High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
historygeek2021
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by historygeek2021 » 18 Mar 2021 20:06

We have:

1. Battlefield casualty reports - near 100% fatality rates, with almost zero wounded and very few Japanese POWs, consistently across nearly all the Pacific Island battles

2. Documentary film coverage and eyewitness testimony from former U.S. marines detailing how they murdered Japanese soldiers

3. Detailed accounts of racist U.S. war propaganda vilifying the Japanese

4. A noticeable change in POW rates when the U.S. military offered incentives, such as 2 weeks leave, for Japanese prisoners captured alive.

It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.

Edit: typo
Last edited by historygeek2021 on 18 Mar 2021 20:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Sheldrake
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Sheldrake » 18 Mar 2021 20:16

Looking at British accounts it seems that it was common to kill any Japanese. Undoubtedly the Allies did not treat the Japanese with the same consideration given to Germans or Italians. This may not have been white racism as there is no evidence that the Indians or Chinese displayed much compassion for Japanese soldiers either.

The Allies were aware that the Japanese culture stressed death before the dishonour of capture. Many wounded men might have been dispatched due to the uncertainty whether a wounded Japanese soldier might want to take one with him. Or at least that might have been the self justification. I suspect the absence of PW hampered allied intelligence.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Mar 2021 20:28

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.
Your logic, as usual, is breathtaking.

https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP3.HTM
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

historygeek2021
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by historygeek2021 » 18 Mar 2021 20:54

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:28
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.
Your logic, as usual, is breathtaking.

https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP3.HTM
This thread isn't about Japanese atrocities. It is about Allied atrocities against the Japanese. Your implication that rank and file Japanese soldiers deserved to be murdered because of atrocities committed by their country would not find justification in any school of ethics.

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Takao
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Takao » 18 Mar 2021 21:00

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
We have:

1. Battlefield casualty reports - near 100% fatality rates, with almost zero wounded and very few Japanese POWs, consistently across nearly all the Pacific Island battles
During the Battle of Luzon, the Japanese suffered some 205,000 killed & 9,000 captured...Yet no such claim is made against the US Army.
2. Documentary film coverage and eyewitness testimony from former U.S. marines detailing how they murdered Japanese soldiers
Which is fragmentary and of isolated incidents.
3. Detailed accounts of racist U.S. war propaganda vilifying the Japanese
Which was practiced by all nations that fought in WW2, it is called "Dehumanizing the enemy," and hardly a singular American practice.
4. A noticeable change in POW rates when the U.S. military offered incentives, such as 2 weeks leave, for Japanese prisoners captured alive.
At which time the Japanese were also decidedly losing the war...Much the same happened with the Germans, few in the early goings, and then surrendering in droves towards the end.
It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.
Yes...7x13=28. I can prove it using addition, multiplication, and division.

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Takao
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Takao » 18 Mar 2021 21:20

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:54
Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:28
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.
Your logic, as usual, is breathtaking.

https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP3.HTM
This thread isn't about Japanese atrocities. It is about Allied atrocities against the Japanese. Your implication that rank and file Japanese soldiers deserved to be murdered because of atrocities committed by their country would not find justification in any school of ethics.
Actually, it does...It goes towards motive.

If you watched your buddy and a corpsmen go out to bring in a wounded Japanese soldier, and the Japanese blows all three of them up with a grenade...Well, you are not going to be inclined to take Japanese prisoners. Invariably, these Japanese "possum" tactics saw the Marines for what was called "Possum Squads" or "Possum Patrols", which went out and shot Japanese bodies, living or dead, in the head, a Japanese life was not worth an American life. It has nothing to do with "racism" and everything to do with "self-Preservation".

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Sheldrake » 18 Mar 2021 21:40

I Looked up the index references in Julian Thompson's Forgotten Voices of Burma based in the IWM's archives. This will give you a flavour of what is our archives

p14 "With the exception of one officer the Japanese butchered all our wounded. News of this got back to us and conditioned my and the whole battalions attitude to the Japs. We were not merciful to them for the rest of the war. We did not take prisoners." John Randle OC B Company 8/10 Baluchs - in reference to the Sittang River Feb 1942.

P121 "You advance on a Jap lying there with a grenade waiting to blow himself up. What can you do? Shoot him!" Private Ivan Daunt 4th Queens own Royal West Kents

P146 " We started not taking prisoners because they were not to be trusted and we heard stories about what they did to prisoners. Aftewer a while we were told to take prisoners. We found it was no use. We didn't let our officers see and killed the prisoners. They would kill themselves anyway. War is not child's play" Signaler Ali Abdul Azis Brimah 5th Gold Coast Regiment.

