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tv   The Battle of Manila  CSPAN  February 9, 2019 10:35pm-11:41pm EST

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return. next on american history tv, author james scott describes general macarthur's return, the japanese resistance, and the atrocities committed against the filipino civilians. mr. scott is the author of "rampage: macarthur, yamashita, and the battle of manila." this one hour talk was that of a three-day conference hosted by the national world war ii museum in new orleans. >> our next speaker came to the museum for the first time or his last book was released. this book was the first detailed examination of that mission in decades and introduced readers to the important aspect of the chinese experiences. james scott has come back to the museum with a brand-new book that has been receiving great reviews in many of the top of locations around the country. manila was known as the pearl of the orient. about how this
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beautiful city was destroyed in the process of trying to liberate it. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to give the podium to james scott. [applause] james: good morning. pete, thank you so much. i will double check, i think this is the clicker. i am trying to determine, is this the clicker? ok. ok, got it. sorry, technical difficulties there. peach, thank you for the warm te thanktion -- pe you for the warm introduction and all those who have gone out of their way to make this a delightful conference so far.
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this morning has been tremendous as well. . thank you to. all who have come out and taken time to travel from around the country and the road to be with weekend. this is a remarkable institution and a remarkable opportunity to study this pivotal. period in world history. macarthur,glas driven from the philippines at the start of world war ii, famously vows to return. this is the untold story of his homecoming. the 29 days battle to retake manila in 1945 proved a fight unlike any other in the pacific war. a bloody urban brawl but forced soldiers to battle block by block, house by house, and even a room by room. the end of result -- the end result was the destruction of city. a rampage by japanese troops that terrorized the civilians. landmarks were demolished, neighborhoods torched, countless women raped, their husbands and
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children murdered an estimated .00,000 civilians were slayed not only did it give a glimpse of what a japanese invasion might involve, but those brief weeks in 1945 forever transformed the city once known as the pearl of the orient. it decimated generations of filipino families, the ripples of which echoed through their lives some 75 years later. to truly appreciate the tragedy of the battle of manila, it is important to rewind to the turn of the 20th century. the united states captured philippines and cuba, but unlike cuba which was granted independence, america decided to hold onto the philippines. a rationale best described by douglas macarthur's father, who helped capture bonilla and later served as military governor -- "the archipelago is the finest
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group of violins in the world. it touchy strategic position is unexcelled -- it's strategic position is unexcelled." they realized that manila, which served as america's front door to the markets of china, needed a facelift to attract industry and better reflect america's global status. the u.s. hired famed municipal architect and planner, daniel burnham. over the course of his career, he helped guide cities like chicago, san francisco, oversaw the rud -- they redo of the national mall in washington. burnham saw incredible potential in manila, with its vast natural resources, old spanish churches, and the ancient walled city of the 160 acre heart of the city of manila, built in
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1571. naples,ing the bay of and the wandering roads of venice, manila has an opportunity unique in the modern history of times, the opportunity to create a city equal to the rest of the world with an unparalleled and restless addition of a tropical setting pure code leading up"to world war ii , manila developed into a small slice of america home not only to thousands of service members, but an employee of companies like del monte and bfgoodrich. pearl of thethe orient, the city boasted an incredible quality of life, with department stores and social clubs, golf courses and cement pulls, air-conditioned movie pools, and swimming air-conditioned movie theaters. from the top of the university to, it seemed green everywhere. part.ty within a
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on the eve of world war ii, one of the most permanent residence was general douglas macarthur, who lived with his wife and four-year-old son in the penthouse on top of the luxurious manila hotel. in life was long intertwined the philippines where he had served often throughout his career but after his graduation of west point. quoting the city, he said "my haser had died, my wife been born, my wife had been courted." he was the son of a career military officer. manila was the closest thing he had to hometown. whomore than just macarthur enjoyed it, he said "to live in manila in a 1941, was to experience the good life you're going but a good life ended on september 7. when the japanese attacked pearl harbor and invaded the
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philippines, launching the united states to work. battle,o avoid the macarthur evacuated his offices to the fortified island of carigador, out of the bay. this was far more than a strategic defeat, he was abandoning his home, forced to reduce the contents of his entire department to just two suitcases of the family could take with him. japanese troops fanned out of in the 1942, running up thousands of american civilians and returning them to the university of santo tomas. macarthur endured 77 days in the igador beforer escaping in 1942 with his family and staff. there was an agonizing event,
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forced to leave behind thousands of american and filipino him.ers who had trusted troops who would soon face a death march, followed by years in japan's notorious prisoner of war camps. . on reaching australia, macarthur made a promise -- "i shall return." those words were drive him as the weeks turned to months and later, years. manila suffered greatly during occupation.ars of japanese forces looted food, supplies from department stores, stole farm equipment and left fields to rot. supplies like medicine vanished. manila's economy collapsed and the social fabric began to unravel. an army of beggars flooded the streets and others resorted to be very, including plundering of the graves in search of jewelry, ventures, eyeglasses, even clothing. . anything that could be battered or sold to buy rice.
