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Operation Vengeance-Revenge for Pearl Harbor.

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Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Combined Fleet, was the Harvard-educated, poker-playing mastermind of the December 7, 1941, attack.

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On April 14, 1943, naval intelligence scored another code-breaking coup. The message began: “On April 18 CINC Combined Fleet will visit RXZ, R–, and RXP in accordance with the following schedule . . .” Adm. Isokoru Yamamoto was planning an inspection visit of Japanese bases in the upper Solomon Islands. The information immediately went from Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitznimitz

to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox who delivered the news to President Franklin Roosevelt. Reportedly, the president’s response was, “Get Yamamoto.” Regardless of whether or not the president actually said those words, the order was given: kill the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor raid.

 

 

 

 

As Yamamoto was viewed as the architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt instructed Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to give the mission the highest priority.

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Consulting with Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, Commander South Pacific Forces and South Pacific Area, Nimitz ordered planning to move forward. Based on the intercepted information, it was known that on April 18 Yamamoto would be flying from Rabaul, New Britain to Ballale Airfield on an island near Bougainville.

Though only 400 miles from Allied bases on Guadalcanal, the distance presented a problem as American aircraft would need to fly a 600-mile roundabout course to the intercept to avoid detection, making the total flight 1,000 miles. This precluded the use of the Navy and Marine Corps’ F4F Wildcats or F4U Corsairs. As a result, the mission was assigned to the US Army’s 339th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, Thirteenth Air Force which flew P-38G Lightnings. Equipped with two drop tanks, the P-38G was capable of reaching Bougainville, executing the mission, and returning to base.

Overseen by the squadron’s commander, Major John W. Mitchell,

 

53742e57bbc2cb8e4cb1078991ee8d12planning moved forward with the assistance of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Luther S. Moore. At Mitchell’s request, Moore had the 339th’s aircraft fitted with ship’s compasses to aid in navigation. Utilizing the departure and arrival times contained in the intercepted message, Mitchell devised a precise flight plan that called for his fighters to intercept Yamamoto’s flight at 9:35 AM as it began its descent to Ballale.

Knowing that Yamamoto’s aircraft was to be escorted by six A6M Zero fighters, Mitchell intended to use eighteen aircraft for the mission.mitsubishi-a6m-type-0-zero-fighter-01While four aircraft were tasked as the “killer” group, the remainder was to climb to 18,000 feet to serve as top cover to deal with enemy fighters arriving on scene after the attack. Though the mission was to be conducted by the 339th, ten of the pilots were drawn from other squadrons in the 347th Fighter Group. Briefing his men, Mitchell provided a cover story that the intelligence had been provided by a coastwatcher who saw a high ranking officer boarding an aircraft in Rabaul.

Departing Guadalcanal at 7:25 AM on April 18, Mitchell quickly lost two aircraft from his killer group due to mechanical issues. Replacing them from his cover group, he led the squadron west out over the water before turning north towards Bougainville.

Flying at no higher than 50 feet and in radio silence to avoid detection, the 339th arrived at the intercept point a minute early. Earlier that morning, despite the warnings of local commanders who feared an ambush, Yamamoto’s flight departed Rabaul. Proceeding over Bougainville, his G4M “Betty” and that of his chief of staff, were covered by two groups of three Zeros

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Mitchell’s flight of four led the squadron at low altitude, with the killer flight, now consisting of Lanphier, Barber, and spares 1st Lt. Besby F. Holmes and 1st Lt. Raymond K. Hine, immediately behind. Mitchell, fighting off drowsiness, navigated by flight plan and dead reckoning. This proved to be the longest fighter-intercept mission of the war and was so skillfully executed by Mitchell that his force arrived at the intercept point one minute early, at 09:34, just as Yamamoto’s aircraft descended into view in a light haze. The P-38s jettisoned the auxiliary tanks, turned to the right to parallel the bombers, and began a full power climb to intercept them.

