on April 9, 1942, the Japanese army forced the captives of the US Philippine coalition forces guarding the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines to carry out a forced army without providing any food, water, clothes, etc. at least 15000 captives were tortured and killed at a distance of more than 100 kilometers.

October 26, 2011, memorial day for the victims of the death march in Bataan, Philippines.

translated by Lester tanicondi

Badan’s death march is a war atrocities committed by the Japanese invading army in the Far East during World War II. Together with the Nanjing Massacre and the Myanmar Thailand Death Railway, it is called the three major war atrocities in the Far East by the western historical circles. On April 9, 1942, the Japanese army forced the US Philippine coalition prisoners guarding the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines to carry out a forced army without providing any food, water and clothing. At least 15000 prisoners were tortured and killed more than 100 kilometers away.

there are nearly 100 books dedicated to reviewing or studying this war crime in the United States alone. Among them, the most famous one is “going home alive: a personal history of Badan’s death march” by Dr. Lester Tani, a lifelong honorary professor at Arizona State University. The following is a fragment of the book.

hunger and thirst produce hallucinations

the Japanese soldiers do not allow us to march with water, and the physiological pain caused by not drinking water for a long time is indescribable. My stomach hurts, my throat hurts, and my arms and legs don’t work. On the third day, hunger and thirst made me daydream. I seemed to see all the good things I had eaten and drunk in the past: hamburgers with cheese and onions, milkshakes, beer and coke. I wanted to drool, but my saliva had dried up.

the Japanese soldiers deliberately. In fact, the roadside is not without water. Some guards will let a few prisoners of war drink water, but will not let more people drink water. One day, I felt my tongue thickened because there was a Japanese motorcade passing by. The dust raised by the motorcade was sucked into my mouth and stuck to my tongue. My throat was about to be dried by the dust. Once, I saw an artesian well on the side of the road. It’s a pity that the white water ran off. After observing for a long time and confirming that there were no Japanese soldiers nearby, my comrade frank and I rushed to the well. We’ll take one bite from you and one bite from me and drink water with an open stomach. We drank enough as soon as possible, filled the kettle and prepared to drink on the way.

within a few minutes, 10-15 prisoners of war gathered near the well. This attracted the attention of a Japanese soldier who ran over and laughed at us. At this time, the five people in front drank water. The sixth man was just about to squat down to drink water. The Japanese soldier suddenly raised his bayonet and stabbed him in the neck. The brother immediately knelt on his knees, breathed rapidly, and fell face down on the ground. He died without drinking a mouthful of water, and his blood stained the artesian well red.

two hours later, we passed a pond where buffalo bathed. A bold brother ran to the Japanese soldier and asked him with a gesture if he could drink some water. The Japanese soldiers laughed and waved in agreement. After




were allowed, dozens of people rushed frantically to the pond, regardless of the buffalo bathing in it. Some people poke the green foam, splash water on themselves and drink the water that hosts many kinds of germs.

a few minutes later, a Japanese officer ran over and shouted. No one understood what he said, and he didn’t make any gestures, but everyone hurried back to the team. Soon something shocking happened. The smiling officer walked around the line of prisoners of war. He immediately ordered the Japanese soldiers to check our uniforms and pull out those with water stains. Japanese officers ordered the people stained with water to line up on the roadside and ordered Japanese soldiers to shoot them.

“superb decapitation technology”

on the fifth day, I witnessed the most inhuman crime in the death march of Badan. Of course, there are some atrocities that can be compared with it. The Japanese soldiers stopped our queue temporarily and waited for the team behind to catch up. When the team behind us caught up with us, the Japanese ordered us to stand up and move on. At this time, a brother with severe malaria had a high fever and people were confused. He wanted to stand up, but he couldn’t stand up. The Japanese soldier came up to him, hit him on the head with the butt of his gun and knocked him to the ground. The Japanese soldier called the two prisoners of war around him and asked them to dig a pit by the side of the road. He was going to bury the sick brother alive. The two prisoners of war began to dig a pit. When the pit was one foot deep, the Japanese soldiers ordered them to stop, carry the sick brother into the pit and bury him alive. The two prisoners shook their heads and said they couldn’t do that.

without warning, the Japanese soldiers raised their guns and killed the big man among the two prisoners of war who dug the pit. He pulled out two more prisoners of war from our queue and ordered them to dig another pit and bury the big man. The Japanese soldiers made a cross on the roadside, which means “bury the prisoner he killed there”. The two prisoners dug a second pit. They put the sick prisoners and the dead prisoners in the pit respectively, and then shoveled soil on them. The sick prisoner of war was not dead, and he cried bitterly when the dirt was thrown on him.

the 4-5 mile March from Lubao was extremely cruel. The Japanese guards ordered us to run from time to time. They roared more and louder. Within minutes, different guards beat, pushed and even stabbed us with bayonets. In this section, we were asked to march at twice the usual pace. The Japanese soldiers changed shifts frequently. We were often asked to run to keep up with the new guards.

