Japan WWII Question

I’ve read at different times about how during the late part of the war Japan was training civilians, even children, on how to defend themselves should Allied forces invade the mainland. I can recall pictures of scores of Japanese children thrusting bayonets, etc. etc. However, not having those old history books and whatnot on hand, what are some internet resources on this subject?

Furthermore, what are some net resources on the Japanese plan to execute Allied POWs should the Allies invade the mainland? Much thanks.

Well, I wish I could help you with the internet resources, and I’ll post here if I find somthing, but I DO remember hearing some mention of this topic on a documentary about Operation: Olympic-The invasion plan for Japan. It had some pictures from a Japanese training manual given to civilians on how to attack U.S. Troops in hand to hand combat. With illustrations, featuring cartoon diagrams with large, ogre-like American troops being attacked (With step-by-step instructions) by the small, nimble, Japanese farmers.


I think that this is one of the best sites on the invasion plans I’ve seen. It talks about the Joints Chief plan and intertwines it with the Japanese High Command’s plans.

It says* that Japan had about 2.5 million men to defend her. These aren’t crack troops, but still … I too recall seeing film of woman and children practicing with pikes to ward off an invasion, but with the firepower the U.S. and Britain would have brought to bear I’m not sure that would have mattered, it seemed more propaganda for both sides.

  • I think its true in that I’ve seen that # elsewhere, ++ this is a site that says we didn’t need the bomb, so I’d expect it to OVERSTATE rather than understate their army strength (I’d really hope they’d stick with “just the facts”)

Various POW veterans WERE told they would be shot if Japan were ever invaded, here is one, but I bet there are many more…

As the situation in the Philippines deteriorated the Japanese began to execute Americans, beyond the “everyday” executions, so there is certainly precedence to believe they’d go absolutely apesh*t if Japan herself would be invaded…
GHOST SOLDIERS by Hampton Sides. New York: Doubleday, 2001. 342 pp., hardback. $24.95 (is a GREAT book on this)

HOWEVER, the Japanese knew they had lost the war by 1945, would they really have started executing American POWs on the way out? Hell Nuremberg was being set up at the time … I think the JIA did execute POWs in the past, they said they’d do it in the future, but by ’45 I doubt they’d have carried through – or at least they’d have been crazy to do it.

This is the first time I’ve heard this, but I think it entirely possible and entirely in keeping with the psychology of the JIA - anybody else remember the kamikaze?

This site has what is purported to be an English tranlation of the “Kill Order” of August, 1944:


In addition, it has very detailed information of Japanese medical vivisection on downed USAAF aircrew.

Some 24 US servicemen were executed by sword between August 10 and 15, 1945. Some 17 were executed on August 15–the same day the Emperor’s voice was broadcast announcing surrender.