The tanks on Holmes’s P-38 did not detach and his element turned back toward the sea. Mitchell radioed Lanphier and Barber to engage, and they climbed toward the eight aircraft. The nearest escort fighters dropped their own tanks and dived toward the pair of P-38s. Lanphier, in a sound tactical move, immediately turned head-on and climbed towards the escorts while Barber chased the diving bomber transports. Barber banked steeply to turn in behind the bombers and momentarily lost sight of them, but when he regained contact, he was immediately behind one and began firing into its right engine, rear fuselage, and empennage. When Barber hit its left engine, the bomber began to trail heavy black smoke. The Betty rolled violently to the left and Barber narrowly avoided a mid-air collision. Looking back, he saw a column of black smoke and assumed the Betty had crashed into the jungle. Barber headed towards the coast at treetop level, searching for the second bomber, not knowing which one carried the targeted high-ranking officer.

 Barber spotted the second bomber, carrying Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki and part of Yamamoto’s staff, low over the water off Moila Point, trying to evade an attack by Holmes, whose wing tanks had finally come off. Holmes damaged the right engine of the Betty, which emitted a white vapor trail, but his closure speed carried him and his wingman Hine past the damaged bomber. Barber attacked the crippled bomber and his bullet strikes caused it to shed metal debris that damaged his own aircraft. The bomber descended and crash-landed in the water. Ugaki and two others survived the crash and were later rescued. Barber, Holmes and Hine were attacked by Zeros, Barber’s P-38 receiving 104 hits. Holmes and Barber each claimed a Zero shot down during this melee, although Japanese records show that no Zeros were lost. The top cover briefly engaged reacting Zeros without making any kills. Mitchell observed the column of smoke from Yamamoto’s crashed bomber. Hine’s P-38 had disappeared by this point, presumably crashed into the water.
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Running close to minimum fuel levels for return to base, the P-38s broke off contact, with Holmes so short of fuel that he was forced to land in the Russell Islands. Hine was the only pilot who did not return. Lanphier’s actions during the battle are unclear as his account was later disputed by other participants, including the Japanese fighter pilots. As he approached Henderson Field, Lanphier radioed the fighter director on Guadalcanal that “That son of a bitch will not be dictating any peace terms in the White House”, breaching security. Immediately on landing (his plane was so short on fuel that one engine quit during the landing rollout) he put in a claim for shooting down Yamamoto.

A success, Operation Vengeance saw the American fighters down both Japanese bombers, killing 19, including Yamamoto. In exchange, the 339th lost Hines and one aircraft. Searching the jungle, the Japanese found Yamamoto’s body near the crash site. Thrown clear of the wreckage, he had been hit twice in the fighting.

Lieutenant Hamasuna noted Yamamoto had been thrown clear of the plane’s wreckage, his white-gloved hand grasping the hilt of his katana sword, his body still upright in his seat under a tree. Hamasuna said Yamamoto was instantly recognizable, his head tilted down as if deep in thought. A post-mortem of Yamamoto’s body indicated two bullet wounds, one to the back of his left shoulder, and a separate bullet wound to his left lower jaw, that appeared to exit above his right eye. The Japanese navy doctor examining Yamamoto’s body determined the head wound killed Yamamoto. (These more violent details of Yamamoto’s death were hidden from the Japanese public, and the medical report whitewashed, this secrecy “on orders from above.

Cremated at nearby Buin, his ashes were returned to Japan aboard the battleship Musashi.

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He was replaced by Admiral Mineichi Koga.

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Several controversies quickly brewed following the mission. Despite the security attached to the mission and the Magic program, operational details soon leaked out. This began with Lanphier announcing upon landing that “I got Yamamoto!” This breach of security led to a second controversy over who actually shot down Yamamoto. Lanphier claimed that after engaging the fighters he banked around and shot a wing off the lead Betty. This led to an initial belief that three bombers had been downed. Though given credit, other members of the 339th were skeptical.

Though Mitchell and the members of the killer group were initially recommended for the Medal of Honor, this was downgraded to the Navy Cross in the wake of the security issues. Debate continued over credit for the kill. When it was ascertained that only two bombers were downed, Lanphier and Barber were each given half kills for Yamamoto’s plane. Though Lanphier later claimed full credit in an unpublished manuscript, the testimony of the lone Japanese survivor of the battle and the work of other scholars supports Barber’s claim.

 

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Japanese Human Target practice

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The Japanese treatment of prisoners of war in World War II was barbaric. The men shown in the above picture are part of the Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army. All of them are sitting in the traditional cross-legged prayer position. They’re probably reciting their final prayers as this picture was being taken. It’s very morbid if you think about it. The vast majority of Indian soldiers captured when Singapore fell belonged to Sikh community. These photographs were found among Japanese records when British troops retook Singapore.

