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Japan - Why America Forgave Them

Essay by   •  February 18, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  860 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,130 Views

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The atrocities committed in World War II (WWII) were numerous on both sides. However the monstrosities committed in the Philippines at many of the American POW (prisoner of war) camps far outweighed that of their counterparts on American soil. Somehow, though, America seemed to forgive them. Why? It seems the answer lies at the cause of the capture and the Internment camps, not in the Phillippines, but in America.

There's a saying, give credit where credits due. Well one would say that applies here, because the capture of thousands of American soldiers was partly due to America. However one is not placing the blame all on America. It is "a saga of too little and too late - a saga of supply when adequate supplies simply did not exist (Armold 1)." Doug MacArthur, after implementing plan orange, relised that he had spread his troops to thin. When MacArthur's 90,000 troops on Luzon reached the Bataan Peninsula after a two week fighting withdrawal, they discovered that adequate equipment and supplies for a lengthy defence of the peninsula were not available because their commander had scattered huge quantities of military equipment, food, and medical supplies across nine of the major islands of the Philippines. Plan Orange had required the Bataan Peninsula to be stocked with sufficient food and medical supplies to enable 43,000 troops to withstand a Japanese siege for six months. MacArthur had only stockpiled enough food and medical supplies on Bataan for a thirty day siege.

Another Part of Blame goes to the Japanese. POW Camp officers treated the American soldiers as if they were, not even the dirt they walked on, but the lice within their cloths, on their hair, and the stench that reeked from their body. Something that was utterly detestable and deserved to be treated as such. An example of this exists within the Puerto Princesa Prision Camp Massacre which happened on December 14th, 1944. This is where the Japenese officers made them get into air-raid shelters (for which they dug themselves), saying that Americans were about to bomb their camp. Yet there were no planes in sight. The POWS sooned learned that something that they had built for their own shelter, would be their death. The officers had doused the shelters with gasoline, and proceeded to light them on fire. Lieutenate Sato stabed into the trenches with a sword killing POWS, and laughing as he did so. Those who tried to escape from the "shelters" were shot immediately. Those who managed to get down to the beach, where hunted down like foul, and killed. Out of 150 POWS at this camp, only 11 survived. One of the survivors , Eugene Nielson, recals some of the brutalities, " They were bayoneting guys down low and making them suffer. They shot or stabbed 12 Americans and then dug a shallow grave in the sand and threw them in. Some of these men were still gowning while they were covered with sand (Sides2)." This was only a small camp with minimal brutalities compared to others. Such another was Cabantuan and the Death March. The death March from Mariveles, by Bataan, where the surrendered American forces where forced to walk 90 miles with meek amounts of food, beating, and were barefoot. Watching as offices shot those who slowed down to rest or were to weak from mal-nutrition to carry on.

Now why, you ask am I pointing blame. Well you see, before we can figure out an answer to a question that plagues the minds of thousands of survivors and descendants every day,

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