UK Islands Occupied by Germany
Joseph Grew, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Summary
Speech to POWs under Japan
The Rape of Nanking

WWII Death Toll, by Nation
"Japs Quit"
Patton Info

British Islands Occupied by Germany

Britain's Channel Islands, including "Jersey," were occupied by Germany during WW II. The islands are unique in other ways. They are semi-independent "peculiars," meaning they are considered the queen's personal property and not answerable to the British Parliament. They have their own laws, postage stamps, currency and passports.

June 1940. Winston Churchill is about to make a decision that will send a cold shiver through the whole population of Jersey. The Nazis are knocking on the back door of Britain and Jersey will not be defended.

The British never attempted to recapture the Channel Islands. Nor did Britain mount a defense of the islands when German forces set out to capture them after occupying France, just 14 miles across the channel.

By the end of the month St. Helier harbour and La Rocque are bombed by German planes. They needn't have bothered. The islanders fly white flags from their homes and within days the island is lost. British troops, military equipment and any islanders who wanted to leave will be evacuated by ship but out of 23,000 islanders who registered nearly three quarters of them bravely change their minds and decide to stick it out under German occupation.

The Channel Islands become the only part of Britain to fall into the hands of the Germans during World War ll. For five years Hitler has a free reign to fortify Jersey with massive gun emplacements, build a huge network of defensive beach walls and bunkers and construct an underground hospital with beds for 500 casualties.

It left Hitler smiling and Churchill nursing a bad case of "black dog." Liberation finally came on May 9 th 1945 with the arrival of two Royal Navy destroyers, an event that is enthusiastically celebrated every year by Jersey residents and no wonder. Life was hard under the Germans and many residents died from starvation. They tried to live off the land by making tea and soup from acorns, pea pods, brambles and potato peelings. Bitterness, hatred and distrust ran through the islanders like a disease and all British-born residents were deported to Germany. Informants were rife, women, known as "Jerry-Bags," fraternised with the soldiers. Then, towards the end of the occupation, came a glimmer of hope. Red Cross food parcels made it to the island and saved many more lives and the islanders realised that they had not been completely abandoned.

Life in occupied Jersey was not easy. Food was scarce, with meat rarely available and fishing prohibited. Liquor and cigarettes could be had only on the Black Market. Soap was a Iuxury, toothpaste non-existent. The coal necessary for heating and electricity was in very short supply.

Residents were required to stay indoors at night and use no electricity during those hours. All private cars and trucks were seized. Radios were banned. Newspapers were heavily censored and filled with Nazi propaganda. Jews could not engage in trade. People were deported to German concentration camps for such "political crimes" as listening to BBC newscasts or in retaliation for particular actions by British troops against German forces elsewhere.

Although there was some resistance, including sabotage, islanders had no real choice but to try to live with their occupiers. Their daily dilemma is simply illustrated in an exhibit that features life-sized dummies of German soldiers, smiling faces projected on video monitors mounted on their shoulders. They utter friendly greetings, speak of "your nice house" and ask, "Would you wash my clothes?"

The occupation saw about 8,000 islanders evacuated, 1,200 islanders deported to camps in Germany and over 300 islanders being sentenced to the prison and concentration camps of mainland Europe. 20 died as a result. The islanders endured near-starvation in the winter of 1944-45, after it had been cut off from German-occupied Europe by Allied forces advancing from the Normandy beachheads, avoided only by the arrival of the Red Cross supply ship Vega in December 1944. Liberation Day - May 9th is marked as a public holiday. The Channel Islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II.

The event which has had the most far reaching effect on Jersey in modern times, is the growth of the finance industry in the island from the 1960s onwards.


U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph C. Grew
During Attack on Pearl Harbor

Grew was appointed, by President Herbert Hoover to succeed William Cameron Forbes as the United States Ambassador to Japan in June 6, 1932. The Ambassador and Mrs. Grew had been happy in Turkey, and were hesitant about the move, but decided that Grew would have a unique opportunity to make the difference between peace and war between the United States and Japan. The Grews soon became popular in Japanese society, joining clubs and societies there, and adapting to the culture, even as relations between the two countries deteriorated. On January 27, 1941, Grew secretly cabled the United States with information gathered from a Peruvian diplomat that Japan was considering a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, information declassified twelve years later. Grew continued to serve as U.S. Ambassador until December 7, 1941, when the United States and Japan severed diplomatic relations after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

