Bataan Death March

Marina Sanchez , Mary Miner , 4th period

Fact about Bataan Death March

The Bataan Death March began on April 10, 1942, when the Japanese assembled about 78,000 prisoners (12,000 U.S. and 66,000 Filipino).

After months of fierce fighting , the exhausted allied troops defending Bataan surrendered on Corregidor held out for another month. The Japanese forced their Bataan prisoners — many sick and near starvation — to march to a prison camp more than 60 miles away . In the book

The day after Japan bombed the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines began. Within a month, the Japanese had captured Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and the American and Filipino defenders of Luzon (the island on which Manila is located) were forced to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula

which began on April 9, 1942, was the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000–80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II.[

All told, approximately 2,500–10,000 Filipino and 100–650 American prisoners of war died before they could reach their destination at Camp O'Donnell.[ death march

The Battle of Bataan ended on April 9, 1942, when U.S. General Edward P. King surrendered to Japanese General Masaharu Homma. At that point 75,000 soldiers became Prisoners of War: about 12,000 Americans and 63,000 Filipinos. What followed was one of the worst atrocities in modern wartime history—the Bataan Death March.

During the Battle of Bataan, the American and Filipino soldiers of General Douglas MacArthur’s United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) had held out for four months against the Imperial Japanese Army, while every other island and nation in the Pacific and Southeast Asia fell to the Japanese. By March 1942, Japan controlled all of the Western Pacific except the Philippines.

A terrible silence settled over Bataan about noon on April 9," remembered General Jonathan Wainwright, the man who had assumed MacArthur's command after he left for Australia.

We began walking the next morning. It was about eighty miles from where we started to where we ended up. It doesn't seem very far, but we were in such awful condition that eighty miles was a heck of a long way to walk. It took six days to get to San Fernando. There, the march ended and we got on board a train. But in that six days, a lot happened.

Starting out from Mariveles, on the southern end of the Bataan Peninsula, on April 9, 1942, they were force-marched 55 miles (88 km) to San Fernando, then taken by rail to Capas, from where they walked the final 8 miles (13 km) to Camp O’Donnell.

The war came to the Philippines the same day it came to Hawaii and in the same manner – a surprise air attack. In the case of the Philippines, however, this initial strike was followed by a full-scale invasion of the main island of Luzon three days later. By early January, the American and Filipino defenders were forced to retreat to a slim defensive position on the island's western Bataan Peninsula.

Approximately 1,800 men from the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiment – also known as the “New Mexico Brigade” deployed to the Philippines in September 1941, during World War II.

The Bataan Death March was a 70-mile forced march of American and Filipino prisoners of war by Japanese forces during World War II.

Approximately 72,000 American and Filipino soldiers were forced to surrender to Japan's Imperial Army after their defeat in the grinding, three-month-long Battle of Bataan (January 7 - April 9, 1942). The Allied soldiers had not been resupplied for a couple of months, and many were sick and malnourished.

The Bataan Memorial Death March honors a special group of World War II heroes. These brave soldiers were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines.

The conditions they encountered and the aftermath of the battle were unique. They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help. They fought with outdated equipment and virtually no air power.

The Bataan* Death March began as a plea for life. Men were tired, weak, and lacking food. The 70-mile march from Mariveles (on the tip of Bataan) to San Fernando was a trial that tested a man, broke him, or got him killed. The famished men who made the exhausting march in World War II would never be forgotten.

On April 9, 1942, American and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula on West Luzon Island in the Philippines decided that they would not survive much longer in their fight against the Japanese. They were low on food, ammunition, and morale, and men were dying from lack of nourishment more than enemy fire. In the afternoon of the 9th, they turned themselves over to the Japanese by raising white flags, T-shirts, and whatever other white articles they had to let them know they were finished with fighting.

By the spring of 1941, rising tensions between the United States and Japan made it clear the two countries were headed for a show-down. Japan was a relatively isolated group of islands lacking in raw mineral resources like oil and iron. After almost a decade of war with China, an aggressive Japan had ambitions of taking the entire Pacific Rim, including Australia, as part of a greater Japanese Empire.

The Philippines lay in their path. The United States had acquired the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War with Spain in 1898. Though plans were underway to grant the Philippines their independence, the islands had become one of the United States' most strategic locations.

In a war against the U.S., time was Japan's weakness; lacking in steel and fuel, it could not sustain a long war with the energy and resource rich United States. It therefore had to strike fiercely and decisively and could spare no delays. For its part, the United States had a military 10 percent the size of today's. The isolationist policies of the 1920s and 1930s put America's military behind and unprepared for war. That partially explains why thousands of National Guardsmen from small towns around the country joined thousands of enlisted Army, Navy, and Air Corps personnel in the summer of 1941 in the Philippines. .

"Because death became commonplace, it is the horror of what it took to survive that is remembered. Little is forgotten, yet much is not spoken of. . ." -Donald Knox 1 The cruelty of the Japanese forces in the invasion of the Philippines during WWII forced the migration during Bataan Death March that ended the lives of many Allied and Filipino soldiers. Out of the 78,000 soldiers forced to march, only about 54,000 reached the camp. All official records were burned or buried during the capture, so we will never know exactly how many American and Filipino troops died on the Bataan Death March.

From the beginning of the United States' involvement in WWII, the American forces in the Phillippines were unprepared. In Bataan, there were about 78,000 Allied soldiers. 68,000 of them were Filipino and the remaining 12,000 were Americans. They only had a small number of planes and tanks, because the Japanese had bombed most of the bombers while they were still on the airfield at the very beginning of the war. The loss of seventeen B-17's and fifty-three P-40's quickly gave the Japanese air superiority. Most of the Filipino soldiers were civilians and were unequipped for war because many of them had WWI style rifles and only five-and-a-half months of training. Their uniforms consisted of a coconut helmet, blue denim fatigues, canvas shoes, and a light pack.

On December 10, 1941, the Japanese started their invasion of the Philippines.At the time, the US was about to grant the Philippines its independence, so they only had a few troops stationed there. General Douglas MacArthur was appointed to command the Fil-American forces in the Philippines. After heavy losses in Manila, MacArthur and his soldiers abandoned Manila and retreated to the Bataan Peninsula in late December.

The Bataan peninsula is located to the West of Manila and is important because it has access to Corregidor, a small island that blocks the Manila Bay. Control of this island alows complete power over Manila Bay. They set up defensive lines and held the Bataan peninsula for a little less than three months. As the three months went by, the isolated US troops were running short on food and medicine while the Japanese were on the other side and were resting. The Japanese were also probably waiting for the American and Filipino soldiers to run out of food and become weak. The American soldiers were down to half rations (1,000 calories) and then quarter rations and many of them were sick with malaria and malnutrition.

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