Bombing and strafing broke down the dogged Chinese resistance and allowed Japanese troops to surround the city and begin to slowly move forward. There were more incidents of neutral civilians being caught up in the fighting, such as a strafing attack on the car carrying the British Ambassador to China demonstrated. Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen was wounded in the attack, a bullet passed near his spine but later recovered in hospital. More devastating was the bombing of railway stations, which usually caused civilian casualties amongst the throngs trying to escape the city. The Japanese regarded the stations as military targets because they were one of the main routes by which Chinese reinforcements arrived, and thus any civilian casualties were regrettable but not avoidable in their eyes.
The Baoshan fortress on the banks of the Yangtze had held out despite Japanese attacks and heavy bombing. The defenders were gradually worn out though, and there were fewer than effective troops left when the Japanese launched their final, successful attack on the 6 th of September. With Baoshan secure, the Japanese established a new airfield at Kunda on a former golf course. Aircraft of the 12 th and 13 th Kokutai, equipped with mix of fighters and bombers, arrived by the 9 th but were initially hampered by the terrible condition of their new base, with the runways and taxiways turned to mud.
The Chinese made one last effort to take out the Japanese ships in the Huangpu on the 25 th of August. The bombing results were again negligible, and the threat against Japanese warships was largely dissipated by the losses sustained. Although the ground war would continue for many more weeks as Japanese troops slowly gained the upper hand, the IJN fighters ruled the skies over Shanghai and, as the remaining elements of the CAF fighter force pulled out of the city by the 10 th of September, would look to extend that domination over the old capital — Nanking.
News Ticker. Home History Defending Shanghai, Previous The Shanghai Incident, Next Trans-Oceanic Bombing of China, February 7, PE Matt 0. On his way to China, Chennault visited Japan. Had the Japanese known who MacDonald was, they would never have let him enter their country, so his passport identified him as a manager of an acrobatic troupe.
The two set off to see Japan through the eyes of experienced airmen gauging potential targets. They toured Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe and sailed the inland sea to identify shipping routes and islands where new war industries were being established. The two hid cameras and binoculars under their topcoats, took photos of potential targets, and filled notebooks with data. The generalissimo had named her head of a commission to reorganize the CAF. She was the one who had hired Chennault.
Now she told him she wanted his assessment of the CAF as soon as possible. In September , the Japanese created an incident that led to their permanent occupation of northeast China, which was then called Manchukuo. In the years that followed, the Japanese devised ways to grab other pieces of China, and by July they were ready to go farther. Japanese troops on a maneuver near the Marco Polo Bridge, just outside Peking, accused the Chinese of kidnapping one of their soldiers. They pressed demands that the Chinese could not meet and then used the Chinese refusal as a reason to occupy Peking.
The missing Japanese soldier was later found in a brothel. This time the Chinese were ready to fight. They chose to do it in south China, in the Yangtze Valley where the huge foreign commercial presence in Shanghai would focus attention on Japanese aggression and—the Chinese hoped—lead to intervention by the Western powers.
Chennault had set off on his inspection tour. On the books, the CAF had a total of operational aircraft; Chennault found Army Air Corps acrobatic team—to prepare the Chinese pilots for the coming war. In early August, Madame Chiang called a meeting with Chennault. She was on her way back to Nanking from Kuling, where Chiang Kai-shek had his summer capital, and Chennault met her on the way.
Battle of Shanghai
Shanghai was the key to the Yangtze Valley and all China, and … the Chinese would have to fight. There he caught the Shanghai night express. The next day, Chennault watched 26 Japanese warships move down the Wang Po River and anchor in front of the city. The Japanese warships on the Wang Po had started shelling Shanghai.
Madame Chiang asked Chennault to recommend action that could be taken against the Japanese the next morning. Information from this era is often conflicted and biased, and there is little prime source material to be found in English.
His comments on what he did and what he witnessed help make understandable much of what happened that August. More recent works of history have the advantage of sources that were not available to Chennault and help further clarify what occurred on that Black Saturday in Shanghai.
