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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 10/4/2004 6:22:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 6:30:19 PM EST by AClay47]
In WW2, Japanese soldiers fought to the last man, battle after battle, against Americans. It is commonly said they fought under the Code of Bushido. the Samurai Code of Warfare. Is that really true? After all, about a quarter million Japanese surrendered to Soviet troops when that country joined the War after an expired peace treaty. Did the Japs fight to the death against Americans because they had less respect for our troops, than for the Red Army which cleaned their clock beofre we were in the War?

One author suggests Japanese did not surrender to Americans, because returning prisoners from Japan's previous major war with Russia in 1904-5 had been treated as social outcasts. The Field Service Code issued by General Tojo in 1941 put it more explicitly:

Do not live in shame as a prisoner. Die, and leave no ignominious crime behind you.

I don't buy that since they surrendered wholesale to the same army in 1945.

One highly respected American historian, John Dower, suggests surrender may not have been a realistic option, because the attack on Pearl Harbor provoked a rage bordering on the genocidal among Americans. Not only did Admiral William Halsey, Commander of the South Pacific Force, adopt the slogan 'Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs', public opinion polls in the United States consistently showed 10 to 13 per cent of all Americans supported the 'annihilation' or 'extermination' of the Japanese as a people. See, Japan: No Surrender in World War Two. I wonder whether Japanese troops had any idea of America's public sentiment.

See also, THE SOVIET ARMY OFFENSIVE: MANCHURIA, 1945
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 6:34:52 PM EST
Forgot the author, but he was an American PoW captured in the Philippines and was sent to Manchuria as slave labor. War's over but no Allied troops have come to liberate them. The Japanese guards simply get up and disappear. He's peddling around town (the Manchurians bear no grudge as they know the Allies are their friends) when he meets a Japanese captain with his fully armed company. The captain attempts to surrender to the bicyclist ex-PoW. The bicyclist ex-PoW refuses to accept their surrender and tell them to turn themselves into the Russians who are e/r. The Japanese Captain is crestfallen. The American says "sayonara" and peddles off. The Japanese Captain and his men chase him with cries that they want to surrender to him. The American went back to the camp where they close the gates to keep the Japanese Captain and his men out. They never showed up.

The book, Never Plan Tomorrow.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 1:27:00 AM EST
The Japanese reactions towards the Soviets in Manchuria, 1945 was not one of respect but rather a gross underestimate of the Russian's military ability and terrible intelligence. Exactly the same reasons for their dismal performance in 1939.

Following the fall of Iwo Jima, the Japanese military removed all elite divisions including the only armour division (1st) from Manchuria. The total decrease was roughly 1/3 of men and materials removed. The remaining forces were only about 15% combat effective.

Gross miscalculations of the Russian military:
Following their battles against the Germans the Russians had refined their military tactics and tank spearheads played an important role. The Japanese had few tanks, no artillery larger than 75mm, and no modern anti-tank weapons. The prefered method of attack against Soviet tanks was suicide attacks.

Gross intelligence errors:
The Japanese Army Intelligence failed to note that 650,000 Russian troops were massed on the western border prior to the attack. The Japanese were sure that the Russians were not going to attack until September. Many Japanese units did not arrive to their defensive points until a day or two before the Russian attack.

Back to Bushido:

IGHQ issued orders that the nation and government of Japan would not regard servicemen "delivered" to the enemy as a result of the cease-fire order (August 17) as having surrendered under the old law. Thus there was no reason to kill yourself. The Soviets claim that the Japanese did not surrender until August 19th though this may have been a ploy by the Soviets to secure more land. Prior to the IGHQ order there were many instances of Japanese fighting to the death as seen against the Americans. Most of the 594,000 that surrendered did so after the IGHQ order.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:25:56 AM EST
Interesting! I wasn't aware of the Order you mentioned. It definitely sheds light on the subject.

I wondered how Japanese soldiers could be expected to adhere to the Code of Bushido after their government itself surrendered! Still, Hirohito did not use the word "surrender" in his address to Japan, so maybe they turned a blind eye to their Government's failure to fight to the death?

My suspicion, though is most Japanese soldiers were terrified of the Red Army, whereas they had contempt for American forces, who had been painted as inferior, coddled boys from a land of comfort.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 7:44:26 AM EST
Japan tried to revive the code of tha Samurai without much succsess. Kamikazee pilots were regularly drugged to get them to do what they did and they also knew that if they didn't suicide themselves in an ariel "sepuku" they would 1. be killed and 2. they would shame thier families. The ground soldiers were the same. They wanted to live by this romanticized ancient code but could not.

Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:06:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By AClay47:
Interesting! I wasn't aware of the Order you mentioned. It definitely sheds light on the subject.

I wondered how Japanese soldiers could be expected to adhere to the Code of Bushido after their government itself surrendered! Still, Hirohito did not use the word "surrender" in his address to Japan, so maybe they turned a blind eye to their Government's failure to fight to the death?

My suspicion, though is most Japanese soldiers were terrified of the Red Army, whereas they had contempt for American forces, who had been painted as inferior, coddled boys from a land of comfort.



I tend to think that people who are willing to kill themselves rather than surrender are not going to be cowed into surrender because they fear the enemy.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 3:19:10 PM EST
bushido=bullshido
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 4:56:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/9/2004 4:05:09 PM EST
The book The Flyboys by James Bradley (Flags of Our Fathers) tells the story of the Navy and Marine aviators who attacked the island of Chichi Jima. One of the pilots was George H. W. Bush. This was also the place where he was shot down.

Anyway, the author goes to some length describing how the Japanese military corrupted the Code of Bushido from the old ways. A lot of it was to whip up support for the .mil's imperialistic expansionists goals.

A very good book.
Link Posted: 10/13/2004 5:52:44 AM EST
it couldn't have anything to do with Hirohito broadcasting his surrender via radio??

the Sov surrender came after that, right??
Link Posted: 10/13/2004 6:05:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/13/2004 6:07:09 AM EST by TomJefferson]
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