Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Escape Of Tammuz From Hades (Part 35); Assyrian

(His Death In The Clouds–Funeral Procession Of The Gods–Ishtar’s Elegy Over The Death Of Tammuz–His Revival In Hades, Where He Is Crowned As The Lord Of Hades–Ishtar’s Return Brings Light And Love Back To Earth.)

But see! they pass from those dark gates and walls,
And fly upon the breeze from Hades’ halls,
Hark! hark! the sounding harp is stilled! it falls
From Tammuz’s hands! Oh, how its wailing calls
To you bright “zi-ni”[1] flying through the skies,
See! one sweet spirit of the wind swift flies
And grasps the wailing harp before it ends
Its wail of woe, and now beneath it bends,
With silent pinions listening to its strings,
Wild sobbing on the winds;–with wailing rings
The conscious harp, and trembles in her hands.

A rush of pinions comes from myriad lands,
With moanings sends afar the awful tale,
And mourners brings with every whispering gale.
And see! the queen’s companion fainting sinks!
She lays him on that cloud with fleecy brinks!
And oh! his life is ebbing fast away!
She wildly falls upon his breast, and gray
Her face becomes with bitter agony.
She tearless kneels, wrapt in her misery
And now upon his breast she lays her head,
With tears that gods, alas! with men must shed;
She turning, sobs to her sweet waiting maids,
Who weeping o’er her stand with bended heads:
“Assemble, oh, my maids, in mourning here,
The gods! and spirits of the earth bring near!”

They come! they come! three hundred spirits high,
The heavenly spirits come! the I-gi-gi!
From Heaven’s streams and mouths and plains and vales,
And gods by thousands on the wings of gales.
The spirits of the earth, An-un-na-ci,
Now join around their sisters of the sky.
Hark! hear her weeping to the heavenly throng,
Imploring them to chant their mournful song:

“With your gold lyres, the dirge, oh, sing with me!
And moan with me, with your sweet melody;
With swelling notes, as zephyrs softly wail,
And cry with me as sobbing of the gale.

O Earth! dear Earth! oh, wail with thy dead trees!
With sounds of mountain torrents, moaning seas!
And spirits of the lakes, and streams, and vales,
And Zi-ku-ri of mountains’ trackless trail,
Join our bright legions with your queen! Oh, weep
With your sad tears, dear spirits of the deep!
Let all the mournful sounds of earth be heard,
The breeze hath carried stored from beast and bird;
Join the sweet notes of doves for their lost love
To the wild moans of hours,–wailing move;
Let choirs of Heaven and of the earth then peal,
All living beings my dread sorrow feel!
Oh, come with saddest, weirdest melody,
Join earth and sky in one sweet threnody!”

Ten thousand times ten thousand now in line,
In all the panoplies of gods divine;
A million crowns are shining in the light,
A million sceptres, robes of purest white!
Ten thousand harps and lutes and golden lyres
Are waiting now to start the Heavenly choirs.

And lo! a chariot from Heaven comes,
While halves rise from yonder sapphire domes;
A chariot incrusted with bright gems,
A blaze of glory shines from diadems.
See! in the car the queen o’er Tammuz bends,
And nearer the procession slowly wends,
Her regal diadem with tears is dimmed;
And her bright form by sorrow is redeemed
To sweeter, holier beauty in her woe;
Her tears a halo form and brighter flow.

Caparisoned with pearls, ten milk-white steeds
Are harnessed to her chariot that leads;
On snow-white swans beside her ride her maids,
They come! through yonder silver cloudy glades!
Behind her chariot ten sovereigns ride;
Behind them comes all Heaven’s lofty pride,
On pale white steeds, the chargers of the skies.
The clouds of snowy pinions rustling rise!
But hark! what is that strain of melody
That fills our souls with grandest euphony?
Hear how it swells and dies upon the breeze!
To softest whisper of the leaves of trees;
Then sweeter, grander, nobler, sweeping comes,
Like myriad lyres that peal through Heaven’s domes.

But, oh! how sad and sweet the notes now come!
Like music of the spheres that softly hum;
It rises, falls, with measured melody,
With saddest notes and mournful symphony.
From all the universe sad notes repeat
With doleful strains of woe transcendent, sweet;
Hush! hear the song! my throbbing heart be still!
The songs of gods above the heavens fill!

“Oh, weep with your sweet tears, and mourning chant,
O’er this dread loss of Heaven’s queen.
With her, O sisters, join your sweetest plaint
O’er our dear Tammuz, Tammuz slain.
Come, all ye spirits, with your drooping wings,
No more to us sweet joy he brings;
Ah, me, my brother![2]

Oh, weep! oh, weep! ye spirits of the air,
Oh, weep! oh, weep! An-un-na-ci!
Our own dear queen is filled with dread despair.
Oh, pour your tears, dear earth and sky,
Oh, weep with bitter tears, O dear Sedu,
O’er fearful deeds of Nin-azu;
Ah, me, my brother!

Let joy be stilled! and every hope be dead!
And tears alone our hearts distil.
My love has gone!–to darkness he has fled;
Dread sorrow’s cup for us, oh, fill!
And weep for Tammuz we have held so dear,
Sweet sisters of the earth and air;
Ah, me, my sister!

Oh, come ye, dearest, dearest Zi-re-nu,
With grace and mercy help us bear
Our loss and hers; our weeping queen, oh, see!
And drop with us a sister’s tear.
Before your eyes our brother slain! oh, view;
Oh, weep with us o’er him so true;
Ah, me, his sister!

The sky is dead; its beauty all is gone,
Oh, weep, ye clouds, for my dead love!
Your queen in her dread sorrow now is prone.
O rocks and hills in tears, oh, move!
And all my heavenly flowerets for me weep,
O’er him who now in death doth sleep;
Ah, me, my Tammuz!

Oh, drop o’er him your fragrant dewy tears,
For your own queen who brings you joy,
For Love, the Queen of Love, no longer cheers,
Upon my heart it all doth cloy.
Alas! I give you love, nor can receive,
O all my children for me grieve;
Ah, me, my Tammuz!

Alas! alas! my heart is dying–dead!
With all these bitter pangs of grief
Despair hath fallen on my queenly head,
Oh, is there, sisters, no relief?
Hath Tammuz from me ever, ever, gone?
My heart is dead, and turned to stone;
Ah, me, his queen!

My sister spirits, O my brothers dear,
My sorrow strikes me to the earth;
Oh, let me die! I now no fate can fear,
My heart is left a fearful dearth.
Alas, from me all joy! all joy! hath gone;
Oh, Ninazu, what hast thou done?
Ah, me, his queen!”

To Hades’ world beyond our sight they go,
And leave upon the skies Mar-gid-da’s[3] glow,
That shines eternally along the sky,
The road where souls redeemed shall ever fly.
Prince Tammuz now again to life restored,
Is crowned in Hades as its King and Lord,[4]
And Ishtar’s sorrow thus appeased, she flies
To earth, and fills with light and love the skies.

[Footnote 1: “Zi-ni,” pronounced “Zee-nee,” spirits of the wind.]–[Footnote 2: “Ah, me, my brother, and, ah, me, my sister! Ah, me, Adonis (or Tammuz), and ah, me, his lady (or queen)!” is the wailing cry uttered by the worshippers of Tammuz or Adonis when celebrating his untimely death. It is referred to in Jer. xxii. 18, and in Ezek. viii. 14, and Amos viii. 10, and Zech. xii. 10, 11. See Smith’s revised edition of “Chal. Acc. of Genesis,” by Sayce, pp. 247, 248.]–[Footnote 3: “Mar-gid-da,” “the Long Road.” We have also given the Accadian name for “The Milky Way.” It was also called by them the “River of Night.”]–[Footnote 4: “Lord of Hades” is one of the titles given to Tammuz in an Accadian hymn found in “C.I.W.A.,” vol. iv. 27, 1, 2. See also translation in “Records of the Past,” vol. xi. p. 131.]

SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature; Alcove II, Tablet VI (1901): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: The King And Seer Conversing (Part 36); Assyrian

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Tammuz Is Restored To Life By The Waters Of Life (Part 34); Assyrian


Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Tammuz Is Restored To Life By The Waters Of Life (Part 34); Assyrian

(His Song Of Love)
The nectared cup the queen placed to his lips,
And o’er his heaving breast the nectar drips,
And now his arms are folded round his queen,
And her fond kisses he returns again;
And see! they bring to him his harp of gold,
And from its strings, sweet music as of old
His skilful hands wake through the sounding domes;
Oh, how his Song of Love wakes those dark rooms!

“My Queen of Love comes to my arms!
Her faithful eyes have sought for me,
My Love comes to me with her charms;
Let all the world now happy be!
My queen has come again!

Forever, dearest, let me rest
Upon the bosom of my queen!
Thy lips of love are honeyed best;
Come! let us fly to bowering green!
To our sweet bower again.

O Love on Earth! O Love in Heaven!
That dearest gift which gods have given,
Through all my soul let it be driven,
And make my heart its dearest haven,
For Love returns the kiss!

Oh! let me pillow there within
Thy breast, and, oh, so sweetly rest,
My life anew shall there begin;
On thy sweet charms, oh, let me feast!
Life knows no sweeter bliss.

Oh, let me feast upon thy lips,
As honey-bird the nectar sips,
And drink new rapture through my lips,
As honey-bee its head thus drips
In nectarine abyss!

O Love, sweet queen! my heart is thine!
My Life I clasp within mine arms!
My fondest charmer, queen divine!
My soul surrenders to thy charms,
In bliss would fly away.

