Island of FireThomas Goodrich
As we’ve come to appreciate with each passing year, World War Two was the most evil manifestation in human history. No other conflict even comes close in matching that war for its sweeping, sadistic and unspeakable crimes. Mass murder of surrendering soldiers, mass starvation of helpless civilians, mass rape of women and children, assembly-line style torture in the tens of thousands, uprooting and expulsion of millions to certain death, the deliberate, wanton destruction of ancient cultures–these atrocities and many more add to World War Two’s annual menu of beastly war crimes.
Also, with each passing year, it becomes clearer and clearer that virtually all the major crimes of the Second World War were committed by the Allied powers. Additionally, almost all these war crimes took place toward the end of the war. Why is this? Why were these terrible atrocities not only committed by the victorious Allied powers but why did almost all occur at the end of the war? Simply, late in the war the Allies knew very well they would win and they thus knew they had little to fear from retaliation or war crimes trials. The victors knew that they could unleash their sadism against a hated, helpless enemy with utter impunity, and they did.
The following is a description of just one such major war crime as defined above. The account comes from my recent book, Summer, 1945—Germany, Japan and the Harvest of Hate. To this day, relatively little is actually known of this great atrocity. Of course, this is because war criminals not only commit such crimes expertly, but they cover up such crimes expertly, as well.
Just as Allied air armadas had mercilessly bombed, blasted and burned the cities and civilians of Germany during World War Two, so too was the US Air Force incinerating the women and children of Germany’s ally, Japan. As was the case with his peers in Europe, cigar-chewing, Jap-hating Maj. Gen. Curtis LeMay had no compunction whatsoever about targeting non-combatants, including the very old and the very young.
“We knew we were going to kill a lot of women and kids,” admitted the hard-nosed air commander without a blink. “Had to be done.”
Originally, and although it would have been in direct violation of the Geneva Convention, Franklin Roosevelt had seriously considered gassing Japan. Much as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had proposed doing to Germany earlier in the war, the American president had felt that flooding Japan with poison was not only a fine way to end the war he had personally instigated at Pearl Harbor, but it was a just punishment upon those who had continued the war into the spring of 1945. Unlike the Germans who had their own stock of deadly gas and who could have easily retaliated against the Allies had they been so attacked, Japan had virtually none of its own to reply in kind. To further the plan, Roosevelt ordered his staff to test the waters by discretely asking Americans, “Should we gas the Japs?” Since the plan was soon shelved, perhaps too many Americans remembered the horrors of trench warfare during WWI to want a repeat. The US Government then came up with the idea of unleashing “bat-bombs” on Japan. The brain-child of an American dentist, tiny incendiary time bombs were to be attached to thousands of bats which would then be dropped on Japan from aircraft. Soon after they sought shelter in Japanese homes, schools and hospitals the bat bombs would then explode thereby igniting fires all across the country. After spending months and millions of dollars on the project, the bat bombs, like poison gas, were also dropped. Ultimately, deadly incendiary bombs were developed and finally accepted as the most efficient way to slaughter Japanese civilians and destroy their nation.
The Allies first created the firestorm phenomenon when the British in the summer of 1943 bombed Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg. After first blasting the beautiful city to splinters with normal high explosives, another wave of bombers soon appeared loaded with tens of thousands of firebombs. The ensuing night raid ignited numerous fires that soon joined to form one uncontrollable mass of flame. The inferno was so hot, in fact, that it generated its own hurricane-force winds that literally sucked oxygen from the air and suffocated thousands. Other victims were either flung into the hellish vortex like dried leaves or they became stuck in the melting asphalt and quickly burst into flames. LeMay hoped to use this same fiery force to scorch the cities of Japan. Tokyo would be the first test.
On the night of March 9-10, 1945, over three hundred B-29 bombers left their bases on the Mariana Islands. Once over Tokyo, advance scout planes dropped firebombs across the heart of the heavily populated city to form a large, fiery “X.” Other aircraft “painted” with fire the outer limits to be bombed, thereby encircling those living in the kill zone below.
Soon, the remaining bombers appeared and easily followed the fires to their targets. When bomb bay doors opened tens of thousands of relatively small firebombs were released—some, made of white phosphorous, but most filled with napalm, a new gasoline-based, fuel-gel mixture. Within minutes after hitting the roofs and buildings below, a huge inferno was created. Since the raid occurred near midnight, most people were long in bed, thus ensuring a slow reaction. Also, the sheer number of firebombs—nearly half a million—and the great breadth of the targeted area—sixteen square miles—insured that Tokyo’s already archaic fire-fighting ability would be hopelessly inadequate to deal with such a blaze.
When the flames finally subsided the following morning, the relatively few survivors could quickly see that much of the Japanese capital had been burned from the face of the earth. In this raid on Tokyo alone, in one night, an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people, mostly women and children, were, as Gen. LeMay announced proudly, “scorched and baked and boiled to death.” Only the incineration of Dresden, Germany one month earlier, with an estimated death toll of 250,000-400,000, was greater.
“Congratulations,” wrote Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold to LeMay after hearing the news. “This mission shows your crews have got the guts for anything.”
Following the resounding success with Tokyo, Gen. LeMay immediately turned his attention toward the similar immolation of every other city in Japan. As was the case with Germany, then later Tokyo, the aim of the US Air Force under Curtis LeMay was not so much to destroy Japanese military targets or factories so much as it was to transform all of Japan into a blackened waste, to kill as many men, women, and children as he could, and to terrorize those who survived to as great a degree as possible. In other words, under the command of LeMay the air attacks against Japan, just as with the air attacks against Germany, were “Terror Bombing,” pure and simple.
To make this murderous plan as effective as possible, the US air commander and his aides studied the entire situation. Night raids were preferred, of course, since it would catch as many people in bed as possible. Also, dry, windy conditions were selected to accelerate the ensuing firestorm insuring few could escape. Additionally, since the Japanese air force had, for all intents and purposes, been destroyed in three years of war, there was little need for armament of the American bombers. Thus, the extra weight that ammunition, machine-guns and the men to fire them added to the aircraft was removed, making room for even more firebombs. But perhaps most important for Gen. LeMay was the decision to radically reduce the altitude for his bombing raids.
Prior to the Tokyo raid, standard bombing runs took place at elevations as high as 30,000 feet. At such great altitudes—nearly six miles up—it was insured that most enemy fighters and virtually all ground defenses would be useless. By 1945, however, with the virtual elimination of the Imperial Air Force and with normal anti-aircraft ground fire woefully inadequate or non-existent, enemy threats to American bomber waves was greatly reduced. Thus, the firebombing of Japan could be carried out by aircraft flying as low as 5,000 feet over the target. This last measure not only guaranteed that the US attacks would be carried out with greater surprise, but that the bombs would be dropped with deadlier accuracy. One final plus for the new tactics was the demoralizing terror caused by hundreds of huge B-29 bombers—“B-San,” the Japanese called them, “Mr. B”–suddenly roaring just overhead and each dropping tons of liquefied fire on those below. In a nation where most homes were made of paper and wood, the dread of an impending firebombing raid can well be imagined.
As one US intelligence officer sagely reported to a planning committee: “The panic side of the Japanese is amazing. Fire is one of the great things they are terrified at from childhood.”
Following the destruction of Tokyo in which most of the city center was scorched black, and following the enthusiastic endorsement of American newspapers, including the curiously named Christian Century, Gen. LeMay swiftly sent his bomber fleets to attack virtually every other city in Japan. Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Yokohama, and over sixty more large targets were thus treated to the nightmare of firebombing. And simply because a city had been bombed once was not a guarantee that it would not be bombed again and again. Such was the terrible fate of Tokyo. Not content with the initial massacre, LeMay demanded that the Japanese capital be attacked until everyone and everything was utterly destroyed; “burned down,” demanded the US general, “wiped right off the map.”
Unfortunately, no community was any better prepared to face the attacks than Tokyo had been. Fully expecting that if the US air craft ever attacked, it would be with typical high explosives, local and national authorities encouraged Japanese civilians earlier in the war to dig their own air raid shelters near or under their homes to withstand the blast and shrapnel of conventional bombs. Additionally, women were encouraged to wear heavy cloth hoods over their heads to cushion a bomb’s concussive force and prevent hearing loss. After Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and other firebombing raids, however, it was clear that past defensive tactics were useless when facing the hellish firestorms.
Typically, first warning of a potential American air raid came with the city sirens. Like their German counterparts early in the war, the Japanese likewise sprang from their beds with every such alarm, either to join their various “bucket brigades” or to wet their mats and brooms and fill their water troughs just in case of fire. Most simply dashed to the holes in the ground they called “shelters.” But also like those in Germany, with numerous false alarms came predictable apathy on the part of the Japanese and an almost utter disregard of sirens. Often, when a few B-29s on reconnaissance flights were indeed spotted far above leaving their vapor trails, excited air raid wardens would run through the streets beating on buckets as a warning to laggards. But soon, even these warnings were ignored.
“As the B-29’s came over us day in and day out, we never feared them,” admitted one woman weary of the alarms.
That all changed dramatically following the firebombing of Tokyo. After that night, especially on dry, windy nights, in each Japanese city, in each Japanese heart, there was never any doubt that the war—a hellish, hideous war—had finally reached Japan.
