Remembrance day was first held throughout the Commonwealth in 1919. It marks the armistice to end the First World War, which came into effect at 11 am on November 11 1918.
|The first World War ended.|
The second World War was declared in September 1939 and the conflicts ended in 1945.
Canadians fought in Dieppe, Normandy, the North Atlantic, Hong Kong, and in many other important air, sea and land campaigns.
In total, more than one million men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served in the army, airforce and navy.
More than 47.000 did not come home.
This next article I had to add.Many movies and articles have been written about World War 2 in Europe and how Hitler tried to conquer the world. Not much is written about the emperor Hirohito of Japan.They fought a dirty war in the Pacific. This is an article about the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that saved many, many lives..
Innocents of Hiroshima: Exploding the Myth
by Roger S. Bratby, Gordon Highlanders,
There is the oft-repeated myth of 200.000 innocent people killed. There were no innocent people in Hiroshima. The city was a beehive of war industry. Every home was involved in the manufacture of parts for planes,boats,shells, and rifles. Even bedridden and wheelchair patients were assembling booby traps to leave in the path of the American aggressors.
Hiroshima was the lynchpin in the defense of the western half of Japan. The 2nd General Army of Field Marshal Shunroku Hata, comprising over 50,000 troops, was stationed around the city. The Headquarters of the infamous kempeitai of over 900 officers was situated in Hiroshima Castle. In the huge complex of the shipyard they were constructing battleships,cruisers,destroyers,and submarines and the small one-man kaiten submarines. The Mitsubishi factory was making all types of tooling machinery. The Yoshikiwa Army Airfield contained a massive store of soldiers' equipment, a large gun store, warehouses full of aircraft spares and the Army-to-Navy complex. In Hiroshima Harbor were hundreds of small boats and one-man submarines fitted with explosive warheads. These were to be used by suicide sailors to attack the ships of the expected invasion of Kyushu.
The authorities in Hiroshima knew that the city was bound to come under air attack as soon as the Americans held the airfield on Okinawa. Consequently they had constructed huge shelters throughout the city. Fire measures could have saved thousands of lives but when the airplane spotters saw only one aircraft they decided not to sound the alarm as it would interrupt the production of armaments.
It has been voided many times that the Japanese would have given up and capitulated by November 1945 without the use of the atom bomb. This was a pipe dream. People have no idea of the determination of the Japanese nation to resist the invasion until everyone was killed. Field Marshal Hata decreed,"When the invasion begins every man, women and child will be armed", we will fight to the last man.
The Americans estimated that the small three-square-mile island of Iwo Jima would be overrun and captured within four days. It took four weeks. The cost in human life was enormous. The Americans suffered 25,851 battle casualties. The conquest of the sixteen-mile long island of Okinawa was expected to take four weeks. It took three months. Over 200.000 Japanese died. Mass KAMIKAZE attacks sank 400 ships and killed 9,724 naval ratings. The number of American G.I.s killed was 49,151.
All the Allied prisoners in Japan were engaged on war work. Our task was tunneling into the hills surrounding Nagasaki. In this rabbit warren of passages the Japanese were storing KAMIKAZE airplanes. With the wings folded back they were quite small and the Japanese seemed to be packing them in by the hundreds. In fact, after the war it was discovered they had 3,850 KAMIKAZE planes. As we traveled back and forth to work we saw women being trained. Many of them had bayonets fitted with bamboo shafts. Others were practicing with hand grenades. Their task was to kill one American soldier. They were being shown how to hide in a manhole or a ditch or the undergrowth and wait of the unsuspecting Allied soldier. It was the type of warfare carried out by the Japanese on Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
The line-up for the defense of the Japanese homeland was massive-over 2,000,000 regular troops, 2,300,000 battle-hardened soldiers being ferried over from China and 28,000,000 being trained. When President Truman asked General MacArthur how long it would take to overrun and defeat Japan the General replied,"If they use the same guerrilla tactics as on Iwo Jima and Okinawa it will take about ten years." President Truman was stunned.