No dearer joy than this I want;
If love is banished from that life
There bodyless, my soul would pant,
And pine away in hopeless grief,
If love be fled away.

If Love should hide and fold her wings
In bowers of yonder gleaming skies,
Unmeaning then each bard oft sings
Of bliss that lives on earth and dies,–
I want such love as this.

I want thy form, thy loving breast,
Mine arms of love surrounding thee,
And on thy bosom sweetly rest,
Or else that world were dead to me.
No other life is bliss.

If it is thus, my queen, I go
With joy to yonder blissful clime;
But if not so, then let me flow
To soil and streams through changing time,
To me would be more bliss.

For then, in blooming flowerets, I
Could earth adorn, my soul delight,
And never thus on earth could die;
For though I should be hid from sight,
Would spring again with joy!

And sing as some sweet warbling bird,
Or in the breezes wave as grain,
As yellow sun-birds there have whirred
On earth, could I thus live again,
That beauteous world enjoy!

‘Mid safflower-fields or waving cane,
Or in the honeysuckles lie,
In forms of life would breathe again,
Enjoy Earth’s sweetest revelry,
And ever spring again!

Each life to me new joys would bring,
In breast of beast or bird or flower,
In each new form new joys would spring,
And happy, ever, Love would soar!
Triumphant filled with joy!

In jujube or tamarisk
Perhaps would come to life again,
Or in the form of fawns would frisk
‘Mid violets upon the plain;
But I should live again!

And throb beneath the glistening dew,
In bamboo tufts, or mango-trees,
In lotus bloom, and spring anew,
In rose-tree bud, or such as these
On Earth return again!

And I should learn to love my mate,
In beast or singing bird or flower,
For kiss of love in hope could wait;
Perhaps I then would come that hour,
In form I have again!

And love you say, my queen, is there,
Where I can breathe with life anew?
But is it so? My Love, beware!
For some things oft are false, some true,
But I thee trust again!

We fly away! from gates away!
Oh, life of bliss! Oh, breath of balm!
With wings we tread the Silver Way,
To trailing vines and feathery palm,
To bower of love again.”

SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature; Alcove II, Tablet VI (1901): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Escape Of Tammuz From Hades (Part 35); Assyrian

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Release Of Ishtar (Part 33); Assyrian

World News Headlines: 01-04-2019


German government cagey on spy cooperation in Pinochet’s Chile; The German Foreign Ministry has refused to shed light on the BND’s cooperation with the CIA to aid General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal regime in Chile. The vague responses have outraged the German Left party.The German government has offered only cagey responses to questions about cooperation between the German secret service, the BND, and military dictatorships in Chile and Greece in the late 1960s and early ’70s. The socialist Left party’s Jan Korte submitted 68 questions to the German Foreign Ministry late last year, and the incomplete answers he got irritated the Bundestag member so much that he filed an official complaint about the noncooperation of the government. “These answers are an unparalleled insult,” he told DW. “And, by the way, that is no way to treat the parliament.” The Foreign Ministry did admit that the administration of Chancellor Willy Brandt knew in advance about the imminent putsch being planned by Chilean military leaders under General Augusto Pinochet in September 1973, but offered few details on exactly how. Otherwise, the government largely refused to answer any key questions about the cooperation between the CIA (which actively supported Pinochet’s coup) and the BND, citing “the good of the state” as the main reason. “The release of information related to the cooperation with foreign security forces would breach the strict and unlimited confidentiality that forms the basis of all intelligence cooperation,” according to the government. The questions that remained unanswered include: When and in what way was the BND active in Chile? Did the CIA inform the BND about the putsch, which the US had supported both financially and actively through its intelligence agency? Was the BND involved in any way with the CIA operations in Chile? What was the central element of German foreign policy in Chile, if not human rights?

Racist or Islamist — lone-wolf attackers show similar patterns; There has been speculation as to what led a man to drive into a group of foreigners in Germany’s Ruhr region. Criminologist Britta Bannenberg says terrorists and those who run amok are similar, whatever their ideology. A 50-year-old German man, Andreas N., deliberately drove his car into groups of foreign-looking people on New Year’s Eve – first in Bottrop and then in Essen – before police could apprehend him. He injured eight people during the rampage. Currently, he is in police custody. Authorities assume his actions were racially motivated. Moreover, the welfare recipient and Essen resident is said to be mentally ill. Deutsche Welle: Seemingly racially-motivated car attacks recently carried out by a 50-year-old German man in Bottrop and Essen have captured the attention of authorities and citizens alike. What might have driven the perpetrator to carry out his New Year’s Eve attacks? Britta Bannenberg: We will have to wait before we can say with certainty. But initial indications point to a typical behavioral pattern. Young perpetrators are different from older ones, for instance. And there are a number of distinctive features among older perpetrators.

Explosion outside AfD office in eastern Germany; An explosion occurred outside of the AfD’s Döbeln office in eastern Germany. Investigators are looking into whether the attack was politically motivated. Authorities said “an unknown substance was detonated” in front of the building housing the offices of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Saxon city of Döbeln on Thursday at around 7:20 p.m. local time (620 UTC), police said. Doors and windows on the building housing the AfD office as well as two neighboring buildings. Parked cars were apparently also damaged but no injuries were reported. The police did not give information with regard to possible suspects for the attack. Saxony’s State Office of Criminal Investigation were investigating suspicions that the crime was politically motivated.

Ireland to seek emergency EU help in case of no-deal Brexit; Irish PM Leo Varadkar says he’s “given up speculating” on whether the UK will strike a deal with the EU. His agriculture minister insists Ireland would need “mega money” from the EU to cope with a no-deal Brexit. The Irish government could be forced to ask the European Union for hundreds of millions of euros of economic aid, should Britain crash out of the bloc without a deal. That was the assessment of Irish Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, as he was asked what would happen if a no-deal Brexit were to become a reality. Ireland, which relies heavily on its fishing and farming sector, would be the EU member most exposed to the economic dangers of a no-deal scenario. “I think nobody wants to talk about it right now because there is still a hope and expectation that a level of sanity will prevail,” Creed told the Irish Independent newspaper on Thursday. However, Creed said he acknowledged that the odds on Britain crashing out of the EU had shortened considerably in the past weeks. Such a move could see problems for Irish farmers in accessing the UK market as before. “I think we would get help. It’s all about the level of help,” Creed said.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro begins starts firing ‘left-wing’ public servants; President Jair Bolsonaro has authorized the dismissal of civil servants who don’t share his government’s far-right ideology. The sweep will target officials deemed sympathetic to Brazil’s centrist and left-wing parties. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration on Thursday launched a purge of government officials who don’t share its far-right ideology. Bolsonaro authorized the dismissal of some 300 officials on temporary contracts. The government “will clean the house,” Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni told a news conference after a Cabinet meeting headed by Bolsonaro, who took office this week. “It’s the only way to govern with our ideas, our concepts and to carry out what Brazil’s society decided in its majority,” said Lorenzoni, who is seen as the second most powerful member of the executive after Bolsonaro. The sweep will target officials who are seen as sympathetic to the centrist and left-wing parties that have ruled Brazil since 1985, when the country got rid of military dictatorship.

Interpreters make really lousy spies’; Poland’s state prosecutor wants the question the former interpreter of European Council President Donald Tusk. Can or should interpreters be compelled to reveal secret information? DW sat down with one with find out. It has been almost nine years since a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and high-ranking military officers crashed near the Russian city of Smolensk, killing all 96 people on board. The Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS) is convinced the crash was the result of an assassination plot and reopened its investigation in 2017. European Council President Donald Tusk, who was Polish prime minister at the time, has become the focus of the administration’s investigation. State prosecutors accuse him of treason and want to know what he and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about after the crash. The administration also wants to interrogate Magdalena Fitas-Dukaczewska, who was present at the meeting as an interpreter. In a report for the German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk she said she would not testify, even if the government absolved her from her obligation to maintain confidentiality. She says to do otherwise would destroy her credibility as well as that of her colleagues.

FRANCE (France 24)

Asylum-seeking’ N. Korea envoy from diplomatic family, says defector; A North Korean diplomat in Italy said to be seeking asylum is from a “prestigious diplomatic family” with both his father and father-in-law having worked in Pyongyang’s foreign ministry, according to a senior defector. Jo Song Gil, the North’s acting ambassador to Rome, went into hiding with his wife in November and is seeking asylum, according to Seoul’s intelligence authorities. It would be the first high-profile defection of a North Korean diplomat since 2016 when the then deputy ambassador to London, Thae Yong Ho, switched sides to settle in Seoul. Thae said Jo is the son of a late former diplomat, while his father-in-law served as ambassador to Thailand in the 1990s and once handled diplomatic protocol for the ruling Kim family at the foreign ministry. “I worked with Jo in the same department at Pyongyang’s foreign ministry for so long but never imagined that he would seek asylum,” Thae told Seoul’s Channel A. “The news shocked me. “I also worked for years with his father-in-law, a well-known, veteran diplomat in Pyongyang who also served as consul-general in Hong Kong in the 2000s,” Thae added in the interview late Thursday. Jo’s wife graduated from Pyongyang’s prestigious medical school, with both families enjoying privileged lives as members of the North’s “wealthy, prestigious elite”, according to Thae. The couple have one child, he added.

