Uncovering the Causes of the Bataan Death March Essay

Uncovering the Causes of the Bataan Death March Essay

Length: 1567 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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...


... middle of paper ...


...on, Jim. "The Causes of the Bataan Death March Revisited." US-Japan Dialogue on POWs. N.p., 21 Aug. 2005. Web. 8 Mar. 2014. .
Norman, Michael, and Elizabeth M. Norman. Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009. Print.
"Samurai and Bushido." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .
Tenney, Lester I. My Hitch in Hell: The Bataan Death March. Washington: Brassey's, 1995. Print.
"Washington Conference (1921-22)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. .
Young, Donald J. The Battle of Bataan: A Complete History. Jefferson, NC: McFarland &, 2009. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Bataan Death March Essay

- 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 O’Donnell, “a prison camp in central Luzon.” Of these 78,000 soldiers, 500 Americans and 10,000 Filipinos died on the march to the prison camp....   [tags: World History]

Powerful Essays
2188 words (6.3 pages)

The Bataan Death March, And The Rape Of The World War II Essay

- In Japan, key traits of totalitarianism such as ideology, control of individuals, and control of information led to the atrocities of Unit 731’s medical experiments, the Bataan Death March, and the Rape of Nanjing committed during World War II. First of all, Japanese ideology helped cause the atrocity of the medical experiments committed by Unit 731 as the Japanese thought surrender to be dishonorable and this allowed them to distance themselves from their prisoners of war. Ideology in a state refers to the ideas that guide the government and people in that it creates and justifies the goals and actions of the state....   [tags: World War II, Empire of Japan, Japan]

Powerful Essays
1481 words (4.2 pages)

Bataan Death March Essay

- The Bataan Death March started on April 11, 1942. It was a result of over 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers surrendering to the Japanese on April 9. The Japanese were surprised by this number, having only expected about 30,000. According to soldier Lester I. Tenney, who experienced the Death March first hand, it was brutal for the prisoners of war. “Japanese soldiers hollered and would prod us with their bayonets to walk faster(on a short walk to the starting point). Once at the main road, we waited for three hours, standing, sitting, or resting any way we could, but talking was not allowed,” Tenney wrote in his book My Hitch in Hell....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
909 words (2.6 pages)

Euthanasia Is A Deliberate Act That Causes Death Essay

- Euthanasia is a deliberate act that causes death undertaken by one person with the primary intention of ending the life of another person, in order to relieve that persons suffering. The history of euthanasia and assisted suicide starts in Ancient Greece. Physicians used to perform voluntary and involuntary mercy killings. People supported voluntary death and physicians often gave their patients the poisons on their request. The ancients supported the voluntary killing, if it was done for the right reasons....   [tags: Death, Euthanasia, Medical ethics, Homicide]

Powerful Essays
933 words (2.7 pages)

Bataan of Bataan: The War in the Phillippines Essay

- 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 situation in terms of grand strategy or the larger objective of the war....   [tags: trapped, history, planning, lesson]

Powerful Essays
1343 words (3.8 pages)

Causes and Effects of The Black Death Essay

- It was around the 1339 CE when the pandemic broke out. Death’s scythe swept across Europe, only missing a few servants and nobles. The foundations of middle aged life collapsed, it was time when Europe changed. This would be well known as the Black Death or the Bubonic Plague. The Black Death is now known to be spread by a flea. However, this flea was not the cause as it was the bacterium which lay in the stomach of the flea. This bacterium’s scientific name is Yersinia pestis. The main host of the flea is a rat, scientifically called Rattus rattus....   [tags: bubonic plague, medieval Europe epidemics]

Powerful Essays
669 words (1.9 pages)

The Causes And Consequences Of The Death Penalty Essay

- Happiness is the simple definition of the maximum amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain. Act Utilitarianism is the concept that as a person we will make decisions that produce at least much happiness as anything else at that given one time. Anything that provides mankind the most amount of general happiness is the morally right thing to do. Generally killing people is never considered the correct thing to do because it’s pretty obvious, you’re killing someone and it is most often morally frowned upon....   [tags: Murder, Capital punishment, Morality]

Powerful Essays
708 words (2 pages)

Causes And Consequences Of Death Scares Essay

- What is a tragic fear. Is it something life brings or was it already with you waiting to come out of the shadows. Not only does life bring joy and happiness it also brings tragedy and fear. An example of some of these fears would be: fear of the unknown, new places, jobs, or even people, rejection, if you don 't find a way to cope with these fears they lead to phobias. Life can present many types of fears. One of the common fears life brings to the table is the unknown. Many people, including myself, fear the unknown....   [tags: Phobia, Fear, United States Navy, Navy]

Powerful Essays
1314 words (3.8 pages)

Causes Of Death For Girls 15-19 Essay

- For a long time, girls have been denied the right to obtain an education as well as being forced to drop out of school. In many countries, they are forced into slavery (e.g. bonded labor, and human trafficking), and marriage. According to UNFPA, 14 million girls under 18 will be married this year; 38 thousand today; 13 girls in the last 30 seconds. By marrying too young, these girls increase their chances of becoming pregnant when their bodies are not fully developed. As stated by the World Health Organization, the #1 cause of death for girls 15-19 is childbirth....   [tags: Education, Teacher, School, Haiti]

Powerful Essays
1278 words (3.7 pages)

A Longer Life: Uncovering the Secrets of Ageing Essay examples

- A fact of life Ageing is a fact of life - we were born young to die old. But while some are lucky enough to live to one hundred or beyond, where does this place the rest of us. Indeed, we would agree that the lifespan of the "average" human is much less. What happens though if someone told you that you are able to extend the years that you are able to live. According to one scientist, this is soon going to be possible. Robyn Williams 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 agein...   [tags: Health]

Powerful Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)