The Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

“Determined to make an example of the capital that would bring the war to an end, the Japanese achieved a climax to the carnage already wrought in the delta below. Fifty thousand soldiers hacked, burned, bayoneted, raped and murdered until they had killed, by hand, according to the evidence witnessed and collected by missionaries and other foreigners of the International Relief Committee, a total of 42,000 civilians in Nanking. Groups of men and women were lined up and machine-gunned or used alive for bayonet practice or tied up, doused with kerosene and set afire while officers looked on. Reports by missionary doctors and other dazed with horror and helplessness filled church publications in America. Much of the photographic evidence that later reached newspapers abroad came from snapshots taken by the Japanese themselves which they gave for developing to ordinary camera shops in Shanghai, whence copies made their way to the correspondents. In the Yangtze delta whole towns were devastated with acres of houses left in smoldering ruins or in rubble from bombing. In deserted streets the only living creatures were dogs unnaturally fattened by feasting on corpses or a few starving humans wandering like ghosts among the debris. The population that survived disappeared from the area in a mass migration. Rice crops rotted in the fields. Along the roads past blackened ruins and burned-out farms, Japanese troops moved, driving stolen donkeys and water buffaloes, artillery wagons tied with pigs and chickens, and carts loaded with loot pulled by peasants lashed between the shafts.” – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.