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families went so far as to have been a children to orphanages, or even sell them. rampant, claiming 500 souls a day -- starvation ran rampant, claiming 500 souls a day. one man whose diary captured it, described it best -- "today we are living under conditions in which only the fittest among us can hope to survive dear: /" ifyou look up scum of the slide captures better than anything how dire the situation had become in manila. american from an intelligence report says, it is cheaper to buy a child than a manila.he city of american families locked behind the iron gates of santo tomas equally.
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the ingenuity they had shown in transforming this campus into a small, functioning city, faded as the daily caloric intake plummeted and starvation took hold. a medical. survey conducted in 1945 revealed that the average male had lost 51 pounds. the average female, 32 pounds. dogs, cats,they it pigeons and even rats, which you can see from this very entry, were fetching eight pesos each at the market. entry, a woman said -- i reached and found it was my backbone. santo 3700 internees at tomas starved to death. we survived on hope, one of them recalled, hope the american forces would arrive. those hopes were rewarded
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january 9 1945, when macarthur's .orces hit the beaches and they began the preparation -- for the 100 mile drive south to liberate manila. in macarthur's way was a japanese general, you mushy to ashita. had proven himself early in the war, capturing singapore. but his rivalry had led the letter to park him from the rest of the conflict until this time, send him to mature your -- manchuria. only after the ouster of his in a 1944, did
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resurrect andrea he was -- his career resurrected and he was returned to the philippines. he had come to die, but he did not plan to do so in manila. . instead, macarthur divided his army and plans to fight it retracted battle in the jungles and woods. rear admiralthe who commanded the naval defense force had no intention city.ndoning the spent much of the rest of the war heart beside the desk best part beside the desk. -- he was sent to manila. the philippines capital, he saw a chance to redeem himself by creating an urban bloodletting similar
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to stalingrad. he divided his soldiers and marines into several geographic commands that cover northern, central and southern manila. his ultimate plan called for defense centered around the ancient citadel guarded by towering walls, some as much as 40 fit week. largenned a perimeter of concrete buildings, small fortresses designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. to make it harder for the advancing americans, the japanese barricaded the insides of the building was a desks, chairs and bookcases, and went so far as to build staggered walls inside the passageways, filling them with dirt and leaving just enough space at the portbucci to throw a hand grenade. his forces booby-trapped 50 intersections in manila. this is a corner of one street where the japanese had set up
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oil drums with concrete and sank railroad axles into the roadway. in addition, they planted bombs mines here.ach minds her . this is a photograph of a primitive japanese trap, they were chained together and anchor to the tree. take the city, american forces carved up manila. the 37th infantry and the first cavalry would come into the city from the north. 37th infantry would cross the river near the presidential palace and turn the west, to drive to were the walled city waterfront. the first calvary would envelop the city from the east and make a parallel drive alongside, while the 11th airborne would come from the south end backdoor -- close of the city's backdoor.
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macarthur believed the japanese would evacuate just as he had done. he was so confident of this but he had his headquartered staff begin planning his liberation pickingdown to individual tsipras settlements for his senior officers and orienting the parade routes -- individual jeep assignements. there was a mix of intelligence coming into the city. guerrilla generals were reviewing the japanese troops were getting ready to leave the city. but by january, the messages coming out of the city had changed. filipino guerrillas were reporting construction of toll boxes and buildings. residents who had a and prayed for the americans return watched as the -- watched the growing fortification with alarm and terror. "the feet is a bitter pill which
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,he japanese cannot swallow defeat is a one thing that can make a them turn into beasts." in the northern suburbs, american troops were treated as celebrities. nowhere was that more true than tomas, where the cavalry arrived around 8:30 p.m.. the excitement was captured in a diary -- before the man and tanks anew what was going on, they were pulled out of them and lifted on the shoulders of our scrawny fellow internees. it was impossible to hold back the joyous internees. night, starving internees feasted on rations while american troops spoiled candy.n with a reporter described the scene in his first dispatch from santa unforgivableof the
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things was the smile on the real face of a little girl of 4 tasting chocolate for the first time. of course, many in the city were starving as well and american troops would find themselves stormed my hungry civilians, like this young girl. but the excitement over america's arrival proved short-lived. bucci give the ship -- give the order to enter the city. squads began setting fires and then amending buildings. pilot dusty rhodes, witnessed the scene from the air. the entire downtown section was a mass of flames rising 200 feet in the air. scrambled forts belongings and fled.
