High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
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Ifor
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Ifor » 20 Mar 2021 15:07

IMHO, there are quite a few different strands to this, none of them am I particularly well qualified to state adequately.
Culturally, at that time( and from what I believe, it only developed in to the extent it did, in the 20s and 30s) the Japanese military, generally, had quite an extreme attitude towards themselves as 'warrior's and their enemies, who were considered to be less than human. Not everyone thought that way, but there must have tremendous pressure applied from society to conform. The version of their history was altered, and I use the phrase brainwashed loosely, to alter the population perceptions.
The Japanese haven't always had such an extreme attitude.

This has been going for millenia, most nations at war have used words to denegrate and justify. We have(western Europe and USA) have done exactly the same during the wars amongst ourselves or other adversaries .
I have no doubt that the Allies, at times committed atrocities( we were successful so we write the history), again I personally think that to expect people to go to war and not expect things to go wrong is a bit naive. These issues would be intensified if your opponents have little regard to life or the rules we generally live by.
Britain and most of the allies, could not justify heavy casualties to their home nations.
Other nations were not so adverse, Russia being just one, until towards the end of the war
Although perhaps the reasons for such heavy casualties, cannot be put down to one particular reason
I wonder if also perhaps the issue of the amount of ordnance (artillery/airpower) perhaps made a difference? Just a posed question.

Sorry if it's a bit disjointed.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Cult Icon » 20 Mar 2021 15:42

It would be more interesting to see JAPANESE sources and accounts, rather than Western viewpoints which dominate.

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Ifor
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Ifor » 20 Mar 2021 16:06

Good point

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by LineDoggie » 21 Mar 2021 10:12

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 20:06
We have:

1. Battlefield casualty reports - near 100% fatality rates, with almost zero wounded and very few Japanese POWs, consistently across nearly all the Pacific Island battles

2. Documentary film coverage and eyewitness testimony from former U.S. marines detailing how they murdered Japanese soldiers

3. Detailed accounts of racist U.S. war propaganda vilifying the Japanese

4. A noticeable change in POW rates when the U.S. military offered incentives, such as 2 weeks leave, for Japanese prisoners captured alive.

It all adds up to one thing: the United States military committed mass murder against Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Islands during WW2.

Edit: typo
Tell that to those of the Bataan Death March, Palawan POW massacre, and the thousands of other Japanese massacres of American, Australian, Canadian, New Zealander, Dutch, Chinese, Indian, Burmese, and Native Islanders, the Nurses of the Alexandra hospital massacre and ask for their sympathy.

The Japanese Soldiers worshipped Hirohito as a Emperor God and believed dying for him was the most beautiful thing possible.

wind your neck in and get some context
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Takao » 21 Mar 2021 21:20

Cult Icon wrote:
20 Mar 2021 15:42
It would be more interesting to see JAPANESE sources and accounts, rather than Western viewpoints which dominate.
They are readily available on the internet, all it takes is a Google Search.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by LineDoggie » 21 Mar 2021 23:41

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 04:32
I noticed recently that the Japenese suffered an extremely high portion of their casualties in their Pacific island battles with the United States as deaths (close to 100% in many, many battles). In nearly every battle throughout history, most casualties take the form of wounded. But in the Pacific theater, there were very few wounded Japanese, and also very few taken prisoner.

When this comes up, it's usually dismissed as the Japanese being fanatical zealots who fought to the death and all killed themselves, but, I can't help but think that what really happened is that racist American marines murdered the Japanese. But America won these battles, and there were very few if any Japanese survivors, so who can dispute what the Americans say?

Does anyone know any good resources on this?
Japanese were quite racist themselves believing indians were less than human using Indian POW as Target and Bayonet practice and as food and were racist against Caucasians
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by LineDoggie » 21 Mar 2021 23:43

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 16:35
Amazing that people are so quick to deny the possibility that American marines committed the same atrocities that basically every other country's soldiers committed in every war ...
Ask a Nanjing resident about your innocent Japanese
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by paulrward » 22 Mar 2021 04:50

Hello All:

Perhaps we should all step back, take a deep breath, and try to pull an even strain.....

