Skip to comments.5,200 AMERICANS, MANY MORE FILIPINOS DIE OF STARVATION, TORTURE AFTER BATAAN (1/28/44)
Posted on 01/28/2014 4:07:04 AM PST by Homer_J_Simpson
28 January. A combat patrol from the 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry engaged in a fire fight with about a hundred enemy in the vicinity of Teteri. Forty-three Japs killed. We lost 8 killed (including Lieutenant Colonel Clarkson, CO, 1st Bn., 128th Infantry) 9 wounded, 6 missing.
Major General H.W. Blakeley, USA, Ret., The 32d Infantry Division in World War II
Winston S. Churchill, Closing the Ring
Soviets trap 56,000 Germans
Friday, January 28, 1944 www.onwar.com
German forces assemble for relief of the Korsun Pocket [photo at link]
On the Eastern Front... South of Leningrad, forces of the Soviet Volkhov Front capture Lyuban and other small towns to the south. Field Marshal von Kuchler, commanding German Army Group North orders the German 18th Army (Lindemann) to retire to the line of the Luga River in order to prevent it from being encircled by the advancing Soviet forces. In the Ukraine, elements of Soviet 6th Tank Army (Kravchenko), part of 1st Ukrainian Front, and 5th Guards Tank Army (Rotmistrov), part of 2nd Ukrainian Front, link up near Zvenigorodka and complete a double envelopment of elements two corps (German 11th and 42nd Corps) of the German 8th Army (Wohler), part of Army Group South (Manstein). Approximately 56,000 German troops are now cut off southwest of Cherkassy. Field Marshal Manstein immediately assembles armored forces from 1st Panzer and 8th Armies to relieve the trapped forces.
January 28th, 1944 (FRIDAY)
UNITED KINGDOM: London: Official statements concerning the sickening cruelty of the Japanese towards prisoners of war were made today in Britain and the United States. The British foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, said: “Let the Japanese government reflect in time to come that the record of their military authorities in this war will not be forgotten.” The House of Commons and both houses of Congress heard blood-curdling accounts of the inhuman conditions the prisoners are kept in - without sufficient food, water or shelter - and barbarous tortures used by guards.
Frigates HMS Waldegrave and Whitaker commissioned.
Frigate HMS Halladale launched.
GERMANY: U-1272 commissioned.
CANADA: Corvette HMCS Kitchener completed refit Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
U.S.A.: A memo signed by General Walter Bedell-Smith, Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower: “It is highly desirable that the [French] division should be composed of white personnel, which points to the second armoured division, which has only one quarter native troops and is the only French division which could be made 100 per cent white.”
This is in reference to the French division which will be part of the Allied invasion force at Normandy. (Henry Sirotin)
Destroyer escort USS Wingfield commissioned.
Destroyer escort USS Le Ray Wilson launched.
U-271 Sunk west of Limerick, in position 53.15N, 15.52W, by depth charges from a US Consolidated PB4Y-1Liberator aircraft (VB-103/E, based in St. Eval, Cornwall under operational control of RAF No. 19 (General Reconnaissance) Group, RAF Coastal Command). The PB4Y crew caught U-271 on the surface and dropped six depth charges causing the sub to settle by the stern and sink. 51 dead (all hands lost).
U-571 Sunk west of Ireland, in position 52.41N, 14.27W, by depth charges from an Australian Shorts Sunderland MKIII aircraft (RAAF-Sqdn 461/D, out of Pembroke Dock, Wales). 52 dead (all hands lost). Unlike many U-boats, which during their service lost men due to accidents and various other causes. U-571 did not suffer any casualties (we know of) until the time of her loss. (Alex Gordon and Jack McKillop)
The “Minute Woman” shoe, next to the article about Burma, is in fashion again. I’d have gotten a pair myself a couple of months ago, but PayLess didn’t have them in my size.
I was 10 years old when I lost my grandmother Brown in Deming, NM. As my dad and I walked through the graveyard he pointed out the stones of members of New Mexico National Guard who had perished at Bataan. I never forgot.
There’s a book out about the rescue of some of the survivors of the Bataan Death March. The details are horrifying.
Thanks. You are correct. The one I read was “Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue”, by Hampton Sides. A very good account of how the local patriots helped prevent near disaster and turn rescue into success.
Yes, the very one. I couldn’t remember the title, this early in the morning ;-). I checked out the recorded book, so my whole family heard parts of it.