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If you examine carefully the second picture you’ll note a marker hanging over the heart of each prisoner and the stakes in front bear of the rifle. Each target position is marked with a number, indicating that the solider in position one is going to shoot the prisoner on position one, and so on.

The positions where the targets are located is generally called “the butts”. This is a target practice, not a straightforward military execution by firing squad. A firing squad usually has a half-dozen or more shooters per condemned, to guarantee a pretty instant death. In this case, shooters are assigned one per victim. Moreover in a military execution, victims don’t get bayoneted at the end. If any are still alive, the officer in charge should administer a coup de grace with a pistol.Japanese troops using prisoners of war for target practice, 1942 3

The most severe treatment was directed at the Chinese who were killed in large numbers by a variety of brutal means. The killings were conducted in many ways including shooting, burying alive, bayoneting, beheading, medical experimentation, and other methods.a2e13e6832e9f98f827d8bd31755940b

 

Atom Bombed Madonna- A WWII Miracle

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When the atom bomb “Fat Boy” devastated on the 9th of August 1945, one of the buildings reduced to rubble was the city’s Urakami cathedral — then among the largest churches in Asia.

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The blinding nuclear flash that would claim more than 70,000 lives in the city also, in an instant, blew out the stained glass windows of the church, toppled its walls, burnt its altar and melted its iron bell.

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But, in what local Christian followers have likened to a miracle, the head of a wooden Virgin Mary statue survived amid the collapsed columns and scorched debris of the Romanesque church flattened on August 9, 1945.

The appearance of the war-ravaged religious icon is haunting. The Madonna’s eyes have become scorched, black hollows, the right cheek is charred, and a crack runs like a streaking tear down her face.

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The remains of the statue of the Virgin Mary have found a new home inside a rebuilt church, also called St Mary’s, built on the same site, only 500 metres from the bomb’s ground zero.

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Operation Meetinghouse- The Bombing of Tokyo

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“If war with the Japanese does come, we’ll fight mercilessly,” General George C. Marshall told news reporters in an off-the-record briefing on November 15, 1941, three weeks before Pearl Harbor. “Flying Fortresses will be dispatched immediately to set the paper cities of Japan on fire. There won’t be any hesitation about bombing civilians—it will be all-out.”  More than three years of brutal global warfare would pass before Marshall’s prediction came true, but come true it did on the night of March 9-10, 1945.

 An aerial armada of 334 B-29 bombers took off from newly established bases in the Mariana Islands, bound for Tokyo. In the space of a few hours, they dropped 1,667 tons of napalm-filled incendiary bombs on the Japanese capital, killing more than 100,000 people in a single strike, and injuring several times that number. It was the highest death toll of any air raid during the war, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By comparison, the bombing of Dresden a month earlier had resulted in around 25,000 deaths.
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The charred body of a woman who was carrying a child on her back

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The March 9 raid, code-named “Operation Meetinghouse,” marked a shift in American bombing strategy. It wasn’t B-17 Flying Fortresses that did the job, as Marshall had predicted, but the new long-distance B-29s based in Saipan and Tinian.

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General Curtis LeMay, newly appointed as the head of B-29 operations, called for a change in tactics.

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The high-flying bombers had shown themselves on their first missions to be horribly inaccurate in hitting their targets. At a time when the jet stream was still poorly understood, B-29 crews watched as the high winds at 30,000 feet scattered their bombs as soon as they dropped. That, and the frequent cloud cover over Japan, had led to B-29s hitting their targets, on average, less than 10 percent of the time.wczt1gd

 

For the March 9 raid on Tokyo, LeMay made some key changes. The B-29s would overfly the city’s most densely populated areas at 7,000 feet instead of 30,000 feet, in single file rather than in formation. To reduce the risk from Japanese fighters, they would raid at night (in fact the American bombers met with little resistance). And the B-29s would be stripped of nonessentials, including guns and gunners, to make room for more bombs. “By changing tactics and doubling the bombload per plane,” wrote historian Thomas Searle, LeMay created “a force capable of starting enormous firestorms.
U.S. planners knew the wooden Japanese buildings would burn hot. Army engineers had prepared maps of Tokyo’s most flammable sectors, and had observed Japanese-style houses put to the torch in a mock “Japanese village” constructed at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utahtokyo_inflammable_areas

On the night of the Tokyo raid, 15 square miles of one of the world’s most densely populated urban centers—equivalent to half the area of Manhattan—burned to the ground. More than a million people were left homeless. As historian John Dower described in his 1986 book War Without Mercy, “The heat from the conflagration was so intense that in some places canals boiled, metal melted, and buildings and human beings burst spontaneously into flames.”

