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War Crimes

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Sturmkreuz, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

    Feb 22, 2008
    Likes Received:
    right on, so they weren't turncoats but were in violation of international conventions. but execution seems like a pretty steep penalty for that. in fairness, they did kill a number of american troops while posing as GIs and that is unpalatable.
  2. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

    Jul 29, 2001
    Likes Received:
    A turncoat is someone who defects from one army to another, the phrase coming from the habit of turning your coat inside out when you neared the enemy army so that they would see that you were defecting and so not shoot you.

    As for Skortzeny's boys, well, they engaged in combat wearing the uniforms of US forces, now I'm fairly sure that is illegal and they got what was coming to them ;)
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Jan 23, 2008
    Likes Received:

    The horrible ordeal of the Merchant crew, U.S. Naval Armed Guard,
    and passengers, on board the SS JEAN NICOLET after being torpedoed
    July 2, 1944.

    This is the true story of one of the most horrible atrocities
    committed by the Japanese during World War II. Some people are aware
    of it, most are not. You will never read about this in the public
    media today.

    The SS JEAN NICOLET, a Liberty Ship built in Portland, Oregon, in
    October 1943, was operated for the War Shipping Administration by
    the Oliver J. Olson Company of San Francisco and under the command
    of Captain David Martin Nilsson of Oakland, California. On board was
    a complement of 100 men consisting of 41 Merchant crew, 28 Naval
    Armed Guard, and 31 passengers. The passenger list was made up of
    6 U.S. Army Officers, 12 U.S. Army enlisted men, eight Navy
    technicians, four civilians, and one U.S. Army Medical Corpsmen.

    On July 2, 1944, the SS JEAN NICOLET was steaming alone in the
    Indian Ocean loaded with a cargo of war materials for the
    China/Burma/India Theatre of War. Sailing from San Pedro on May
    12th, the ship had stopped at Fremantle, Australia, for bunkers,
    stores, and to discharge some cargo. Departing from Fremantle on
    June 21st, she was bound for Colombo, Ceylon, where she was to stop
    for orders prior to proceeding to Calcutta. The cargo consisted of
    heavy machinery, trucks, steel plate, landing barges, steel mooring
    pontoons, and other general wartime cargo.

    At 1907 ship's time, on this date, she was located in position 3-28
    South/74-30 West or about 700 miles south of Ceylon. At this time,
    she was struck by two torpedoes fired from the Japanese submarine
    I-8. The first hit between #2 and #3 holds on the starboard side and
    the second at #4 hold on the same side. A few minutes later the
    Master ordered abandon ship as he feared the ship would capsize due
    to the heavy starboard list. All hands abandoned ship safely in
    lifeboats and rafts. Before abandoning his post, Augustus Tilden,
    the Radio Operator, sent out a radio message that the ship had been
    torpedoed in the above position. The message was acknowledged by
    Calcutta and Ceylon. This radio message was responsible for saving
    the lives of 23 men.

    Soon after the ship was abandoned, the I-8 surfaced. As it was dark
    the I-8 used a powerful searchlight to locate the boats and rafts.
    The survivors were threatened with machine guns and ordered to come
    alongside by a Japanese speaking perfect English. Some on one raft
    slipped over the side into the water to hide but were seen and
    ordered to get back on the raft. Then they were ordered to swim to
    the sub. Five others, who were on the side away from the sub, were
    not discovered. These five were the only ones who did not board
    the sub. This five consisted of four of the Naval Armed Guard and
    one Army enlisted man. They were among the 23 survivors.

    One of the men forced to swim to the sub was William M. Musser, a
    17-year-old Messman from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, making his first
    trip to sea. Each man who lived to tell this tale has a different
    story about what happened to him but basically it was this way.

    After boarding the sub, he was escorted towards the bow and as he
    walked forward, one of the Japanese sailors swung him around and
    slugged him over the head with a piece of steel pipe. As Musser
    staggered from the blow the sailor laughed and took out his pistol
    and shot Musser in the head and then kicked his body over the side
    as he fell.

    Another crew member, Richard L. Kean, a 19- year-old Ordinary Seaman
    from Kennewick, Washington was also brutally murdered. As he climbed
    out of a lifeboat to the sub's deck, he was searched, had his life
    jacket removed, and then his arms were bound behind his back. The
    Japanese sailor who was leading him forward suddenly turned with a
    bayonet in his hand and plunged it into Kean's stomach. As Kean dou-
    bled over with pain, he was struck in the head with a rifle butt and
    kicked over the side into the water.

    As each of the other survivors boarded the I-8, they were
    immediately roughed up, searched, had life jackets removed and all
    their valuables, shoes, and I.D. tags were taken from them. Then
    they were bound with their arms behind their backs with rope or
    wire. They were forced to sit on deck with their heads bowed on
    their knees. Anyone who raised his head or made a noise of any kind
    was beaten with iron pipes and cut with bayonets. The deck ran red
    with blood and vomit.

    Captain Nilsson, Gus Tilden (Radio Operator), and Francis J. O'Gara
    were taken to the conning tower and shoved below. Mr. O'Gara was a
    War Shipping Administration representative en route to the Calcutta
    office. They were never seen again by the survivors.