Shorts Sunderland MkIII
Thanks for posting those pics of the aircraft that sank the subs on this date. My uncle flew a Navy Liberator in the Pacific.
There were several from Deming, they used to go talk to area school children, and college History classes until the last of them became too disabled to be able to do it. My brother had a high school teacher that was a survivor. Their stories need to be told, and others.
We had an acquaintance in Tulsa, head of the local Veterans’ Historical Society, who had been at the liberation of one of the Nazi concentration camps. He gave a lot of talks to schools and community groups.
“U-571 Sunk west of Ireland, in position 52.41N, 14.27W, by depth charges from an Australian Shorts Sunderland MKIII aircraft (RAAF-Sqdn 461/D, out of Pembroke Dock, Wales). 52 dead (all hands lost)”
A different ending than the movie.
My uncle was present at the liberation of a camp. Mom has a shoebox full of his photos depicting the vile horror.
Those images were burned into my brain the first time I viewed them at 12 years of age and is the main reason I have no desire to nor every seen Schindler’s List.
I haven’t seen it, either. The gentleman in Tulsa said that his division commander insisted that as many soldiers as possible view the camp, because he anticipated Holocaust denial before they even had a clear idea of all that had happened.
There’s a very good account of the Bataan Death March in John Toland’s “The Rising Sun.” Even though Toland sought to write the book from the Japanese point of view (Toland’s wife was Japanese), he didn’t gloss over the horrors of the Death March. His account made my blood boil, so much so that when he got to the equally graphic account of the firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945, my only thought was “Good.”
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.
Also, mention was made here not long ago about the book Unbroken, which is the story of Louie Zamporini, who went from Olympic athelete to American airmen, to Japanese prisoner. Even in his superb physical condition, he barely made it to the end of the War. Written by Laura Hillenbrand and also highly recommended.
I got “Unbroken” on CD, too. The waiting list for the paper book was too long! I understand Angelina Jolie is making a movie of it, *sigh*.
Awful stuff, one can certainly see why people of that generation felt as the they did about the Japanese.
Lots of people in the Pacific theater would agree given the brutal occupations by the Japanese, the Rape of Nanking, Burma railway, etc.
OMG, you are right that Jolie is directing Unbroken. The Coen Brothers are on the project, so maybe she’s getting some help. But, as Princess Leia said, “I have a bad feeling about this.”
Angelina Jolie seems to be something of a patriot. Maybe it won’t be a disaster. On the other hand, the Coen brothers ...
They made some good war movies in the 1940s. Why can’t they now?
For one thing, they don't know much about the military anymore. Only 7% of the population today are veterans and I bet that's much, much lower in Hollywood.
Plus, the liberal takeover of Hollywood has led to a mindset that every war fought since WWII was wrong. Almost everything filmed about Vietnam and Iraq has been an anti-war movie. Some exceptions, but not many. The Hurt Locker comes to mind. It had a lot of Hollywood inaccuracies, but so did most of the WWII films.
There is a really good article from a back issue of Military History Quarterly entitled “From Light to Heavy Duty,” that postulates that all wars go through a progressive cycle of increasing brutality. The American Civil War that began with a “gentlemans’ skirmish” at Bull Run wound up with corn cribs and smokehouses as military targets in a scorched earth campaign. World War II went through the same cycle in the doctrine of strategic bombing. There is also a very good discussion of this in the second chapter of Richard Frank’s “Downfall; The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire.”
Although Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack, it was strictly an attack on a military installation. The Japanese naval aviators were expressly told to NOT attack civilian targets. The Bataan Death March brutalities were inflicted on military POWs, not civilians. But before the end of the Pacific War, 100,000 Filipino civilians died in the fanatical defense of Manila, and hundreds of thousands Japanese civilians were incinerated in LeMay’s strategic bombing.
Both the article and the book make a point about war that should never be forgotten. Picking up a war is like picking up a turd; there is no clean end.
It was a truly horrific event. Worse still, these men were already half starved when they surrendered thanks to some poor planning when they evacuated to the peninsula in the first place.
My Grandpa Marvin survived The Bataan death march. He never spoke of it, not once.
I completely agree. Unfortunately, we have many in the West, including many in our own DOD and armed forces, who think you can fight a completely clean war. Some good American soldiers are in prison today because of that thinking. And our enemies take full advantage of that mindset.
It is somewhat surprising the French knuckled under given that the French welcomed African-American troops to fight under their command in WWI, even though the U.S. Army would not allow them in combat.
It is also a little surprising that the British, with large numbers of Indians under arms, didn't object.