Masanobu Tsuji-Japanese Colonel and part time Cannibal.

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Masanobu Tsuji (11 October 1901 – ca.1961) was a Japanese army officer and politician. During World War II, he was an important tactical planner in the Imperial Japanese Army; he developed the detailed plans for the successful Japanese invasion of Malaya at the start of the war. He also helped plan and lead the final Japanese offensive during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

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Tsuji was deeply involved in Japanese atrocities throughout the war. He evaded prosecution for war crimes at the end of the war, living in hiding in Thailand. He returned to Japan in 1949 and was elected to the Japanese Parliament(Diet) as an advocate of renewed militarism. In 1961, he disappeared on a trip to Laos.

Tsuji was among the most aggressive and influential Japanese militarists. He was a leading proponent of the concept of gekokujō, “leading from below” or “loyal insubordination” by acting without or contrary to authorization. He incited the 1939 border clash with the USSR, and was a vehement advocate of war with the United States.

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Masunobu Tsuji was born in the Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan. He received his secondary education at a military academy and then graduated from the War College.

By 1934, he was active in the Army’s political intrigues as a member of the Tōseiha (“Control Faction”), and helped block the attempted coup d’état of the rival Kōdōha (“Imperial Way Faction”). This brought him the patronage of general and future Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and general and future War Minister Seishirō Itagaki.

In 1932, he saw action in China, and subsequently travelled as far as Sinkiang. Tsuji served as a staff officer in the Kwantung Army in 1937-1939. His aggressive and insubordinate attitude exacerbated the Soviet–Japanese border conflicts, and helped incite to the Battle of Khalkhin Gol in 1939.

After the defeat at Khalkin Gol, Tsuji opposed any further conflicts with the USSR. His protectors in the Army got him safely transferred toTaiwan, where he helped organize the Army’s jungle warfare school. He was then assigned to the Operations Section of the General staff, where he became a strong advocate of war with the United States and Britain. It has been alleged that in late 1941, he planned the assassination of Prime Minister Konoye, if Konoye achieved peace with the U.S

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When the war with America and Britain started, Tsuji was on the staff of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, whose army invaded Malaya.He was largely responsible for planning Yamashita’s successful landing in Malaya and subsequent campaign against Singapore.After the capture of Singapore, Tsuji helped plan the Sook Ching – a systematic massacre of thousands of Malayan Chinese who might be hostile to Japan.

He was then transferred to the staff of General Homma in the Philippines. After the U.S. surrender there, Tsuji sought to have all American prisoners killed, and encouraged the brutal mistreatment and casual murder of prisoners in the Bataan Death March.

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https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/11/bataan-death-march/

He also had many captured officials of the Philippines government executed.

Tsuji planned the Japanese overland attack in New Guinea, via the Kokoda Trail. In this as in other operations, he ordered bold offensive moves regardless of difficulties or the costs to the troops involved.

In late 1942, Tsuji went to Guadalcanal, where he planned and led the last major Japanese attack on October 23–24. After these attacks were defeated, Tsuji went to Tokyo in person to urge additional reinforcements. But he then accepted the Navy’s conclusion that nothing could get through, and recommended the evacuation of the remaining troops. He impressed the Emperor with his frankness.

But the Guadalcanal fiasco had discredited him. He was sent to the Japanese HQ in Nanking, which was largely inactive, for the next year. While there, he made contacts with various Chinese, including both collaborators and agents of Chiang Kai-shek’s government.

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In mid-1944, Tsuji was sent to Burma, where Japanese forces had been repulsed at Imphal. Tsuji was assigned to 33rd Army, which faced the Chinese in northeastern Burma. He was an energetic and efficient planner, if notoriously arrogant, and once helped quell panic in the ranks by ostentiously having a bath under fire in the front lines.

Allegations of having committed cannibalism – by dining on the liver of a downed allied airman – arose after reports by a group of Japanese war correspondents and a fellow Japanese officer.

Following the surrender, Tsuji escaped to Japan via Indochina(Vietnam) and China disguised as a Buddhist priest.

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Arriving in Japan in 1949, after the Far East Tribunal had completed the trials of the major war criminals, he escaped attention from Allied occupation authorities and was elected to the Diet in 1952. The next year he founded a military rearmament society, denouncing the American presence in Japan and openly advocating for the rearmament of Japan in preparation for a second, final war with the United States. He was reelected to the Diet in 1956 in spite of being denounced for his war crimes by Kawaguchi Kiyotake. Tsuji wrote a number of books and articles on his experiences, of which his account of the Malaya campaign from the Japanese side has received the most attention from Western historians.  His writings should, however, be taken with a grain of salt

In April 1961, he traveled to Laos and was never heard from again. He may have been killed in the Laotian Civil War, but there were also rumors that he became an adviser to the North Vietnamese government. He was declared dead on July 20, 1968.

