American Forces Arrive in Manila

By February 3, the American forces had begun to converge on Manila from different directions.

With help of intelligence supplied by Filipino guerrillas, the US elements had been able to find the bridges which had not been blown up by the Japanese during their retreat towards Manila.

By the time U.S. forces reached Manila on 3 February 1945, much of the city was already fortified by the Japanese defenders, especially south of the Pasig. The overall commander of the Japanese army forces in the Philippines was General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Yamashita’s command was subdivided into several “groups,” with the Shimbu Group under Lieutenant General Shizuo Yokoyama responsible for Manila. Yamashita wished to pull all his forces into a mountainous stronghold in northern Luzon, so he ordered Yokoyama to conduct an orderly evacuation from Manila and not defend it.