A Taste of History: Douglas MacArthur and the Bataan Death March

Hey, guys! I’m going to give you guys some information regarding events that took place during WWII that are occasionally looked over, as all historical events are, and need to be read.

In the mid-1900s, the Japanese were on a victorious streak. Their control extended over the immense collection of Philippine islands. The Japanese army forced the United States to surrender in the Bataan Peninsula; this led to the horrors of the Bataan Death March in 1942. The legendary Douglas MacArthur eventually led the American front in response to the Japanese aggression. The circumstances of American retaliation eventually directed to the downfall of Japan.

How did the Bataan March occur? The damaged forces of Filipinos and Americans were pushed to formal surrender after several days of the Japanese aggression. They instantly began to orchestrate the horrific event that occurred in the Philippines. The Bataan Death March was about 66 miles long and consisted of American and Filipino prisoners of war being led by the draconian Japanese. Horrid events similar to the ones that occurred in Nanking appeared during the march. There were more stabbings and harsh treatment than rape, although over twenty thousand people perished during the Death March. The importance of this is the horrific offenses aimed towards the Americans. When three troops managed to survive the ordeal, their story came out a year late. The terror spurred by Japanese actions began to become known to the entire USA.

Douglas MacArthur was an American war hero who famously declared, “I shall return” in regards to the Philippines and the American defeat. He served in several wars as a major leader and a high-ranking officer with command. MacArthur eventually clashed with President Truman when he exclaimed that he wanted to bomb communist China openly, leading to his forced resignation. Prior to this, he aided the occurrences within the Philippines. The Japanese had driven his forces out, forcing him and a small group to escape to Australia. He later conducted island-hopping through the Philippines and returned gallantly to defeat the Japanese troops with all the force of the pacific. Island-hopping was the strategic offensive tactic meant to recapture the islands in the area. Some were taken and others were skipped, or “hopped” over. The importance of MacArthur’s return is that, after a series of years, he lived up to his famous quote and “returned”. This inspired soldiers and pushed them into desiring victory even more. The offense permitted American forces to power through Japan’s forces. During this time, British forces also managed to get the upper hand over Japanese troops in areas such as Burma.

The conflict between the Americans and the Japanese within the Philippines and the Pacific led to the taking of islands and numerous casualties suffered by the forces. The tide turned in the favor of the Japanese at first, and eventually to the British and United States side. MacArthur took command of the forces at the Pacific and returned the islands to their former glory whilst pushing Japanese back and ultimately causing their surrender in that specific portion of the world.


“The Bataan Death March, 1942.” The Bataan Death March, 1942. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.


Dyess, Wm E., and Charles Leavelle. The Dyess story: commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Place of publication not identified: Publisher not identified, 1976. Print.


“Douglas MacArthur.” Douglas MacArthur. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.



One thought on “A Taste of History: Douglas MacArthur and the Bataan Death March

  1. The Pacific is a history worth studying. Far too many concentrate on the European side and fail to view the entire picture of just how huge this war was.

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