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    Kiangkiang Ifugao Province | Luzon Philippines
Location
Lat 16° 49' 0N Long 121° 1' 0E  Kiangan is located at an elevation of 2,509' / 764m in the mountains of Ifugao Province on Luzon in the Philippines. Prewar an unpaved horse trail crossed the Asin River (Asin Crossing) and continued eastward to Kiangan. Another horse trail dubbed Route 390 spanned northward via Hapao to Banaue. To the south is the Asin Valley.

Wartime History
During June 1945, Kiangan became the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 14th Area Army "Shobu Group" commanded by General Tomoyuki Yamashita moved his headquarters to Kiangan. By the middle of June 1945, he planned to defend Kiangkiang and the Asin Valley as his last stand perimeter using the mountainous terrain features for defense and prepared to fight to the death and tie down as many American forces as possible. Although cut off, the Shobu Group had small arms ammunition and mortars but lacked clothing and medical supplies and estimated their food would last until the middle of September 1945.

On July 12, 1945 the U. S. Army 6th Division, 63rd Infantry Regiment captures Kiangan but torrential rains that left the Americans stranded in Kiangan with only what could be hand carried to them. On July 24, 1945 the 20th Infantry Regiment took over and began to advance westward towards Kiangkiang and the Asin River and southward toward Antipalo and Tubliao.

As the U. S. Army troops approached the "Shobu Group" last stand area, resistance stiffened and faced difficult mountain terrain and were hampered by rains and by August 15, 1945 only advanced three miles when Japan surrendered. Meanwhile, the Japanese remained in the last stand area. On September 2, 1945 after Japan officially surrendered General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrendered the surviving "Shobu Group" of roughly 50,500 troops including approximately 40,000 in the last stand area of the Asin Valley.

References
U. S. Army in World War II - Triumph in the Philippines Chapter XXIX Pursuit in Northern Luzon pages 559 (last stand area), 567-568 (geography and defensive situation), 576 (U. S. Army liberation), 578-579 (last stand)

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Last Updated
September 3, 2020

 

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