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general robert beitler, commander of the 37th industry described it as best we were powerless to stop it. we had no way of knowing from which of the thousands of places demolitions are being controlled. reinforced concrete and steel office buildings were literally blown from their foundation to settle crazily in twisted heaps. in addition, the japanese blew the bridges over the river which divided the city. ofer destroying the city northern districts, the japanese fell back across the river into central manila. and began what would prove to be an incredibly bloody urban fight. block by block, american soldiers pressed deeper into the city, frequently slowed by the fortifications and intersections which required troops to boston their way through adjacent buildings to attack the rear of a pillbox. infantry major czech hands summarized it -- "gains were
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cleared by streets rather than by city blocks secured pur." dropping molotov cocktails from upper floor windows. quote "the preferred solution was to use cannons to blast the upper floors to rubble and then move in" on infantry officer said. an equally favored alternative was to brother building. rifleman moved in to burn the building floor by floor when this did not work. as american cavalrymen in the philippines inched their backs pressed against the wall from room to room, hurling grenades ahead to drive out the japanese finally, after two days, neither side would quit. those on the second-floor of this battered building.
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the sun began to set, and with neither side refusing to prepared both to hunker down and spend the night inside the blasted remains of the building. the american cavalry sat there, fingers pressed against the triggers of their rifles and they began to hear around 1:30 a.m., japanese forces singing on the opposite side of the building. --s is from their report "the commotion went on for about 45 minutes, culminating in a final burst of song and loud shouting and followed by reports of exploding grenades and " namite charges. the cavalrymen continued to sit in the dark and listen. more singing followed by more grenades and silence. atse detonations went off half hour intervals until 4:00 a.m., at which time a lasting silence settled over the building. the americans waited until daybreak to move in where they -- that 77a 77
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japanese marines had gone themselves up. macarthur refused to allow. ladies to bump the city for fear of killing civilians. but he relented and permitted artillery after american troops suffered heavy losses during the passing. quotes come from then on, putting it crudely, we really went to town. american forces would fire more than 32,000 mortar and artillery rounds into the city. sixth army commander general walter krueger said -- some districts were completely destroyed. japanese demolitions and american artillery, manila was being destroyed from the inside and the outside. men, women and children whereted a low ground conditions inside cramped air raid shelters devolved as ours turned in today's. bunkers built to house a single family often held multiple. there were so many bodies
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pressed close together, the air inside stagnated and the heat soared. hans steiner in a letter to his mother recounted -- "we lived like dogs. all around us were fires and explosions. it was the best imagination of hell one can get." and these shelters proved easy prey for japanese troops often tossed hand grenades inside, as was the case for this gentleman who had his cheek blown off with shrapnel from such an event. many others proved to weak to .alk in his very, santo tomas tycho described the parade of wounded who came to the university each day in search of help from american doctors. "they are so far beyond recognition that in many cases, one can't tell whether they are men or women, boys or girls, dead or alive."
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realized9, iwabuchi the fight was clearly lost. fortifications along the city's southern border were threatening to collapse. the americans had four more firepower and for more troops. at that point, the battle took a evil turn, devolving from a fight over one of asia's great cities, into one of the worst human catastrophes of world war ii. the timelinen of of dozens of atrocities that occurred in manila point to february 9 as a fulcrum in which the violence against civilians shifted from individual attacks, to organized mass extermination. workrooms investigators were tallied 27 major atrocities in manila. the japanese tossed babies in the air and secured them on their bayonets -- skewered them on their bayonets, burning
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life.nds t a the lucky ones received a bullet. japanese marines went room by room, shooting and ban adding more than 50 civilians inside the headquarters, including a few infants, one just two days old. the japanese and circled the german clubs, and social hall in manila, where residents had gathered for shelter against the artillery. with everyone truck inside, the japanese set fire to the building, ultimately burning to death more than 500 men, women children. they forced hundreds of civilians into the dining hall at st. paul's college where the chandeliers with explosives and dynamited them, killing 360. in one of the more gruesome crimes, japanese converted a home on the sing-along street into a house of horrors.