The sky was overcast that morning, and it appears to have been windy. Some accounts speak of a typhoon that passed through the city. A typhoon was apparently somewhere near the city; the effects of it would be more evident the next day. He writes that as the flight of Northrop bombers approached the river that Saturday, the pilots could see that the low-hanging clouds would prevent them from bombing the anchored Japanese flagship from high altitude.
In their training, the Chinese air crews bombed from 7, feet at a set speed. Rather than abort the mission, the bombers dropped under the clouds and made their approach at 1, feet—directly over the International Settlement. The bombers were in a shallow dive and moving faster than they ever did on their practice missions—and the pilots had neglected to adjust their bomb sights. The bombs fell short of the Idzumo and went into the International Settlement. Two 1,pound bombs fell on Nanking Road, a crowded pedestrian area. One bomb failed to explode, but according to what Chennault was later told the other killed Chinese and foreigners and injured more than 1, Chennault writes of one sortie by the Northrop bombers, and refers to only two bombs—one a dud and one that exploded—a single incident that occurred that Saturday.
He does not specify the time of day, but to the reader it appears to still be morning when that incident occurred. In the late afternoon they returned for a second attempt. One landed in front of the Cathay Hotel, another went through the roof of the Palace Hotel next door. Because of the large number of refugees in the area, the numbers of dead and wounded were staggering— people were killed, and another wounded.
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There was a decapitated policeman on the street corner, his arms held up as if he were still directing traffic. Blue coolie clothing was everywhere turning red. Burning cars, their occupants still inside, littered Nanking Road as well. Directly outside the entrance to the Palace Hotel lay the body of a young professor from Princeton University….
Ambulances were late coming to the scene, because, incredibly, another bomber had accidentally released two more bombs at the intersection of Edouard VII and Thibet Road…. The Great World was the most famous amusement hall in Shanghai, a six-story building with scores of rooms that housed every form of amusement known to man, from food stalls to gambling to sex. The Japanese had started landing troops from their warships on the outskirts of Shanghai the day before.
Clashes with the Chinese army were occurring, and refugees looking for sanctuary had started flooding into the International Settlement in great numbers. Many gathered in the area of the New World, which had been made a distribution center for free rice and tea. According to contemporary reports, 1, people were killed and another injured by the bomb that struck near the Great World.
At p. Zhang met with foreign reporters at military headquarters. He announced that Chinese forces had occupied the Huishan pier. The New York Times and other newspapers picked up that story and printed it. The Shanghai conflict, which began near the Bazi Bridge, expanded into the northern sector of the city. By August 18, it had spread to the eastern sector, where on the afternoon of August 20, Chinese tank units attacked a settlement called Yangshupu.
The bitter battle lasted through the night. But by the time Lt. Zhang briefed the press, the Chinese had been pushed back to a location three kilometers away from Huishan pier, from which they retreated on the morning of August However, it was the fallacious Chinese press report that was circulated by the Western media. Moreover, since no one contradicted the fiction, even today people believe that the Chinese were victorious. After a fierce battle lasting a day and a night, we finally take Huishan pier.
If we had circled to the right, we could have annihilated the Japanese. A German woman was a familiar figure at Chinese press conferences; she helped explain the Chinese position; these briefings too were stages for the dissemination of propaganda. The merger took place so that Military Committee could control the activities of the Propaganda Bureau.
Dong Xianguang aka Hollington Tong was appointed deputy chief, and an International Propaganda Section was established within the bureau. The International Propaganda Section was responsible for propaganda designed to gain support from other nations for Chinese objectives. It was run by Zeng Xubai, who reported directly to Dong. Upon his return to China and until the war began, he spent his days writing anti-Japanese editorials for an English-language newspaper published in Shanghai, the China Press, where he held the position of editor in chief.
The sheer power of his writing was a constant annoyance to the Japanese. Dong censored all the news reports transmitted to other nations during the conflict with the Japanese, and acted as liaison with foreign journalists. He was also involved in the staging of the crying-baby scenario. He commanded respect among foreign reporters, and used his power to great advantage.
When the merger of the Propaganda Bureau and the propaganda section of the Military Committee took place, Shanghai was under Japanese control. Nanking became the new hub of propaganda activity. But Nanking too fell about a month later, and the Propaganda Bureau moved again, this time to Hankou. After the Japanese occupied Nanking, Nationalist troops being inferior in every way, Zeng decided to advertise, first, the bravery of Chinese troops and, second, the brutality of the Japanese. This is how the Nanking massacre myth was born.