    While sitting in this painful position, the survivors were forced
    to listen to a harangue by the l-8's Commander. He hurled insults at
    them saying, "You are now my prisoners. Let this be a lesson to you
    that Americans are weak. You must realize that Japan will rule the
    world. You are stupid for letting your leaders take you to war. Do
    you know that the entire American fleet is now at the bottom of the

    While all this was going on, the I-8 cruised around looking for any
    boats or rafts they might have missed. The sub also commenced
    shelling the NICOLET which was still afloat. As the I-8 cruised
    around, a wave came over the deck of the submarine washing three of
    the men overboard with their hands tied behind them. Two of them,
    Carl Rosenbaum (F/WT) and George Kenmore Hess (A.B.), survived but
    Lt. Morrison R. Miller, U.S. Army, was never seen again. Lt. Miller
    had suffered a broken arm abandoning ship and he had no chance of

    In the meantime, a gauntlet consisting of 10 to 15 crew members of
    the I-8 was formed on the after deck behind the conning tower. Those
    held on the fore deck could not see what was happening. They
    could, however, hear the horrible screams of the men who were forced
    to go through the gauntlet. Those forming the gauntlet were armed
    with steel stanchions, bayonets, and rifles. Waiting at the end was
    a huge Japanese holding a rifle with a fixed bayonet in both hands.
    If any man survived to the end of the gauntlet, he was impaled on
    the bayonet of this man and his body heaved overboard like a side of
    beef. Three men survived this torture by jumping overboard halfway
    through the gauntlet. Even though their hands were still bound, they
    decided they would take their chance in the ocean regardless of the
    sharks. All three of them suffered wounds from bayonets and steel
    pipes. Two of them were from the merchant crew, Charles E. Pyle (1st
    Asst. Engr.) and Harold R. Lee (Messman). The third was Robert C.
    Butler, a U.S. Navy Technician.

    While all this torture was going on, those sitting on the fore deck,
    unaware of what was happening on the after deck, were led one by
    one to the slaughter until there were about 30 men left alive on
    deck. At this time, the diving siren sounded and crew members of the
    I-8 were ordered below. An aircraft had been reported on the sub's
    radar heading in the direction of the submarine. Those left on deck
    with their hands tied behind their backs were left to drown.
    Seventeen of these men drowned or were killed by sharks. The
    remaining 13 men survived by swimming all night, some with their
    hands still tied. Others were able to get free by themselves or were
    freed by a Navy Armed Guard Seaman who had concealed a knife in
    his blouse. He cut as many free as he could as the sub went under.

    The aircraft reported on radar was in all likelihood searching for
    the survivors of the NICOLET. This was the result of the radio
    message sent by Gus Tilden just before he abandoned ship.

    Many of the survivors were in the water for 13 to 14 hours without
    any support. About 0800 the next morning (July 3rd) survivors saw a
    Liberator approaching the scene. It dropped a small rubber dinghy
    made to hold four people. Eventually, seven men ended up in this
    dinghy. An hour or so later, three more planes appeared overhead
    (PBY's) searching for survivors but flew off without any action.

    At daylight on July 4th, another Liberator appeared overhead and a
    ship was seen approaching. This was HMIS HOXA on her way to rescue
    the survivors. Seven men were found clinging to the small dinghy,
    thirteen others were rescued from rafts or dinghies, and three
    others were found clinging to wreckage. They were taken to Addu
    Atoll of the Maldive Islands group landing there on July 5th where
    they were interrogated by the British Intelligence.

    They left Addu Atoll on July 12th aboard HMIS SONNETI arriving in
    Colombo on July 14th. On July 27th they were flown to Calcutta where
    the two Army men and the Navy technician were assigned duties in the
    area. The 10 crew members and the 10 Naval Armed Guard were even-
    tually taken to Bombay by train. At Bombay they boarded the USAT
    GEN. WILLIAM MITCHELL. They finally got back to the U.S., landing in
    San Diego on October 6th, more than 3 months after their horrible

    Of the 100 men aboard the JEAN NICOLET, only 4 survived. A breakdown
    of the lost is as follows: 31 merchant crew, 18 Naval Armed Guard,
    and 27 passengers. Francis J. O'Gara was found alive in Ofuna prison
    camp near Yokohama after the end of hostilities. He had been
    declared dead by the U.S. Navy. He even had a Liberty Ship named for
    him, the only living person who was to see his name on a Liberty
    Ship. The O'GARA was built June 1945 in Panama City, Florida.

    Mr. O'Gara had been a Sports writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer
    prior to Dec. 7, 1941 but early in 1942 he joined the Merchant
    Marine as a Seaman. After about two years of sea duty he came ashore
    to work for the WSA.

    After the I-8 submerged, O'Gara spent 44 days aboard the sub
    suffering frequent beatings, denial of food and water most of the
    time. During this time he got a glimpse of Capt. Nilsson and Gus
    Tilden, the Radio Operator. The I-8 reached Penang on August 15th
    where he and Capt. Nilsson were taken ashore. He never saw the
    Radio Operator again but did get a brief look at Capt. Nilsson
    through the window of his cell. O'Gara was returned aboard the I-8
    on September 15th and eventually ended up in Yokohama on October
    9, 1944.

    Capt. Nilsson was left behind when O'Gara was taken from Penang to
    Japan. Nothing is known of his fate. O'Gara was of the opinion that
    Capt. Nilsson was put aboard a submarine to be transported to
    Japan and the sub was sunk en route by the U.S. Navy.

    The Commander of the I-8 was a brutal, sadistic creep named
    Tetsunosuke Ariizumi. He had been nicknamed "The Butcher" by the
    British Royal Navy because of several other atrocities he had
    committed against Allied Merchant crews similar to that of the JEAN
    NICOLET. One such atrocity was perpetrated against a Dutch Mer-
    chant ship, the SS TJISALAK on March 26, 1944. Of 103 men on board
    only five survived. The men on board this ship suffered the same
    fate as those on the JEAN NICOLET. The five survivors saved
    themselves by jumping overboard and swimming underwater despite
    the fact they were being machine gunned. They eventually reached
    one of the boats previously abandoned and were picked up by the
    Liberty Ship SS JAMES A. WALKER on March 30th.

