Why was the war in the Pacific so brutal ?
Because of the distance between the war theatres, warfare in the Far East and the Pacific region was of different manner in relation to Europe. The main burden was loaded on the back of the poor infantryman. But nothing was going on without amphibious operations, a daily event, nothing went on, in contrary to the European theatre.
Every war is brutal, but especially the war in the Pacific, because here ancient hostilities between yellow and other races focused together in unnecessary killing of civilians and prisoners.
Perhaps this was one of the reasons for the Americans for the fast and easy decision to bombard Japanese cities with a hail of napalm bombs, which didn't happen even to German cities like Hamburg or Dresden, followed additionally by atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For an American soldier his Japanese opponent was inferior, yellow, some wild animal worth to be killed. For the Japanese soldiers a white man was something of a mystic monster against which his emperor led a holy war.
A lot of the Japanese soldiers inborn brutality which came in effect in their treatment of prisoners is to be explained by the words of the well known publicist John Toland:
"Brutality was a daily event for the Japanese soldier. He had to admit brutality against himself by his officers. This treatment he simply gave further to his subordinates or the prisoners, the last because they were inferior to him after their surrender. Surrender simply was not existing to him, because he fought to the last drop of blood. When he was captured after all because of wound or weakness, then this was dishonour until his lives end.
Captured Japanese were dead for their families. His name was cancelled from the register of birth. A remark in his soldiers book: " Take this advice, will you be captured by the enemy, you will not only dishonour the army, but also your parents and family until they will not be able any more to get upright. Therefore, always preserve the last bullet for yourself ".
If they were so brutal against themselves there can be no doubt about their behaviour against the enemy.
On 24 April 1942, Tokyos newspaper The Japan & Advertiser, which was edited even in English, wrote in its introduction:
" They (Allied) surrender only when they have sacrifice all lives in their power excluding their owns. When they finally surrender themselves, then only to save their own lives ...
They have shown in all previous battles that they are totally egoistic. With this behaviour they have reached that we can not treat them as normal prisoners. They have broken Gods law, and therefore God will punish them with defeat. However, any mercy would prolong the war. The Japanese soldier fights in a holy war, in which there is no place for think over and uncertainty. Criminals must be annihilated ".
Such an expression of animosity against the opponent is finding good ground in wartimes and leads to the outbreak of dark sides of the character. We don't have to wonder then why the war in the Pacific Ocean was so brutal and dirty, can we ?
(taken from magazine Radar, Special Edition, No. 26)