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Prisoner of the Japanese: From Changi to Tokyo [Kindle Edition]

Tom Henling Wade
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 164 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description

On 15 February 1942, the Japanese captured Singapore and took 130,000 Allied prisoners of war. One of those prisoners was British Lieutenant Tom Wade. For the next three and a half years he was to suffer the indignity and hardships of captivity and the torture and brutality of his captors, first in Changi, then in Korea and finally in Tokyo.

This book is the story of those years in captivity. They were years of horror and despair, characterised by harsh treatment at the hands of sadistic guards who believed that a soldier who has surrendered has lost all humanity. At Tokyo Headquarters Camp in particular, Wade and his fellow POWs had to suffer the paranoid beatings and victimisation of Sergeant Matsuhiro Watanabe, who successfully avoided prosecution by the War Crimes Commission at the war's end.

Wade's moving account of his period of captivity is characterised by the sense of determination, hope and endurance which sustained all those who shared his experience.

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Product Description


An account of the author's captivity during the Second World War in Changi, Korea and Tokyo, telling of the appalling conditions, beatings and victimisation.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1100 KB
  • Print Length: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Christopher Wade (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005R5AOUO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,878 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in China and partly raised there, Tom Henling Wade is the product of a British family that has lived in eastern Asia for three generations. At the outbreak of war he was a journalist with the Shanghai Times. His moving account of his period of captivity is augmented by a number of perspectives shared by all too few of the Allied servicemen captured at Singapore. He is highly critical of the British distrust of Chinese and Malays who could have been relied on to play a more important role in the defence of the Malay Peninsula.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This first hand account of three and a half years (the whole of the Pacific war) in captivity is highly instructive, and not only because of what it tells us about life as a POW of the Japanese.

The author tells us about the embarrassingly inadequate preparations by the British for the defense of Singapore. Not only did they fail despite General percival having actually foreseen an attack from Malaya, but they did not even allow many Singaporeans and Malayans to defend themselves, as London did not trust the local Chinese population enough to issue them weapons.

Life as a POW was not so bad in the beginning, at Changi prison, we learn, and the prisoners were treated in a relatively human way. The author argues that life for some British regulars was not worse than in their poor homes in the UK. They learned Japanese and could move out of prison and around the island relatively easily. They were often treated badly, but no worse than the Japanese would treat their own men.

Being a prisoner of war, for the Japanese, was a degradation far worse than dying in combat, and given this mentality it comes as no surprise that enemy POWs were cosidered little more than scum. Things got worse as the war progressed, and conditions were much worse at the prison camp in Korea where they were moved. The final camp in Tokyo was as bad or worse and August 1945 did not come a day too soon. Elation with freedom and victory had its tragic moments, such as when some POWs were killed by crates of food dropped for them by American B-29s!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner of the Japanese 1 Jan. 2013
By bowler
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Graphic day to day account of the dreadfull experiences of these POWs. How many of them survived is a mirical.
Dreadful though it was it does portray slightly better conditions than some other situations, ie. the Burma Railway, this maybe in my reading of it. God knows, an experience no one should have ever endured.
A really good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner of the Japanese, from Changing to Tokyo 2 Jan. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very well written. It isvery descriptive of what the conditions for these poor people was really like. The Author writes of his true feelings at times when he was in torturous situations that he had no control over. He had the determination to survive and to be able to one day report the wrong doings of his brutal captors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 10 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent historical book. I found it really interesting, and I couldn't put it down. It gives real insight into WW2 in the Far East, and this guy's personal account of some of the stuff that went on. It's different too, because you don't often hear a story of a POW who actually got shipped to Japan itself. A good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor man (and others) 1 Jan. 2013
By Rob-P
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What this man and others, (women too) went through was appaling. He took all the torture with stoicism and endured awful pain and conditions. Such a shame that his (dishonourable) tormentor ran away and hid like the real coward and bully that he appears to have been.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most astonishing FEPoW accounts 21 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most first-hand accounts, excellent & harrowing they all tend to be, are not written by professional, experienced writers. This account is by a man who was a journalist, so he tends to make the story that much more 'readable'. Like all FEPoW books, it makes this reader angry & greatly saddened but This one especially angry.

There is a stunning sting in the tail which a bit of follow up research on Google makes the events told all the more astonishing & thought provoking when one reads what happened to one of the main characters post-war.

It adds a little bit more 'meat' to the history of a shocking & unforgivable period
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 24 Aug. 2012
By yann
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book gave a fascinating insight into the subject.
One of those books that makes you think!
the writing is good and paced well-being factual it could be harrowing for some but i couldn't put it down
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4.0 out of 5 stars Japanese Prisoners. 26 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An interesting story of the hardship suffered by people who did not even see the railway. The differance between races under this kind of stress is very noteable. The more I read about peoples in war the more often it appears the Australens fare better than most.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars inaccurate
a great deal of inaccurate information, particularly about Keijo and the fukkai maru voyage.
The work of a skilled journalist.
Published 3 months ago by richard baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is terrific - better than the Zamperini biography as there is more analysis and history in it.
Published 8 months ago by Martin Porter
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Shocking and interesting at the same time
Published 10 months ago by Gemma
5.0 out of 5 stars My father too
Excellent book. My father was also a prisoner in Changi and it was good to read about other people's experiences.
Published 13 months ago by Mre S Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing first hand report
Harrowing first hand tale of captivity by Japanese. Lest we forget and some were treated far worse than Mr Wade
Published 13 months ago by Gary Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner of the japanese
Brilliant story, holds your attention from start to finish.
Interesting to understand what happened by the people who lived it.
Published 15 months ago by Eric Slaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace book
Well worth reading .book I will read over again and still enjoy the fantastic story .download this book if you haven't already done so
Published 19 months ago by Catherine Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
From start to finish this was such a good book,I really like it when I cant wait to read the next chapter.Its top of my list to recommend.
Published 23 months ago by Mr. D. C. Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
I had a cousin who was a prisoner of the Japanese but never discussed it this gives a on-site to the suffering they went through
Published on 29 April 2013 by Leonard Redmond
3.0 out of 5 stars Prisoner of the Japanese, from Changi to Tokyo
Enjoyed this book. Gives the reader an idea of the conditions and hardship the Prisoners had to endure as guests of the emperor.
Published on 11 Mar. 2013 by Caroline Ann Beagley
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