Philippine Commonwealth Army
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The
Philippine Army The Philippine Army (PA) (Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), ...
was established on December 21, 1935 as the Army of the Philippines, with a general headquarters in
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are ...

Manila
, and units and formations based throughout the provinces of the Philippines. The Philippine Army was initially organized under the
National Defense Act of 1935 The National Defense Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act No. 1) was passed by the Philippine National Assembly on December 21, 1935. The purpose of this act was to create an independent Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine military, a move interru ...
(Commonwealth Act No. 1) that formally created the
Armed Forces of the Philippines The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ( fil, Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas; es, Fuerzas Armadas de Filipinas) are the military forces of the Philippines. It consists of the three main service branches; the Philippine Army, Army, the Philip ...
. Certain components of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were under the control of the
United States Army Forces in the Far East United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) (Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, ...
(USAFFE) from 1941 to 1946, after the entry of the U.S. into
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
.


Origin

Before the establishment of the Commonwealth Government in 1935, no effort was made for self-defense by Philippine forces since the United States assumed responsibility for the defense of the islands. An immediate concern of the commonwealth government was the defense of an emerging nation. President-elect
Manuel L. Quezon Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina, (, ; 19 August 1878 – 1 August 1944), also referred to by his initials MLQ, was a Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''F ...
convinced his friend, General
Douglas MacArthur , birth_date = , birth_place = Little Rock, Arkansas (The Little Rock, The "Little Rock") , government_type = council-manager government, Council-manager , leader_title = List of mayors of Lit ...

Douglas MacArthur
(
Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army The chief of staff of the Army (CSA) is the service chief of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is si ...
), to organize a national army with
Franklin D. Roosevelt Franklin Delano Roosevelt (, ; January 30, 1882April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the De ...

Franklin D. Roosevelt
's agreement in the summer of 1935. MacArthur had unusually-broad authority to deal with the
Secretary of War The secretary of war was a member of the U.S. president The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foak ...
and the Chief of Staff as military adviser to the commonwealth government to organize a Philippine national army. MacArthur had broad authority to deal with the United States
Secretary of War The secretary of war was a member of the U.S. president The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foak ...
, his successor as the Army
Chief of Staff The title chief of staff (or head of staff) identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for w ...
, and the United States Army
Philippine Department The Philippine Department (Filipino: ''Kagawaran ng Pilipinas/Hukbong Kagawaran ng Pilipinas'') was a regular United States Army organization whose mission was to defend the Philippine Islands and train the Military History of the Philippines, Ph ...
and its commander Major General Lucius R. Holbrook (who had been told that his most important peacetime mission was to assist MacArthur in forming a Philippine force capable of defending the islands). MacArthur selected Majors
Dwight D. Eisenhower Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American military officer An officer is a member of an armed forces or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. In its broadest sense, the term ...
and James B. Ord as his assistants; they and a committee at the
Army War CollegeArmy War College may refer to: * United States Army War College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania * Army War College, Mhow, an institution of the Indian Army in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh * Army War College (Japan), a former college for officers of the Imperial ...
prepared plans for the defense of the Philippine Commonwealth, with a target of independence in 1946. The plan called for a small
regular army A regular army is the official army of a state or country (the official armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intens ...
with divisions of about 7,500 men,
conscription Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...
of all men between twenty-one and fifty years of age and a ten-year training program to build a
reserve army A military reserve force is a military organization whose members simultaneously hold military and civilian occupations. These members are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when their military requir ...
, a small air force and a fleet of
torpedo boat A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval ship designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs were steam-powered craft dedicated to ramming enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes. Later evolutions launched variants of se ...
s capable of repelling an enemy. The
National Assembly of the Philippines The National Assembly of the Philippines ( tl, Kapulungáng Pambansâ ng Pilipinas, es, Asamblea Nacional de Filipinas) refers to the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Poli ...
' first act was the passage of the
National Defense Act The National Defense Act of 1916, , was a United States federal law that updated the Militia Act of 1903, which related to the organization of the military, particularly the National Guard. The principal change of the act was to supersede provi ...
on December 21, 1935, with initial plans for a 10,000-man regular force based on the incorporation of the
Philippine Constabulary The Philippine Constabulary (PC; tl, Hukbóng Pamayapà ng Pilipinas, ''HPP''; es, Policía de Filipinas, ''PF'') was a gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A ...
, a 400,000-man reserve force by 1946, and a West-Point-type
military academy A military academy or service academy is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps. It normally provides education in a military environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned. ...

military academy
in
Baguio ( , ), officially the ( ibl, Syudad ne Bag-iw; ; ilo, Siudad ti ; tl, Lungsod ng ), is a Cities of the Philippines#Legal classification, in the , . It is known as the "Summer Capital of the Philippines", owing to its cool climate since ...

