The Battle of Manila from 3 February to 3 March 1945, fought by American, Filipino and Japanese forces, was part of the Philippines' 1945 campaign. The one-month battle, which culminated in a terrible bloodbath and total devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater, and ended almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest.
Released prisoners in makeshift shantytown built in courtyard of Santo Tomas University, formerly used as a Japanese internment camp until its liberation by Allied forces entering the city, Manila, Luzon, Philippines, February 05, 1945
Ruins of the Old Fort Santiago resulting from battle for liberation from Japanese during WWII, Manila, Philippines, 1945
During World War II, Fort Santiago was captured by the Japanese. They soon discovered the use of the dungeons and sent many Philippine freedom fighters to there death by either torture or execution. The bottom dungeons were also affected by the tide, so drowning in cells was not uncommon.
The US destroyed the fort during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and was soon restored. The fort sustained heavy damage from American bombs during the Battle of Manila. It was later restored by the Intramuros Administration during the 1980's.