Japan in WW2

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#1
Have just been watching 'WW 2 in Colour" on Netflix. There was FDR condemning the 'dastardly attack' on Pear Harbour.

AmI right in thinking FDR was using hyperbole to rile the people even more? I ask this because The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was a brilliantly carried out tactic, if foolish in hindsight.

Sun Tzu wrote "war is deception" over 2000 years ago. I really don't understand the apparent outrage from the Americans..

After the war some Japanese were tried and executed for War crimes. Japan was not a signatory of The Geneva Convention, but did have its own strict code of conduct, based on the Bushido code.

Were the Japanese prosecuted for crimes under the Geneva Convention or International law as it existed at the time?

OT: My dad's mates fought against the Germans in North Africa, at Tobruk and El Alemein and against the Japanese on the Kododa Track. Those who fought the Germans respected them as soldiers. Those who fought the Japanese on the Kokoda Track loathed them for the rest of their lives.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,062
#2
Have just been watching 'WW 2 in Colour" on Netflix. There was FDR condemning the 'dastardly attack' on Pear Harbour.

AmI right in thinking FDR was using hyperbole to rile the people even more? I ask this because The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was a brilliantly carried out tactic, if foolish in hindsight.

Sun Tzu wrote "war is deception" over 2000 years ago. I really don't understand the apparent outrage from the Americans..

After the war some Japanese were tried and executed for War crimes. Japan was not a signatory of The Geneva Convention, but did have its own strict code of conduct, based on the Bushido code.

Were the Japanese prosecuted for crimes under the Geneva Convention or International law as it existed at the time?

OT: My dad's mates fought against the Germans in North Africa, at Tobruk and El Alemein and against the Japanese on the Kododa Track. Those who fought the Germans respected them as soldiers. Those who fought the Japanese on the Kokoda Track loathed them for the rest of their lives.
Surprise attacks without the due process of declaring war ARE dastardly. Little short of Murder.

Civilization relies of people observing rules and norms. Japan had signed nternational conventions (the Hague conventions) and many acts broke Japaneses Military Law.


Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 - Wikipedia

Japanese war crimes - Wikipedia

Soon after the war, the Allied powers indicted 25 persons as Class-A war criminals, and 5,700 persons were indicted as Class-B or Class-C war criminals by Allied criminal trials. Of these, 984 were initially condemned to death, 920 were actually executed, 475 received life sentences, 2,944 received some prison terms, 1,018 were acquitted, and 279 were not sentenced or not brought to trial.

My step-grand uncle hated the Gemans he was a prisoner for 4 years and he came back a broken man.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#3
How are we defining "bushido?"



Is the above an acceptable criteria?

If so, they fail miserably in regards to compassion.

Honor? Their treatment of POWs and many civilians wasn't honorable.

I'll give them courage.... I suppose.

Duty/loyalty....ok.

Integrity? No way.

Honesty and sincerity? I don't think so.

Overall, that's like an F.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#4
Dastardly? It was war, which is itself murder. Not willing to quibble over niceties..

IMO, If you must a have war, the ultimate goal should be maximum gain for minimal loss, not winning by attrition, which tends to be the case.

I had wondered about international law. Wasn't aware Japan had signed the Hague convention. That was silly.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#5
Dastardly? It was war, which is itself murder. Not willing to quibble over niceties.. Once the shooting starts, no one can claim the moral high ground.

IMO, If you must a have war, the ultimate goal should be maximum gain for minimal loss, not winning by attrition, which tends to be the case.

I had wondered about international law. Wasn't aware Japan had signed the Hague convention. That was silly.

Courage? Japan is a sham based culture rather than a guilt based culture, such as ours.. Surrender was a great shame . One was simply expected to die rather than surrender.

Have always admired the courage of the Kamikaze pilots .However, they were also given drugs to help overcome their terror.

Amphetamines were issued to German soldiers on an industrial level. They were seen as a a wonder drug, and freely available over the counter for civilians too. That whole area makes fascinating reading.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,062
#6
Dastardly? It was war, which is itself murder. Not willing to quibble over niceties..

IMO, If you must a have war, the ultimate goal should be maximum gain for minimal loss, not winning by attrition, which tends to be the case.