Baguio
on Luzon. Quezon noted that there was inadequate funds and time to build an effective naval defense force; the act provided for no navy, but an
Offshore Patrol The Offshore Patrol (OSP) also known as the Mosquito Fleet was a small naval branch of the United States Army, intended for Littoral zone, inshore defense of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. It was active from February 9, 1939 to June 30, 19 ...
within the army. The offshore patrol would be based on British-designed fast torpedo boats, with an anticipated thirty-six boats under contract by 1946. The
Philippine Army Air Corps The Philippine Army Air Corps ( fil, Pulutong Himpapawid ng Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas; es, Cuerpo Aéreo del Ejercito Filipino) was created in 1935 as the air component of the Philippine Army The Philippine Army (PA) (Filipino Filipin ...
would, by that time, have about 100 bombers and additional tactical aircraft in support of the offshore patrol in coastal defense. The Commonwealth would have ten
military district Military districts (also called military regions) are formation Formation may refer to: Linguistics * Back-formation, the process of creating a new lexeme by removing or affixes * Word formation, the creation of a new word by adding affixes Math ...
s (comparable to
corps area A Corps area was a geographically-based organizational structure (military district Military districts (also called military regions) are formation Formation may refer to: Linguistics * Back-formation, the process of creating a new lexeme by rem ...
s in the United States), each able to provide an initial reserve division (growing to three) with full development of the reserve force. In a 1936 speech MacArthur described the force's function as making an invasion so costly that no nation would make the attempt, emphasizing the islands' terrain as making penetration nearly impossible. Development was slow; 1936 was largely devoted to building camps and facilities, with the first conscripts called up on January 1, 1937. A major problem was the formation of a military-officer corps, with constabulary officers trained in law enforcement and limited numbers of
Philippine Scouts The Philippine Scouts (Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * ...
officers becoming senior officers in the new force. By the end of 1939, the reserve force numbered 104,000 men and 4,800 officers. The Philippine Army Air Corps had about forty planes and a hundred trained pilots by 1940. The offshore patrol's development was more problematic, with only two British boats delivered before the
war in Europe War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violenc ...
cut off further deliveries and a struggle to build boats under license locally produced only one boat by October 1941. President Quezon and others recognized that the naval defense was inadequate protection against a first-rate naval power, but the Philippines had neither the money nor industrial base to provide adequate naval force and relied on the assumption that the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
would not idly stand by if the Philippines were attacked. When the war with Japan began, the Philippine Army was six years from its founding in December 1935 and about five years from the 1946 date at which it was to be fully operational. The naval force which was to protect it against a first-rate naval power was in ruins at
Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon File:Kara-Bogaz Gol from space, September 1995.jpg, Garabogazköl, Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, su ...

Pearl Harbor
; the Japanese had pilots standing by fueled-and-loaded bombers in
Formosa , t2 = , s2 = , l2 = beautiful island , bpmf2 = ㄈㄨˊ ㄦˇ ㄇㄛˊ ㄕㄚ , w2 = Fu²-êr³-mo²-sha¹ , p2 = Fúĕrmóshā , tp2 = Fúĕrmósha , mps2 = Fúĕrmóshā , gr2 = Fwu'eelmosha , poj = Tâi-oân , tl = Tâi-uân , h = Thòi-và ...

Formosa
, prepared to strike the Philippines.


History


Initial establishment and training

The Army of the Philippines was initially organized under the
National Defense Act of 1935 The National Defense Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act No. 1) was passed by the Philippine National Assembly on December 21, 1935. The purpose of this act was to create an independent Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine military, a move interru ...
(Commonwealth Act No. 1), of December 21, 1935. The Act specified that presidential appointments to grades above third lieutenant should be made from former holders of reserve commissions in the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
and former Philippine Scouts and Constabulary officers. After the establishment of the commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon, its first president, sought the services of General Douglas MacArthur to evolve a national-defense plan. On December 21, 1935, the Army of the Philippines was established. The act set forth the organizational structure of the army and enlistment and mobilization procedures. The army's development was slow. In 1936 a general headquarters and camps were built, cadres were organized and instructors, drawn largely from the Philippine Constabulary, were trained. The commander of the
Philippine Department The Philippine Department (Filipino: ''Kagawaran ng Pilipinas/Hukbong Kagawaran ng Pilipinas'') was a regular United States Army organization whose mission was to defend the Philippine Islands and train the Military History of the Philippines, Ph ...
provided Philippine Scouts as instructors and detailed U.S. Army officers to assist in the inspection, instruction and administration of the program. By the end of the year, instructors were trained and camps (including general headquarters) established. The first group of 20,000 to 40,000 men was called up on January 1, 1937, and by the end of 1939 there were 4,800 officers and 104,000 men in the reserves. Infantry training was provided at camps throughout the Philippines; field-artillery training was concentrated near the U.S. Army's
Fort Stotsenburg Fort Stotsenburg, during the World War II era, was the location of the Philippine Department's 26th Cavalry Regiment, 86th Field Artillery Battalion (Philippine Scouts), 86th Field Artillery Battalion, and 88th Field Artillery Regiment; along w ...
(near
Angeles Angeles may refer to: Places *Los Angeles, the largest city in California and the Western United States *Angeles, Philippines, the most populous city in Pampanga, Central Luzon *Angeles National Forest, a national forest on the outskirts of Los A ...
in the province of
Pampanga Pampanga, officially the Province of Pampanga ( pam, Lalawigan ning Pampanga; tl, Lalawigan ng Pampanga) is a Provinces of the Philippines, province in the Central Luzon Regions of the Philippines, region of the Philippines. Lying on the northe ...
, about fifty miles north of Manila) and specialized training was provided at
Fort William McKinley Fort Andres Bonifacio (formerly named Fort McKinley) is the site of the national headquarters Headquarters (commonly referred to as HQ) denotes the location where most, if not all, of the important functions of an organization are coordinated. ...
, south of Manila. Coast artillery instruction was carried out at Fort Stotsenburg and
Grande Island Fort Wint was part of the harbor defenses of Manila and Subic Bays A harbor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the E ...
, in
Subic Bay Subic may refer to: * Šubić family The Šubić family was one of the Twelve noble tribes of Croatia and a great noble house which constituted Croatian statehood in the Middle Ages. They held the county of Bribir (Dalmatia), Bribir (''Varvaria'') ...
, by personnel supplied largely by the American commander at
Corregidor Corregidor Island ( tl, Pulo ng Corregidor ) is an island located at the entrance of Manila Bay in the southwestern part of Luzon in the Philippines. Due to this location, Corregidor has historically been fortification, fortified with coastal ar ...