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troops got a whole in an upstairs floor and then marched when folded civilians inside and forced them to neil in the hole. japanese marines cut each person's head off with a sword before kicking the body into a hole, eventually filling up most of the room beneath them. were crimes investigators by counting skulls later determined that 200 men died this way, though miraculously, nine survived. these are photographs of their injuries, as well as a photograph from 1945 by another of the survivors which showed the layout of the house. the atrocities went beyond murder. japanese honored up thousands of women, locking many of them inside in these four buildings, the last one being the bayview jean macarthur's first home when she first moved to manila. there, japanese troops assaulted hundreds of women. quote "i was ripped between 12
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and 15 times that night. i cannot remember exactly how many times, one victim later testified. i was so tired that it became a iving nightmare." the japanese did not discriminate, they killed men and women, the old and the young, the strong and the infirm. alongside thousands of filipinos, the slaughtered russians, spaniards, americans, two supremengside court justices, a family of a senator and scores of priests. the hast of known dead come to my attention sounds like a who's who of philippines, directors,yers, bank many figures of public life now lay rotting in the ashes." those residents who were able began the long march out of the city, a dangerous journey an apocalyptic
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wasteland. morning we sawl thousands of people walking past the advancing infantry. some of them left with improvised one to dressings, many of them walked, heaven knows how, with open wounds." catwalks had to build a to ease the flow out. on february 23, american forces had isolated the last of the iwabuchi's troops. the fight to retake the walled city began with a massive artillery barrage at 7:00 a.m.. so destructive, that a black and the sky, turning the day into night. forceshour, american fired a struggling 10,000
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rounds.y and mortar the bombardment saw an average of three shells fired, continuing a continuous rolling thunder that for residents trapped inside the city, was like being tracked underneath a free train. quote "we cannot see each other because of the smoke. we thought we were going to die. ." in.:30 a.m., troops moved the ensuing silence, recalled one journalist, seemed even louder then, the bombardment. was inside, troops discovered survivors were almost exclusively women and children. war crimes investigators later determined that the japanese had killed an estimated 4000 men in the days leading up to the assault. the japanese had locked many .nside cells at fort santiago and burned them. hundreds of others were found
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piled, one on top of the other, sealed inside underground dungeons dating back to the spanish inquisition. many of the children rescued were now all fronts, including these three, one carrying a bucket of utensils, and the other, if you look at the right hand corner, a baby doll. but the battle is not over. americans still had to eliminate 's forces,f iwabuchi hold up in the government buildings. lasted the legislature with artillery at point-blank range and sent in a assault troops. on building fell at noon february 28. i troops found of the agriculture buildingsn. it will. decided --iwabuchi decided -- if we run out of bullets, we will use grenades. if we run out of grenades, we
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will cut down the enemy with swords. if we run out of sorts, we will sink our teeth into their throats. he ran to america's merciless guns, which ripped gaping wounds into the concrete around him, exposing the buildings sinuous veins and rebar. he had presided over one of the most barbaric massacres of world war ii. had slaughtered tens of thousands of women and children in the most cruel and horrible ways. survival was not an option, and he knew it. -- he someone his forces and said it -- if anyone has the courage to escape, do so. if not, take your life here. the admiral then retreated to his quarters on the northwest side of the building and armed with a knife, he slit open his belly. japanese troops
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surrendered, but most just chose today. on march 3, 1945, 29 days after american troops rolled into the city, the battle of manila finally ended. the fight to retake the philippine capital had resulted in the deaths of 60,665 japanese. the near total destruction of general iwabuchi's forces. macarthur's total had 1000 killed and 5500 wounded. civilians were the brunt of the horror with an estimated 100,000 killed, many slaughtered japanese. relatives had to identify them through clothes, cigarette cases, and even keychains. for those who may not be able to read it, this is a quote from one santo tomas survivor -- the japanese murdered wholesale and
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retail. to call them beasts would be to slander the beasts. to call them fiends would be to slander the fiends. those who found it remains were the lucky ones. others would have no resolution, a sentiment best captured by a santo tomas attorney, john osborne. recent days and weeks, i observed the searchers, seekers after lost loved ones. they have gone out daily to hispania gates, hoping to find some trace of a relative or friend. first, they visit the site of the old home, now probably a heap of ashes or broken walls. then to the homes of relatives or friends for news of the lost, and finally, they just wander the streets, looking at the dad, who today are numerous. over the city of manila hung that awful stench of death. worse than the smell.
