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Prisoners of the Japanese : Pows of World War II in the Pacific
by Gavan Daws
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688143709, Paperback)
Gavan Daws combined ten years of documentary research and hundreds of interviews with surrviving POWs to write this explosive, first-and-only account of the experiences of the Allied POWs of World War II. The Japanese Army took over 140,000 Allied prisoners, and one in four died the hands of their captors. Here Daws reveals the survivors' haunting experiences, from the atrocities perpetrated during the Bataan Death March and the building of the Burma-Siam railroad to descriptions of disease, torture, and execution.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:20 -0400)
In the first disastrous months following Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Army took over 140,000 Allied prisoners. More than one in four of these POWs died at the hands of their captors. They were denied medical treatment. They were starved. When the International Red Cross sent food and medicine, the Japanese looted the shipments. They sacrificed prisoners in medical experiments. They watched them die by the tens of thousands from diseases of malnutrition like beriberi, pellagra, and scurvy, and from the epidemic diseases of the tropics: malaria, dysentery, tropical ulcers, and cholera. Those who survived were slated to be worked to death. If the war had lasted another twelve months, there would not have been a POW left alive. Prisoners of the Japanese raises disturbing questions as well about the value placed on the lives of Allied POWs by their own supreme command. Of all military prisoners who died in the Japanese zone of captivity, more than one in four were killed by "friendly fire" ordered by General Douglas MacArthur. It is impossible not to be seized by the horror of the POWs' ordeal. But while the inhuman cruelty of the Japanese prison camps is documented exhaustively - beyond the shadow of a doubt - the book, at its core, tells a heartening story of ordinary men, trapped in impossible circumstances, not only struggling to survive but stubbornly, triumphantly asserting their humanity.
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