Darren Baker takes a look at a Pen and Sword release as part of the Images of War series titled 'Liberation of the Philippines'.


The following introduction is taken from the Pen and Sword website:

General Douglas A MacArthur, Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area, saw the liberation of the Philippines Archipelago as the launching board for the invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. By late 1944, with the capture of New Guinea and surrounding islands, the US Sixth and Eighth Armies were poised for the challenge.

American forces landed on Leyte on 20 October 1944 with the Leyte Gulf naval battle quickly following. By 25 December the island was cleared opening the way for Lieutenant General Walter Krueger’s Sixth Army to invade Luzon on 9 January 1945. Bitter Japanese resistance required Eichelberger’s Eighth Army as reinforcements. Manila finally fell on 4 March. In the meantime Bataan was captured on 16 February and Corregidor on 2 March after a US airborne assault. Fighting continued and MacArthur finally declared the liberation of the Archipelago on 5 July, just a month before the Atom bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

This superbly illustrated work in the Pacific War Images of War series leaves the reader in no doubt as to the intensity of the land, sea and air operations required by the Allies to defeat the Japanese.


This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Images of War book series, is authored by Jon Diamond.  The book is a soft backed book with a card cover, protecting 240 pages two of which will enable to the make notes for easy location of images you wish to refer to more than once. The contents of this book are provided as follows:



Chapter 1   Imperial Japan’s Conquest of the Philippines, 1941-1942

Chapter 2   Terrain, Weaponry and Fortifications

Chapter 3   Commanders and Combatants

Chapter 4   The American Invasion of Leyte, 20th October 1944

Chapter 5   Luzon’s Recapture and the Liberation on Manila

Chapter 6   Battles for Manila, Bataan and Corregidor, 1945

Chapter 7   Invasion of the Visayan Group, Mindanao and the Suluarchipelago, 1945



 With this being a book that by its very nature presents the information in a visual format, I was surprised and pleased to see the amount of written content provided by Jon Diamond. This is in no way a tome, but it does give you a better than usual oversight of the books contents, and the maps provided do serve a valid purpose. Even if you have purchased this book, purely for the imagery it contains, it is very much worth taking the time to read the contents, as well as looking at the imagery.

The photographs included, are all period black and white offerings and other than those covering some of the officers on both sides, I can’t recall having seen any of the others. Most of the photographs show soldiers at rest prior to and after conflict has taken place. The quality of the photographs in this offering are very mixed, from exceptionally high quality to not so good. But it is the images that are not of the highest quality, that has enabled many images not previously seen to be included. There are images of death and destruction in the title, and so if offended by such things, I found at least three that would come under that category. The value of the visual representations is very good, but for me it is the very well written captions that provide the greatest value, as it helps you with what, where and when.


This offering from Pen and Sword, is as typical for this series a visual delight. That will enable the modeller to pick out scenes they may wish to depict, or to take attributes from them and mix and match. The value of which is increased via the captions. 



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