PDA

View Full Version : Not their finest moment



Rising Sun*
07-15-2010, 07:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W6FwoXl624&feature=related

boyne_water
07-15-2010, 07:39 AM
Its well known what the Japanese did in WW2 but that is no excuse for this total lack of basic humanity.
It is surely every humans instinct to give aid to survivors even in wartime.

Rising Sun*
07-15-2010, 07:49 AM
It is surely every humans instinct to give aid to survivors even in wartime.

Perhaps not if they've been militarily trained, and often not if the survivors are seen as the enemy.

The whole purpose of military training is to overcome any civilian notions which restrain us from killing other people.

Add in the training and propaganda, which all sides used in WWII, which demonised the enemy and made him less than human and it's easier to understand the video.

But for all we know from the poor quality video, it might have been that the man in the water was severely injured and that there was no hope of rescue, so it was a mercy killing. Not that it looked that way.

flamethrowerguy
07-15-2010, 08:44 AM
I've seen this outtake in a TV documentary once saying the Japanese blows himself up with a handgrenade (and the US sailor just played it safe). Actually, shortly before the first blow you can see that the Japanese is reaching with one hand to his mouth which could mean he's pulling out the grenade's safety pin with his teeth.

Rising Sun*
07-15-2010, 07:18 PM
Actually, shortly before the first blow you can see that the Japanese is reaching with one hand to his mouth which could mean he's pulling out the grenade's safety pin with his teeth.

Unlikely.

The Japanese grenade was fully armed by knocking it on something hard, such as the thrower's helmet.


Method of arming. Withdraw the safety pin. The spring is then held at half compression by the brass cover. Give the head of the ignition tube a sharp blow, further compressing the spring and driving the striker on to the percussion cap. The fuse, with a delay of 4-5 seconds, is then ignited and the filling detonated. http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt08/japanese-grenades.html

The man in the water doesn't seem to have done anything consistent with arming a Japanese grenade, nor does he seem to have anything hard to knock it on.

flamethrowerguy
07-15-2010, 07:25 PM
Unlikely.

The Japanese grenade was fully armed by knocking it on something hard, such as the thrower's helmet.

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt08/japanese-grenades.html

The man in the water doesn't seem to have done anything consistent with arming a Japanese grenade.

Honestly I wouldn't know about the handling of Japanese handgrenades myself but I remember the narrator saying it was a shot-down Japanese pilot who wanted to avoid capture at all costs. Got to check if I can find the documentary somewhere (which could have been mistaken after all).

Rising Sun*
07-16-2010, 08:41 AM
FTG

On reviewing the video many times I'm not sure whether it's continuous or whether a crucial second or few is missing between the foam in the water and the previous hand to mouth.

It could be consistent with arming a grenade and holding it to his belly under the water.

Maybe he had a different grenade to the type I had in mind which was used early in the war i.e. to 1942 early 1943. I don't know if they had a later version which didn't require the sharp knock to arm finally.

Suicide by a grenade of a pilot or any Japanese serviceman would be at least as likely as being shot by any one of the Allies.

Wizard
07-23-2010, 12:03 PM
This video has no context and therefore no conclusions can be made as to the exact circumstances which it briefly purports to show. There were documented occurrences of Japanese sailors and airmen who tried to kill their would-be rescuers. In some cases these attempts were successful, and Allied servicemen in the Pacific quickly adopted a general policy of extreme caution, including shooting survivors in the water who made any kind of suspicious moves.

My father was a carrier pilot in the Pacific in 1942, and personally knew another pilot who was shot down over Iron Bottom Sound. While waiting for a boat from shore to rescue him, he noticed another pilot, a Japanese, in the water near him. After being picked up by a Higgins boat, this pilot directed the boat's crew over to the Japanese pilot and attempted to reach over the gunwale and pull him into the boat. As he was doing that, the Japanese pilot suddenly produced a pistol, put it to his rescuer's head and pulled the trigger. The pistol misfired, whereupon the Japanese put it to his own head and again pulled the trigger; again the pistol misfired. At that point one of the boat's crew clubbed the Japanese over the head with a boathook, rendering him unconscious. The crew then pulled him into the boat and he became a prsioner.

Nothing in any of the accepted rules of war require servicemen to risk their lives to rescue, or take prisoner, enemy soldiers who appear to be helpless, but may, in fact, be concealing a weapon or explosive device. Many allied servicemen in the Pacific quite correctly decided to play it safe and shoot apparent Japanese survivors or simply leave them to their fates. Others occasionally risked their lives to demonstrate their compassion.

forager
07-23-2010, 10:21 PM
Don't judge those guys until you've stood in their boots.

