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Great Raid, The - THE BATAAN DEATH MARCH

Prisoners of War on the Bataan Death March Civil Rights Famous Historical Events World War II

With the fall of Bataan, Filipino and American prisoners of war endured the unendurable when they marched to a Japanese-controlled POW camp. U.S. Air Force photo. Public Domain.

 

Filipino and American forces put up road blocks, tank obstacles and double-apron fence enlargements on Bataan, in an effort to deter the Japanese. Despite their best efforts, the combined forces could not stop the Japanese advance.

Nearly four months to the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, Bataan fell on April 9th. Fighting for months on half-rations or less, the men could no longer continue.

Major General Edward King, who had been given command of the peninsula by Wainwright, was forced to surrender. Captured Japanese photographs depict the anguish of defeat and the jubilation of victory. Several show King and his colleagues in captivity.

The Japanese conquerors scorched Bataan. They rounded up between 50,000 - 70,000 already-weakened Filipino and American prisoners and marched them - during what has since become known as “The March of Death” - from Bataan to a former Philippine constabulary training camp called O’Donnell.

Approximately 54,000 men arrived at that camp which had neither the water to maintain, nor the facilities to house, them. A single water spigot (some accounts say two) served the entire place, but Filipinos were forced to drink polluted water.

At least 10,000 Filipinos died early on.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5139stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Oct 26, 2015


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