The Bataan Death March
“A P.O.W is standing next to a fresh water stream extremely dehydrated. He is forced to stand next to the stream by a Japanese soldier. The P.O.W. is not allowed to drink from the stream under any circumstances. He can no longer bear it, drops to his knees, and takes a drink of water from the stream. Although he does not hear the Japanese soldier walking up behind him as he takes out his sword. With one quick slash the P.O.W.’s head drops to the ground severed and bloody” (Kaufman 89). The Japanese soldiers were too harsh when it was not necessary. There was no reason for the Japanese soldier to chop off the P.O.W.’s head when he was simply drinking water. The horrible treatment of the P.O.W.’s occurred during World War II. There were hundreds of American troops on the march. “And those hundreds of United States troops were forced to travel numerous miles on foot making their way to P.O.W. camps. So many troops died on this path that it became known as The Bataan Death March” (Grolier 43). The reason The Bataan Death March has its name is not humane. It is quite awful and disgusting. The commanding officer for the American troops was General Douglas MacArthur. The Bataan Death March helped contribute to the beginning of the end of World War II although the cost was too great because the Japanese soldiers were too harsh, the prisoners were treated like animals and the numbers of the march are too high to be considered acceptable.
The prisoners of the war were treated horribly. For example, “They were tied up with telephone wire and had their hands bound. And sometimes they were beheaded and bayonetted” (Bard 126). The prisoners were both American and Filipino. Consistently the prisoners were weak and exhausted. Gerhard Weinberg wrote, “The prisoners were very weak because they received little to no food and water during the march. Those who struggled were shot or bayonetted. Once they had reached the railroad around six hundred Americans...
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