20 Horrific Details about Japanese POW Camps During World War II
20 Horrific Details about Japanese POW Camps During World War II

20 Horrific Details about Japanese POW Camps During World War II

Steve - December 30, 2018

20 Horrific Details about Japanese POW Camps During World War II
Two prisoners of war, under the control of Unit 731, tied to a stake about to be killed. Wikimedia Commons.

1. Allied POWs were used as human subjects of weapons tests, both for conventional armaments and for biological weaponry

As with all weaponry, tests must be conducted to determine their efficacy and during World War II the Japanese military opted for using Allied prisoners as human guinea pigs for these new technologies. POWs were tied to stakes whilst jars of cyanide were thrown at them, recorded in November 1944 in the Kai Islands, set alight with flamethrowers, targeted with tank cannons, and to test the range of grenade explosions. Most horrifically, prisoners were consciously exposed to diseases, such as typhoid and plague, and monitored to determine the effects of prolonged exposure and observe the deterioration of the afflicted.

The use of biological weapons by the Japanese was confirmed, with Chinese and South Asian targets bombarded with plague-infected fleas dispersed over populations by planes. An estimated 580,000 people were killed by the Imperial Japanese Army’s deliberate spread of plagues during the Second World War. In fact, during the concluding months of the war, Japan planned to unleashed biological weapons upon the mainland United States. Operation Cherry Blossoms at Night, using diseases concocted by Unit 731 using prisoner research, was intended to release plagues against the civilian inhabitants of San Diego, California, starting on September 22, 1945.

Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

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“The Trial of Unit 731”, Russell Working, The Japan Times (June 5, 2001)

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“Dissect them alive: order not to be disobeyed”, Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times (February 25, 2007)

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“Why Japanese Doctors Performed Human Experiments in China, 1933-1945”, Takashi Tsuchiya, Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics (2000)

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“Japan tested chemical weapons on Aussie POW: New Evidence”, The Japan Times (July 27, 2004)

“Japan’s Biological Warfare”. Ben Kageyama. History of Yesterday.