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MacArthur in AsiaThe General and His Staff in the Philippines, Japan, and Korea$
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Hirosh Masuda

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449390

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449390.001.0001

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The Second Bataan Operation and the Death March, Early February to Early May 1942

The Second Bataan Operation and the Death March, Early February to Early May 1942

(p.121) 7 The Second Bataan Operation and the Death March, Early February to Early May 1942
MacArthur in Asia

Hiroshi Masuda

, Reiko Yamamoto
Cornell University Press

This chapter details events that occurred from February to May 1942. The first Bataan offensive, which started on January 9, 1942, inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese 65th Brigade and on February 8, Homma Masaharu, commander of the 14th Army, ordered a ceasefire. The Japanese had clearly underestimated the U.S. and Filipino forces. Following the ceasefire, operational conflicts emerged among the 14th Army Headquarters, the Southern Army, and the Imperial General Headquarters. Meanwhile, in Bataan, the U.S. and Filipino force responded to the retreat of Japanese frontline troops by having each unit advance separately. In particular, they worked to strengthen their main camps at the foot of Mt. Smat and in the eastern district and to reorganize weak units. When the Japanese Army pursued its second offensive in Bataan, it also made intermittent air strikes on Corregidor from March 24 onward. The remainder of the chapter discusses the fall of Bataan on April 9 and the Bataan Death March, which as has become a symbol of the inhumane behavior of the Japanese military in World War II.

Keywords:   Douglas MacArthur, battles, Fall of Corregidor, Bataan Death March, Japanese Army, Japanese military, World War II

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