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an infantry man, was the taste of death, which settled on your tongue. "no amount of spitting" he said, "would clear it away." an area containing 11,000 buildings ranging from banks and schools, to churches and the neighborhoods, more than 200,000 homeless. left of postwar american survey estimated the damage to manila by today's figures would run more than $10 billion. beyond the structural losses were the cultural ones. from centuries-old churches, museum paintings, statues, priceless literary works, all destroyed. and, of course, the economy was in shamblesp's sentiment best described what ever hum honduras -- the manager of one of the oil companies speaking of rebuilding his plant stated he would have to begin again, at the
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beginning, with a land survey. the sea of distraction, macarthur returned to the manila hotel to find his own personal home in ruins. gone was his vast personal library of some 10,000 volumes. gone where his father's civil war mementos. gone were his son arthur's baby books. a lost that crushed jean macarthur. quote "he wanted to know about my apartment at the hotel. all of that as well as everything else i know in anila, is gone." the general remained elusive until the end of the war when he walked out of the mountains and surrendered. he was put on trial at the end of 1945 in the first war crimes trial in all of asia, accused of failing to control his troops. yamashita blamed everything on a will bushy, even though evidence showing thatbushy,
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he blamed everything on iwabuchi . even though evidence show that they were in contact the whole time. over 32 days, the battle of manila was replayed before a panel of five judges and a total of 15,000 spectators, who jumped the court room sitting shoulder each day to watch. of 286 witnesses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, even gravediggers, testified about what happen in the city. onashita was convicted december 7, 1945. his dogged defense lawyers appealed his case all the way to the supreme court ultimately lost. . on february 23, 1946, he was taken to a sugarcane field 40 miles south of manila and he was stripped of all his decorations
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and even his officer's uniform, ged.han . his execution did little to provide solace to the victims, many of whom would battle years torment.logical others would wrestle with physical wounds and scores more would struggle to understand the barbarity inflicted upon them. it was total hatred and surgery said one of the survivors, you cannot explain it otherwise. nearly a half-century after the battle, survivors formed an ,rganization in manila dedicated to preserving the story of the civilians sacrifices during the city's liberation. to memorialize those killed, the organization erected a statue at motherros, a weeping cradling a dead infant. it provides a powerful epithet -- "dispel merl is dedicated to all victims of war, many of whom went -- "this memorial is
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dedicated to all the victims of war, their bodies having been consumed by fire or cross to dust beneath the rubble of ruins. let this monument to be a gravestone to each and everyone." thank you very much. [applause] >> james will start at the center section about halfway back. >> why were the internees of santo tomas spared? james: there have been a speculation for years as to whether or not there was an order put in to put all of them -- to kill the internees are not . of course, the japanese did murder at at least 150 american prisoners of war, but no such
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order was fun for santo tomas specifically. when the japanese -- when the americans arrived, not only did -- there was another prisoner of war camp just a few miles away at an old spanish prison. when the americans arrived in the city, the japanese someone all the americans together and said, you're in charge now, and left. ofsanta tomas, a number japanese took a number of hostages, a couple hundred americans, inside the education building. a standoff ensued the next few days until the americans could negotiate a surrender, in which the japanese were allowed to leave. they left behind their arms, and were allowed to simply walk out of the camp in exchange for not hurting any of the americans. that is kind of what happened in santo tomas. the japanese new that when the the ninth ofded on
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january, and they did not reach manila until february 3. so you had almost a month where if they wanted to execute the americans, they had ample time to do it. that said, the starvation was a concussion pushing that job every day until the americans actually got there. >> james, toward the right. >> thank you. as emotionally draining as it is to read it, i am enjoying the book. howwas it to write it, and did you manage that process? james: it is an upbeat story. , of course.idding to give an example, there is an amazing amount of documentation for this story in the national archives. as soon as the battle for manila was over, the americans recognized they were looking at battlefield and more
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at a crime scene. word of the atrocities was beginning to filter in an macarthur ordered all atrocities be investigated. so when the battle ends, an army of war crimes investigators spreads out and begins taking depositions and statements from survivors. in a lot of the photographs you saw here of injuries, not on a did they take depositions, the photographs once. they put together literally tens of thousands of pages of these statements, all at the national archives in washington. i was able to copy them in my research at a rate of most 4000 pages a day. i copied so many of them that i had to build a database to catalog the survivors. then, comes the difficult part of having to sit through and read the material, and it is task.credibly grim of course, is a writer, i work at home.