First hint of an impending US air raid on a Japanese city came with a low, but ominous, rumble from afar. That menacing sound soon grew and grew to an approaching roar that caused the windows to rattle and the very air to vibrate. Finally, in one great burst, a terrifying, rolling thunder exploded just overhead. In no way, however, did the horrible sound prepare the people below for the horrible sight they then saw above. Usually at night, but sometimes even during the day, the sky was literally blotted out by the vision.
“I had heard that the planes were big,” said a stunned spectator, “but seen from so close, their size astounded me.”
“Gigantic,” thought one spellbound viewer.
“Enormous,” added another awe-struck witness. “It looked as if they were flying just over the telegraph poles in the street. . . . I was totally stupefied.”
“They were so big,” remembered a young woman staring in disbelief. “It looked like you could reach out and grab them.”
Then, amid the terrifying sights and sounds, the awe-struck people watched in utter amazement as the bomb bay doors of the frightening things sprang open as if on cue.
Falling not vertically, but diagonally, the objects which then began to shower down were at first thought to be pipes, or even sticks. Within a few seconds, the true nature of the objects became known to all.
“They’re coming down,” the people screamed. “They’re coming down.”
Almost immediately, as if a switch had been thrown, from every corner of the targeted city the night became light as day as each of the thousands of fire bombs ignited on impact. Quickly, the deadly liquid spread and in mere minutes the targeted city was totally engulfed.
“At that moment,” said 24-year-old Yoshiko Hashimoto, “we were caught in an inferno. The fire spread so quickly. The surroundings were seized with fire in a wink.”
“The wind and flames seemed to feed into each other and both gained intensity,” described one teenager. “Pots and pans blew about on the ground and blankets flew through the air. People ran in all directions.”
Since their homes and businesses made of wood and paper were mere “match boxes” ready to ignite, most people recognized instantly the futility of trying to fight the fire and they quickly fled into the streets.
“Roofs collapsed under the bombs’ impact,” said an eyewitness, “and within minutes the frail houses . . . were aflame, lighted from the inside like paper lanterns.”
It was at that terrifying moment, when their entire world seemed on the verge of being consumed by smoke and flame, that single mothers, their husbands off at war or dead, were forced to make life and death decisions. To save small children, some were compelled to leave old, feeble relatives behind; others had to abandon beloved pets or needed animals. One mother, to save her two tiny tots, made the heart-breaking decision to leave her handicapped child to certain death.
“The three of us dashed out into the panic and pandemonium of the streets,” recalled Masayoshi Nakagawa, a father of two little children and a man whose wife was in a local hospital expecting their third child. “People were carrying whatever they had managed to salvage: quilts, pillows, frying pans. Some of them had carts; others lugged bicycles on their backs.”
Once in the streets, the refugees were greeted by a “red blizzard” of sparks. Unlike typical sparks, however, those created from incendiary bombs were large “chunks” of oily, wind-driven flame that would instantly ignite the clothes of those fleeing. 22 Another hazard was the “hail” of bombs themselves. So many of the relatively small bombs were dropped on any given city that many victims were actually struck by them. Most, of course, were instantly wrapped in a ball of fire and died in terrible agony. One woman watched in horror as her husband ran from their family business shouting “Air Raid! Air Raid!” and was immediately struck in the head by a firebomb.
“He was instantly wrapped in a sheet of bluish flame. . . ,” recounted the horrified wife. “I could not put out the fire. All my desperate efforts were of no avail. . . . His hair was still sizzling and giving off a blue light. His skin peeled away in sheets, exposing his flesh. I could not even wipe his body.”
Just as with the man above, those victims who actually came in contact with the napalm found that such fire could not be extinguished and would burn and sizzle all the way to the bone.
Desperately, those trapped within the encircled target zone searched for avenues of escape. Unfortunately, at every turn the victims met only more fleeing refugees and more smoke and flame. Those who had remained at their own air raid shelters near their homes were already dead, the holes acting like earthen bake ovens in the heat. Others met similar fates when they wrongly assumed that the few brick and concrete buildings in the city would protect them. They did the opposite. When the racing flames reached these buildings those inside were quickly incinerated. Iron rafters overhead sent down streams of molten metal on any still alive.
Nor did parks prove to be havens. With temperatures reaching 1,800 degrees, the trees quickly dried, then burst into flames. Additionally, those who sought open spaces, or areas burned bare from previous raids, were easy targets for US fighter pilots who routinely machine-gunned fleeing refugees, just as they had done in Germany. Other American aircraft watched the streets for any Japanese fire companies bold enough to fight the fires, then attacked with high explosives.
By the hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands, the people fled through the streets as the furnace became fiercer and fiercer.
“Hell could get no hotter,” thought French reporter, Robert Guillain, as he watched the crowds struggle against the murderous heat and the “hail” of huge, flaming sparks.
People soaked themselves in the water barrels that stood in front of each house before setting off again. A litter of obstacles blocked their way; telegraph poles and the overhead trolley wires that formed a dense net . . . [of] tangles across streets. . . . The fiery air was blown down toward the ground and it was often the refugees’ feet that began burning first: the men’s puttees and the women’s trousers caught fire and ignited the rest of their clothing.
As noted, in the furious heat and wind it was often a victim’s shoes or boots which erupted in flames first, followed quickly by the pants, shirts, and air raid hoods that many women still wore. As the horrified people stripped off one layer of burning clothing after another, many rolling on the ground to smother the fires, some simply burst into flames entirely—hair, head, skin, all. One witness watched as a child ran by screaming shrilly, “It’s hot! It hurts! Help me!” Before anyone could reach him, the child burst into flames “as if he’d been drenched in gasoline.” In the midst of her own desperate bid to escape, one teenage girl saw a mother and father bravely place their own bodies between the killing heat and their small children. At last, when the father simply burst into flames he nevertheless struggled to remain upright as a shield for his children. Finally, the man teetered and fell.
“I heard him shouting to his wife,” recalled the witness, “‘Forgive me, dear! Forgive me!’”
Likewise, thousands of victims in other Japanese cities could not bear the ferocious heat and simple exploded in flames from spontaneous combustion.
The streets, remembered police cameraman, Ishikawa Koyo, were “rivers of fire . . . flaming pieces of furniture exploding in the heat, while the people themselves blazed like ‘matchsticks’. . . . Under the wind and the gigantic breath of the fire, immense incandescent vortices rose in a number of places, swirling, flattening, sucking whole blocks of houses into their maelstrom of fire.”
Continues French visitor, Robert Guillain:
Wherever there was a canal, people hurled themselves into the water; in shallow places, people waited, half sunk in noxious muck, mouths just above the surface of the water. . . . In other places, the water got so hot that the luckless bathers were simply boiled alive. . . . [P]eople crowded onto the bridges, but the spans were made of steel that gradually heated; human clusters clinging to the white-hot railings finally let go, fell into the water and were carried off on the current. Thousands jammed the parks and gardens that lined both banks of the [river]. As panic brought ever fresh waves of people pressing into the narrow strips of land, those in front were pushed irresistibly toward the river; whole walls of screaming humanity toppled over and disappeared in the deep water.
With two little children clutched under his arms, Masayoshi Nakagawa raced for the canals and rivers as everyone else, hoping to find a haven from the deadly heat.
Suddenly I heard a shout: “Your son’s clothes are on fire!” At the same instant, I saw flames licking the cotton bloomers my daughter was wearing. I put my son down and reached out to try to smother the flames on his back when a tremendous gust of wind literally tore me from him and threw me to the ground. Struggling to stand, I saw that I was now closer to my daughter than to the boy. I decided to put out the fire on her clothes first. The flames were climbing her legs. As I frantically extinguished the flames, I heard the agonized screams of my son a short distance away. As soon as my daughter was safe, I rushed to the boy. He had stopped crying. I bent over him. He was already dead.
Grabbing his daughter and his son’s body, Masayoshi joined the fleeing crowds once again, trying to escape the “ever-pursuing inferno.”
“Once in the open space . . ,” continues the grieving father, “I stood, my daughter by my side, my dead son in my arms, waiting for the fire to subside.”
Surprisingly, during days and nights such as these filled with horrors scripted in hell—children bursting into flames, glass windows melting, molten metal pouring down on people—often it was the small and seemingly trivial sights and sounds that sometimes stayed with survivors forever. One little girl, after watching a panicked mother run past with her baby totally ablaze on her back, after seeing children her own age rolling on the ground like “human torches,” after hearing the sounds of a man and a horse he was leading both burning to death, still, again and again, the little girl’s mind wandered back to the safety of her cherished doll collection, then on display at a local girl’s festival.
“To my surprise,” recalled another survivor, “birds in mid-flight—sparrows and crows—were not sure where to go in such a situation. I was surprised to see that the sparrows and the crows would cling to the electric wire and stay there in a row. . . . You’d think they’d go into the bushes or something.”
Amid all the horror, another woman never forgot the strange sight of a refugee standing in a large tank of water holding only a live chicken. Another young female, admittedly “numb to it all,” found as she passed a mound of dead bodies that her eyes became transfixed on a pair of nose holes that seemed to be peering up at her.
