Japanese War Crimes

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
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Anzac
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Post by Anzac » 16 Aug 2005 06:54

Short Info On The Sandakan Death March.

The Sandakan Death Marches are the most infamous incident in series of events which resulted in the deaths of more than 6,000 Javanese civilian slave labourers and Allied prisoners of war, held by the Empire of Japan during the Pacific campaign of World War II, at prison camps in North Borneo. Of all the prisoners held at the camps, only about 10 survived the war.

In 1942 Javanese civilians, along with Australian and British POWs, who had been captured at the fall of Singapore, were shipped to North Borneo, to build a military airstrip at Sandakan. As on the Burma Railway, the prisoners were worked hard at gunpoint, were often beaten and received little food or medical treatment. They were held in the area once construction was completed. Most had died as a result of their treatment by early 1945. When Allied landings in the area appeared increasingly likely, the camp commandant, Captain Susumi Hoshijima decided to move the remaining prisoners inland to Ranau, a distance of approximately 260 kilometres (420 miles).

A first phase of marches — through swamps, jungle and mountainous areas — occurred between January and March, 1945. In several groups, 455 POWs, all of whom were malnourished and/or suffering serious illness, started the journey. Although the route took nine days, they were given and made to carry four days' rations. As on the Bataan Death March, POWs who were not fit enough to complete the journey were either killed or left to die en route. The worst was yet to come for the roughly 140 men who completed the journey. In the words of one historian: "Those who survived to reach Ranau were herded into insanitary and crowded huts and many died from dysentery. By 26 June, only five Australians and one British soldier were still alive.

Meanwhile, at the Sandakan camp, some 885 POWs died of hunger and illness between February and May. A second wave of forced marches to Ranau began on May 29, when the camp was closed and destroyed by the Japanese. A group of more than 500 POWs were sent towards Ranau; almost 300 prisoners who were not well enough to move were either killed, or left to die in the ruins of the Sandakan camp. The marchers were even less fit than those in the first phase, were provided with fewer rations and were forced to forage for food along the way. Only 183 POWs remained when the group reached Ranau on 27 June.

By the end of July, when four prisoners escaped, the last to do so, there were only 40 POWs still alive at Ranau and none of these 40 survived the war. They were killed by the guards in August, possibly up to 12 days after the war ended on August 14.

Of the six Allied survivors, all of whom were Australian soldiers, only three survived the lingering effects of their ordeal to give evidence at war crimes trials in Tokyo and Rabaul. Hokijima was found guilty and hanged on April 6, 1946.

It is believed that almost 4,000 Javanese, 1,381 Australians, and 641 British prisoners died at, or between, Sandakan and Ranau.

Taken from - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandakan_Death_Marches

#RP#

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Barry Graham
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Post by Barry Graham » 17 Aug 2005 03:11

My uncle and his best mate died during or following the first Sandakan death march.
They were acting as carriers for Japanese troops being moved across Borneo.
Significantly many of the Japanese troops also died during the Sandakan death marches.

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Barry Graham
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A Japanese perspective on War crimes.

Post by Barry Graham » 18 Oct 2005 06:11

"Hidden Horrors - Japanese War Crimes in World War II" by Yuki Tanaka.
Published 1996 by Westview Press (U.S.A)
Previously published in Japan as "Unknown War Crimes: What Japanese forces did to Australians"

The author of this book was a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University.
The book therefore concentrates on war crimes against Australians - Sandakan, Banka Island massacre, New Britain, cannabilism in New Guinea - but also covers Unit 731, rape and the treatment of "comfort women" in other areas.
Without denying the responsibilty of the Japanese for these crimes the author explores the effects of changing cultural and political factors after World War I that led to the dehumanization of Japanese forces in the Pacific war.

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Post by Desdichado » 10 Jun 2006 18:50

Zebedee wrote:May I recommend Knights of Bushido by Lord Russell of Liverpool. It is not an 'in-depth study' but it is good foundation material giving an overview of both culture and events. I believe it is now back in print.
http://www.greenhillbooks.com/booksheet ... shido.html


I read this back in the early seventies along with its companion "The Scourge of the Swastika" which documented Nazi war crimes. I might suggest a little-known book called "The Fall of Hong Kong" by Tim Carew. Not a long book but it covers the atrocities committed by Japanese troops against civillians and soldiers on Hong Kong. The colony was defended mainly by men of the Middlesex Regiment, the Winnipeg Grenadiers ( who won the only VC) and both Sikh and Rajput units who fought to the death knowing their fate if captured. Although told from the British standpoint, the descriptions of battle ring true when compared with other andecdotal accounts. Try as I might, I have been unable to find anything written on the fight for Hong Kong by Japanese sources. As such, the allegations made in the book stand unrefuted.