His name was Harold Timperley, and he advised the bureaucrats that the Chinese should not have a visible role in international propaganda. What they needed was a foreign spokesman, someone who understood China. The International Propaganda Section invited Timperley to Hankou, consulted with him about all forms of international propaganda, and then made decisions on initial projects to pursue. When Timperley returned to Shanghai, he corresponded with Miner Searle Bates, a professor at Ginling University and an advisor to the Nationalist government.
The two men discussed propaganda plans. Bates and other Christian missionaries residing in Nanking thought it would be a good idea to spread rumors that Japanese atrocities had been committed all over China. Timperley, however, insisted on narrowing the stage to Nanking. Three foreign nationals assisted Timperley with his work, helping with editing and communications with publishers. Timperley himself was planning to publish pamphlets in the U. Most of the decisions about the content of the pamphlet had been made by mid-March ; Timperley traveled to Nanking for final consultations.
The leaflet was to be a denunciation of Japanese soldiers for the atrocities they had committed, mostly in Nanking. The manuscript, a mixture of lies and exaggeration, was sent to Great Britain and the U. At about the time when Timperley initiated communication with Bates and his colleagues in Nanking, the missionaries began submitting stories to the North China Daily News, an English-language newspaper based in Shanghai.
The British-owned publication had the largest circulation in Asia of any English-language newspaper. It was also read by foreigners residing in Nanking. An editorial in the January 21 edition, based on a letter written by Bates to a friend, stated that 10, civilians had been slaughtered and 20, women raped in Nanking. The letter was pure propaganda, but it was immediately picked up by newspapers in Hankou and Hong Kong. Timperley invented an incident in which an article he wrote citing that editorial was seized by the Japanese.
Nor did they mention the relationship between Timperley and Bates. The articles were made to appear as accounts provided by ordinary citizens, which gave their reports of Japanese atrocities added credibility and gained a wider audience for them. In February , when the propaganda about Japanese atrocities in Nanking was being disseminated, a Political Bureau, whose mission was to foster ideological unity between Chinese military personnel and civilians, was established under the stewardship of the Military Committee.
Installed at its head was Chen Cheng, often referred to as little Chiang Kai-shek because of his slavish devotion to the generalissimo. A Third Department, a new propaganda mechanism, was formed to take charge of domestic and anti-Japanese propaganda. Ten years earlier, Guo had participated in the Northern Expedition, during which time he lost faith in the Nationalist Party and sought asylum in Japan. The Third Department was also involved in the briefings on the progress of the war for foreign journalists held every Monday.
The two entities collaborated on the writing and printing of pamphlets. Zhou Fohai was appointed deputy in addition to Xiao Tongzi. Gu Mengyu was head of the bureau in name only. Deputy head Zhou was acting head and personally oversaw propaganda relating to the Battle of Xuzhou, the first anniversary of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the conflict at Hankou. Guo Moruo wrote the preface for the Chinese-language edition. Kaji had been arrested in connection with Communist activities. After being released from jail, he fled to China. The Nationalist Propaganda and Political bureaus collaborated on a propaganda book describing Japanese atrocities in Nanking.
But not one person involved in that project had personally witnessed events in Nanking after it was occupied, including its editor, Timperley. Propaganda Bureau staff members had no idea what transpired in Nanking, having left the city before it fell to the Japanese. The Third Department was staffed by a great many Communists and Communist sympathizers, but most of them were in Shanghai at the time; not one of them had first-hand knowledge of what had happened in Nanking.
And where were the three men who wrote the preface when Nanking fell? Propaganda took other forms as well. In a war trophy exhibition in Hankou, several hundred photographs ostensibly bearing witness to the slaughter of one-quarter of the civilian population of Nanking by the Japanese were on display. It shows a group of Chinese women returning home after working in the fields.
