1. The End of a Remarkable World War II Holdout Feat
All in all, Captain Sakae Oba and his men held out in the jungles of Saipan for sixteen months after the island had fallen, and for three months after World War II had ended with Japan’s surrender. Eventually, US authorities brought in a Japanese general who had commanded a brigade in Saipan, and sent him in to find and reason with Oba. Tramping through the jungle while whistling Japanese military tunes, the general drew out some of the holdouts, who took him to their commander.
After Captain Oba was presented with official documents from the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters that ordered him to lay down his arms, his holdout ended. On December 1st, 1945, Oba marched his charges out of their jungle hideouts, and in a dignified ceremony, surrendered his sword and his command, and brought to an end a remarkable feat of elusiveness. Upon repatriation to Japan, Sakae Oba led a productive life, worked in the private sector, then turned to politics and got elected to his city’s council. He died in 1992, aged 78.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading
Blade Magazine – Heroic Cherokee Knife Thrower vs Nazi: The Nazi Loses
Brown, Anthony Cave – Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day (1975)
Doolittle, James H. – I Could Never Be So Lucky Again: An Autobiography (1991)
Garlinski, Jozef – Fighting Auschwitz: The Resistance Movement in the Concentration Camp (1993)
Groom, Winston – The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight (2013)
History Daily – The Story Behind: A Member of the French Resistance Smiling at a German Firing Squad
Holt, Thaddeus – The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War (2004)
Macintyre, Ben – Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (2012)
Pujol, Juan – Operation GARBO: The Personal Story of the Most Successful Agent of World War II (1985)