Finally, on numerous occasions, because of the American “encirclement” of a targeted city, thousands of refugees fleeing from one direction collided head-on with thousands of refugees fleeing from another direction. In this case, the panicked multitude, now incapable of moving forward because of an equally panicked multitude in front, and incapable of moving backward because of the pursuing firestorm, simply became wedged so tightly that no one could move. Horrific as the ordeal had been thus far, it was nothing compared to this final act of the hellish horror. Since most refugees were fleeing instinctively toward water, many crowds became wedged on bridges. Thousands of victims were thus overtaken by the fury and were burned to a crisp by the fiery winds that to some resembled “flame throwers.” Thousands more, horribly burned, managed to leap or fall to their deaths into the rivers and canals below. Eventually, metal bridges became so hot that human grease from the victims above poured down on the bodies of victims below.
And as for those far above, to those who had dropped millions of firebombs on the cities and towns of Japan, the horror show they had created below was now vivid in all its lurid detail. At such low altitudes, with night now day, those above had a front row seat to all the hellish drama below. Fleeing humans racing for life down streets now more “streams of fire” than streets, screaming horses engulfed in flames galloping insanely in all directions, bridges packed with doomed mothers and children, rivers and canals jammed with the dead and the dead to be. And for those US fighter pilots whose job was to massacre refugees who reached the open spaces, their view was even closer. In the red and white glare of the fires, these Americans could actually see the eyes of those they were machine-gunning to death, the women with babies, the children exploding from bullets, the old, the slow, the animals. The violent updrafts from the heat below was a much greater threat to US bombers than the almost non-existent Japanese anti-air defenses. Wafted on the heat thousands of feet up was the scattered debris from below—bits and pieces of homes, offices and schools; tatters of burnt clothing; feathers and fur from dead pets; and, of course, the pervasive smell of broiled human flesh.
“Suddenly, way off at 2 o’clock,” noted an awe-struck American pilot arriving on the scene, “I saw a glow on the horizon like the sun rising or maybe the moon. The whole city . . . was [soon] below us stretching from wingtip to wingtip, ablaze in one enormous fire with yet more fountains of flame pouring down from the B-29s. The black smoke billowed up thousands of feet . . . bringing with it the horrible smell of burning flesh.”
Once the attacking force had loosed its bombs and banked for home, the red glow of the holocaust they had created could be seen for as far as 150 miles.
With the departure of enemy aircraft and the eventual subsiding of the fires, workers and volunteers from throughout the stricken region finally felt safe enough to venture in and begin rescue operations. Given the frail, flammable nature of most Japanese cities, virtually every structure in a targeted area—homes, shops, businesses—was utterly leveled. As a consequence, because there was seldom need to clear stone, brick, metal, and other rubble from a bombed area, as was the case in Germany, the search for bodies in Japan was made easier, if not easy.
By the thousands, by the tens of thousands, the charred victims lay everywhere. Many died alone, overcome in their flight by heat and exhaustion. It was common to find a single blackened mother laying upon a single blackened child that she was trying so desperately to protect. But many more victims seemed to have died en masse. Time and again rescue workers encountered “piles” and “mounds” of bodies, as if all suddenly found their way cut off or as if the people unsuspectingly entered areas vastly hotter than elsewhere and succumbed as one quickly. “I saw melted burnt bodies piled up on top of each other as high as a house,” remembered one ten-year-old. In such areas, below the piles of blackened bodies, large puddles of dark human rendering was noticed.
“We saw a fire truck buried under a mountain of blackened bones,” wrote another witness. “It looked like some kind of terrifying artwork. One couldn’t help wondering just how the pile of bodies had been able to reach such a height.”
“What I witnessed,” said one badly burned woman leading her blind parents, “was the heaps of bodies lying on the ground endlessly. The corpses were all scorched black. They were just like charcoal. I couldn’t believe my eyes. . . . We walked stepping over the bodies being careful not to tread on them.” Unfortunately, the woman’s parents tripped and stumbled over the corpses again and again.
Many victims, it was noticed, had heads double and triple their normal size.
Others gazed in wonder at the array of color the bodies displayed; many, of course, were scorched black, but some were brown, red or pink. “I particularly remember a child,” said one little girl, “whose upper half of the body was coal-black but its legs were pure white.”
“I . . . saw a boy,” another child recalled. “He was stark naked, and had . . . burns all over the body. His body was spotted with black, purple, and dark red burns. Like a rabbit, the boy was hopping among the corpses . . . and looked into the dead persons’ faces. . . . He was probably searching for his family members.”
Elsewhere in the stricken cities, before disease could spread, rescue workers began the grim task of disposing of the unclaimed bodies as quickly as possible. By the hundreds, then by the thousands, many scorched and shriveled victims were buried in common trenches with others. Some survivors took it upon themselves to collect the remains of friends and neighbors. When the air raid began in her city, one woman was talking with a neighbor when an explosive bomb blew him to bits. Later, feeling compelled to do so, the lady returned and began the horrible recovery of the body parts, including the head. “I was suddenly struck with the terrifying thought,” the woman, who was on the verge of fainting, recalled, “that perhaps someday soon someone would have to do the same thing to me.” Workers elsewhere simply did not have the time or patience for such concern and care and simply tossed body parts into rivers.
Initially, when rescuers entered the few brick and concrete buildings in the stricken cities, they were mystified. Expecting heaps of bodies, they found only layer upon layer of ash and dust. Far from being points of refuge as the unsuspecting victims imagined, the buildings had served rather as super-heated ovens, not only killing everyone when the flames neared but baking each body so thoroughly that only a faint dry powder remained. Even with only a slight breeze, other such baked victims simply blew away “like sand.”
Following such horrific attacks, many stunned survivors simply stumbled among the ruins aimlessly as if in a trance, dazed, disoriented, seemingly looking for something, but actually looking for nothing. With a new and unimaginable terror springing up at every turn during every second of the night before, time then seemed to have telescoped, then stopped. “It took seemingly forever to cover a distance that ordinarily would take two or three minutes,” noted one surprised survivor. And for those victims who gathered their wits and somehow managed to stagger from targeted cities with only minor injuries, such treks generally became terrifying odysseys unto themselves.
After escaping the inferno at Chiba the night before, and with a two-year-old sister in her arms and an eight-year-old sister on her back suffering from a terrible head wound, little Kazuko Saegusa finally reached the countryside the following morning in a drizzling rain. Finding a hand cart, the exhausted ten-year-old placed the two children inside then set off in hopes of finding a doctor or a hospital to help her injured sister. While pulling the cart between muddy rice paddies, the terrified little girl was repeatedly strafed by American fighter planes. Nevertheless, Kazuko refused to run for cover and leave her sisters behind. Eventually, and almost miraculously, the child reached a hospital. Unfortunately, there was no happy ending.
“The corridors of the hospital were packed with people burned past recognition,” remembered Kazuko. “There were many young people whose arms or legs had been amputated. . . . The screaming was beyond description. . . . Maggots wriggled from the bandages.”
Conditions at the hospital were so bad that Kazuko and her sisters, along with many others, were moved to an open area near a church. But again, American aircraft soon made their appearance and strafed the victims, forcing the little girl to grab her sisters and finally seek safety in a stand of trees.
Although the dead outnumbered the living following such nightmares, for many shattered survivors, like little Kazuko, the trials continued.
After losing his son the night before, with the dawn, Masayoshi Nakagawa and his tiny surviving child now set off to find his pregnant wife somewhere in the destroyed city.
My daughter and I, hand in hand, alone now, started off. Weary and emotionally drained, we had to force ourselves to struggle on through mounds of debris and corpses; among the foul, pungent odors, and the groans of the injured and dying. A man holding a frying pan gazed blankly at ashes that had been a house. Another squatted, dazed and helpless, in the middle of the street. Mothers frantically called for their children; small children screamed for their parents. I neither could nor wanted to do anything for the suffering people. My own suffering was too great. Probably all the others felt the same way.
Near [a] railway station, mounds of bodies clogged the track underpass. The walls were spattered with blood. A charred mother sat embracing her charred infant. The dead, burned beyond recognition, looked like grotesque bald dress-maker’s dummies. Those who were still alive moaned against the heat and called for water.
Unbeknownst to Masayoshi, his wife, after a “difficult delivery,” had given birth to a healthy baby girl during the height of the firestorm the night before. Because of the approaching flames, everyone in the hospital had urged the mother to leave her newborn and flee while she could. Refusing to do so, the weakened woman wrapped her infant then fled into the inferno. Pale and bleeding, facing the flames and deadly sparks, the mother kept her baby covered tightly and sprinkled her with water throughout the hellish night. The following day, the utterly exhausted woman collapsed in the street and could go no further. Fortunately, a kind man, forgetting his own misfortune for the moment, carried the mother and child to a nearby hospital. After only the briefest of rests, the woman and her baby again set off in search of Masayoshi and the children.
Finally, after days and days of fruitless searching for a wife that he assumed was, like his son, dead, the husband learned from a mutual friend that the woman and their new child were yet alive and uninjured. For this husband and father, the news was the first reason to smile in what seemed a lifetime.
