Image: U.S. Air Force photo
To demonstrate their military superiority, the Japanese Army forced horrified Filipino citizens to view the bodies of dead POWs.
The fierce tropical sun beats down on the heads of the men, all of them exhausted, starving and thirsty; many of them sick. They have had no rest breaks for hours. And there is no mercy for those who stumble or collapse. Soldiers shoot or bayonet anybody who can’t keep up and sometimes even those who do. Corpses lie along the road – a grim reminder to all that, at any moment, death may claim them.
The Bataan Death March, which had its 70th anniversary this year, is listed as one of the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during WWII. The list includes several massacres and cases of human experimentation, like those of the infamous Unit 731.
The victims of the Bataan Death March were 15,000 US and 60,000 Filipino soldiers – captured after the three-month-long Battle of Bataan in the Philippines in 1942. Of these, around 2,500–10,000 Filipino and 300–650 American men never even made it to the POW camp.