by Robert M. Young
History has produced many famous armies. It has also produced several that few knew even existed. The American Eighth Army of World War II is one such force. They existed for only about 8 months yet saw action throughout the Southwest Pacific, specifically in the Philippines. Under the command of General Robert Eichelberger they conducted operations in the Southern Philippines, on the islands of Panay, Negros, Cebu, and Mindanao, as well as conducting mopping up operations on Leyte and Luzon. It was a small army, never having more than 5 divisions, and other than Mindanao those divisions never fought together. It was also an army that never experienced defeat. They experienced frustration, a tenacious enemy, and at times shortages of troops. Yet victory was at every turn. The war was coming to an end and the Eighth Army played its part by liberating the rest of the Philippines from Japanese control. The atomic bombs made an invasion of Japan unnecessary but the Eighth Army stood ready to take part in what would have been one of history’s largest operations.
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 a Professor of History and Military History at American Military University. He is the author of several books on World War II in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) ad well as numerous articles on World War II and post-World War II conflicts. A New York City native and United States Army veteran, he currently lives in Long Island with his wife and two children.