The Battle of Mindanao
was fought by United States forces and allied Filipino guerrillas against the Japanese
from 10 March-15 August 1945 at Mindanao
island in the Philippine Archipelago, in a series of actions officially designated as Operation VICTOR V, and part of the campaign for the liberation of the Philippines
during World War II
. The battle was waged to complete the recapture of the southernmost portions of the archipelago and secure them from remaining Japanese forces.
The campaign for Mindanao
posed the greatest challenge for the liberating American forces, primarily for three reasons: the island's inhospitable geography; the extended Japanese defenses; and the strength and condition of the Japanese forces, which contained the significantly remaining concentration of combat troops in the Philippines.
Like most of the Philippine Islands and other similar places the U.S. Army operated elsewhere in the Pacific, the geographical conditions of Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, offered very little inspiration for soldiers who would have to fight there. It boasted a long and irregular coastline, the inland topography generally characterized as rugged and mountainous. Rain forests and numerous crocodile-infested rivers covered the terrain, the rest by either lake, swamp or grassland. These grassland regions—along with dense groves of abacá
trees, source of hemp fiber—offer the worst obstacles which limit vision and sapping the... Read More