Kralewitz Marko of Servia

Kralewitz Marko was the son of a Servian king who lived many, many years ago. He was very fond of hunting, and one day he rode forth on his horse Saria to the mountain Sargau. Being tired, he dismounted, tied his horse to a tree, sat down in its shade and fell asleep.

And as he slept it happened that Arbanes Neda with his seven brothers rode by. They all dismounted, lifted Kralewitz, bound him to his horse, and rode away with him to Jedrena, where they presented him to the vizier. Highly pleased over the gift, the vizier took the king’s son and threw him into prison. Two long years Kralewitz lay there, longing for liberty and home. Then he learned that in a few days he was to be executed.

Immediately he wrote a letter to his friend, Milos Obilis, asking for help. This important message he entrusted to his only companion, a white falcon. Tying the letter under the bird’s wing he set it free. The falcon easily found its way, alighted on Milos’ window, and was admitted. Scarcely had Milos read the letter, when he and two of his friends were ready to set out for Jedrena. They reached there the day before the execution.

In the morning the gate of the city was opened and Marko was led out. Milos and his companions accompanied the mournful procession to an open field in which the execution was to take place. Two Arabs stood up with gleaming swords prepared to cut off Marko’s head. “Hold on, brothers,” cried Milos. “I will give you a sharper sword with which to cut off the malicious head of the noble Piam. See, with this sword did the good-for-nothing treacherously slay my father. Cursed be his hand!”

With these words he rushed to Marko’s side; then with one swift stroke he cut off the head of one Arab, and with another the head of the other. With still another stroke he severed the chains that bound Marko, and Marko, seizing a sword, swung himself into his saddle, and with his friends began to attack the horde of Turks. Frightened, the Turks fled before them, and Marko and his companions returned to their own country.

Marko waited for and soon found the opportunity of showing his gratitude to his friend, for Milos and two of his brothers were thrown into prison in Varadin. Milos wrote with his own blood a letter to Marko, asking for help. Then the king’s son sprang to his horse Saria and rode to Varadin. Outside of the city he dismounted, stuck his spear in the earth, tied Saria and began drinking the black wine which he had brought with him. He poured it into huge beakers, half of which he drank himself, and half of which he gave to Saria. At the same time a beautiful maiden, the daughter-in-law of the general, passed by. When she saw the king’s son she was frightened and ran and told her father-in-law.

Then the general sent out his son Velimir with three hundred men to take Marko prisoner. The knights encircled Kralewitz Marko, but he continued drinking his wine and paid no attention to them. But Saria noticed them, and drawing near her master began beating the ground with her hoofs. At this Marko looked up and saw himself surrounded. He emptied his beaker, threw it to the ground, and sprang to his horse. Like a falcon among doves Marko charged against the enemy. He cut off the heads of some and drove the rest before him into the Danube. Velimir tried to flee, but Marko threw him from his horse, tied his hands and feet and bound him to Saria. Then again he began to drink his wine.

All this the maiden watched and reported to her father. He gathered together three thousand knights and rode forth against the stranger. They surrounded Marko, but he was undismayed. Bravely he charged against them, his sword in his right hand, his spear in his left, and the reins held between his teeth.

Every knight he touched with either sword or spear fell instantly to the ground, and when Vuca, the general, wholly dismayed, tried to escape on his fiery Arabian horse, Marko followed him, threw him, bound him, and led him to the place where his son lay. Then he bound the two together, tossed them on the saddle of the Arabian horse and rode home. There he put them in prison. Hearing this, the wife of the general wrote a letter to Marko, begging for mercy for her husband and son. Marko promised to release them on condition that she release Milos and his brothers. This she did, honoring them and making them rich presents.

“Now, for the love of Heaven,” said she, “see that my husband and my son return to me.” “Never fear,” answered Milos. “Give me the general’s black horse; adorn him as the general adorned him; give me a golden chariot with twelve horses, such as the general rides in when he journeys to the emperor in Vienna; and give me the robe that the general wears on state occasions.” The wife provided all that he asked, and gave the prisoners for themselves a thousand ducats. Then they rode away.

Marko welcomed them, released the general and his son and provided them with a strong body-guard back to Varadin. Then Milos and his brothers divided the ducats among them, kissed the hand of the king’s son, and rode away into their own country.

Myths and Legends of All Nations : Editor/Translator: Logan Marshall


Ilia Muromec of Russia

When we think of Russia we think of a great dark country–a country of long winters and abundant snow and ice. It was here, long ago, in the city of Kiev, that the hero Ilia Muromec was born.

There was at that time a great castle in the city, and this was well protected by Ilia Muromec and his twelve armed knights. For thirty long years had they kept watch at their post and no stranger had ever passed by them. But one morning Dobrnja, the knight after Ilia Muromec most powerful, perceived on the ground the imprint of a horse’s hoof.

Then he said to the knights: “Now is the mighty Zidovin in the neighborhood of our castle. What is your will?” The knights with one accord agreed that Dobrnja should ride out against the stranger. So Dobrnja mounted his war-horse and galloped forth to meet Zidovin, calling to him in a deep, gruff voice: “Here, my insolent sir, you have come all the way to our castle and have omitted to send greeting to our captain Ilia Muromec, or to inform him of your approach.”
When Zidovin heard these words he turned quickly and rode toward Dobrnja with such force that springs and lakes appeared wherever the hoofs of his black horse touched the ground. And the trembling of the earth caused great waves to rise on the sea. Dobrnja was so frightened that he jerked his horse about and with the swiftness of a cyclone galloped back to the castle. When he entered, almost exhausted, he told in great excitement of his encounter.

Immediately Ilia decided to go forth himself against the enemy, and all the entreaties of his knights could not restrain him. So he rode out to a high point where he could see Zidovin, watch him as he threw his hundred-weight club up into the clouds, caught it with one hand, and swung it around in the air as if it had been a feather.

Then Ilia spurred his horse and rode toward Zidovin. A horrible fight ensued. Swords clashed and deep fissures were made in the earth, but neither knight fell. It seemed as if both heroes had grown fast to their saddles, so unshakeable were they.

At last they jumped from their horses and fought hand to hand with lances. All day long and all night long they struggled, until Ilia finally fell wounded to the ground. Zidovin kneeled on his breast, drew out his sharp knife, and was about to cut off the head of his enemy. Ilia meantime was thinking, “Surely the holy fathers did not lie to me when they said that I should not lose my life in battle.”