“I was overjoyed,” Masayoshi said simply, yet with a heart filled with emotion.
Following the deadly firebombing of Japanese cities, the death toll in each continued to climb for days, even weeks as those terribly burned and maimed succumbed to injuries. With a sudden shortage of doctors, nurses and medicine, most victims were cared for by family and friends who coped as best they could. Some were successful, some were not.
When she first realized that her daughter’s badly burned legs had become infested with maggots, one horrified mother promptly fainted from shock. After she came to, the determined woman found a pair of chop sticks and immediately went to work picking out the maggots, one at a time.
Others died in different ways. Two days after the raid upon their hometown in which her husband was killed, Fumie Masaki’s little son and other boys discovered an unexploded bomb while on a playground. When a fire warden arrived to dispose of it, the bomb exploded. Eight children were killed, including Fumie’s son.
For a nation surrounded and blockaded, starvation was already a very real concern for Japan. In the bombed and burned cities with their rail, road and river traffic destroyed, it was an even greater threat. Adults soon noticed that children now suddenly grew gaunt and pale and looked “somehow older” than before. Many thin babies had escaped the firebombings only to starve in the days and weeks following. Dogs and cats were no longer seen in Japan. Even the Japanese government urged the people to supplement their diets with “rats, mice, snakes, saw dust, peanut shells, grasshoppers, worms, silkworms, and cocoons.”
Added to starvation was chronic exhaustion from lack of sleep and rest. Those who somehow managed to remain in bombed cities did so with the constant dread of the nightmare’s repeat. Those who moved to undisturbed cities did so fully expecting the fire to fall at any hour.
“I wish I could go to America for just one good night’s sleep,” groaned one exhausted postman.
Exacerbating the daily stress and strain of Japanese civilians was the American “targets of opportunity” program. Just as they had done in Germany, US commanders ordered their fighter pilots aloft with orders to shoot anything in Japan that moved. Unfortunately, many young men obeyed their orders “to the letter.” Ferry boats, passenger trains, automobiles, farmers in fields, animals grazing, women on bicycles, children in school yards, orphanages, hospitals . . . all were deemed legitimate targets of opportunity and all were strafed again and again with machine-gun and cannon fire.
“And not a single Japanese aircraft offered them resistance,” raged a man after one particular strafing incident. The angry comment could just as easily have been spoken after all American attacks, firebombings included. Certainly, the most demoralizing aspect of the war for Japanese civilians was the absolute American control of the air above Japan. During the nonstop B-29 attacks against the cities and towns, seldom was a Japanese aircraft seen to offer resistance.
“When . . . there was no opposition by our planes . . ,” offered one dejected observer, “I felt as if we were fighting machinery with bamboo.”
Even members of the military had to agree. “Our fighters were but so many eggs thrown at the stone wall of the invincible enemy formations,” admitted a Japanese naval officer.
And as for anti-aircraft guns. . . .
“Here and there, the red puffs of anti-aircraft bursts sent dotted red lines across the sky,” recounted one viewer, “but the defenses were ineffectual and the big B-29s, flying in loose formation, seemed to work unhampered.”
Indeed, those guns that did fire at B-29s seemed more dangerous to those on the ground than to those in the air. Early in the bombing campaign, after a single B-29 on a reconnaissance mission flew away totally unscathed following a noisy anti-aircraft barrage, shrapnel falling to earth killed six people in Tokyo.
“Our captain was a great gunnery enthusiast,” sneered a Japanese sailor. “He was always telling us that we could shoot Americans out of the sky. After innumerable raids in which our guns did not even scratch their wings, he was left looking pretty silly. When air attacks came in, there was nothing much we would do but pray.”
In July, 1945, Curtis LeMay ordered US planes to shower with leaflets the few remaining Japanese cities that had been spared firebombing with an “Appeal to the People.”
As you know, America which stands for humanity, does not wish to injure the innocent people, so you had better evacuate these cities.
Within days of the fluttering leaflets, half of the warned cities were firebombed into smoking ruins.
With the destruction of virtually every large Japanese city, LeMay kept his men busy by sending them to raid even the smaller cities and towns. After his own remote community was attacked, one resident knew the end was in sight. “When we were bombed,” admitted the man, “we all thought—if we are bombed, even in a small mountain place, the war must certainly be lost.”
Others felt similarly, including a high-ranking civil servant:
It was the raids on the medium and smaller cities which had the worst effect and really brought home to the people the experience of bombing and a demoralization of faith in the outcome of the war…. It was bad enough in so large a city as Tokyo, but much worse in the smaller cities, where most of the city would be wiped out. Through May and June the spirit of the people was crushed. [When B-29s dropped propaganda pamphlets] the morale of the people sank terrifically, reaching a low point in July, at which time there was no longer hope of victory or a draw but merely a desire for ending the war.
According to American sources, the first firebombing raid on Tokyo, the raid that was the most devastating of all raids and the raid that provided the blue print for all future firebombing raids on Japan, was a complete and utter success. Not only was the heart of the great city totally scorched from the face of the earth, but over 100,000 people were also killed. Furthermore, American sources also estimate that from that first raid on Tokyo to the end of the war approximately sixty Japanese cities were laid waste and that roughly 300,000-400,000 civilians were killed in Gen. Curtis LeMay’s firebombing raids.
The firebombing of Japan by the United States Air Force in the spring and summer of 1945 was simply one of the greatest war crimes in world history. Arguments that the operation helped speed Japanese defeat and surrender are little more than self-serving nonsense. For all intents and purposes Japan was already defeated, as the January, 1945 attempts to surrender already illustrate. In that month, peace offers to the Americans were being tendered. The mere fact that the vast majority of the estimated 300,000-400,000 deaths from firebombing were women, children, and the elderly should alone put the utter lie to the claim that such a crime added anything material to ultimate American victory. As was the case with the saturation bombing of Germany and the consequent firestorms that slaughtered countless women and children there, far from pushing a nation to surrender, the murder of helpless innocents in fact enraged and strengthened the resolve of the nation’s soldiers, sailors, and airmen to fight, if necessary, to the death.
“Seeing my home town ravaged in this way inspired me with patriotic zeal,” revealed one young Japanese speaking for millions. “I volunteered for military service soon after the . . . raid because I felt that in this way I could get even with the Americans and British, who . . . were nothing but devils and beasts.”
And as for the American “estimates” of Japanese firebombing deaths. . . .
When the first B-29 raid took place in March, 1945, the targeted killing zone of Tokyo contained a population of roughly 1.5 million people. Given the fact that most living in this area were, as always, the most vulnerable—women, children, the old, the slow—and given the tactics used—saturation firebombing, dry conditions, gale force winds to accelerate the flames, encirclement, fighter aircraft machine-gunning those in parks or along rivers—and given the fact that the firestorm’s devastation was utter and succeeded even beyond Curtis LeMay’s most sadistic dreams, to suggest that out of a million and a half potential victims in the death zone only a mere 100,000 died while well over a million women and children somehow managed to escape the racing inferno is a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of slain and thereby, with an eye to future criticism and condemnation, a deliberate attempt to reduce the crime itself.
Additionally, although the greatest loss of Japanese life occurred during the Tokyo raids, hundreds of thousands of victims also perished in other large cities. To suggest, as modern American sources do, that even including the death toll in Tokyo the number killed in similar raids nationwide combined only came to 300,000-400,000 victims is, again, a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of victims in hope of reducing the extent of the crime. Indeed, any modern attempt that calculates the number of firebombing deaths in Japan at less than one million should not be taken seriously.
As one expert wrote:
The mechanisms of death were so multiple and simultaneous—oxygen deficiency and carbon monoxide poisoning, radiant heat and direct flames, debris and the trampling feet of stampeding crowds—that causes of death were later hard to ascertain.
Accurate for the most part, one element left out of that death assessment is also that which seems the least likely—drowning. In one of the cruelest of ironies, more people may have actually died from drowning during the firestorm raids than from the flames themselves. In their frantic attempts to escape the torturous heat, even those who could not swim—the very old, the very young—sprang into any body of water available—reservoirs, rivers, canals, ponds, lakes, even large, deep water tanks—and took their chances there, drowning below being clearly preferable to burning above. Of the tens of thousands of drowning victims recovered, no doubt tens of thousands more were swept down rivers and streams and out to sea, never to be seen again.
Whether woman and children drowned or burned to death, it was all one and the same to Curtis LeMay.
“I’ll tell you what war is about,” explained the merciless US general, “you’ve got to kill people, and when you’ve killed enough they stop fighting.”
Unfortunately, while a significant percentage of Americans felt just as LeMay, virtually all US leaders and opinion molders felt that way.
“Keep ‘Em Frying,” laughed the Atlanta (Ga) Constitution.
And “keep ‘em frying” Curtis LeMay would.
Fortunately for the future of mankind, in the very midst of a merciless war waged by evil men and prolonged by equally evil politicians, many ordinary individuals nevertheless always remain true to their better selves.
In spite of the US firebombing massacre and the inhuman “targets of opportunity” slaughter taking place, when an injured American fighter pilot was forced to bail out over Japan, instead of being machine-gunned as he floated down or instead of being beaten to death by angry villagers when he touched ground, he was instead taken to a hospital that his serious wounds might be treated.
