NEWS FROM THE FRONT
No pain no gain – but unfortunately unnecessary pain when the obvious dangers are ignored. Politicians suffer no pain – you do.
31st December, 1941 : The Americans and Filipinos complete the evacuation of Manila. Some key positions, such as Calumpit bridge, are reinforced to hold the enemy and allow the defenders to concentrate their forces in the Bataan peninsula. At 5.45 pm the first Japanese enter Manila, which is in flames. MacArthur has already lost 30,000 men; he still has 80,000 (15,000 Americans and the rest Filipino). Demoralised and ill-equipped, they prepare for a last stand.
The Indian troops still try to hold up the enemy near Kampar, on the west of the peninsula, and Kuantan on the east. But the British have already abandoned to the enemy an area that produces 38% of the world’s rubber and 58% of its tin.