Then suddenly he felt his strength redoubled, and he hurled Zidovin from him with such force that his body touched the clouds before it fell again in the moist earth at his feet. Cutting off the warrior’s head, he mounted his horse and rode back to the castle. To his knights he said: “Thirty years have I ridden in the field and thirty years have I fought with heroes and tested my strength; but such a mighty man as Zidovin have I in all that time never met.”

Myths and Legends of All Nations : Editor/Translator: Logan Marshall

Wayland The Smith: Norse

King Nidung had one daughter and three sons. The oldest son, Otvin, was away from court, guarding the outposts of the country; the other two sons were still children. One day the two boys came with their bows to the great smith Wayland, asking him to make arrows for them.

“Not today,” the smith answered. “I have not time; and besides, even though you are the sons of the king, I may not work for you without the wish and consent of your father. If he is willing, you may come again; but you must promise to do exactly as I tell you.”
“What is that?” one of the boys ventured. “You must,” said Wayland, “come on a day when snow has freshly fallen, and you must walk facing backward all the way.”

The children cared little whether they walked backward or forward, as long as they got their arrows, and so they promised. To their delight next morning they found that snow had fallen. Quickly they set out for the smithy, walking backward all the way.
“O Wayland, make us the arrows,” they cried. “The king, our father, has said that we might have them.” But Wayland had no intention of making the arrows, for the king had treated him unjustly and cruelly, and he saw the opportunity for revenge. With his mighty hammer he struck the two children on the head and killed them. Then he threw their bodies into a cave adjoining the smithy.

When the children did not return the castle messengers were sent out to find them. They inquired at the smithy. “The boys have gone,” said Wayland. “I made arrows for them, and no doubt they have gone into the woods to shoot birds.”

Returning to the castle the messengers saw the footprints in the snow, and since they pointed toward home, decided that the children must have gone back. But they were not there. Then Nidung sent his servants far and wide throughout the country, and when the boys were nowhere to be found, he concluded that they must have been devoured by wild animals.

When all the searches were over, Wayland brought forth the bodies of the two children, stripped the bones of flesh, whitened them, and made them into goblets and vessels for the king’s table, mounting them with silver and gold. The king was delighted with them, and had them placed upon his board whenever there were guests of honor present.
A long time later, Badhild, the king’s daughter, while playing with her companions in the garden one day, broke a costly ring that Nidung had given her. She was greatly vexed and feared to tell her father. “Why not take it to Wayland to mend?” suggested one of her trusted maidens. So Badhild gave the trinket to the girl and bade her take it to Wayland. She brought it back with her. “Without the command of the king he will not mend it,” she said, “unless the king’s daughter herself will come to him.”

Badhild set out immediately for the smithy. There Wayland substituted for her ring his own, which had the curious magic power of making its wearer fall in love with the smith. The smith slipped the jewel on her finger, gazed into her eyes and said, “This ring you shall keep as well as your own, if you will be my bride.” The maiden could not refuse, and so the two were married, agreeing to keep their union a secret.

About this time Eigil, the brother of Wayland, came to the court of Nidung. He was a celebrated man and the most skilful master of the bow to be found anywhere in the world. The king welcomed him, and he remained a long time at the court. One day Nidung proposed that, since he was such a skilful bowman, he should try shooting an apple from the head of his own son. Eigil agreed. “You may have only one trial,” the king said.

So an apple was placed on the head of Eigil’s three-year-old son, and Eigil, taking his bow, aimed, and with the first arrow struck the apple in the center, so that it fell from the child’s head. “Why did you have three arrows?” the king asked. “Sire,” replied Eigil, “I will not lie to you. If I had pierced my son with the first arrow, the other two would have pierced you.” The king, strange to say, did not take offense at this speech, but on the contrary showed Eigil still greater favor than he had in the past.

The archer frequently visited his brother Wayland, but Badhild came but seldom to her husband’s house. One day the two came together at Wayland’s special request. When they were leaving Wayland embraced Badhild and said to her: “You will be the mother of a boy–your child and mine. It may be that I shall go away from here and never see his face; but you must tell him that I have made for him worthy weapons and stowed them in safety in the place where the water enters and the wind goes out (the forge).”
The next time Wayland saw Eigil he bade him bring to him all kinds of feathers, large and small. “I wish to make for myself a doublet of feathers,” he explained. Then Eigil shot many birds of prey and brought their feathers to Wayland. From them he made a flying shirt, clad in which he looked more like an eagle than a man.

Eigil admired the workmanship and Wayland asked him to try it. “How shall I rise, how fly, and how alight?” asked Eigil. “You must rise against the wind, and fly first low and then high, but you must alight with the wind.” Eigil did as he was told, and had a good deal of trouble in alighting. Finally he knocked his head with such force on the ground that he lost consciousness. When he came to himself Wayland spoke: “Tell me, brother Eigil, do you like the shirt?” “If it were as easy to alight as it is to fly,” was the answer, “I should fly away and you would never see me again.”

“I will alter what is wrong,” said the smith, making a slight change in the shirt. Then with Eigil’s help he put on the feathers, flapped his wings and rose into the air. He lighted on a turret of the castle and called down to Eigil.

“I did not tell you the truth when I said that you should alight “with” the wind, for I knew that if you found out how easy it was to fly you would never give me the shirt back again. You can see for yourself that all birds rise against the wind and alight in the same way. I am going home to my own country, but first I must have a few words with Nidung. And, remember, if he bids you shoot me, shoot under the left wing, for there I have fastened a bladder filled with blood.” With these words Wayland flew to the highest tower of the king’s castle and called to the king as he passed with his courtiers.

“Are you a bird, Wayland?” asked the king. “Sometimes I am a bird and sometimes a man,” was the reply; “but now I am going away from here and never again will you have me in your power. Listen while I speak. You promised once to give me your daughter and the half of your kingdom, but you made of me instead an outcast–because I defended myself and killed the wretches who would have taken my life.

“You surprised me while I slept and stole my arms and my treasures; and not satisfied with that you laid a net for my feet and made of me a cripple. But I have had my revenge. Do you know where your sons are?” “My sons!” cried Nidung. “Oh, tell me what you know of them.”

“I will tell you, but first you must swear to me by the deck of the ship and the edge of the shield, by the back of the horse and the blade of the sword that you will do no harm to my wife and child.” Nidung swore and Wayland began his speech: “Go to my smithy, and there in the cave you will find the remains of your sons. I killed them, and of their bones made vessels for your table. Your daughter Badhild is my wife. So have I repaid evil with evil, and our connection is ended.”

