The jap in WW I

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, Oct 27, 2008.

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  1. After a few beers last night the subject came up of Japan and the behavior of her troops in WW II, a well known subject.
    The a question was then asked, Where the japs always the same ?
    I replied that I had never heard talk of any atrocities in WW I.
    Would board members more knowledgeable than I care to comment.
  2. Because they were not involved in WW1 they did Fight the Russians in the early 1900's.
  3. I remember reading about a young Russian Officer they captured at the time. Apparently they carved a Hammer and Sycle into his back and then hammered an artillery shell up his arse, so in responce to the original question I would say 'probably'. They also did some pretty evil things to a lot of Chinese civilians around the same time.
  4. And the Japanese Army was also responsible for the Nanking Massacre in 1937, which did nothing for Chinese/Japanese relations.

    Wikipedia has the details, just google Nanking Massacre. Sorry couldn't manage to add the link!
  5. Why not? Whats wrong with you?
  6. Gents The Japanese did fight in WW I. They conquered many of Germany's Far Eastern territories.
    What I am hoping to find is actual Documented accounts of any atrocities or as I should really have mentioned, where the WW II atrocities due to the extreme nationalist Policy's of the Government of that era and the brainwashing of the military.
  7. Japan was on the Allied side during WW1. Their main campaign was the two month siege and final capture of the German naval base at Tsingtao in China. A token British force of 1500 men supported this effort but played a very small part, mainly to watch over the Japanese. Even then no one was sure what Japanese intentions were. 4,000 German prisoners were sent to Japan. Looting in the colony was forbidden and measures taken to restore normality. Have'nt read any stories of atrocities from WW1. We know what went on after that.
  8. The Japanese were extremely well behaved in World War 1. There was a piece in the Journal of Modern History in September 1994 which dealt with Japanese behaviour towards PoWs, which described Japanese treatement of PoWs in the Russo-Japanese War and WW1 as being 'exemplary', pointing to several references which supported this.

    One of these is a piece by the Cambridge academic Phil Towle (in Military Affairs, October 1975), which makes the point that the way the Japanese behaved towards PoWs was taken by some western observers to be a sign that the Japanese were a fundamentally kind race, since several war correspondents who had access to the Japanese and the PoWs commented on how well-treated the PoWs were.

    The author of the first piece I mentioned (SP Mackenzie) suggests that the attitude change for the Japanese came alongside the rise in nationalism and a feeling that the Geneva Convention rules were a western construct - given the anti-western feeling of the Japanese nationalists, it was perhaps unsurprising that they didn't play by these rules in WW2. By 1942, Tojo is on record as having told the Japanese cabinet that the Japanese would treat PoWs differently to the US and the UK because there was a different philosophy in place in Japan.
  9. I guess a sneak attack on the Russians in 1903 is not necessarily an attrocity but probably a breach of some protocol, like a declaration of War!
  10. just googled the subject and found this

    Britain, by signing a mutual defence treaty with Japan in 1902 gave Japan main responsibility for Far Eastern waters. Japan then declared war on the 23rd August 1914, partly with the aim of capturing the German base of Tsingtao on mainland China and occupying the German Marshall and Caroline Island groups in the Western Pacific. Tsingtao was besieged and taken on the 7th November 1914 by a largely Japanese naval and land force with a token Western Allied presence.

    By then, the German island groups had been occupied by ships of the First Fleet. Japanese warships of the Third Fleet also helped escort ANZAC troopships across the Indian Ocean and others took part in the hunt for German light cruiser 'Emden' in the East Indies and Indian Ocean, and for Adm von Spee’s East Asiatic Squadron in the Pacific Ocean - the latter leading to the Battle of Coronel and ending with the Battle of the Falklands. Until 1917, the Navy stayed in the Far East, for example helping British forces to put down a mutiny in Singapore in February 1915. Then from April 1917, an eventual total of 14 destroyers with cruiser flagships were based at Malta playing an important and efficient part in anti-submarine convoy escort.

    Most Japanese wartime losses apart from the Tsingtau operation, were due to accidents, but in the Mediterranean, one destroyer was torpedoed and badly damaged.

    After the war, Japan joined the Allies in Far East operations against the Bolsheviks.
  11. In Regards to Singapore the IJN landed 158 marines from the ships Ottawa and Tsushima
  12. Thank you Archimedes
    This what I am looking for.
    The jap in WW II is well known.
    None of us old men out here had ever heard of jap atrocities during WW I and your reply is what I was hoping to find.
  13. Having recently visited the Yasukuni Jinja (shrine) Museum in Tokyo I can confirm that Japan did indeed participate in WW1 and were on our side. They even had naval units stationed in Gibralter (IIRC). Part of the exhibit is a Japanese military time line display running through several galleries and there are several pictures from WW1 including Japanese Navy ships stationed in the Med.

    As far as the question of atrocities goes none are mentioned (and I have never heard of any). However you can context this with the (very brief) section covering Nanking which says something along the lines of 'After capturing the city all Japanese troops were given orders to treat the local population with respect, which they obeyed'

    I wanted to take a photo at the time but a) the many locals in the gallery may have taken exception if they realised why I was doing it and b) they don't allow cameras in to most areas of the museum (perhaps for this very reason)

    It is a fascinating place though and ineresting to see the local perspective (or at least the government's perspective) on Japanese military history
  14. 'After capturing the city all Japanese troops were given orders to treat the local population with respect, which they obeyed'
    A classic of understatement.

    I was hoping to avoid any mention of the japs time in China and WW II and would like to hear from folk out there who will know more than I.
    I have an elderly Japanese couple live in the condo next to me. Ultra polite and correct, all you could hope for in neighbors.
    One of my friends out here is a German who turned 16 back in 45. A gentleman and as he has said to me if you did not attend the Hitler Youth for two weeks running, the knock on the door was for your parents not you.
    I have seen a few TV documentary's that have mentioned the Extreme Nationalism of Japan in the 30's and several of my friends do think this was much behind the disgraceful conduct of the jap in WW II.
  15. You also have to bear in mind that Japan always has been, and still is, a very insular nation which regards many non-Japanese as little more than uncivilised barbarians.

    Even though the Japanese, at least in the major cities, are used to gaijin living amongst them there is still very much an 'us and them' feel. There is a whole level of life here that is almost impenetrable to non-Japanese. In 2 years here for example I have never been to a Japanese person's house despite having Japanese friends and colleagues and having had Japanese girlfriends. This is not at all unusual and many of my gaijin friends will say the same. There are bars and clubs that will not allow non-Japanese through the door even if completely fluent in the Japanese language.

    Get on a train and, despite the cariage being full, almost no-one will sit next to you. There will be 20 people standing and none will sit down if I have an empty seat next to me. Understandably this is more prevalant from the older population and the younger ones are considerably more multicultural than even their parents and certainly their grandparents.

    In 2008 this is still a country that is, as a nation, racist and impenetrable. Even the tourist minister recently said that Japanese people were "ethnically homogenous" and "definitely … do not like or desire foreigners". He was fired from the cabinet by the PM, but it shows what people even at the top really think.

    It is an attitude that derives from centuries of belief and culture and will not go away over night. Whilst I cannot in any way condone atrocities committed by the Japanese in Nanking or WW2 I do at least understand why perhaps those that committed them found it easy to do so.

    I also want to point out that despite what I have said I find most Japanese people, to my face at least!, to be welcoming, warm, charming and wonderful to live amongst.

    And the girls are filthy - but that is for another thread :D