During his short stay, four young Japanese pilots, curious more than anything, visited the injured American. Whatever transpired during those brief moments of broken English, of eyes wide with wonder for an enemy pilot, and perhaps even of soft smiles of sympathy for a dying brother-at-arms—a bond was quickly formed.
Finally, as the Japanese airmen said their polite goodbyes and quietly turned to leave forever, the fast failing US pilot begged one of the young men to please wait for a moment. Working something free from his hand, the heavily bandaged American asked the visitor, only moments before his mortal enemy, for a first, and final, favor: When the madness was finally over, when reason had once more returned to the world, would the young man please carry the wedding ring to the United States? And once there would he please tell a young American widow how her young American pilot had fallen to earth one day and how he had died?
1 Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire—Moral Dimensions of World War II (New York, Knopf, 2006), 105.
2 Goodrich, Hellstorm, 46; Edmund Russell, War and Nature—Fighting Human and Insects With Chemicals From World War I to Silent Spring, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001) 106-07,138; “FDR warns Japanese against using poison gas,” History, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-warns-japanese-against-using-poison-gas ; “Old, Weird Tech: The Bat Bombs of World War II,” The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/old-weird-tech-the-bat-bombs-of-world-war-ii/237267/
3 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945—The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History.com, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/tokyo.htm
4 “Tokyo WWII firebombing, the single most deadly bombing raid in history, remembered 70 years on,” ABC News, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-09/tokyo-wwii-firebombing-remembered-70-years-on/6287486
5 Walter L. Hixson, ed., The American Experience in World War II (NY: Routledge, 2003), 184.
6 Russell, War and Nature, 138.
7 “FIRE BOMBING ATTACKS ON TOKYO AND JAPAN IN WORLD WAR II, Facts and Details, http://factsanddetails.com/asian/ca67/sub429/item2519.html
8 “A Forgotten Holocaust: US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities and the American Way of War from World War II to Iraq,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, http://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/2414/article.html; Max Hastings, Retribution, 298. X-73
9 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Yoshiko Hashimoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/?feed=rss2
11 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Aiko Matani account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
12 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Teruo Kanoh interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
13 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Yoshiko Hashimoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
14 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Michiko Kiyo-Oka interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
15 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Haruyo Nihei interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
16 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Saotome Katsumoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
17 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Yoshiko Hashimoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
18 “The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal—Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/2011/9/3/Bret-Fisk/3471/article.html
19 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945—The Japanese View,” EyeWitness to History.com, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/tokyo.htm
20 “The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, http://www.japanfocus.org/-Bret-Fisk/3471#sthash.xzZvfCe2.dpuf
21 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Masayoshi Nakagawa account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
22 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Saotome Katsumoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal—Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/2011/9/3/Bret-Fisk/3471/article.html
23 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Fumie Masaki account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
24 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Saotome Katsumoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
25 “The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal—Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/2011/9/3/Bret-Fisk/3471/article.html
26 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Teruo Kanoh interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Saotome Katsumoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
27 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945—The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/tokyo.htm
28 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Aiko Matani interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Teruo Kanoh interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
29 “The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal—Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/2011/9/3/Bret-Fisk/3471/article.html
30 “The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal—Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/2011/9/3/Bret-Fisk/3471/article.html
31 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945—The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/tokyo.htm
32 “A Forgotten Holocaust: US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities and the American Way of War from World War II to Iraq,” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/2414/article.html
33 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945—The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/tokyo.htm
34 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Masayoshi Nakagawa account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
36 “Hitting Home—The Air Offensive Against Japan,” Air Force History and Museums Program, 1999, https://archive.org/details/HittingHome-nsia; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Haruyo Nihei interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
37 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Nobuyoshi Tan interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
38 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Tomie Akazawa account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Michiko Kiyo-Oka interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
39 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Teruo Kanoh interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Yoshiko Hashimoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Michiko Kiyo-Oka interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ;”Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Haruyo Nihei interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945–The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
40 Hastings, Retribution, 297.
41 “Hitting Home—The Air Offensive Against Japan,” Air Force History and Museums Program, 1999, https://archive.org/details/HittingHome-nsia
42 “Tokyo WWII firebombing, the single most deadly bombing raid in history, remembered 70 years on,” ABC News, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-09/tokyo-wwii-firebombing-remembered-70-years-on/6287486
43 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Masaharu Ohtake interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
44 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Haruyo Nihei interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
45 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Yoshiko Hashimoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
46 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Haruyo Nihei interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
48 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Teruo Kanoh interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
49 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Tai Kitamura account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
50 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Teruo Kanoh interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
51 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945—The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
52 “Women Against War—Personal Accounts of Forty Japanese Women” (Women’s Division of Soka Gakkai, Kodansha International, Ltd.,1986), 119-120
54 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Masayoshi Nakagawa account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
56 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Haruyo Nihei interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
57 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Fumie Masaki account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
58 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Yoshiko Hashimoto interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ;“The Tokyo Air Raids in the Words of Those Who Survived,” The Asia-Pacific Journal—Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/2011/9/3/Bret-Fisk/3471/article.html ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Nobuyoshi Tan interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Shigemasa Toda interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; John W. Dower, Embracing Defeat—Japan in the Wake of World War II (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999), 91.
59 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Rie Kuniyasu account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
60 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Michiko Kiyo-Oka interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/
61 “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Nobuyoshi Tan interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Japan Air Raids.org—A Bilingual Historical Archive,” Shigemasa Toda interview, http://www.japanairraids.org/ ; “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Eiji Okugawa account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace; “Air Raids on Japan,” Wkipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_raids_on_Japan; “Women Against War—Personal Accounts of Forty Japanese Women,” Kazuko Saegusa account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40249017/Women-Against-War
62 “The Effects of Strategic Bombing on Japanese Morale,” The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Morale Division, 1947), vi.
63 Hastings, Retribution, 133.
64 “The Tokyo Fire Raids, 1945–The Japanese View,” Eye Witness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
65 Isaac Shapiro, Edokko—Growing Up A Foreigner in Wartime Japan (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 132.
66 Hastings, 138.
67 “A Forgotten Holocaust: US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities and the American Way of War from World War II to Iraq” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/2414/article.html
68 “The Effects of Strategic Bombing on Japanese Morale,” United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Morale Division, https://archive.org/details/effectsofstrateg00unit55.
69 “Preparations for Invasion of Japan–14 Jul 1945–9 Aug 1945,” World War II Data Base, http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=54
70 “Cries For Peace—Experiences of Japanese Victims of World War II,” Tomio Yoshida account, https://www.scribd.com/document/40248814/Cries-for-Peace
71 “A Forgotten Holocaust: US Bombing Strategy, the Destruction of Japanese Cities and the American Way of War from World War II to Iraq” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, http://apjjf.org/-Mark-Selden/2414/article.html
72 “Curtis LeMay,” Wikiquote, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay
73 “Firebombing of Japanese Cities during World War II,” Book Mice, http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/fire.html
74 Hastings, 313.
Thomas Goodrich is a professional writer now living in the US and Europe. His biological father was a US Marine in the Pacific War and his adoptive father was with the US Air Force during the war in Europe.
Summer, 1945—Germany, Japan and the Harvest of Hate can be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Booksamillion.com, and through the author’s website at thomasgoodrich.com. For faster deliver, order via the author’s paypal at [email protected] ( $20 US / $25 Abroad )
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Not a problem with the writing, but this was hard to read – the horror of the inhumanity. Not much has changed. The US today routinely turns countries into rubble. Libya, Syria, Agent Orange in Vietnam, cancer causing depleted Uranium on Serbia.
Brilliant article Mr. Goodrich. It is so depressing to see how evil my government was (and is). To think that Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill are still highly revered !! The one thing that is a downer for me (I guess I am just a slow learner) is that I can no longer watch any of these World War Jew Movies which I used to love so much: Casablanca, The Sands of Iwo Jima, From Here to Eternity and many others all just make me want to vomit.
Yea, I was raised on WW2 movies and I am just completely repulsed now. It is evident the wrong side one and America deserves the animosity.
You’ll be amazed (or maybe not ) to discover how many of those (((WW2))) films were written, directed and produced by jews, many of them actual Russians, Hungarians, etc, and actual paid-up members of the Communist Party of USA.
Foreign communist jews producing anti-German propaganda in the USA to “influence” Americans !! Chutzpah indeed.
Check out this piece of schlock, note the B-Movie Horror poster, note that the Evil Nazi
has a scar and a limp (and is a rapist)
Also note that the whole “war crimes” and “trials” narrative was all lined up and ready to roll. This movie was filmed in 1943:
‘None Shall Escape’ is a 1944 war film. Even though the film was made during the World War II, the setting is a post-war Nuremberg-style war crimes trial.