With these words he flew away, while Nidung in great anger cried: “Eigil, shoot at Wayland.” “I cannot harm my own brother,” replied Eigil. “Shoot,” cried the king, “or I will kill you.” Then Eigil laid an arrow in his bow and shot Wayland as he had been instructed, under his left arm, until the blood flowed and everyone thought that the great smith had received his death wound. But Wayland, unharmed, flew away to Zealand and made his home there in his father’s land.

Nidung, meantime, was sad and unhappy, and it was not long before he died and Otvin, his son, succeeded to the throne. Otvin was soon loved and honored throughout the kingdom because of his great justice and kindness. His sister lived with him at court, and there her son, Widge, was born.

One day Wayland sent messengers to Otvin, asking for peace and pardon, and when these were granted he traveled again to Jutland and was received with great honor. The mighty smith was very glad to see his wife again and very proud of his three-year-old son; but he would not yield to Otvin’s request that he remain in Jutland. Instead he returned to Zealand with Badhild and Widge, and there they lived happily for many years.

Wayland was known throughout all the world for his knowledge and skill, and his son Widge was a powerful hero, whose praises were much celebrated in song.
So ends the story of Wayland, the great smith of the northern countries.

SOURCE: Myths and Legends of All Nations : Editor/Translator: Logan Marshall

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Contest With The Dragons In The Mountains (Part 37); Assyrian

(The Seer Is Mortally Wounded–His Calm View Of The Hereafter)

[1]”O Mam-mitu, thou god of fate and death!
Thou spirit of fierce hate and parting breath,
Thou banisher of joy! O ghastly Law,
That gathers countless forces in thy maw!
A phantom! curse! and oft a blessing, joy!
All Heaven and earth thy hands shall e’er employ.

With blessings come, or curses to us bring,
The god who fails not with her hovering wing;
Nor god, nor man thy coming e’er may ken,
O mystery! thy ways none can explain.”

If thou must come in earthquakes, fire, and flood,
Or pestilence and eftsoons cry for blood,
Thou comest oft with voice of sweetest love,
Our dearest, fondest passions, hopes, to move;
And men have worshipped thee in every form,
In fear have praised thee, sought thy feet to charm.

We reck not if you blessings, curses bring,
For men oft change thy noiseless, ghoulish wing.
And yet, thou comest, goddess Mam-mitu,
To bring with thee the feet of Nin-a-zu,
Two sister ghouls, remorseless, tearless, wan,
We fear ye not; ye “bu’i-du”,[2] begone!

Sweet life renews itself in holy love,
Your victory is naught! Ye vainly rove
Across our pathway with yours forms inane,
For somewhere, though we die, we live again.

[3]The soul departed shall in glory shine,
As burnished gold its form shall glow divine,
And Samas there shall grant to us new life;
And Merodac, the eldest son, all strife
Shall end in peace in yonder Blest Abode,
Where happiness doth crown our glorious God.

[4]The sacred waters there shall ever flow,
To Anat’s arms shall all the righteous go;
The queen of Anu, Heaven’s king, our hands
Outstretched will clasp, and through the glorious lands
Will lead us to the place of sweet delights;
The land that glows on yonder blessed heights
Where milk and honey from bright fountains flow.

And nectar to our lips, all sorrows, woe,
Shall end in happiness beside the Stream
Of Life, and Joy for us shall ever gleam;
Our hearts with thankfulness shall sweetly sing
And grander blissfulness each day will bring.

And if we do not reach that spirit realm,
Where bodyless each soul may ages whelm
With joy unutterable; still we live,
With bodies knew upon dear Earth, and give
Our newer life to children with our blood.

Or if these blessings we should miss; in wood,
Or glen, or garden, field, or emerald seas,
Our forms shall spring again; in such as these
We see around us throbbing with sweet life,
In trees or flowerets.

This needs no belief
On which to base the fabric of a dream,
For Earth her children from death doth redeem,
And each contributes to continuous bloom;
So go your way! ye sisters, to your gloom!

Far on their road have come the king of fame
And seer, within the land of Mas[5] they came,
Nor knew that Fate was hovering o’er their way,
In gentle converse they have passed the day.

Some twenty “kaspu” o’er the hills and plain,
They a wild forest in the mountain gain,
In a deep gorge they rode through thickets wild,
Beneath the pines; now to a pass they filed,
And lo! two dragons[6] near a cave contend
Their path! with backs upreared their coils unbend,
Extend their ravenous jaws with a loud roar
That harshly comes from mouths of clotted gore.

The sky overhead with lowering clouds is cast,
Which Anu in his rage above them massed.
Dark tempests fly above from Rimmon’s breath,
Who hovers o’er them with the gods of death;
The wicked seven winds howl wildly round,
And crashing cedars falling shake the ground.

Now Tsil-lattu her black wings spreads o’er all,
Dark shrouding all the forest with her pall,
And from his steed for safety each dismounts,
And o’er their heads now break the ebon founts.

But hark! what is that dreadful roaring noise?
The dragons come! Their flaming crests they poise
Above, and nearer blaze their eyes of fire,
And see! upon them rush the monsters dire.

The largest springs upon the giant Sar,
Who parrying with the sword he used in war,
With many wounds it pierces, drives it back;
Again it comes, renews its fierce attack,
With fangs outspread its victims to devour,
High o’er the monarch’s head its crest doth tower,
Its fiery breath upon his helm doth glow.

Exposed its breast! he strikes! his blade drives through
Its vitals! Dying now it shakes the ground,
And furious lashes all the forest round.
But hark! what is that awful lingering shriek
And cries of woe, that on his ears wild break?
A blinding flash, see! all the land reveals,
With dreadful roars, and darkness quick conceals
The fearful sight, to ever after come
Before his eyes, wherever he may roam.

The King, alas! too late Heabani drags
From the beast’s fangs, that dies beneath the crags
Overhanging near the cave. And now a din
Loud comes from “dalkhi” that around them spin
In fierce delight, while hellish voices rise
In harsh and awful mockery; the cries
Of agony return with taunting groans,
And mock with their fell hate those piteous moans.

Amazed stands Izdubar above his seer,
Nor hears the screams, nor the fierce “dalkhi’s” jeer;
Beneath the flashing lightnings he soon found
The cave, and lays the seer upon the ground.
His breaking heart now cries in agony,
“Heabani! O my seer, thou must not die!
Alas! dread Mam-mitu hath led us here,
Awake for me! arouse! my noble seer!
I would to gods of Erech I had died
For thee! my seer! my strength! my kingdom’s pride!”