AFTER THE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK: Though at war, the United States and Japan negotiated a plan for the repatriation of their diplomats. In July 1942, Grew and 1,450 other American and foreign citizens went via steamship from Tokyo to Lourenço Marques in Portuguese East Africa (now Maputo, Mozambique) aboard the Japanese liner Asama Maru and her backup, the Italian liner Conte Verde. The Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Kichisaburo Nomura, along with 1,096 other Japanese citizens, steamed from New York City to Lourenço Marques on board the Gripsholm, an ocean liner registered in Sweden. On July 22, the exchange of personnel took place, and then the Gripsholm steamed to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and thence to New Jersey

THE ATOMIC BOMB ISSUE: Grew wrote in 1942 that while he expected Nazi Germany to collapse as the German Empire had in 1918, he did not expect the Japanese Empire to do so:

I know Japan; I lived there for ten years. I know the Japanese intimately. The Japanese will not crack. They will not crack morally or psychologically or economically, even when eventual defeat stares them in the face. They will pull in their belts another notch, reduce their rations from a bowl to a half bowl of rice, and fight to the bitter end. Only by utter physical destruction or utter exhaustion of their men and materials can they be defeated.

THE POTSDAM DECLARATION: The original language of the Proclamation would have increased the chances for Japanese surrender as it allowed the Japanese government to maintain its emperor as a "constitutional monarchy". President Harry S. Truman, who was influenced by Secretary of State James Byrnes during the trip via warship to Europe for the Potsdam Conference, changed the language of the surrender demand. Grew knew how important the emperor was to the Japanese people and believed that the condition could have led to Japanese surrender without using the atomic bombs. Grew stated, "If surrender could have been brought about in May 1945 or even in June or July before the entrance of Soviet Russia into the war and the use of the atomic bomb, the world would have been the gainer."

Speech to POWs on Thai-Burma Railway


It is a great pleasure to me to see you at this place as I am appointed Chief of the war prisoners camp obedient to the Imperial Command issued by His Majesty the Emperor. The great East Asiatic war has broken out due to the rising of the East Asiatic Nations whose hearts were burnt with the desire to live and preserve their nations on account of the intrusion of the British and Americans for the past many years.

There is, therefore, no other reason for Japan to drive out the Anti-Asiatic powers of the arrogant and insolent British and Americans from East Asia in co-operation with our neighbors of China and other East Asiatic Nations and establish the Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere for the benefit of all human beings and establish lasting great peace in the world. During the past few centuries, Nippon has made great sacrifices and extreme endeavors to become the leader of the East Asiatic Nations, who were mercilessly and pitifully treated by the outside forces of the British and Americans, and the Nippon Army, without disgracing anybody, has been doing her best until now for fostering Nippon's real power.

You are only a few remaining skeletons after the invasion of East Asia for the past few centuries, and are pitiful victims. It is not your fault, but until your governments do not [sic] wake up from their dreams and discontinue their resistance, all of you will not be released. However, I shall not treat you badly for the sake of humanity as you have no fighting power left at all.

His Majesty the Emperor has been deeply anxious about all prisoners of war, and has ordered us to enable the operating of War Prisoner camps at almost all the places in the SW [southwest] countries.

The Imperial Thoughts are unestimable and the Imperial Favors are infinite and, as such, you should weep with gratitude at the greatness of them. I shall correct or mend the misleading and improper Anti Japanese ideas. I shall meet with you hereafter and at the beginning I shall require of you the four following points:

(1) 1 heard that you complain about the insufficiency of various items. Although there may be lack of materials it is difficult to meet your requirements. Just turn your eyes to the present conditions of the world. It is entirely different from the pre-war times. In all lands and countries materials are considerably short and it is not easy to obtain even a small piece of cigarette and the present position is such that it is not possible even for needy women and children to get sufficient food. Needless to say, therefore, at such inconvenient places even our respectable Imperial Army is also not able to get mosquito nets, foodstuffs, medicines and cigarettes. As conditions are such, how can you expect me to treat you better than the Imperial Army?

