people and indiscriminate bombing would certainly not a part of the plan. So much of the defeat in 1942 has been distorted that such has become the accepted standard of the history of the time.
and remember that is also on this day (Dec. 29) that Corregidor was heavily bombed for the first time so Manila was really not a primary target. Conrad is right about the Japanese use of their munitions as they need to prioritize and be selective in their targets.
This is very interesting, my Grandmother and aunt always told us about the bombings they can hear starting December 10, And I always wondered how damage the City was. They don't live in the port area they are more in the Paco district area all they say is that there were a lot of planes and there seems to be heavy bombing.
we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be - Sir Winston Churchill
Marine Niece: My uncle, James P. Shockman USMC was a .50 caliber machine gunner, I believe on Caballo. Is there a roster anywhere of a small detachment of Marines who came in January of 1942 to Caballo as machine gunners. Any photos?
Mar 6, 2019 5:19:13 GMT 8
norm grossman: The Fall of the Philippines 1941-42 has always interested me and now at 67 years old and retired I have the time to surf the internet and find great website like yours to get answers to my questions on this subject.
Mar 11, 2019 7:30:56 GMT 8
norm grossman: How can I post or upload photos on my posts that are off my computer and don't have URL links? Thanks
Mar 11, 2019 7:35:09 GMT 8
EXO: Norm Grossman - most of us arrange our own third-party image storage. Flickr, or Photobucket are two in the market.
Mar 14, 2019 5:35:52 GMT 8
Marine Niece: Can anyone tell me where the cliff caves on Caballo/Fort Hughes are located?
Mar 24, 2019 7:30:16 GMT 8
Henry J. Kaden: Does anyone know of the date the "Test Platoon" completed their training and were awarded their wings?
Apr 14, 2019 4:01:25 GMT 8
Boy V: Hi Im Boy Villanueva loves travelling across the Philippines. I love searching American History during the WW 2. I came across the Villa Verde which inetrest me more. I have some photos of the new improvement of the road. and how can i upload it.
Apr 26, 2019 12:33:38 GMT 8
tmayer: Test Platoon- First jump from airplane was on August 16, 1940. First mass jump from airplane was on August 29, 1940. September 16 ,1940 War Department authorized the 1st Parachute BN. October 2, 1940 document was amended to read 501st Parachute BN (i
May 14, 2019 0:25:08 GMT 8
Marine Niece: Chadhill: Thank you for the sources! They've become part the story I'm writing about James's Marine service and his death. Do you think it's at all possible for me to recover my uncle's body and bring it home?
May 31, 2019 5:31:37 GMT 8
chadhill: Marine Niece: Very possible. Call USMC Service Casualty Office to register as family member at 800-847-1597. They will want a DNA sample. See FAQ at www.dpaa.mil/Contact/Contact-Us. Be sure to request his Individual Deceased Personnel File.
Jun 5, 2019 7:16:36 GMT 8
Marine niece: About 5PM 5/6/42, my uncle swam from the shelter of some Caballo cliff caves to help someone swimming from Corregidor. Returning, he was resting in the water by rocks when he was bombed and killed. Are there cliff caves east of the north dock near Fuger
Jun 11, 2019 22:50:33 GMT 8
cbuehler: Marine Niece,
Jun 13, 2019 0:33:51 GMT 8
cbuehler: Caballo Island is almost all cliffs etc. I have to say that a swim from Corregidor to there would be quite a feat even for an outstanding swimmer, given the distance, frequently rough water and sharks that were there.
Jun 13, 2019 0:39:22 GMT 8
batteryboy: There were a number of natural caves along the steep and rocky shoreline of Caballo. Not that deep though. There is a slight slope from the shore line leading to Battery Fuger but I cant recall any natural caves when i circled the island.
Jul 29, 2019 18:30:52 GMT 8