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i have a home office. my kids are off at school, and i go through all this tragic material. my kids would come home in the afternoon, and i would say, guys, dad just needs a hug. and they would say, dad, you are so weird. [laughter] that you are right, it is hard to read. we went through it a challenge in presenting it in the book,. we actually cut off three chapters there are 27 major at atrocities, just the ones are documented in the months after the battle of manila. that is not all of them. in cases were entire families were wiped out, there was nobody to report it, so it went unreported in american records. so in writing that book, it is a challenge because you want to be historically accurate as possible, but you don't want readers to put down the book and walk away. so in my first draft, the editor called me and said, man, this is too much, we have to take a look
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at. how we can serve of titan this so we ultimately cut about three harders and focused -- as as it is, there is a pattern to the atrocities. there's only sometimes you have to say to our reader, they locked these people into a building and set it on fire. so we took the approach of trying to find some of the more unique -- a lot of the atrocities are characters, the way that they were done. holeng a second-floor into a floor, we tried to find those that were unique and different, but you are right, it was absolutely a struggle. i think we were right up around the line of -- for some people to read my fill free to buy the book, it is a great book. [laughter] >> james, in the right section towards the front. james: yep. >> hi, so did japan ever
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acknowledge these atrocities? nothow is this poisoning or poisoning the current relationship? james: the japanese did. once the survivors group formed and began bringing awareness, one of the most important things they did in the 1990's was take out ads in filipino newspapers and said, was in member of your family killed or lost in the battle of manila, and if so, we would like to hear from you? they had an overwhelming response. all these letters and surveys in. >> they had so many that they put them all together in an archive that you can actually go to and look at them along with that. >>, with raising the awareness, they took on the campaign to build the statue in intramuros . the japanese ambassador did come out for one of the ceremonies and there was an apology done at the time. continues this rattle
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even today. in manila earlier this year, a statue was put up in front of the bayview hotel in recognition for the -- for what happened there. they had the mission from the city of manila to put it up and it was erected. about a week later, it was put down. it came down at the behest of the national government. they said it was in the way of the public works project. weather has been a lot of talk about the fact that there has been pressure from the japanese government to not have the statue put up. so the controversy plays out even today. isames, the next with the synnex question is what dan at th. , although he was not directly involved in the
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battle of manila, he fought northward in the battle of baghi o, which happened after the fall of manila. i remember him telling me about the atrocities you talked about, he had seen, some of which i will not get what he did say was that the soldiers had heard about what happened in manila and they absolutely took no prisoners. there was not to be one japanese soldier taken alive, because heard of my question for you is, how would you evaluate the effectiveness of walter krueger, who interestingly enough, along with courtney hodges, who we heard about, are the only two twoster generals to rise -- foerster generals to rise from private to general? how would you evaluate krueger that isal? james: another broader question. there was -- that is a tough one. have you handled
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manila in the philippines? i think what happened when they got into -- there was a lot of back-and-forth between macarthur and his senior military commanders, like krueger, over what they were expecting to find in manila. with krueger and others who were there, they had a lot greater sense of what was going to go macarthure city than was willing to recognize. because they were looking at the intelligence coming-out of the city and seeing the fortifications of it. course, macarthur tended to go with his gut instinct more than what he was hearing out of it. so i think you saw the fears of what guys like krueger and other senior commanders, they all wrote in their correspondence that they were worried that macarthur was very much like -- there will be a liberation parade, the city will fall, fight.ill not be any
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the reality, however, few of them wanted to push back against macarthur and force their views and concerns on him. so as a result of that, macarthur is kept in the dark about how bad things are getting. of course, he doesn't visit the city very often during the battle, he comes in after the internees are liberated. he visited about five times the entire 29 days he was there, so he doesn't get the full grasp of seeing. generals are but at the same time i think his generals missed viable opportunities to tell him what was actually going on in the city and were reluctant to push back on him. >> james, on the right section towards the front. james: yeah. >> after the war, did macarthur ever return to manila? james: he was in manila after the fall of manila, but he only