Produced by jew Samuel Bischoff
Screenplay by jew Communist Lester Cole
( Born to a Jewish family in New York City, the son of Polish immigrants to the United States, his father was a Marxist garment industry union organiser, and Cole was a dedicated socialist from childhood)
Story by (probable jews)
German-born Alfred Neumann ( his writings were banned during the Third Reich)
and Joseph Than, music by
Austrian-born jew Ernst Toch
Directed by Hungarian-born Andre DeToth aka Endre Antal Miksa DeToth
“Columbia Pictures’ in-house producer Sam Bischoff got the idea to make a film about a war crime trial after having heard President Franklin D. Roosevelt declare on August 21, 1942 that the Allies were collecting information about the Nazi leaders responsible for war atrocities, in order to bring them to court after the war. (The prosecution of war criminals was ratified by the Allies in the Moscow Declarations in 1943). To ensure the war crimes depicted in the film conformed to actual Nazi atrocities, the script was submitted to the U.S. State Department for review.
Alfred Neumann and Joseph Than were nominated for an (((Academy Award))) for Best Story, and the film is considered to be the first feature film to deal with Nazi atrocities against the Jews.”
My favorite WWII movie was always Kelly’s Heroes. A bunch average guys that got put in a mess made by somebody else and they decide to get something out of it. They hate their own commanders more than the Germans and even decide to cut one of the German tank officers in on the deal.
I feel sick and dizzy after reading it.
The saddest thing is that most people in the West have no idea of what happened during WW2, or say something like “they deserved it”.
Ok, a couple things… I know I’m late.
Disregard the question of how many people actually died in the holocaust for a second, the axis powers were responsible for the deaths of millions of civilians in the invasion of the USSR and China. While some of this was due to internal repression, civil war, and mismanagement of the food supply, it is hard to see how you can justify your assertion that ‘virtually all the major crimes of the Second World War were committed by the Allied powers.’ Was Japanese deployment of biological weapons in China a major crime for instance? Did that happen?
2nd, I personally have never seen a figure higher than 900,000 for deaths caused by strategic bombing in Japan, and that’s a figure in a report you link too. I’d be interested to see which sources estimate a million plus.
3rd, if the alternative to strategic bombing was invasion or waiting for the Soviets to destroy all of Japan’s forces in the far east, no sane leader would have made that decision, especially since an invasion was generally projected to kill millions of Japanese anyway with hundreds of thousands of Americans. The prerogative of any military commander is to protect your OWN people. My grandfather for instance was stationed in the pacific and it was assumed by the men in his newly created Army infantry unit that they would be killed in the invasion. I quite possibly am here thanks to the bombing of Japan.
4th, and this is why I’m skeptical full-throated neo-nazism will ever be a good idea for the American far-right, because Japan and Germany DECLARED WAR ON US. Yes, I know that we were trying to instigate it, and were not really neutral, and FDR was duplicitous, but the fact remains.
Finally, I think your somewhat moralizing tone here is somewhat ironic, because much of the American far-right love Axis iconography precisely because they were ruthless bad-asses. You think your average stormer reader or certainly atomwaffen member cares whatsoever about ‘human rights?’ Of course not. The ethos of the new right is basically nietzschean. They are fundamentally of the same mindset of the 13% of the American wartime republic who wanted to exterminate all of the Japanese. It is one thing to be saddened by wanton slaughter, but it’s another to judge actions in the past from our 21st century comfort and hindsight.
I think the point is to show the horror of the US bombing campaign against innocent civilians. The Japanese committed crimes, but I doubt they could have pulled anything like this off. I don’t think the war was necessary at all, and all it really did was secure a communist victory, thus ending colonialism, and thus leading to the third world invasion of Western countries today. WWII was a disaster for civilized countries like Japan, and many others.
I agree it was a catastrophe for the world. But were China and the USSR ‘uncivilized’ in the sense of not having high culture? I agree China was totally backwards and USSR was in the grip of Jewish Bolshevism. But the lands of Confucius and Tolstoy? And as to your contention that ‘the Japanese couldn’t have pulled something like this off,’ they maybe didn’t have the industrial capacity for that level of strategic bombing, but the Japanese ‘Kill all, Burn All, Loot All’ policy killed some 2.7 million people in China through slightly lower-tech means, and killed perhaps another 500,000 with cholera and plague outbreaks engineered by Unit 731, and for a while had more sophisticated aircraft than we did. And was it necessary? Well the war in the pacific was instigated by Roosevelt’s economic warfare sure, but economic warfare is perhaps rational when another country was being run by extreme militarists. Since the Japanese ultimately attacked, it seems ludicrous to talk about ‘necessity’ to me, unless you think America should have simply abdicated at that point.
You are all over the place, and really missing what is important. It does not matter who declared war first, or waged economic war. This is world politics and you should understand that.
No one is bring “full-throated neo-nazism” to anything. We are just seeing history for what it is. The Germans fought communism. We attacked Germany and turned ourselves into communism’s best friend (who always had its piercing eyes set on us). It is as simple as that, and was well understand during WWII by many Americans. Try to stop being such a flag waver and look for petty reasons to support US foreign policy. The USA was as bad, and pretty much the equivalent of, the USSR in WWII. I know that is difficult for many to accept, but there it is.
Irishman, if you would deign to stop your anti-Japanese raving and pompous pontificating based on your specious and smattering knowledge and half-truths on WWII China and Asian-Pacific theatres for a moment, here are my tentative answers to some of your accusations and questionings:
1. It is true that Japan conducted chemical warfare, albeit limited in scope and potency, in its war with China during 1937 to 1945. But it was China, the KMT and communist forces alike, that provoked Japan ceaselessly from mid 1930s onward into expanding the war deep into the Chinese mainland. A large portion of the Japanese political and military leadership would have rested satisfied with its successful annexation of the non-Chinese Manchuria at the beginning of 1930s which it ruled with order, cleanness and much benevolence, as testified by the facts that all the ethnic groups in Manchuria, including Manchurians, Koreans and Chinese lived in peace, stability and prosperity under the Japanese rule and large numbers of Chinese continued to pour into the Japan-ruled Manchuria from the Chinese mainland in the South to seek a better life, driven by incessant civil wars, famines, and corruptions constantly churned out by the Chinese warlords. The provocations Chinese instigated against Japan around mid 1930s included wanton arrest, torture and kill of peaceful Japanese civilians residing in China, unlawful seizing of their properties, and vicious and virulent anti-Japanese propaganda to incite the hatred of the Chinese masses based on lies and distortions. The Marco Polo Bridge Incident of July 1937 was masterminded by the Maoist communist apparatus, and the Second Shanghai Incident in the summer of the same year was deliberately premeditated and plotted by Chiang Kai-Shek’s KMT regime in order to beat an unprepared Japan with a Chinese Blitzkrieg. Despite the meticulous preparations well in advance on the Chinese side and its huge manpower advantage over Japan, its military campaign failed miserably and actually backfired, inviting the righteous wrath of Japan and forcing it to enter a full-stage war with China.
2. The Chinese paramilitaries ambushed a peaceful village in a place named Tongzhou in the suburb of Peking, which was lawfully inhabited by Japanese civilians, mostly businessmen and their families out of blue, and brutally and sadistically slaughtered all the hundreds of Japanese people there, almost completely composed of the elders, women and children. They also raped all the Japanese women, from 7 to 70 years old before killing them all. The Chinese hacked all Japanese they could find to death, mutilated and disemboweled their victims, and even castrated the dead Japanese men and leeringly thrust wood sticks into the vaginas of the dead Japanese women. This is the infamous Tongzhou Massacre, which was a true historical incident, unlike the much exaggerated and falsified Nanking Massacre. Seeing what occurred to their compatriots, the Japanese soldiers, burning with righteous fury and indignation, pulsed with a strong urge to take fire of vengeance to the Chinese, yet the Japanese military by and large still maintained its rigorous discipline and treated the Chinese civilians of the areas they occupied with restraint and clemency in their subsequent war effort, unlike what you have read about the “bestial” Japanese armies, the historical truths were much different. The imperial Japanese army was welcomed by the Chinese peasants and common folks in towns and favored by the latter over their own KMT militaries. Japanese armies would not hesitate to give its rations to starving Chinese villagers afflicted by the manmade floods, as a result of blasting the major dam on the Yellow River by the Chinese troops. In return, Chinese peasant in Henan Province organized themselves and teamed up with Japanese armies to combat the Chinese armies of the KMT regime. These were all true historical happenings in 1943-1944 periods and well documented.
3. Like their Middle East spiritual cousin Jews, the Chinese is an extremely ruthless, unscrupulous, cunning and cruel lot, which was manifest during the Chinese-Japanese War. The Chinese KMT regime, in collaboration with Japan and Germany-hating, Jew-infested FDR regime of US, cooked up innumerable anti-Japanese propaganda pieces to agitate and stoke up anti-Japanese sentiment in US society with methods of outright falsification of pictures and other evidences, which included ploys such as using pictures of corpses of Japanese civilians slaughtered by the Chinese as Chinese victimized by the Japanese army, planting a crying baby amid the debris and rubbles at Shanghai railway station in the aftermath of a Japanese aerial attack as evidence of Japanese brutality and aggression. The photo of the artificially arranged crying baby scene was published on the October 1937 issue of the Life magazine, deliberately targeting American readers to influence the American public opinion for China and against Japan. Mark Harris’s book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and Second World War details the stories behind the curtain of joint Chinese-US war propagandas and clarifies it was the Hollywood director Frank Capra who had worked closely with the Chinese regime under the directions of FDR administration and fabricated evidences to smear and demonize Japan in an effort to monger pity for China and pull US into the war on China’s side against a Japan that had no intention whatsoever of antagonizing or colliding with US. If you believe only Japan was capable of inflicting humanitarian disasters during the war while China was but an innocent and amicable bamboo-feeding panda, then you have a seriously misled and flawed judgment as you have most probably swallowed the Chinese bait book, line, and sinker.
