• World War II in Color

    The Selarang Barracks Incident


    In 1942, four Australian POWs tried to escape from their Japanese prisoner of war camp. The Japanese became so incensed that they ordered every POW in the Changi peninsula to sign an agreement promising not to escape. These prisoners refused.

    In retaliation, the Japanese ordered them to assemble in the Selarang barracks without food or water—all fifteen thousand of them. For four days, the men were forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a space only constructed to hold as few as one thousand people. After four days suffering from dysentery, malnutrition, and dehydration, the Australians relented and signed the agreement.


    Artist Des Bettany 

    Source: World War II in Color

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