“We did it! We made our enemy submit! But we gave them no mercy. The enemy had given themselves to us. We aimed and we fired and from the trees, those men who laid down their weapons were shot too. Three of them survived. Their injuries were so horrible, we had to kill them mercifully.
We did not let them suffer. I saw a young man on his belly with holes in his back – we used a bullet to put him out of his suffering. He was no threat to us, he was carving into his own wounds desperately with a knife to remove the bullets. He was going to die. He did not deserve to suffer.
It was beautiful to see. The blood and mud and then these men who so graciously surrendered now struggling to even breathe. In that moment I saw myself in them and I knew that I rather be shot too, than to be left dying here. I smiled and they smiled back, they begged me to do it. I had five rounds, licked clean from my dead comrade but I put one in my rifle and was aiming at this dying soldier’s head.
The officer from before stopped me and said ‘Let me do it. We can’t waste ammo.’ And he personally stabbed them all through the ears with a blade. He would roll them over and as they coughed and got air in their bodies, they solemnly had to watch as the officer pinned their head to the ground and stabbed them with a blade. Ear to ear. The third man was struggling, he nearly sat up but the officer put him down and then held the man’s free hand intimately. Their fingers were intertwined and both men were crying.
I felt sensations of lightning through my body and my eyes were wet. My eyes were sweating too as I watched the young officer slowly dig the blade into the man’s ear and eventually through his head. Their grip lasted for what must have been an hour. We did not say any word to anyone about this. The officer got up, cleaned his face with water from a flask and urinated behind a tree. He then said ‘Let’s wait for the rest of our people.’ and so we did.”
– Anonymous Imperial Japanese Soldier, ‘Taro’. Imperial Japanese Army, Burma, 1942. (PART TWO)
This story was documented by Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.