P177 "We began by ambushing a Japanese truck on the road. Two japs were killed. One hid,was captured and shot. We were supposed to take care of any Jap prisoners, as they were rare, and send them back as soon as possible. We could not do that. The next ambush the truck had ten japs in it....The ran into some paddy fields and returned fire. We killed them all, but it took about forty minutes. They would not surrender. We did not suffer a scratch. The Gurkhas were most impressed by the Japanese persistence and courage" " Major Alex Harper 94 Column 4/9 Gurkhas

P190 "We had three prisoners - I told the Africans not to kill them. The Africans were very puzzled at this. But as I was telling them this there were loud shouts behind me. A Jap NCO had shaken off then hands dragging him thinking he was dead and was brandishing a bayonet trying to shove it into the nearest African...One of my British sergeants shot him dead." Major Charles Carefee OC 29 Column 10th Nigerian Regiment

P215 "We had experienced fighting the Japanese in the Arakan - bayoneting wounded and prisoners. Whereas we respected the Afrika Corps, not so the Japanese. They had renounced any right to be regarded as human and we thought of them as vermin to be exterminated," Major John Winstanley OC B Company 4 Royal West Kent Regiment.

I could go on, but you could read the accounts yourself. I don't think the US Marines would have thought any different to the British, Nepalese, Indians or Africans.

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Takao
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Takao » 18 Mar 2021 21:53

Furthermore, it was not just the Pacific, I have been told of several similar instances happening with US troops in the ETO.

War is hell...So I have been told.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Mar 2021 21:58

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:54
Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:28
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.
Your logic, as usual, is breathtaking.

https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP3.HTM
This thread isn't about Japanese atrocities. It is about Allied atrocities against the Japanese. Your implication that rank and file Japanese soldiers deserved to be murdered because of atrocities committed by their country would not find justification in any school of ethics.
im·pli·ca·tion, /impləˈkāSH(ə)n/, noun, plural noun: implications, the conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated

The implication is yours, not mine. You are inferring that you know my mind and my intent. You don't. Not even close.

in·fer, /inˈfər/, verb, gerund or present participle: inferring, deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements

Instead, you are indulging in that top-ten logical fallacy in argument, the "straw man".
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

historygeek2021
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by historygeek2021 » 18 Mar 2021 22:06

Sheldrake wrote:
18 Mar 2021 21:40
I Looked up the index references in Julian Thompson's Forgotten Voices of Burma based in the IWM's archives. This will give you a flavour of what is our archives

p14 "With the exception of one officer the Japanese butchered all our wounded. News of this got back to us and conditioned my and the whole battalions attitude to the Japs. We were not merciful to them for the rest of the war. We did not take prisoners." John Randle OC B Company 8/10 Baluchs - in reference to the Sittang River Feb 1942.

P121 "You advance on a Jap lying there with a grenade waiting to blow himself up. What can you do? Shoot him!" Private Ivan Daunt 4th Queens own Royal West Kents

P146 " We started not taking prisoners because they were not to be trusted and we heard stories about what they did to prisoners. Aftewer a while we were told to take prisoners. We found it was no use. We didn't let our officers see and killed the prisoners. They would kill themselves anyway. War is not child's play" Signaler Ali Abdul Azis Brimah 5th Gold Coast Regiment.

P177 "We began by ambushing a Japanese truck on the road. Two japs were killed. One hid,was captured and shot. We were supposed to take care of any Jap prisoners, as they were rare, and send them back as soon as possible. We could not do that. The next ambush the truck had ten japs in it....The ran into some paddy fields and returned fire. We killed them all, but it took about forty minutes. They would not surrender. We did not suffer a scratch. The Gurkhas were most impressed by the Japanese persistence and courage" " Major Alex Harper 94 Column 4/9 Gurkhas

P190 "We had three prisoners - I told the Africans not to kill them. The Africans were very puzzled at this. But as I was telling them this there were loud shouts behind me. A Jap NCO had shaken off then hands dragging him thinking he was dead and was brandishing a bayonet trying to shove it into the nearest African...One of my British sergeants shot him dead." Major Charles Carefee OC 29 Column 10th Nigerian Regiment

P215 "We had experienced fighting the Japanese in the Arakan - bayoneting wounded and prisoners. Whereas we respected the Afrika Corps, not so the Japanese. They had renounced any right to be regarded as human and we thought of them as vermin to be exterminated," Major John Winstanley OC B Company 4 Royal West Kent Regiment.

I could go on, but you could read the accounts yourself. I don't think the US Marines would have thought any different to the British, Nepalese, Indians or Africans.
Thanks for sharing this. Truly horrifying accounts of what went on.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Mar 2021 22:43

Takao wrote:
18 Mar 2021 21:00
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
4. A noticeable change in POW rates when the U.S. military offered incentives, such as 2 weeks leave, for Japanese prisoners captured alive.
At which time the Japanese were also decidedly losing the war...Much the same happened with the Germans, few in the early goings, and then surrendering in droves towards the end.
Aside from that, it also isn't exactly true. Overall, Japanese PW rates ran about 5%, which is remarkably low, but also markedly consistent. Low ranges were about 1% and high ranges about 10%.