The seer at last revives and turns his face
With love that death touched not, his hand doth place
With friendly clasp in that of his dear king,
And says: “Grieve not, beloved friend, this thing
Called death at last must come, why should we fear?
‘Tis Hades’ mist that opens for thy seer!

“The gods us brought, nor asked consent, and life
They give and take away from all this strife
That must be here, my life I end on earth;
Both joy and sorrow I have seen from birth;
To Hades’ awful land, whence none return,
Heabani’s face in sorrow now must turn.
My love for thee, mine only pang reveals,
For this alone I grieve.”

A teardrop steals a cross his features, shining ‘neath the light
The King has lit to make the cavern bright.
“But oh, friend Izdubar, my King, when I
From this dear earth to waiting Hades fly,
Grieve not; and when to Erech you return,
Thou shalt in glory reign, and Zaidu learn
As thy companion all that thine own heart
Desires, thy throne thou wilt to him impart.

The female, Samkha, whom he brought to me
Is false, in league with thine own enemy.
And she will cause thee mischief, seek to drive
Thee from thy throne; but do not let her live
Within the walls of Erech, for the gods
Have not been worshipped in their high abodes.

When thou returnest, to the temple go,
And pray the gods to turn from thee the blow
Of Anu’s fury, the strong god, who reigns
Above, and sent these woes upon the plains.
His anger raised against thee, even thee,
Must be allayed, or thy goods thou shalt see,
And kingdom, all destroyed by his dread power.

But Khasisadra will to thee give more
Advice when thou shalt meet the ancient seer,
For from thy side must I soon disappear.”
The seer now ceased, and on his couch asleep
Spoke not, and Izdubar alone doth weep.

And thus twelve days were past, and now the seer
Of the great change he saw was drawing near
Informed his King, who read to him the prayers,
And for the end each friendly act prepares,
Then said: “O my Heabani, dearest friend,
I would that I thy body could defend
From thy fierce foe that brings the end to thee.

My friend in battle I may never see
Again, when thou didst nobly stand beside
Me; with my seer and friend I then defied
All foes; and must thou leave thy friend, my seer?”
“Alas! my King, I soon shall leave thee here.”

[Footnote 1: We have here quoted an Accadian hymn to the goddess of fate. (“Trans. Soc. of Bib. Arch.,” vol. ii. p. 39.)]–[Footnote 2: “Bu’i-du,” ghosts.]–[Footnote 3: Accadian hymn on the future of the just. (“Trans. Soc. Of Bib. Arch.,” vol. ii. p. 32.)]–[Footnote 4: Assyrian fragmentary hymn (“W.A.I.,” iv. 25, col. v.), translated in “Records of the Past,” vol. xi. pp. 161, 162.]–[Footnote 5: The land of Mas, Mr. Sayce supposes, was situated west of the Euphrates Valley.]–[Footnote 6: “Dragons.” The word for this animal is “tammabuk-ku.” It was probably one of the monsters portrayed on the Babylonian cylinders now in
the British Museum.]

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

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Heabani Reveals Two Wonderful Visions To The King (Part 38); Assyrian

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

World War Two: Fall of Philippines; Bataan (4-26); Surrender

When, late in the evening of 8 April, General Wainwright ordered a counterattack by I Corps in the direction of Olongapo, General King had already reached the conclusion that he had no alternative but to surrender. By that time all chance of halting the Japanese advance, much less launching a successful counterattack, was gone. The last of his reserves as well as those of the two corps had been committed. On the left, I Corps was still intact but was in the process of withdrawal in an effort to tie in its right flank with the rapidly crumbling II Corps. General Parker’s corps on the right had completely disintegrated and no longer existed as a fighting force. Efforts to hold at the Alangan River had failed and General Bluemel had reported soon after dark that his small force of 1,300 Scouts and Americans was in retreat. The Provisional Coast Artillery Brigade (AA) had been ordered to destroy its antiaircraft equipment and form as infantry along the high ground just south of the Cabcaben airfield, near the southern tip of the peninsula. On the night of 8 April this unit formed the only line between the enemy and the supply and service elements around Cabcaben and Mariveles.

The deterioration of the line in the II Corps sector gave the enemy free passage to the south where the hospitals with their 12,000 defenseless patients, already within reach of Japanese light artillery, were located. Philippine Army troops were in complete rout and units were melting away “lock, stock, and barrel.” Headquarters had lost contact with the front-line troops and could no longer control the action except through runners or the armored vehicles of the SPM battalion. The roads were jammed with soldiers who had abandoned arms and equipment in their frantic haste to escape from the advancing Japanese infantry and armored columns and the strafing planes overhead. “Thousands poured out of the jungle,” wrote one observer, “like small spring freshets pouring into creeks which in turn poured into a river.”

Even if General King had been able at the last moment to muster enough arms and men to oppose the Japanese advance it is extremely doubtful that he could have averted or even delayed the final disaster. The men on Bataan were already defeated and had been for almost a week. Disease and starvation rather than military conditions had created the situation in which General King now found himself. The men who threw away their arms and equipment and jammed the roads and trails leading south were beaten men. Three months of malnutrition, malaria, and intestinal infections had left them weak and disease ridden, totally incapable of the sustained physical effort necessary for a successful defense.

General Wainwright was well aware of the disintegration of the Luzon Force. His messages to Marshall and MacArthur on the 8th gave a clear picture of impending doom. Late that night he had told MacArthur, “with deep regret,” that the troops on Bataan were “fast folding up,” and that the men were so weak from malnutrition “that they have no power of resistance.” MacArthur, in turn, had alerted Washington to the danger. “In view of my intimate knowledge of the situation there,” he warned the Chief of Staff, “I regard the situation as extremely critical and feel you should anticipate the possibility of disaster there very shortly.” By the time this warning reached Washington silence had fallen on Bataan.

If the situation appeared critical to those on Corregidor and in Australia, how much blacker was the future to General King on whom rested the responsibility for the fate of the 78,000 men on Bataan. As early as the afternoon of 7 April, when the last of the Luzon Force and I Corps reserves had been committed without appreciably delaying the enemy, he had realized that his position was critical. It was then that he sent his chief of staff, General Funk, to Corregidor to inform Wainwright that the fall of Bataan was imminent and that he might have to surrender. Funk’s face when he told Wainwright about the physical condition of the troops and the disintegration of the line, “was a map of the hopelessness of the Bataan situation.” While he never actually stated during the course of his conversation with Wainwright that General King thought he might have to surrender, Funk left the USFIP commander with the impression that the visit was made “apparently with a view to obtaining my consent to capitulate.”

