The Horrors of WW2

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The entire world is watching Ukraine at the moment. Many watching feel helpless, hopeless and fearful. I’ve heard repeatedly in the last few weeks, several people say, they hope this doesn’t create a World War 3. At this point that’s really unknown. We can all hope the current world issues don’t lead to that. World War 2 was the deadliest, destructive and most expensive war in history. Displacing tens of millions of people and ultimately claiming nearly 50 million lives. If these facts aren’t disturbing enough for you… Then you are in the right place…So many horrific events occurred during world war 2. Most are aware of Adolf Hitlers goal to establish a new racial world order. His hope was to dominate Europe and create a master race. Aside from these horrors, by 1940 when World War 2 was in full swing, Japan signed a Pact with Germany and Italy, also known as Axis, allowing the Japanese army to expand. The United States attempted to curb the Japanese army from expanding by imposing economic sanctions. When Japan began facing oil shortages and many other resources, they chose to attack the United States in hopes of becoming the dominant Pacific Power. This was known as the surprise attack of Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii.During this portion of the war American servicemen began capturing and killing Japanese troops and keeping parts of their bodies as trophies. This behavior was a way for American soldiers to dehumanize the Japanese troops they were killing.It became in some senses a lust for revenge even after the death of the Japanese troops. Skulls became the most popular trophy to take from a dead Japanese serviceman, though at times, teeth, ears and various other body parts were taken as well. American troops would oftentimes write on them or fashion them into artifacts.In the U.S. alarm was raised when newspapers began writing articles regarding the American troops mutilating the dead Japanese. One article cited soldiers had made a necklace using Japanese teeth and other soldiers showing in photos how to prep, cook and scrape the skull of a Japanese soldier. This practice of taking trophies from dead Japanese troops was ultimately stopped by the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet stating, “No part of the enemy’s body may be used as a souvenir.” He warned that any American serviceman who violated this would face harsh disciplinary action. While this sounds absolutely horrific, I can assure you the Japanese were doing much worse to our American soldiers who were captured. During WW2 the island of Chichi-Jima was targeted by the US military as it had communication towers on it. US Soldiers were flying over the island and attempting to bomb the towers. Several planes were badly damaged and the airmen would jump from the crashing planes. One of the soldiers was rescued by a US submarine. This particular soldier went on to be the 41st president of the United States. George W. Bush. Eight other US soldiers  were captured by the Japanese army. Though at the time, the eight soldiers were believed dead. Though the US government determined that the men were in fact captured. The details of their capture and death were so gruesome, the government chose not to share the details and deemed the deaths top secret. In 2004 an author by the name of James Bradley found transcripts of a trial held in Guam regarding the war crimes of the Japanese during WW2. Japanese military leaders had confessed in the transcripts in detail the gruesome murders of the eight US airmen. During their time on the island, one of the airmen was tied to a tree and beaten by Japanese soldiers while the other seven were forced to watch. At the end of this day, a Japanese officer unties the US soldier and they walk him to a shallow grave where a Japanese soldier waited with a sword. They gave the US Airman one last cigarette then he was beheaded by the sword and buried in the shallow grave. Later that evening the lieutenant of the Japanese military, Yoshio Tachibana was drinking with his men. He was a known alcoholic and also known to terrorize prisoners. He stated to his men that they needed to prove their fighting spirit. In order to prove their fighting spirit his men would need to exhume the dead soldier and consume him. Yes… they were instructed to eat him. A surgeon on the island removes the airman’s thigh and a cook prepares a meal for the high ranking officials and soldiers. They ate it with soy sauce and believed it to be delicious. So delicious that they continued to eat the rest of the US soldiers. Killing them while practicing their bayonets and other weapons. At times the US soldiers were still alive while the Japanese harvested their organs to eat. Amputating specific parts to cut off and eat. Believing it to bring them health and power. Pretty horrific…right? Aside from the Japanese military and their horrific acts against US soldiers… The Galapagos Islands became a US Army post during WW2 and there was a legend that plagued the island. According to the legend, a soldier who lived on the post alongside his wife, who was cheating on him… When he caught her, the legend states that he pushed her off a cliff. The woman fell from the cliff and on her way down, her head became caught on some rocks causing her head to separate from the rest of her body. This is why the legend was called the Headless Gringa. No one has ever found any actual records of this occurring, though many of the servicemen would claim to feel a pressure on their chest or the sensation of someone climbing in and out of their bed. The trapped spirit has often been described as smelling like Palo Santo and at times like rotting flesh. It’s been said the headless spirit only targets men. I suppose that legend will just need to be left to the realms of the unexplained…

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