An official Japanese Army document, recently acquired
and translated, describes in some detail the
fierce resistance put up by American and Filipino
forces in defending the Philippine Islands. The
document, dated "March 1943," apparently was written for
the benefit of Japanese units expected to face U.S. troops
for the first time in other theaters of
operations. Except for editorial changes, the document is
reproduced below in the same form as the original.
2. THE DOCUMENT
a. Fighting Spirit
The fighting spirit of the U.S. troops was unexpectedly
high. Before our troops (Japanese 48th Division) landed on
Lingayen Bay, they fought a tough battle with the Americans
at the water line. We finally won, but only after the enemy had
attempted to annihilate us completely.
After we had attacked Manila, we expected the Americans to
surrender at a suitable time (after they had fought enough to
save their reputation). However, continuing resistance on
Bataan Peninsula, the enemy troops unexpectedly tried a strong
At the time of our second all-out attack on Bataan, we
thought that the U.S. forces might surrender if we broke
through their front-line positions. However, they did not
stop resistance until the last stage of the fight.
We thought that they would give up when we occupied the
Bataan Peninsula, but they continued fighting under our
successive artillery and air bombardments at Manila Bay.
Also, on Corregidor Island, they executed several counterattacks
before they were pressed into the entrance of the island's
main base. They finally surrendered when everything was exhausted.
The main reasons why we won was because we landed a few
tanks at a time when the Americans had no antitank guns with
which to oppose us.
b. Command and Control
We admired the manner in which the Americans, under difficult
conditions, commanded the Philippine forces until finally
forced to stop resistance.
According to prisoners' notes, taken during the Bataan
operations, there were many U.S. commissioned officers who
bravely led native forces to the front lines. The rumor that
only Philippine forces were used in the front lines is all
false, because the Americans and Filipinos fought side by side.
c. Regarding Tanks
As a general rule, U.S. tank units moved forward bravely. In
the vicinity of Carmen (Pangasinan), a certain U.S. tank
officer, covering the retreat of enemy forces, resisted to the last
and was taken prisoner with a mortar wound. On the Bataan
Peninsula, our (Japanese) 16th Division suffered heavily from
enemy tanks which moved through the jungle.
The front armament of U.S. tanks is so thick that our rapid-fire
bullets do not penetrate. Also, the movement of enemy tanks
was much superior to ours.
d. Regarding Weapons and Vehicles
U.S. rifles proved superior to ours. The enemy's automatic
rifle was used very effectively against us. Soldiers equipped
with the automatic rifle carried a large amount of ammunition.
The Americans have many different types of vehicles which
are strong and superior. They transport all their weapons by
vehicles, of which there are many special kinds.
According to reports from Northern Tengen (Lingayen), native
troops held rifle practice on the river lines prior to the
invasion. We concluded that this training was very good because
their shots were very effective all during the battle in