    Toward the final days of the war Ariizumi was a Flotilla Commander
    and was on the 1-401, the largest submarine ever built, a boat of
    some 5000 tons equipped with three catapult planes. Subs of that
    class were called "underseas aircraft carriers." At this time
    Ariizumi proposed using the 1-401 and three other subs of that class
    to destroy the Panama Canal. When this plan was scrapped in favor of
    attacking Ulithi, Ariizumi was infuriated.

    Upon receipt of the Emperor's surrender order the 1-401 proceeded
    back toward Japan and was surrendered to the U.S. Navy submarine USS
    SEGUNDO. Five of the SEGUNDO's crew were put aboard the 1-401 as

    The U.S. Navy reported that while the 1-401 was entering Tokyo Bay
    on August 31, 1945, about 0400 hours, Ariizumi committed suicide and
    his body was thrown overboard.

    Mr. O'Gara disputed this report by the Navy and expressed outrage to
    the Criminal Registration Officer. He agreed with O'Gara and
    assigned a Nisei investigator to track down Ariizumi. Mr. O'Gara was
    convinced that Ariizumi was put ashore before the 1-401 was captured
    by the Americans or he slipped through a hatch and swam ashore after
    entering Tokyo Bay.

    Upon investigation, it had been determined that the 1-401 came
    within sight of land en route to Tokyo Bay around Sendai in northern
    Honshu where Ariizumi could easily have been put ashore before the
    submarine surrendered. None of the Navy men on the 1-401 ever saw
    Ariizumi aboard nor did they see a body or a burial at sea.

    O'Gara was brought back to Japan in 1948 by the War Crimes Tribunal
    as a witness against Japanese war criminals that he had experienced
    while he was a prisoner of war. However, the one he wanted most was
    Ariizumi. He even took it upon himself to search for him personally.
    He wanted him that bad and who could blame him!

    Some members of the crew of the I-8 were tried and received light
    sentences but even those sentences were commuted. Ariizumi was never
    caught. It's very possible that this man and other crew members of
    the I-8 are still alive and well in Japan today. This infuriates me
    and all others who care.

    O'Gara said the one person who was most helpful, as far as the
    attack on the JEAN NICOLET, was the one who spoke perfect English
    from the deck of the sub giving orders to the Americans. He came
    forward, voluntarily, to the authorities and told all he knew of the
    sinkings and atrocities and identified all he knew to be
    responsible. His name was Harold Jiro Nakahara who was born in
    Hawaii and lived there. At the time of the outbreak of the war he
    was studying in Japan and unable to return. He had been pressed into
    service as a Radio Operator and interpreter.

    Francis J. O'Gara died September 18, 1981, at the age of 69.

    To my knowledge, William R. Flury of White City, Oregon, may be the
    last living survivor of this most heinous of atrocities. Some may
    still be alive but Mr. Flury does not know of them. He had been
    denied Prisoner of War status by the U.S. Coast Guard but he
    appealed that decision and won. Whether he was a Prisoner of War if
    he has been captured by the enemy. Remember what the Commander,
    Ariizumi, said, "You are now my prisoners!"

    On October 25, 1993 William B. Flury was awarded the POW medal by
    the U.S. Coast Guard. Although none of the other nine surviving
    merchant crew members are still alive, their families are eligible
    to receive this medal.

    I wish to extend my thanks to Robert Carl Rosenbaum, son of Carl R.
    Rosenbaum for much of the material used in this article. Carl Rosen-
    baum was one of the 23 survivors of this tragedy.

    I am also indebted to William J. Howard, Jr. Capt. USAFR (Ret.) for
    the information on Francis J. O'Gara. Capt. Howard's daughter is
    married to the son of Mr. O'Gara, Francis J. O'Gara, Jr.

    Also many thanks to Bill Flury for sharing some of his experiences
    with me regarding his survival of this atrocity.



    Charles E. Pyle 1st Engr. Lodi, Cal.
    John McDougall A.B. Berkley, Cal.
    Paul L. Mitchem Dk. Engr. San Francisco, Cal.
    Jack C. Van Ness Carpenter Burlingame, Cal.
    Lloyd B. Ruth Wiper Akron, Ohio
    George K. Hess A.B. Berkley, Cal.
    William B. Flury 2nd Cook Chiloguin, Oregon
    Stuart R. Vanderhurst A.B. San Francisco, Cal.
    Carl Rosenbaum Fireman Crockett, Cal.
    Harold R. Lee Messman Dunbar, West Virginia


    Gerald V. Deal Lt. j.g. Pomoma, Cal.
    Teofils Wyrozumski GM/3 Van Nuys, Cal.
    William E. Simons RM/3 Huntington Park, Cal.
    Collie C. Stone RM/3 Tulsa, Okla.
    Robert Applegate S/1 Jackson, Mich.
    Carl L. Bevatori S/1 Springfield, Ill.
    Robert L. Nuvill S/1 Grand Haven, Mich.
    Raymond M. Wheeler S/1 Orange, N.J.
    Ora E. Lamb S/1 Champagne, Ill.
    Archie L. Howard S/1 Albany, Cal.


