Uncovering The Causes Of The Bataan Death March

1810 words - 8 pages

Uncovering the Causes of the Bataan Death March
On January 1942, the Japanese seized the peninsula of Bataan, cutting off American and Filipino soldiers, both under the command of the United States, from help and supplies. After ninety-nine days of fighting, more than 76,000 men surrendered and were forced to walk to Camp O’Donnell, a prison camp approximately sixty-six miles away.1 This was the first time in American history that an entire army had to surrender to an enemy.2 The Bataan Death March lasted from April 9, 1942 to May 1, 1942. The march was infamous for the 20,000 meaningless deaths that were caused by harsh conditions, malnourishment, the tropical heat, and the deliberate and merciless brutality of the Japanese Imperial Army. The propagandized behavior of most Japanese soldiers and the 14th Army’s failure to implement a workable plan to remove the prisoners from Bataan were the main contributors that turned the march into a chaos of human rights violations.
The culture of the Japanese Army was dramatically changed by Japanese Army leaders who justified cruelty by taking advantage of ancient Japanese concepts. Japanese Army leaders saw an advantage in having every soldier fight to the death and put together the Senjin Kun, or “Ethics in Battle.” The manual used ideas that could be traced back to the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868) and emphasized the shame of surrender. According to the Senjin Kun, being captured was a fate worse than death because it not only permanently disgraced the soldier, but also his entire family. The Army leaders used the samurai’s Bushido, or “the way of the warrior,” code as an excuse to abuse its own soldiers. Ancient ideas like Seppuku and Junsbi promoted a ritual suicide when dishonor to his superiors and his family was inevitable.3 The Japanese believed that any enemy troops they captured were shameful beings and deserved the harshest treatment for the mere fact that they were captured. American and Filipino prisoners of war did not show the terrible shame that was expected, making them seem even more disgraceful to Japanese soldier.
“The old story was that the Japanese Lieutenant, upset by criticism from his Captain, slapped and kicked the Sergeant, the Sergeant slapped and kicked the Corporal, the Corporal slapped and kicked the Private, and the Private went to the barn and slapped and kicked the horse” (Nelson). Prisoners of war replaced the horse as the bottom of the military hierarchy, so Japanese Privates finally had lower people that they could kick, slap, beat, torture and even kill without being punished. The Japanese Army was unable to provide their soldiers with sufficient equipment and expected that the spirit of Bushido to compensate for their lack of supplies. that brutality would keep them in line. For the Japanese soldier, brutality was a way of army life, and the more frustrated he became with prisoners who could not understand him or follow his orders, the more violent he became. 4

Find Another Essay On Uncovering the Causes of the Bataan Death March

The Causes of the Russian Revolution in March 1917

1336 words - 5 pages The Causes of the Russian Revolution in March 1917 There were many causes to explain the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in March 1917. Some of these can be defined as long term causes as their origin goes way back to pre-revolutionary times. Others are short-term reasons or even immediate effects, which act as the last spark, to bring the tense situation out of control. In this essay I will be looking at some of

Uncovering the Subtle Roles of Society

850 words - 4 pages A notable image that readers of the twentieth-century literature easily recognize is a bell jar. A bell jar is an unbreakable, stiff glass container that confines objects within its unescapable walls. It metaphorically represents the suffocating and airless enclosure of conformism prevalent during the 1950’s American society. More specifically, American societal standards approve men to have the dominant role as they are encouraged to attend

What Were The Main Causes Of The Revolution In March 1917 In Russia

2440 words - 10 pages What were the main causes of the revolution in March 1917? The revolution of March 1917 wasn't just a sudden event that happened and was planned over night, there were many causes, long and short term that finally brought out the peoples strength.There were many long-term reasons for the Russian people being dissatisfied. The people weren't being governed properly. This was because Russia was full of many different races and social classes and

Uncovering the Third Man

1824 words - 8 pages While many things distinguish people from one another, there is one thing that links every human being together: destination. No matter how different two people may live their lives, they will both end it with death. Although it is impossible to avoid this destination, could prolonging it be a capability of all human beings? A phenomenon taking over the globe is doing just that, allowing people to see another day even after looking into the

uncovering the third man

1699 words - 7 pages While many things distinguish people from one another, there is one thing that links every human being together: destination. No matter how different two people may live their lives, they will both end it with death. Although it is impossible to avoid this destination, could prolonging it be a capability of all human beings? A phenomenon taking over the globe is doing just that, allowing people to see another day even after looking into the eyes