The explanation attached to the photograph states that the women were raped or gang-raped, and then shot. The March 15 edition of Shenbao, a typical ROC newspaper, carries an advertisement offering payment for photographs documenting rapes committed by Japanese soldiers. When the decision was made to publish a propaganda pamphlet describing Japanese atrocities, Lewis Smythe, also a professor at Ginling University, was tapped to prepare a report about war damage in Nanking. The connection between the American university professor and the Propaganda Bureau was kept secret.
The academic veneer lent credibility to the descriptions of Japanese atrocities. For an entire year, propaganda in the form of stories of atrocities committed by Japanese military personnel was disseminated by the Chinese propaganda machine in a variety of ways. No one questioned the importance or effectiveness of international propaganda. The ROC had won the propaganda war, totally and completely. China continued to produce propaganda thereafter as well. On April 10, , the Chinese described a temporary Japanese withdrawal from Taierzhuang as a complete victory for Chinese forces.
On June 9, they claimed that the demolition of the dikes holding back the Yellow River by Chinese troops was indiscriminate Japanese bombing. Even its purveyors disagree about whether to insist that their propaganda is the truth for all eternity, or to admit that it was a lie after it has served its purpose. Less than one-third of the surrounded enemy survived our attack. This was the first major defeat for the Japanese. At the time, Guo may have believed that the Chinese had actually won the battle. However, after World War II, he wrote the following:.
Looking back, this news seems absurd to me. In actuality, the enemy made a strategic withdrawal from Taierzhuang to prepare for a full-scale invasion. Our military leaders issued a grossly embellished report of the situation — the epitome of exaggeration. And how did the Chinese describe the destruction of the Yellow River dikes? In some cases it is necessary to resort to extraordinary measures, knowing there will be casualties, to prevent the enemy from unlawfully invading our territory.
Taking advantage of the resulting chaos, the Chinese launched a counteroffensive. Since the odds were now so heavily stacked against them, the Japanese fled, leaving most of their equipment behind. With the demolition of the dikes, the Japanese advance halted, and more than , Chinese were killed or unaccounted for. However, there is no record of Japanese soldiers having drowned.
By distorting his account in various ways, Dong was glorifying the destruction of the dikes. In his memoirs, Guo Moruo admitted that the Chinese propaganda had been based on falsehoods and was a dismal failure, tactically:. According to our propaganda, the cause was indiscriminate bombing on the part of the Japanese. In fact, our troops broke up the dikes on orders from top-ranking officers at the front line. This is one of our time-honored tactics: water can destroy huge armies, as the proverb goes. The damage done to the enemy was limited, but we experienced extraordinary casualties in terms of civilian lives and property.
We were surrounded by the enemy, but a public gathering was held to celebrate Double Ten National Day. I had been appointed master of ceremonies, but I had no idea what I should say. Somehow I managed to speak for several minutes, against my better judgment. All of a sudden, Guo Moruo began a speech that was nothing but lies. Our troops have just won a great victory on the front line near the Nanxun Railway!
They have annihilated several thousand enemy troops, and surrounded more than 10,! I was furious at him for duping the people in this way. They moved into faculty apartments at Wuhan University, where Chen and Zhou were next-door neighbors. They were both the same age, and got along very well. Though there was close contact among everyone involved in the Chinese propaganda machine, sooner or later each would end up shifting responsibility to one of the others, because their propaganda had little basis in fact.
In My Struggle, written a year after he became acting head of the Propaganda Bureau, Zhou Fohai described propaganda work as follows:. Day after day, from morning to night, we were required to invent ridiculous stories. I think that is the greatest sin I have ever committed against my compatriots. Worst of all were the three meetings held every week.
The first was a propaganda meeting, attended by people from the Propaganda Bureau, the Political Bureau, and all other organizations involved in propaganda; second was the briefing of foreign journalists, and third was the briefing of Chinese journalists. It pained me greatly to have to sit back and suffer in silence while Zhou Enlai and Guo Moruo made announcements that they had invented. On October 20, , two months after World War II ended, the ROC handed over a list containing the names of 12 men who had allegedly committed serious war crimes. Reports were that it had been compiled by none other than Chiang Kai-shek.
