Bataan Death March:

By:Kimberley Harbaugh

The Batman Death March began as a plea for life on the day of April 10 1942 when
70,000 Filipino and American troops surrendered to Japanese troops on the Bataan
Peninsula. They were low on food, ammunition, and men were dying from lack of
nourishment more than enemy fire.The leader of the Japanese troops was a man named
General Homma.He ordered the U.S. and Filipino troops to travel north to Nueva
Ecijato Camp O'Donnell. The Prisoners of War (POW) troops traveled from the Bataan
Peninsula on West Luzon Island in the Philippines to Camp O'Donnell. Any troops who
fell behind were killed. Japanese troops would beat soldiers randomly and POW's
wouldn't be fed for days.Even if they asked for water they would be killed. They
were rarely given food and when they were it was only a handful of bacteria covered
rice.When they were allowed to sleep, it was only a few hours. They were packed onto
little areas where they could barely move.

One of the tortures used was known as the sun treatment because the
Philippines in April were very hot. Sun Torture was when POW's were forced to sit
in the sun without shade or water left to die.For a short period of the march prisoners of the
war were packed into railroad cars and allowed to ride. Many POW's were killed by
the suffocating boxcars (enclosed box on wheels).But if they did survive they were
forced to walk about seven more miles until they reached the destination.If the
commander told the POW's they couldn't even whistle,and they did. He could inflict
any type of punishment, even execution. The Geneva Convention stated,"If any prisoner
escaped and was recaptured, he was not to be punished.-
(" However, the Japanese
did not care.

In 1946, General Homma Masahuro was held responsible for the brutal treatment of the
soldiers.He was sent to court and convicted in Los Angeles, California,and executed that
same year by firing squad. The top Japanese war criminal was Tojo Hideki, Japan's war
minister and Prime Minister. He made a Suicide attempt after Japan surrendered, On Dec.8,
1945, he was sent to Sugamo Prison and was executed on December 23, 1948. Yamashita
Tomoyuki also received a death sentence.One in three died in the hands of the Japanese,
starving to death, worked to death, beaten to death. On June 6, 1946 the Filipino prisoners
were granted amnesty and were allowed to leave. The American prisoners were then moved to
Cabanatuan.Camp O' Donnell Memorial Monument was built by the organization known as
"The Battling Bastards of Bataan" to honor the American men who died at Camp O"Donnell,
while being prisoners of war.


Some Prisoners of War would be executed for just asking for water.

The Prisoners of War traveling up to Camp O'Donnell.