The 6th Ranger Battalion’s Great Raid Essay

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Introduction In December 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States (US) in Pearl Harbor and invaded the Philippines. Foreseeing this invasion, the US pulled Gen. MacArthur out of retirement and sent him to the Philippines. His mission was to prepare this strategically located archipelago against Japanese invasion. This case study will introduce the events leading up to the largest surrender of US forces in history and examine the most daring rescue attempt of WWII. The paper follows the planning and execution of the 6th Ranger Battalion’s Great Raid on the Japanese prison camp of Cabanatuan. Lastly, the events of that raid will be examined in order to discover and evaluate the repercussions and lessons learned. …show more content…
This gave them the strategic advantage of both protecting Manila Bay and having three of their four sides protected by water from ground assault. The ultimate goal of this plan was to bunker down and await reinforcements from the US. Unfortunately, no such reinforcements would be arriving.6 Pres. Eisenhower had determined that the war in Europe took precedence over the war in the Pacific. This information was unknown in the Philippines, even to Gen. MacArthur; the entire Allied force enacted WPO-3 with faith that reinforcements would arrive in four to six weeks.7 Hastily retreating from their various locations in Luzon, Allied forces were forced to leave many of their supplies behind. “Almost immediately the forces on Bataan were placed on half rations and by mid-March were subsisting on quarter rations of only 1,000 calories per day.”8 They retreated to the mountainous terrain of the Bataan Peninsula. By February 1942, Japanese forces had taken much of the island of Luzon and Allied forces were forced to retreat from the Aducay line. This was a line of defense established three fourths of the way up the Bataan Peninsula.9 Furthermore, diseases and illnesses, such as malaria and dysentery, as well as a lack of freshwater, food, and other supplies, posed a great problem for the Allied forces. On March 11, Gen. MacArthur was ordered by Washington to evacuate the Philippines to Australia.10 He left the Philippines with the famous statement, "I

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