Battle Analysis-the Great Raid at Cabanatuan Essay
The actual raid on Cabanatuan was ordered Lieutenant General Walter Krueger who was commander of the Sixth Army. He had received the information from Major Bob Lapham, who was the senior guerrilla chief of the USAFFE. The need for such a rescue operation was hastened by the news of the December 14th massacre at the Palawan POW camp. The Army was afraid that with its advances towards Manila, that the Japanese would execute the prisoners to prevent their rescue.
Cabanatuan itself presented a lot of challenges to the U.S. forces. Its location was right along supply lines which had been seeing an influx of traffic due to American victories in the southern part of the Island. This created a problem in the form of reinforcements for the impending raid, which could both eliminate the forces that the Sixth Army would send for the mission, as well as the fleeing POWs. The camp itself only contained about a company’s worth of Japanese soldiers, however across the Cabu River to the north, there were about a thousand soldiers and an estimated five times that in the actual city of Cabanatuan.
The mission for the Raid was given to Lt.Col. Henry Mucci. LTC Mucci was a West Point Graduate and the commanding officer of the Sixth Ranger Battalion within the Sixth army. The Sixth Ranger