Causes and Effects of The Black Death

931 words - 4 pages disease, as a result creating a better environment for rats to live in. The lack of knowledge in the fourteenth century led to even worse remedies. During the Middle Ages, people didn’t have scientific equipment like microscopes to examine the organisms. So they concluded causes for the Black Death with unsupported evidence. Many physicians and doctors said it was in the air. It was inevitable to catch the Black Death as they claimed. Physicians

Uncovering Robin's Hood: The History of the Well Known Legend

882 words - 4 pages , the kings and lords had most of the land, while the people had none. During this time, people needed a hero to give hope to everyone and help them through this dark time. This is when the legend of Robin Hood was born. Robin Hood is about a skilled archer who turns rebel. He steals from the rich and gives to the poor, accompanied by his band of merry men. The struggle during the Middle Ages is what causes people (mostly peasants) to want to

The Death March: Lessons Learned from the Holocaust

1463 words - 6 pages its people still have not learned from the past, and are not willing to stand up against it. It is difficult to understand the cruelty of the human race. I was reading the stories of the Death March of 1944-45, and I could not stop thinking about all those people who had to walk hundreds of miles in the winter. The death march was the last segment of World War two, but there was a long history before it. It started at the concentration camps

A Longer Life: Uncovering the Secrets of Ageing

730 words - 3 pages travelled to the University of London to interview Matthew Piper, a Post Doctoral Fellow of the university about his research into the mechanisms of ageing; what factors effects an organism's lifespan; and what he uncovered in general so far about healthy ageing. Accordingly, his research has unearthed some remarkable facts about how to live a longer life, by means of uncovering "the secrets of ageing". Experimenting with age Dr. Piper's experiments

Uncovering the Truth about Hypnosis

985 words - 4 pages Throughout history, hypnosis has been a widely accepted practice that was said to solve everything from psychological disorders, to weight loss. Hardly any research had been conducted on the effectiveness of hypnosis. That is, until Nicolas Spanos (1982) released his findings gathered from sixteen separate studies on hypnosis. Spanos’ theory was that hypnosis was not an altered state of consciousness, but actually voluntary actions carried out

Uncovering the Hidden Oil Vats

1089 words - 4 pages Drilling for oil has been a common practice for over the past few decades. It has also been a very controversial practice that divides people who are for the drilling and people that are against it. In the past, there have been several occurrences where oil wells have been polluting the wild life in the designated drilling areas. As a result, there have been strong efforts to consolidate the issue by researching more efficient ways of drilling

Similar Essays

Bataan Death March Essay

2374 words - 9 pages In history, the Holocaust is considered the epitome of cruelty. Yet this even often overshadows the examples of cruelty in our own American history. The Bataan Death March is one of these overshadowed events. The Bataan Death March began on April 15, 1942 after American forces surrendered at the Battle of Bataan on April 9, 1942 in the Philippines. Seventy-eight thousand American and Filipino soldiers were forced to evacuate Bataan to Camp

Bataan Death March (Command Responsibility)

2356 words - 9 pages was the Japanese commander at the time of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. According to Kurt Steiner's article, War Crimes and Command Responsibility: From the Bataan Death March to the My Lai Massacre, Lawrence Taylor proclaims General Homma the "Poet General" and as a pacifist. "He was known to have spoken excellent English and had a reputation for being a brilliant tactician and organizer." General Homma is not believed to have

Bataan Of Bataan: The War In The Phillippines

1577 words - 7 pages Introduction The war in the Philippines began with Japanese attacking Clark Field destroying most of the American bomber forces. General Douglas MacArthur then activated War Plan Orange, which was the gradual withdrawal of Philippine and American forces to their defensive positions on the Bataan Peninsula. The 80,000 American and Philippine troops who reached the jungle mountain fastness of Bataan on January 6, 1942, did not view their

The Death March Essay

1631 words - 7 pages Bataan | PBS." Interview by Edwin Ramsey, Richard Gordon, and Leon Beck. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. 2009. Web. . Holocaust Encyclopedia. "Death Marches." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 06 Jan. 2011. Web. . Nelson, Jim. "The Causes of the Bataan Death March Revisited." 11 May 2007. Web. . Smurthwaite, David. The Pacific War Atlas 1941-1945. New York: HMSO, 1995. Print.