Watching Tokyo on March 10 from our Evacuation Home in Ibaraki PrefectureArtist: Hashimoto KimisukeLocation: Yoshinuma (Tsukubane City), Ibaraki PrefectureAge at time of raid: 7

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The Umaya Bridge on the Night of March 10Artist: Fukushima YasusukeLocation: Umaya BridgeAge at time of raid: 6

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For Japan, it was a grisly beginning to the war’s end. According to a postwar U.S. estimate, total civilian casualties in Japan as a result of nine months of air attack were about 806,000, including 330,000 deaths—more than the 780,000 combat casualties suffered by Japanese soldiers

 

LIFE VEST FROM JAPANESE ‘HELL SHIP’

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The Nitimei Maru, a Japanese troop ship with around 1,000 Dutch prisoners of war and 1562 Japanese soldiers aboard, departed from Singapore on 29 December 1942.

The prisoners of war were being taken to work on the Burma Railway.

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The Nitimei Maru was just one of many ‘hell ships’, given this name because of the deplorable conditions on board and the frequent beatings by the guards. American planes bombed the ship on 15 January 1943.

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Thirty-eight Dutch prisoners of war were killed. This Japanese life vest, a tangible reminder of that disaster, saved the life of a Mr A.B. Kresmer.

Below is the list of the victims.

Last Names First Names Date of Birth Place of Birth Place of Death
van den Berg Wilhelmus 09-12-1914 Utrecht Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Berkeveld Willem 20-03-1919 Djombang Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van den Biesheuvel Anthony Adrianus 04-05-1914 Rotterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Bouquet Jacob 27-06-1915 Amsterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Bouter Albert 25-05-1911 Den Haag Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Brouwer Eugčne George 26-02-1916 Soerabaja Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Brunet de Rochebrune Alphonse George 29-11-1895 Batavia Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Burg Herman 13-09-1905 Semarang Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Consemulder Adrianus Gerardus 24-09-1912 Amsterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Correlje André 28-03-1918 Rotterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Crugten Henri Hubert André 17-09-1907 Maastricht Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Dumas Rudi 25-03-1920 Batavia Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Evertse Jan Pieter 03-03-1903 Haamstede Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Fleuren Johannes Petrus 06-03-1917 Oeffelt Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van der Gaag Reijer Wijnandus Willem Theodoor 14-09-1915 Utrecht Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
de Haas Adrianus 22-05-1914 Rotterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van den Heuvel Johannes 12-10-1913 Edam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Hoeberechts Louis Joseph Marie 12-08-1902 Maastricht Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van der Hoeven Johannes Hendrikus 25-01-1914 Rotterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Houthuijzen Evert 08-05-1910 Hilversum Gulf of Martaban o/bb Nitimei Maru
Huismans Marinus 11-04-1907 Oss Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Huizinga Wilhelmus Johannes 01-12-1913 Wildervank Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Jansen Johannes 22-02-1912 Zutphen Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Konings Adriaan 06-03-1905 Alkmaar Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van Kooij Jan Thijs 22-01-1922 Cheribon, NOI Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van der Meer Hendrik 24-08-1915 Haulerwijk Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Meijer Jan Frederik 05-02-1907 Utrecht Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Olivier Hendrik 07-05-1915 Deventer Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
van Oorschot Petrus Adrianus Joseph 11-03-1914 Sint-Oedenrode Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Peelen Theodorus Johannes 18-08-1915 Elst Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Snijders Theodorus Marinus 15-05-1909 Haarlem Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Soetens Hendricus 22-04-1919 Vessem Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
von Stockhausen Hans Waldemar Adalbert 11-12-1902 Salatiga Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Tergouw Otto 20-10-1914 Sittard Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Verhoeven Johan Willem 14-09-1912 Paramaribo, Sur. Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Vos Klaas 03-08-1918 Strijen Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Walda Roelof Hendrik 04-05-1922 Bolsward Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru
Zegers Veeckens George Frederik 01-01-1911 Amsterdam Gulf of Martaban o/b Nitimei Maru