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goes back twice more for the life.f his manila was granted independence from the u.s. in 1946, july 4. he goes back for the ceremony, and shortly before his death, he went on a so-called reunion tour and went back to visit a lot of old friends. but those are the i two times he went back. it is interesting, one of the things i find interesting about the battle of manila and about the story is that in some ways, macarthur grows up with an overbearing mother and he is trying to live up to the image of his father. he spent his career in the shadows of these two formative figures. his first marriage doesn't work out. when he gets to manila in -- when he gets to manila when he is asked to build the
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army, his mother comes with him. she actually dies soon after they arrive, she was living in the manila hotel with him. the orders were room shut a year, the hotel. he marries his wife, his son is born. he is at this point in his life where he has risen up, it risen to the top rank in the army. he has done all these accomplishments. for the first time, he is really happy. he actually says at one point, now i am back in manila with my wife and my family, i knew i would never again be lonely. , when the japanese take a manila and he is forced out, there is a huge personal connection for him, and a huge connection. if you go to the memorial, so much of his family's history was
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lost there. so the story is like a greek tragedy for macarthur. he is driven out of one place in his life, he finds happiness, and he leaves everything. when he vows to come back, he is dmost like ahab in moby , andwhere he comes back the obsession to come back leads him to destroy everything. the city is totally wrecked after the battle of manila. couldn't even figure out where the roads were anymore, it was so destroyed. i think it lost that appeal for him, then. he also takes over as supreme commander at the japanese occupation in all, but i think manila for macarthur died in that battle. >> next question will be in the center section with dan. >> how much of macarthur's obsession with the philippines ofresponsible for the level
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inhumanity committed to the japanese? look as hisand presence there and his potential return, they look at him as a reason to increase that level of carnage and destruction? james: i don't believe that is the case. over his japanese took house, they inventoried it. the inventory is in the macarthur memorial. it has a breakdown of how many handkerchiefs he had, i think it how many pearl necklaces his wife had left behind. so the japanese, beyond using his house as an occasional place for dignitaries to stay well in manila, i don't think that connection factored in any way into the destruction the one on their. iwabuchi, for him, it was doing
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everything in his power to slow down the americans, and it was more of like, how do we destroy the city and do that? how do we turn it into this quagmire? ? it is also important to note that these weren't haphazard did,ngs that the japanese we had captured battlefield ,rders that say how to go about if there's ever concerns about expending too much ammunition, the orders say, in order to -- spare ammunition, lockdown civilians in houses and burn them, threw them in the river. these atrocities were ordered. they were methodical. but. i don't think they were in any way related to deep personal attachment to the philippines. and also you have to look at, these atrocities tended to follow the imperial japanese army. , in followed at nanking singapore, from place to place to place. >> we have the next question
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with dr. weinberg. but first, i will take the floor myerator's privilege and ask friend and museum volunteer, bob as a 20-year-old serving our nation, he was on occupation duty in the philippines and actually attended some of the proceedings. [applause] >> and now, dr. weinberg has a question. >> as you certainly know, the hanginga trial and his is the only one really of the far eastern trials about which there has been a good deal of controversy. when i spoke on that subject at a prior meeting of this very annual conference, i mentioned a point about perhaps is relevant now.
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there was one incident, as the japanese retreated, of the kind you describe in manila. incident one such earlier when the japanese advanced. , 1942, inn february singapore. they are the two incidence of '41s kind between december and the japanese surrender in '45. no unit was involved in both. the two incidents have only one thing in common -- .ames: yamashita >> yamashita was a commander in both instances. those who want to believe that is a coincidence are entitled to their view, i don't share it. [laughter]
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-- [applause] after he ordered, singapore, he ordered the "severe disposal of chinese." i think the singaporean government listed above 50,000 killed in the wake of the fall of singapore. and'st question is to day side on the left, please. >> mr. scott, thank you, an amazing talk. the question is on the aftermath. he said moments ago, independence 1946, i actually thought it was in 1948. on you also said moments ago in one of your answers that manila is so devastated you couldn't even tell where the streets ran originally. with the philippines getting independence so soon after the conclusion of the war, no longer being a u.s. territory, was
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there any sense that the americans have left us, they have turned their back on us, they could have done more to facilitate reconstruction, it seems like they were on their own now. question.t is a good manila remained devastated for many years. the old walled city of intramuros was -- was filled with squatters all the way up to the 1970's. the old photos you saw, which were beyond -- when we sent over our surveyors, we said, this building has to be leveled and start over, they offer to try and repair them. some of those buildings are still there even today. what heaven in manila was that rather than build -- rather than rebuild, you just go to manila, and it is a brand-new city.