All of these men were Japanese Army officers; almost all of them had been involved with China in some way. Every one of them had some connection with China strategics. However, Tani Hisao stood apart from the others. Tani was commander of the 6th Division, which landed at Hangzhou Bay and participated in the capture of Nanking. About a week later, he moved on to Wuhu. At the end of the year he was ordered to assume the post of commander in chief of the Central Defense Army; he returned to Japan in He was in China only for six months. In August , he was deployed to Hiroshima, which lay in ruins after the atomic bombing.
There he was made commander in chief of the 59th Army. After the war ended, he remained in Hiroshima to oversee the demobilization of Japanese soldiers returning from China. In February , he was arrested and held at Sugamo Prison. All of them were shocked by reports of a massacre in Nanking in the newspapers.
The Demobilization Bureau sent people to interview them, but they could recall no events resembling those described. This violence, more typical of wild beasts than humans, is sure to hasten their extinction. The suffering of my compatriots is beyond description. On December 30, about a month after the Japanese occupied Nanking, Chiang Kai-shek interrogated the commanding officers of his forces retreating from Nanking to learn about the hostilities there.
One of them, Lt. Sun Yuanliang, said that after hiding in Nanking for about a month, he had managed to make his way to Wuhan in late March. Sun had met with Chiang prior to the Japanese invasion of Nanking; he must have reported on the situation in Nanking after the defeat when he arrived in Wuhan. Since he had neither seen nor heard anything out of the ordinary, he had no personal experiences to recount.
Hence, he relied on Snow. Therefore, Chiang Kai-shek could not have heard about anything eventful from his subordinates. Furthermore, since Chiang insisted on being kept informed of every detail of his operations, it is unlikely that he was unaware of the situation in Nanking subsequent to the Japanese occupation. Given these two circumstances, Chiang knew very well whether newspaper reports were fact or fiction-laden propaganda. Even so, he designated Tani Hisao as a war criminal. A month after Chiang Kai-shek submitted his list of 12 names, the Nanking District Court initiated an investigation of Japanese atrocities, asking the City of Nanking, the Nationalist Party, and private organizations for assistance.
It was a thorough investigation, divided by category among organizations. The results? Due to deceitful obstruction on the part of the enemy, which has violently suppressed public sentiment, very few persons have had the courage to come forward to report murders. Furthermore, even when committee members went to interview residents, the latter seemed to have been rendered speechless, like cicadas in winter. Some individuals actually denied the facts or refused to report [crimes] for fear of damaging their reputations.
Other residents had moved away; we were unable to determine whether they were dead or alive. In fact, virtually no civilians complained of Japanese violence. Far from it: they denied that there had been any incidents. The Nanking District Court claimed that the lack of civilian complaints could be traced to Japanese obstruction of the investigation. Three months earlier, on August 10, , Japan had agreed to sign the Potsdam Declaration to preserve Japanese sovereignty. The news was broadcast on the radio immediately in Nanking, and the very next day began with the explosion of firecrackers all over the city.
Residents thronged the streets. Japanese troops remained at their posts there; acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration had not yet become official. If there had been a massacre, the Chinese residents of Nanking would have gladly given their testimony. They also knew that Madame Chiang Kai-shek had purchased a fur coat last year. Smedley adds that they were fully conversant with the details of her personal life, for instance, that she was living in an old, Chinese-style boarding house.
Of course, they knew who her visitors were. Wondering how the source of those details could possibly be, Smedley began to pay attention to her local environment.
Battle of Shanghai - Wikipedia
One night when she was returning from an outing, Smedley noticed a man minding a dimly-lit store in her neighborhood. After paying the coolie, she noticed a small crowd emerging from the darkness and gathering around the watchman, who proceeded to tell his audience who Smedley was, what time she had gone out, what her destination was. The perplexed woman commented that the streets and teahouses of Nanking were the font of all information, which traveled at the speed of light.
If a disaster had occurred in Nanking, even residents fleeing the city would have reported atrocities before they left. Those who stayed behind would surely have been well informed. But no one mentioned any acts of violence. In August , Zhang told a Japanese friend, a newspaper reporter, that the Red Cross had buried , bodies — those of , soldiers and , young, innocent civilians.