Deaf Smith
08-06-2010, 06:20 PM
There are several recorded incidences of Japanese airmen throwing grenades, pistols, or using knives on would-be rescuers. Even a case on Okinawa where an old woman surrendering and throwing a U.S. grenade that killed a G.I. Not to mention many cases of surrendering Japanese soldiers throwing grenades and others playing dead only to rise and shoot G.I.s in the back.

Plus little things like the Bataan Death March, the Burma Railroad where the Japanese worked many a U.S, British, Australian, and other captives to death, plus the beheading of captured American airmen, and on Guadalcanal a Japanese party faked surrender and murdered quite a few Marines.

So forgive the U.S. Navy if they were skeptical the Japanese wanted to surrender. Safest recourse was to kill the Jap. Our people wanted to live, a lot of the Japanese wanted to die… and take a few with them if they could.

jungleguerilla
08-06-2010, 09:37 PM
@Deafsmith, agreed. I saw a few of that things in the 1st episode of The Pacific after the Battle of Alligator Creek.

Chevan
08-07-2010, 01:12 PM
But for all we know from the poor quality video, it might have been that the man in the water was severely injured and that there was no hope of rescue, so it was a mercy killing. Not that it looked that way.

Hardly he was seriously injured coz he obviously was moving by hand befor were killed.
It's quite cruel but we can't judge american crew coz we don't know the the details.

Deaf Smith
08-09-2010, 06:18 PM
Have any of you watched the 'American Experience"?

I strongly suggest you watch the 2 hour special, "Victory in the Pacific"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/pacific/

When it's over, you will see why the Atomic Bomb was necessary. And you will see why Americans felt the Japanese would never surrender.

Deaf

HOS Bandit
10-10-2010, 10:08 PM
You can see the same video on utube that is not missing any crucial seconds, that one clearly shows the japanese pilot pulling a pin of a grenade and tucking it to his stomach. I have fired a .45 caliber into water, and it certainly makes no eruption in the water as shown in that clip. Just another anti-american posting. I am not as polished and erudite as most of the other posters here. But I am also not an illiterate, chest thumping ugly american. But I have seen an ongoing bias in certain posters here, but when you get right down too it, that in a nutshell is what those demon GI's were fighting for, back in WW2, the right for someone to come on a site such as this, and speak their mind, no matter what the content.

Wizard
10-10-2010, 10:23 PM
You can see the same video on utube that is not missing any crucial seconds, that one clearly shows the japanese pilot pulling a pin of a grenade and tucking it to his stomach. I have fired a .45 caliber into water, and it certainly makes no eruption in the water as shown in that clip. Just another anti-american posting. I am not as polished and erudite as most of the other posters here. But I am also not an illiterate, chest thumping ugly american. But I have seen an ongoing bias in certain posters here, but when you get right down too it, that in a nutshell is what those demon GI's were fighting for, back in WW2, the right for someone to come on a site such as this, and speak their mind, no matter what the content.

This thread was originally started by Rising Sun and it was he who posted the link to the video clip. While I do not agree with him on everything he has posted or commented on, I certainly do not believe he is "anti-American". There are certain posters on the forum who do seem to have a biased view of American actions in WW II, but then if everybody held the same opinions about everything, there would be no point in having forums in the first place.

I think Rising Sun posted the video clip in order to stimulate a discussion about such incidents in the Pacific war. My father was a carrier pilot in that war and he definitely saw instances of other Americans committing acts of which he was not very proud. But he also said it was that kind of war, and it was the Japanese who chose to fight it that way; the Americans saw no reason to disappoint them.

Rising Sun*
10-11-2010, 01:05 AM
You can see the same video on utube that is not missing any crucial seconds, that one clearly shows the japanese pilot pulling a pin of a grenade and tucking it to his stomach.

Got a link?

I can't see a grenade in the version I linked. He puts his hand to his mouth but, as I mentioned above, the main Japanese grenade was initiated by impact and there is no sign of that.


I have fired a .45 caliber into water, and it certainly makes no eruption in the water as shown in that clip.

You mean that the second eruption didn't come from the .45?

Or the first eruption, which for all I know could be a heavier weapon such as a 20mm cannon?

Rising Sun*
10-11-2010, 01:09 AM
Just another anti-american posting. ..... But I have seen an ongoing bias in certain posters here

Don't leave us wondering.

