Death march

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Croatian migrants and civils in death march (Bleiburg repatriations). Kolona Ustasev in hrvaskih beguncev blizu Pliberka.jpg
Croatian migrants and civils in death march (Bleiburg repatriations).

A death march is a forced march of prisoners of war or other captives or deportees in which individuals are left to die along the way. [1] It is distinguished in this way from simple prisoner transport via foot march. Death marches usually feature harsh physical labor and abuse, neglect of prisoner injury and illness, deliberate starvation and dehydration, humiliation and torture, and execution of those unable to keep up the marching pace. The march may end at a prisoner-of-war camp or internment camp, or it may continue until all the prisoners are dead (a form of "execution by labor", as seen in the Armenian genocide among other examples).

Marching

Marching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady and rhythmic walking forward, usually associated with military troops.

Starvation severe deficiency in caloric energy, nutrient, and vitamin intake

Starvation is a severe deficiency in caloric energy intake, below the level needed to maintain an organism's life. It is the most extreme form of malnutrition. In humans, prolonged starvation can cause permanent organ damage and eventually, death. The term inanition refers to the symptoms and effects of starvation. Starvation may also be used as a means of torture or execution.

Dehydration in physiology, excessive loss of body water

In physiology, dehydration is a deficit of total body water, with an accompanying disruption of metabolic processes. It occurs when free water loss exceeds free water intake, usually due to exercise, disease, or high environmental temperature. Mild dehydration can also be caused by immersion diuresis, which may increase risk of decompression sickness in divers.

Contents

General Masaharu Homma was charged with failure to control his troops in 1945 in connection with the Bataan Death March. [2] [3]

Masaharu Homma Japanese general

Masaharu Homma was a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Homma commanded the Japanese 14th Army, which invaded the Philippines and perpetrated the Bataan Death March. After the war, Homma was convicted of war crimes relating to the actions of troops under his direct command and executed by firing squad on April 3, 1946.

Command responsibility

Command responsibility, sometimes referred to as the Yamashita standard or the Medina standard, and also known as superior responsibility, is the legal doctrine of hierarchical accountability for war crimes.

Bataan Death March

The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000–80,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war from Saysain Point, Bagac, Bataan and Mariveles to Camp O'Donnell, Capas, Tarlac, via San Fernando, Pampanga, where the prisoners were loaded onto trains. The transfer began on April 9, 1942, after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. The total distance marched from Mariveles to San Fernando and from the Capas Train Station to Camp O'Donnell is variously reported by differing sources as between 60 and 69.6 miles. Differing sources also report widely differing prisoner of war casualties prior to reaching Camp O'Donnell: from 5,000 to 18,000 Filipino deaths and 500 to 650 American deaths during the march. The march was characterized by severe physical abuse and wanton killings, and was later judged by an Allied military commission to be a Japanese war crime.

Examples

Before World War II

David Livingstone Scottish explorer and missionary

David Livingstone was a British physician, Congregationalist, and pioneer Christian missionary with the London Missionary Society, an explorer in Africa, and one of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian era. He had a mythical status that operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class "rags-to-riches" inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of commercial and colonial expansion.

Arab slave trade

The Arab slave trade was the intersection of slavery and trade in the Arab Islamic world, mainly in Western Asia, North Africa, East Africa and Europe. This barter occurred chiefly between the medieval era and the early 20th century. The trade was conducted through slave markets in these areas, with the slaves captured mostly from Africa's interior and Southern Europe.

We passed a slave woman shot or stabbed through the body and lying on the path. [Onlookers] said an Arab who passed early that morning had done it in anger at losing the price he had given for her, because she was unable to walk any longer. [4]

Indian removal early 19th century United States domestic policy

Indian removal was a forced migration in the 19th century whereby Native Americans were forced by the United States government to leave their ancestral homelands in the eastern United States to lands west of the Mississippi River, specifically to a designated Indian Territory. The Indian Removal Act was signed by Andrew Jackson, who took a hard line on Indian removal, but it was put into effect primarily under the Martin van Buren administration.

Choctaw Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States

The Choctaw are a Native American people originally occupying what is now the Southeastern United States. Their Choctaw language belongs to the Muskogean language family group. Hopewell and Mississippian cultures, who lived throughout the east of the Mississippi River valley and its tributaries. About 1,700 years ago, the Hopewell people built Nanih Waiya, a great earthwork mound located in what is central present-day Mississippi. It is still considered sacred by the Choctaw. The early Spanish explorers of the mid-16th century in the Southeast encountered Mississippian-culture villages and chiefs. The anthropologist John R. Swanton suggested that the Choctaw derived their name from an early leader. Henry Halbert, a historian, suggests that their name is derived from the Choctaw phrase Hacha hatak.

Mississippi State of the United States of America

Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most extensive and 34th most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, and Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of approximately 175,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city.

