General Yamashita – conclusion

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General Tomoyuki Yamashita as he led his staff officers of the 14th Area Army to surrender, 2 Sept. 1945. He did not believe in hara-kiri. He said, “If I kill myself, someone else will have to take the blame.”

One of the most monumental surrenders in the Pacific War was General Tomoyuki Yamashita. He had joined the Japanese Army in 1906 and fought the Germans in China in 1914, graduated Staff College in 1916 and began a military attaché in Switzerland as an expert on Germany, where he was to meet Tojo Hideki.

Tojo soon became very envious of the success and advancements Yamashita was achieving. This was especially true after the campaign in Malaya and bluffing the British into surrendering to his inferior forces in Singapore. Tojo used his influence to have Yamashita transferred to Manchuria before he could even announce his win to the Emperor. The general was sent to the Philippine Islands in 1944. A man who believed in the Samurai traditions and was highly devoted to the Emperor.

Many times, my friend Mustang Koji has given me information on this war, his site,  http://p47koji.wordpress.com and he supplied much of the data included here in today’s post. A visit to Koji’s website will give you stories about having relatives on both sides of the Pacific too.  Very interesting!

Initial American contact with Gen. Yamashita

30 August – negotiations with the general were drawing to a close, but he remained in his mountain headquarters sending word with thanks to the American Commanders for their “sincere efforts and concerns,” and his regrets that he was unable to contact his forces in Cagayan Valley, Balete Pass and the Clark Field areas.

Small groups were beginning to turn themselves in and Major General Yuguchi, of the 103d Division in the Cagayan Valley had already agreed to the surrender terms, but was awaiting word from Yamashita. The 37th Infantry Division was expecting 3,000 to surrender on 2 September. Throughout the Philippine Islands, capitulations were being delivered from Japanese officers.

Some Japanese soldiers refused to believe that the Emperor had aired a demand for peace and skirmishes were reported on various islands. No American troops were listed as casualties. Those killed during that action with unfriendly combatants were Japanese, Filipino, Korean.  General Yamashita arrived for his surrender and behaved as a gentleman officer would, then was led away to Baguio City for confinement, surrender and trial.

Yamashita testifies

In Time magazine, the writer ranted about Yamashita’s brutality during the Bataan Death March. The truth of the matter was – Yamashita was in Manchuria at the time. All in all, 5,600 Japanese were prosecuted during 2,200 trials. More than 4,400 men and women were convicted and about 1,000 were executed and approximately the same number of acquittals.

Yamashita trial

Gen. Yamashita at defense table. His longtime translator, Masakatsu Hamamoto accompanied him.

General Tomoyuki Yamashita’s case was the most famous of the American trials and was presided over by a military commission of 5 American general officers (none of which had any legal training) and held in the ballroom of the U.S. high commissioner’s residence. The charge was “responsibility for the death and murders tolerated – knowingly or not.” The general’s defense council, Col. Harry Clark, argued that no one would even suggest that the Commanding General of an American occupational force would become a criminal every time an American soldier committed a crime – but, Yamashita was just so accused.

correspondents

The American Military Court in Manila sentenced Gen. Yamashita on 7 December 1945 and he was hanged on 23 February 1946.

The above is a modern photo of the Home Economics building of the Kiangan Central School where General Yamashita was first contacted. Later, he was sent to Baguio City for the formal surrender.
Photo is credited to, Dr. Walter Johnson

Click on images to enlarge.

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Personal Note – May we all say a prayer for Derrick and Jackie Knight, who lost their son, Michael, yesterday.

One I Never Thought I Would Need To Write

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Military Humor – 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Edna Barnett – Telford, ENG; British Aux. Air Force; WWII

Victor Barnett (101) – Telford, ENG; RAF, WWII, radar

Robert Coccari – Monesson, PA; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Medical/188/11th Airborne Division

Arthur Gould – Killara, AUS; RA Navy, Commander

Marcelite Harris – Houston, TX; US Air Force, MGeneral (Ret. 32 y.)

Richard Isawa – Los Angeles, CA; US Army, Signal Corps, instructor

Yukio Kawamoto (99) – Springfield, VA; US Army, WWII, PTO, combat intelligence

Albert Levy – Brookline, MA; US Army, WWII, ETO, medic

John ‘Fred’ Martin – Watertown, NY; US Army, WWII, Major (Ret. 22 y.)

