Conditions in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps In World War II

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Conditions in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps In World War II The Japanese viewed those who surrendered as inferior and subject to the mercy of their captures. Tojo, the Japanese war minister, informed the commandants of prisoners of war camps the Japanese government had not signed the Geneva Convention and they were not bound to it. The Japanese field code for soldiers required soldiers to commit suicide rather than surrender. Because of the time schedule set for conquest by Japanese high command, Japanese soldiers slaughtered surrendering Allied soldiers routinely. On Dutch Timor, 800 Australians surrendered only to be tied together and used for bayonet practice. “The Japanese commander explained prisoners were likely to drag upon the movement of his troops.” When Japanese troops overrun Hong Kong, Colonel Tanaka told his troops, take no prisoners. At the Royal Army Medical Corps dressing station, staff and wounded offered no resistance. They were led out and executed on a nearby hill. On April 8, 1942, General King summed up the situation of his troops on Bataan. His troops had enough food and ammunition left for two days. Weakened by starvation and disease, the men could barely muster enough strength to move yet alone fight another battle. King knew he had no choice but to disobey orders. At 0900 on April 9th, King surrendered 78,000 men to the Japanese. King had secured enough vehicles and gas to transport his men to the prison camps. However, the Japanese had other plans. Groups of prisoners assembled in various locations in the vicinity of Mariveles at the tip of the Bataan Peninsula. A series of marches set out north towards ... ... middle of paper ... ... no water and no food. Prisoners drank blood and urine to try and quench their thirst. The unmarked ships carried cargo as well as the prisoners. American submarines sunk many of the ships in route to Japan and other locations in Asia. On September 7, 1944, two torpedoes stuck the Shinyo Maru, Japanese guards started shooting the prisoners. The ship sunk. Out of 750 prisoners on board only 200 survived. On December 14, 1944, an American Navy plane attacked the Orokyu Maru. The ship held 308 prisoners of war, most of which managed to swim to a nearby island. Filipino guerillas helped the survivors get off the island and to freedom via an American submarine. On October 24th, 1944, the Arisan Maru sank after being struck by three torpedoes from American destroyers. The Arisan Maru held 1800 prisoners, only three survived.

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