13 Canadians held in China since arrest of Huawei executive: official; Thirteen Canadians have been detained in China following the arrest on December 1 of a senior executive from Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei, Ottawa said Thursday, with eight subsequently released. Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Guillaume Berube confirmed the detentions to AFP, adding the figures excluded Hong Kong. The thirteen include former diplomat Michael Kovrig and consultant Michael Spavor, arrested on December 10, for activities said to threaten national security, as well as Sarah McIver, who was subsequently freed and returned to Canada. There are approximately 200 Canadians overall who have been detained in China for a variety of alleged infractions and continue to face ongoing legal proceedings, and the number has remained relatively stable in recent years. By way of comparison, there are almost 900 Canadians in a similar situation in the US. Some observers believe the detentions of Kovrig, who works for the International Crisis Group, and Spavor, who is frequently consulted on matters linked to North Korea, were retaliatory actions following the arrest in Vancouver of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition to the United States. Washington has accused her of fraud for helping evade US sanctions against Iran. She was later released on bail pending her extradition hearing. Backed by the US and several European countries, Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland has repeated called for the immediate release of Kovrig and Spavor, whose arrests Ottawa has termed arbitrary.

DR Congo’s Catholic Church urges ‘truth’ amid tense presidential vote count; However, the church did not say which candidate had won. A senior church body, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), said “data in its possession from vote counting reports […] points to one candidate as president.” It called on election overseers “to publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice”. The remarks came after the head of the country’s electoral commission said it may have to postpone publication of provisional results from the December 30 election, which are due on Sunday.

Bolsonaro says open to US military base in Brazil; Bolsonaro, who took power on Tuesday, said that Russia’s support of President Nicolas Maduro’s “dictatorship” in neighboring Venezuela had significantly ramped up tensions in the region and was a worrying development. Asked by the SBT TV network in an interview taped on Thursday if that meant he would allow U.S. military presence in Brazil, Bolsonaro responded that he would certainly be willing to negotiate that possibility. “Depending on what happens in the world, who knows if we would not need to discuss that question in the future,” Bolsonaro said.He emphasized that what Brazil seeks is to have “supremacy here in South America.” The far-right leader is upending foreign policy dating back over a decade, which saw the leftist Workers Party emphasizing South-South relations and sometimes tussling on the international stage with the United States. Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former Army captain and admirer of both Brazil’s 1964 to 1985 military dictatorship and U.S. President Donald Trump, has quickly deepened ties with the Unites States and Israel. Bolsonaro’s national security adviser, retired Army General Augusto Heleno, confirmed earlier on Thursday that the president wants to move Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but that logistical considerations were standing in the way. Heleno did not elaborate. But the country’s powerful agriculture sector is opposed to moving the embassy from Tel Aviv and angering Arab nations that buy billions of dollars worth of Brazilian halal or “permissible” meat each year.

Peru attorney general reverses decision on Odebrecht probe; The prosecutors, Rafael Vela and Jose Domingo Perez, had recently drawn up a plea deal with Odebrecht that committed the Brazilian construction company to providing evidence on some $30 million in bribes it says it paid to local politicians in Peru. The two are celebrated as anti-graft crusaders by many Peruvians for going after high-profile politicians, including four former presidents and opposition leader Keiko Fujimori. But late on Monday, Chavarry announced he was removing Vela and Perez from the case for exceeding their authority. By Wednesday, after protests and waves of criticism, Chavarry signed a resolution reappointing them to their posts, saying other prosecutors had declined to replace them.


Nikkei plunges during opening session; The Tokyo Stock Exchange reopened for the first time this year with investors jittery following Wall Street’s plunge. In early trading hours, the benchmark Nikkei Stock Average briefly dropped over 3 percent. Industry executives attended an opening ceremony at the exchange. Women dressed in kimono rang a bell and officials clapped their hands to mark the start of the year’s trading. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said, “We are committed to the ongoing efforts to break Japan out of deflation, and will fully prepare for economic and fiscal management.” The Nikkei ended Friday morning’s session at 19,407 points. It down 607 points, or 3 percent, from the close of the previous year. The index briefly dropped 3.7 percent, or more than 700 points, in the morning session. In New York, the Dow ended the day down 2.8 percent on Thursday after IT giant Apple cut its earnings estimate for the last quarter. Apple’s share price plunged more than 10 percent from the previous close. On the foreign exchange market, investors continued to buy the yen as a safe haven currency. Market players say investors are more risk-averse after Apple’s announcement.

Huawei to invest $2 billion to improve credibility; The CEO of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei says the company will invest two billion dollars over the next five years to bolster cyber-security. In his letter to 180,000 employees, Ren Zhengfei said the company’s top priority is strengthening the security, resilience, and privacy of its products. He said the company will allocate two billion dollars for engineering trustworthy telecom infrastructure products. Huawei products are being squeezed out of the United States and Australia due to concern over national security risks. Ren’s letter was apparently designed to highlight the firm’s effort to improve the credibility of its products.

Cross-strait tension over African swine fever; Taiwanese authorities say a dead pig found on a beach on an island near mainland China tests positive for African swine fever. They say the pig originated in mainland China. The carcass was found on a beach in Kinmen County on Monday. Taiwanese officials say they have determined that the carcass drifted across the narrow strait between the Chinese mainland and the Kinmen islands. They say a DNA test detected traces of the strain of the African swine fever virus found in affected pigs in mainland China. They also note that lots of garbage from mainland China washes up on Kinmen’s beaches constantly. The officials say they informed Beijing of the infected pig and urged it to bring the epidemic under control. They accuse Beijing of not sharing enough information. Outbreaks have been confirmed at more than 100 locations across China. The disease kills many infected hogs within a few days. It causes a high fever and other symptoms. The virus does not affect humans.

S.Korea to release footage of radar incident; South Korea’s defense ministry says it is preparing to release a video clip to counter Japan’s allegation that a South Korean warship locked its fire-control radar onto a Japanese patrol plane. South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo spoke of the plan at a regular news conference on Thursday. The remarks follow the Japanese government’s release of video footage taken from the patrol plane. Choi said the South Korean video clip would show what’s problematic with the Japanese footage. She said the video would also pose questions for Japan to answer. The spokesperson says the clip does not include the footage of the Japanese patrol plane taken from the South Korean destroyer. The South Korean defense ministry has alleged that the warship never targeted its weapons radar at the Japanese plane. On Wednesday, Seoul demanded that Japan apologize for what Seoul calls a threatening low altitude flight. South Korea’s presidential office announced that the National Security Council held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue. It said the council discussed the seriousness of the incident in which a Japanese patrol aircraft staged a close flyby at a low altitude while the South Korean ship was rescuing a drifting North Korean fishing boat. It said the council members agreed to take necessary measures based on accurate facts.

M 5.1 quake hits Kumamoto Prefecture; A strong earthquake has hit western Japan. It registered an intensity of 6-minus on the Japanese seismic scale of zero to seven in the town of Nagomimachi in Kumamoto Prefecture. There is no danger of tsunami. Japan’s Meteorological Agency says the quake occurred at around 6:10 PM on Thursday. It first estimated the magnitude at 5.0, but later revised the figure to 5.1. The agency says the focus was about 10 kilometers underground in the Kumamoto region. Jolts were felt across much of the Kyushu, Chugoku and Shikoku regions. The quake registered 5-minus in Kumamoto City’s Kita ward and in the town of Gyokutomachi in Kumamoto Prefecture. It is the first time a quake registering 6-minus or stronger has hit Kumamoto Prefecture since the major quake on April 16th of 2016.

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Release Of Ishtar (Part 33); Assyrian

(Her Attempts To Bring To Life Tammuz, Her First Lover)

When Allat saw the flaming herald come,
And his bright light dispelling all her gloom,
She beat her breast; and at him furious foams
In rage, and stamping shakes all Hades’ domes,
Thus cursed the herald, At-su-su-namir:
“Away! thou herald! or I’ll chain thee here
In my dark vaults, and throw thee for thy food
The city’s garbage, which has stagnant stood,
With impure waters for thy daily drink,
And lodge thee in my prison till you sink
From life impaled in yonder dismal room
Of torture; to thy fate so thou hast come?
Thine offspring with starvation I will strike!”

At last obedient doth Allat speak:
“Go, Namtar! and the iron palace strike!
O’er Asherim[1] adorned let the dawn break!
And seat the spirits on their thrones of gold!
Let Ishtar Life’s bright waters then behold,
And drink her fill, and bring her then to me;
From her imprisonment, I send her free.”
And Namtar then goes through the palace walls,
And flings the light through all the darkened halls,
And places all the spirits on their thrones,
Leads Ishtar to the waters near the cones.
She drinks the sparkling water now with joy,
Which all her form doth cleanse and purify.
And he at the first gate her robe returns,
And leads her through the second; where he turns,
And gives her bracelets back;–thus at each door
Returns to her her girdle, gems; then o’er
Her queenly brow he placed her shining crown.
With all her ornaments that were her own,
She stands with pride before the seventh gate,
And Namtar bows to her in solemn state:

“Thou hast no ransom to our queen here paid
For thy deliverance, yet thou hast said
Thy Tammuz thou didst seek within our walls,
Turn back! and thou wilt find him in these halls.
To bring him back to life the waters pour
Upon him; they thy Tammuz will restore;
With robes thou mayst adorn him and a crown
Of jewels, and thy maid with thee alone
Shall give thee comfort and appease thy grief.
Kharimtu, Samkha come to thy relief!”

Now Ishtar lifts her eyes within a room
Prepared for her, and sees her maidens come,
Before a weird procession wrapped in palls,
That soundless glide within and fills the halls.
Before her now they place a sable bier
Beside the fount; and Ishtar, drawing near,
Raised the white pall from Tammuz’s perfect form.
The clay unconscious, had that mystic charm
Of Beauty sleeping sweetly on his face,–
Of agony or sorrow left no trace:
But, oh! that awful wound of death was there
With its deep mark;–the wound, and not the scar.

