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Blessed Are the Merciful

Nine hours after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese attack the Philippines, starting a war against the United States that was to last four years. Elton and Susan have fallen in love and there is no escape from the Japanese. The soldiers fi ght desperately for six months on the Bataan Peninsula, with the Army nurses at their side, rendering aid when possible. Finally, dying of starvation and disease, the Army discovers that the United States cannot send any supplies or men to fi ght the Japanese because they are committed to the European campaign fi rst. The Army ultimately must surrender. Elton is forced to walk the Death March and to witness horrifying atrocities during the rest of the war at Camp O’Donnell, Cabanatuan, and on the Hell Ships, where Americans are murdered by Japanese cruelty and neglect. Susan is interred at Santo Tomas and secretly aids the Filipino Guerilla movement. Following his escape from a Hell Ship, Elton becomes involved with the Sixth Army Rangers when they free Cabanatuan Prison Camp behind Japanese lines.

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