We have two divergent schools of thought here. The first sees the Japanese soldiers as young, beautiful
sons of Nippon who enjoyed long Koto concerts, delicately trimming their Bonsai trees, and contemplating
the fall of delicate cherry blossoms as a metaphor for the fate of all soldiers. The Americans were brutal,
racist gaijin who defiled everything they touched, who needed to be brought under the discipline of his
Godlike Imperial Majesty Hirohito.

The other school of thought sees American soldiers as the heirs to the tradition of John Wayne and Captain
America, who can do no wrong, and were only carrying out a just, divinely mandated retribution on the
sub-human Japanese ' Monkey-Men ' for the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March.

They can't both be right.

Let's face it, the Americans killed a lot more Japanese than vice versa. Speaking as a Citizen of the United
States, that's just fine with me. The United States did NOT start the war with Japan, but we sure as hell
ENDED IT !! - And we ended it with a BANG !! ( Actually, TWO BANGS !! )

Were American GIs angels ? Hell no ! They were fighting a war against an enemy who had been indoctrinated
with the tradition that surrender was a disgrace, the stain of which could never be removed from their souls.
They went into battle believing that to die for their Emperor was the greatest glory that could befall any
warrior. They gloried in battle, abused those they defeated, and above all, they longed for a heroic death.

Are the U.S. GIs to be blamed for granting them their fondest wish ? :D



Now, for a little ' war story ' from my own experience.

Back in the summer of 1979, the price of gold had skyrocketed to over $ 300.00 per ounce ( it would go
over $ 800 in a few months ) and I was visiting a friend at his parents house. It was a Saturday Afternoon,
he and his parents had the charcoal grill heated up and were getting ready to cremate a few steaks for a nice
evening meal. We were sitting around, shooting the breeze, and I mentioned that I had just picked up a few Krugerrands ( about a dozen ) , as I felt that the steady printing of money under the profligate Administration
of the Peanut Picker from Georgia would cause a burst of inflation that would make them more valuble.

My friend's father was sipping at his Coors, and he meditatively asked me " how much do you know about Gold..?"
I said that I knew that I would like a lot more of it, and I laughed. He then asked me, " How much is it worth,
right now ? "

I told him that I had paid $ 340.00 apiece for the Krugerrands I had purchased, but that the price of gold was
really about $ 300.00 an ounce, and that I had paid a premium for the K-rands. He nodded, and then asked,
" How would you go about selling gold ? "

I told him that any Pawn Shop or Coin Shop will generally buy gold, depending on the type and the purity. He
thought about it for a second, and then said, " I have some gold.... Do you think I could sell it ? "
I asked him, " Is it like, jewelry ? " He hesitated for a second, and then said, " It.... it's .... Uh... dental gold..."

I nodded, and told him that gold crowns and that sort of thing were usually very high in gold content, and
while it didn't bring the price of pure gold, he could get something for it. I asked him how much he had.
He put his beer down, got out of his lawn chair, and said, " Stay here, I'll go get it for you."

He went into his garage, and came out about a minute later, carrying a small Smuckers Jam jar, about 4 inches
in height by 1 1/2 inches in diameter. He handed it to me, and I looked into it. It was filled, packed, with
gold crowns and teeth with large gold fillings. The teeth were not cleaned, and were all crusted with dark
blackish brown lumps that looked disturbingly like dried blood and human tissue. And, despite not being a
dentist, I could see that these were NOT the teeth of animals.

My friend held his hand out, and I gave him the jar. He looked it over, and said, ' Woah.....Man " His mother
took the jar, and, looking into it, whispered, ' Oh my God ! " She handed it back to my friend, who shook
it a few times, and said, " It's heavy "

His father took that jar back from him, and again asked me if I thought he could sell them. I remember
hesitating a bit, and then telling him that it might be hard to sell.. you know... like that..... maybe he should ...
... uh... clean it up a bit.... you know, take out the other stuff that was in it. That, I told him, would make it
a lot easier to sell.....

He asked me if I knew how to do that, and I said, yeah, you could probably just melt it off and collect the gold
as a single ' slug ' of gold. He asked me how that could be done, and I said, " Do you have a Propane Torch ? "
" Yes. " he answered. I smiled at him, and said, ' If you have a Propane Torch, and a small pyrex dish, like
a pyrex coffee cup, you could melt it all in that, and then just pick out the .... impurities.... with a tweezers
or a needle nosed pliers. "

At this point, my friend's mother suggested we get the steaks going, and his father took the jar back into his
garage, came out, and we sat around listening to the hissing of dead cows.....

