And now, thanks to books, you can do just that. If you don't have any plans for the weekend, and are in the mood to know more about the Fall of Bataan, here are ten books you can read.
Corregidor: The American Alamo of World War II (Eric Morris)
After Bataan fell, Corregidor and nearby areas became the last strongholds of Filipino and U.S. defenders. The defenders fought bravely, but eventually surrendered under relentless attacks by Japanese artillery. Written from eyewitness accounts by soldiers and medical personnel, Morris' book details the desperate fight for independence until the very end.
Death March: The Survivors of Bataan (Donald Knox)
Penned by an award-winning director and producer of documentaries, "Death March" records the experiences of Bataan Death March survivors (who were in their 70s and 80s at the time of publication) in vivid detail. The book also contains paragraphs and maps to enhance your reading.
Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II's Greatest Rescue Mission (Hampton Sides)
On January 28, 1945, 121 U.S. troops set out for a dangerous mission: Rescue 513 POWs (including Bataan Death March survivors) from internment camps in the Philippines. When Japanese soldiers massacre another group of POWs in another camp, the troops realized they couldn't afford one wrong move.
Give Us This Day (Sidney Stewart)
What's it like to be a P.O.W. of Bataan? Sidney Stewart gives us some answers in this chilling account of his almost three-and-a-half years of captivity, until the Russians liberated him in Manchuria. Despite everything he's gone through, however, he seems to have made peace with his harrowing experiences as a 21-year-old U.S. Army man in Bataan, and manages to create a story that illuminates the humanity of friend and foe alike.
Prisoners of the Japanese: Pows of World War II in the Pacific (Gavan Daws)
As the title suggests, this book isn't limited to Bataan Death March survivors. However, it's still a searing look into how the Japanese army treated POWs in general during World War II. Combining thoughtful research with a novelistic writing style, Daws portrays the plight of POWs in a way you've never seen before.
Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath (Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman)
When we talk about wars, we often talk in terms of events, casualties and victories/losses. Rarely do we talk about it in terms of the human participants, which this book sets out to do. Juxtaposing the journey of a young man named Ben Steele with the frequently graphic depictions of the horrors of war, this book will make you feel as though you were there when it happened.
The Bataan Death March: Life and Death in the Philippines During World War II (Charles River Editors)
If you're looking for a more scholarly, detached account, this may be what you're looking for. Containing dozens of pictures of people, places and events crucial to the war, this book brings the Fall of Bataan to life in front of your very eyes.
Undefeated: America's Heroic Fight for Bataan and Corregidor (Bill Sloan)
Like Knox's "Death March," this is a collection of accounts from Bataan survivors. It documents not only the battles fought, but also the struggles made by POWs. Written by Bill Sloan, this book is a gripping chronicle of how far the human spirit can go in times of crisis.
We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped in Bataan (Elizabeth Norman)
In yesterday's post, we mentioned the "Battling Belles of Bataan," who witnessed firsthand how devastating war can be. As if that's not enough, they too were captured after the fall of Bataan, and endured three years of brutality like their male counterparts in the army. This is their story, brilliantly written by Elizabeth Norman (who also co-wrote "Tears of Darkness").
Angel of Bataan: The Life of a World War II Army Nurse in the War Zone and at Home (Walter Macdougall)
Whereas the previous book talked about the "Battling Belles" as a whole, this one focuses on one Alice Zwicker. Growing up in a small town in Maine, Zwicker became a nurse, and was stationed in Bataan, Corregidor and Manila during World War II. Even though she managed to survive the infamous internment camps, her personal ordeals did not stop there.
This list is just a starting point. There are loads of other books on the horrors of Bataan and Corregidor, and we'd be doing you a disservice if we suggested you limit yourself to the above. Nonetheless, if you can only read so many books over the weekend, you can't go wrong with one or two of what's listed here.