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The American Empire’s Disastrous Defeat in 1942

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The American defense of the Philippines in 1942 is remembered as a valiant effort to hold off the unstoppable Japanese Army. The conquest of the Philippines by Japan is the worst major military defeat in United States history. After just four months of fighting, over 23,000 American military personnel were killed or captured, while embedded Filipino soldiers killed or captured totaled over 100,000. The soldiers fought well, but the overall defense plan was horribly incompetent resulting in a rapid defeat by a smaller Japanese force.

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“The Fall of the Philippines”; Louis Morton; US Army History Center; 1953; https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/5-2/5-2_Contents.htm#toc

“Reports of General MacArthur”; Department of the Army: 1950; https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/MacArthur%20Reports/MacArthur%20V2%20P1/macarthurv2.htm#contents

“Malaria and the Defense of Bataan”; MEDICAL DEPARTMENT UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II; Department of the Army; concludes that malaria and malnutrition caused more casualties than Japanese invaders. https://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/Malaria/chapterIX.htm

“Douglas MacArthur Is One of America’s Most Famous Generals. He’s Also the Most Overrated”; Time; Nov. 11, 2019; https://time.com/5724009/douglas-macarthur-is-one-of-americas-most-famous-generals-hes-also-the-most-overrated/

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