Great Raid, The - Summary

After Japan attacked the Philippines, in December of 1941, General Douglas MacArthur moved most of his men to a Philippine peninsula not far from Manila called Bataan. MacArthur remained on Corregidor, a rocky island referred to as "The Gibralter of the East."

 Without telling MacArthur their actual plans - that the American government would temporarily abandon soldiers, sailors and nurses serving their country in the Philippines - President Roosevelt and General Marshall ordered MacArthur to Australia. MacArthur thought his urgent dispatches would lead to desperately needed help.

The government, however, sent reinforcements to Australia - where fighting forces would be built up to resist the Japanese - leaving MacArthur's men in the Philippines to survive by their own wits. Not until he was in Australia did the general learn that his return to the Philippines would be delayed indefinitely.

After Bataan fell, on the 9th of April 1942, its Japanese conquerors rounded up between 50,000 - 70,000 already-weakened Filipino and American prisoners. The Filipinos were eventually given amnesty, but the Americans who survived the “Bataan Death March” were ultimately sent to a POW camp at Cabanatuan. By January of 1945, only 511 prisoners were still alive.

Word of their plight had reached worried military officials who wanted to rescue them. On the 30th of January, 1945, the Cabanatuan survivors were liberated in one of the most famous rescue operations in the history of the United States military.

In this story about “The Great Raid,” virtually visit the Philippines to see Bataan, Corregidor and Camps O’Donnell and Cabanatuan. See Japanese photographs of the death march, now maintained at the National Archives.

Meet Lt. Col. Henry Mucci (Benjamin Bratt), Captain Prince (James Franco) and Captain Juan Pajota (Cesar Montano) who played instrumental roles in the raid. Hear about Ben Steele (a POW survivor) whose drawings of Cabanatuan provide a rare look at its wretched conditions.

And ... Examine Exhibit 2015, from the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, which the court admitted as evidence on January 9, 1947. The two-page document is also known as the “Kill-All Policy.”

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Jul 06, 2019

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"Great Raid, The" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2005. Dec 15, 2019.
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