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April 27, 2020

PHOTO: Preparing to Blow up a Bridge in Batangas, 1941

Image credit:  United States National Archives. Filipino soldiers prepare to blow up a bridge in Batangas, 1941.
Image credit:  United States National Archives. Filipino soldiers prepare to blow up a bridge in Batangas, 1941.
Late in December 1943, with American forces in the Philippines unable to hold back the tide of the Japanese invasion, orders were issued by Gen. Douglas MacArthur for both American and Filipino forces to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula where the defense against the invaders could be consolidated1.

As troops withdrew, they were ordered, they executed tactics aimed at slowing the advance of the Japanese or preventing strategically important things from falling into their hands. Hence, the Americans and the Filipino soldiers were not averse to burning establishments or blowing up bridges, anything that could be of advantage to them as they withdrew to Bataan.

The photo above2, for example, shows a small group of Filipino soldiers preparing to blow up a bridge before leaving as directed. Previous to the Japanese invasion, MacArthur had put in place a plan to shore up coastal defenses. Hence, the photo was probably taken near a Batangas coastal town.

Originally downloaded from the United States National Archives, the photo above has been reduced to 2000 x 1461 pixels for quicker download by those with smaller Internet bandwidths. It has also been processed using graphics editing software to improve overall quality.

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Notes and references:
1Battle of Bataan,” Wikipedia.
2 The original photo has been downloaded from the United States National Archives.

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