When Ishtar’s eyes beheld it, all her grief
Broke forth afresh, refusing all relief;
She smote her breast in woe, and moaning cried,
Nor the bright waters to his wound applied:
“O Tammuz! Tammuz! turn thine eyes on me!
Thy queen thou didst adorn, before thee see!
Behold the emeralds and diamond crown
Thou gavest me when I became thine own!
Alas! he answers not: and must I mourn
Forever o’er my love within this bourne?
But, oh! the waters from this glowing stream!
Perhaps those eyes on me with love will beam,
And I shall hear again his song of love.
Oh, quickly let these waters to me prove
Their claim to banish death with magic power!”

Then with her maids, she o’er his form doth pour
The sparkling drops of life–
“He moves! he lives!
What happiness is this my heart receives?
O come, my Tammuz! to my loving arms!”

And on breast his breathing form she warms;
With wondering eyes he stares upon his queen,
And nestling closed his eyes in bliss again.

[Footnote 1: “Asherim,” literally “stone stakes” or “cones,” the symbols of the goddess Asherah or Ishtar (Sayce), but Calmet says that the god Ashima is a deity of very uncertain origin, and that the name “Ashima” may be very well compared with the Persian “asuman” (“heaven”); in “Zend,” “acmano,” so Gesenius in his Man. Lex., 1832. This also, according to the magi, is the name of the angel of death, who separates the souls of men from their bodies, Cal. Dic., p. 106. Cones are to be seen in the British Museum which are probably of the character which represented Elah-Gabalah, the sun-god, adored in Rome during the reign of Heliogabalus. The symbol and worship came from Hamath in Syria.]

SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature; Alcove II, Tablet VI (1901): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Tammuz Is Restored To Life By The Waters Of Life (Part 34); Assyrian

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar:The God Of Hope, And Herald Of The Gods (Part 32); Assyrian

World War Two: Fall of Philippines; Bataan (4-21); Battling Bastards

We’re the battling bastards of Bataan; No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam; No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces; No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces….And nobody gives a damn. The lot of the individual soldier on Bataan was hardly affected by changes in command. The search for food was his constant pursuit; hunger and disease his deadliest enemies. Literally, he faced starvation. When measured against this terrible and inescapable fact all else was of secondary importance.

Food and Clothing

Since 6 January, when the ration had been cut in half, the 80,000 soldiers and 6,000 civilians on Bataan had received a steadily diminishing and unbalanced allowance of food. Theoretically, the half ration supplied the American soldier with 6 ounces each of flour and canned or fresh meat daily; the Filipino with 10 ounces of rice and 4 of meat or fish. In actual fact the ration varied with time and circumstances and never on Bataan did it equal a full half ration. From January through February, the daily issue averaged less than 30 ounces, as compared to the peacetime garrison ration of 71 ounces for Americans and 64 for Filipinos.

From the start it proved impossible to establish any theoretical basis for the issue of rations. The issue varied from day to day and was based not on the number of calories required or the vitamins necessary to maintain the health and efficiency of the command, but solely on the amount of food on hand. Since rice was most plentiful it became the basic element in the diet and all other foods were rationed to last as long as it did.

As the supply of food dwindled the amount issued was steadily reduced. The inventory of 5 January had disclosed that there was only enough canned meat and fish to last 50 days, canned milk for 20, flour and canned vegetables for 30, and small amounts of sugar, lard substitutes, coffee, and fruits. By the end of the month this supply had diminished to an II-day supply of meat and fish, 6 days of flour, 5 of fruit, and 4 of vegetables. On 23 February the Philippine Department quartermaster, Colonel Frank Brezina, reported that he had on hand only a 22-day supply of meat and fish, enough flour to last 22 days, and only 228 cans of tomatoes, 48 cans of fruit, 30 pounds of coffee, 1,100 pounds of raisins, 27,736 cans of milk, and 21,700 pounds of sugar. A few days later he told Brigadier General Charles C. Drake, the USAFFE quartermaster, that there was no corned beef, corned beef hash, or bacon left on Bataan. “We are entirely dependent upon the shipments of salmon from Fort Mills,” he declared, “as it is impossible to slaughter sufficient carabao to make an issue to all units.” Before the end of the campaign the amount of canned meat, usually corned beef, issued to the troops had been reduced from 6 ounces to 1.2 ounces.

The Filipinos, whose ration, except for flour, was the same as the American ration, did not suffer as much, for the allowance of rice rarely dropped below 8 ounces. The stock of canned vegetables, limited in quantity and variety from the very start, shrank steadily until its issue was virtually discontinued. Within a month after the troops reached Bataan, butter, coffee, and tea had practically disappeared from the menu. Sugar and canned milk were extremely scarce and were doled out in the most minute quantities.

By the middle of February the ration had already dropped far below the standard half ration. On the 17th of the month the men on Bataan received only 27.7 ounces, consisting of 9 ounces of rice, 4 of meat, 5 of bread, plus a small allowance of sugar, coffee, bacon, juice, and canned tomatoes and fruit, amounting altogether to 10 ounces.

As the days went by the ration was cut again and again. By the end of March it had been so reduced and the fare offered had become so monotonous as to amount to little more than a token diet barely sufficient to sustain life. The bareness and inadequacy of this diet is revealed strikingly in the ration for 25 March, shown in Table 8. At that time the men were receiving less than one quarter the amount of food allotted soldiers in peacetime.

Every effort was made to exploit the slender food resources of Bataan. The two rice mills constructed by the engineers began operations in mid-January. Under the supervision of the quartermaster foraging parties gathered the palay (unhusked rice), which stood ripe in the narrow rice belt along Manila Bay, and brought it to the mills for threshing. Before the supply was exhausted sometime in March a total of 250 tons of palay had been collected. Since the rate of consumption was fifteen tons a day, this impressive total amounted to only a seventeen day supply. Had modern farm machinery been available the quantity of palay recovered, one officer estimated, would have been ten times greater.

Since it was the most abundant food on Bataan rice ultimately replaced wheat in the diet of the American soldiers. Accustomed to potatoes and bread they found rice a most unsatisfactory substitute. Consisting mostly of starch and with scarcely any vitamins it possessed little nutritive value. Without seasoning or other foods it had little flavor of its own and tasted like “wall-paper paste.” As one wit remarked, “Rice is the greatest food there is-anything you add to it improves it.” But it had one virtue none could deny; it filled empty stomachs, and on Bataan that was a most important consideration.

While it lasted fresh meat was issued to the troops at regular intervals, usually every third day. This meat was obtained principally from the carabao slaughtered at the recently established abattoir near Lamao and at scattered, small slaughterhouses consisting of little more than platforms over rapidly running fresh-water streams. In the absence of refrigeration the carabao were kept in enclosures until a fresh meat issue was due, then quickly slaughtered and issued to the troops. Toward the end of the campaign about 600 of the butchered carabao were sent to Corregidor for storage in the refrigeration plant and later returned to Bataan for issue. When forage for animals was exhausted, the 250 horses of the 26th Cavalry and 48 pack mules were regretfully slaughtered also. Major Achille C. Tisdelle, a cavalry officer and General King’s aide, wrote on 15 March that the 26th Cavalry and other units had that day finished the last of their horses. Altogether the amount of fresh meat slaughtered on Bataan totaled approximately 1,300 tons.

For a time the meat component was supplemented by fresh fish caught by local fishermen. At one period of the campaign the daily catch reached as high as 12,000 pounds. This supply ended when Japanese and indiscriminate American gunfire discouraged the nightly fishing trips.

To these sources of food must be added the amounts procured by the individual soldier. The Filipino was most adept at fending for himself in the jungle. In various localities he could secure chickens, pigs, camotes (sweet potatoes), bamboo shoots, mangoes, and bananas. He could supplement his diet with dog and monkey meat; with the chicken like meat of the iguana lizard, so relished by the natives; and with the meat of the large python snake whose eggs the Filipinos considered a great delicacy. On his own initiative he picked rice in the fields near him and threshed it in his foxhole. Those in the front lines could make their way through the outposts to near-by barrios and at exorbitant prices purchase food not obtainable by the quartermaster. Ofttimes patrols would return with sacks of milled rice.

The Americans soon learned that hunger is a great leveler and sought the meat of dogs-which tasted like lamb-iguanas, and monkeys as avidly as their native comrades-in-arms. “Monkeys and iguanas are quite scarce,” wrote one officer regretfully, “and about all we have is rice.” Colonel Mallonee’s experience was wider. After a varied diet on Bataan, the 195-pound six-footer offered this advice to epicures: “I can recommend mule. It is tasty, succulent and tender-all being phrases of comparison, of course. There is little to choose between calesa pony and carabao. The pony is tougher but better flavor than carabao. Iguana is fair. Monkey I do not recommend. I never had snake”. To supplement this report there is the judgment of another gourmet who declared “that monkey meat is all right until the animal’s hands turn up on a plate.”

The search for food sometimes had tragic results for those who could not distinguish the edible from the inedible. The wild carrot, highly toxic in its native form, caused numerous violent intestinal disturbances and frequent deaths. Some types of berry were also poisonous and resulted in illness or death. But the troops continued to eat every berry and root they could find and by April the peninsula “had been broken dry of all edible vegetation . . . which anyone thought he could eat.”