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Kim Sung
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Post by Kim Sung » 04 Oct 2006 17:42

Deliberate sinking of Ukishima maru, the least known large-scale war crime, the second biggest maritime disaster in the human history

viewtopic.php?t=94011&highlight=730

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Sewer King
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Sewer King » 06 Mar 2008 05:17

The book Researching Japanese War Crimes: Introductory Essays (US National Archives, 2006) is here available for download. It seems to be a thorough, readable, and masterful guide to its title subject. To accomplish all three is not easy in any highly-specialized history field.

Both beginner and experienced researchers may find the book useful. There are various explanations of subheadings, cautionary mentions, administrative details, controversies, and political pressures at given times that affected the disposition of US archival holdings and their usability.

-- Alan

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Marcus
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Marcus » 08 Mar 2008 12:10

A discussion was split off from this thread to viewtopic.php?f=6&t=136369

/Marcus

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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by JamesL » 13 Mar 2008 23:22

First Into Nagasaki, George Weller, Three Rivers Press, NY 2006.

Murder and maltreatment of Allied POWs at the Mitsubishi Shipyards in Nagasaki and nearby Mitsui coal mines.

Also discusses POW accounts of Hell Ships and Wake Island.

Weller was a war correspondent who made his way to Nagasaki in early September 1945, before Allied troops entered the city. He interviewed 120 Allied POWs as well as Japanese personnel.

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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by David Thompson » 17 Mar 2008 02:41

Three posts by cstunts, Sewer King and Kim Sung which commented on but added nothing by way of sourced facts to this research thread were deleted by the moderator. The comments related to Zhang Chun-Ru (Iris Chang)'s 'The Rape of Nanking', on which we have several open threads already. -- DT.

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Sewer King
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Sewer King » 17 Mar 2008 05:04

The series of war crimes at Chichi Jima in Japan's Bonin Islands, committed against American fliers taken prisoner there in 1944, has two books dedicated to that subject. There have been other, shorter accounts of it since the prosecution of these crimes, including Lord Russell's Knights of Bushido mentioned earlier, but not in this much detail. I am not sure how much the future US President George H.W. Bush had inadvertently added to these books' success, since he narrowly escaped being a possible victim of what they described.

The better-known of the two books is by John Bradley, son of one of the US flag-raisers at Iwo Jima, who wrote Flyboys (Little, Brown & Co, 2003). Despite the success of Bradley's earlier Flags of Our Fathers and the success of its double film treatment, I do not think as much attention or interest followed for the story behind Flyboys.

The better-written of the two books is Chester Hearn's Sorties into Hell: the Hidden War on Chichi Jima (Praeger Publishers, 2003). It gives the reader a more intimate look into most of what is known. Because in particular you see the losing war from the Japanese side, their elaborate attempt to cover up brutality and cannibalism, and how this attempt was broken.

Together these two books depict the conflict within some Japanese soldiers and officers, over humane treatment of their American PoWs and the orders to dispose of them. Hearn's book especially might translate well into Japanese, at least for a limited audience. Since the war in general and war crimes in particular are controversial matters to some in modern Japan, I think these accounts would be good parts of their wider discussion if that was possible beyond their translation.

-- Alan

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HansMarseille
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by HansMarseille » 15 Apr 2008 00:42

http://www.combatsim.com/review.php?id=729
http://www.combatsim.com/review.php?id=730
http://www.combatsim.com/review.php?id=732

Getting Away With Murder 3 parts
This is an over all view of many aspects of Japanese atrocities researced and written by me. Hope it is useful.
"I've fully integrated all the motions of air combat with difficult maneuvers. In combat I make all the motions unconsciously. This lets me concentrate fully on the attack, and fly my plane as though I had wings."- Hans Marseille

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Peter H
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Peter H » 03 May 2008 01:48

Five more who fell despite Japan's surrender

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=57162

A lot of the Death March stories had focused on the six Australian survivors out of 1,793 of POWs taken to Sandakan while all of the 641 British POWs died.

But few realised that even after Japan had surrendered in then North Borneo, 15 Australian soldiers were alive at a hidden jungle camp criss-crossed by roaring rivers, called the third Ranau camp. Of these 15, five were officers and the other 10 ordinary soldiers.

Allied war planes were all over Ranau dropping leaflets announcing the surrender and calling the Japanese Army to come out to lay down their arms. It looked like that 12 days after the end of the war when the five officers were told to walk out to the Kempetai - the Japanese Army's command post in Ranau.

