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B-Bottoms FIHOTD Thread (the Great Raid)


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I always liked this story and can't wait to see the movie.


Raid at Cabanatuan


The Great Raid on Cabanatuan in the Philippines on 30 January 1945 by US Army Rangers and Filipino guerrillas resulted in the liberation of more than 500 American prisoners of war (POWs) from a Japanese POW camp near Cabanatuan, was a celebrated, historic achievement involving Allied special warfare operations during World War II.


The Raid on Cabanatuan was re-created, with great attention to historical accuracy, in the 2005 John Dahl film The Great Raid.







By late 1944 Imperial Japan's fortunes of war experienced a complete turnaround from its previous dominance. Defeat after defeat met the Japanese Imperial Army facing the British in the China-Burma-India theater, and against the US and Australians in the Pacific islands. The increasing superiority of the Allied war machine was due largely to the successful US submarine campaign against their merchant shipping.


In August, the War Ministry in Tokyo apparently was piqued by the US State Department's communique concerning Japan's war crimes against Allied POWs, and issued the Kill-All policy to annihilate the principal witnesses

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When the Rangers yelled to the POW's to come out and be rescued, many of the POWs feared that it might be a trap so the Japanese could mow them down. Many of them hid, forcing the Rangers to go barracks to barracks. Many of the POWs resisted because the Rangers' weapons and uniforms looked nothing like those from 1940 and 1941. Many POWs challenged the Rangers, asking them what Rangers were and where they were from. One Ranger was irritated by Col. Duckworth, the commander of the American side of the camp, asking so many questions, and finally kicked him out of the camp. Many Rangers had to resort to physical force to remove the prisoners, throwing or kicking them out. Once out of the barracks, they were told by the Rangers to proceed to the main gate or the front gate. Many POWs were disoriented because the 'main gate' meant the entrance to the American side of the camp to them. Many POWs collided with each other in the confusion but were led out by the Rangers.


Zero Ward was a makeshift hospital where the sick and weak were placed (zero being the chance of survival). Rangers carried the prisoners out, and many were so light that some Rangers carried two men on their backs.


A lone Japanese soldier was able to fire off three mortar rounds toward the main gate. F Company located the soldier and took him out. Several Rangers and POWs, including battalion surgeon Capt. James Fisher, were wounded in the attack.


The alerted enemy contingent now poured over the bridge in the nearby Cabu River and into the waiting guns of Pajota's USAFFE guerrillas. Pajota had sent a demolitions expert several hours earlier to set charges to go off at 7:40 PM. The bomb went off and did not destroy the bridge, but blew a hole over which tanks could not pass. Squad after squad of Japanese troops rushed the bridge in a suicidal frenzy, and the Filipino guerrillas, armed with American firepower, repulsed all attacks. One guerilla, who had been trained to use the Bazooka only a few hours earlier, destroyed or disabled four tanks which were hiding behind a clump of trees.


After the evacuation of the camp, Capt. Prince personally checked each barrack to make sure no prisoners were left behind.



Long Trek to Freedom

At 8:15 p.m. the camp was secured and Capt. Prince fired his flare to signal the end of the assault. The Rangers and the weary, frail and disease-ridden POWs made their way to the appointed rendezvous at the Pampanga River, a mile away. The Alamo Scouts stayed behind to help with casualties and survey the area for enemy retaliatory movements. Meanwhile, Pajota's men continued to resist the attacking enemy until they finally could withdraw.


Thirty minutes later, the Rangers and POWs reached the river. A caravan of about a dozen water buffalo carts waited there, driven by local villagers organized by Pajota.


During one leg of the return trip, the men were stopped by the Hukbalahap, a group that hated both American and Japanese. They were also rivals to Pajota's men. One of Pajota's lieutenants confered with the Hukbalahap, and came back and told Mucci that they were not allowed to pass through the village. Angered by the message, Mucci sent the lieutenant back to insist that the Force would be coming. The lieutenant came back and told Mucci that only Americans could pass, and Pajota's men had to stay. The agitated Mucci told the lieutenant that both Rangers and guerillas were passing through, or he would call in an artillery barrage and level the whole village. (Actually, Mucci's radio wasn't working). The Huks, as they were called, agreed to let both groups through. Mucci, now a little paranoid, worried that the Lieutenant might be working with the Huks. He took out his .45 pistol, cocked it, and asked the lieutenant if the road was clear. The lieutenant answered yes and Mucci responded, "It's like this. It better be clear. Because you're going to head the column. I'll be right behind you. If there's even a hint of trouble, I'll shoot you first."


As the forces moved through the village, the unharmed Mucci apologized to the Captain.


At 8 o'clock, Mucci's radioman was able to get Sixth Army headquarters on the line. The Sixth Army had captured Talavera, a town ten miles from Mucci's current position. Mucci was directed to go there. At Talavera, the POWs were ordered to board trucks for the last leg of their journey home.



Outcome and Historical Significance

The raid was a tremendous success

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Originally posted by lug

You just saved me $7!

Seriously, I had never even heard of this before, cool story!


Yea it's a pretty good story. I a'ways thought it would be a badass movie. i just have to get out and see it one of these days

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