A small island in the Phillipines, and the site of the greatest defeat of American military forces ever in our history. Jutting forth from this island is the Bataan Penninsula, which would come to be known as one of the greatest attrocities of World War II. Following the fall of Manila on January 2, 1942 America became engaged in the battle for the Bataan Peninsula, a battle that would prove costly. By April 9, 1942 76,000 soldiers under the command of Major General Edward P. King Jr. were forced to surrender to Japanese troops under the command of General Homma Masahura. Although General Douglas MacArthur was forced to flee to Australia in March, he vowed, "I shall return." A major reason for the American downfall can be best demonstrated by one soldiers quote. "Each day's combat, each day's output of physical energy, took its toll on the human body--a toll which could not be repaired...." There was a mere half ration remaining in the quartermaster's stores at the time of the surrender. At the beginning there was only enough food for 20-50 days more fighting depending on the nessecities of each soldiers. Each soldier was forced to survive on a 2,000 calorie diet, by no means sufficient to a man in brutal combat on a daily basis. The water as well proved to be a problem -- dirty and lacking. Soon after the fall of Corregidor, in June, the Bataan Death March began and the American death toll began to rise. The Japanese soldier is taught that death in battle is an honor, thus a POW is less than human and certainly not deserving of respect. As the American troops were marched mercilesly, some 3,000 to 10,000 were shot, bayonetted, or beheaded along the roads to the camps. More would later succumb to dysentary, malaria, malnutrition, or exhaustion.