Japanese military casualties from 1937-1945 are c. 1,834,000, of which 1,740,000 were KIA or MIA and presumed dead. About 388,600 were lost in China, another 210,830 in Southeast Asia (India, Burma, Malaya, and Indochina), and the rest in the Pacific War, so about 1,140,570. Of those, about 300,386 were IJN fatalities mostly at sea on the 334 or so Japanese warships sunk during the war, but also on land, as at Betio, Manila, Iwo and so on that were mainly IJN garrisoned.

Call it 850,000 KIA and MIA in the island battles of the Pacific war. There were also roughly 41,440 Japanese PW, so roughly 4.9% overall. On Okinawa, roughly 7,669 armed Japanese military surrendered, so about 10%. On Iwo, it was 261 of roughly 18,000, so 1.2%. Same period, different results.

Tarawa was 17 of 3,636, so only 0.47%, for armed Japanese. Unarmed Japanese and Koreans was 129 of 1,200, so 10.8%. Same period, different results.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Eugen Pinak » 19 Mar 2021 09:14

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 16:35
Amazing that people are so quick to deny the possibility that American marines committed the same atrocities that basically every other country's soldiers committed in every war ...
Amazing that people are so quick to embrace the theory without evidences :)

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by daveshoup2MD » 20 Mar 2021 04:57

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
We have:

1. Battlefield casualty reports - near 100% fatality rates, with almost zero wounded and very few Japanese POWs, consistently across nearly all the Pacific Island battles

2. Documentary film coverage and eyewitness testimony from former U.S. marines detailing how they murdered Japanese soldiers

3. Detailed accounts of racist U.S. war propaganda vilifying the Japanese

4. A noticeable change in POW rates when the U.S. military offered incentives, such as 2 weeks leave, for Japanese prisoners captured alive.

It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.

Edit: typo
Assumes facts not in evidence, counselor.

Ever been on a jury? I know just the case for you...

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Cult Icon » 20 Mar 2021 05:57

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 06:11
Thanks. I'm sure there were many fanatical Japanese soldiers who fought to the death and committed suicide rather than surrender. I just have a hard time believing that all of the Japanese did this. Most battlefield casualties are wounded. How does a wounded man kill himself? Did the Japanese have a dedicated "honor force" that murdered its own wounded so they wouldn't be captured? How were they able to kill every last one of their soldiers before the U.S. marines arrived to take them prisoner?

I will check out War Without Mercy. Sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for.
The US visual proproganda resembles the Nazi proproganda on the Jews, except reverse- with the Japanese as subhuman monkey barbarians.

Despite the outrage of several posters here on this thread I think you ask some interesting questions. I have not seen these answered adequately but I'm not focused on the Pacific theater. While the Japanese can shoot themselves or kill themselves with a hand grenade it would be interesting to know if there were systematic processes behind this, and whether if was quantified in records.

Shieldrake posted some personal accounts/opinions of UK servicemen, US forces have similar impressions. I am much more interested in the Japanese point of view though, not from those from outsiders. With such a high death rate, and dead men not talking this could limit things..

I also find that some of Shieldrake's accounts, if taken from the Japanese point of view could be seen as heroism, fulfillment of duty & a worthy life until death, and daring defying of Allied captors. These sentiments are not unique to the Japanese. Russian war films on the Eastern front- even today- are filled with tropes glorifying such behavior, such as POW blowing himself and the Germans up with a discovered hand grenade and fighting to the last breath. Whether they actually did so en masse is a separate issue.

The Hagakure, popular with Japanese servicemen in the war has a lot of cases about the right conditions to commit honorable suicide. The Zen approach was fundamentally the reverse of the Western mindset; death is dying every moment, and the final death is placed at the present moment rather than at one's end. The Japanese had seen that death can be a beautiful thing, if it is approached correctly. This is why the impermanent cherry blossoms are such an important iconography. This can be seen in the Hagakure, too. So the dying is the end of a "life calculus" that does not measure its value in its quantity of clock time. And dying for the empire and the emperor was considered a good death.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Hans1906 » 20 Mar 2021 14:11

To set racism against each other makes no sense, that is my personal opinion.
When my American father told about his years in Korea and Vietnam, that was in the summer of the year 2001, at that time the old gentleman only remembered his fallen American comrades.

The man did not speak a single word about the Korean and the Vietnamese victims of both wars, the subject my father refused, and totally.
Should I condemn his attitude at the time, I personally do not do that to myself, because that leads to absolutely nothing.

I feel sorry for the man today, and I am more than grateful that I never had to shoot another human being, that is a great mercy, truly!


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Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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