 

The evil of Japan during WWII

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Many people forget that the Japanese war crimes were as bad if not worse then those committed by the Nazi’s albeit it on a marginal lesser scale. Beside the crimes and experiment committed by Unit 731 there were a great number of other atrocities, including cannibalism.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/07/01/unit-731-japanese-wwii-experiments/

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In “The Knights of Bushido”, Lord Russell of Liverpool describes an unprovoked murder of two Dutch civilian administrators at Balikpapan in Borneo after the Japanese invaded that Dutch colony in 1942. An eyewitness to the murders gave the following horrific account:

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“I saw a district officer and a police inspector, both in uniform, in conversation with a Japanese Army officer. During the interview, the officer had been continually ill-treating the district officer (a Dutchman), slapping his face and hitting him all over his body with the scabbard of his sword. Suddenly, the officer drew his sword and hacked off both the Dutchman’s arms just above the elbows, and then both his legs above the knees. The trunk of his body was then tied to a coconut tree and bayoneted until life was extinct. The Japanese officer then turned his attention to the Dutch policeman, who had his arms and legs hewed off in like manner. The policeman struggled on to the stumps of his legs and managed to shout ‘God save the Queen’

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He then fell dead, a bayonet through his heart”

Lord Russell relates the story of a young American pilot who was captured, murdered, and eaten by Japanese officers on the island of New Britain. The story is narrated by Havildar Chandgi Ram who had been shipped to New Britain with other Indian Army prisoners of war and forced to work as a slave labourer for the Imperial Japanese Army.

“On 12 November 1944, I was digging a trench for the Japanese in the Totabil area of New Britain. About 1600 hours, a single-engined United States fighter plane made a forced landing about a hundred yards away from where I was working. The Japanese from Go Butai Kendebo Camp rushed to the spot and seized the pilot, who could not have been more than twenty years old, and had managed to scramble out of the plane before the Japs could reach him.

“About half an hour from the time of the forced landing, the Kempei Tai * beheaded the pilot. I saw this from behind a tree and watched some of the Japanese cut flesh from his arms, legs, hips and buttocks and carry it off to their quarters. I was so shocked at the scene and followed the Japanese just to find out what they would do with the flesh. They cut it in small pieces and fried it.

“Later that evening, a senior Japanese officer, of the rank of major general, addressed a large number of officers. At the conclusion of his speech, a piece of fried flesh was given to all present who ate it on the spot.”

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Just a day before the British surrendered Singapore, Japanese soldiers stormed Alexandra Military Hospital and slaughtered its occupants, including the medical staff and patients. Even those undergoing surgery were not spared.

Following the massacre, the Japanese forced those left to clean up the mess and then herded them into cramped rooms. When morning came, the Japanese rounded up the 200 survivors (some died during the night) and bayoneted them in the courtyard. Only five survived the second massacre by hiding in a storm drain.

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Japan did not subscribe to the Geneva convention and systematically mistreated and tortured the POW’s . They even used them as target practice(1st picture above)

Close to 200,000 Prisoners of War died during the construction of the Burma-Thailand(death) Railway.

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3,098 Dutch (19%)
6,904 English (29%)
2,646 Australians (31%)
131 American (23%)
180,000 Asiatic (90%)

Even the small South Pacific island of Nauru did not escape the horrors of the war. During their occupation of the island, the Japanese committed a string of atrocities, and a few stood out for their brutality.

After a raid on the island’s airfield by American bombers on March 1943, the Japanese beheaded and bayoneted five interned Australians in retaliation.

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That same year, the Japanese also forcibly deported more than 1,000 indigenous inhabitants as labor to other occupied islands to conserve rations.

During their occupation, the Japanese singlehandedly exterminated the island’s leper colony. Stowing the island’s 39 lepers on a boat, the Japanese led them far out to sea and out of sight. Afterward, Japanese gun boats fired at the vessel, sinking it and killing all onboard.

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One of Japan’s most notorious submarines, the I-8, is best remembered for sinking two Allied ships and for the crew’s terrible conduct in the aftermath.