He held strong “pan-Asian” views and thought that the people of other Asian countries should support Japan against Western powers. His ultra-nationalist and militarist views and his war record won him the support of many like-minded Japanese nationalists, to the end of which his supporters erected a statue of him in Kaga City, Japan.

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In a bizarre twist, recently declassified CIA files show that an attempt was made to recruit Tsuji as an intelligence agent after he came out of hiding. However, he proved useless, the CIA concluding that “In either politics or intelligence work, he is hopelessly lost both by reason of personality and lack of experience… Tsuji is the type of man who, given the chance, would start World War III without any misgivings”

 

 

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Chichijima incident-Cannibalism in WWII and George H.W. Bush’s remarkable survival.

This story is best to be categorized as creepy. There is one other story I came across which is creepier ,about an allied Army unit stationed in neutral Switzerland, where a soldier, Private Reginald, had complete gone insane in and kidnapped and ate several children. But I could not find any evidence if this actually happened or if it was just a ghost story told by some grandfather.

However the Chichijima incident did really happen and it does include cannibalism. One of the survivors,  is George H.W. Bush , the 41st President of the USA.In fact he was only 1 of the 2 survivors

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The Chichijima incident  occurred in late 1944, when Japanese soldiers killed and consumed five American airmen on Chichi Jima, in the Bonin Islands.

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George H. W. Bush, then a 20-year-old pilot, was among nine airmen who escaped from their planes after being shot down during bombing raids on Chichi Jima, a tiny island 700 miles (1,100 km) south of Tokyo, in September 1944. Bush was the only one to evade capture by the Japanese. After the war it was discovered that the captured airmen had been beaten and tortured before being executed. The airmen were beheaded on the orders of Lt Gen. Yoshio Tachibana.

American authorities claimed that Japanese officers then ate parts of the bodies of four of the men.

Lt. George Bush was a 20-year-old pilot when in the waning days of the war (September 1944) his Avenger airplane was shot down by Japanese forces.

In a decision which almost certainly saved his life, Bush ditched his burning plane further from the island than other crews. Retired squadron mate Charlie Bynum recalls:

“We saw him in the water. And we saw the Japanese boats coming out from land to pick him up. They had guns on them”

Bush managed to scramble onto a life raft while American planes launched a hail of fire at Japanese boats which had set out to capture the downed airman. The Americans drove back the Japanese boats and Bush, who was vomiting and bleeding from a head wound (his head struck the tail of the airplane as he exited the aircraft), was rescued from the waters by a US submarine (the USS Finback).

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Details of Bush’s crash and rescue have long been known to Americans – he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions. What was not known, was that Bush’s downed comrades made the mistake of swimming to the island’s shore where a fate worse than death awaited them.

It was originally believed that eight other men from the downed aircrafts had simply disappeared while trying to swim to the island’s shore. When details of their true demise were discovered during war crime trials in Guam, the files of the missing soldiers were sealed sparing their families further grief. It was found that those who had been captured on the island were tortured, beaten, and executed. Some were beheaded with swords while others were stabbed repeatedly with bayonets and sharpened bamboo stakes. Some were bludgeoned to death. After the brutal execution, the men were butchered by island surgeons, cooked, and eaten by battalions and senior Japanese officers. In at least one instance, it is believed that in order to keep the meat fresh, the victim was kept alive and extremities amputated one-by-one.

The names of the eight aviators executed are:

Navy Aviation Radioman Jimmy Dye, from Mount Ephraim, New Jersey
Navy Pilot Floyd Hall from Sedalia, Missouri
Navy Aviation Radioman Marve Mershon from Los Angeles, California
Marine Pilot Warren Earl Vaughn from Childress, Texas
Navy Aviation Radioman Dick Woellhof from Clay Center, Kansas
Aviation Gunners Grady York from Jacksonville, Florida
Navy Aviation Gunner Glenn Frazier from Athol, Kansas
Navy Pilot Warren Hindenlang of Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The pictures below are of Marvie Mershon and Warren E Vaughan, I believe.

The ninth aviator, Navy Pilot William L. Connell from Seattle, Washington was held as a Prisoner of War until the end of hostilities in September 1945..

This case was investigated in 1947 in a war crimes trial, and of 30 Japanese soldiers prosecuted, five (Maj. Matoba, Gen. Tachibana, Adm. Mori, Capt. Yoshii, and Dr. Teraki) were found guilty.Tachibana was sentenced to death, and hanged.n his book Flyboys: A True Story of Courage, James Bradley details several instances of cannibalism of World War II Allied prisoners by their Japanese captors.The author claims that this included not only ritual cannibalization of the livers of freshly killed prisoners, but also the cannibalization-for-sustenance of living prisoners over the course of several days, amputating limbs only as needed to keep the meat fresh.

Later interviews suggest George Bush Sr. was greatly troubled over his survival (he did not learn about the cannibalism until many years later).  In 2004, the former President returned to Chichi Jima island with a film crew to recreate the harrowing rescue at Chichi Jima. He recalled that while on the submarine, he wondered why he had survived while others had perished on the island.