Corregidor
.


Mobilization as part of U.S. Army Forces Far East

With the threat of war with the
Empire of Japan The was a historical nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of Sta ...

Empire of Japan
imminent, on July 26, 1941 a new U.S. command in the Far East, the
United States Army Forces Far East United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) (Filipino language, Filipino: ''Hukbong Katihan ng Estados Unidos sa Malayong Silangan/HKEUMS''; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Fuerzas del Ejército de los Estados Unidos en el Lejano Oriente'') ...
(USAFFE), was created under Douglas MacArthur (who also became a Philippine Field Marshal). That day, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a presidential order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) calling "all the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines" into the service of the U.S. armed forces. Despite the order's wording, it did not order all the military forces of the Philippine Commonwealth government into the service of the United States; only those units and personnel indicated in orders issued by a general officer of the United States Army were mobilized and made an integral part of the USAFFE, and only those members of a unit who physically reported for duty were inducted. With an annual appropriation of almost 16 million, the mobilized units trained new Filipino members in defense. The Philippine Army was drawn from local Christian and Muslim Filipinos, including native Filipinos, Filipino-Mestizos, Spanish-Filipinos,
Chinese-Filipinos Chinese Filipinos or otherwise referred to as Filipino Chinese (or in Philippine English, Philippine en, Chinoy; Filipino language, Filipino/ tl, Tsinoy / Tsinito (masculine) / Tsinita (feminine) / Pilipinong Tsino / Pilipinong Intsik  ; Ho ...
and Moro-Filipinos. By the time of the Japanese invasion the 10 reserve divisions were about two-thirds mobilized, for a force of 100,000 "poorly equipped and trained" troops. The
Philippine Scouts The Philippine Scouts (Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * ...
numbered about 12,000. The army was primarily infantry, with some
combat engineer A combat engineer (also called pioneer or sapper) is a type of soldier who performs military engineering Military engineering is loosely defined as the art, science, and practice of designing and building military works and maintaining line ...
s and artillery. At that time there were two regular and ten reserve divisions in the Army of the Philippines, spread across officers in general headquarters, camps in Manila and across the country. This included the North Luzon Force under Major General Jonathan M. Wainwright (general), Jonathan M. Wainwright); the South Luzon Force, activated on December 13, 1941 under Brig. Gen. George M. Parker (general), George M. Parker; the Visayan-Mindanao Force under Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp in the southern islands (61st Division (Philippines), 61st, 81st, and 101st Infantry Divisions and three other infantry regiments), and the reserve force. The North Luzon Force included the 11th, 21st, and 31st reserve infantry divisions. The South Luzon Force included the 1st (regular) Division and the reserve 41st Division (Philippines), 41st, 51st and 71st Division (Philippines), 71st Divisions. After the war ended, the Army was reorganized into the Philippine Armed Forces.


Commanders


See also

*
Armed Forces of the Philippines The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ( fil, Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas; es, Fuerzas Armadas de Filipinas) are the military forces of the Philippines. It consists of the three main service branches; the Philippine Army, Army, the Philip ...
* Military History of the Philippines *
Philippine Army The Philippine Army (PA) (Filipino Filipino may refer to: * Something from or related to the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), ...
* Philippine Revolutionary Army * Luna sharpshooters


References


Bibliography

* *


Further reading

* * * * * {{Refend Military history of the Philippines Military history of the Philippines during World War II Philippine Army, History Commonwealth of the Philippines