The Pacific War Photographs
of Pfc Glenn W. Eve — "In the summer of 1942, the U.S. Army called up a skinny California boy barely out of his teens. But at 5’9’’ and 125 pounds, Private Glenn W. Eve was deemed unfit for combat.
He might have spent the duration of World War II at a desk, except that he had field skills the Army needed – he was a gifted artist, draftsman and photographer who'd spent the previous four years working for the Walt Disney Co.
In July 1944, they promoted him to private first class (Pfc) and assigned him to the Signal Photo Corps, bound for the Pacific to document the war. This is his collection, never before published. All comments in quotes are Pfc Eve's, written on the back of the photo."
"What a strange position I find myself in," [Yamamoto] wrote a friend, "having been assigned the mission diametrically opposed to my own personal opinion, with no choice but to push full speed in pursuance of that mission. Alas, is that fate?"
A brief account of how one of the biggest critics of Japan's war policy became the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attacks.
The Burns Archive
is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing
subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery
this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through
with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
The last Japanese man remaining in Kazakhstan: A Kafkian tale of the plight of a Japanese POW in the Soviet Union
. This is the story of Tetsuro Ahiko, a Japanese national who was living on Sakhalin Island during WWII, and was sent to gulags after the war instead of being repatriated to Japan. Ahiko has turned down multiple offers to be resettled in Japan and has spent 60+ years in Kazakhstan (what was then the Soviet Union.)
The House of Sharing is a place for the Halmoni to to live together and heal the wounds of the past while educating the future generations of the suffering they survived.The View From Over Here
details her visit to the House of Sharing, a therapeutic group home and museum for surviving "comfort women", who were systematically raped by the Japanese military during World War II. The museum displays art for and by the survivors. Via Ask a Korean
. [more inside]
Japan Air Raids
"is an ongoing project to build a digital archive dedicated to the international dissemination of information about the World War II air raids against Japan." They have seeded it with quite a bit of material (e.g. Target Tokyo, narrated by Ronald Reagan in the documentary and propaganda
section) and promise there is much more to come. [Warning, some images may disturb] [via]
Metafilter's own JF Ptak
has an interesting post
on the Life magazine issue of March 2nd, 1942, readers of which were confronted by some startling maps detailing possible Axis invasion strategies for North America. There was invasion down the St. Lawrence valley
, there was invasion via Trinidad
, via Bermuda
, full frontal west coast
, and down the west coast
as well - note the mapping of the large "fifth columns". As Ptak notes, maps such as these with huge arrows pointed menancingly at the American homeland were very much not the norm of the day. [more inside]
The scene was the siege of Shanghai, the year 1932. It was more than half a year since the Mukden Incident had provided a pretext for Japan to invade Manchuria
and begin moving down through Northern China. Three Imperial Japanese soldiers from an engineering division died in a bomb blast that took out a section of the Chinese fortifications, allowing Japanese forces to surge through the breach and advance.
The fallen soldiers became known as the "Three Human Bombs
" (Bakudan Sanyushi / 爆弾三勇士). Memorials were built
and murals were painted
and the Three Human Bombs were remembered as gallant and selfless heroes who gave their lives for the greater good of Japan, lauded on stage, in film, and in song
. A military medal
was created to award heroism in honor of the three.
Problem is, it was all a lie
. The story of the Three Human Bombs was one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of the early twentieth century.
- a Japanese airman in World War II, was captured and sent to a prison camp in the Ukraine. He tells his story with drawings.
Photos from Hiroshima in August of 1945.
Long supressed by the occupying U.S. forces, a highly unsettling (and decidedly NSFW) collection of photos from the days immediately after August 6th. Via
Japan's Ruling party, has released a new draft of the Japanese Constitution
The draft drops the whole 'renouncing war'
bit, and re-titles article 9 'national security'. Japan is one of the largest military spenders
in the world. Second only to the United States (IIRC). The new constitution also stipulates that the Emperor is the "head of state".
The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life"
", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov
's 'Men of Power' tetralogy
after the gloom of Moloch (1999)
, about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus
, focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
The Peleliu Project.