The next morning, Sunday, my phone rang. It was my friend's father, and he wanted to know if I could help
him clean his gold. Long story short, I arrived with Propane Torch, a spare MAPP gas cylinder, a Pyrex coffee
cup, some tweezers and hemostats, and we got to work. It took about an hour, but we finally got the
stuff heated to the melting point, by which time all the black stuff had burned off the teeth, and the gold
began to melt off and run to the bottom of the cup. Alternately heating and picking, we got the detritus out
of the liquid gold, and then, using some of his can of soldering flux, we fluxed the gold, and then let it
cool down. Upon breaking my coffee cup, lo and behold, there was a small disk of gold metal, about two
inches in diameter and maybe 1/4 inch thick.

My friend's father asked me if I could sell it for him, and so, the next day, I took the slug to work with me and
weighed it on the centigram balance in my lab. It was just over 345 grams, or about 11 Troy Oz. I made
a phone call, and left work an hour early that day, went to the coin shop where I bought my K-rands, and walked
out with a check for $ 3000.00. Which, when I handed it to my friend's father, really made his eyes light up.

He invited me to sit down for a beer, and after a few sips, I asked him, " I don't want to, you know, insult you,
but a guy with a jar full of gold teeth...... Uh..... Are there.. like.. a bunch of people buried under your house ?"

He smiled, and said, " No - I got those all in World War 2. I was in the Marines - in the Solomon Islands...." I knew
that he had been in the Marines in WW2, as a few years earlier, he had been hospitalized due to a recurrence of a
skin fungus that he contracted during the war, and, according to my friend, he had seen some very hard fighting
against the Japanese in the South Pacific.

" So, Japanese who didn't need them anymore ?" I said this with a smile.

" Yeah. And a few who might have used them, but not after we were through with 'em."

I took another drink from my beer. " Yeah, well, the Japs found out that when you mess with the Big Dog,
you get the Teeth... Or, I guess the Big Dog gets the Teeth !" We both started laughing. We talked a
little more, I finished my beer, and then I went home.


Not the sort of story that you used to find in Captain America Comics.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Takao
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Takao » 22 Mar 2021 09:48

No...it is the story you find in Sledge's book "With the Old Breed."

I also note that there are more than Paul's stated two opposing viewpoints here...And that his viewpoint is far from being unique.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Mar 2021 12:36

Takao wrote:
21 Mar 2021 21:20
Cult Icon wrote:
20 Mar 2021 15:42
It would be more interesting to see JAPANESE sources and accounts, rather than Western viewpoints which dominate.
They are readily available on the internet, all it takes is a Google Search.
I favor Col Yaharas account of the battle of Okinawa. His perspective as the operations officer for the Army HQ there is interesting. Both overtly and between the lines Yaharas testimony places a fair portion of the blame on the leaders. Tactical incompetence is one factor, not giving a damm about faculties is another. He cites a pointless & clumsy frontal attack by the two best trained divisions of the defenders as a example. HIs view collaborates with the US version that it broke the Japanese defense thru severe losses of their best infantry. Most of the accounts from Japanese leaders I have read were naval officers, who narrative does not reveal much about severe casualties. Tho in one naval commanders testimony there are some hints why 20,000+ Japanese soldiers starved to death on Guadalcanal.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by paulrward » 22 Mar 2021 17:28

Hello All ;

Mr. Takao wrote :
No...it is the story you find in Sledge's book "With the Old Breed."
I must confess, I have never read the book, but I just did a Google search and found the relevant
passages. Hmmmmmm It seems that the Marine Corp had a LOT of amateur Dentists working
in the ranks. Something I did not know, but which makes perfect sense.

Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by David Thompson » 22 Mar 2021 18:27

Please stay on topic -- the death rate of Imperial Japanese forces in Pacific Island battles.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by rcocean » 29 Mar 2021 21:03

historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 04:32
I noticed recently that the Japenese suffered an extremely high portion of their casualties in their Pacific island battles with the United States as deaths (close to 100% in many, many battles). In nearly every battle throughout history, most casualties take the form of wounded. But in the Pacific theater, there were very few wounded Japanese, and also very few taken prisoner.

