Manila is the capital of the Philippines, and one of the 16 cities that forms Metropolitan Manila region. It is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast, and Pasay to the south.
Manila is the second most populous city in the Philippines, and is the most densely populated city in the world.
Manila in Joe Steele
In late 1941, the Japanese launched an invasion of the Philippines with Manila as a strategic objective. General Douglas MacArthur was headquartered in the city with his garrison stationed there. The day after the start of the invasion and following a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, MacArthur was surprised again by the Japanese bombing his aircraft on the ground at Clark Field outside Manila. MacArthur did follow doctrine and had his garrison and Filipino forces retreat to the Bataan Peninsula to deny the Japanese the use of the Manila harbor. Unfortunately, the attack on Pearl Harbor damaged and sank too many U.S. ships, preventing MacArthur's forces being relieved which was also part of the planning.
Manila in Southern Victory
Manila was major port city and the administrative center for the Spanish Empire in the Philippines. During the early 20th century, the city was captured by a surprise naval attack by the Japanese Navy during the Hispano-Japanese War. Afterwards, Japanese soldiers inflicted atrocities on Spanish POWs.
Manila in The War That Came Early
In late 1940, Manila was the site of several crucial American military instillations. As tensions mounted between the U.S. and Japan, General Douglas MacArthur began making preparations for a possible attack. These preparations proved insufficient; when the Japanese did finally attack on Sunday morning, January 12, 1941, Manila's defenders were caught completely off-guard.
The Japanese continued bombing raids against Manila for the next couple of hours. The United States Pacific Fleet anticipated an invasion, and soon set out to meet it. The Japanese mauled their American enemies. MacArthur was killed during a bombing raid, and the whole of the Philippines fell to the Japanese in short order.
Manila in Worldwar
Along with the rest of the Philippines, Manila remained a Japanese possession from 1942 onward, due to the Peace of Cairo. In 1962, the ship Liberty Explorer put into port in Manila, while en route from China to America. Chinese Communist Party delegates Liu Han and Liu Mei remained in their cabin during this stop, due to Liu Han's enmity with Japan in the wars of the early 1940s, and her apprehension that the "eastern dwarfs" would finish the job they had started then.