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GUEST,colwyn dane Surrender of Singapore (35) RE: Surrender of Singapore 15 Feb 01


I have read that the average American during WW2, in the main, treated honourably the Germans and Italians they fought against.
The Japanese enemy was thought of in a different way; in some cases, if not all, with hatred and contempt. An ex-RN aircraft-carrier crew member said "I didn't feel any compassion for the Japanese.";
an ex-US Marine said "We thought of the Japanesese as being sub-human.";
yet another ex-Marine candidly reported that he used to carry 2 water-canteens on his belt,
one for water and in the other he used to put the gold teeth he extracted from dead Japanese,
he then went on to describe how he extracted them; another ex-Marine told how a telephone line-laying team
had taken a Japanese prisoner and brought him back to HQ, their CO blew his stack and told them,
"You have spoiled our record, we never take prisoners. Now take this Jap back to rear HQ,
and you've got 15 minutes to get there and back." Now the round trip was about 60 minutes.
So they figured they were being told to use their imagination and to kill the prisoner, which they did.
A popular song of the period, 'We are going to slap that Jap' was played, no doubt to re-inforce, to the viewer, Joe Public's feeling towards the Japanese enemy.

Of course on the other side of the coin we were informed of how in Borneo over a thousand malnourished Australian prisoners had been marched, through the jungle, to another location 250 Kilometers away
Prisoners who were could not walk were shot - march or die. The march route was through virgin jungle
crawling with crocodiles, snakes and other wild life, and many of the prisoners had no boots.
Rations were less than minimal. The march took nearly a year to complete.
Only one prisoner survived the march (6 prisoner escaped en-route and hid in the jungle until liberated)
only to be decapitated for having the audacity to display such an example of human endeavour.

A good read about the fall of Malaya and Singapore is "The Naked Island" by Russell Braddon (1921-1995),
who was a young Australian soldier in Malaya and captive of the Japanese in Singapore.

"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine...War is hell."
---W.T. Sherman.---


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