Pacific Hurtgen: The American Army in Northern Luzon, 1945

by Robert M. Young

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Too often in war many of its campaigns are forgotten. One such forgotten campaign occurred in the Philippines during the last year of World War II. American Army units fought a bitter battle against dug-in, fanatical Japanese soldiers on the Philippine island of Luzon. It was a campaign that need not have happened. American forces throughout the Pacific were on Japan’s doorstep but due to the immense power and personal desires of a singular commander, General Douglas MacArthur, the Philippines would once again become a major theater of the war. It did not bring the defeat of Japan any closer but did leave many thousands of American soldiers dead and tens of thousands wounded. In Europe, the American Army’s most wasteful campaign occurred in the Hurtgen Forest in 1944. Luzon would be the Pacific Hurtgen.

About the Author 
Dr. Robert Young received a B.A. from St. John’s University, an M.A. from Brooklyn College, and a Ph.D in Military History from the C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center. He is currently an Associate Professor at American Military University as well as a New York City High School History teacher. He is the author of numerous articles on World War II and post-Cold War conflicts. A New York City native and United States Army veteran, he currently lives in Long Island with his wife and two children.