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Doctor X
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Post by Doctor X » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:21 pm

Though I am not sure the Japanese attend any memorials that involve other countries:
Epic Battle Of The Pacific, Forgotten In Japan
Kirk Spitzer

When dignitaries and guests gather on the remote island of Guadalcanal this week to commemorate the epic battle where Japan’s relentless advance in World War II was finally halted, one group will be conspicuous by their absence – the Japanese.

The battle for Guadalcanal began on Aug. 7, 1942, and lasted six horrific months. It turned the tide of the war in the Pacific and left a legacy of heroism and resolve for Americans that has endured for seven decades.

But the view from Japan is less clear. Wartime leaders suppressed news of the defeat. The atomic bombings and desperate fighting near the home islands late in the war have come to dominate the historical memory. The horror and sacrifice that Japanese troops endured on Guadalcanal appears little known or appreciated.

“Guadalcanal was a devastating defeat for the Japanese, but it is remembered almost not at all in Japan,” says M.G. Sheftall, a military historian and professor of culture and communication at Shizuoka University in Japan. “It was such an awful, dispiriting defeat for the Japanese — just mud and blood and filth and massacre. You can almost understand why they wouldn’t want to even think about it.”

Guadalcanal was Japan’s first defeat on land
after an unbroken string of victories in China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. More than 25,000 Japanese soldiers died on Guadalcanal’s beaches, dense jungles and steep ravines. Some 7,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines died, as well.

["Snip!" – Ed.]

Maj. Gen. Kiyotake Kawaguchi, an infantry commander who survived the battle, said Guadalcanal was “the graveyard of the Japanese army.”

“What was most shocking for the Japanese, beyond the strategic significance of the defeat, was the destruction of the myth that when they finally got the chance to meet the Americans in large numbers in open battle – in ground combat – that the individualistic, materialist Westerners were just going to fold up,” says Sheftall, author of Blossoms in the Wind, an account of the Kamikazes in World War II. “When they found out the Americans could fight just as fiercely as the Japanese could – although in a very different way – it was a shock to them and I’m not sure they ever recovered.”

["Snip!" – Ed.]

A small, private monument to the Japanese war dead was built on Guadalcanal in the mid 1980s, and joint memorial services were held with U.S. and Japanese veterans in 1997 and 2002. Innes says that Japanese citizens occasionally visit the battlefields, but that U.S. and Japanese visitors rarely mix and that there are stark differences between the groups.

“With the Americans memorial events, it’s all pomp and ceremony. Bands, martial music, flags. Maybe a little feeling of pride,” he says. ‘But with the Japanese, it’s like being in a church. Very reflective. Sorrowful. You would not know it was (about) a war.”

["Snip!" – Ed.]

“But when Japanese come,” says, Innes, “it’s only the veterans themselves or their immediate families – the sons and daughters. You do not get any war buffs. You do not get the next generation. It seems like the average Japanese just don’t want to remember.”

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Re: Guadalcanal

Post by Giz » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:53 pm

Note: Japan kept on attacking on land for a while, until stopped at Imphal... in 1944

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Re: Guadalcanal

Post by Witness » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:12 pm

Interesting, I wasn't aware of that.

The corresponding Wiki page has also this:
At the insistence of Subhas Chandra Bose, leader of the Azad Hind (a movement which sought to overthrow British rule in India by force, with Japanese assistance), the Indian National Army made a substantial contribution. (Originally, the Japanese intended using them only for reconnaissance and propaganda.)
  • Units of the First Division (initially the Subhas Brigade or 1st Guerrilla Regiment, less a battalion sent to the Arakan), covered the left flank of 33rd Division's advance.
  • The 2nd Guerrilla Regiment was attached later in the battle to Yamamoto Force.
  • The Special Services Group, redesignated the Bahadur Group, acted as scouts and pathfinders with the advanced Japanese units in the opening stages of the offensive. They were tasked to infiltrate through British lines and encourage units of the British Indian Army to defect.

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Re: Guadalcanal

Post by Giz » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:40 am

I became more aware of Imphal and the subsequent Burma Campaign when I read George McDonald Fraser’s (the flashman author) memoir “quartered safe out here” which covers his experience on the front lines in the closing months of the war (he got out there as a very young man just after Imphal, joining a veteran unit)

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Re: Guadalcanal

Post by shemp » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:28 am

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