Bataan Death March By Glenn Frazier

1025 Words5 Pages

Unbeknownst to many Americans, the Bataan Death March was one of the most horrific wartime experiences for American and Filipino soldiers. The Japanese forcibly marched an astounding estimated 75,000 Prisoners of War (POWs) in what became known as the Bataan Death March. (Tokudome) Many prisoners perished along the way or in POW camps because of the horrible conditions. Not to mention, the cold brutality with which the Japanese soldiers killed the POWs. The Bataan Death March is a callous example of the abuse and death that American and Filipino POWs faced at the hands of the Japanese. The tragedy of the Bataan Death March started with a failure of the American army that placed thousands of soldiers in the control of the Japanese. April …show more content…

Glenn Frazier, a Bataan Death March survivor, provides a insight into the Japanese atmosphere of chaos, confuse, and fear. In a television series ran by PBS called The War, Frazier recounted a few of the stories of his time in the Bataan Death March. He begins with this harrowing statement, “If we had known what was ahead of us at the beginning of the Bataan Death March, uh, I would have taken death.” One of the main problems that Mr. Frazier ran across as a POW was a language and communication barrier. If the Japanese soldiers believe you ignored them or did not understand them they would beat the POWs with the butts of their bayonets. Also, during the march the POWs were routinely stopped. Then the Japanese would search their persons for any weapons, food, or supplies. Even if the Japanese did not discover any hidden supplies, random POWs would be selected to be beaten as an example for the rest of the group. If POWs had rings on, the Japanese would not ask them to take off the ring. They would simply chop off the finger, along with the ring. Soldiers would take the canteens of the prisoners and dump out any water to make sure they were dehydrated. Trucks would move off the edge of the road to ride over people who had tripped, or who were to tired to continue. Frazier recalled that this process would happen until almost 20 trucks would ride over the body. POWs were not safe at night, either. The soldiers would not let them rest at night, so they continued marching in the dark. Trucks of Japanese soldiers would drive by the edge of the group and stick their bayonets out of the windows. The bayonets would decapitate and kill anyone who was on that edge. (Glenn) Frazier’s story of fear, death, and the degradation of what it means to be human, is just one of many horror stories about the Bataan Death

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