He had never been to Nanking, but had access to a great number of articles about Nanking in Hankou. Based on them, this top-flight journalist concluded that there had been a massacre. But the residents of Nanking, unlike their counterparts in Hankou and Chongqing, and unlike Zhang Jiluan, had neither seen nor heard the Chinese propaganda, so could only report their own experiences. Even the efforts made by the Nanking District Court to obtain evidence and testimonies met with silence — even opposition — from the residents. Mud had accumulated in the river, and was partially blocking its flow.
The 41st Division had been ordered to drain the Qinhuai, something the Chinese had never done. Some Chinese even felt sorry for soldiers who had once been so powerful, now stripped naked and doing menial labor. Nevertheless, the prosecutors from the Nanking District Court claimed that their survey, which had been conducted between November and February , had determined that there were , confirmed victims, and , unconfirmed. Also produced were faked records of , interments.
The figures were invented by the authorities, who ordered those conducting the survey to use them. On February 11, the ROC had issued a second list of 21 men 11 Army officers, six diplomats, three naval officers and a prime minister , requesting that they be tried as war criminals. The prosecution selected 12 defendants from the 33 names submitted by the ROC. On April 1, the name of Gen. Matsui Iwane was added to the list of defendants, in response to the insistence of the Chinese prosecutor. On August 1, Lt. Tani Hisao was turned over to China.
After entering the city through the Zhonghua Gate on December 14, , Division Commander Tani was stationed at that gate for approximately one week. There were absolutely no civilians in the vicinity. During that week, Tani inspected all the units under his command, but at no time did he see or hear of any atrocities. He said as much on the witness stand at the tribunal, but no one paid the slightest bit of attention to his testimony. On April 26, Tani Hisao was executed by a firing squad. In addition to Tani, the Nanking military tribunal sentenced two commissioned officers to death for allegedly having participated in a contest to cut off heads, described in a Mainichi Shimbun article; and a company commander for having decapitated Chinese, a crime described in a book.
When it became possible for them to speak out about the incident, the accounts they gave describe the terrible fear they felt. Why did Chiang bring up the incident? By late November, the Shanghai battle line had buckled and the Japanese were advancing to Nanking. Chinese military authorities were debating whether to defend Nanking. Alexander von Falkenhausen, leader of the German team advising the Chinese on military matters. Li was the first to speak. He said that after defeating the Chinese in Shanghai, Japanese morale was bound to be at its zenith.
Nanking would surely be taken. The best course to pursue was to abandon Nanking before hostilities even began. Bai agreed with him. Von Falkenhausen urged them to abandon Nanking to avoid needless casualties. Tang, the last one to speak, thought an attempt should be made to buy time by defending Nanking temporarily, and then abandoning it. But once he sensed that Chiang wanted him to defend the city, he declared that he would fight the enemy in Nanking to the last man.
Liu Fei, head of the Operations Department, which planned all operations, attended three such meetings. He advocated a symbolic defense followed by withdrawal. Only Chiang Kai-shek had expressed interest in defending Nanking at all costs from the very start. After the meeting concluded, he decided to defend Nanking and appointed Tang Shengzhi as commander in chief of the defending forces. Nanking fell easily to the invading Japanese. The city should have been abandoned earlier; it was pointless to defend Nanking to preserve Chinese honor.
His mistake became an excuse for attacking Chiang. He urged defending Nanking to the last man because it was the capital. Capital cities are rarely conquered in war. If the Chinese empire had still existed, the dynasty would have perished along with the capital. When military authorities at Imperial Army Headquarters in Tokyo decided to attack Nanking, some among their number felt that the offensive should be postponed until peace negotiations with Chiang, then underway, had ended.
Since honor was so important to the Chinese, perhaps an attack on their capital city should be delayed. Matsui, who was being accused of responsibility for atrocities in Nanking. The reply from the ROC mentioned nothing about events that transpired in Nanking, only that Matsui was commander in chief when the capital fell. He Yingqin and Generalissimo Chiang had a direct effect on these trials. On December 7, , the Japanese Navy attacked the U. The surprise attack, launched on a Sunday morning, disabled or destroyed most of the U.
Pacific Fleet, sinking five battleships, damaging three more, and demolishing aircraft.
