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"Fire for Effect: Toughing It Out in the Japanese Army" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2020 7:48 p.m. PST

"WHEN YOU BOIL IT DOWN to its essentials, the reason you form, train, and equip an army is to beat your enemy in battle.

But if you happened to be a soldier or sailor in the Imperial Japanese military during World War II, you might think differently. Given your daily experience—from induction through training camp and finally to operations in the field—sometimes it might have seemed as if the real purpose of the country's fighting force was not so much to beat the enemy as to beat you.

This was a military that raised corporal punishment—physical beatings—to the status of a doctrine. You could be pummeled nearly to death for almost any reason: failing to salute smartly enough, missing a button on your shirt, a lackadaisical attitude. Failure to snap to attention at the mention of the emperor's name was a serious offense in this world, and some particularly sadistic officers seemed to delight in mentioning the emperor solely to catch their men napping…"
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Wolfhag22 Oct 2020 11:43 a.m. PST

I've heard stories about the ROK soldiers facing almost the same level of harsh treatment in the 1960's.


Legion 422 Oct 2020 3:00 p.m. PST

Yes, It was not rare to see ROK soldiers with bloody noses, etc., when ran into them.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2020 12:14 p.m. PST

Even in a Bar…? (smile)


Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2020 1:39 p.m. PST

Wasn't it a Japanese submarine commander that coined the phrase "beatings will continue until morale improves?"

Wolfhag23 Oct 2020 6:48 p.m. PST

In boot camp I was a squad leader and sanctioned several "blanket parties" and on a few occasions we worked a guy over pretty good at night. The first day our DI's picked us up I caught a Judo Chop to the throat. It was not unusual for guys to get "thumped" in Boot Camp. Some guys really needed it to motivate them. I never saw anything that got out of hand.

Even in a Bar…? (smile)

That reminds me of a time when I was in this dive bar outside Camp Geiger, NC (The Red Baron) out in the sticks. All of a sudden about a dozen short guys walk in wearing these Donald Duck naval uniforms complete with the flat hat with a ribbon hanging down. I engaged a conversation with them in Spanish (I grew up in Miami) and found out they are in the Peruvan Navy. Who would have thought!

Anyhow, my Marine buddies and I thought it would be proper for them to take home some fond memories of the USMC by giving them a proper Marine Corps beat down. So after buying them a few beers I started what turned out to be a pretty decent bar brawl in a target rich environment. The best part was I made it out of there before the cops arrived (this time). No one got hurt badly and I'm sure they had lots to talk about when they got home.

I had a friend in the US Arrmy stationed in Korea. One morning when going to the chow hall he saw the head Korean cook had a dozen Korean guys in formation shouting at them. He then proceeded to go down the line and sucker punch each one of them in the face. He said each one fell over on their back still at attention facing the sky.


Legion 424 Oct 2020 9:45 a.m. PST

A couple of times I had to stop a ROK NCO from hitting a subordinate. E.g. On the DMZ, I asked a ROK PVT to look at his rifle. A KA-1 IIRC, looked different than our M16. His NCO came up and started to yell at him, etc. With my crude Korean I "explained" the situation. And I had to raise my voice, be stern, etc. Yelling at him to stop and pointing to my rank and repeating it in Korean. I'm sure if I had not he would have hit the PVT.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2020 11:04 a.m. PST



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