In addition to the food obtained from the quartermaster and that secured by individuals through their own initiative and ingenuity, men soon found other ways to supplement their ration. A large amount of fresh meat was procured by units which seized any livestock unlucky enough to come within their reach. There was always the possibility that the animals might be diseased, but men were willing to take that chance. Headquarters frowned upon this practice for reasons of health and because it curtailed the supply of fresh meat for regular issue, and early in February prohibited the slaughter of carabao “by any individual, unit, or organization … except at the Field Abattoir under the direct supervision of the Department Veterinarian.” Despite these orders about 1,000 carabao were butchered privately during the campaign.

Many units had their own private reserves of food, secured in various ways, regular and irregular. The chief source of these caches was the supplies picked up at depots during the withdrawal and never turned in. One unit, investigation disclosed, had “a considerable cache of subsistence . . . well guarded behind barbed wire” another had 8,500 C Rations in its private dump. In one case the driver of a ration truck had accumulated 520 cans of tomatoes, 111 cans of evaporated milk, 297 cans of tomato sauce, 114 cans of tomato juice, 6 cans of oleo-margarine, 12 sacks of rice, and three fourths of a sack of wheat. So large was the private supply of one unit that MacArthur’s chief of staff ordered an investigation which revealed a situation even worse than had been thought. Orders had been issued at the start of the campaign directing the return of these supplies to the quartermaster, but few units obeyed. Even the requirement of a detailed, certified report of stocks from all unit commanders failed to bring in the private caches.

One of the most persistent irregularities in the issue of rations was the padding of strength reports by units so that they could draw more than their share. At one time, 122,000 rations were being issued daily. “It appears,” wrote Lieutenant Colonel Frank F. Carpenter, Jr., of the Bataan echelon of USAFFE, “that many units are doubling up.” A warning from MacArthur brought the figure down to 94,000 for military personnel alone, which was still considerably higher than it should have been. One flagrant example of padding that came to the attention of USAFFE was that of the division, with two regiments detached, which drew 11,000 rations on 6 February.

At full strength this division did not have more than 6,500 men. But despite the strictest orders and the most careful procedures, the number of rations issued continued to exceed the troop strength. Even within units rations were sometimes distributed unequally. Reports that complete ration components were not being rushed forward from division quartermaster dumps to the front-line troops reached USAFFE and on 17 January commanders were told that “in some cases subsistence has been forcibly diverted from the units for which it was intended.” This reminder, like most dealing with the ration, was ignored when it was safe to do so. While such practices existed the fare of units was uneven. Some ate well, others poorly, and it is a truism of warfare that the units to the rear always live best. “There is nothing quite so controversial as the Bataan ration,” wrote one reflective officer. “Some units got corned beef, others none. Some had corned beef hash in lieu of fish. Some got eight ounces of rice, others 3.7. Some got flour in place of bread, some hard tack. But there is nothing controversial about the fact that the ration was grossly inadequate.”

Even when no irregularity interrupted the normal distribution of rations, the confusion and hazards of war often robbed men of their food. General Stevens justly complained that his 91st Division was receiving an unbalanced ration when, by some misadventure, the quartermaster issued for his 5,600 men 19 sacks of rice, 12 cases of salmon, 39 sacks of sugar, 4 carabao quarters, plus a few miscellaneous items. That same day another division received nothing but canned goods. Sometimes a change in assignment would leave one unit without a ration for one day while another received a double issue. The movement of units from one sector to another, usually made at night when the rations were issued, resulted as frequently in a double issue as in none at all.

The long and difficult supply lines on Bataan often slowed up the delivery of food, and vehicles carrying supplies broke down on the mountain trails. The distribution of fresh meat was extremely difficult under these conditions. Since refrigeration and an adequate road net were lacking, the meat had to be transported in open trucks during the heat of the tropical day on hauls lasting as long as twelve hours. It is not surprising that the meat which reached the front-line troops was not always fresh.

Sometimes an accident could have tragic results for the starved garrison. A lucky hit by a Japanese bomber knocked out a freezing unit in the Corregidor cold-storage plant, and 194 carabao quarters-about 24,000 pounds, almost one day’s supply was thereupon sent to Bataan for immediate issue. Five successive air raids delayed the loading of the meat which did not reach Bataan until the next morning. Since it could not be unloaded during daylight the meat remained on the barge the entire day.

By evening it was unfit for distribution. The difficult supply routes and the ever present threat of starvation were responsible for large-scale pilferage, looting, and hijacking by civilians and troops alike. Supply trucks moving slowly along the narrow, tortuous trails of Bataan were ideal targets for hungry men with guns. Guards were posted but even they were not above temptation.

Philippine Army military police placed along the supply routes helped themselves generously from the vehicles they halted. Officers also sought to secure food and supplies in this way, and on one occasion two officers, an American and a Filipino, were caught red-handed looting a quartermaster dump. So serious was the situation that it was proposed that guards be instructed to shoot anyone caught looting. A similar fate was proposed for those in the vicinity of a supply dump without “proper reason or authority.” Despite threats of dire consequences, looting and hijacking continued. It was comparatively easy to toss off a sack of rice to a waiting friend as; truck moved forward, and the closer the ration trucks came to the front lines the less food they contained.

One item of issue that created serious difficulty was cigarettes. Never present in sufficient quantity for general distribution, that were doled out to the front-line troops from time to time. No item disappeared so quick between the point of supply and destinatic The loss was a heavy one. In mid-January an officer of the Bataan echelon of USAFFE urgently recommended that cigarettes be sent from Corregidor to the men at the front, and a month later Colonel Beebe told the chief of staff that the demand for cigarettes was rapidly creating “a real morale problem.” Finally, early in March, USAFFE authorized the issue of five cigarettes daily to men in front-line units, and 104 cases less than one pack a man-were shipped to Bataan.

This issue did not even begin to satisfy the need for cigarettes. While inspecting a battalion position, Brigadier General Hugh J. Casey, USAFFE engineer, took out a pack of cigarettes. He was immediately mobbed. Every Filipino within fifty yards left his foxhole and rushed to get one. Rumors began to reach Corregidor that cigarettes sent from there had been hijacked, that they had been held back by rear echelons, and that favored treatment had been accorded higher headquarters. An investigation disclosed…a dire lack of cigarettes among the front line units. Soldiers will pounce on any discarded cigarette stub for a single puff. There is in time of war no difference between the needs of smokers as between front and rear echelon unit, unless the need at the front is greater. It would appear only just to make an equal allocation between all officers and men, at the front, in rear echelons, and at Fort Mills. Troops should not be in a position of paying 2 Pesos [$1.00] on the black market for a package of cigarettes and even then being unable to get them when those in the rear can secure them in plenty at ten centavos [5 cents].

A visitor from Corregidor who had heard that cigarettes would bring a fantastically high price on Bataan decided to test the validity of the rumor on his Philippine Scout driver. He was able to get ten pesos ($5.00) for a single pack and the thanks of the driver as well. “I gave the soldier back his ten pesos,” he wrote, “and told him that if anyone ever wanted to charge him more than twenty centavos a package for cigarettes he should shoot them.” Altogether, it is estimated, only 400 cases, each consisting of fifty 200-cigarette cartons, were sent from Corregidor to Bataan between 6 January and 2 April. In concrete terms this meant that each front-line soldier received less than one cigarette a day. Deprived of the solace of tobacco and coffee, the soldier living on 17 ounces of food a day could be very miserable indeed.

To the lack of food and tobacco must be added the shortage of clothing, as well as personal and organizational equipment of every kind. General Wainwright tells how, at the beginning of January, his exhausted and unshod troops stumbled into the thorny jungles of Bataan after their long withdrawal from Lingayen. Regular Army units were comparatively well off at the start of the campaign, but the Philippine Army had reached Bataan with the scantiest supplies. A large percentage of the Filipinos had no raincoats, blankets, or shelter halves, and there were almost none for issue. General Stevens reported on 13 January that his men had only well worn denims and were badly in need of underclothes and shoes. The 11th Division was in a similar plight. Its need was partially met by a shipment of 10,000 pairs of socks, 3,000 leggings, and 10,000 pairs of drawers. This issue, it must be noted, was for the entire force, not for the two divisions alone.

As time passed, uniforms became more ragged and threadbare, offering little protection against the cold nights and the cruel thorns so abundant on Bataan. Unit commanders were instructed to limit their clothing requisitions “to minimum replacement requirements” without regard to normal army standards. Most did not secure even this minimum. In one unit, comparatively well clad, the uniforms were considered 90 percent unserviceable. Less than 25 percent of the enlisted men in this unit had blankets, shelter halves, or raincoats. Fully one quarter of the command was without shoes; the rest went about in shoes so badly worn that under normal conditions they would have been considered unfit for use! For a time the most desperate needs were met by a salvage unit which “renovated, repaired, washed, and ironed” the clothing taken from patients in hospitals. Such a measure merely robbed Peter to pay Paul.

The inequities in the issue of supplies favored the troops to the rear. “Morale on the front is high,” wrote a visitor from Corregidor, “though the supply situation is enough to justify dissatisfaction.” Many of the men, he noted, were without underwear and shoes and most had only one uniform-blue denims. The meals, too, he noticed, became progressively worse as one neared the front. “Supply and service troops,” he concluded, “eat better than the line troops.”

