“Oct 20 – Philippines invaded landing made at Leyte Island, this will probably be our destination.”
Alright so as mentioned in the previous entry , Mike is on his way to the Philippines. In that entry I mentioned how the Philippines is one of the most important locations of the war. I mentioned how I explained this in a past entry, and would not re – explain it for a few more. Well I decided I might as well explain it in this entry, as what Mike wrote does not directly have to do with him, as he is not there yet. This entry is going to go very off course, as not everything will directly pertain to what Mike wrote. So if you’re not interested I would suggest to stop reading. It is also going to be very long, so thank you if you actually decide to stay and read it all.
Mike starts this entry off by writing “Philippines invaded landing made at Leyte Island”. This is a perfect time for me to talk about the Philippines. I am going to try and go into more detail , as when I previously explained all this in Entry #60, it was not to a great extent.
The day Mike wrote this was on Friday , October 20th , 1944. As he wrote , the Philippines were invaded. This is historically accurate, as this initiated the Philippines Campaign.
The above images should hopefully give you a better idea of where the Philippines are on a world scale. Before I get into the entry further and the significance of this geographical area, I am going to address “Leyte Island”.
Hopefully those three images give you a better idea of where Mike actually was at the time of writing this and where he is headed. So now that that’s out of the way, we can get into the historical significance of the Philippines.
As previously mentioned, allied forces invaded the Philippines, which kick-started the Philippines campaign. Prior to this day in 1944, the Japanese had full control of all the Philippines , which they took over in 1942. Which is known as the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. The reason the Japanese invaded and took over the Philippines in the first place is relatively straight-forward. Their government at the time was heavily imperialistic , basically meaning Japan’s main goal at the time was to take over other countries through the use of militaristic force. Gaining them a multitude of personal resources, ranging from money, to land, to food, etc. In the context of WWII this would give them a much better position to attack the allied forces from, as the Philippines was in warm water, which helped with having a Navy. It is also fairly close to Papua New Guinea and Australia, which were major allied territories during the war. This strategically benefited the Japanese in terms of naval and aircraft warfare. If the allied forces lost this campaign, it could have lead to the axis powers winning the war, but that’s a debate for another time. In summary, it was a very important location, which lead to the defeat of the Japanese and essentially the end of the war.
The Philippines were invaded through “Leyte Island” , which Mike mentioned in this entry.
This officially became known as the Battle of Leyte, which started when the U.S. Sixth Army entered onto the island through the use of our Navy and Army – Airforce. On this day the Sixth Army was comprised of nine standard Infantry Divisions , one Battalion of Rangers (special forces) , one Cavalry Division, one Airborne Division, and one Armored Group. The Sixth Army was assisted by several U.S. and Australian Naval Fleets, alongside several squadrons of aircraft’s. The Sixth Army was the main group that initiated this invasion ; other Army formations joined in later on such as the Eight Army. We were also assisted by several groups of Filipino guerrillas. So as you can see this was a very large, coordinated invasion of Leyte Island, which was our gateway into the rest of the Philippines. If you would like to know more about the exact events that took place this day or any further information about it, please feel free to click on the hyperlinks I provided.
Mike finishes off this entry by writing “this will probably be our destination.” I will not spoil too much but let’s just say he was correct.
Thank you so much if you made it this far. I know this entry was a little different, as I went pretty of course. This entry marks a key one in the journal, as it kind of sets up the rest of it, in terms of what he will right about. Which is the reason I felt the need to explain the importance of this day and the Philippines in much broader terms. If you are confused about anything feel free to leave a comment or click on any of the specific hyperlinks I provided.
The map images of the Philippines and Leyte Island are from Google Maps.