On April 9, 1942, American and Filipino forces in Luzon, Philippines, surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army, which had invaded the island nation months earlier. With more than 70,000 troops, this remains the largest American militia in history to surrender. The Japanese, overwhelmed by the number of prisoners of war, forced the POWs to walk from the tip of the Bataan Peninsula to POW camps further inland. Thousands died on what quickly became known as the “Bataan Death March.”The Bataan Death March was about 105 kilometers (65 miles), from the urban area of Mariveles through a tropical jungle to Camp O’Donnell (a former Filipino facility taken over by the Japanese). POWs, already malnourished, weak, and suffering from tropical diseases such as malaria and beriberi, marched in groups of about 100 men. Marchers were beaten and executed for walking slowly. Others were tortured. It took each group about five days to reach the camp. As many as 11,000 troops never made it.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry beriberi Noun
disease linked to malnutrition caused by lack of vitamin B (thiamine) which affects both the nervous system and cardiovascular system.
to find someone guilty of an illegal act.
to put to death by order of the law or in a well-planned manner.
a building or room that serves a specific function.
to enter and attack.
tropical ecosystem filled with trees and underbrush.
to set free.
infectious disease caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes.
not having sufficient nutrition or diet.
to completely overpower.
piece of land jutting into a body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: peninsula prior Adjective
before or ahead of.
prisoner of war Noun
person captured and held by an enemy during a conflict.
to give up.
inflicting pain to force a victim to provide information.
existing in the tropics, the latitudes between the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the south.
urban area Noun
developed, densely populated area where most inhabitants have nonagricultural jobs.
Encyclopedic Entry: urban area vow Verb
war crime Noun
severe acts of violence, violating international law, committed against civilians, enemies, prisoners of war, or others during an armed conflict.