According to Lynette Silver, author of "Sandakan - A Conspiracy of Silence", the five really must have thought they were going to discuss the terms of their release with the Japanese officers.

After a short walk, they stopped and everything looked like just taking a normal rest. Then all of a sudden, the Japanese soldiers walked to the other side of the track, raised their riffles and opened fire!

So the last five surviving Australian officers were shot dead.

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Peter H
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Peter H » 03 May 2008 01:59

Milne Bay 1942

http://www.angelfire.com/alt2/prisoners ... nebay.html

Ramsden saw the bodies of two members of the 61st Inf Bn who had been shot and baynotted. He did not see any tied up, but heard that some were.


When Bicks reached KB Mission where fighting had taken place on the night of the 17th Aug 1942 he found at least six dead Australians who had been tied up with signal wire. From the position of their bodies, they had been bayoneted. At least two had their bodies smashed with rifle bullets fired at close range. They had all been bayoneted in the stomach. They were lying with their knees up.


Capt John Hutchison SOMERVILLE (QX40875)of HQ 7 Inf Brigade stated that "Jock" McMillan was captured by the Japanese after leaving the "Bronzewing" and was later found tied to a coconut tree.


Capt Alan Staden PALMER (SX6543)a Liaison Officer, Milne Force, was on patrol in Rabi Mission about the end of August. When going through a small village, about half a mile inland, he came across the bodies of about eight native dead; men and women. He went into the village with his patrol, and saw, tied to coconut palms, an Australian soldier and two natives. The Australian appeared to have been shot, but it was difficult to tell because of the state of his body. He had been tied with his arms around the tree, and the wire (D.5 telephone cable) had cut deeply into his wrists, suggesting that he was alive when tied to the tree.
He had a pair of tattered shorts and no boots. He was cut down and buried. He had several wounds, probably machine gun bullets, but a firing party could have inflicted them.


Lieut Hugh McCOLM of HQ 18 Inf Bde stated that on the other side of KB Mission, going towards Waga Waga, he saw a militiaman with his hands tied in front, and his stomach badly mauled, apparently bayoneted. His stomach was ripped out. He had been dead about ten days or more.
At Waga Waga, apparently a Japanese HQ, he saw two Australians lying, tied to trees. They were badly bayoneted. They could have been tied standing and slipped down. Their bodies were practically naked. He believed Capt Kendall took their ID Discs and McCOLM gave them to the intelligence Officer of the Brigade.


Sig Henry MAHAFFEY (QX114) of 7 Division Signals saw a native tied, just outside KB Mission, four days after the Japanese landing. He was lying on his side tied behind his back. His hair seemed burnt off and his head was black-looking. He noticed flame-throwers about 500 yards away and he took them to Brigade HQ.
Just beside them was a burnt-out building where there were two Australians terribly burnt. He thought one was an Officer.
They had their hands tied behind their backs. They were among the cinders, and ashes and wore no clothes.
He helped to bury them.
On the other side of KB Mission, he noticed a militiaman with his hands tied to his webbing belt with signal wire.


One witness, Lieut William Battersby MacFARLANE (QX17703) of the 2/12 Inf Bn said that on the other side of KB Mission he saw an Australian soldier tied behind his back and a bayonet was still protruding from his backside. At Waga Waga he saw two members of the 61st Inf Bn with their hands tied together with their hands behind their backs. They had their thumbs and fingers of both hands cut off. They were tied with signal wire.


Pte Robert MASON, (QX4093) of the 2/9 Inf Bn saw two Australian militia tied to a tree and bayoneted. They were slumped at the bottom of the tree. They had apparently been standing up to the tree then slumped over when bayoneted.
Further on he saw a native lying on his stomach with arms outstretched and cut up the crutch. He couldn't tell whether it was a male or female.Two hundred yardsup from Waga Waga, he saw an Australian with is hands tied in front with a white rag. Hs skull was split. He had a deep sword-like cut across the forehead from temple to temple.


Why the SNLF at Milne Bay( 2nd Combined SNLF--5th Kure SNLF,5th Yokosuka SNLF)ran amok there has never been fully explained.Both units were raised in May 1942 and weren't battle hardened but they did have many reservists in their ranks.

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Peter H
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Re: Japanese War Crimes

Post by Peter H » 13 May 2008 07:25

http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/jap_pows.htm

Stanley James Woodbridge

Stanley James Woodbridge was born on 29 August 1921 in Chelsea, London, he son of James Henry and May Ashman Woodbridge, and the wife of Florence Edith Woodbridge, of Chingford, Essex.