Late in March one last effort was made to provide clothing, blankets, raincoats, and shoes for the tatterdemalion soldiers on Bataan. On the 29th Beebe, now a brigadier and Wainwright’s chief of staff, asked his G-4 whether there were any supplies on Corregidor which could be released to units along the front. Since the reserve of uniforms and blankets was under the control of the Harbor Defenses commander, General Moore, the request was passed on to him. Four days later came the reply: no blankets or uniforms were available, but there were 10,000 pairs of shoes-originally sent from Bataan for safekeeping-in odd lot sizes that could be spared. On 4 April, at the height of the final Japanese attack, General King was asked whether he desired this heterogeneous mass of footgear. To this inquiry there is no recorded answer. While the men on the line believed that their comrades to the rear dined more fully and richly than they, all were convinced that those on Corregidor ate best of all. Actually such distinctions were purely relative and no one lived well. But there was enough truth in these generalizations to create a strong feeling of dissatisfaction and a serious morale problem. General Wainwright discovered this when he moved to Corregidor.

Accustomed to the omnipresent and ominous shortages of Bataan, he found Corregidor relatively a land of plenty. The troops there, it is true, ate two meals a day and subsisted on half rations, but it was a full half ration and its components provided a well balanced diet. It included such “luxury items” as bacon, ham, fresh vegetables, and occasionally coffee, milk, and jam-foods which had long since disappeared from the Bataan diet.

The disparity between the Corregidor and Bataan rations was sharply raised when the Bataan military police halted a supply truck and confiscated its waybill. This truck was delivering food to three antiaircraft batteries stationed on Bataan but receiving a Corregidor ration, to which they were entitled as organic elements of the harbor defense. What they were not entitled to was the Bataan ration, which they were also drawing. Such an irregularity would not have been surprising but when the waybill was examined it revealed a scandalous situation. The items listed in the shipment would make any Bataan soldier envious. They included a case each of ham and bacon, 24 cans of Vienna sausage, one sack of cracked wheat, 25 pounds of raisins, 33 pounds of lard substitute, 24 cans each of peas, corn, tomatoes, and peaches, 6 cans of potatoes, 24 bottles of catsup, 50 cartons of cigarettes, and even 600 pounds of ice.

The news of this sumptuous fare, so unlike the Bataan ration, spread rapidly to the front-line troops, adding fuel to their smoldering resentment. The incident was noted by all headquarters and the matter quickly closed with a promise for remedial action. The postscript was written by Colonel Carpenter in a personal note to General Beebe: Bataan troops feel they are discriminated against. There is no way of preventing this sort of thing getting to the front line troops and you can appreciate the effect on morale. The clandestine manner of getting the so called luxury items to the Harbor Defense troops on Bataan … does not seem ethical. Realize there are not sufficient luxury Items for general issue but General Wainwright was assured troops assigned to Harbor Defense on Bataan received approximately the same ration components. However, such is war. Despite the admitted superiority of the Corregidor ration, no one could contend that the men on Corregidor had an adequate diet. They did not. And it is doubtful that the reduction of their ration would have materially altered the situation. The equal distribution of food between the 100,000 men on Bataan and the 10,000 on Corregidor could not have saved Bataan and might have led to the weakening of the harbor defenses.


In the wake of starvation and want came dread disease. Malaria, dengue, and the evil consequences of avitaminosis (vitamin deficiency) -scurvy, beriberi, and amoebic dysentery-made their appearance soon after the troops reached Bataan. On 10 January General King’s aide wrote prematurely in his diary that the effects of the enforced diet of half rations was already becoming evident in the condition of the men. Two weeks later he thought he saw signs of emaciation and nerve fatigue. The ration, he believed, had so reduced the stamina of the men that they were “being incapacitated by minor sickness they [formerly] had been able to throw off without medication.” Another layman described the symptoms of malnutrition he had noticed about the middle of February. In the morning, he observed, men’s legs “feel watery and, at intervals, pump with pains that swell and go away again.” Rapid movement brought an attack of vertigo and a thumping of the heart “like a tractor engine bogged in a swamp.” For an hour after breakfast a feeling of normality was restored, followed by lassitude. The hour after noon, when men doubled up with intestinal pains, was the worst of the day. Unknowingly, this officer was describing incipient beriberi resulting from the absence of fresh meat, vegetables, and dairy products-all rich in Vitamin B–from the diet.

Medical men began to warn commanders of the effects of the inadequate diet at the end of January. The caloric content of the ration then being issued, one medical officer reported, was “well under the requirements for the physical work demanded,” and was resulting in serious loss of weight. In one unit, composed of Americans, the men had lost 15 to 25 pounds since the start of the campaign. The absence of fats and juices, as well as Vitamins A, B, and C, was evident, this medical officer declared, in “varying degrees of apathy, depression, lack of aggressiveness and irritability. ”

The alarm of medical and combat officers became so great during the next few weeks that Lieutenant Colonel James O. Gillespie, the medical officer in the Bataan echelon of USAFFE, told his chief on Corregidor, Colonel Wibb E. Cooper, that “it appears to be the consensus of surgeons attached to American front line troops that the diet provided is inadequate for the maintenance of health and combat efficiency.” The lack of protein, fat, minerals, and certain vitamins, he pointed out, was resulting in common diarrhea and dysentery. The effects of the unbalanced diet on the Filipino, accustomed to the food and climate, were not as pronounced. Colonel Gillespie’s recommendations included an increase in the allowance of beef, vegetables, and fruit, the issue of four ounces of evaporated milk daily, and the procurement of native fruits and vegetables. If these foods could not be secured in adequate amounts, he urged strongly that vitamin concentrates should be secured for the American troops at least.

General Wainwright lent his support to these recommendations in a separate communication to General MacArthur in which he declared that if the campaign lasted two to six months longer, it is certain that a fairly high percentage of the troops will suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition. By the end of February, the effects of the food shortage were clearly evident and well understood. Already MacArthur was sending urgent and eloquent pleas for aid to Washington and Australia, and efforts were being made to break through the Japanese blockade.

The number of men brought down by malnutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases increased in geometric proportion with the passage of time and the successive cuts in the ration. During January, the ration had provided, in terms of energy, approximately 2,000 calories a day. The next month the figure declined to 1,500 and during March it was only 1,000 calories daily. Defense of the line on Bataan, Lieutenant Colonel Harold W. Glattly, the Luzon force surgeon estimated, required an expenditure of energy of at least 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day for each man. He found the results of this caloric deficit alarming in the extreme. Serious muscle waste and depletion of fat reserve were evident everywhere and beriberi in its incipient stages had become almost universal throughout the command. Moreover, malnutrition had so weakened the troops that they were particularly vulnerable to even the most minor ailment. The spread of any disease, he warned, would be of epidemic proportions. Men’s physical reserves had disappeared by early March; at the end of the month the men were deteriorating rapidly.

Even more serious than malnutrition and avitaminosis was the spread of malaria. This disease had made its appearance shortly after the troops reached Bataan, but was kept under control by prophylactic doses of quinine. There was a small supply of atabrine but it was quickly exhausted. A malaria control program such as existed later in the war was not possible on Bataan. Most of the Filipino troops were never issued mosquito nets, and those who had them left them behind during the withdrawal for they were of a bulky and heavy type. The area occupied by the troops contained native villages where mosquitoes could breed freely, and there were always large numbers of Filipino civilians behind the lines. These civilians were “a reservoir for malaria,” and nullified the effect of any limited control program adopted by the troops.

Malaria did not affect the efficiency of the troops until the beginning of March, but at the end of January most of the men were already infested with malarial parasites. Medical officers made gloomy predictions for the future, when the supply of quinine would give out. “If all troops take the prescribed 5 grams prophylactic dose,” wrote a medical officer to General R. J. Marshall on 26 January, “the supply will be exhausted in a month.” As early as the beginning of February there were signs that the disease would soon increase at an alarming rate. Only the regular dosage of quinine kept the disease in check that month, but the supply of this drug dwindled rapidly. During the first week of March, its use as a prophylactic in most units was discontinued. Thereafter the drug was administered only to those actually ill with the disease.

The consequences were frightful. The number of daily admissions to the hospitals for malaria alone jumped to 500 during the first week in March. After an inspection of fortifications on Bataan, General Casey reported that the incidence of malaria was –as high as 35 percent among front-line units. Two weeks later Colonel Cooper declared that already there were 3,000 active cases of malaria among the troops on Bataan and that the disease was spreading with appalling rapidity.59 Colonel Glattly took an even more pessimistic view of the situation. The relapse rate, he noted, was high and since no quinine was available for any but active cases, the command could expect a frightful increase in the morbidity rate. By the end of the month the number of daily admissions to the hospitals was approaching the fantastic figure of 1,000, and 75 to 80 percent of the men in front-line units had the disease.

Every effort was made to secure quinine as well as vitamin concentrates and other medical supplies from sources outside the Philippines. Some quinine was brought to Corregidor by plane from Australia via Mindanao, and an effort was made to manufacture a drug from the bark of a tree native to the Islands that was thought to have the properties of quinine. Despite every expedient there was never a large enough supply of the drug after 1 March to permit its use as a prophylaxis. On 23 March, when the malarial rate was 750 cases daily, there was only enough quinine in the medical depot to provide inadequate treatment for about 10,000 men. “When the present stock is gone,” Colonel Glattly warned General King, “a mortality rate in untreated cases of 7 to 10 percent can be expected.” A week later Wainwright’s surgeon reported that approximately 758,000 quinine tablets had been received by air and that the medical depot had only 600,000 left. The inadequacy of this supply can be measured against the 3,000,000 tablets which Colonel Cooper estimated as the minimum necessary each month to prevent the wholesale spread of malaria.