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of the city. so the old urban heart of manila struggled along. that is not change it. cityu go to the old walled like olduros, it is south carolina. they have carriage rides, i think there's even an old starbucks. but some of the places like the 500 people, where were burned, it is still an empty field. still hallowed ground. so there are still some ghosts of the battle that linger. and beyond that, there is room much of a impact the battle had not just on the architecture and landscape but on the lives of filipinos. whichs a battle in literally 100 civilians died for every 1 american. these civilians, in some cases,
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it was entire families wiped out. it affect? >> did multiple generations. int you had insights to grand infants andl -- grandparents affected. one individual who survived a massacre? >> watched his entire family murdered, they took him two years to even speak again. trauma that lasted on and on, it still echoes even today. it is a much younger population very, but there is still much, a lot of people who were children during the battle of remember.ll i am amazed at the efforts to memorialize it. if you go to the statue at .ntramuros, they have plaques the effect it had on family, even see it on social media posts. i am following a debate on one
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of these world war ii discussions, and here we are 75 years later, yet the effect of the battle still plays out to all these lives. two more questions, one is from kurt online. what will you be doing with those three cut chapters? in the final question from the back row? james: hurt, shoot me in a mill i will send them to you. [laughter] >> two quick questions. where there are japanese tried for these war crimes? besides the general? out and, macarthur won roosevelt authorized going to the philippines after the meeting in honolulu, as opposed to going to formosa.
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i am wondering if there was in a second guessing about in the aftermath of what happened, particularly in manila? james: his chief of staff was he wastrial as well, actually hanged with the same jo.nd as tok they also tried other theanders, including ca only senior officer commanding the southern forces. the northern commander and central command were killed. he survived. he changed his plea to guilty when he was put on trial. as a result of that, they sent sentencedo death -- him to death. but they sentenced him to death hanging.ry instead of but he was never executed. because all the prisoners being in the philippines, and the
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president, who had lost a bunch of his own family, his wife and some of his children during the battle, he did a pardon for all of the thousands of filipino prisoners of world war ii still in the philippines. day japan is our neighbor, it will be an ally, and we cannot have this animosity hanging over us. sony issued the pardon. it is a controversial decision, still, today. aat said, his grandson, i did panel with him in september in san francisco, and they have a foundation. he goes around and talks about the legacy of friendship. it was that sort of ended efforts to -- it sort of ended efforts to prosecute them for the battle of manila. as for the question of macarthur and the strategy, i am sure most people here are familiar with that strategy debate of whether to go back to the philippines or
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course, taiwan, and, of macarthur makes the impassioned plea to fdr in hawaii. he really -- when you really study the battle of manila, you see the point macarthur was trying to make, that there was a moral reason for the united states to go back to the philippines. this was an american colony building or image from the time of the spanish-american war up until world war ii, and we had a moral obligation to liberated as soon as human it possible. if you look at it from that perspective of the filipinos and from the perspective of that time period, it was true. you also have to look at what was going on at that time in the city. i can't stress enough how manila , how awful the conditions were on the eve of the battle. it was a humanitarian catastrophe. had we actually waited until the end of the war and let manila
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r, it would have been a whole different catastrophe. maybe not the destruction of buildings, but wholesale starvationp all the attorneys in santo tomas would have been -- all the internees at center thomas would be deadp by the time. . it was liberated, they were averaging 580 calories a day. at center thomas. so that stretch from february 3 until the end of the war, there is no way they would have made it. it would have been a different catastrophe had we not gone when we did. >> james comer thank you very much. james: thank you. [applause] announcer: interested in american history tv? visit our website, you can view our history
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>> next, former nasa chief historian roger launius talks about the apollo space program and describes how the cold war influenced the first missions and the excitement of the moon landing in 1969. he also explores apollo's legacy and speculates on the future of space travel. we recorded this 15 minute interview at the annual american historical association meeting in chicago. . launius, as a space historian and former chief historian for nasa, let's talk about the apollo program. let's begin at the 1950's. that was the starting point, explain. >> it is hard to get a grip on it for those who didn't live through it. this cold war rivalry between the u.s. and the soviet union was incredibly intense and one of those areas of competition was in the space. because


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