Of course, the awaited
The poorly armed Filipino newbies fought with their American counterparts. They didn’t have any food, were sick and most just had 10 bullets each in their World War I vintage rifles that usually jammed. Nevertheless, they held out for 4 &1/2 months until
According to Dr. Ricardo Trota-Jose of the U.P. Department of History, this major setback was a blackeye in the Japanese campaign in
In retaliation, this was why the Japanese rounded up some 75,000 Filipino & American soldiers and forced them to march 100 kilometers in the scorching heat of the Philippine summer. Now called the “Death March,” many were randomly beaten and denied food and water for days. Those who fell behind were executed and thousands died along the way. Only a fraction reached their final destination:
Several years ago, some groups were questioning why Filipinos love to celebrate “defeats.” One of them was the “Fall of Bataan” and the Death March.
I’d like to think it’s because of historical amnesia. They forgot how a generation of Filipinos fought back against the invaders of the motherland. I wonder if these people would do the same if such an invasion happened in their lifetime.
The Philippine Islands was the last to fall against an enemy with seemingly limitless ammunition, air & naval support. They held their ground for three months, with malfunctioning vintage rifles and despite the dysentery, malaria and the hunger. They faced an enemy that was well-armed, well-trained and well-fed.
I just found out recently from the US Veterans Advantage website (https://www.veteransadvantage.com) that in the
And here in the
I think Max Soliven said it aptly almost 20 years ago:
“There is a modern tendency to sweep the three-month ordeal under a rug…somehow we have swallowed the decades-old argument that it is demeaning for a nation to celebrate its “defeats.”
“True enough, we won the military triumph in