    John J. Gussak Capt. UU.S. Army Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Harvey Matyas Private U.S. Army Milwaukee, Wis.
    Robert C. Butler U.S. Navy Technician Camino, Cal.
    Francis J. O'Gara WSA Representative Prisoner of War


    ARMONT, Walter D. Slc
    ATCHLEY, Ernest E. Slc
    BAK, Alec F. Slc
    FLOYD, David L. Slc
    GAGNIER, Patrick E. Coxswain
    HARDWICK, Ralph Slc
    HERMAN, A.
    HOLMSTROM, Terry W. Slc
    KONJA, Farry D. Slc
    KOLCZYNKSKI, Raymond R. Slc
    KRAJEWSKI, Richard J. Slc
    KUHN, Charles E. Slc
    LASKY, John E. Slc
    LALLATHIN, Frank J. Slc
    LISNER, J.
    RATEN, Frank R. GM3c
    WILSON, Frank

    U.S. ARMY PERSONNEL (Passengers) (17)
    FERGUSON, Donald B. Captain CMP
    GUTHRIE, Walter R. Captain QMC
    MILLER, Morrison R. 2nd LT. AC
    COTTEN, James P. WO (JG) AC
    COLEMAN, Edward J. T. Sgt. QMC
    LITTRELL, Goerge D., Jr. Sgt. AC
    THORPE, Robert O. Sgt. AC
    CHURCH, Charles B., Jr. S. Sgt QMC
    CAIN, William R. Tech 4 MC
    McCUTCHEON, Willard L. Pvt. AC
    MORRIS, Wilbert O. Pvt. AC
    PIERCE, Newton C. Pvt. AC
    PIERRARD, Marvin E. Pvt. AC
    POE, Robert W. Pvt. AC
    SALINAS, Waldemar Pvt. AC
    SATTERFIELD, Thomas R., Jr. Pvt. AC
    SNODGRASS, Ralph Captain MC

    U.S. NAVY PERSONNEL (Passengers) (7)

    BOLTON, Robert E.
    CHERNDON, Thomas
    FRANK, John William
    INEDEMAR, George M.
    McCAULEY, George G.
    SHINMAN, Richard
    VIGER, Leon J.


    MULLIN, Thomas J.
    PARKER, A.T.
    WEBB, Thomas T.

  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Jan 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Massacres of POWs, Dutch East Indies, 1941-1942

    The Carnage at Laha, February 1942
    ... Each Australian was decapitated by a sword blow to the neck severing the head, death was almost instantaneous, and carried out by about ten samurai wielding Japanese having despatched two or three prisoners ...

    The Bangka Island Massacre, February 1942
    ... They just swept up and down the line and the girls fell one after the other. I was towards the end of the line and a bullet got me in the left loin and went straight through and came out towards the front ...

    The Balikpapan Massacre, February 1942
    ... If the Balikpapan garrisson destroyes the oilfields and installations, than we will kill the commanding officer and his soldiers and all other Dutchmen without exception ...

    · Tarakan Island, January 1942

    The Japanese executed the entire crew of the Karoengan coastal battery, after the sinking of two Japanese Minesweepers W13 and W14. The battery at the south point of the island wasn't informed about the capitulation due the fact that all communications were destroyed. The Japanese naval commander promised amnesty for the guncrews and based on this promise the Dutch Island Commander managed to persuade the guncrews to surrender. The Japanese Army Commander on the other hand was to brutal to have the prisoners turned over to him. So he ordered to tie the men into small groups of three. Some time later they were thrown into the water where all 219 Dutch soldiers drowned.

    · Menado, Celebes Island, January 1942

    Immediately following the Dutch surrender, the surviving KNIL troops and their commanders were put on trial by the Japanese who were enraged at the heavy losses they had suffered. As a result of this trial the D' Company Commander, KNIL Reserve 1st Lieutenant J. Wielinga and one of his platoon commander Sergeant-Major H.J. Robbemond, Foerier B. Visscher and nine native soldiers were bayonetted or beheaded.

    · Makassar, Celebes Island, January 1942

    On February 9, Japanese troops landed about 8000 men south of Makassar. A strong detachemnt immediately advanced towards Makassar. The guards of a bridge (numbers not given) south of Makassar were captured along with the bridge, but a KNIL company of native soldiers inflicted casualties upon the Japanese. In retaliation, the Japanese tied the men of the bridge detachment together three by three with their legbands, and threw them in the water. Probably this happen still on February 9th.

    · Kertosono, Java Island, March 1942

    On March 5, 1942 a Dutch Marine unit received an order to advance towards Kertosono, which has recently been captured by the Japanese troops. The attack by itself eventually turned out to be nothing (bridges blown up, incomplete intelligence, etc). However, one small fighting group of Dutch marines under 1st Lieutenant H.S. den Hartog advanced until near Kertosono. There it suddenly came across with some Japanese troops. This was followed by a confused fight, during which the fighting group of Dutch marines was scattered. A small part (9 marines) was captured. They were bayoneted and beheaded on 6 March 1942 after their capture.

    · Tjiater, Java Island, March 6th 1942

    Pieter Benjamin de Lizer was a soldier in the 5th KNIL Battalion. When the Japanese invaded Java on March 1st 1942, the 5th Battalion was transported to the Bandung area, in an effort to try to stop the Japanese advance.

