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Japanese Prisoners of War in India, 1942-46: Bushido and Barbed Wire Hardcover – 1 Jun 2006


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About the Author

T.R. Sareen was Consultant of the Indian Council of Historical Research as whose Director he served from 1985 to 1997. He was Assistant Director of the National Archives of India from 1979 to 1985 and Consultant of the Government of Kenya from 1980 to 1981. He was also General President of the Punjab Historical Congress and Vice President of the International Association of Historians of Asia. He was educated at Punjab University where he gained his M.A. and Ph.D. In 1993 he was a visiting fellow at the University of Heidelberg, also at the University of Tokyo in 1994-95 and at Senshu University in 1998. His more recent publications include Indian Revolutionarie, Japan and British Imperialism (1993), Sharing the Blame - Subhas Chandra Bose and the Japanese Occupation of the Andaman, 1942-1945 (2002), The Indian National Army: A Documentary Study (5 volumes, 2004), and Building the Siam-Burma Railway during World War II.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent understanding of mindset of Japanese POWs 3 Feb. 2011
By lordhoot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
WHOA!! That $95 price tag must be a joke. I got this book for $5.00! This book turned out to be quite a page turner for anyone who got any interest in the the Pacific War. Its a pretty good study on the mindset of Japanese POWs captured along the Burma front during 1944-45 period. It may also explained a great deal on why Japanese military treated their POWs in the cruel ways as well. Basically, book states that nearly all Japanese captured by their enemy expected to be torture and cruelly murder by the Allied forces. (I supposed that may have happened in some cases anyway since many Allied soldiers were not fond of taking Japanese soldiers alive.) They were also regarded as dead men walking by their military and government and none of them gave their real names or ranks when captured.

However, decent treatment they received by the Allies allowed them to openly confront many of the lies presented to them by their superiors. Many Japanese POWs openly aided their Allied captors and freely gave information since they were not trained by their military how to behave when captured. The book centered around how the Japanese POWs' mindset slowly changed as their captivity continued and how the British captors in India dealt with them by using very unusual set of rules that prevent mass suicide or escape attempts that took place earlier in the war. One of the more interesting aspects came about when the British allowed Japanese to administer punishment...Japanese Army style instead of a white soldiers doing it that often led to massive resentment among all Japanese POWs..the good and the bad.

The book is pretty detail in the way the British set up their POW camps, routines and their general attitude toward the Japanese POWs. The book also take a very interesting perception of how it looked from the Japanese side as their sense of shame, despair of never seeing their family again due to their disgrace and guilt of living changes as the war process to the Japan's surrender and its aftermath. I think the book does a great job in dealing with the subject of "shame" among the Japanese POWs. Luckily, the subject matter is rather small since we are only talking about 3,000 Japanese POWs out of several hundred thousands that fought against the British Commonwealth in Burma. I found the book to be very well written and researched.

It is with great irony that when these POWs returned to Japan in fear and shame, the military officials who checked them through with thousands of others who were not POWs but detainees after the war, didn't give a hoot if they were POWs or not. They were briefly kept, given 200 yens and told to go home. Considered that most of these 3,000 spent most of the war obsessing over the shame of being a prisoner, shame of being captured and all that, this ending must be pretty anti-climactic at the end. All that fuss for nothing!! (It probably sad that all these Japanese soldiers who fought to the end, really died for nothing as there were no stigma attached to POWs or not after the war. That would save a lot of soldiers' lives on both sides.)
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