Bataan Peninsula, April 1942

April 8, 1942, on the eve of the American surrender:

  • . . . the vast volcanic jungle clinked and snapped and exploded with the sounds of an army deliberately destroying itself. With surrender imminent, the men had been given the order to ruin their weapons and sabotage any hardware that might prove valuable to the enemy . . .  For a time that evening, the southern tip of Bataan took on the sheen of day, and one could limn the complex outline of the peninsula, with its deep ravines and extinct volcanoes, its innumerable points and promontories fingering out into the sea.

pp. 39 – 40, Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission

In the middle of all this, while an army medic named Dr. Ralph Emerson Hibbs shakes with malarial fever, the ground starts to rumble and heave. “You’d think it was an earthquake,” he grumbles. And a Filipino standing nearby tells him, “It is an earthquake.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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