The tiny Micronesian island of Peleliu
was the site of one of the bloodiest battles
of World War II. The U.S. invasion
of the Japanese occupied island began in September of 1944
, and was expected to last only a matter of days. Casualties
on this 5 square mile island
reached 20,000 by the end of the two-month struggle
. U.S. soldiers were forced to pour aviation fuel into caves and ignite them in order to end the standoff of those who refused to surrender
. One determined group of 34 Japanese soldiers remained in hiding until they were discovered in April of 1947.
Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class Russell Fee
returned from Peleliu with a fierce, uncompromising vision of America which would have a profound impact
on the life and work of his son. Fifty-three years later, armed with his father's snapshots and diary which he had just uncovered, James Fee
went to Peleliu to see with his own eyes the place where his father's vision had taken shape. The result
of his five year quest is The Peleliu Project
. more inside
'American and Japanese images of kamikaze pilots differ greatly. This web site explores diverse portrayals and perceptions of the young men who carried out suicide attacks near the end of World War II.'
'When Japanese kamikaze pilots carried out their attacks between October 1944 and October 1945, Japanese and American people had opposite perspectives. Japanese people saw young smiling pilots as they waved goodbye. In contrast, American soldiers viewed death and destruction when the pilots' planes exploded upon crashing into their ships. These very different points of view continue to influence Japanese and American perceptions of kamikaze pilots even until today.'
From Nanjing 1937 to Fallujah 2004
; Is the U.S. Repeating the Mistakes of Japan in the 1930s?
; Attempting Analogy: Japanese Manchuria and Occupied Iraq
and Manchuria and Iraq, 1932 and 2004
: you can kiss that Vietnam analogy good bye--when historians talk history, they range farther afield. I ♥ the History News Network
! Here is food for thought at an all night, all you can eat smorgasbord--those who teach history are condemned to discuss it and we're all the better for it.
For example, Hala Fattah's Askari Street
is my current favorite Iraqi weblog. She gives us the history of the Arab horse, the Pachachi family, the Shammar tribe and Kirkuk, and its place in Iraqi History and she has barely begun to write.
HNN: oh, it's an embarrassment of riches and a fount of endless fascination.
"We were wrong, terribly wrong.
We owe it to future generations to explain why."
In The Fog of War
, a revelatory new documentary about his life and times, a disquieted Robert McNamara
implores us to understand why he did the things he did as an Air Force lieutenant colonel who helped plan
the firebombing of Japanese cities
in World War II
, and, later, as a secretary of defense and pivotal decision-maker during Vietnam
, which some Americans came to call "McNamara's War."
One of the movie's most powerful passages covers McNamara's little-known service in World War II, when he was attached to Gen. Curtis LeMay
's 21st Bomber Command stationed on the Pacific island of Guam. LeMay
's B-29s showered 67 Japanese cities with incendiary bombs in 1945, softening up the country for the two atomic blasts
to come. McNamara was a senior planning officer. Story by "Killing Fields"' Sydney Schanberg
in the American Prospect
U.S. faces bigger issues than hitting Iraq.
A former Japanese diplomat--now chairman of the English-Speaking Union of Japan-- offers a quintessentially Japanese view regarding the manifest folly of a US attack on Iraq. (From The Japan Times). Mr. Hanabusa underscores the formidable difficulty of the victor's creating anything but a puppet "regime change." Since Japan has had some recent experience in this regard, his words merit contemplation by those who favor an immediate attack and damn the foreseeable consequences thereof.
One Hell of a Big Bang
-- Studs Turkel meets Paul Tibbets the pilot of the Enola Gay
. It's a great, though-provoking and disturbing interview to read on Hiroshima Day.
is a documentary featuring 14 veterans of the Imperial Army testifying to their brutal participation in Japan's 15-year war against China. Director Matsui Minoru presents a powerful historical record of these soldiers' individual crimes, helping to break Japan's long silence about its wartime atrocities in China.
Please also see Iris Chang's "The Rape of Nanking''
and be aware that the Japanese government is still whitewashing
their brutal WWII history via school textbooks
. We must understand the truth of history so that we are not doomed to repeat it.
Japan's turn for reparations?
Rosen vs. the people of Japan filed in Chicago is asking for 1 trillion! in reparations. Its headed by POW Melvin H Rosen, a Bataan death march survivor.