I wonder why no one ever plants a tree for the innocent victims of Nanking. In a recent documentary a Japanese veteran soldier, Skiko Azuma, described the Army's advance into China. "When we came to a village we raped all the women and then killed everyone silently with the bayonet. We did this so the next village would not hear gunfire and then we could sleep without fear of attack. Also dead people tell no tales." Another Japanese veteran, Shozo Tominaga, declared,"When we came to Nanking most of the Chinese Army had escaped across the Yangtze river. It was decided then that we should kill every living person in the city. For three weeks we carried on with our rape and kill policy and the banks of the Yangtze river became clogged with corpses for miles down river.The officers urged us on. We acted like animals. However, to kill everyone became too great a task, we were ordered to cross the Yangtze river and move on against the Chinese. The landing-craft could not reach the riverbank and we were told to leap over the rotting corpses to reach the boat."
In Singapore the Japanese carried out the same policy as in Nanking but to a far lesser degree. All the Malay, Indians and other nationals were spared. Thousands of Chinese, hands tied behind them with their own shoelaces, were pushed into the docks. Some time later we prisoners spent weeks hauling their bloated cadavers out of the docks with grappling irons and piling them on lorries to be taken away and buried.
The Singaporeans have now erected a huge four-pillared obelisk in remembrance of the thousands of Chinese, murdered by the Japanese.
Never was there so much cruelty done. Men, women and children suffered under the Japanese occupancy. They were cruel, so unbelievable cruel, nobody would later believe what they had done to human beings.
O, fortunate man:
Wrists bound, knees bent, head bowed,
Staring into the shadowed trench;
The blade is swift, the slice sure.
Sightless, he sees what might have been.
Crushed into a basket, the wicker constrains
The drowning man's despairing,hopeful struggle,
While the clear salt water scalds his lungs.
Trailed behind the boat as shark bait,
Leaking blood to attract the sport
And excite the laughter.
Perhaps, at dusk,
Strung by his thumbs to a branch,
(His toes, even with the rocks attached,
Yet still failing to reach the ground)
He awaits the morning's bayonet drill.
His friends had had it worse. Old Joe,
Trussed with barbed wire, mouth stopped,
Pumped through his nose with water,
Died beneath the boots that jumped and split
His distended stomach open
To their wearers" laughter.
But the destruction of the body is nothing.
The ritual is spiritual. They do it for the pain;
And,yet,better,for the agony
And for the ecstasy the agony gives them.
O, how they love their cruelty,
These little yellow men.
Thank God:he hadn't been a woman,
A pleasured nurse, gang-raped through the long
Tortured near death,
Taken to the beach to wash
From broken body,
And machine-gunned standing in the surf.
Or, disemboweled to win a bet:
The soldier won(it was a boy);
The women lost(the child,her life)
As God's blood dripped into the gutter.
And now, in the last few seconds of a lifetime,
Deep inside that shadowed trench
He sees his children playing in the sand,
Their mother, mourning, watching'
The blessed blade sings its dirge:
The blood spurts, mushrooms,
Driven by the final heartbeat.
The trench is black. His head
Falls into the abyss.
The Author of this poem reported that he was persuaded to write it for two reasons. First was the memory of a photograph, seen in a book published by the British Government, during the war( a book of which all copies to be found were withdrawn from circulation in 1951), featuring a row of Australian prisoners in the process of decapitation. He reflected at the time that perhaps they were the lucky ones, and in later years, as reports of officially sanctioned sadism entered the public domain, he learned they had indeed suffered a much less painful death than many thousands of others.The essential feature(he wrote), still so foreign to the sensibilities of survivors, that many can scarce allow themselves to recall its awfulness, is that so much of the cruelty, excused as Bushido, or as the consequences of not being covered by international treaty, or as behavior typical of soldiers of all nations, was driven by a compulsive, addictive drive for pleasure. Continually, as the reports are analyzed, the full horror of this obscenity burns into the consciousness:these cruelties were for enjoyment.
The second reason(he wrote) was the shameful insistence by "Tony Benn"(alias the Right Honourable Anthony Wedgewood. Benn P.C.), when speaking on the BBC Radioa Four Service, that the attack on Hiroshima was unnecessary, that the Japanese had already agreed to surrender, and that the use of the atomic bomb was part of an American conspiracy to terrorize the rest of the world with this manifestation of its power. That it is possible for a man who has been a cabinet Minister in a British Government to publish, with the help of the BBC, such L U N A T I C nonsense as this, conclusively demonstrates that the true facts of the Japanese War are still relatively unknown, and that such comparatively well-informed audiences as those of Radio Four are deemed by the BBC to be ignorant of the truth, known to all survivors, and testified by many surviving Japanese documents in the possession of the BRITISH,DUTCH, and AMERICAN Governments, that orders had been issued for all prisoners to be murdered as the Japanese Army withdrew their conquered territories.