Joseph Slater – TN; US Navy, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Master Chief Petty Officer (Ret. 30 y.)

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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 February 14, 2019, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 99 Comments.

  1. christianjulian365

    You are welcome

    Like

  2. Thanks for that finale on the surrender gp, wonder with today’s legal system would they have reached the same verdict of death

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some very interesting highlights.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eigenlijk geeft een oorlog geen winnaars of verliezers als je doden bekijkt aan beide zijden Is het alleen terreur en geweld aan elke kant

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tell Derrick and Jackie I am sorry to hear of their loss and I prayed for them

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have always struggled with post war courts and then executions. By the very nature of war the winner determines who was right and who was acting wrong. In war – crimes are committed on all sides. It’s so easy to judge when you were not there. Excellent post again thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looking with the advantage of hindsight is for survivors and their descendants, but possessing qualities of mercy and nobleness of spirit command nothing but honour. Much was done in anger by those who were all too human. Forgiveness, we are told, is a divine quality – and we are all in need of both.

    Exhortations to commit acts of violence are an ever present evil that still persist. They should be of great concern to everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you this Topics!! 😀

    Sir.MacArthur pushed the blame on Sir.YAMASHITA.
    It was US Army that bombed the Manila city and killed Manila citizen (including guerrilla) and Japanese.

    Allied and Filipino guerrilla has pretended to be a victim,but they were blind to commit atrocities against Japanese.

    And Now, a part of them accept a bribe and has been acting-Anti-Japanese for the China Communist Party.
    Take a look at your own actions.

    The Allied soldiers minced and Boiled Japanese soldiers,and they played with Japanese Soldier’s Skull.
    US Soldiers messed with Japanese Soldiers Skulls.
    “Trophy Skull Jap”

    From San Fernando to Capas, the POWS moved by train,
    USA and Filipino guerrillas has been opened to bribes For China’s anti-Japanese activities.
    They has pretended to be a victim of the “death bataan march”.
    But,They hide the fact of using a train From San Fernando to Capas .
    This Inconvenient truth for propaganda “Bataan march of death” was hidden.
    At the SanFernando station,There are “FAKE STORY Signboerd” spend substantial Money on.

    Australia which were colony of England,
    William Web wrote the Fake report of Japanese army,and he was presiiding judge.
    He committed false acts and the Tokyo trial was an awful farce.
    But in the Tokyo Trial, his Fake report was not adopted as evidence.
    William Web reported, FAKE NEWS, it is still kept as an official document of Australia.So,Australia has gotten involved in communism control,yet.

    http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs61.aspx

    Therefore, based on that, it is used for numerous Anti-Japanese propaganda.
    For example, Movie “Unbroken” 
    Add,
    Is every detail in ‘Unbroken’ really true?
    by Maureen Callahan /December 21, 2014

    https://nypost.com/2014/12/21/is-all-of-the-powerful-tale-unbroken-really-true/

    NOW!!

    Currently, Japan and US Army is Strong relationShip.
    Off course,Both Australia and UK etc..are Very important partners,too. 😀

    In the Philippines, the invasion of China don’t stop after the withdrawal of the United States, the Philippines still can not be independent.
    So,Both Japan and the United States support the Philippines.

    ・・・But ,a part of them accept a bribe and has been acting-Anti-Japanese for the China Communist Party.
    Those ppl, must Take a look at your own actions.

    Thank you,dear GP Cox!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I realize different countries teach their children different history and no one wishes to appear wrong or cruel in their actions. If you notice, I show respect for Gen. Yamashita. War brings out the best and worst of humans – no matter what country. No one was complacent in that war and definitely – No one actually wins a war. My point has always been that.
      Take care, Nasuko.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As I read through the comments, I wondered if we have the right to judge the actions of the past through the lens of today’s values and sensibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IMO, no we do not have the right to judge. From the beginning, I’ve simply tried to find the truth. I consistently hear from readers who can not seem to look back with “1940 eyes” and they conclude their findings by today’s rules of PC. I attempt to correct it and to note that since we began fighting war with a PC attitude, we haven’t won.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. And, I’m so sorry for the loss. 😞 So sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Army Rocks! I love our military. ♥️ I love our Heroes! 💜 Thank you for these posts. ❤️

    Calvary Scouts, Paratroopers, and all the others totally Rock! ❤️ 💜 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Stabbed in the back by his colleague and then treated to a travesty of justice in the ‘trial’. It just wasn’t his war.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting how professional jelaousy can blight the careers of military people, as well as civilians!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So sad that he was convicted for something the men under him did. And who knows how much of what was reported was true. We’ve learned over the years, and especially through your posts, that all history is not fact but often something to make one person or side look good. My heart goes out to those parents who have lost a son…all of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for being able to see both sides of the war. (or should I say ALL sides of it.)
      I’ll be certain that Derrick and Jackie hear of your concern. I thank you as well.

