From December 29th to the start of May 1942, the limited number of US and Filipino forces on Corregidor were victim to incessant Japanese bombardment, with a total of around 400 tonnes of explosives striking the area. Despite two thirds of their landing crafts being sunk by US artillery, 800 Japanese soldiers eventually landed on the island on 5th May. As a result of the unexpected resistance, a second Japanese battalion of the same size was quickly deployed. This allowed for the Japanese to overwhelm the allied forces and push them back inland.
A lack of supplies on both sides (crates of Japanese ammunition had failed to be delivered) resulted in brutal hand-to-hand exchanges with knives and bayonnets; however, the turning point was when Japanese tanks and a third Japanese battalion landed on the island. By 6th May, the allies were forced to surrender.
Corregidor’s defeat marked the fall of the Philippines and the end of US organized opposition in the east. It wouldn’t be until February 1945 that the island would eventually be liberated from Japanese forces.
If you would like to find out more about our available tours that offer a day trip to Corregidor Island, then please contact us to find out more.