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Bataan Defenders - Soldier Engaging in Sabotage

Bataan Defenders - Soldier Engaging in Sabotage History Social Studies World History World War II Tragedies and Triumphs

American and Filipino defenders, throughout the Philippines, did not have enough supplies.  They did what they could to sabotage wooden bridges (by spreading straw to aid fire-starting), destroy steel bridges and prepare temporary bridges for their own use.

Without guidance from engineers, however, the defenders' work product was more primitive than they would have liked.  Even wisdom from much-needed officers was in short supply - just like everything else (particularly food).  As an officer wrote in his diary:

Each day's combat, each day's output of physical energy took its toll on the human body - a toll which could not be repaired.  When this fact is understood, the story of Bataan is told.

This image - of a soldier spreading straw - is included in The Fall of the Philippines, by Louis Morton.  It has this description:

BRIDGES ON BATAAN ... straw ready to be set on fire is piled over a wooden bridge...


Media Credits

Photo included in The Fall of the Philippines, by Louis Morton, Chapter XV - “Setting the Stage,” at page 260.   Image online, courtesy ibiblio.org website (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

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