I do not prosecute according to my own wishes and it is not due to the expense but due to the shortage of materials at such difficult places. In spite of our wishes to meet their requirements, I cannot do so with money. I shall supply you, however, if I can do so with my best efforts and I hope you will rely upon me and render your wishes before me. We will build the railroad if we have to build it over the white man's body. It gives me great pleasure to have a fast-moving defeated nation in my power. You are merely rubble but I will not feel bad because it is [the fault of] your rulers. If you want anything you will have to come through me for same and there will be many of you who will not see your homes again. Work cheerfully at my command.

(2) I shall strictly manage all of your going out, coming back, meeting with friends, communications. Possessions of money shall be limited, living manners, deportment, salutation, and attitude shall be strictly according to the rules of the Nippon Army, because it is only possible to manage you all, who are merely rabble, by the order of military regulations. By this time I shall issue separate pamphlets of house rules of War prisoners and you are required to act strictly in accordance with these rules and you shall not infringe on them by any means.

(3) My biggest requirement from you is escape. The rules of escape shall naturally be severe. This rule may be quite useless and only binding to some of the war prisoners, but it is most important for all of you in the management of the camp. You should, therefore, be contented accordingly. If there is a man here who has at least 1% of a chance of escape, we shall make him face the extreme penalty. If there is one foolish man who is trying to escape, he shall see big jungles toward the East which are impossible for communication. Towards the West he shall see boundless ocean and, above all, in the main points of the North, South, our Nippon Armies are guarding. You will easily understand the difficulty of complete escape. A few such cases of ill-omened matters which happened in Singapore [execution of over a thousand Chinese civilians] shall prove the above and you should not repeat such foolish things although it is a lost chance after great embarrassment.

(4) Hereafter, I shall require all of you to work as nobody is permitted to do nothing and eat at the present. In addition, the Imperial Japanese have great work to promote at the places newly occupied by them, and this is an essential and important matter. At the time of such shortness of materials your lives are preserved by the military, and all of you must award them with your labor. By the hand of the Nippon Army Railway Construction Corps to connect Thailand and Burma, the work has started to the great interest of the world. There are deep jungles where no man ever came to clear them by cutting the trees. There are also countless difficulties and suffering, but you shall have the honor to join in this great work which was never done before, and you shall also do your best effort. I shall investigate and check carefully about your coming back, attendance so that all of you except those who are unable to work shall be taken out for labor. At the same time I shall expect all of you to work earnestly and confidently henceforth you shall be guided by this motto.

Y. Nagatomo Lieutenant Colonel
Nippon Expeditionary Force
Chief No. 3 Branch Thailand POW Administration

[From: www.kwanah.com/txmilmus/lostbattalion/nagatomo.htm ]

The Rape of Nanking


In 1931, the Japanese occupied the Chinese province of Manchuria transforming it into a Japanese puppet state. It was the first step in Japan's drive to control all of China. Six years would elapse before the Japanese took the next step in their plan of conquest.

In early July 1937, Japanese and Chinese troops clashed in Peking in an incident at the Marco Polo Bridge. Using this as justification, the Japanese launched a full-blown assault on the city at the end of the month utilizing massed infantry, tanks and airstrikes. It did not take long for the city and the surrounding area to fall to the Japanese.

A victim during Japan's Attack on Shanghai
The Japanese destroy the railway station at Shanghai, August 1937 This photo prompted a world outcry.

The fighting moved to the south in August when the Japanese attacked Shanghai and pursued the retreating Chinese army up the Yangtze valley to the national capital at Nanking. The Japanese began their attack on that city early in December, forcing its surrender on December 13. Then the horror began.

The population of Nanking was subjected to an uncontrolled butchery that came to be known as "the Rape of Nanking." As the Japanese army poured into the city, fleeing residents were shot or bayoneted. Thousand of suspected members of the Chinese Army who had shed their uniforms for civilian clothing, were apprehended, their hands tied behind their backs and led en mass to killing fields where they were shot, beheaded, used for bayonet practice or killed in some other gruesome manner before being dumped into mass graves. Thousands of others were buried while still alive. Rape was rampant as thousands of women were repeatedly forced into brutal sex and often murdered once the lust of their attackers had been satisfied. The carnage lasted for six weeks and took an estimated 40,000 lives.

"The road to Hsiakwan is nothing but a field of corpses."