    De Lizer: " We arrived at Tjiater after hours of marching on March 5th. We were supposed to stop the Japanese advance here, but there was no real defensive line. No bunkers nor strongholds, just some small foxholes. The next morning I was ordered to get some food and coffee for my comrades. Suddenly the Japs started shooting at us. I saw the first casualties. I ran to my foxhole and prepared myself for combat. I had about 100 rounds for my rifle and a handgrenade. We started shooting at the direction where the enemy fire came from. In the beginning we were brave enough to jell "Tojo, klojo!" (Tojo, asshole) but that stopped when Japanese aircraft began strafing our position. More dead and wounded comrades. After a few hours I saw the Japanese infantry heading directly towards our position. I managed to hit a couple of them and when they were near enough I threw my grenade. There were simply too many of them and they overwhelmed our position. Fierce man-to-man fighting was going on. When we saw one of our men, after he surrendered, being beaten by the Japs the fighting became even more brutal. But the end was near and at a certain moment, one of the Nips jumped right on top of me and knocked me out with his rifle.

    Our hands were tied with our own leather belts. 72 of us were taken prisoner; the rest was dead or managed to escape. The Japs stole our watches and rings and those who protested were beaten. We were given a cigarette as some sort of compensation. Than the Japs took us about 500 meters up the hill. We were ordered to take off our puttees and with these they tied us up three-by-three. I was tied up with Koll and Frederiks. We wondered what was going to happen with us but when the Japs positioned two machineguns in front of us, it all became clear. Some of us started praying, others just jelled. Strangely enough, I was completely calm; no fear at all. It was just like someone was protecting me. When the machineguns started firing, I fell to the ground with Koll and Frederiks landing on top of me. I could feel that I was hit but still alive. When the shooting stopped I could hear the Japanese searching for survivors. When they found one, they killed him with their bajonets. The footsteps were now very close but they must have thought that I was dead. Only after a few hours, when I was completely sure that they had gone, I stood up. Frederiks was dead but Koll was also still alive. He managed to free himself with his teeth and than freed me. I was hit four times; two bullets hit my leg, one my shoulder and one got stuck in my lung. When we looked around us we were shocked by the terrible sight; these bloody human remains once were our comrades. We couldn't stand it much longer and fled ".

    Pieter Benjamin de Lizer managed to avoid the Japanese for days, until he finally reached Bandung on March 12th 1942. 72 POW's were excecuted at Tjiater of whom only three survived. The main cause for this massacre could be the fierce resistance offered by the 5th Battalion, which delayed the Japanese advance for several hours. All victims were buried at Bandung cemetery.

    · Tragedy at Maos, Java Island, the night of March 6-7 1942

    Following the heavy bombing of shipping at Tjiltjap there was now little hope of getting away by sea, so a considerable body mostly of unarmed RAF and RAAF men (about 2.500), who had amassed at Poerwerkerta, about 30 miles inland from the port, were now to be moved westwards by rail. Their destination was Tasikmalaja airfield, 50 miles south-east of Bandoeng.

    By the evening of 6th two trains had arrived at Poerwerkerta, each made up of a few carriages and a number of freight vans, the first of which were carrying a load of high octane fuel and aircraft spares. This train, under the command of Wing Commander Ramsay Rae and packed with airmen, departed at about 19:00, heading south to the junction with the main east-west line at Maos, a short distance from the Serajoe river. The second train, with Wing Commander N. Cave in charge, followed about two hours later but soon caught up with the heavily laden, slow moving first train. At least 600 airmen were packed on the two trains. At 22:15 p.m. when seven miles north of the junction, near the trackside kampong at Sampang, the first train was ambushed by advanced units of the 56th Infantry Regiment, part of the Japanese force that had landed at Kragan and had infiltrated the area. Attacking with mortars, machine guns and hand grenades, they blew several of the metal freight vans off the track, in one of which two airmen were killed while a number of others were wounded. S.H. Adcock, formerly of 152 MU, recalled: " We had been travelling for quite a while and started to cross an embankment - the doors of the wagons were open to give some fresh air - then we ran into an ambush. A shell burst in the freight van in front of ours, causing many casualties, and the young airman talking to me in the doorway fell dead at my feet, shot between the eyes. The driver and fireman jumped from the engine and let the train go. The rear wagons were full of oil (sic) and were blazing furiously. In one of the leading wagons was an airman who, prior to the war, was a fireman on the LMS railway, and when he saw the engine crew dive over the side, climbed along the trunks to the engine and kept it going until it ran out of steam, as it had been damaged ".

    Meanwhile the second train, forced to stop by the wrecked vans, also came under attack. The engine was hit, and there were further casualties amongst the airmen in the crowded carriages and wagons. Fl./Off. J. Fletcher-Cook was ordered to proceed towards Maos in an endeavour to acquire a rail car in which the wounded could be conveyed. One party of 74 under Flt./Lt. G. Carr, including a dozen wounded, set off towards Sampang but ran into a Japanese patrol just after midnight and were forced to surrender; five of the wounded died. The Japanese did not press home their attack and withdrew into the surrounding jungle indicating, perhaps, that only a small force was involved. Groups of survivors made their way southwards along the tracks towards Maos and after a march of two to three miles arrived at a deserted trackside farmhouse, where the men were assembled and were informed that not far away was a river that had to be crossed. Seven of the more seriously wounded were taken into some huts at the side of the track, were it was intended they should remain, with two medical orderlies, until help arrived. The five-span steel railway bridge which crossed the Serajoe river at Kesogihan had a walkway to one side. The Dutch colonial troops, whose duty it was to defend the bridge, had placed demolition charges and had orders to blow the bridge at midnight, which was by now rapidly approaching. Adcock continued: " When I and my close friends reached the second span from the far end of the bridge, the bridge blew-up, the centre spans going down into the river causing a large number of casualties ".

