Buy The United States had neither boots on the ground nor faith that the Chinese military could repel any farther advances by occupying Japanese forces. Details of the destruction that would soon follow—just as officials in Washington and Chungking, the provisional capital of China, and even Doolittle, had long predicted—would come from the records of American missionaries, some of whom had helped the raiders.
The missionaries knew of the potential wrath of the Japanese, having lived under a tenuous peace in this border region just south of occupied China. Stories of the atrocities at Nanking, where the river had turned red from blood, had circulated widely. The men wear boots and a helmet. They are carrying sub-machine guns. Doolittle is seated on wreckage to the right. Corbis Vandenberg had heard the news broadcasts of the Tokyo raid in the mission compound in the town of Linchwan, home to about 50, people, as well as to the largest Catholic church in southern China, with a capacity to serve as many as a thousand.
Days after the raid letters reached Vandenberg from nearby missions in Poyang and Ihwang, informing him that local priests cared for some of the fliers. Their clothing was tattered and torn from climbing down the mountains after bailing out. We gave them fried chicken.
We dressed their wounds and washed their clothes. The nuns baked cakes for the fliers. We gave them our beds. Father Wendelin Dunker observed the result of a Japanese attack on the town of Ihwang: Teams stripped Nancheng of all radios, while others looted the hospitals of drugs and surgical instruments. Engineers not only wrecked the electrical plant but pulled up the railroad lines, shipping the iron out.
They looted towns and villages, then stole honey and scattered beehives. Soldiers devoured, drove away, or simply slaughtered thousands of oxen, pigs, and other farm animals; some wrecked vital irrigation systems and set crops on fire. They destroyed bridges, roads, and airfields. Four of the American fliers who raided Tokyo grin out from beneath Chinese umbrellas that they borrowed.
In Ihwang, Ma Eng-lin, who had welcomed injured pilot Harold Watson into his home, was wrapped in a blanket, tied to a chair and soaked in kerosene. Then soldiers forced his wife to torch him. Mitchell gathered statistics from local governments to provide a snapshot of the destruction. They destroyed 62, homes, stole 7, head of cattle, and burned 30 percent of the crops.
In what was known as land bacterial sabotage, troops would contaminate wells, rivers, and fields, hoping to sicken local villagers as well as the Chinese forces, which would no doubt move back in and reoccupy the border region as soon as the Japanese departed. For the operation, almost pounds of paratyphoid and anthrax germs were ordered. Once in Nanking, workers transferred the bacteria to metal flasks—like those used for drinking water— and flew them into the target areas.
Troops then tossed the flasks into wells, marshes, and homes. The Japanese also prepared 3, rolls, contaminated with typhoid and paratyphoid, and handed them to hungry Chinese prisoners of war, who were then released to go home and spread disease. Soldiers left another biscuits infected with typhoid near fences, under trees, and around bivouac areas to make it appear as though retreating forces had left them behind, knowing hungry locals would devour them.
The thousands of rotting human and livestock carcasses that clogged wells and littered the rubble also contaminated the drinking water. Furthermore, the impoverished region, where villagers often defecated in holes outdoors, had been prone to such outbreaks before the invasion. Anecdotal evidence gathered from missionaries and journalists shows that many Chinese fell sick from malaria, dysentery, and cholera even before the Japanese reportedly began the operation.
Chinese journalist Yang Kang, who traveled the region for the Takung Pao newspaper, visited the village of Peipo in late July. A lance corporal captured in told American interrogators that upward of 10, troops were infected during the Chekiang campaign. Officials in Chungking and Washington had purposely withheld details of the U. Let me repeat—these Japanese troops slaughtered every man, woman and child in those areas. We shall take them at their own valuation, on their own showing. We shall not forget, and we shall see that a penalty is paid.
To say that these slayings were motivated by cowardice as well as savagery is to say the obvious. The Nippon war lords have thus proved themselves to be made of the basest metal … Those notices, however, did not get much traction, and the slaughter was soon forgotten.
It was a tragedy best described by a Chinese journalist at the time. With permission of the publisher, W.