Name them.

Wizard
10-11-2010, 12:33 PM
....I can't see a grenade in the version I linked. He puts his hand to his mouth but, as I mentioned above, the main Japanese grenade was initiated by impact and there is no sign of that.

I can't see a grenade either, but the video isn't clear enough to rule out the presence of a small grenade in the man's hand.

As for activating a grenade, the Japanese Type 23 grenade was a "pull" grenade, i.e. the fuse was activated by pulling on a short lanyard. The amount of pressure required was from 2.5 to 5 pounds which could easily be exerted by placing the lanyard ring in the mouth and pulling the grenade away from the body. The grenade was rather small, only 3.75 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, and easily concealed in a man's hand.

See section "f" of the linked page; http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/handbook-japanese-military/japanese-grenades.html


You mean that the second eruption didn't come from the .45?

Or the first eruption, which for all I know could be a heavier weapon such as a 20mm cannon?

The plume of water that arises after the first explosion is clearly from some small arms projectile. However, the first disturbance in the water around the man's body does not appear to come from a projectile fired at the man; there is no characteristic plume of water that comes from a projectile entering the water's surface. It is much more consistent with an underwater explosion such as that produced by a grenade.

Rising Sun*
10-12-2010, 07:12 AM
I can't see a grenade either, but the video isn't clear enough to rule out the presence of a small grenade in the man's hand.

As for activating a grenade, the Japanese Type 23 grenade was a "pull" grenade, i.e. the fuse was activated by pulling on a short lanyard. The amount of pressure required was from 2.5 to 5 pounds which could easily be exerted by placing the lanyard ring in the mouth and pulling the grenade away from the body. The grenade was rather small, only 3.75 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, and easily concealed in a man's hand.

See section "f" of the linked page; http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/handbook-japanese-military/japanese-grenades.html



The plume of water that arises after the first explosion is clearly from some small arms projectile. However, the first disturbance in the water around the man's body does not appear to come from a projectile fired at the man; there is no characteristic plume of water that comes from a projectile entering the water's surface. It is much more consistent with an underwater explosion such as that produced by a grenade.

I don't dispute any of that.

My primary purpose in posting was to challenge the dogmatic post by HOS Bandit where he asserts that the video in my link 'clearly shows the japanese pilot pulling a pin of a grenade and tucking it to his stomach.' (my bold).

It shows nothing of the sort.

Too often the captions to or interpretations of photographs and film / video create beliefs which are mistaken or fraudulent interpretations of the picture, e.g. http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/photo_database/category/false_caption/

Your interpretation is probably correct, but the film is not of sufficient clarity to be sure that, for example, a grenade was not thrown from the ship at the man (who may or may not be a pilot) in the water. Or we could get into a whole lot of pointless ballistic debate about whether the first eruption is consistent with something else, such as a heavy calibre round hitting the man in the water from behind. I don't think it is, but equally I don't think it's satisfactory for dogmatic comments to go unchallenged when the evidence is ambivalent.

My secondary purpose was to seek clarification of HOS Bandit's statement "I have fired a .45 caliber into water, and it certainly makes no eruption in the water as shown in that clip.". He seems to be saying that, on the basis of his experience in firing a .45 into water, the first eruption should not be attributed to the man on the ship who appears to have fired a pistol at the man in the water. Nobody has suggested it was caused by a .45 and such a view is not consistent with what is seen in the video as the second eruption seems to be attributable to the .45.

My original impression of the video, which did not contemplate the grenade suicide, has been educated by the posts since I started the thread. HOS Bandit would benefit from an equally open mind.

Wizard
10-12-2010, 11:19 AM
....My original impression of the video, which did not contemplate the grenade suicide, has been educated by the posts since I started the thread. HOS Bandit would benefit from an equally open mind.

Perhaps your mind is open to "education" but I wonder if you didn't jump to an unwarranted conclusion in titling the thread "Not their finest moment"?

Wouldn't "What really happened?" have been more appropriate?

Rising Sun*
10-12-2010, 05:19 PM
Perhaps your mind is open to "education" but I wonder if you didn't jump to an unwarranted conclusion in titling the thread "Not their finest moment"?

Wouldn't "What really happened?" have been more appropriate?

With the benefit of hindsight, yes.

Deaf Smith
10-12-2010, 10:01 PM
It most certianly looks like an explosion under water. Don't know what happend but something went off and I didn't see a splash from someone throwing a grenade at him.

Thanks for pointing that out guys, I didn't even notice!

Deaf