Japanese Soldier’s Remembrance of Iwo Jima – part one

In this painting by an unknown Japanese artist, Japanese soldiers, taking cover behind a wrecked U.S. plane, fire on Marines approaching from the beachhead.

This article from HERE was contributed by Nasuko.

My grandfather passed away in 1986. Since then, nearly 20 years have passed, but my grandfather left a note of “Battle experience record”. My grandfather was born in Meiji 45 (the first year of Taishō), was summoned four times from the beginning of the Sino-Japanese War, and was serving to “Iwo Jima”, one of the greatest fierce battles during the Pacific War. It seems that after the war, I remembered it based on the memories of that time and the records written in my notebook.

In Iwo Jima, about 21 thousand Japanese soldiers fought and crushed and survived by only about 1,000 people. My grandfather belonged to the hybrid First Brigade Engineer Corps and only 13 out of 278 people had survived.

Takahashi Toshiharu (74 years old who died in 1986) from Susaki city, Kochi Prefecture, who was assigned to Iwo Jima as a commander of the Army Engineer at the age of 31.
Being seriously injured while shoulder struck back at Iwo Jima, he was taken prisoner of the US military and returned in February of 1946 (Showa 21).
After that, he worked at the Shimizu station in Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture.

We are engineers, making bombs is an expert. They made 20 km bombs at once. Put this on your back and infiltrate ourselves into enemy tanks. Wait for the night to come, carry the bombs on your own. I gave up my gun. No one says anything. It will not return to this position again. The war situation is a disadvantage, the division headquarters is also in danger. Now we are leaving.

There are many injured soldiers left in the position. Looking at our departure, we want to die together. You must destroy a tank that comes to Tianshan tomorrow morning. I never fail to fulfill my promises though I told my wife when I leave Japan that I should live and return. I was destined to die. Even if I live, there is no rice, there is no water, no bullets, no way I can live. Forgive my wife child I apologized with my heart that I could not return home alive. Now we are going to death with justice.

I know the topography. I enter a sideways hole position. . I will be absent until morning. I swear that our day will be our day. In turn and wait for the enemy’s coming at the exit of the hole. When I moved and looked at the enemy, my eyes flashed sharply. I heard a sound, I was buried in the earth and sand. The shell fell in front of me. It was a misfire. Every time I face death, something happens and helps. It is strange.

The tank that should come is still coming. The most terrible fellow, brown and large M4, came. It is 200 meters away. It protrudes a cannon, puts machine guns on the left and right, and also has a flamethrower. It is time for our eight people to die. There is no prospect of saving any thought. I am prepared for it. There is no fear, but the death is ever closer to us.

Yano, the sergeant watcher, ran to warn the others to prepare for the battle – the tank came. His complexion is pale. The enemy burns off the front with a flamethrower, sweeps with a machine gun, shoots with a cannon with a cannon and just goes on a slurp. This is repeated.

We have decided to jump out as the tank approaches 10 meters.  There are ten tanks and we have eight people, so only eight can be destroyed. The remaining tanks will pour into my army.

to be continued….

Click on images to enlarge.

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Japanese Military Humor – from: Kunihiko Hisa cartoon album “Zero Fighter 1940-1945”

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Richard Bennett – Bartlesville, OK; US Army, WWII, CBI, 2nd LT.

Floyd Carter Sr. – Yorktown, VA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Tuskegee / Korea & Vietnam, Lt. Col. (Ret.)

Frank Forlini – Yonkers, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, HQ/187th/11th Airborne Division

Koso Kanemoto – Chicago, IL & Los Angeles, CA; US Army, Japan Occupation, US 8th Army, G-2 MIS Interpreter

Bill Lundquist – Skagit Valley, WA; US Army, WWII, ATO, radioman

Thomas Martin – Huron, SD; US Army, Iraq, Ranger, West Point graduate, KIA

Austin McAvoy – Detroit, MI; US Navy, WWII, PTO, USS Intrepid

Bernard “Wallie” Newport – Waikato, NZ; RNZ Navy # 8095, WWII, Sub-Lt.

Rose Puchalla – Minneapolis, MN; US Army Air Corps WAAC, WWII, ETO, 1202nd AAFB (Africa), Pfc., KIA

Robert Wood – Lady Smith, WI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 2, 2018, in First-hand Accounts, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 102 Comments.

