Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The fall of Philippines to Japanese in 1942

America has been in many wars over more than 200 years and we have won most of them, however, we have not won all the battles. This is one that we lost at the beginning of World War II.

The George W. Bush Iraq War has been lost, and about 70 percent of Americans agree. The one that does not agree is the Commander in Chief of the American Armed Forces. He lied to use before he ordered the invasion of Iraq, and now he has no workable plan to get out of there. Iraq played no part of 911.

Bush said Iraq had (WMD) weapons of mass distructions, and he knew where they were located <> none were found. He then said that he wanted Iraq to have a government of democracy <> it did not and will not happen. After four years of fighting, Bush is responsible for over 3,000 young Americans to be killed and more than 25,000 wounded <> many with no legs, arms, eyes, etc. My plan is to impeach both Bush and Dick Cheney. Our nation cannot keep these insane people in Washington for another two years.
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Bataan Death March

"With broken heart and with head bowed in sadness, but not in shame, I report that today I must arrange terms for the surrender of the fortifiedislands of Manila Bay, Corregidor, Fort Hughes, Fort Drum, and" (end of message)

~Lt.Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright, USALast message from CorregidorMay 6, 1942

Just 10 short hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese planes again surprised US forces with an attack on Clark Field, the main U.S. air base on the Philippine island of Luzon. Subsequent Japanese landings on Luzon took place on December 10th and 12th, and on December 22nd, after two weeks of diversionary tactics, a large Japanese invasion force landed at Lingayen Gulf. Japanese General Masaharu Homma, with a contingent of 80 ships and 43,000 troops, waded ashore through both a typhoon and the resistance of U.S. trained Philippine reservists. Homma landed tanks and artillery later that day and began advancing south toward Manila despite the valiant resistance of Major General Jonathan Wainwright's Philippine Scouts.

On Christmas Eve 1941, more of Homma's forces landed to the east at Lamon Bay and began their advance toward Manila, preparing to crush the American-Philippine forces in a 'pincer' maneuver. General Douglas MacArthur put into effect plan 'Orange 3' the original plan for defense of the island. The Philippine Scouts heroically opposed the Japanese advance while the main forces complied with MacArthur's order to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula. The retreating units were forced into leaving behind the stockpiles of food and medical supplies which were needed to sustain them.

On December 26th, Manila was declared an open city by General MacArthur and he ordered all troops and anti-aircraft guns to be withdrawn in accordance with The Hague Convention of 1907.

On December 30,1941 President Manuel Quezon is inaugurated on Corregidor for his second term of office. Quezon pledges to "stand by America and fight with her until victory is won." The War Department receives a radiogram from MacArthur declaring that the Japanese raids on Manila are "completely violative of international law" and that "at the proper time I bespeak due retaliatory measures." The Japanese occupation force move into Manila on January 2 1942, and Japanese planes began daily attacks on Corregidor.

The Japanese assumed that overall victory was assured, and a small Japanese reserve force was tasked with clearing the Bataan Peninsula of remaining opposition forces. On January 10, these Japanese troops met upagainst an Allied stronghold just north of Abucay. Allied forces held off the Japanese advance at the Abucay line until their foes took advantage of a weakness at Mt. Natib on January 22nd. The American-Filipino fighters were forced to retreat further into the Bataan peninsula. The rugged terrain forced a slowdown in the Japanese pursuit, and the Allies were able to establish another stronghold further south on Mt. Samat.

On February 8th, Homma received reinforcements from Tokyo and began to regroup for another assault. The continued successful opposition of the American-Filipino fighters to the Japanese takeover of Bataan provided the much needed hope to the U.S. homeland that the battle in the Pacific was not yet lost. In March 1942, General MacArthur received orders to escape to Australia and take over as Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific Theater. He reluctantly left Bataan on March 11th with the proclamation "I shall return." General Jonathan M. Wainwright, U.S. Army, immediately assumed command of the forces on the island of Corregidor off the southern tip of the Bataan peninsula.

Major General Edward King commanded the remaining Allied forces on Bataan. While relatively well armed, these forces were living on one quarter the prescribed combat rations and had virtually no available medical supplies. Malnutrition and disease were becoming rampant. Hunger and sickness eventually accomplished what the Allies' Japanese enemies could not.
The odds against the American-Filipino troops remaining on Bataan became overwhelming and on April 9, 1942, with face in palm, Maj.Gen. King surrendered all forces on the peninsula.

Thousands of prisoners were taken almost immediately by the Japanese. With Allied fighters spread throughout Bataan, it would be days before the word of surrender could reach them all. Many refused to believe that the news of U.S. surrender was real, and some retreated further into the mountains and continued to fight.

When Japanese forces entered Mariveles, they had captured 76,000 prisoners, most of whom were sick, wounded or suffering from malnutrition. The Japanese supply line, barely sufficient to support their own troops, would be unable to transport these POWs. The prisoners were forced to march the 65 miles of treacherous terrain to the Japanese POW Camp, Camp O'Donnell, to the north. The infamous "Death March" had begun. Many members of the prisoner garrison were systematically executed, while the sick and weak were pushed to exhaustion before being bayoneted or beaten to death with the butt end of a Japanese rifle. Many of the 54,000 who survived the march across Bataan would later succumb to disease or torture while imprisoned. Those who survived the march faced starvation and disease aboard "hell ships" during transportation, and later in prison camps until Japan's formal surrender in 1945.

The Bataan "Death March" recognized as one of the greatest inhumanities of WWII, is also one of the greatest displays of heroism and human spirit on the part of those who did survive.

Two of every three Americans who defended Bataan and Corregidor never returned home. By May 6th, on the island of Corregidor, Japanese troops forced the surrender of Wainwright and all U.S. and Allied forces in the Philippines. It would be nearly two-and-a-half years before General MacArthur could fulfill his promise to return to, and retake from the Japanese, the Philippine Islands.

On 3 Sept. 45, Gen YAMASHITA signed surrender of Japanese Forces in the Philippines, in presence of Lt Gen Jonathan M. Wainwright and Lt Gen Sir Arthur Percival, at Baguio