Though Wainwright shared King’s feelings about the plight of the men on Bataan, his answer to Funk was of necessity based upon his own orders. On his desk was a message from MacArthur which prohibited surrender under any conditions. When Wainwright had written ten days earlier that if supplies did not reach him soon the troops on Bataan would be starved into submission, MacArthur had denied his authority to surrender and directed him “if food fail” to “prepare and execute an attack upon the enemy.” To the Chief of Staff he had written that he was “utterly opposed, under any circumstances or conditions to the ultimate capitulation of this command …. If it is to be destroyed it should be upon the actual field of battle taking full toll from the enemy.”

[Rad, MacArthur to Marshall, No. 56, 1 Apr 42, AG 384.3, GHQ SWPA. In this message MacArthur had explained that he had “long ago” prepared a “comprehensive plan,” and that he had not told Wainwright about it “as I feared it might tend to shake his morale and determination.” He offered also to attempt to return to the Philippines “to rejoin this command temporarily and take charge of this movement.” General Marshall’s reply was noncom456]

Wainwright was further limited in his reply to Funk by President Roosevelt’s “no surrender” message of 9 February. This message, it will be recalled, had becn given MacArthur at the time Quezon had made his proposal to neutralize the Philippines. On Wainwright’s assumption of command a copy of the original text had been sent to him, with the statement that “the foregoing instructions from the President remain unchanged.” In his reply to the President, Wainwright had promised “to keep our flag flying in the Philippines as long as an American soldier or an ounce of food and a round of ammunition remains.”

Under direct orders from the President and MacArthur “to continue the fight as long as there remains any possibility of resistance,” Wainwright, therefore, had no recourse but to tell General Funk on the 7th that Bataan must be held. In the presence of his chief of staff he gave Funk two direct orders for General King: first, that under no circumstances would the Luzon Force surrender; and second, that General King was to counterattack in an effort to regain the main line of resistance from Bagac to Orion. “I had no discussion with General King,” Wainwright later explained to MacArthur, “which might in any way have led him to believe, either that capitulation was contemplated, or that he had authority to send a flag of truce. On the contrary I had expressly forbidden such action. General King did not personally broach the subject of capitulation to me.” When Funk left Wainwright’s office with the orders to attack there were tears in his eyes. Both he and Wainwright knew what the outcome would be.

While Wainwright’s orders are understandable in terms of his own instructions, they placed General King in an impossible position. He was now under orders to launch a counterattack which he knew could not be carried out. If he could hold his position he might avert the necessity of surrender but even this proved impossible, as the events of the 7th and 8th showed. The only alternative remaining to King if he followed Wainwright’s orders was to accept the wholesale slaughter of his men without achieving any military advantage. Under the circumstances, it was almost inevitable that he would disobey his orders. Wainwright evidently appreciated King’s position, and even expected him to surrender.

Some years later, after his return from prison camp, he wrote: “I had my orders from MacArthur not to surrender on Bataan, and therefore I could not authorize King to do it.” But General King, he added, “was on the ground and confronted by a situation in which he had either to surrender or have his people killed piecemeal. This would most certainly have happened to him within two or three days.” At just what point in the last hectic days of the battle of Bataan General King made his decision is not clear. He may already have decided to surrender on the 7th when he sent Funk to Corregidor, for even at that time it was evident that defeat was inevitable.

The next day, sometime during the afternoon, King instructed his senior commanders to make preparations for the destruction of all weapons and equipment, except motor vehicles and gasoline, but to wait for further orders before starting the actual destruction. At the same time he told General Wainwright that if he expected to move any troops from Bataan to Corregidor, he would have to do it that night “as it would be too late thereafter.” When Colonels Constant Irwin and Carpenter came to Bataan to discuss the withdrawal of the 45th Infantry (PS) with the Luzon Force staff they “gained the impression” after a conversation with King that he felt the decision to surrender “might be forced upon” him.

[Rad, Wainwright to MacArthur, No. 398, 4 May 42, AG 384.1, GHQ SWPA. Colonel Irwin states that he made only one trip to Bataan during the last days before its surrender and that was on 7 April to request General King to release the 31st Infantry (US) for movement to Corregidor. At that time, he asserts, General King told him that it might be necessary to surrender. Wainwright, when informed of this, “was not surprised or interested.” Irwin, Comments on Draft MS, p. 6, OCMH.]

The inability of General Bluemel’s force to hold the line at the Alangan River on the 8th must have been the deciding factor in General King’s decision to surrender. He learned of Bluemel’s predicament after dark when General Parker reported that the Alangan River position had been turned from the west and that all units were withdrawing. As a last desperate measure he ordered Colonel Sage’s antiaircraft brigade to establish a line south of the Cabcaben airfield.

By 2300 it was evident that it would be impossible to reinforce the last thin line, which was still forming, and that there was nothing to prevent the enemy from reaching the congested area to the south. It was at this time that General King held “a weighty, never to be forgotten conference” with his chief of staff and his operations officer. At this meeting General King reviewed the tactical situation very carefully with his two staff officers and considered all possible lines of action. Always the three men came back to the same problem: would the Japanese be able to reach the high ground north of Mariveles, from which they could dominate the southern tip of Bataan as well as Corregidor, as rapidly if the Luzon Force opposed them as they would if their advance was unopposed. The three men finally agreed that the Japanese would reach Mariveles by the evening of the next day, 9 April, no matter what course was followed. With no relief in sight and with no possible chance to delay the enemy, General King then decided to open negotiations with the Japanese for the conclusion of hostilities on Bataan. He made this decision entirely on his own responsibility and with the full knowledge that he was acting contrary to orders.

[Collier, Notebooks, IV, 2; Luzon Force Rpt of Opns, p. 6; intervs, author with Gen King, 12 Feb 47, and Col Collier, 20 Nov 46, OCMH. Colonel Alexander, who was in King’s command post that night, states that as soon as General King finished his telephone conversation with Jones, presumably in connection with Wainwright’s order to counterattack, he sent for General Parker and his chief of staff. Parker, therefore, may have been present at the conference. Alexander, Personal Recollections of Bataan, p. 122.]