    The tragic sequel was that the wounded airmen, lying in the huts on the other side, could not be evacuated in time. Corporal Bob "Butch" Finning of 84th RAF Squadron was one of the wounded: " There was a lot of blood around and fellows were moaning and some were in a very bad way and dying. We lay there for quite a time, then, as it began to get dark, I heard screams and yells from the shed next door. The Nips burst into our shed and began to bayonet the men on the floor. I knew it was curtains for me. I wriggled close to the poor bastard nearest me and lay on my side to take the thrusts on my arse and thighs. The screams from our blokes were terrible, but the Japs were as bad every time they lunged with their rifles. When they reached me I pretended I'd snuffed it! ".

    Finning was bayoneted several times but miraculously sustained no fatal injuries; he continued: " The light was fading inside the godown, thank Christ, and I managed to pull myself among a pile of corpses. I could still hear other Japs next door, so lay on my wounded side so they could have a go at the other. Three or four of them came in and began to thrust at the people on the floor. I took another few jabs. I thought my time was up ". By the time the Japanese patrol departed, Finning had suffered 14 wounds but somehow was still alive. When he thought it was safe, he dragged himself to a window and managed to tumble out and staggered off into the bush. He passed out and when he regained consciousness it was light. Although in great pain from his many wounds and numerous insect bites, he was able to force himself further away from the scene of carnage, until he came to a river. This he managed to swim, although by now very weak from loss of blood, and lay exhausted on the bank; suddenly he became aware of half a dozen natives watching him. They dragged him to their kampong: " They jabbered around me, then decided to finish off what the Nips had started. They tied me up like a trussed chicken and put a rope round my neck to hang me. By that time I didn't care. They slung the end of the rope over the fork in a tree and hoisted me off the ground; I kept falling back down because I was heavy and they hadn't quite got the technique of doing the job. This time I was quite convinced I'd had my chips. They got me off the ground for about the forth time, my tongue was out and I was turning black and everything was spinning. Then I heard a car engine and they dropped me again. There was a loud yell and I heard them scatter and I vaguely made out a strange-looking bloke waving a bloody great sword around him and I made up my mind that I was going to be beheaded instead of hung ".

    This Japanese officer was however his saviour. He had already picked up two other wounded airmen and now he cut Finning lose and put him in the car. All three were driven to a local POW camp full of Dutch prisoners. Finning eventually recovered. There was only one other survivor of this massacre, another RAF corporal, who had managed to escape unobserved from the hut before the killing reached him.

    · Kalidjati Airfield, Java Island, March 1942

    Large number of British RAF ground personnel was slaughtered at the Kalidjati Airfield. British forces at Kalidjati used a hospital at Soebang run by P & T. Landen Plantations and manned by Dutch and British civilian staff. When Soebang was occupied the staff and patients were put to death, in some cases, days later. Australian war crime teams were responsible for investigating the events at Kalidjati after the war. They amassed a file but had little success in collecting direct evidence linking crimes to individuals concerned. This file was later passed onto the Dutch and no further action was taken. No any further details available.

    · Samarinda, Borneo Island, March 1942

    On March 9th, 1942, near Samarinda (exact place is unknown) the commander of the secret airfield Samarinda II learned of the capitulation of the KNIL Army, and decided to surrender his detachment to the Japanese. For that purpose, he abandoned the airfield and took his men to Samarinda, but about 15 soldiers refused and went upstream the Mahakam River. The Japanese soon discovered them and 13 of them were immediately shot, but 2 Dutch soldiers managed to stay with the natives until April 1943, when they were betrayed and handed over to the Japanese. They survived.

    · Longiram, Borneo Island, 1942

    The government representative of Longiram followed a sideriver of the Mahakam with several KNIL soldiers. He was forced in mid 1942 to seek refuge with the Dajak natives. These surrendered them to the Japanese. All were executed (exact place is unknown).

    · Long Nawang, Borneo Island, August 1942

    In August 1942 the Japanese soldiers executed a large number of refugees in this Kampong, including all crew-members from a Glenn Martin bomber and three crew-members from Dornier X-34. In early 1942 was a Dutch bomber Glenn Martin shot down by Japanese Zeros near Miri, British North Borneo. The plane commander, Luitenant-Vlieger-Waarnemer Groeneveld (Lieutenant) was able to find the rest of his crew after they bailed out of the plane. They were now in the neighbourhood of Miri (British-Borneo) and decided to try to avoid the Japanese, who had just landed there. Together with a number of British civilians they reached Long Nawang on February 3rd. At about the same date Luitenant-ter-Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers from the Dornier flying-boat X-34, together with two of his crewmembers, reached Long Nawang. The X-34 had made an emergency landing on December 16th, while it was heading for the Japanese invasion fleet near Miri. In the next months Long Nawang became some sort of "safe-haven" for all sorts of refugees, military and civilian, trying to escape the Japanese invaders. On February 17 or 18 landed the Japanese troops at Boelongan. Several KNIL soldiers died, but others managed to reach the outpost Long Nawang after a journey of weeks. They found American and British refugees there, and with the soldiers, there were probably about 90 white people and about 35 natives. In April 1942 the Japanese heared from native Dajaks that there still where KNIL soldiers at Long Berang and Long Nawang. The Japanese commander demanded their capitulation. The refugees at Long Berang did so, and they surrendered to the Japanese at Malinau at the end of April, but the ones at Long Nawang stayed there. On August 20th, 1942, was Long Nawang taken by surprise by a Japanese company. On August 27th of that month almost all white military refugees and one Ambonese soldier were executed, and one month later also all women and children. Among executed POWs were also:
    - Luitenant-vlieger-waarnemer Groeneveld (pilot)
    - Brigadier-leerling-monteur Haacke (gunner)
    - Sergeant-bommenrichter Gobus (bombardier)
    - Brigadier-luchtvaart-telegrafist Prinssen (wireless-operator)
    - Luitenant ter Zee 3e klasse A. Baarschers.