I had wondered about international law. Wasn't aware Japan had signed the Hague convention. That was silly.
No it was not war as war had not been declared. It not nicieties it's the rules of warfare.

War has rules and for good reasons.

even as a 'ruthless' operator if everyone fights to teh last man, war is very expensive.

POW rules and coventions, mean poeple surrender when beaten making the cost of victory a lot cheaper. It does not real;y change the resul;t but makes cheaper and les brutal all the way around.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#7
Have just been watching 'WW 2 in Colour" on Netflix. There was FDR condemning the 'dastardly attack' on Pear Harbour.

AmI right in thinking FDR was using hyperbole to rile the people even more? I ask this because The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour was a brilliantly carried out tactic, if foolish in hindsight.
No, you are not. The Japanese had been engaged in peace negotiations right up until the Pearl Harbor attack , there was no declaration of war first, it was a sneaky, unprovoked attack, dastardly was an entirely appropiate. Even the Germans declare war first before they attacked Poland.

Sun Tzu wrote "war is deception" over 2000 years ago. I really don't understand the apparent outrage from the Americans..
You always delcare war first, you state your attention first before you attack. There are rules to warfare , and Japan broke them. Japan also broke the rules in thrir inhunNe treatment of prisoners of.war. Even Nasis Germanyhonored the Geneva convention for prisoners of war, which the Japanese did not.

After the war some Japanese were tried and executed for War crimes. Japan was not a signatory of The Geneva Convention, but did have its own strict code of conduct, based on the Bushido code.
Even if Japan was not a signatory of the Geneva Convention, that still does not excuse the Japanese barbaric treatment of prisoners. Germany did not violated any international treaty in running its death camps, that still does not excuse their actions.

Were the Japanese prosecuted for crimes under the Geneva Convention or International law as it existed at the time?
No, any more than most German leaders were executed for violating international laws, or the Geneva convention.

OT: My dad's mates fought against the Germans in North Africa, at Tobruk and El Alemein and against the Japanese on the Kododa Track. Those who fought the Germans respected them as soldiers. Those who fought the Japanese on the Kokoda Track loathed them for the rest of their lives.
An Allied German prisoner of war could expect decent treatment for the most part, a Japanese prisoner could not. Hence the loathing of Japanese soldiers.

Also, Japanese rsnk and file soldiers were guilty of far more mass rape and murders than their German counterparts. The German soldiers did do mass killing of civilians, but that was mostly under orders from their superiors (which does not entirely excuse them). Japanese rsnk and file soldiers did the mass rape and killing, like the Rape of Manila, all on their own without orders from their leaders.
 
Apr 2018
589
India
#8
1. Pearl was bombed in a surprise pre-dawn attack.
2. The whole Pacific fleet became something like Bluto beaten by Popeye.
3. Wake Islands were under attack.
4. 1 hour later, the Japanese embassy delivers a 5000 word piece of Japanese literature (full of whinnings) that doesn't even clearly declare severance of diplomatic relations nor does declare war.
5. Declaration of war printed in Jap newspapers the next morning.
6. Formal declaration (equally bland) gets delivered.

And you're thinking FDR himself should have justified this to the American Public? With quotes from Sun Tzu?

PS: Yamamoto was actually quite angry at the entire establishment because of this unchivalrous act. However nobody gave a rodent's behind.
 
Apr 2018
589
India
#10
As to the Allied Soldier's respect for his German counterpart in North Africa, the whole thing was a glaring exception which can only be credited to one man, Rommel. It was his audacious vigilance that prevented Hitler's poison to infect the Afrika Korps en masse. That's why the North Africa campaign is called a Gentlemen's War.

If it had been someone like Reichenau the North African war would have been just as bad as anywhere else. As Commander of the 6th Army he was more interested in implementation of whatever crap was there in Generalplan Ost than SS themselves. Probably because his hands were not getting dirty. Most Wehrmacht hotshots were either like him or just didn't give a damn. Rommel's ilk were small in numbers and most, including Rommel himself were executed after July 20.

So in a way, your dad's mates were kinda lucky to have "good" enemies (Please don't take otherwise).

And one more thing, most of the "Allied" soldiers belonged to the Red Army. It was not naturally, physically, chemically, logically, emotionally and really possible for them to have "respect" for anything even remotely related to the Nazi war machine.