4. You seemed to unduly stress the fact that Japan and Germany declared war on US, obfuscating, marginalizing and downplaying the fact that it was US and UK, under the Jew-serving FDR and Churchill, had already started wars on Germany and Japan, albeit without bothering to openly declare them. US Navy was instructed by FDR to patrol along with the British Navy at North Atlantic Ocean. searching for Germany submarines and notifying their places to the British upon spotting them, which is entirely an act of war that US imposed on Germany long before Hitler declared war on US after Pearl Harbor. In fact, Hitler had tried hard not to engage US despite all the lurid provocations from US along the way. As for US hostilities against Japan, way before Pearl Harbor, FDR, hell-bent on provoking Japan into firing the first shot so as to drag the America nation into a total war of annihilation against Japan and Germany, had sent its semi-official air squadron named the Flying Tiger to China to fight against the Japanese air force, masquerading as volunteers. US then launched unilateral, systematic and harsh sanctions over Japan including asset-freezing, embargoes of oil, steel, rubber and other war materials etc. to suffocate Japan. FDR continued to prod, push and corner Japan while Japan was sincere and desperate to avoid confrontation with US with patient and persistent peace efforts with expressions of huge concessions including willingness to back out from the mainland Chinese, US gave Japan the ultimatum containing absolute and impossible demands. With its back against the war, Japan reckoned it faced a situation of fighting and dying or kneeling before US and still dying, it decided to stand up and fight for a slim chance of survival, a fight and die as a samurai with dignity if that was his destiny. All these were historical truths already widely known to the students of history. It is ultimately meaningless and trivial if not ridiculous for you to weigh options of firebombing Japan into surrender or invading the Japanese homeland and argue in favor of the former since the war against Japan by US was unjust, unjustified and unnecessary to begin with, and could have been easily prevented had US honestly responded to the earnest peace overtures of Japan. However militarist Japan was at that time, it did not want war with US and did not actually threaten US militarily before eventually being forced to attack Pearl Harbor, so the economic warfare of FDR launched against Japan was NOT rational but an unilateral and willfully provocative bully aiming at kindling a total war however you chose to whitewash it. Again, neither Japan nor Germany wanted war with US and did everything they could to avert it, but FDR’s America was determined to wage war on Japan and Germany so there was nothing left to prevent the conflagrations that engulfed all the civilized nations concerned, resulted in a series of catastrophes, and handing mainland China and much of the region in a silver plate over to communism that would go on to kill far more Chinese than Japan had possibly done.
5. Yes, China was the land of Confucius, but that was a more than two thousand of years ago by the time of WWII broke out in mid 1930s. Confucius and its legacies of sophisticated civilization and profound learning and self-cultivation was as alien to China of early 20th century as it was to China today. If anything, Japan is the nation that has better inherited and assimilated the essences of the Confucianism even to this day, not to mention the Japan before the War. China of early to mid 20th century was a land of illiteracy, barbarism and savagery. You need look no further taking a look at the Boxer’s Rebellion around 1900s and what they did to Western priests and their own Chinese countrymen alike based on their benighted and blood-thirsty superstition. Westerners were considered cannibals by them and those falling in their hands were all brutally butchered. A ordinary Chinese person with a pencil in his pocket would be mercilessly hacked to death as a “follower of the White devil”. This kind of prevalent obscurantism coupled with bloody violence against elements of dissent was a trademark of the Chinese society and continued well into the middle of the 20th century in the Chinese mainland and erupted again during the Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976s. For an unvarnished and upfront observation and assessment of the old Chinese society, I recommend the book Ways That Are Dark: The Truth about China by Ralph Townsend, a US professional diplomat having worked and lived in China in early 20th century for a long time who had accumulated much first-hand knowledge and developed a gimlet-eyed understanding of the traits and quirks of the Chinese people. As to your mentioning of the shopworn line of the Japanese military’s “Burn All, Kill ALL, Loot ALL” wartime policy in China, it was a propaganda of the Chinese communist government to vilify Japan with sensational hyperboles. In fact, as I said earlier, the Japanese military treated local Chinese civilians fairly well in places it conquered, occupied and stationed. Killing and looting did happened sporadically, but only in the areas where the Chinese communist forces were concentrated as tactic of anti-partisan warfare. The Japanese occupation of Chinese cities might not match the German occupation of Paris during WWII in terms of the degree of undisturbed peace and tranquility, but was still pretty good. And even the same Chinese who were fortunately not brainwashed by the current regime of China, like the people of Taiwan, do not hate Japan at all and actually harbored a feeling of gratitude and admiration for the former’s clean and efficient administrative rule and strenuous efforts to modernize and develop the colonial land under Japanese rule.
All in all, it is true that all sides commit acts of atrocity during the war, but the allies had committed far more atrocities and mass killings than the axis, especially when the victors did that in the cloak of “liberators” and “forces for freedom and democracy”. Which make them far more despicable and detestable as sheer unadulterated hypocrites. Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that, warts and all, the axis side represented the force of light and justice, while the allies, serving the interest of the demonic Jewry and its empire of usury and exploitation, was the force of evilness. All the world’s peoples of civilization, high culture and healthy nationalism, including nations of the White race along with the Japanese nation, would have been living in a much better world and much better homelands of their own had Germany and Japan prevailed in that fateful and deadly struggle 73 years ago.
Comtaose, much of what you say I agree with on a factual level, and only draw different conclusions from. I will just add one or two more things, since it is not my intention to get into a pissing match on the internet, and I only wanted to give an honest critique of this piece, not completely tear down what is no doubt a valuable counter to propaganda (which I should have stated earlier)
1. I don’t actually hate the Japanese, that would be absurd, and I was careful to avoid actual value-judgements in my early comments. Even what I described as ‘fanatical militarism’ has a time and place and is not necessarily a negative thing. But since the true right correctly notes how horrendous it is that the Japanese and Germans are still demonised because of the events of WW2 (even if the mainstream narratives were fully accurate) I would think we would know better than to collectively hate the Slavs or Chinese, who I acknowledged were in a state of extreme economic deprivation. (And yes while I am quite aware of some backwards Chinese idiosyncrasies, I disagree that Chinese classical learning and cultivation was totally gone by the 20th century, when the imperial examination system continued into the 20th century) Collective hatred of an entire group can be useful, but it’s not conducive to rational thinking. Even among the Jews I think it is more rational to point out the destructive effects they usually cause on societies than to hate in totality, which is just being intellectually honest in my mind.
2. The Tongzhou incident no doubt was an atrocity, and I wasn’t aware of certain grisly details you mention but you fail to mention it started after hostilities started and occurred over the course of a battle. And in numerous Chinese attacks on foreigners in China leading up to 1937, the Japanese usually deployed massive force in response.
3. I agree that FDR was trying to provoke a war, but the Flying Tigers I don’t believe were actually engaged in combat until after Pearl Harbor, and ultimately, economic warfare isn’t true open warfare, something that FDR had to wait to start until the Japanese attacked.
4. Finally, I wish to iterate that I think it’s foolish we attempt to pass any sort of moral judgement on past actions from the comfort of our modern lives, knowing full well that we would have done the same thing had we lived the lives of the men who committed the atrocities. This goes for the wartime actions of all nations, including the US. I don’t believe WW2 will ever be rationally discussed nor will the Axis powers begin to be vindicated in the public sphere until this more dispassionate mindset is adopted, and so I think it’s a mistake to engage in this type of thing ourselves.
Irishman, thank you for your rational and well-argued response. I was perhaps a bit too harsh and emotional at the beginning of my previous reply comment to you. Now I understood and agree with your future-oriented and balanced take on historical issues of WWII involving both the ally and axis powers as reflected in your latest comment. I have a few additional points to make in response to some of your views and hope they might provide something of a referential value to you.
1. Germany and Japan are still demonized in this day NOT because they committed disproportionately horrendous atrocities (which they did not, at least not really worse than the Allies) in WWII, BUT because they lost the war, and because their wicked, vicious and ruthless sworn enemies hated them to the marrow and intend to continue to play the historical cards so as to eternally emasculate, enfeeble and pin down these two noble and superlative nations. And who are their sworn enemies? In the case of Germany, the international Jewry; and in the case of Japan, the totalitarian and now hyper-nationalistic, ultra-egoistic, and global hegemony-crazed China.