The rapid spread of the disease can be attributed not only to the lack of quinine but also to the area in which the troops were stationed. The withdrawal from the Abucay-Mauban line late in January had placed the men in a low, malaria-infested valley between the high ground formed by Mt. Natib on the north and the Mariveles Mountains to the south. Even under the most favorable circumstances, it is probable that a large part of the command would have ultimately been debilitated by the disease endemic in this valley.

A notable disregard for sanitary precautions, combined with the natural unhealthfulness of the battle position, added greatly to the spread of malaria, as well as other diseases. Lack of training in the elementals of military hygiene was universal in the Philippine Army. Many of the Filipinos drank unboiled water from streams and pools and failed to sterilize their mess gear. Latrines were neither well constructed nor properly used. Kitchens were dirty and garbage buried near the surface. Huge flies, attracted by these malodorous dumps, swarmed everywhere. “The fly menace,” wrote a medical officer, “spread beyond comprehension.” “Sanitation,” remarked another officer, on duty with Filipino troops, “was ghastly. Straddle trenches-when built-adjoined kitchens …. The calls of nature were responded to when and where heard.”

Even in the hospitals sanitation was far from ideal. There were no screens and the supply of lysol was limited. The hospital waste was emptied into latrine pits and the stench at times was so offensive that men relieved themselves elsewhere. Despite the desperate efforts of the nurses to keep the hospital areas sanitary, there were, one doctor thought, “undoubtedly many cross infections.”

Under these circumstances it is not surprising that common diarrhea and various forms of dysentery appeared soon after the troops fell back to fixed positions. While never as serious as malnutrition or malaria, the incidence of both ailments was high and their treatment limited by the shortage of drugs. Filipino troops, often barefoot, frequently developed hookworm also. Carbon tetrachloride for treatment was available only in limited quantities, the medical depot reporting fifty-one bottles on hand at the end of March.

As the men on Bataan grew more gaunt and disease-ridden it became increasingly difficult to isolate the specific causes which rendered men ineffective for combat. One surgeon believed that the high malarial rate was “covering up” the prevailing “mental and physical exhaustion” caused by a protracted starvation diet. It was Colonel Cooper’s judgment that “the basic cause of all the trouble was the lack of food, of proper food.” At the time he wrote, 2 April, there were no vitamin concentrates on hand in the medical depot.

Less tangible but fully as serious as any of the diseases prevalent on Bataan was nerve fatigue. The majority of the combat , troops had received no rest in a rear area since the first Japanese attack on 8 December. Even reserve units behind the line had been subjected to daily air and artillery bombardment. In the opinion of Colonel GlattIy, “The fatigue resulting from constant nervous tension definitely decreased the ability of these troops to endure heavy bombardment.” The physical signs of this ailment were observed toward the end of the campaign when many of the men proved unable to stand the nervous strain of combat. At an earlier period stragglers had been rallied and sent back into battle. Later in the campaign stragglers discarded arms and equipment and could not be returned to the front except by force. “They were surly and physically exhausted as well as mentally unequal to further combat duty,” said one medical officer.

The number of men hospitalized for psychotic disorders was remarkably small and presented no serious problem to the medical authorities. This may have been due to the fact that there was “no possible retreat from reality,” as the medical officer of USAFFE believed, or to the failure to evacuate such cases to the hospitals. Facilities for the isolation and treatment of mental patients were limited. One ward in General Hospital No.2 was set aside for these patients, but they could not be confined and seem to have been allowed to roam the hospital area.

With the exception of quinine, dysentery serum, gas antitoxin, and some sulfa drugs, the supply of medicine held out to the end of the campaign. Large amounts of blood plasma were used. The marines had brought twenty-five cases from Shanghai and these were placed in the common pool. The shortage of antitoxin led to an abnormally large number of gas gangrene cases. Wounds which ordinarily would have presented no difficulty failed to respond to treatment and became infected. If the wound did not heal after it was opened and drained, then amputation followed.

There were two general hospitals on Bataan. Until the end of January one of these, General Hospital No.1, was located at Limay and because of its proximity to the front lines took all battle casualties requiring surgery. Its eight operating tables were housed in a building 14 by 40 feet. In a period of one month more than 1,200 battle casualties requiring major surgery were admitted to the hospital, the larger number being received on 16 January when the staff performed 182 major surgical operations. Usually all the operating tables were occupied and other patients lay on litters close by awaiting surgery. “It was necessary,” one medical officer recalled, “for the nurses to walk around patients when assisting in the operations.” After the withdrawal, the hospital was moved back to Little Baguio, on the slopes of the Mariveles, near the ammunition and quartermaster depots. When these installations were bombed, the hospital area, though clearly marked by a large cross, was vulnerable to air attack. Twice toward the close of the campaign it was hit.

General Hospital No.2 was located about three miles south of Cabcaben, in the bamboo thickets and jungle along the Real River. Close by was the medical supply depot. The thicket and jungle provided concealment from air observation and the river a fresh-water supply which was filtered and chlorinated, then stored in a 3,000-gallon storage tank.

Evacuation of the sick and wounded was accomplished in two ways-by ambulance directly from the aid and clearing stations and by shuttle buses. There were only a few ambulances and these were sent out on special cases. The shuttle buses had about fifteen litters instead of seats and made regular trips along designated routes on schedule. Most of the wounded were brought in at night to avoid the daytime traffic and reduce the possibility of enemy air attack. Normally it took about eight hours to get a casualty from the battlefield to the hospital, but in some Philippine Army units this period was as long as thirty-six hours. The majority of the wounds treated in the hospitals were from shell fragments and small-arms fire; relatively few were from bombs. The small caliber Japanese rifle did not inflict as serious a wound as the American .30-caliber rifle. It was one doctor’s opinion, after examining men with eight and ten wounds in their arms, shoulders, and chest, that these men would have been killed if similarly wounded by .30-caliber bullets.

Abdominal wounds were the most common. There was no established method of treatment; each surgeon used his own judgment. But there was an adequate supply of sulfa drugs for external use and no necessity for unusual methods. It was only when gas gangrene set in that difficulties arose because of the lack of antitoxin. Wounds healed slowly because of the weakened condition of the men, and the period of hospitalization was normally longer than might otherwise have been the case if there had been enough food for a proper diet.

The large and ever-increasing number of sick and wounded strained all medical installations to the utmost. Fortunately, the number of battle casualties in the period between 15 February and 3 April was small and the beds ordinarily used by the wounded could be given to the starved and malaria ridden soldiers. The capacity of the two general hospitals, designed to accommodate 1,000 patients each, was steadily increased until it reached a figure three times that number.

The sick rate continued to outstrip even this notable expansion. This fact, combined with the shortage of gasoline, made it necessary at the beginning of March to limit evacuation to the general hospitals to two types of cases: first, those requiring medical or surgical treatment not available at the clearing stations; and, second, those in which the period of disability was expected to exceed twenty-one days. To care for all other patients the clearing station of each medical battalion was converted into a hospital with 300 or more beds. Under ideal circumstances the clearing station was neither organized nor equipped to provide hospitalization. On Bataan, where conditions were far from ideal and where the Philippine Army medical units lacked much of the standard equipment normal in such elements, clearing stations were even less qualified to handle patients.

As the volume of patients increased, downward echelonment of hospitalization continued. Soon the collecting companies, designed to provide only emergency treatment to casualties, were converted into hospitals with 100 to 150 beds. Even with the addition of these units, hospital facilities had become so inadequate by the end of March that patients with minor ailments were treated in battalion and regimental aid stations. All medical installations on Bataan were bursting with patients and still they were not able to care for all the sick and wounded. The two general hospitals had about 7,000 patients; another 4,000 were being treated in a provisional hospital established by I Corps. Undetermined numbers were ill in division clearing and collecting companies. The 91st Clearing Company, 4,000 yards behind the front lines, had 900 beds; the 11th was handling 600 patients. And the number was growing daily. Everyone recognized that the hospitalization provided was “in direct conflict with the recognized principles of division medical service” and “a violation of all standard medical tactics,” but, wrote the surgeon, the main objective, the saving of lives and the relief of suffering, was achieved.

The health of the command had a disastrous effect upon combat efficiency. This fact was noted first early in February and Wainwright had expressed his concern to MacArthur on the 26th of the month. The next month the situation grew more alarming. “The doctors say,” wrote King’s aide on 14 March, “that our combat efficiency is a little below 45 percent.” When Colonel Harry A. Skerry inspected I Corps positions with General Casey early in March he found that in the sector held by a battalion of the 71st infantry the commander was so sick with dengue fever he could hardly accompany them. Of the 426 men in the battalion 126 were “clear off their feet.” “From the standpoint of trained, well-fed troops.” wrote Skerry, “it was an utter nightmare.” In another unit, the 21st Division in II Corps, the men were so weak that many “were just able to fire a rifle out of the trench, and no more.”

These conditions were not confined to Philippine Army units; Americans and Philippine Scouts were equally debilitated by malnutrition and malaria. At a medical inspection of the 45th Infantry (PS), almost 20 percent of the command showed the physical effects of vitamin deficiency diseases, and over 50 percent complained of the symptoms of these diseases. Nutritional edema (swellings) and night blindness were the commonest symptoms. “Men were becoming so weak from starvation,” wrote the regimental surgeon, “that they could hardly carry the packs and in our last move I saw more Scouts fall out of the line of march than I had ever seen fall out any march before.”