Having made his decision, General King called his staff to his tent at midnight to tell them what he had determined to do and why. At the outset he made it clear that he had not called the meeting to ask for the advice or opinion of his assistants. The “ignominious decision,” he explained, was entirely his and he did not wish anyone else to be “saddled with any part of the responsibility.” “I have not communicated with General Wainwright,” he declared, “because I do not want him to be compelled to assume any part of the responsibility.” Further resistance, he felt, would only be an unnecessary and useless waste of life. “Already our hospital, which is filled to capacity and directly in the line of hostile approach, is within range of enemy light artillery. We have no further means of organized resistance.”

[Interva, author with General King, 12 Feb 47, Colonel Collier, 20 Nov 46, and Major Tisdelle, OCMH. Times differ in all accounts and no participant presents exactly the same version as the others. Under tremendous emotional strain men’s memories are not too reliable. King, for example, did not mention the meeting with Funk and Collier but spoke of a staff meeting; Collier did not mention what had happened at the meeting but fixed the time and circumstances. The account of this meeting, as well as of the negotiations for the surrender which follows, is based on these interviews and on numerous informal conversations, diaries, and scattered accounts. Differences in time and in substance have been adjusted on the basis of internal evidence.]

[Collier, Notebooks, IV, 3-4. There is no copy of King’s remarks in existence and the present version is taken from Collier’s notes. The substance is corroborated by General King and other officers. Colonel Alexander states that when King made his decision to surrender he telephoned Corregidor and spoke to General Beebe, Wainwright not being available. “Tell General Wainwright,” Alexander reports King as saying, “that I have decided to surrender Bataan. . . . This decision is solely my own, no member of my staff nor of my command has helped me to arrive at this decision. In my opinion,]

Though the decision to surrender could not have surprised the staff, it “hit with an awful bang and a terrible wallop.” Everyone had hoped for a happier ending to the grim tragedy of Bataan, and when General King walked out of the meeting “there was not a dry eye present.”

There was much to do in the next few hours to accomplish the orderly surrender of so large and disorganized a force: all units had to be notified of the decision and given precise instructions; selected individuals and units had to be sent to Corregidor; and everything of military value had to be destroyed. The first task was to establish contact with the Japanese and reach agreement on the terms of the surrender. Colonel E. C. Williams and Major Marshall H. Hurt, Jr., both bachelors, volunteered to go forward under a white flag to request an interview for General King with the Japanese commander. Arrangements for their departure were quickly made. They would time their journey so as to arrive at the front lines at daylight, just as the destruction of equipment was being completed.

In the event the Japanese commander refused to meet General King, Williams was authorized to discuss surrender terms himself. These terms were outlined in a letter of instructions King prepared for Williams. The basic concession Williams was to seek from the Japanese was that Luzon Force headquarters be allowed to control the movement of its troops to prison camp. Williams was also instructed to mention specifically the following points if he discussed terms with the Japanese:

a. The large number of sick and wounded in the two General hospitals, particularly Hospital # 1 which is dangerously close to the area wherein artillery projectiles may be expected to fall if hostilities continue.

b. The fact that our forces are somewhat disorganized and that it will be quite difficult to assemble them. This assembling and organizing of our own forces, necessary prior to their being delivered as prisoners of war, will necessarily take some time and can be accomplished by my own staff and under my direction.

c. The physical condition of the command due to long siege, during which they have been on short rations, which will make it very difficult to move them a great distance on foot.

d ….

e. Request consideration for the vast number of civilians present at this time in Bataan, most of whom have simply drifted in and whom we have to feed and care for. These people are in no way connected with the American or Filipino forces and their presence is simply incidental due to circumstances under which the Bataan phase of hostilities was precipitated.

While Williams and Hurt were making preparations to leave, every effort was made to warn all unit commanders of the decision to surrender. There was no difficulty in alerting II Corps since Parker’s command post was now adjacent to King’s; General Jones was notified by telephone. The two corps commanders in turn informed the units under their control. Bluemel, whose troops had reached the Lamao River, was instructed by Parker to hold his line only until daylight. When he asked what would happen at that time he was told that “a car carrying a white flag would go through the lines on the east road . . . and that there must be no firing after the car passed.” Bluemel told his regimental commanders and directed them to alert their own officers immediately. Not all units were informed so promptly, and it was only by a narrow margin that these units escaped disaster the next morning.

When Colonel Williams and Major Hurt finally started toward’ the front lines about 0330 of the 9th, the destruction of equipment was already under way. Depot and warehouse commanders had been alerted about noon of the 8th to prepare for demolitions and about midnight the order to begin the destruction was given by Luzon Force headquarters. Some commanders anticipated the order and destruction of equipment began somewhat earlier than midnight. The Chemical Warfare depot began to dump chemicals into the bay during the afternoon and completed the task during the night.

As though nature had conspired to add to the confusion, an earthquake of serious proportions shook the peninsula “like a leaf” at about 2130. About an hour later the Navy started to destroy its installations at Mariveles. “Pursuant to orders from General Wainwright,” Captain Hoeffel informed the Navy Department, “am destroying and sinking Dewey Drydock, Canopus, Napa, Bittern tonight.” Soon the rumble of explosions could be heard from Mariveles while flames shot high above the town, lighting up the sky for miles around. The climax came when the Can opus blew up with a tremendous roar: “She seemed,” wrote an observer, “to leap out of the water in a sheet of flame and then drop back down heavily like something with all the life gone out of it.”

The Navy’s fireworks were but the prelude to the larger demolitions that were to follow when the Army’s ammunition was destroyed. Though stored in the congested area adjacent to General Hospital No.1, the engineer and quartermaster depots, and Luzon Force and II Corps headquarters, the TNT and ammunition had to be destroyed where they were. There was no time to move them to a safer place and hardly time to transfer the hospital patients away from the danger area. In the dumps were hundreds of thousands of rounds of small-arms ammunition and artillery shells of all calibers. Powder trains were laid to the separate piles of ammunition, and shells of larger caliber were set off by rifle fire.

Destruction began shortly after 2100 and at 0200 the first TNT warehouses went up with an explosion that fairly rocked the area. Then followed a most magnificent display of fireworks. Several million dollars worth of explosives and ammunition filled the sky “with bursting shells, colored lights, and sprays of rainbow colors …. Never did a 4th of July display equal it in noise, lights, colors or cost.” After the explosion shell fragments of all sizes fell like hail and men in the vicinity took refuge in their foxholes. The headquarters building at King’s command post, a flimsy structure about 200 by 20 feet, was knocked over by the blast and the furniture was scattered in all directions. When morning came the men were surprised to note that all overhead cover was gone. “It is miraculous,” wrote one officer, “that we came through this.”