2. It is indeed unwise and morally wrong to hate Slavs and Chinese unconditionally. I agree with that observation of yours. There are admittedly fine elements in even an abysmally depraved, immoral, and unconscionable country like the current China ruled by an indescribably and peerlessly evil regime. But we at least need to be fully and constantly alert and guarded against China of this day, and a majority of Chinese overseas including but not limited to those living in White western societies are either thoroughly brainwashed or intimidated by the Chinese regime and are ready to be its potential Fifth Column and Troy’s Horse when ordered to be so. As to the China of early and mid 20th century, classical learning and cultivation certainly still remained in the literate class and officialdom, even after the last Manchurian Dynasty ended in 1911, thanks to the vestige influence of a thousand year of political, cultural and educational continuation of the Confucianism. But in the general society and public at large away from the world of elite, China was already and continued to be in a state of moral and intellectual malaise, of benighted barbarism and savagery, which was an well-recorded and undeniable historical truth. The stupendous gap in learning, cultivation and morality between the elite and the masses is one of the largest and most salient characteristics of China of that time, which was in a sharp contrast to Japan where even the ordinary folks are more moral, cleaner, better educated, more civilized and have more dignity.
3. The Tongzhou Massacre occurred after the general hostilities began, literally so, indeed. It happened in the end of the July 1937, less than a month after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident which happened in July 7 of the same year. But it really cannot be argued with fairness that it occurred over a course of a battle. What battle? I really don’t know what you were referring to. In fact, over such a short period (22 days or so) after the outbreak of the Marco Polo Bridge skirmish, an official state of war between Japan and China had yet to emerge, and more importantly, the sporadic acts of hostilities had not yet spread to the place of Tongzhou and the specific locale where the Japanese civilians resided. There was no war going around their place. They were attacked and savagely slaughtered by the Chinese paramilitaries all out of sudden, totally unwarned and caught off-guard. Not to mentioned numerous other unprovoked and cold-blooded incidents of murders of Japanese civilians in China by Chinese mobs and government agents alike that occurred before July 1937. Furthermore, you mentioned that Japan usually deployed massive forces in response to various Chinese attacks on foreigners, as if implying that Japan overreacted and retaliated disproportionately to Chinese provocations while other western powers adopted restraint. This could not be further from truths. Please allow me to inform you of some relevant historical events:
In March 1927, the Nationalist Chinese Army of KMT, in its expedition from Canton northward in an attempt to nominally unify China, arrived in Nanking. Under the instructions of the communist elements inside the nationalist armies, they marauded, ransacked, and robbed Western and Japanese residences in Nanking including foreign diplomatic compounds. The British consular was dragged to the street and beheaded with a Chinese style long machete under the broad daylight and the consular’s wife was gang-raped by a two dozens of Chinese soldiers. More than a hundred foreign women in total were raped including 35 Japanese women. The British and American warships sailing on the Yangtze River fired shells into the Nanking city in reprisal. But the Japanese government ordered its naval ships not to fire which caused strong yet unavailing protest from the field navy commanders and sailors. Similar atrocities against Western and Japanese civilians at the hands of invading Chinese armies happened again a month later in April in Hankou of Hubei Province in central China. In May 1928, the Chinese nationalist army marched further North to Jinan, the capital city of the Shandong Province, where they butchered, raped and looted foreign businessmen and other civilians in which the Japanese victims amounted to more than 400. This time Japan shelled the city in reaction and sent troops to occupy the city temporarily. The British and American governments called on Japan to jointly send an ultimatum to the KMT nationalist government, but Japan declined and tried and eventually succeeded in persuading the British and American governments into dropping the plan. Starting from May 1928, massive strikes turned mobster attacks on western and Japanese factories and business owners which had been stoked up by the communists had engulfed the whole central China along the Yangtze River areas and threatened the life and properties of many foreigners in the region, which eventually led to the shelling of the port city Wanzhou by British warships. Again, the Japanese government of Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara’s administration adopted a foolish and mindlessly conciliatory policy toward China which included peaceful negotiation, non-intervention, non-use of military force, non-cooperation with the Western powers on the latter’s tough stance, which even aided China on its diplomatic offensives over the West. Japan’s senseless and misguided policy to befriend and appease China was deemed as “soft” by the Chinese nationalists and communists alike who obviously read the situation smartly and started to pick on the “soft” Japan while leaving the tough and not-to-be-messed Britain and America aside. The subsequent escalation of anti-Japanese violence driven by the particular mentality of the Chinese mentioned above, along with the strategic directions from Moscow to its proxies in China to deliberately and desperately put China and Japan on a collision course in order to benefit the Maoist communists at the expense of Chiang’s KMT regime, finally became the last straw on the back of Japan, went beyond Japan’s endurance and pushed Japan and China to an all-out war in less than ten years. From the critical historical events above, we can clearly see that Japan had acted not with excesses of force, but actually with too much restraint, which played into the hand of the Chinese who cunningly exploited the “softness” of Japan and continued to pour oil on fire in order to further their long time agenda of communist revolution, which eventually led China and Japan to the fateful war of 1937 to 1945.
4. No, you were wrong with your accounts on the Flying Tigers. They have been in collusion and collaboration with Chiang’s KMT regime since late 1937. Their early activities were mainly non-combative, but focused on training Chinese fighter pilots Kunming, Yunnan Province at Southwest tip of China near the Burma border, and were largely secretive. In 1940, the FT leader and a Chinese woman chaser and race mixer leader C.L. Chennault was appointed by Chiang to go back to US to recruit American fighter pilots and mechanics with lucrative contracts offered by the KMT government to join the Chinese war against Japan in the name of civilian volunteer. In August 1941, four months before the Pearl Harbor, FT was formerly established and kicked into high gear its hostile actions versus the Japanese air force in China. Though the first aerial combat of FT fighters against Japanese air force occurred in Dec. 20, 1941, about two weeks after the Pearl Harbor, the above records clearly and indisputably showed that FT has long been in a state of unmistakable hostility and quasi-war against Japan well before the former declaration of the US-Japanese war.
5. Lastly, you tended to highlight the importance of rational thinking preconditioned with a dispassionate mindset. I partly agree with that, though not with some reservation and different opinions of my own. Dispassionate and rational reasoning and discussion are of course necessary and needed, but that alone is not enough. Intellectual elites in our White Nationalist movement are well equipped with such capacities and tend to emphasize them, but an organic and truly successful movement need not merely its elite echelons, but its work ant and solider ants as well. The masses as the latter as we know cannot be appealed and mobilized by cool reasoning alone, however correct and wise it might be. To seize and win the hearts of masses, you must touch their heartstring, not with dispassionate rationalizing, but with a fiery passion and by appealing to emotion. Hitler knew that better than anyone, and that’s why he succeeded tremendously and against all odds in his years of political ascendancy. In the future of White and Japanese nationalist movement, we should know better than depend on human rationality alone, and should also actively and effectively seek and enlist the indispensable and primordial capacity of human passion and emotive power with all its ebullient, effervescent and mesmerizing energy and vitality.
Since spending time in China, I had thought that Marxism completely gutted Chinese culture and values. Considering, Marxism as a philosophy breaks life down to the most material and empty component. The worship of money and the attempt to gain it at any cost no matter how shameful. People never react to Marxism as “Oh, lets all be equal.” Adopting its values makes people just want to be the upper class. Money is what defines quality. I had no idea that the gutting and collapsing of values happened as early as the boxer rebellion. The U.S. purposely obfuscates any real negative comments on China in its history and culture courses.
Yes, you are right. The gutting and collapsing happened that early. It has been a chronic and incremental process, and was dramatically accelerated after the communist takeover of 1949. Your mentioning of Marxism reminded me of a most recent and hilarious incident. China sent Germany a quite large and tall statue of Karl Marx to be placed at the city Trier where Marx was born and whose family’s old house still erects. Soon after the pompous and much trumpeted and festooned opening ceremony, the statue was involved in an attempted arson though it only slightly damaged the status’s pedestal. Of course, the spineless and self-debasing local authority condemned the righteous act and apologized for the man behind an ideology that has killed more than 100 million people worldwide since its birth. The post-War German establishment and elites are all fixated on Hitler and Nazism and the spurious “Six Millions” and do not bother to care about Marx the real “One Hundred Millions” victims of Marxism.
From this I also recall another most recent fact in China that the current ChiCom regime held a grand conference in commemoration of the 200 years anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx on which Xi, the self-anointed lifetime President, Party Secretary General and Supreme Commander of the PLA gave a long and winded speech to eulogize and glorify Marx and called on the whole Party and the entire nation to “forever carry on the cause of Marxism” and declared “the fate of Marxism equals the fate of CCP and China”. Isn’t it glaringly ironic and paradoxical that while China openly upholds, defends, justifies and promotes free trade and globalism on the international stage this day, to the extent of calling US bad names such as “protectionism” and “isolationism”, in an attempt to replace US as the new leader of the globalization and plutocratic capitalism, at the same time, it is also preaching Marxism to its own masses domestically.
Marxism and ultra-nationalism inside China, globalism and mercantilism abroad, what a brilliant idea for an alternate use of ideologies to advance China’s strategic interest! Perhaps Xi and his inner circles secretly understand but choose to keep it to themselves that “Globalist Capitalism and Bolshevik Communism are but two sides of the same international Jewish coin”, from which the current Chinese regime has received both its past (from 1949 to 1979) and its today (from 1979 to the present).
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