The 31st Infantry, composed entirely of Americans, was as badly off as most other units. Though it had been in the front lines for only short periods during the campaign, and from 8 February to 3 April had been in a rest area to the rear, the regiment was hardly more effective than Philippine Army units which had been in the line since 8 December. The constant preoccupation of the American infantryman was food. “We were existing,” wrote one of the officers, “on the little we received from quartermaster and what edible plants, roots, snails, snakes, wild chickens, bananas, wild pigs and anything else that we could find to eat.” Disease was taking a heavy toll and approximately 50 percent of the regiment was sick with malaria or dysentery. By 3 April “what had once been an effective fighting unit was only a pitiful remains.”

When the 31st Infantry, in Luzon Force reserve, was ordered into the line on 4 April, it was necessary to leave behind for evacuation to the hospital more than one third of the men. Some left sick beds to join their outfits. The efficiency of those who moved out was estimated at less than 50 percent. Along the line of march, many dropped out. “Hunger and disease,” wrote the service company commander, “were greater enemies than the Japanese soldiers.”

Estimates of combat efficiency by division and corps commanders on Bataan bore out fully the tragic picture painted by junior officers. By the middle of March General Parker, II Corps commander, placed the combat efficiency of the troops in his corps at only 20 percent, adding that it was becoming less with the passing of each day. He attributed the deterioration of his men to the starvation diet of 1,000 calories daily, the rapid spread of malaria, the high incidence of dysentery, diarrhea, and beriberi, nerve fatigue, and the shortage of clothing and equipment.89 The situation in I Corps was no better. Fully 75 percent of the men, wrote Wainwright, were unfit for action by 12 March, the date he relinquished command to General Jones. The reasons he gave were similar to those presented by Parker, with the addition of hookworm and the lack of shelter halves, blankets, and raincoats.


The ability of the men on Bataan to fight could not be measured by physical standards alone. Where all men bore the signs of enforced privation and suffering, there was no question of separating the fit from the unfit. Only necessity and the will to fight could give meaning to the tactical dispositions assumed by the troops.

The Japanese knew this and made crude attempts to corrupt the spirit of resistance. Flying low over Bataan, their aircraft often dropped propaganda leaflets instead of bombs on the Americans and Filipinos below. These leaflets appealed to the basest emotions: race prejudice, jealousy, hate, avarice, and deceit. Some were designed to induce the desertion of the Filipinos; others pointed out that the pay of the Philippine Army troops would be worthless in the future. “Take my word you are exposing your life in danger without any remuneration,” declared one handbill. “There is nothing so pointless.” The life of the Filipino under the Japanese occupation was painted in glowing colors. “I am enjoying life as a Filipino of the New Philippines;’ said a former Philippine soldier in one of the leaflets. “Throwaway your arms and surrender yourself to the Japanese Army,” proclaimed another handbill, “in order to save your lives and enrich your beautiful future and the welfare of your children.”

MacArthur’s departure was also exploited by the Japanese in their effort to create dissatisfaction. Some leaflets exploited the theme of starvation, and one pictured Corregidor entirely surrounded by heaping plates of turkey, meat, fruit, cake, and bottles of whiskey and wine. Other illustrated leaflets dwelt on the theme of sex and crudely pictured the soldier’s wife in the arms of a war profiteer.

So far as is known the effect of these propaganda sheets was negligible. Some men made a hobby of collecting them, and exchanged duplicates to fill out their collections. “Majors Poole, Crane, and Holmes got me some,” exulted Colonel Ray M. O’Day, “including the red and white ribbon streamers attached to the beer cans and addressed to General Wainwright.” This acquisition was particularly prized for it contained a demand for Wainwright’s surrender.

Japanese radio propaganda was more effective than the leaflets. The Japanese controlled Station KZRH in Manila broadcast a special program for American soldiers every night at 2145. The program was much like that presented by Tokyo Rose, to whom so many American soldiers listened at a later period of the war. The theme song of the program was “Ships That Never Come In,” followed by popular recordings calculated to make the men homesick. “The damned Nips,” wrote Major Tisdelle, “have got a new propaganda program that does not help our morale any. The men joke happily, but underneath they are disquieted.”

The Americans had their own radio station on Corregidor, “The Voice of Freedom,” which broadcast three times a day. Records, evidently collected at Corregidor, were played during these programs, which also consisted of news commentaries and items of local interest. At least one officer had a low opinion of the program, describing its offerings as propaganda “so thick that it served no purpose except to disgust us and incite mistrust of all hopes.” Station KGEI in San Francisco also broadcast a “Freedom for the Philippines” program each night to which most of the men listened. The reaction to these programs was mixed.

During the early part of the campaign, most officers are agreed, morale was high despite the shortages of food and equipment. The victories of early February raised the spirit of the troops and confirmed them in the belief that they could hold out until reinforcements arrived. Aid had been promised time and again, and officers and men alike placed all their hopes for the future on the fulfillment of this pledge. Without it there was nothing left but defeat and disaster.

While much of the faith in the timely arrival of reinforcements was based only on the desperate desire to believe it to be so, there was at least one tangible assurance to which men could point. On 15 January, a week after the troops had reached Bataan, General MacArthur had addressed a message to the entire command. Every unit commander was made personally responsible for reading and explaining the message, and all headquarters were directed to be sure that these instructions were carried out. MacArthur’s message to the troops was a promise of aid and a call to valor. “Help is on the way from the United States,” he had said. “Thousands of troops and hundreds of planes are being dispatched. The exact time of arrival of reinforcements is unknown as they will have to fight their way through.” Declaring that no further retreat was possible, he asserted that “our supplies are ample” and that it was imperative to hold until aid arrived. Though the message carefully stated that the date of arrival was not known, the hungry men, grasping eagerly at every straw, assumed that it would come soon. A soldier-poet expressed the mood of the men when he wrote: . . . MacArthur’s promise in every mind. “The time is secret but I can say That swift relief ships are on the way Thousands of men and hundreds of planes. Back in Manila before the rains! With decorations and honors, too.” MacArthur said it, it must be true.

Disillusionment came hard. The weeks went by, January gave way to February, and still no large reinforcements had come. Many men began to doubt that aid would arrive at all. Only a few men had definite knowledge of what was on the way and they confided in no one. When Colonel Mallonee jokingly asked Colonel Brezina about the relief expedition, Brezina’s “eyes went poker-blank” and “his teeth bit his lips into a grim thin line.” Most regular officers had made their own estimate of the situation and had reached the conclusion that time was against them. They could see their men growing weaker every day, the hospitals fuller, and the supplies smaller. But they continued to hope for the relief expedition, the TNT (Terrible ‘N’ Terrific) force, which would arrive in storybook fashion before the end.

These hopes received a rude blow on Washington’s Birthday, 22 February, in President Roosevelt’s fireside chat on the progress of the war. Inviting his listeners to look at their maps, the President emphasized the global nature of the struggle, the vast distances to be spanned, the large areas to be held, and the desperate situation of the United Nations. As he spoke of the tremendous tasks facing the American people and the sacrifices that must be made, it became clear to his listeners on Bataan that he was placing the Philippines in their proper perspective “in the big picture of the war.” No prospect of the arrival of relief could be found in the President’s message. One officer wrote in his diary that though “the President means to cheer us up,” his talk “tends to weaken morale.” “We are not interested in what the production will be in 1943-44 and 1945,” he said. “All we want are two things, but we need them right now.” Others took a more pessimistIc view. “Plain for all to see,” wrote Colonel Mallonee, “was the handwriting on the wall, at the end of which the President had placed a large and emphatic period. The President had-with regret wiped us off the page and closed the book.”

Despite the explanations of the “Voice of Freedom,” MacArthur’s departure for Australia on 12 March struck another blow at morale. A large part of the faith in the timely arrival of reinforcements had been based on the presence of General MacArthur. His prestige among the Filipinos can hardly be exaggerated. Among American officers, to many of whom he was already a legend, his reputation placed him on a lofty eminence with the great captains of history. Mallonee undoubtedly expressed the feelings of many when he affirmed his belief that MacArthur “would reach down and pull the rabbit out of the hat.” With MacArthur gone, those who refused to give up hope argued that if anybody could bring supplies to the Philippines it was MacArthur.

His presence in Australia, they declared, was the best guarantee that help was coming. As proof they could repeat the assertions broadcast so often over the “Voice of Freedom,” or cite MacArthur’s first public statement on reaching Australia. At that time he had said that the relief of the Philippines was his primary purpose. “I came through and I shall return,” he had pledged.

There were others, however, including the old-timers of World War I, who reasoned that the best place from which to direct the organization of the relief expedition was Corregidor. MacArthur’s departure, they asserted, was proof that the promised reinforcements would never arrive. When, by the end of March, no rabbits had been pulled out of the hat, most Americans realized that the end was near. There was nothing left but to wait for the inevitable defeat and prison camp, or death.

The Filipino could expect ultimately to be returned to his home. For the American there was no such bright prospect. Death or capture was his certain fate. Strangely enough, he did not become despondent or bitter. He knew the worst now and there was little he could do other than to make the enemy pay dearly for victory. Meanwhile he made the best of his bad fortune, joked grimly about his fate, and hid his feelings under a cloak of irony. It was in this vein that Lieutenant Henry G. Lee of the Philippine Division wrote the poem, “Fighting On.” ‘I see no gleam of victory alluring No chance of splendid booty or of gain If I endure-I must go on enduring And my reward for bearing pain-is pain Yet, though the thrill, the zest, the hope are Gone Something within me keeps me fighting on.

SOURCE: The Fall Of The Philippines by Louis Morton (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Fall of Philippines;Bataan (4-19 & 20); Command-MacArthur Exits