Dead soldiers on the Bataan Death March March of Death from Bataan to the prison camp - Dead soldiers.jpg
Dead soldiers on the Bataan Death March
May 11, 1945 German civilians are forced to walk past the bodies of 30 Jewish women murdered by German SS troops in a 500-kilometre (300 mi) death march from Helmbrecht to Volary. VolarydeadJews.jpg
May 11, 1945 German civilians are forced to walk past the bodies of 30 Jewish women murdered by German SS troops in a 500-kilometre (300 mi) death march from Helmbrecht to Volary.

During World War II

During WWII, death marches of POWs occurred in both Nazi-Occupied Europe and the Japanese Empire. Death marches of Jews were common in the later stages of The Holocaust as the Allies closed in on concentration camps in occupied Europe.

German-occupied Europe European countries occupied by the military forces of Nazi Germany

German-occupied Europe refers to the sovereign countries of Europe which were occupied and civil occupied including puppet government by the military forces and the government of Nazi Germany at various times between 1939 and 1945 and administered by the Nazi regime. The furthest east in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the town of Mozdok in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The furthest north in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the settlement of Barentsburg in the Kingdom of Norway. The furthest south in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the island of Gavdos in the Kingdom of Greece. The furthest west in Europe the German Wehrmacht managed to occupy was the island of Ushant in the French Republic.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Jews ancient nation and ethnoreligious group from the Levant

Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

After World War II

See also

Related Research Articles

Prisoner of war person who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict

A prisoner of war (POW) is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates to 1660.

Operation Danny Palmach military operation to conquer Lod, Ramle, Latrun and Ramallah in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War

Operation Danny was an Israeli military offensive launched at the end of the first truce of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. The objectives were to capture territory east of Tel Aviv and then to push inland and relieve the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem. The main forces fighting against the IDF were the Arab Legion and Palestinian irregulars

Hiwi (volunteer)

The term Hiwi is a German abbreviation of the word Hilfswilliger, meaning "voluntary assistant", or more literally, "willing helper". During World War II, the term Hiwis gained broad popularity in reference to auxiliary forces recruited from the indigenous populations in the areas of Eastern Europe first occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union and then occupied by Nazi Germany. Hitler reluctantly agreed to allow recruitment of Soviet citizens in the Rear Areas during Operation Barbarossa. In a short period of time, many of them were moved to combat units. In late 1942, Hiwis comprised 50 percent of the 2nd Panzer Army's 134 Infantry Division, while the 6th Army at the Battle of Stalingrad was composed of 25 percent Hiwis. By 1944, their numbers had grown to 600,000. Both men and women of the Soviet Union were recruited. Veteran Hiwis were practically indistinguishable from the regular German troops, and often served in entire company strengths.

Prisoner-of-war camp site for the containment of combatants captured by their enemy in time of war

A prisoner-of-war camp is a site for the containment of enemy combatants captured by a belligerent power in time of war.

The March (1945) death march during the final months of the Second World War in Europe

"The March" refers to a series of forced marches during the final stages of the Second World War in Europe. From a total of 257,000 western Allied prisoners of war held in German military prison camps, over 80,000 POWs were forced to march westward across Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany in extreme winter conditions, over about four months between January and April 1945. This series of events has been called various names: "The Great March West", "The Long March", "The Long Walk", "The Long Trek", "The Black March", "The Bread March", and "Death March Across Germany", but most survivors just called it "The March".

Sandakan Death Marches conflict

The Sandakan Death Marches were a series of forced marches in Borneo from Sandakan to Ranau which resulted in the deaths of 2,345 Allied prisoners of war held captive by the Empire of Japan during the Pacific campaign of World War II in the Sandakan POW Camp. By the end of the war, of all the prisoners who had been incarcerated at Sandakan and Ranau, only six Australians survived, all of whom had escaped. It is widely considered to be the single worst atrocity suffered by Australian servicemen during the Second World War.

Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union

Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations for the damage inflicted by Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union during World War II. German civilians in Germany and Eastern Europe were deported to the USSR after World War II as forced laborers, ethnic Germans living in the USSR were deported during World War II and conscripted for forced labor. German prisoners of war were also used as a source of forced labor during and after the war by the Soviet Union and the Western Allies.

Italian prisoners of war in the Soviet Union Wikimedia list article

Italian prisoners of war in the Soviet union is the narrative of POWs from the Italian Army in Russia and of their fate in Stalin's Soviet Union during and after World War II.

Camp ODonnell

Camp O'Donnell was a Prisoner of War (POW) camp for Filipino and American soldiers captured by Japan during its successful invasion of the Philippines in World War II. About 60,000 Filipino and 9,000 Americans were housed at the camp. During the few months in 1942 that Camp O'Donnell was used as a POW camp, about 20,000 Filipinos and 1,500 Americans died there of disease, starvation, neglect, and brutality.

Japanese prisoners of war in the Soviet Union

After World War II there were from 560,000 to 760,000 Japanese personnel in the Soviet Union and Mongolia interned to work in labor camps as POWs. Of them, it is estimated that between 60,000-347,000 died in captivity.

German mistreatment of Soviet prisoners of war

During World War II, Nazi Germany engaged in a policy of deliberate maltreatment of Soviet prisoners of war (POWs), in contrast to their treatment of British and American POWs. This resulted in some 3.3 to 3.5 million deaths.

