One of the talks that were held in the midst of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Manila in 1945 was a lecture held last February 12 at the Ortigas Foundation Library which asked the question that lingers on after 70 years: “Was the Destruction Necessary?”
Dr. James Zobel, (not related to the landed Zobel family in the Philippines) who serves as executive director of the MacArthur Library in Norfolk, Virginia, helmed this lecture that attempted to answer that question.
The Urban Roamer missed this lecture, but thankfully the Ortigas Foundation Library has uploaded the full lecture online.
The talk itself is informative enough to check out as one can at least get some insight on the circumstances behind the tragedy from the point of view of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the man who masterminded the US campaign to liberate the Philippines from Japanese forces. If anything, the lecture sheds light on how deep MacArthur’s ties to the Philippines is, which was beyond his now famous quote “I shall return” when he had to leave the country in the face of the advancing Japanese forces in 1942.
So do check out the video and hopefully, this will help in better understanding why Manila went through so much devastation 70 years ago.