Bataan,a mountainous peninsula in the southern part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. It shelters Manila Bay from the South China Sea. The peninsula is 30 miles (48 km) long and 20 miles (32 km) wide and much of it is covered with jungle. The highest point, reaching 4,554 feet (1,388 m), is Mount Bataan.
After the Japanese captured Manila in 1942, United States and Filipino forces withdrew to Bataan. Weakened by hunger, disease, and exhaustion, they fought a delaying action for 98 days. On April 9, some 36,000 troops under Major General Edward P. King, Jr., surrendered. The Japanese forced the prisoners to walk 85 miles (137 km) in 12 days to prisons in the north. This "Death March of Bataan" killed more than 5,000 Americans and a much larger number of Filipinos.
Bataan was recaptured from the Japanese in February, 1945.