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Time of the nadir

“The [Japanese] occupation of Manchuria and eastern China was mercilessly conducted. Unit 731, the biological warfare cell based near Harbin, was its most extreme manifestation. Beyond hundreds of Chinese prisoners subjected to experiments which invariably resulted in their deaths, often by vivisection, the unit sought to spread typhus, anthrax and other plagues indiscriminately among the Chinese population, sometimes by air-dropping of germ cultures. Post-war Japanese claims that reports of atrocities were exaggerated, and that soldiers’ misdeeds were unauthorized, are set at naught by the very existence of Unit 731. Its activities matched the horrors of some Nazi concentration camps. The surgical evisceration of hundreds of living and unanaesthetised Chinese, under the official auspices of the Japanese army, represented the nadir of its wartime conduct.” – Max Hastings, Retribution

Published inMax HastingsThe Second World War

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