notes from a japanese prisoner of war who was captured by the soviets during WWII
poignant and insightful. amazingly upbeat and optimistic while people were dying around him.
"By the end of World War II about 600 thousand Japanese soldiers and officers have been held captive in thousands of prison camps on a territory, stretched from Kamchatka in the East, across Urals to European part of USSR in the West and Yenisei Basin in the North.
The History Chapters not only hold Japanese Army sound victories but also atrocities of defeat that I intend to tell about to the new generation. I decided to draw these pictures in memory of those of my comrades-in-arms, who were not destined to return home.."
I just read a book by a Japanese-American, Peter Sano, who was captured by the Soviets at the end of WWII and sent to Siberia.
He was born a US citizen in California, and as a teenager, was sent to Japan to help out his aunt and uncle, who didn't have any children.
Trapped in Japan by the war, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army, and sent to Manchuria in August 1945. His unit surrendered to the Soviets shortly thereafter, and he spent about three years as a POW before being returned to Japan. Shortly thereafter, he made his way back to the US, where he has remained.
The father of one of my former students was also captured by the Soviets while serving in Manchuria, and spent five years in the Gulags. He had a pretty difficult time, and was allowed to return to Japan only after he pretended to be a believer in Stalin and Communism.
Actually, there wasn't a whole lot of fighting between the two countries. Initially, the Japanese attempted to launch an invasion of Siberia, but got their asses handed to them by a relatively unknown (at the time) general named Georgi Zhukov. The Japanese and Soviets signed a non-aggression pact, which kept the two countries at peace with each other until the closing weeks of WWII, when the USSR turned on Japan.
if you want some good reading, I'd recommend books on the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War.
Japanese Army sound victories but also atrocities of defeat
Sound Victory ? this sounds like a propaganda slant, revisionist Japan again trying to portray itself as the victim of world war 2. The atrocities Hirohito's men committed made the gulags look like a teddy bear's picnic, I don't feel sorry for any of them.
Very interesting post. I have been always interested in reading about the Soviet-Japanese battles but have either not had time or could not find any good books. Anybody have some suggestions? Lokos?
For starters (supposing you do not speak Japanese):
Glantz, David: The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria 1945 (Cass Series on Soviet (Russian) Military Experience, 7). Routledge, 2003
More stuff by Glantz on the subject matter: http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/car...z3/glantz3.asp http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/car...z4/glantz4.asp
One caveat: Note that many claims on Japanese strength, OOB, casualties etc. are not or insufficiently backed by archival research.
Khalkin-Gol/Nomonhan and the series of border skirmishes in Manchuria/Mongolia in 1938/1939 are better covered, especially by Coox, Sasaki, Drea, etc. You should have no difficulty finding a comprehensive selection of literature.
More revisionist history from you again ? Yes Mao was a nasty piece of work, but remember his nastiness came after the war and back then Japanese were not just butchering commies they also did some horrible stuff to Americans, Taiwanese, Koreans, British etc and I don't see how Lhasa really related to the grievances of your worshiped otosan, he got five years which is a small price compared to the allies and civilians who got death on the marches and these people have no voice. Mr gaijinsamurai what are you really saying on the Chinese, you don't like their 'race' or perhaps you're saying one wrong justifies another ? BTW the Japanese really did some strange stuff during the war, way beyond the rules of combat but they still love to portray themselves as the victim of Western imperialism. I'm not saying the Gulags and Atomic bombs were great, people suffered and it was paid for in blood but remember who started this thing. Have you been so Japanized that you forgot it was Japan which was the aggressor in WW2 ?
This thread wasn't about the policies of the Japanese Government or the criminal actions of Tojo and the right-wing nationalists who controlled Japan before and during WWII. This is about the experiences of ordinary soldiers, who like in most countries' armies, have been swept up in war through conscription or circumstances, and try to make it through the best they can.
Yes, Japan did some absolutely awful things during WWII, and many of those who were responsible for the atrocities such as what went on in Nanking and Bataan got away with their crimes. I don't blame Chinese (of whom I have many friends), Koreans, and other people who were victims of their aggression for their anger.
But, this thread is not about that. It's about ordinary soldiers, many of whom had nothing to do with atrocities. But if you want to turn it into a "Japan-Hate" fest, go ahead. I'll just choose to ignore it.