American troops 'murdered Japanese PoWs'

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Sergey
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American troops 'murdered Japanese PoWs'

Post by Sergey » 08 Jan 2007 21:09

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... world.html
American and Australian soldiers massacred Japanese prisoners of war, according to one of the most detailed studies of memoirs of the Second World War in the Pacific, published this week.
...
Prof Aldrich found several examples confirming what became an American policy in some parts of the Pacific theatre not to take prisoners of war.
...
Prof Aldrich also discovered new diaries showing that American generals worried about the abuse of human remains by their troops.

They were particularly concerned that the skulls of dead Japanese soldiers were often displayed as gruesome mascots by some units, while US marines made a speciality of collecting ears.
...
Prof Aldrich quotes the 1943 diary of Eddie Stanton, an Australian posted to Goodenough Island off Papua New Guinea. "Japanese are still being shot all over the place," he wrote.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story ... 78,00.html
Edgar Jones, an "embedded" Pacific war correspondent, wrote in 1946: "'We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off the enemy wounded, tossed the dying into a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments."

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 09 Jan 2007 01:24

As a World War II US Marine once told me, "We won because we fought dirtier than the Japanese."


I just happen to be reading the book "Ship of Ghosts: The USS HOUSTON." The author talks about the survivors of the sunken ships USS HOUSTON and HMAS PERTH being machinegunned while they were in their life rafts or floating in their life jackets.

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 09 Jan 2007 01:29

This isn't really new Sergey. AFAIK, US Marines routinely shot potential POW's and wounded.

I recently saw some disturbing footage of Japanese wounded being gunned on Iwo Jima, in colour too.

Tony

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 09 Jan 2007 01:31

Five years ago, Robert Lilly, a distinguished American sociologist, prepared a book based on military archives. Taken by Force is a study of the rapes committed by American soldiers in Europe between 1942 and 1945. He submitted his manuscript in 2001. But after September 11, its US publisher suppressed it, and it first appeared in 2003 in a French translation.
Hmmm...that's interesting.

Tony

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Post by David Thompson » 09 Jan 2007 02:21

tonyh -- Your post is off-topic, don't you think?

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coburg22
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Post by coburg22 » 09 Jan 2007 04:02

Hello,

I had Japanese Uncles who fought for both Japan and the USA during the war.
The reason why there was no mercy on that kind of battlefield was because they
were two different ideologies facing off one another in a intense jungle warfare type
of enviroment. The fact that Japanese fought to the death only made the Marines
fight harder and show less mercy after having lost so many of their own comrades.
My Uncles showed no mercy and expected none in return since it was their way of
life to serve and die for the emperor of Japan, like the old samurai. My other uncles
who served in the Japanese/American 442 however were a little more clear headed
especially fighting in Europe. The bottom line is that the US Military had to do what-
ever it took to intimidate the Japanese into surrendering and anything they did I feel
was justified. A small price to pay for freedom.

Coburg22

ChristopherPerrien
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Post by ChristopherPerrien » 09 Jan 2007 04:16

American and Australian soldiers massacred Japanese prisoners of war, according to one of the most detailed studies of memoirs of the Second World War in the Pacific, published this week.

It also discloses that the soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army were far from the cruel, mindless troops of popular legend, and that Gen Douglas MacArthur wanted to launch nuclear strikes on the Soviet Union from an underground airstrip in Britain.
To make implications "of massacres of POWS" by selectively using "pieces of stories" based on 1st person viewpoints, mixed with tales of "nuclear shuttle runs to the SU, from these same diaries I guess, undermines any chance this book of having any objective or research value. Such garble only goes to show how questionable both this article and this book are and what the authors biasnes is.

Granted there are many accounts of variations on the "No prisioners" idea in the Pacific, and it is a good topic issue and we have done it before , but this article or the book the article is promoting is poor way to start.

Chris[/quote]

David Thompson
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Post by David Thompson » 09 Jan 2007 04:59

Allegations, supported by anecdotes which give no details as to time, place, or unit, never make a good start for a discussion. Hopefully the book has more going for it than the newspaper article.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 09 Jan 2007 06:16

I think this topic title should be changed from "American troops..." to "Allied troops...".The practice of despatching Japanese wounded(but not all captured) was not solely a misdeed that was uniquely American.

If I remember correctly the Alanbrooke Diaries mention the MacArthur comments.As with Patton's views on the Soviets,I think these personal views are only relevant if they act as a catalyst to policy changes/adaptions by the powers above.

Richard Aldrich basically has collated a lot of material,some of it well known over the years.Aldrich is a noted expert on South East Asian/Pacific affairs so I think his book will be more well balanced that the article suggests.

The Lindbergh extracts come from the 1970 work The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh.