When this comes up, it's usually dismissed as the Japanese being fanatical zealots who fought to the death and all killed themselves, but, I can't help but think that what really happened is that racist American marines murdered the Japanese. But America won these battles, and there were very few if any Japanese survivors, so who can dispute what the Americans say?

Does anyone know any good resources on this?

Yes, they are easy of find, assuming you're sincere and not some weird SJW with an agenda. There's an excellent book called "The anguish of surrender" which covers the Japanese attitude toward surrender. Also, "Taken captive" is an account by a Japanese Soldier. You can throw in: Die like the carp : the story of the greatest prison escape ever / Harry Gordon. which also gives a good insight into the Japanese thinking.

Your comment about "racist americans murdering Japanese" is hilarious. I believe that what's they paid to do. Kill the enemy. that aside, every army wants the other side to surrender, since killing them all takes up time and causes your own side unneccessary losses.

The US marines would've been delighted - and tried to encourage - Japanese soldiers to surrender. Think of how many Marines would've lived if the Japanese on Iwo Jima had realized the struggle was hopeless and surrendered after Mt. Surabachi had fallen! The other point is that the Chinese didn't take many Japanese Pows. The Aussies didn't, neither British or the Indian troops in Burma. Guess everyone was just so gosh darn racist! :lol:

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by rcocean » 29 Mar 2021 21:08

This is the sort of question that makes me wonder if anyone reads history anymore. The Japanese no surrender doctrine was long standing. Japanese Pow's taken by the Soviets in 1938-39, were treated as traitors. Japanese combat officers were expected to die in combat and NOT repeat NOT surrender their unit. As far as I know, not a single Japanese field officer above the grade of Lt. surrendered his unit in the pacific war against the USA, until the Emperor said it was OK. Almost every POW was taken in small groups or unorganized units after their higher officers had been killed or were nowhere in sight. Japanese soldiers taken prisoner were given a chance to inform their loved ones they were alive and correspond with them. None of them did. They were too ashamed or afraid of the blowback if it was known they have been taken POW.

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Re: High Japanese death rate in Pacific island battles

Post by daveshoup2MD » 30 Mar 2021 08:30

rcocean wrote:
29 Mar 2021 21:03
historygeek2021 wrote:
18 Mar 2021 04:32
I noticed recently that the Japenese suffered an extremely high portion of their casualties in their Pacific island battles with the United States as deaths (close to 100% in many, many battles). In nearly every battle throughout history, most casualties take the form of wounded. But in the Pacific theater, there were very few wounded Japanese, and also very few taken prisoner.

When this comes up, it's usually dismissed as the Japanese being fanatical zealots who fought to the death and all killed themselves, but, I can't help but think that what really happened is that racist American marines murdered the Japanese. But America won these battles, and there were very few if any Japanese survivors, so who can dispute what the Americans say?

Does anyone know any good resources on this?

Yes, they are easy of find, assuming you're sincere and not some weird SJW with an agenda. There's an excellent book called "The anguish of surrender" which covers the Japanese attitude toward surrender. Also, "Taken captive" is an account by a Japanese Soldier. You can throw in: Die like the carp : the story of the greatest prison escape ever / Harry Gordon. which also gives a good insight into the Japanese thinking.

Your comment about "racist americans murdering Japanese" is hilarious. I believe that what's they paid to do. Kill the enemy. that aside, every army wants the other side to surrender, since killing them all takes up time and causes your own side unneccessary losses.

The US marines would've been delighted - and tried to encourage - Japanese soldiers to surrender. Think of how many Marines would've lived if the Japanese on Iwo Jima had realized the struggle was hopeless and surrendered after Mt. Surabachi had fallen! The other point is that the Chinese didn't take many Japanese Pows. The Aussies didn't, neither British or the Indian troops in Burma. Guess everyone was just so gosh darn racist! :lol:
I posted the following; post #6 of this thread:

Doyle, Robert C. (2010). The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Enemy Prisoners of War, from the Revolution to the War on Terror
Gilmore, Allison B. (1998). You can't fight tanks with bayonets: psychological warfare against the Japanese Army in the Southwest Pacific
Straus, Ulrich (2003). The Anguish of Surrender: Japanese POWs of World War II

As you say, be interesting if someone read them... ;)

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