The Bataan Death March was the forced march of American and Filipino surrendees (from the Battle of Bataan) to Camp O'Donnell. After the war, the incident was labelled as a crime against humanity and, as a result, many soldiers in the Imperial Japenese Army were tried and executed. With no clean water, food, nor shade, a large portion of troops perished prior to the arrival at the internment camp.
Prisoners who fell behind or were unable to carry on were often shot, bayoneted, or mutilated in some other way. The Japanese treated those who surrendered as subhuman and animal-like. This tradition came from the older samurai bushido code, in which surrender was considered disgraceful and shameful.
The incident was met with outrage from the United States and the rest of the Allied powers. The American government used the event to gain support and boost public approval for the Pacific War.
- ↑ "The Bataan Death March, 1942," EyeWitness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/bataandeathmarch.htm (2009)