The Final Betrayal

The Final Betrayal

This book examines the period between the unconditional surrender of Japan on 14 August 1945, and the arrival of Allied liberation forces in Japanese-occupied territories after 2 September 1945. The delay handed the Japanese a golden opportunity to set their house in order before Allied war crimes investigators arrived. After 14 August groups of Allied POWs were brutally murdered. Vast amounts of documentation concerning crimes were burned ahead of the arrival of Allied forces. POW facilities and medical experimentation installations were either abandoned or destroyed.

Perhaps the greatest crimes were continuing deaths of Allied POWs from starvation, disease and ill-treatment after the Japanese surrender. The blame rests with the American authorities, and particularly General MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific. MacArthur expressly forbade any Allied forces from liberating Japanese occupied territories before he had personally taken the formal Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945. Vice Admiral Lord Mountbatten, Commanding Allied forces in Southeast Asia, protested against this policy, believing that pandering to MacArthur’s vanity and ego would mean condemning many starving and sick prisoners to death.

Deaths among British and Commonwealth POWs were significant as opposed to American POWs who were already largely liberated in the Philippines and elsewhere.

One thought on “The Final Betrayal”

  1. Mark

    As an Australian and a ex serviceman, there is still a great deal of resentment of how Australians were treated by the Japanese during WW2, those who parents served in the Asia region cannot forget the brutal inhumane treatment received, our ANZAC reminds us of this, most young Japanese I have met, refuse to believe their forefathers committed war crimes and got away scot free, for me and many others it’s a personal stain on Japan that time cannot wash off, the only way for it to be ameliated is by open acknowledgment by the now Japanese govt that serious war crimes were committed and to be genuine remorse, somehow I do not envisage that happening, ever…..

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