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The Bataan Death March of World War II was the forced march on thousand of Filipino and American soldiers captured by Japanese forces upon the surrender of Bataan onApril 09, 1942. The fall of Bataan resulted in up to 100,000 prisoners of war (POW) in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army, which had few provisions and vehicles to accommodate them all. The POW’s were made to walk most of the way from Bataan to Camp O’Donnell, the biggest POW camp in the Philippines, located in Capas, Tarlac.

The POWs started walking in Mariveles, where they marched 55 miles (88km) to San Fernando, Pampanga. They were then forced into steel boxcars and taken by rail to Capass. From there, they walked the last eight miles (13km) to Camp O’Donnell.

The POWs marched under the scorching sun, without food and water. Many suffered from untreated wounds. While some were able to escape to the jungle, many collapsed by the wayside and died. Those who could not keep up with the march were beaten and shot.

Historians have had difficulty estimating the number of casualties of the march. Approximately 54,000 reached the comp. Around five thousand to 10,000 Filipinos and 650 Americans were estimated to have died along the way. Another 15,000 Filipinos were estimated to have died in the prison camp.

After the war Gen. Homma Masahura, Japanese commander of the invasion forces in the Philippines, was charged with war crimes in the Philippines, including responsibility for the march. He was tried by a US military commission in Manila, convicted, and executed on April 03, 1946

2 comments

Dave said... @ April 7, 2009 at 4:12 AM

nice post

derekengavin said... @ April 7, 2009 at 10:06 AM

yah..days to remember..

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