On March 26, 1944, the sub spotted and sank the Dutch freighter Tsijalak hundreds of miles off the coast of Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Japanese took 103 survivors onboard and massacred them with swords and sledgehammers. They then bound those still alive and left them on deck as the submarine dove below. Only five survived the ordeal.

Just a few months later, the Japanese destroyed the US cargo ship Jean Nicolet and subjected the survivors to the same brutal treatment. The Japanese tortured and killed their prisoners by making them pass through a gauntlet of swords and bayonets before throwing their bodies overboard. The Japanese later dove after spotting an Allied aircraft, with 30 prisoners still above deck. Only two dozen of the 100-plus prisoners survived.

The list of atrocities is neatly endless and these ones weren’t ever the worse, China was suffered most under the Japanese. The rape of Nanking or Nanking Massacre took place between December 13, 1937 – January 1938. The numbers killed are unknown but the consensus is anywhere between 50,000 and 300,000.

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Early in 1945, General Yamashita planned for his men to evacuate Manila and fight in the countryside. However, two Japanese admirals ignored his order and committed their men to a final stand inside the city. When the Americans arrived, the Japanese forces realized that they faced certain death and vented their rage on the hapless civilians trapped inside their lines.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/08/10/the-manila-massacre/

For weeks, the Japanese raped, pillaged, and murdered. Aside from the bayonets and beheadings, they machine-gunned captives and set fire to buildings with people trapped inside. The Americans ceased artillery strikes so the Japanese could surrender, but the Japanese instead continued their rampage.

 

 

After the dust settled, all Japanese defenders of the city had died, taking with them 100,000 civilian casualties. The incident left Manila as one of the Allies’ most damaged capital cities, second only to Warsaw.

Operation PX-Planned Japanese Bio-Chemical attack on the USA.

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Operation PX was the codename for the Japanese plan for a biological terror attack on the U.S. west coast in World War 2. The planned operation was abandoned due to the strong opposition of Chief of General Staff Yoshijirō Umezu, as well as the Japan surrender following the atomic bombings and the Soviet declaration of war.

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Operation PX, also known as “Cherry Blossoms at Night” was proposed in December 1944 by the Japanese Naval General Staff, led by Vice-Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa. The name for the operation came from the Japanese use of the code name PX for Pestis bacillus-infected fleas.

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In planning the operation, the navy partnered with Lieutenant-General Shirō Ishii of Unit 731, who had extensive experience on weaponizing pathogenic bacteria and human vulnerability to biological and chemical warfare.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/07/01/unit-731-japanese-wwii-experiments/

The plan for the attack involved Seiran aircraft launched by submarine aircraft carriers upon the United States West Coast – specifically, the cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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The airplanes would spread weaponized bubonic plague, cholera, typhus, dengue fever, and other pathogens in a biological terror attack upon the United States. Even the submarine crews would infect themselves and run ashore in a suicide mission

Planning for Operation PX was finalized on March 26, 1945, but shelved shortly thereafter due to the strong opposition of Chief of General Staff Yoshijirō Umezu. Umezu later explained his decision as such: “If bacteriological warfare is conducted, it will grow from the dimension of war between Japan and America to an endless battle of humanity against bacteria. Japan will earn the derision of the world.”

A final planned use of the biological weapons came just after the Japan surrender, as Shirō Ishii planned to stage suicide germ attacks against U.S. occupying troops in Japan. This planned attack never took place either, due to opposition from Yoshijirō Umezu and Torashirō Kawabe, who did not want Ishii to die in a suicide attack, and asked him to instead “wait for [the] next opportunity calmly.”

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After the war, Operation PX was first discussed in an interview by former captain Eno Yoshio, who was heavily involved with planning for the attack, in an interview with the Sankei newspaper on August 14, 1977. According to Yoshio, “This is the first time I have said anything about Operation PX, because it involved the rules of war and international law. The plan was not put into actual operation, but I felt that just the fact that it was formulated would caused international misunderstanding. I never even leaked anything to the staff of the war history archives at the Japanese Defense Agency, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about it even now. But at the time, Japan was losing badly, and any means to win would have been all right

Pearl Harbor

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Today marks the 75th anniversary of Japan’s biggest mistake in WWII, the attack on Pearl Harbor

Allegedly Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” after the attack and he was proven to be right.