we managed to catch up with a group of Japanese soldiers, and the guard ordered us to stop. We saw an American prisoner of war kneeling in front of the Japanese soldiers and a Japanese officer standing behind the prisoner of war. Japanese officers drew samurai swords from their scabbards and waved them in the airOn the March, kill as many prisoners as possible under any pretext. In order to promote this notorious desire to die, he announced that “Japan is engaged in a racial war. In order to win the emperor and free our victorious soldiers to be transferred to other fronts, the prisoners must be killed”. (Taipei Jinhe publishing house, history of prisoner pain, P. 150)

part of the evil wishes of Zhengxin have been achieved. During the 67 mile shuffling March, the prisoners were subjected to appalling atrocities. If they fall down or fall behind the brigade, they will be beaten with rifle butts, stabbed with bayonets and shot. By the end of the forced march, 10000 prisoners had been slaughtered and 70000 others were awaiting execution. Thanks to Zhengxin’s recall to Tokyo, the 70000 prisoners were temporarily saved from death. (P. 151)

arbitrary oral order

the second set of evidence. John Tolan, a famous American historian and writer of World War II, also pointed out that Zheng Xin was the culprit of Badan’s death march in his famous book the decline of the Japanese Empire.

he wrote in his book: “The tyranny on the first day was spontaneous, but it has not been so since. Zhongzuo arrived in Manila from Singapore a few days ago. In Singapore, 5000 Chinese were slaughtered on charges of ‘supporting’ the British colonists, which was mainly his idea. Behind his back, he persuaded several officers in his staff to admire him: this war is a racial war, so it is in the Philippines All captured prisoners must be executed. The Americans are executed because they are white colonialists, and the Filipinos are executed because they betrayed the Asian nation. ” (pages 386-387)

the order of the political letter was issued in the name of the Japanese base camp. When a division staff officer conveyed the order to his subordinate forces, he said, “kill all the prisoners and kill those who surrender”. (P. 387) since it was the order of the base camp, many officers carried it out without thinking. However, the order aroused the suspicion of some officers. Takeo Imai refused to execute. Major general YinXiong, the commander of a new army, and his chief of staff, lieutenant general nobuhiko Shenbao, also refused to execute. They all asked for a written order.

Mr. Tolan concluded at the end of Chapter 11: “Killing too many people is the direct result of zhongzuo’s arbitrary oral order. There is no doubt that it is not only general OTA and Dazuo Imai who refuse to carry out this order, but most people have carried out this order in whole or in part, because their education since childhood is that orders should be carried out quickly and without doubt.”

the third set of evidence. Mr. Yu Tianren, who lives in Japan, made an in-depth study of Zhengxin by using Japanese materials. In his article “the footprints of the Jackal”, he wrote: “… The assistant of songyongmei No. 1 middle school, the senior staff of the headquarters of the 65th brigade, informed by telephone to the captains of their respective regiments: ‘the base camp ordered that although the US and Philippine troops had begged the Japanese Army for surrender, the Japanese army did not accept the surrender of the US and Philippine troops. Therefore, the captured us and Philippine troops were not prisoners of war, and ordered all regiments to shoot all the US and Philippine surrenders.’



Mr. Yu explained that it turned out that this was another bold and courageous order of killing prisoners in the name of the base camp. After the war in Singapore, Zhengxin was promoted to the operation monitor of the operation section of the General Staff Headquarters of Japan. On his way to the post, Zhengxin heard that the Japanese army attacked the Bataan Peninsula, so he postponed his appointment to Tokyo and went to the 14th army of benjian Yaqing in the name of the headquarters staff to assist in commanding the battle. Later, it was found that he issued the order.

the fourth group of evidence. Mr. Wang Junyan, a famous Japanese expert in China, said in his book “vigilance against Japan – yesterday’s aggression and today’s expansion”: “… And took out the testimony of Major General Kim, the commander of the US Philippine coalition army at that time, pointing out that Badan’s death march was planned by the chief of staff of yoshina Benma.” (the relocation letter of the office should be a mistake.) (page 73)

in addition to the above-mentioned groups of evidence, Dr. lestetani also provided a group of evidence in his book “going home alive: a personal account of Badan’s death march”. He quoted the material of Shinzo Kobe’s “dawn of the Philippines” – the high-level Japanese army issued an order in Manila: any force confronting our army on the Bataan Peninsula, whether or not to surrender, should be completely eliminated. Any American prisoner of war who cannot walk to the concentration camp must be executed 200 meters away from the highway on the way. The similarities between




and the Nanjing Massacre




the materials listed above and the research results of experts, although there are subtle differences in some places, in the attitude of “bold hypothesis and careful verification”, the author believes that the above groups of evidence can at least explain the following points.

first, during the battle of the Philippines, Chen Zhengxin was in his headquarters.

Mr. Tolan pointed out that he was in the staff headquarters of the headquarters, which was subordinate to the headquarters. The testimony of major general Jin cited by Mr. Wang Junyan regards Chen Zhengxin as the chief of staff of the office. Although it is not accurate, if he is not in the headquarters of the office, he will not say so. Mr. Yu Tianren said that in the name of the staff of the base camp, Yun Zhengxin assisted the headquarters in commanding the war, and there was no doubt that Yun Zhengxin was in the headquarters of the headquarters.

