The End in Bataan

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"You men remember this. You did not surrender ... you had no alternative but to obey my order."
- Maj. Gen. Edward King Jr., commander on Bataan

Although it was supposed to be a stronghold, Bataan had not been adequately supplied before the siege began. Most of its defenders had become sick with malaria and malnourished even before the surrender. Their rations were reduced by half in January, and to quarter rations in March (about 800 calories a day). Mosquito nets were not available and quinine, the main drug used to treat and prevent malaria, ran out.

Realizing the futility of continued resistance, Maj. Gen. Edward King, commander of forces on Bataan after MacArthur was ordered to leave, surrendered to the Japanese on April 9, 1942 (the island of Corregidor held out until May 6). Although General King surrendered his force to save them from unnecessary suffering, the brutality of their Japanese captors killed thousands of the POWs in what became known as the Bataan Death March.

Click here to return to the Bataan Death March Overview.

 

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