...often mentioned is that Japanese soldiers would not permit the civilians to surrender and killed those who weakened. This was not borne out, however, by an atrocity investigation which was conducted by five officers from the NTLF G-2 Section. Approximately 150 Japanese and Chamorro civilians were interrogated on this point, and none testified that they were threatened or used as shields by Japanese soldiers. There is a strong possibility, however, that those who would have testified differently are dead.
Akira Takizawa wrote:8,000 to 10,000 civilians were killed on Saipan, while 14, 949 men were interned. So, about 40% of civilians died. It is unknown how many of them committed suicide, but it is said that 1,000 - 1,500 men jumped from Banzai cliff.
Peter H wrote:Its said that some were murdered by Japanese troops but this finding denies this:
Yet the book Oba, the Last Samurai by Don Jones makes no reference to any mass civilian suicides. Instead he repeatedly states that over 90% (12,000) of Japanese civilians on Saipan were captured alive and interned by U.S. forces. Furthermore, Jones implies that a relatively large number of Japanese military personnel were captured alive as well (by Pacific war standards).
Jones served on Saipan.
ChristopherPerrien wrote:Because of this, I have my doubts about the validity of any account Oba may have gave after the war. Similarly, the accuracy/honesty of Don Jones about such things is questionable given the well-known and highly documented history of the battle.
ChristopherPerrien wrote:Gabalon did think much at all (i.e. despised) of Oba in that this "Samurai" ran away from the fighting and hid out until after the battle was over and then just stole food from US depots and managed to murder a few US servicemen in one incident while they were bathing in Tanapeg harbor.
PF wrote:Oba-the last Sumarai-what was his full name/rank/and when did he give himself up? There were at least 3 such holdouts-one was found in the 1970's-another a decade latere in the Phillipines and a third also in the 1980's
His full name was Captain Sakae Oba. He surrendered in December 1945. His claim to fame is not being the longest hold out. Oba did, however, surrender a functioning unit and he also evaded active attempts to capture / kill him in a small area (15 square mile area on Saipan).
I'l try to dig out my book "Suicide Island", by Gabaldon and check up on this in the next few days.
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