Colonel Walder didn’t point out whether Kazuo Shin was in the headquarters of benjian Yaqing, but from the literal analysis, Kazuo Shin should be around benjian, otherwise he wouldn’t assert, “thanks to Kazuo Shin’s recall to Tokyo, 70000 prisoners were temporarily saved from death.” Chen Zhengxin must be in a very important position to have such great power. His position can only be in the military headquarters of the 14th army, the highest command organ of the Japanese army in the Philippines. It was precisely because he was in the military headquarters that he needed to concoct the order of the “base camp”, because only the order of the superior command organ of this room could subdue this room. He was too brave in politics, so he simply used the name of the highest military command organ of the Japanese ArmyYi, but his identity at that time provided him with cover.

second, Lu Zhengxin concocted the order to kill prisoners. The first four sets of evidence point this out. The record of nobuhiko Shenbao, which points out the order to kill prisoners, comes from the senior Japanese army in Manila. He is highly suspected of political trust. The author needs to analyze the text of the order. If the text of the order has great similarity, it can only explain one problem – these texts are evolved from an order. The wording of the order has changed in the process of transmission, or several similar orders have been issued.

a careful comparison of Colonel Wald’s and Tolan’s “command” versions shows that both versions believe that the war is a racial war. The former is “prisoners must be killed” and the latter is “prisoners must be executed”. The two versions are similar. Tolan’s version makes the concept of racial war clearer, but Colonel Wald points out that the slaughter is to save trouble and transfer troops. So this massacre has the same reason as the Nanjing Massacre – instead of increasing the burden, we should divide troops to take care of a large number of prisoners of war and provide them with a large amount of food, we might as well kill them and finish it all.

Mr. Yu Tianren’s version – the headquarters order. Although the US and Philippine troops have begged the Japanese army for surrender, the Japanese army did not accept the surrender of the US and Philippine troops. Therefore, the captured us and Philippine troops are not prisoners of war, and ordered all detachments to shoot and kill all the US and Philippine surrenders. Dr. Tani’s version – any force that confronts our army on the Bataan Peninsula, whether or not they surrender, should be completely eliminated. Any American prisoner of war who cannot walk to the concentration camp must be executed 200 meters away from the highway on the way.

he dares to “give orders on behalf of the base camp”

so we can see that the five groups of evidence shown above have formed two groups of mutual evidence. Moreover, I believe that the two groups are not contradictory to each other, and there is an internal correlation. The latter group of orders is more like the orders directly conveyed to the lower level forces, while the former is the text discussed by the decision-makers.

compare the oral command version of the “Division staff officer” mentioned by Mr. Tolan with the second set of commands. Obviously, the two express the same meaning. The oral order of “Division staff” is actually the core content of the “order” version quoted by Yu Tianren and Tani. Both the oral order of the “Division staff officer” and the order conveyed by the assistant of song Yongmei No. 1 middle school to the lower forces make it clear that this is the order of the “base camp”, which is another group of mutual evidence.

the command texts mentioned in the above groups of evidence are not isolated evidence, which constitute several groups of mutual evidence, and there is an obvious logical connection between each group of mutual evidence. These mutually corroborating evidence shows that Chen Zhengxin concocted the order to kill prisoners (the mutual evidence of the first group of orders can be proved), and this order was transmitted to the lower forces (the mutual evidence of the second group and the oral order of the “Division staff officer” can be proved), The subordinate troops claimed that the order to kill prisoners “came from the base camp” (as can be proved by the oral order of the “Division staff” and the order of song Yongmei No. 1 middle school assistant). At that time, Chen Zhengxin was the “base camp staff”. He represented the “base camp” and his words were the order of the base camp, because he dared to “give orders on behalf of the base camp”.

I boldly infer that the senior staff officer of the headquarters of the 65th brigade mentioned in Mr. Yu Tianren’s article, senior staff officer song Yongmei No. 1 middle school, is the person mentioned in Tolan’s book. Of course, it is also possible to be his colleague, but anyway, it can explain at least one problem. Both song Yongmei No. 1 and Takeo Imai are members of the 65th brigade. The 14th army under the command of benjian Yaqing is composed of the 16th and 48th divisions and the 65th brigade. The 65th brigade and the two divisions belong to the same level units and are under the command of the military headquarters. Moreover, the establishment of the Japanese military division is relatively large, and the 65th brigade has 7500 people. Therefore, Tolan may call the assistant of song Yongmei No. 1 middle school, the senior staff of the 65th brigade headquarters, as the “Division staff”. If the whole statement is true, the second and third sets of evidence just prove the authenticity of the other party.




Mr. Wang Junyan’s materials have not been further explained, but his conclusions are consistent with the conclusions of the above groups of materials. Chen Zhengxin is hard to get rid of the suspicion of Badan’s death as the initiator of the March.