At the time of his death, Flight Sergeant Woodbridge was a member of 159 Squadron, RAF(VR).

The events concerning this extremely gallant airman only emerged after the war, during the British war crimes trial of the Japanese persons responsible for the torture and death of Flight Sergeant Woodbridge and his fellow crew members.

To quote from his citation in the London Gazette: "... His fortitude, loyalty to this country, and complete disregard for his own safety constitute one of the highest examples of valour in the annals of the Royal Air Force".

Flight Sergeant Woodbridge was a wireless operator in a Liberator bomber of No. 159 Squadron which crashed in the jungle in Burma on 31 January 1945. Together with five other members of the crew he was captured by the Japanese. All six were subjected to torture in an attempt to make them disclose information which would have been of use to the Japanese Intelligence Service. When they refused to speak, all except Flight Sergeant Woodbridge were beheaded with the Japanese officer's own sword.

The Japanese thought that Flight Sergeant Woodbridge, being the aircraft's wireless operator, was in a position to give them information about wireless equipment, codes and wavelengths. They therefore subjected him to a further period of most brutal torture. His final interrogation was arranged at the place of execution so that Woodbridge would have been in absolutely no doubt that if he refused to talk he would meet the same fate as his comrades. When all efforts to make him speak were fruitless this very brave young airman was beheaded on 7 February 1945.

Flight Sergeant Woodbridge, aged 23 years' old, is buried in Rangoon War Cemetery, Myanmar (Burma) in Collective Grave 3.F 6-9.

The posthumous award of the George Cross to Flight Sergeant Woodbridge was published in the London Gazette on 24 September 1948:

Flight Sergeant Woodbndge was a wireless operator in the crew of a Liberator aircraft which crashed in the ]ungle in Burma whilst engaged inan operation against the Japanese on 3ist January, 1945. Together with five other members of the crew he was captured by the Japanese.

All six weresubjected to torture at the hands of their captorsin an endeavour to obtain information which would have been of use to the Japanese Intelligence Service. Eventually the four non-commissionedofficers were separated and conveyed by motor transport to a forest, where they were put to death by beheading.

Three officers and three non-commissionedofficers of the Imperial Japanese Army weresubsequently brought to trial by a Military Court charged with the torture and murder of the four airmen, they were all found guilty: Three werehanged and three sentenced to terms of rigorousimprisonment.

At the trial it was revealed that the Japanese concentrated their efforts on Flight Sergeant Woodbridge, the wireless operator, in anendeavour to obtain technical information regardingwireless equipment, secret codes, wavelengths, etc.A Japanese technical officer was detailed to makethe interrogation and the services of two interpreters were engaged, but, in spite of repeated torture, including kicking, beating with belts and with asword, Flight Sergeant Woodbridge steadfastlyrefused to reveal any information whatever.

The final interrogation took place actually at the place of execution, when it was obvious to the unfortunateprisoner that he was to be put to death, even sohe maintained his courageous attitude to the end,merely remarking that if the Japanese were going to kill him they should do it quickly. After all effortsto make him speak, including further torture, werefound to be fruitless this gallant non-commissionedofficer was beheaded on 7th February, 1945.

Flight Sergeant Woodbridge behaved throughout with supreme courage His fortitude, loyalty ito hiscountry and his complete disregard for his own safety, even unto death, constitute one of the highestexamples of valour in the annals of the Royal AirForce.

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Peter H
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The Dutch Garden Party

Post by Peter H » 28 Jun 2008 04:50

From Gavan Daws' Prisoners of the Japanese:

..at Tantui POW camp..some of the Dutch were caught trying to smuggle messages out of camp to there wives...these were not military secrets,just personal notes...but it was enough for the Japanese to take thirty-four men and stand them in the sun all day...there were [Japanese] marines around..the [Navy] camp commandant turned two truckloads of these loose,drunk,packing baseball bats and iron pickets.The commandant refered the event with a whistle,like rounds of heavyweight boxing,with the rest of the Japanese cheering the knockdowns.The marines beat the Dutchmen until the last one stopped screaming.No one ever forgot that day.The Australians named it the Dutch Garden Party..


http://members.ozemail.com.au/~pledgerp/PLEPOW.HTM

About 30 Dutch prisoners interned in Tan Tui with Gull Force were caught by the Japanese trying to communicate with their wives who were detained in a camp nearby. The punishment took place on a hill about 30 metres from the Australian camp. The Japanese used pick handles, iron bars, wire cable and other weapons to beat the prisoners. The beating lasted for 2 hours. Three men died and the injuries to the others were horrific.

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