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This study is a historical analysis of the February 1945 battle to liberate Manila. It focuses on the large unit urban combat operations of the U.S. Amy XIV Corps. The XIV Corps attack was part of the larger Allied campaign to liberate Luzon in the Philippines. Manila was an important political and military objective. This month long battle was the only time in the Second World War that U.S. forces fought the Japanese inside a major city. It represented a dramatic departure from the earlier island campaigns of the Pacific Theater.
The study evaluates the relationship between the strategic and operational importance of modern major cities and U.S. tactical doctrine for seizing a defended city. The analysis includes U.S. Army World War II large unit doctrine for offensive urban combat, the circumstances that determined the city of Manila would become a battlefield, and the adaptation of doctrine by XIV Corps in Manila. From this historical analysis, we can determine planning and operational considerations for likely corps and division level urban combat today.