Imperial Japanese

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Is it true that the Imperial Japanese army was much more honorable than the Imperial Japanese Army in WW2?

I read somewhere that although they committed war crimes,the Imperial Japanese Navy committed MUCH LESS attrcities than the Imeprial Japanese Army.I also read that because it was modeled after the British Navy,Imperial Japanese Sailor were indoctrined with a strict code of chivaly heavily modeled after the British navy's code of chivalry.Is any of this true?


Answer:

Not really. It is true that the Imperial Navy modeled itself on the Royal Navy, including uniforms. The Imperial Army relied on the German military tradition.

However, the combined Imperial Command serving directly the Emperor (after the Army coup captured the civilian govt in the '30s) had power over all POWs, not the separate military branches. Further, all Japanese warriors were subject to the single and singular 1941 code of battlefield conduct, which at bottom did not recognize or accept surrender or a prisoner status. Nor did Japan accept Western concepts such as "just war" or the Geneva Accords (which it never sighed either).

It is true that during the first two of Japan's military encounters with the wider world, in China during the Boxer revolt, and the Russio-Japan war, its military behaved in a more exemplary manner, unlike its common behavior during WW 11. But as an oddity of Japanese history and geography Japan had no experiencxe with national military defeat prior to 1945. Due in part to its (permanent) status as victor, it felt beyond judgment or reproach for any of its military actions. What Japan did was therefore "just."

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Imperial Japanese

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