    · Koetaradja, Sumatra Island, March 1942

    In early March 1942 occured in Koetaradja a massacre of European inhabitants by natives from Atjeh province. About 20 KNIL and former KNIL soldiers were murdered, along with a number of Europeans. The natives entered Koetaradja on March 12, the date when the Japanese forces landed on the western part of the island. They started looting and destroying ("rampok" in Indonesian). Other KNIL forces had by that time already left the city. Other Europeans survived because suddenly the leader of the Atjeh rebellion, Nja Arif - "Teukoe", appeared and with the help of the Japanese, managed to prevent further atrocities.

    · Koetaradja II, Sumatra Island, March 1942

    When the KNIL military detachment left Koetaradja on March 12, there were still some Ambonese and Menadonese KNIL soldiers present in the town. They were mainly cooks, hospital units, some patients and the guards of the station (probably a train station). Altogether they numbered about 50 men. They were waiting at the station for a train, when they were surrounded by Atjeh natives who forced them to give up their weapons. The Japanese arrested them and locked them up in the prison. Other soldiers also joined them, among them was some hospital personnel and a KNIL Lieutenant from Sabang. The prisoners, about 60 of them, were given nothing to eat or drink, and all were interrogated seperately. The former KNIL soldiers were released, but the others (56 men) were the victim of the Japanese revenge, which originated in the fact that the airfield of Koetaradja had been damaged before KNIL troops left the city. The men (8 Europeans and 48 Ambonese and Menadonese) were shackled on March 15 and loaded onto a Chinese fishing vessel. They were shot at sea and their bodies thrown in the water.

    · Middle Sumatra Island, March 1942

    KNIL Lieutenant Van Zanten assembled a group near Takingeun. He had with him a European Sergeant and about 70 native soldiers. In late 1942, the Japanese got wind of the group. They arrested and mistreated 14 ex-KNIL soldiers while they were working in late November on a teafield, and the Japanese tried to capture Van Zanten's camp two days later. His group became smaller. In February 1943, the only European Sergeant with two native MP's were capured, and on March 10, almost a year after he started his journey, Van Zanten himself was captured with five native MP's. They walked into an ambush by native policemen. They were mistreated by the Japanese soldiers. Van Zanten was offered that in order to spare his life, he had to infiltrate the internment camp for POW's in Medan. He refused to do that, and was subsequently sentenced to death by a Japanese court-martial in Fort De Kock. He was executed on October 25, 1943. His Sergeant had been killed some two months earlier.

    · Pematang Siantar, Sumatra Island, 1942

    Not far from the town of Pematang Siantar (where five women were raped) a group of about 25 Stadswacht soldiers (city guardsmen) were shot by the Japanese, probably because several bridges had been destroyed in the vicinity. Two KNIL officers who were also arrested lost their heads.

    · Toba Lake, Sumatra Island, March 1942

    On March 14, 1942, not far from the Toba Lake, 25 KNIL soldiers (a MG platoon and members of the Stadswacht and Landwacht) were executed by the Japanese soldiers.

    · Bireuen, Sumatra Island, March 1942

    On March 24, 1942, 27 native KNIL soldiers were allowed by Major Palmer van den Broek, after his capitulation, to disperse and seek refuge. In Bireuen, they were captured by natives who turned them over to a Japanese officer, who whipped all prisoners in the face with a belt. He released five. The other 22 prisoners were told to be shot because a bridge enroute to Takingeun had been destroyed. They were brought to the bridge, where four of them managed to escape by jumping in the water. The other 18 prisoners were shot.

    · Simaloer Island, Sumatra Island, 1942

    On the island of Simaloer, off the coast of Sumatra, an unknown number of British and Dutch prisoners were executed and the same happened not far from Sibolga with two Dutchmen and six British prisoners. Their bodies were later found on the island Nias off the Sumatra coast.

    · The freighter "Langkoeas" massacre, west of Bawean Island, 1942

    The freighter Langkoeas (7395 gross weight), a former German merchant ship "Stassfurt", captured in May 1940, had departed Soerabaja on January 1 for the Middle East, when in the evening of January 2nd, a torpedo struck the ship in the engineroom, immediately killing the 12 on watch. The crew (24 Dutch, 55 Chinese, 12 Java-natives) immediately began abandoning ship, as the Langkoeas started to founder. Some whaleboats had made it safely to sea, but the 4th Engineer J. De Mul (one of the survivors) saw with horror how suddenly the motor boat under Captain J. Kreumer was machine-gunned by an approaching ship. The motor boat was already towing one of the non-engined boats, and De Mul watched as one sailor after the other perished by machine-gun fire. Then the ship started to fire on the boat with De Mul, one of the men near him was hit in the chest and died. De Mul immediately jumped overboard, and grabbed the depthrudder of the submarine (the ship was a submarine as it turned out), after which he was grabbed by Japanese sailors and brought on deck. There, he saw a Chinese and a Javanese standing near the conning tower. He was brought to the captain, which interrogated him, but De Mul told him nothing of value. Then the captain said something like "you go home" and he was thrown overboard, followed by the Javanese and Chinese. The Langkoeas had sunk, and the three survivors tried to stay together. However, the sea was rough, and De Mul lost sight of the other two after a few hours. In the evening, he had the luck to find a heavily damaged raft, which he clinged to. He managed to climb onto it after catching his breath. Later, he saw the unconscious Chinese drifting by and managed to bring him aboard. An hour later, he also found the Javanese. The men spent some four or five days under the intense sun, without drinkingwater and food. Finally, the raft washed ashore on Bawean, an island in the Java Sea. There, they were found by a fisherman. They were later picked up by a Dutch flying boat Catalina and brought to Soerabaja, where they told their story. A crew of 88 men had perished, and post war analysis showed the Japanese submarine I-58 under the command of Commander Kitamura.