German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union

Approximately three million German prisoners of war were captured by the Soviet Union during World War II, most of them during the great advances of the Red Army in the last year of the war. The POWs were employed as forced labor in the Soviet wartime economy and post-war reconstruction. By 1950 almost all surviving POWs had been released, with the last prisoner returning from the USSR in 1956. According to Soviet records 381,067 German Wehrmacht POWs died in NKVD camps. German historian Rüdiger Overmans maintains that it seems entirely plausible, while not provable, that one million died in Soviet custody. He also believes that there were men who actually died as POWs amongst those listed as missing-in-action (MIA).

Forced labor of Germans after World War II

In the years following World War II, large numbers of German civilians and captured soldiers were forced into labour by the Allied forces. The topic of using Germans as forced labour for reparations was first broached at the Tehran conference in 1943, where Soviet premier Joseph Stalin demanded 4,000,000 German workers.

Vorkutlag forced labor camp of the Gulag

The Vorkutlag, sometimes Vorkuta Gulag, was one of the major Soviet era GULAG labor camps, full name Воркутинский исправительно-трудовой лагерь. It was located in the Pechora River Basin, in the Komi Republic, part of the European region of Russia, located 1,900 kilometres (1,200 mi) from Moscow and 160 kilometres (99 mi) above the Arctic Circle. Vorkuta Gulag was established in 1932 to exploit the resources of the Pechora Coal Basin, the second largest coal basin in the former U.S.S.R.. The city of Vorkuta was established to support the camp. There were approximately 132 sub-camps in the Vorkuta Gulag system during the height of its use in the Soviet prison system. From 1939, Polish prisoners were held here until Russia joined the allies, after it was attacked by Germany. The camp was then also used to hold German P.O.W.s captured on the Eastern Front in World War II as well as criminals, Soviet citizens and those from Soviet united countries deemed to be dissidents and enemies of the state during the Soviet era.

Death marches (Holocaust)

Death marches refers to the forcible movements of prisoners of Nazi Germany between Nazi camps during World War II. They occurred at various points during the Holocaust, including 1939 in the Lublin province of Poland, in 1942 in Reichskommissariat Ukraine and across the General Government, and between Autumn 1944 and late April 1945 near the Soviet front, from the Nazi concentration camps and prisoner of war camps situated in the new Reichsgaue, to camps inside Germany proper, away from reach of the Allied forces. The purpose was to remove evidence of crimes against humanity committed inside the camps and to prevent the liberation of German-held prisoners of war.

Sandakan camp

The Sandakan camp, also known as Sandakan POW Camp, was a prisoner-of-war camp established during World War II by the Japanese in Sandakan in the Malaysian state of Sabah. This site has gained notoriety as the Sandakan Death Marches started from here. Now, part of the former site houses the Sandakan Memorial Park.

Sandakan Memorial Park

The Sandakan Memorial Park is a memorial site built in the former grounds of the former Sandakan camp in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The site is dedicated as a memory for all prisoners in the camp who died during the Sandakan Death Marches, and to those died during a march to Ranau. It is also recognises the suffering and sacrifice of the native population.

Last POW Camp Memorial

The Last POW Camp Memorial is a memorial in the district of Ranau in the Malaysian state of Sabah, which commemorates the victims of the Sandakan Death Marches who died during their march to Ranau. Of 1,047 British and Australian prisoners of war, only 189 still alive to reach this site which is located near Liwagu Valley. Of these 189 total, 153 prisoners died in the next six weeks, 32 were murdered, while only four managed to escape. The current memorial was built where the former camp was located.

References

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death%20march
  2. Steiner, K., Lael, R. R., & Taylor, L. (1985). War Crimes and Command Responsibility: From the Bataan Death March to the MyLai Massacre. Pacific Affairs, 58(2), 293.
  3. Maguire, Peter. Law and War: International Law and American History. Columbia University Press (2010), 108
  4. Livingstone, David (2006). The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death. Echo Library. p. 46. ISBN   1-84637-555-X.
  5. "Trail of Tears". Choctaw Nation. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12.
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  14. Gilbert, Martin (May 1993). Atlas of the Holocaust (Revised and Updated ed.). William Morrow & Company. ISBN   0688123643. (map of forced marches)
  15. Corsellis, John, & Marcus Ferrar. 2005. Slovenia 1945: Memories of Death and Survival After World War II. London: I.B. Tauris, p. 204.
  16. Vuletić, Dominik (December 2007). "Kaznenopravni i povijesni aspekti bleiburškog zločina". Lawyer (in Croatian). Zagreb, Croatia: Pravnik. 41 (85): 125–150. ISSN   0352-342X . Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  17. Holmes, Richard; Strachan, Hew; Bellamy, Chris; Bicheno, Hugh (2001). The Oxford companion to military history (Illustrated ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 64. ISBN   9780198662099. On 12 July, the Arab inhabitants of the Lydda-Ramle area, amounting to some 70,000, were expelled in what became known as the 'Lydda Death March'.
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