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The Death March

Powerful Essays
Plan of Investigation A tactic used in past wars, and also categorized as a war crime, is known as the death march. These marches have often been criticized for being inhumane, and forcing enemy soldiers into “conditions primitive and unsanitary.” (51 Allen) Both of the death marches studied in this historical investigation occurred in World War II. The first is the Bataan Death March, inflicted upon Americans and Filipinos by the Japanese. The second case studied will be the forced movement of “undesirables” (i.e. Jews, Homosexuals, blacks, gypsies, etc.) in the numerous Nazi death marches. How and why did the reasons and strategies for the Bataan Death March compare with those of the Nazi death marches? Both cases will be summarized and then analyzed. The justification for these marches will therefore lead to deciphering the extent that these marches helped the instigating countries, and what war would have been like without them. Primary sources, such as “Abandoned on Bataan,” along with secondary sources such as “Double Victory” will be utilized to fully comprehend the differences of the two marches. Summary of Evidence 1) Bataan Death March When General MacArthur of the United States surrendered, the Japanese were not prepared for the immense number of US and Filipino prisoners. Their justification for their war crimes comes from their culture. The Japanese were instilled with the idea of fight or death. Surrendering was not an option to the Japanese, because it made one scum, and not even human. In the Japanese perspective, the American soldiers that surrendered had intentionally put themselves in this position. The Japanese did what they were taught; their cultural traditions allowed for the violence an... ... middle of paper ... ...ese Lines in World War II. New York: NAL Caliber, 2009. Print. Allen, Oliver Craig, and Mildred Faye Allen. Abandoned on Bataan: One Man's Story of Survival. Boerne, TX: Crimson Horse Entertainment and Pub., 2002. Print. "American Experience . MacArthur . The Siege of 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.
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