      Like

  15. That was pretty sad GP, the first 2 Salutes were husband and wife, she was only 91. They died within 10 days of each other, and had no living relatives to attend their funerals.

    A call to arms went out. and the RAF supplied pall bearers. and apparently hundreds went to the funeral to pay their respects.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My heart is breaking for Derrick and Jackie. 😦
    I watched my parents bury two of their children and two of their grandchildren and the pain was so deep and horrible. 😦
    Thank you, GP, for sharing with your WP friends so they can share some love with the Knight family.
    You are such a wonderful man and friend!
    I don’t even think you realize how important your blog-posts, your words, and your spirit are to so many of us here.
    (((HUGS)))
    Carolyn

    Liked by 2 people

  17. …and I was wondering why my blog had a spike in visitors, gpcox..!

    One interesting note was the official translator assigned on behalf of the US Army was NOT a “Kibei” (or a Japanese-American totally fluent in both Japanese and English) but Caucasian. Further, as you look at your photo of the trial, you can see another Japanese man sitting next to Yamashita. His name was Masakatsu Hamamoto. He was Yamashita’s personal translator for quite some time. Like Adm. Yamamoto and Gen. Kuribayashi (Iwo Jima), he was Harvard-educated.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Excellent post but sad. Happy Valentines Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Not such a happy ending to his story but par for the course during those times.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sad news about the knight’s loss. I pray for their comfort and strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. So very sorry for Derrick and Jackie. Prayers being sent!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Very sorry to read about Derrick and Jackie’s son. that is so sad.

    Your story today is equally sad. I’m sure that, in the immediate aftermath of the war, when images were still vivid and people were still morning the loss of so many loved ones, that reaching these verdicts was less difficult than looking back all these years later. Still, he seemed like an honorable man. I was hoping for a more humane ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This is a moving concluding post on Yamashita, GP, on the atrocities of war committed on all sides, scapegoats and jealousy.

    Thank you for your personal note at the end regarding Derrick and Jackie’s son Michael. I think we will all see our loved ones again someday. There will be no more grieving then.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Such an inglorious end to what appeared to be a loyal and honorable officer. But such is war.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thanks for sharing all of this history – I appreciate how you share stories from both sides. Thanks also for sharing the Knight family’s story- keeping them in prayer today.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This has been an interesting series GP. A shame he wasn’t prosecuted by the same rules.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Prayers for the Knight family loss. Rest in peace and blessings. 🙏🌾

    Liked by 1 person

  28. More I did not know. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Very many thanks for the mention, GP

    Liked by 1 person

  30. It never had occurred to me that a commander would be held responsible for criminal acts committed by those under his command if they were unrelated to war. That’s an interesting set of circumstances to ponder. As for Yamashita’s “involvement” in the Bataan death march, it’s clear that news wasn’t always dependable back then, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • At least back then they could claim bad info or poor resources – they sure can’t use that excuse today!! In my opinion, Yamashita was a scapegoat being used to give so many families some closure.

      Like

  31. His case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court because Col. Harry Clark believed Yamashita was innocent. Clark was convinced Yamashita was a victim of Filipino hysteria and British vengeance.
    Praying for Michael and the Knight’s family.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. A good point by the defence, but alas it did not make any difference to Yamashita’s fate at the gallows!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Just one last comment before I sign out for a while. Good to read this post but the news for the Knights is tragic.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. So sorry to hear about Derrick’s son. Tragic.

    I suppose that many of those trials and executions were more about retribution, than any justice we might consider fair today. In hindsight, it seems harsh, but I think there were reasons why such things happened in the 1940s. The popular term today is ‘closure’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I’m sorry for the Knight family loss. 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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