    · The tanker "Augustina" massacre, Western Java Sea, 1942

    The tanker Augustina (3110 tons) of the Nederlandsch Indische Tankstoomboot Mij. left Batavia (Tandjong Priok) on February 27, trying to break out through Sunda Strait enroute to Australia. The ship was under command of Captain A.J. Moerman, who had received orders to scuttle the ship when it was in danger of being captured. In the afternoon of March 1, the tanker was forced to stop after a Japanese destroyer fired a few rounds, after which the captain immediately ordered to prepare for scuttling. The seavalves were opened and large amounts of water began to enter the engine room and tanks. The crew then abandoned ship and went into the 2 lifeboats, which were then ordered to come alongside the destroyer. The captain and first engineer were ordered aboard and before they were questioned, they were sprayed with a desinfectionvapor! They returned soon afer, telling the others they were to be brought back to the tanker to prevent its loss. The whaleboats were taken under tow by the destroyer. The captain and first engineer soon returned from the stricken tanker, but they had been unable to close all the vents. The destroyer then signalled the lifeboats could row away, but soon after, fire was opened on them by a machine-gun and tommyguns. The boat with the captain and first engineer was driven back to the destroyer, where a Japanese sailor jumped aboard and started killing its passengers. Many of the crew had jumped over-board, and one of them, the 3rd Engineer L. Meyer dove under and swam away. When he returned to the surface, he was immediately fired upon. Meyer later saw the destroyer sail away, but no whaleboats or other survivors. As the tanker was still afloat, he decided to returned to the ship and find some clothes (he was completely naked). He found an undamged boat and entered it, drifting away from the tanker. Then, in the night of March 3 and 4, he was picked up by another destroyer. He told the captain that he had remained aboard after the tanker was abandoned, and that he had been ill in bed. He heard water pooring in, and then also abandoned ship. His story was believed, and he was brought to Makassar on March 7, where he remained until October 15. He was then brought to Japan, to POW Camp Fukuoka No. 2. He was liberated on September 12, 1945, and he could prepare a statement about the loss of Augustina some three weeks later, in Manila, Philippines. A crew of 9 officers and 30 Chinese had been killed in this disaster, but two other Chinese apparently made it to shore. The name of the destroyer is unknown, and the same goes for the captain's name.

  5. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Apr 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Perfidious Albion
    Can I just put in another credit to George Duncan's massacres and atrocities site which the first half of this thread was lifted from verbatim:
    George Duncan's Historical Facts of WWII and to which Macrusk quite correctly posted a link to for the pacific side of things.

    Do we really need these massive sections lifted from other people's work that take ages to scroll through when a link would allow us to see exactly the same information in the context the author intended it?

    Is cut & paste discussion?

    Sorry, getting more and more grumpy about it... It's my special grumpy day today...
    I'll crawl back under my rock now.

    bigfun likes this.
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Jan 23, 2008
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    Sorry if I offened there Von Poop.
  7. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

    Oct 2, 2007
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    Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurtemburg, Germany

    Sorry guys I gotta agree with Adam here, I roll right these as well, just post the link!

    Thanks for bringing thsi up Adam, I thought maybe I was gettin' old or something!
    von Poop likes this.
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Massacre of Kondomari

    I feel now Student was totally guilty for making the Göring order happen. Something I never had realized before, to be honest....

    The whole operation was captured on film by Franz-Peter Weixler, then serving as a war propaganda correspondent. After the summer of 1941, Franz-Peter Weixler was dismissed from the Wehrmacht for political reasons. He was later accused of high treason against the III Reich for having leaked uncensored material related to the paratroopers' activities in Crete that included photographs taken in Kondomari, and for having helped some Cretans to flee. His later comment:

  9. White Flight

    White Flight Member

    Feb 7, 2007
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    The benefit is long term access to information in the event the link is terminated.
  10. arminiuss

    arminiuss New Member

    Nov 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Long Island NY
    There is only 1 real war crime. Losing.
    Everything else can be explained away by winning.
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Jul 24, 2007
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    That is most clearly not the case as a number of individuals have found out.


    Dec 25, 2011
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    Rather a little bit too relativistic old chap!
  13. arminiuss

    arminiuss New Member

    Nov 15, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Long Island NY
    Do tell.

  14. denny

    denny Member

    Jan 16, 2013
    Likes Received:
    USA, CA, Solano County
    Sure are lots of specifics mentioned in this thread.
    It is interesting to note that almost none of that mattered at Nuremberg...and only a handful of defendants were on trial.
    The charge was Waging Wars Of Aggression.
    Of course, all broad terms like that can include a plethora of issues.
    The "holocaust" and other types of concerns had many, many participants that were never prosecuted
    Speer was never as rich as he was After Prison...and sold artworks that were confiscated from burn victims and other dubious means.
    Almost makes you wonder if it was worth the effort.
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

    Apr 21, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Perfidious Albion
    You could maybe say 'a handful' for those at the 'Major figures' Trial/s, but a couple of hundred more went through the Tribunals (all under assorted charges), along with nearly 2000 tried through more traditional courts.
    (One example that came up elsewhere recently: British Military Court Hamburg 1-8 March 1946 )

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