Bataan is a province of the Philippines occupying the whole portion of the Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. The province is part of the Central Luzon region. The capital of Bataan is Balanga City and it is bordered by the provinces of Zambales and Pampanga to the north. The peninsula faces the South China Sea to the west and Subic Bay to the north-west, and encloses Manila Bay to the east.
The Battle of Bataan is famous in history as one of the last stands of American and Filipino soldiers before they were overwhelmed by the Japanese forces in World War II. The Bataan Death March was named for this province, where the infamous march started. This is also the location of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant located in the Municipality of Morong.
The province of Bataan was established in 1754 by Governor-General Pedro Manuel Arandia out of territories belonging to Pampanga and the corregimiento of Mariveles which, at the time, included Maragondon, Cavite across the Manila Bay.
World War II
Shortly after the Japanese Army invaded the country in December 1941, the combined US and Filipino forces were being gradually overrun and General Douglas MacArthur moved his troops to the Bataan Peninsula in an attempt to hold out until a relief force could be sent from the US. Japanese forces started a siege of the peninsula on January 7, 1942, and launched an all-out assault on April 3, a few months after the Battle of the Points. The majority of the American and Filipino forces surrendered on April 9 and were forced to march more than a from Bataan to Tarlac, which became known as the Bataan Death March.