In the confusion and disorganization of the last night of the battle, the evacuation of personnel to Corregidor proved difficult and sometimes impossible. The 45th Infantry (PS), which Wainwright had requested, never reached Mariveles where the barges waited. The regiment was in the I Corps area in the Pantingan valley when it received the orders to move, but it was unable to make the journey in time and was caught on Bataan.

The nurses were more fortunate. Most of them did escape but only after harrowing experiences. Given thirty minutes to make ready for the journey, the nurses were cautioned to take with them bnly what they could carry. They boarded trucks in the darkness and made their way south at a snail’s pace along the congested East Road. The group from General Hospital No.2 was held up by the explosions from the ammunition dump which went up just as the convoy reached the road adjacent to the storage area. These nurses almost failed to get through. The barge left without them shortly before daylight and it was only through the “vim, vigor, and swearing” of General Funk that a motor boat was sent from Corregidor to carry them across the North Channel. They left the Mariveles dock after daylight and despite the bombs and bullets from a lone Japanese plane reached Corregidor in safety. Altogether about 2,000 persons, including 300 survivors of the 31st Infantry (US), Navy personnel, some Scouts from the 26th Cavalry, and Philippine Army troops, escaped from Bataan in small boats and barges that night. The remainder of General King’s force of 78,000 was left behind to the tender mercy of the Japanese.

Meanwhile, Colonel Williams and Major Hurt had gone forward to meet the Japanese commander. They began their journey in a reconnaissance car with motorcycle escort, but, unable to make progress against the heavy traffic moving away from the front lines, were soon forced to abandon the car. Williams climbed on the back of the motorcycle and continued forward, leaving Hurt to make his way as best he could on foot. “After talking to myself,” wrote the major in his diary, “saying a few prayers, wondering what is in store for me in the future, bumming rides and a lot of walking” against the tide of “crouching, demoralized, beaten foot soldiers,” he met Williams again on the East Road, two miles south of the front lines. By this time the Colonel had acquired a jeep and driver and the two men started forward again. Except for the faraway explosions and “the chattering teeth of our driver,” all was quiet. Williams and Hurt reached the front line without further incident. There they found Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Ganahl with some tanks, two 75-mm. guns (SPM), and a few troops.

At 0530 Ganahl and his men withdrew, leaving Williams, Hurt, and the driver alone. An hour later, as the sky was turning light, they drove forward into Japanese-held territory. Soon after about thirty “screaming” Japanese with “bayonets flashing” rushed at them. Waving a bedsheet, their improvised white flag, both men descended from the jeep with raised hands. For the moment the entire mission was in jeopardy but fortunately a Japanese officer arrived and Williams was able to make him understand by signs and by waving his instructions in the officer’s face that he wished to see the commanding officer. The Japanese got into his car, motioning for Williams and Hurt to follow. With a sigh of relief they drove on, past American prisoners with wrists tied behind them and Japanese soldiers making ready for the day’s tasks. After a three-mile ride, their jeep was halted and the two Americans were taken to meet General Nagano whose detachment was moving down the East Road. An interpreter read Williams’ letter of instructions, and, following a brief discussion, Nagano agreed to meet General King at the Experimental Farm Station near Lamao, close to the front Lines.

Hurt was sent back to get the general and Williams was kept at Japanese headquarters. Escorted to the front lines by Japanese tanks, Major Hurt made his way down the East Road, “past blown-up tanks, burning trucks, broken guns,” and reached Luzon Force headquarters at 0900. Within a few minutes General King was ready to go forward .

On Corregidor General Wainwright spent the night in ignorance of these events. At 0300 he spoke to King on the telephone but King did not mention his decision to surrender. It was only three hours later, at 0600, that General Wainwright learned from his assistant operations officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jesse T. Traywick, Jr., that General King had sent an officer to the Japanese to arrange terms for the cessation of hostilities. Shocked, he shouted to Traywick, “Go back and tell him not to do it.” But it was too late. Williams and Hurt were already on their way to meet Nagano and General King could not be reached by telephone or radio. “At 6 o’clock this morning General King without my knowledge or approval sent a flag of truce to the Japanese commander. The minute I heard of it I disapproved of his action and directed that there would be no surrender. I was informed it was too late to make any change, that the action had already been taken …. Physical exhaustion and sickness due to a long period of insufficient food is the real cause of this terrible disaster. When I get word what terms have been arranged I will advise you.” “We had direct communication with General King by telephone and radio up to the time of initiation of move to surrender.” There is some disagreement over this point, and many of the officers claim that communications with Bataan were not interrupted until later in the day and that they talked with other officers on Bataan after 0600. For General King, Wainwright had no criticism. “It has never been and is not my intention to reflect upon General King,” he later told MacArthur, “as the decision which he was forced to make required unusual courage and strength of character.” Soon he would be forced to make the same decision.

It was about 0900 when King, in his last clean uniform, went forward to meet General Kagano. He felt, he said later, like General Lee who on the same day seventy-seven years earlier, just before his meeting with Grant at Appomatox, had remarked: “Then there is nothing left to do but to go and see General Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths.” With King when he left his command post were his two aides, Majors Wade Cothran and Tisdelle; his operations officer, Colonel Collier; and Major Hurt, who was to guide them to the meeting place. General Funk remained behind to supervise the completion of the demolitions and the arrangements for the surrender of the Luzon Force.

The group left in two jeeps. In the first were Collier and Hurt; 150 yards to the rear in the second jeep were the general and his aides. Despite the white flags prominently displayed on both vehicles and wildly waved by Collier and Tisdelle, they were immediately bombed and strafed by low flying Japanese aircraft. Fortunately the road was a winding one and offered ample protection on each side. The planes came in at very low altitude, sprayed the road with their machine guns or dropped a string of small bombs, made a wide circle, then banked and came in again for another try. “One smart boy,” wrote Colonel Collier, “dropped out of formation and . . . cut loose with his machine guns just in front of a curve.” Only the whine of the ricocheting bullets warned the driver of the first jeep in time to avert disaster by jamming on his brakes and piling into the embankment. “The attack passed like a Texas whirlwind” and the men stopped with relief and “took a full breath of good fresh air.” The attacks were almost continuous and at least once in every 200 yards the entire group was forced to jump hastily from the vehicles and seek cover in a ditch or behind a tree.