On the following day, President Roosevelt read his declaration of war before Congress. A film bearing the title Remember Pearl Harbor came out, as did several books with the same title. Someone even composed a song, the Remember Pearl Harbor March. Time after time, the American people were told that the Japanese are underhanded and devious.
But these characteristics alone could not instill the will to fight against the Japanese in American hearts. Something more was needed. Since the war had just begun, Americans knew nothing of Japanese brutality. Dredged up to respond to this need were atrocities allegedly committed by Japanese military personnel in Nanking four years earlier.
And once again, attention was drawn to accounts furnished by American missionaries in Nanking. In , there were 12 Japanese-language newspapers published in Hawaii, the new home of many Japanese immigrants. On the day the Pacific Fleet was attacked, the higher-ranking editors of those newspapers were detained at the Immigration Office. Five days later, all Japanese-language newspapers were ordered to cease publication.
When January arrived, military authorities allowed publishers to resume operations, having realized that they could use Japanese-language newspapers as vehicles for propaganda. However, they were permitted to print only news stories that had been checked by censors. From then on, such editorials appeared on practically a daily basis.
The first editorial, which claimed to be a factual report — not propaganda — stated that Japanese soldiers had raped Chinese women in Nanking. Chewing gum wrappers bore depictions of Japanese atrocities in Nanking. Movie theaters were another venue for such propaganda, not to mention short stories portraying the Japanese as enemies of humanity and recounting atrocities in Nanking. To stimulate support for war, the U. War Department produced a series of seven films under the title Why We Fight. But before long, Nanking atrocities were superseded by stories of atrocities in the Philippines, and this time the victims were Americans.
The assault on the Philippines was executed at the same time as the Pearl Harbor attack. At the end of December, American and Filipino troops abandoned the capital, Manila, and holed up on Bataan peninsula and Corregidor, an island located off the tip of Bataan. On January 2, , the Japanese attacked Bataan.
Due to fierce resistance on the part of the Americans, however, that campaign failed. Having obtained additional men and resources, the Japanese launched a second attack on April 3. On April 10 and 11, the Americans and Filipinos surrendered, practically en masse. The plan was for the prisoners to walk as far as San Fernando Station, a distance of 60 kilometers. This defeat on U. Twenty months later, on January 28, , the U. Army and Navy suddenly announced that thousands of Americans and Filipinos had died on the Bataan peninsula.
The journey from Mariveles to San Fernando became known as the Bataan Death March, and tales of Japanese atrocities in the form of inhumane coercion began to circulate. Back to Bataan, a film account of the Bataan Death March intended to inspire animosity against the Japanese, was rushed to production. It starred the popular movie actor John Wayne.
In October , the U. American troops landed on the island of Leyte and, advancing northward, attacked Luzon, another of the Philippine Islands. The main Japanese units abandoned Manila and steeled themselves for a long, drawn-out battle. It was primarily Japanese Navy units that defended Manila. Hostilities commenced in early February , and ended with the ruinous Japanese defeat of February On April 17, the resident commissioner of the Philippines testified about Japanese brutality before the U.
House of Representatives. Before the month was over, the Army Intelligence Section had issued a pamphlet entitled Japanese Atrocities in Manila, a collection of accounts of Japanese murders of Filipino civilians. What really captivated Americans was the 30 photographs in the pamphlets showing rows of gory corpses. Secretary of State Cordell Hull was in favor of hanging Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo at the earliest possible opportunity. In November , the heads of state of the U. At a banquet, Marshal Joseph Stalin announced that he wished to execute 5, German officers as soon as the war ended.
On February 4, , Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met once again at a summit conference at Yalta on the Crimean peninsula. On the sixth day of the conference, Churchill, who had envisaged drawing up a list of the main German war criminals, apparently opined that all of them should be shot as soon as their identities had been verified. Then August 15, known in the U. On the following day, Gen. Yamashita Tomoyuki, commander in chief of the 14th Area Army, which had been entrusted with the defense of the Philippines, was arrested in Manila. Yamashita for Japanese atrocities in the Philippines.