Extracts here from a revisionist site that I have not linked:
p.998
"Judge not that ye be not judged." It is not the Germans alone, or the Japs, but the men of all nations to whom this war has brought shame and degradation.

pp.996-997
Where had I seen starvation like that before? It was on Biak Island, too. ...the Japanese prisoners ...so starved that they could not stand to walk, thinner even than this Pole. Oh, we had not starved them in a prison camp like the Germans. We had been too "civilized," too clever for that. We had let them starve themselves in the jungle (their own fault) by simply not accepting their surrender. ... It was only necessary to shoot a few men advancing to surrender with their hands in the air. ("You can't trust a Jap to surrender. He'll throw a grenade at you. The only way is to kill him right now.") Or one could be more blunt about it and shout to an enemy emissary, as our infantry officers boasted of doing at the west caves, "Get back in there and fight it out, you sons of bitches."

p.997
A long line of such incidents parades before my mind: the story of our Marines firing on unarmed Japanese survivors who swam ashore on the beach at Midway; the accounts of our machine-gunning prisoners on a Hollandia airstrip; of the Australians pushing captured Japanese soldiers out of the transport planes which were taking them south over the New Guinea mountains ("the Aussies reported them as committing hara-kiri or 'resisting'"); of the shinbones cut, for letter openers and pen trays, from newly killed Japanese bodies on Noemfoor; of the young pilot who was "going to cream that Jap hospital one of these days"; of American soldiers poking through the mouths of Japanese corpses for gold-filled teeth ("the infantry's favorite occupation"); of Jap heads buried in ant-hills "to get them clean for souvenirs"; of bodies bulldozed to the road-side and dumped by the hundreds into shallow, unmarked graves ...to the approval of thousands of Americans who claim to stand for high, civilized ideals.

p.997
As far back as one can go in history, these atrocities have been going on, not only in Germany with its Dachaus and its Buchenwalds and its Camp Doras, but in Russia, in the Pacific, in the riotings and lynchings at home, in the less-publicized uprisings in Central and South America, the cruelties of China, a few years ago in Spain, in pogroms of the past, the burning of witches in New England, tearing people apart on the English racks, burnings at the stake for the benefit of Christ and God. I look down at the pit of ashes....This, I realize, is not a thing confined to any nation or to any people. What the German has done to the Jew in Europe, we are doing to the Jap in the Pacific.

p.881
One prisoner was taken, according to the first report; but an infantry colonel told me later that no prisoners were taken at all. "Our boys just don't take prisoners."


p.882
Some of the bodies had been so badly torn apart that there were only fragments left. And as one of the officers with me said, "I see that the infantry have been up to their favorite occupation",i.e., knocking out all teeth that contain gold fillings for souvenirs.

p.884
One of them had apparently been used for a hospital. One of the bodies on the floor was still lying, partially covered, on a stretcher. This is the cave where the Japs reportedly tried to surrender and were told by our troops to "get the hell back in and fight it out."

p.906
They often bring back the thigh bones from the Japs they kill and make pen holders and paper knives and such things out of them.

p.880
What is courage for us is fanaticism for him. We hold his examples of atrocity screamingly to the heavens while we cover up our own and condone them as just retribution for his acts. I stand looking at the patch of scorched jungle, at the dark spots in the cliffs which mark the caves where the Japanese troops have taken cover. In that burned area, hidden under the surface of the ground, is the utmost suffering - hunger, despair, men dead and dying of wounds, carrying on for a country they love and for a cause in which they believe, not daring to surrender even if they wished to, because they know only too well that our soldiers would shoot them on sight even if they came out with their hands above their heads.

p.919
Before the bodies in the hollow were "bulldozed over," the officer said, a number of our Marines went in among them, searching through their pockets and prodding around in their mouths for gold-filled teeth. Some of the Marines, he said, had a little sack in which they collected teeth with gold fillings. The officer said he had seen a number of Japanese bodies from which an ear or a nose had been cut off."Our boys cut them off to show their friends in fun, or to dry and take back to the States when they go. We found one Marine with a Japanese head. He was trying to get the ants to clean the flesh off the skull, but the odor got so bad we had to take it away from him." It is the same story everywhere I go.

p.996
It seemed impossible that men - civilized men - could degenerate to such a level. Yet they had. ...it was we, Americans, who had done such things, we who claimed to stand for something different. We, who claimed that the German was defiling humanity in his treatment of the Jew, were doing the same thing in our treatment of the Jap. "They really are lower than beasts. Every one of 'em ought to be exterminated." How many times I heard that statement made by American officers in the Pacific! "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?"

Looking back at these type of events they are immoral and unjust,but it should also be remembered that generally no quarter was given by either side in the fighting there.A tit for tat attitude on killings also became the norm.However I have never seem mention of Allied troops torturing,castrating prisoners to slow death as some accounts of Japanese atrocities highlight.

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 09 Jan 2007 13:28

David Thompson wrote:tonyh -- Your post is off-topic, don't you think?
Perhaps...But it's a paragraph from the article that Sergey posted that caught my eye. That's all.

Tony

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 09 Jan 2007 13:31

coburg22 wrote:The fact that Japanese fought to the death only made the Marines
fight harder and show less mercy after having lost so many of their own comrades
...and consequently, maybe a lot of Japanese soldiers fought to the death because they couldn't expect mercy from their enemy.

Tony

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