Battle of the Visayas
The Battle of Visayas was fought by Filipino guerillas and U.S. forces against the Japanese. The battle started on March 18 and ceased on July 30, 1945, during World War II. This was done in order to release the southern part of the Philippines from captivity and to attain freedom from Japanese colonization. A big portion of the Visayas region became bases for the Japanese at that time and freedom in these areas assured absolute freedom from captivity.
During that time, two of the largest cities in the Philippines, Cebu and Iloilo, were under the hands of the Japanese. Aside from wanting to free the two cities, MacArthur also wanted Filipinos from these areas to be part of the troop that will ensure freedom from the Japanese.
Operation VICTOR I
During the Battle of the Visayas, the entire region was suggested to be divided into two areas of operation. The first area, Negros included the dominant terrain running north and south, was called VICTOR I. It was composed of the islands in Northwestern Negros and Panay Island. The first objective of the operation was to free Panay. On March 18, 1945, the troop of Americans and Filipino guerillas seized Guimaras and Inampulagan islands between Panay and Negros and caused the surrender of 1, 500 Japanese troops. The next day, Iloilo fell with no opposition.
Operation VICTOR II
While the seizure of Panay and northwestern Negros were in operation, the seizure of Cebu, Bohol and southeastern Negros was underway and it was dubbed as Operation VICTOR II. There were around 14,500 Japanese troops holding Cebu and one-third of which were combat-ready. On March 26, 1945, the American troops and Philippine guerillas landed on the west and east part of Talisay beach. The Japanese resisted the attack effectively and stopped the advance. The next day, the American troops moved to the city of Cebu and worked on the seizure of the area. On March 28, Lahug airfield in the northeast of Cebu was seized by American troops. In between these operations were efforts made to free other parts of the Visayas.
After the battle, the U.S. Division suffered less casualties compared to the troops of Japan.
Battle of the Visayas (Accessed on 16 July 2009)