At that point, the list of defendants for the Nuremberg Trials had still not been finalized. Nevertheless, the campaign to exact retribution from Japan was launched without the slightest hesitation. Furthermore, only the Japanese were accused of atrocities. Most of the propaganda films in the American Why We Fight series were set in Europe, but no mention was made of the monstrous German atrocities.
American and British leaders had access to the plan to exterminate the Jews in written form before November , but they failed to take it seriously. Americans remained skeptical about German atrocities until a group of congressmen inspected Nazi concentration camps after the German defeat. Until he was appointed chief prosecutor for the U. Originally, the Germans were first in the minds of Americans seeking retribution after the war ended, but before long their focus shifted to Japanese atrocities, due in part to racial prejudice. On September 11, a week after Gen.
Also singled out, in addition to members of the Tojo Cabinet, were 14 men who had been involved in the Philippines campaign, including Homma Masaharu commander of the 14th Army , Lt. At the time, the Japanese public had no idea why these 14 men had been selected. Four days later, on September 15, the U. Armed Forces Pacific Command announced that Japanese troops had committed atrocities in the Philippines.
GHQ forced all Japanese newspapers to print the announcement in their September 16 editions. The Japanese public believed that though their soldiers had lost the war, they had fought honorably and fairly. But now the Americans were telling them otherwise. The shock experienced by the Japanese was immense. On October 29, the trial of Gen. Yamashita began in Manila. The Nuremberg Trials had yet to begin. No decision had been made about the IMTFE — who the defendants would be, or even when the proceedings would commence.
One would expect such accusations to be leveled against officers who ordered atrocities and the subordinates who executed the orders. But the indictment stated only that Yamashita had failed to prevent his subordinates from committing atrocities. Never before in military history or in the annals of international law had anyone been prosecuted on such grounds.
Since the Americans could not exact vengeance using traditional methods, they invented new ones. Every day of the trial was filled with testimonies of Japanese atrocities. Cross-examination was restricted on the grounds that it would waste time. No attempt was made to determine whether witnesses were telling the truth. Even the propaganda film Orders from Tokyo was submitted as evidence. It showed the city of Manila being laid waste by Japanese troops, and a great number of Filipinos including Catholic nuns being murdered inside and outside a church.
In actuality, the main reason for the large number of casualties was indiscriminate bombing by American troops. However, the film made it seem as though Japanese atrocities were responsible. In one scene, an American GI bends down over a fallen Japanese soldier. The scene was, of course, staged. The trial concluded after a little more than a month.
The verdict was due two days later. The judge had a mountain of evidence to review, and was unable to give sufficient thought to the closing arguments. Twelve reporters, representing the U. All of them were opposed to the sentence sought by the prosecution: death by hanging. On December 7, the judgment was delivered.
It did not state that Gen. Yamashita had ordered his men to commit atrocities, or that he himself had committed any. It did not even state that he was aware of any atrocities.
Bloody Saturday (photograph)
He was pronounced guilty only because he had not taken appropriate steps to prevent them. Yamashita was the first military man to be pronounced guilty on the basis of such insubstantial charges. Even if inaction, i. Yamashita was not in a position to control the units assigned to him. Even if his men had committed atrocities, he could not have prevented them. Nevertheless, he was found guilty and hanged. During this time, reports of Japanese violence in the Philippines were being circulated in Japan. A report on Japanese atrocities prepared by Gen. Congress, was publicized by the foreign press and GHQ.
But the Japanese public still was unaware that atrocities were committed in Nanking by their soldiers. It was on the next day that they were informed.
- Dream of Danger (A Brown and de Luca Novel, Book 2)?
- Aftermath (Hidden Agenda, The Unveiling Book 3).
- Tragedy & Triumph in China.
- 1930s photographs!
- Adventures of Eli Deuce.
- Battle of Shanghai;
About a week after Gen. Yamashita was arrested, Lt. Homma Masaharu was served with a summons to appear in court. In prison he learned for the first time of the Bataan Death March, and that he was to be held responsible for it. During the three-and-a-half months that American and Filipino troops resisted the Japanese in their Bataan fortress, they consumed almost all their food supply; the Japanese used half their provisions. Jungle-covered Bataan peninsula is a breeding ground for dysentery and malaria.