The jap mentality

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, Nov 5, 2009.

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  1. As some folk know I have a bit of a thing with the Japanese of WW II.
    A Massive Infantry Army, who did wonders against troops who where unprepared for war.
    I understand that all recruits where first Infantry Trained and the the best where accepted for Infantry and remained passed on to other duties.
    The armaments, Small arms, Artillery and Armour never where the best or I would argue even First Class.
    They never seemed to learn.
    Zhukov seriously Tanked them at Khalkhin Gol in Manchuria 1939, yet two years later when they kicked off on their attempt at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, there had been no serious attempt to create a modern armored force.
    So much planning seems to have been based on Gambling that The Enemy would accept Japanese dominance and conquests.
    How come a Nation could risk All on such a Premise ?
  2. Bushido....
  3. Yes it's interesting . Maybe they thought they'd be conquering just the jungle regions of South East Asia therefore tanks would have been impractical ?

    Also seemed strange that while the allies were planning to invade Japan they left a 500,000 strong army in Manchuria that would have been better off defending the home islands . Mind you they'd lost their merchant fleet so getting the troops back to Japan would have been a problem . But as GoldBricker points out they seemed to replace common sense with senseless courage
  4. 600,000 in the 16th Area Army (Ltgen. Isamu)
    150,000 in the 57th Army ( Ltgen. Kanji)
    85,000 in the 40th Army (Ltgen. Mitsuo)

    Thats not counting IJN & SNLF Personnel available, nor Militia, Recalled cat II reservists, Military Schoolchildren, etc. IIRC I read where the Populace was to be given sharpened Bamboo Spears and be prepared to die for the living god, his Imperial Majesty.

    Had a Neighbor who fought at Guadalcanalwith the Raiders and then 6th Marine Division. To the day he died he hated Japs who were his age. But pointed out he didnt hate those born after the war, or those who were children during the war as they shouldnt be responsible for the fathers actions.
  5. There are two excelant books that give an insight into the jap mind

    Requim for the Battleship Yamato by Yoshida Mitsuru, a strange book where the author finds time to explain the beauty of war, while being bombed by the yanks,

    And Letters from Iwo Jima by Kumiko Kakehashi, another strange book well worth reading
  6. What about Hiroshima, where, on a Nipponese night you came face to face with nuclear fission?
  7. I've seen the Clint Eastwood film (not read the book) - how does it compare? I can't imagine Clint Eastwood dumbing it down, but often good books on campaigns/battles don't quite translate across to the silver screen.
  8. Not seen the film so we are in the same boat, very moveing when she goes to Iwo with the familys of the fallen, makes you see the Jap as not such a bunch of barstewards as I first thought
  9. Letters from Iwo Jima - Excellent film. Much better than the gash 'Flags of our Fathers'

    My ole Grandad hated the Japs with a passion (he picked up liberated Ozzy POW's from somewhere)

    But the film did show a not oft seen Jap angle...

  10. Strategically that's true enough (bearing in mind, nevertheless, that senior Japanese commanders warned the emperor that if they couldn't beat America at Pearl Harbour, the war was as good as lost)

    On the tactical front, before the japs became a threat, Britain had observers/liaison officers posted to their Army on operations, who reported back to Whitehall, most impressed at how effectively Japan had incorporated Blitzkrieg/Auftragstaktik into their Army.

    Now, that's something the Brits have not mastered to this day.

    I read a lot of James Clavell books years ago - they are an interesting insight to the Japanese mind: not least since despite being wounded, captured, imprisoned in Changi and brutalised by by them for the duration of WW2, he developed a deep admiration for Japanese culture.
  11. I was interested in whether the film truly reflected the letters in the book, or if it was a conscious attempt to show that the Japanese were 'just like us, really', when in fact they weren't.
  12. I've met Brits from Slim's 14th Army (and my wife has nursed elderly Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOWs) at woolwich, who felt similarly. They wouldn't buy anything Japanese - couldn't understand why any Brit would buy a Toyota.
  13. One of worlds biggest problems, are people holding grudges from so long ago.

    Blacks and slavery as just one example. ok if you were treated like an annimal and almost died as a nippon pow fair enough, but to blame the modern day japanese is just pointless.

    Ok the soldiers of Nippon were bad but they were also treated bad and beaten by thier own officers.
    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the Filipino and Thai guards who were the worst?

    The the singapore surrender by Percival is something that p**ses me off no end.

    The Japs would have fought to the last man.

    Were would we be without their electronics.
  14. Most of the Japs I have spoken to think the fire bombing of Tokyo was a war crime, but then only the loosers are war criminals
  15. 'Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it the Filipino and Thai guards who were the worst?' - no, it was the Koreans.

    I have a family friend who was a FEPOW in Changi - he still maintains that no matter how badly they treated the POWs, they treated their own people even worse. Even, in his late '80s, you can't get much out of him as to what he went through.