  1. I am just catching up with you again, GP. Good to see these stories from the other side, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I know you’ve heard me say it before, but Smitty would always tell me that you need to look at ALL sides (there are never just 2) to any situation to get even a partial view of what really happened. That old saying, you can’t judge a book by its cover – you need to read and examine every page.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing. This pretty much could have been written from either side. No wonder we have to demonize the other side. Otherwise, we’d realize how similar we are

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Always a first hand account brings those horrific moments to life, I wonder if today’s generation who read these words, can visualise in real emotion, what psychological thoughts are being experienced by both sides.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Truth Troubles.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Going to reblog this for you Sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes, there are great insights in the comments, too. You said, “Some people get a bit testy about showing the ‘other side’.” While that’s true, part of the value of posts like this is that they remind us that — to some in the world — we are the “other side.” That’s a bit sobering all on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reading these kinds of posts reminds me that people are people, no matter what side they are on, and that they have families and feel and fear, the same as their enemy does.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Well, that’s a cliff hanger, G. Thanks for sharing the other sides perspective. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Catching up on several missed posts has literally been an edge-of-chair read. Amazing accounts. In the current post the Japanese humour is surprisingly self-deprecating.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow…. what an account. Digging deep into military history, I always want to hear the story from all angles. Japanese accounts are especially hard to come by. Thank Nasuko for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It feels odd to see your Dad’s name under your Farewell Salutes, which I’ve followed for the past several years… Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It broke my heart to see his name there Koji. I always felt that I knew him. (that was thanks to you and our friendship). After all you have done for me, I was finally able to do something in return. And I want to do more.

      Like

  12. Such concise writing. Simply fascinating and important to read of this time from the perspective of ‘the other side.’ So concerned for current events resulting in yet another awful war. Thank you for this essay.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reading those taut sentences, of approaching death…my own heart beat faster.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. sheafferhistorian

    Reblogged this on Practically Historical.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Good to hear both sides of the story. Not many care to see the hurt on both sides, but it exists. Thanks for sharing all the stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Edge-of-seat-post. War … sigh. GP, I fell helpless to stop one I feel brewing. 💔

    Liked by 2 people

  17. That is a really wonderful painting! Nice cartoons too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s so important to remember that there were people on both sides, trying to survive and trying to be courageous. Thanks for sharing the Japanese perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I love the little cartoons! They’re so cute. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Chilling to read…but very glad you posted it. People are people the world over and I suspect that very few of them want to be caught up in wars.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I look forward to the continuation of the story….

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Great post and I also think it is great to hear the other side of the conflict!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. How intense and tragic. Thank you for sharing this provocative article from the “other” side.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. It is good to see the realities of war from the enemy’s perspective. Unfortunately, some of the details seem to have been lost in translation. Thank you, GP, for posting the account of the Japanese soldier!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Kind of reminds me of the Clint Eastwood movie, “Letters From Iwo Jima”. Sad that they were trained to never surrender. So many lives were needlessly lost on both sides, due to this inflexible policy.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Interesting to read how the Japanese soldiers experienced the war

    Liked by 1 person

  27. So compelling. We are right there with them as we read. I’m praying that reading your records, people who would lead us into war again will learn valuable lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. You always know there is another side, another story, but you can easily forget that they are scared, driven, and that they have families waiting for them to come home. These stories are so interesting (can’t wait for part-2). Thanks for bringing them to us.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Nice post Nasuko, and thanks for sharing it GP. Governments declare war, but it is left to the small people to fight them and pay the price, following orders but often with a “spun” version of why they must fight. Interesting to here about thing from the other side’s point of view. Looking forward to the next installment. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I always like your posts as it allows for objectivity and the human side of things. Usually, the Japanese are portrayed as the baddies. This post you shared reminds us that each soldier irregardless of which country they fought for was a son, father, brother or uncle. In any war, lives are lost. Also the cartoons are hilarious…so that is what the shark teeth drawn on the planes are for🤣🤣 and cloud camouflage is brilliant!👍

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am very glad you can appreciate what I’m trying to do. Some people get a bit testy about showing the ‘other side’.

      Liked by 2 people

      • As we mature in thinking, we get more objective in our views and can better appreciate things. Wars are caused alot by pride and eccentrics. Look at how Rocket Man and Orange Man are behaving and the mature ones are asking for peaceful outcomes, hopefully. Thanks for showing a balanced view as always😊

        Liked by 2 people

  31. Not only interesting, but also important to hear the other side of this well-known battle. It gives us an insight, and shows that the Japanese soldiers were not just brainwashed fanatics, as they are often portrayed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Great to hear that other view.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. There are two sides to every conflict. Good to read the Japanese side. Thanks to Nasuko.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Will look forward to the rest of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. How great to hear from the other side. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Good post for too many seem to forget that there were others there also……chuq

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Much appreciated my friend.

    Like

  1. Pingback: FEATURED BLOGGER REPORT: M-5 Stuart, Satan Flamethrower Tank By Pacific Paratrooper #AceHistoryDesk reports | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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