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Bataan Death March
Transcript of Bataan Death March
The Invasion of the Philippines
The day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor Japanese Troops invaded the Philippines
Within a month they captured Manila the capital which was located on the island of Luzon
This invasion forced U.S. and Filipino troops to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula.
54,000 out of the original 75,000 troops made it to the prisoner of war camps
There is no definite number of people who died but it is estimated 7,000 to 10,000 died in total
It was assumed that some escaped into the jungle
America avenged this by the invasion of Leyte in October of 1944
In February of 1945 General Hommg Masahare, a Japanese commander, who was held responsible for the Bataan Death March was executed by firing squad on April 3rd 1946
"Courage is a quality God has seen fit to dispense with utmost care. The men of Bataan were His chosen favorites."
~Major General Edward P. King, Jr., USA Commanding General, Luzon Forces, 1942
For the next 3 months the American and Filipino forces were under siege
They were given no naval or air support
On April 9th 1942, due to food and water shortages U.S. General Edward King Jr. surrendered about 75,000 troops to Japan
The Japanese divided troops into groups of around 100 men and forced them to march a total of 65 miles from Marineles to San Fernando.
It took each group about 5 days to complete this trip
The survivors of this brutal march were than stuffed into cattle carts and shipped off to prisoner of war camps.
The March Continued
The Japanese treated the prisoners of war very poorly.
During the march the troops were starved, beaten and killed
Those who were to weak to walk were either shot or bayoneted
Buzzard Squads often fallowed groups and killed those who fell behind
The troops who had surrendered were already weakened by starvation, lack of water and disease, were give little food and no water during the course of their journey.
The sweltering heat made it worse