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Inevitably the US would have been involved at some stage but the Pearl Harbor attacks made them more determined.

Rather then going into too much detail of that fateful day I will post pictures below,because after all a picture paints a thousands words.

The Media:

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on War Fatalities in Hawaii

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USS Arizona

Mortally Wounded and Sinking

USS West Virginia and USS Tennessee

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The Attack

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The aftermath

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The real Bushido code-the good Japanese soldiers.

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Bushido was really a code of chivalry to have respect for your enemy. During WWII the Japanese Army turned it to something more sinister.They turned it more into a code of death and destruction. Fortunately there were still some soldiers who decided to honor the real Bushido code.

Mario Tonelli was just one of 72,000 men who took part in the infamous 1942 Bataan Death March, in which the Japanese Army forced defeated Filipino-American forces to walk from their former bastion of Bataan to nearby concentration camps. During the days-long march, thousands of prisoners fell by the wayside due to disease or injuries. They also had to endure the brutal treatment of captors who beat, bayoneted, and shot those too weak to trudge on.

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Like his comrades, Tonelli was exhausted and on the verge of giving up, when he encountered the unlikeliest source of inspiration. It all started when a Japanese soldier took Tonelli’s class ring from him. Tonelli had been a college football star at Notre Dame and wore that ring with him to the Philippines. Shortly afterwards, a Japanese officer came up to the astonished Tonelli and handed him back his ring. He explained that he had once been a student at the University of Southern California and had watched Tonelli’s Notre Dame decisively beat his team in 1937. He knew how much that ring meant and he just had to return it. That little incident gave Tonelli the hope he needed to survive the rest of the war.

Probably one of the last things you could expect from a Japanese soldier during the Second World War was mercy. Yet in the closing days of the war, one Japanese pilot broke that stereotype and showed his sense of honor by sparing a defenseless enemy. Corporal Hideichi Kaiho and his fellow pilots had been engaged in a dogfight with American B-29s over Tokyo in 1945. The Japanese managed to down one bomber and force its crew to bail. One of the men, navigator Raymond “Hap” Halloran was parachuting at 3,500 feet when he was spotted by Kaiho and two other Japanese planes. Halloran knew full well the Japanese took no prisoners—so he figured he might at as well wave at the three planes.

Miraculously, two of the planes went away, while the one flown by Kaiho continued to fly around and protect him.

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Over five decades later, Halloran would meet and thank the man who saved him that day. Kaiho later revealed that his commander encouraged him and his fellow pilots to observe the real Bushido code (the one not corrupted by the Japanese military), which espoused graciousness towards the enemy.

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The USS Indianapolis, led by Captain Charles McVay, was ordered to head toward Guam by going through the Leyte Gulf. What the U.S. Navy didn’t tell him was the Leyte Gulf at the time was a haven for Japanese submarines, and that ships passing through should do so with extreme caution.

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Lacking the intel that he was in unfriendly waters and exercising his order to perform evasive maneuvers “at his discretion,” McVay told the crew to just head straight forward, and bid them a good night. Unfortunately the Japanese submarine I-58, captained by Mochitsura Hashimoto, noticed the Indianapolis heading straight toward it and immediately sank it.

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McVay survived and World War II ended, but soon thereafter he found himself in a court martial for negligence in the sinking of his ship (probably as a scapegoat to cover for the other Navy guys who completely botched the Indianapolis’ travel instructions and subsequent rescue.

In the trial, the U.S. Navy made the fairly unprecedented step of bringing in Hashimoto as a witness . He was brought in as a witness for the prosecution, expected to talk about the gross incompetence of the American captain, hoping he would seal McVay’s fate. Rather unexpectedly, when Hashimoto took the stand he outright defended McVay, stating that no matter what he had done, the Indianapolis still would have been hit by his torpedoes.

The U.S. Navy still found McVay guilty regardless of what Hashimoto said, demoting him and basically ruining his naval career. Though Admiral Nimitz would wind up promoting McVay back to his old rank soon thereafter, the trial decision still stood — that is, until Hashimoto decided to help McVay out again. Hashimoto sent a letter to Senator John Warner, an action that helped lead to McVay being exonerated.

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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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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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