This is an extract from beyond the Bamboo screen, edited by Tom McGrowran,OBE, and published by Cualann Press
Laurens van der Post, writing of his experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese, immortalized them in these words-
For four years we were in the hands of a lot of lunatics:
for us it was a medieval war. It couldn't have been more
horrible. We were faced with death and brutality of the
most extraordinary kind; we were utterly powerless
minute by minute.That was a war within a war.
This quotation was chosen by Tom McGowran to preface his collection of extracts from the newsletters of Scottish Far East Prisoner of War Association which, together with a few items from other sources, has been published by the CUSALANN PRESS with the title of BEYOND THE BAMBOO SCREEN.
The extracts are reminiscences written by survivors of the war's worst atrocities. Statistics tell only a part of the full story-for example, that of the 85,0000 captured at the fall of Singapore, one third died in captivity-and only those who read books such as this will be able to understand the horrific way in which the prisoners died, and the inhumane way in which the survivors were forced to live. (When the Japanese troops burst their way into the Tanglin Military Hospital they bayoneted not only the patients in the beds, they bayoneted also the patients on the operating tables as well as the doctors and nurses treating them.)
Red Cross parcels were never distributed to the prisoners-they fed their captors instead. Occasionally a starving man would endeavor to recover something from where the parcels were stored, but the retribution if caught would be to be beaten unconscious and then to be tortured, sometimes to death, sometimes not. Japanese torture is bestial, as these accounts, written by survivors who are not professional authors, bear irrefutable witness.
The book rightly discusses the contentious question of the justification for the use of the atomic bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima. There are two factors of prime importance to this issue. The first, too often forgotten, is that instructions had been issued to all Camp Commandants that in the event of Allied invasion of Japanese-occupied territory, all POWs were to be exterminated in whatever way was most convenient to local circumstances. This meant all prisoners weather they were men, women or children. At the War Crimes Trials one of the documents attesting this was Document No. 2701, and translation of its text is included in this book. The second factor is the Japanese intention to fight on to the very last, man,woman or child.
What kind of nation is this? This nation calls themselves Japan, under the Emperor Hirohito. . He was invited to visit the Netherlands in 1971 from Japan.
This verse was a protest verse from a well-known cabaret performer, Wim Kan, from the Netherlands. He was a prisoner of war in the Dutch Indies and forced like my father Klaas van der Wal, to work on the infamous Burma railroad tracks.
There are not many people alive anymore,who were there
The enemy killed about 1/3 of them
They sleep in a jute sack, and the sky is their roof
The camps are abandoned and the prison cells empty
There are not many people anymore who can tell
Only the dead know, what happened on that railroad track
And under every sleeper is lying one
There in the ground in Burma, their mouth shut till eternity,
What happened here, he could have never predicted
There are not many people anymore who can tell
Those are the ones who know from then: the three Pagoden pass
The death railway at Rangoon, escape, how is that?
You were murdered, without being heard, at the Emperor command,
But who likes to spread this still around?
There are almost no more people who can.
There is however still one who can tell!
Who knows the history as no one else: The Emperor from Japan!
He was not hung but came to the Palace and ate from a dish
Someone could have ask him questions about that time in Burma
At the railroad tracks, with all those death, and sick, and hunger
and those prison cells.
What an opportunity he had
While he ate from that nice dish
To tell them how it was.
Written by Wim Kan. He passed away on September 8, 1983.
My father died on that railroad track on September 18 1943.
Now I start to understand why my mother and Aunt, and thousands of women and men, did not talk about these cruelties these little Japanese men (I cannot call them soldiers) inflicted on them.This was not human, and the worst part was: that when they arrived back in the Netherlands people did not believe it.How hard it must have been to live with this.My mother passed away in 2003 at the age of 84. Mom your story will be told, and I can tell you, people start to listen.
President Harry S. Truman: August 9 1945
I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. It is an awful responsibility which has come to us.......We thank God that it has come to us, instead of to our enemies, and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for his purpose....
Thank you........ What a responsibility to live with.We will never forget.
IN REMEMBRANCE FOR ALL WHO DIED: 1941-1945. NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN.