This week in the War, 6–12 April 1942: Bataan—The march of death
American prisoners carry comrades unable to walk; picture taken by a Japanese photographer during the march from Bataan, Philippines 1942 [Public domain , wiki]
This week in the war, on 9 April 1942, forces in the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines commanded by Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese. A terrible ‘march of death’ began that day. Over 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners-of-war were forced to march from Bataan to prison camps in the north.
For three days, prisoners were give no food. Many hundreds of Americans and many thousands of Filipinos were to die through sickness, exhaustion, and the heat. Many, too weak to continue, were simply bayoneted.
King’s surrender was contrary to the orders of MacArthur, although it was later approved by Roosevelt.