After more than an hour of this game of hare and hounds, when the general’s uniform was as disheveled as those he had left behind, a Japanese reconnaissance plane appeared over the road and the pilot dipped his wings and waved in recognition. Apparently this was the signal to the attacking planes to keep away and the rest of the journey was uneventful. At the bridge over the Lamao River the group passed Japanese soldiers with fixed bayonets but were allowed to proceed without interference. Waiting for them was the Japanese soldier who had guided Major Hurt to the front lines earlier. He greeted them courteously and escorted them to a house near by in front of which General Nagano was seated with Colonel Williams. It was now 1100; the general and his party had spent two hours traveling a distance of about three miles.

The Surrender Meeting

General Nagano, who spoke no English, opened the meeting by explaining through an interpreter that he was not authorized to make any arrangements himself but that he had notified General Homma an American officer was seeking a meeting to discuss terms for the cessation of hostilities. A representative from 14th Army headquarters, he told King, would arrive very soon. A few minutes later a shiny Cadillac drew up at the building before which the envoys were waiting and Colonel Nakayama, the 14th Army senior operations officer, emerged, accompanied by an interpreter: General King rose to greet him, but Nakayama ignored him and took a seat at the head of the table. King resumed his seat at the opposite end, erect with his hands forward in front of him. “I never saw him look more like a soldier,” wrote his aide, “than in this hour of defeat.”

Nakayama had come to the meeting without any specific instructions about accepting a surrender or the terms under which a surrender would be acceptable. Apparently there was no thought in Homma’s mind of a negotiated settlement. He believed that the American envoy was a representative from General Wainwright and had sent Nakayama to represent him since he was unwilling to meet with any person of lesser rank.

The discussion got off to a bad start when Colonel Nakayama, fixing his glance on General King, asked : “You are General Wainwright?” When King said he was not and identified himself, Nakayama asked where Wainwright was and why he had not come. The general replied that he did not speak for the commander of all forces in the Philippines but for his own command alone. He was then told that he would have to get Wainwright and that the Japanese could not accept any surrender without him. Again King declared that he represented only the forces on Bataan and that he could not get Wainwright. The Japanese were apparently insisting on a clarification of King’s relation to Wainwright in order to avoid having to accept the piecemeal surrender of Wainwright’s forces.

General King finally persuaded Nakayama to consider his terms. He explained that his forces were no longer fighting units and that he was seeking an arrangement to prevent further bloodshed. He asked for an armistice and requested that air bombardment be stopped at once. Nakayama rejected both the request for an immediate armistice and the cessation of air bombardment, explaining that the pilots had missions until noon and that the bombardment could not be halted until then. King then asked that his troops be permitted to march out of Bataan under their own officers and that the sick, wounded, and exhausted men be allowed to ride in the vehicles he had saved for this purpose. He promised to deliver his men at any time to any place designated by General Homma. Repeatedly he asked for assurance that the American and Filipino troops would be treated as prisoners of war under the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

1230 surrender unconditionally

To all these proposals Nakayama turned a deaf ear. The only basis on which he would consider negotiations for the cessation of hostilities, he asserted, was one which included the surrender of all forces in the Philippines. “It is absolutely impossible for me,” he told King flatly, “to consider negotiations . . . in any limited area.” If the forces on Bataan wished to surrender they would have to do so by unit, “voluntarily and unconditionally.” Apparently General King understood this to mean that Nakayama would accept his unconditional surrender. Realizing that his position was hopeless and that every minute delayed meant the death of more of his men, General King finally agreed at about 1230 to surrender unconditionally. Nakayama then asked for the general’s saber, but King explained he had left it behind in Manila at the outbreak of war. After a brief flurry of excitement, Nakayama agreed to accept a pistol instead and the general laid it on the table. His fellow officers did the same, and the group passed into captivity.

No effort was made by either side to make the surrender a matter of record with a signed statement. General King believed then and later that though he had not secured agreement to any of the terms he had requested he had formally surrendered his entire force to Homma’s representative. The Japanese view did not grant even that much. As Nakayama later explained: “The surrender … was accomplished by the voluntary and unconditional surrender of each individual or each unit. The negotiations for the cessation of hostilities failed.” King’s surrender, therefore, was interpreted as the surrender of a single individual to the Japanese commander in the area, General Nagano, and not the surrender of an organized military force to the supreme enemy commander. He, Colonel Williams, and the two aides were kept in custody by the Japanese as a guarantee that there would be no further resistance. Though they were not so informed, they were, in fact, hostages and not prisoners of war.

Colonel Collier and Major Hurt, accompanied by a Japanese officer, were sent back to headquarters to pass on the news of the surrender to General Funk. On the way, they were to inform all troops along the road and along the adjoining trails to march to the East Road, stack arms, and await further instructions. Orders for the final disposition of the troops would come from Homma. Meanwhile, by agreement with Nagano, the Japanese forces along the east coast would advance only as far as the Cabcaben airfield.

The battle for Bataan was ended; the fighting was over. The men who had survived the long ordeal could feel justly proud of their accomplishment. For three months they had held off the Japanese, only to be overwhelmed finally by disease and starvation. In a very real sense theirs had been “a true medical defeat,” the inevitable outcome of a campaign of attrition, of “consumption without replenishment.” Each man had done his best and none need feel shame.

The events that followed General King’s surrender present a confused and chaotic story of the disintegration and dissolution of a starved, diseased, and beaten army. This story reached its tragic climax with the horrors and atrocities of the 65-mile “death march” from Mariveles to San Fernando. Denied food and water, robbed of their personal possessions and equipment, forced to march under the hot sun and halt in areas where even the most primitive sanitary facilities were lacking, clubbed, beaten, and bayoneted by their Japanese conquerors, General King’s men made their way into captivity. Gallant foes and brave soldiers, the battling bastards had earned the right to be treated with consideration and decency, but their enemies had reserved for them even greater privations and deeper humiliation than any they had yet suffered on Bataan. How hard their lot was to be none knew but already many faced the future with heavy heart and “feelings of doubt, foreboding, and dark uncertainty.”

[The individual surrender of units and the death march are not treated in this volume since they did not affect the course of military operations on Bataan. The documents dealing with the march can be found among the prosecution exhibits and in the testimony of the trial of General Homma. The death march has been covered in an M. A. thesis prepared by the author’s research assistant, Stanley L. Falk, at Georgetown University, entitled “The Bataan Death March.”., Collier, Notebooks, IV, 18.]

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

World War Two: Fall of Philippines; Siege of Corregidor (5-27)

World War Two: Fall of Philippines; Bataan (4-25); Disintegration of II Corps; 7-8 April 1942