[John Rabe was a German businessman who had resided in China since 1908. He represented the China branch of the Siemens Company and lived in Nanking at the time of the Japanese invasion. As the Japanese approached, he joined other foreign nationals in establishing a “Safety Zone” within the city that would harbor only civilians and unarmed soldiers. It was hoped that, devoid of combatants, the Japanese would spare the Safety Zone.

John Rabe kept a diary of his experiences. We join his story on the day that the Japanese enter the city and he accompanies other members of the Safety Committee in a tour of the Safety Zone:]

"December 13, 1937
Three of us committee members drive out to military hospitals that have been opened in the Foreign Ministry, the War Ministry, and the Railway Ministry, and are quickly convinced of the miserable conditions in these hospitals, whose doctors and nurses simply ran away when the shelling got too heavy, leaving the sick behind with nobody to care for them. . .

The dead and wounded lie side by side in the driveway leading up to the Foreign Ministry. The garden, like the rest of Chung Shan Lu, is strewn with pieces of cast-off military equipment. At the entrance is a wheelbarrrow containing a formless mass, ostensibly a corpse, but the feet show signs of life.

It is not until we tour the city that we learn the extent of the destruction. We come across corpses every 100 to 200 yards. The bodies of civilians that I examined had bullet holes in their backs. These people had presumably been fleeing and were shot from behind.

The Japanese march through the city in groups of ten to twenty soldiers and loot the shops. If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have believed it. They smash open windows and doors and take whatever they like. Allegedly because they're short of rations. I watched with my own eyes as they looted the cafe of our German baker Herr Kiessling. Hempel's hotel was broken into as well, as was almost every shop on Chung Shang and Taiping Road. Some Japanese soldiers dragged their booty away in crates, others requisitioned rickshas to transport their stolen goods to safety.

...Forster (Ernest Forster, an American theologian) surprises some Japanese soldiers who are about to steal his bicycle but vamoose when they spot us. We stop a Japanese patrol, and point out to them that this is American property and ask them to order the looters to leave. They simply smile and leave us standing there.

We run across a group of 200 Chinese workers whom Japanese soldiers have picked up off the streets of the Safety Zone, and after having been tied up, are now being driven out of the city. All protests are in vain.

Of the perhaps one thousand disarmed soldiers that we had quartered at the Ministry of Justice, between 400 and 500 were driven from it with their hands tied. We assume they were shot since we later heard several salvos of machine-gun fire. These events have left us frozen with horror.

...Mr. Han says that three young girls of about 14 or 15 have been dragged from a house in our neighborhood. Doctor Bates reports that even in the Safety Zone refugees in various houses have been robbed of their few paltry possessions. At various times troops of Japanese soldiers enter my private residence as well, but when I arrive and hold my swastika armband under their noses, they leave. There's no love for the American flag. A car belonging to Mr. Sone, one of our committee members, had its American flag ripped off and was then stolen.

December 16
All the shelling and bombing we have thus far experienced are nothing in comparison to the terror that we are going through now: There is not a single shop outside our Zone that has not been looted, and now pillaging, rape, murder, and mayhem are occurring inside the Zone as well. There is not a vacant house, whether with or without a foreign flag, that has not been broken into and looted.

...No Chinese even dares set foot outside his house! When the gates to my garden are opened to let my car leave the ground… women and children on the street outside kneel and bang their heads against the ground, pleading to be allowed to camp on my garden grounds. You simply cannot conceive of the misery.

An example of Japanese atrocities against civilians during the Rape of Nanking
The Japanese prepare to behead a victim

I've just heard that hundreds more disarmed Chinese soldiers have been led out of our Zone to be shot, including 50 of our police who are to be executed for letting soldiers in. The road to Hsiakwan is nothing but a field of corpses strewn with the remains of military equipment. The Communications Ministry was torched by the Chinese, the Y Chang Men Gate has been shelled. There are piles of corpses outside the gate. The Japanese aren't lifting a hand to clear them away, and the Red Swastika Society associated with us has been forbidden to do so.

It may be that the disarmed Chinese will be forced to do the job before .. they're killed. We Europeans are all paralyzed with horror. There are executions everywhere, some are being carried out with machine guns outside the barracks of the War Ministry.

...As I write this, the fists of Japanese soldiers are hammering at the back gate to the garden. Since my boys don't open up, heads appear along the top of the wall. When I suddenly show up with my flashlight, they beat a hasty retreat. We open the main gate and walk after them a little distance until they vanish in the dark narrow streets, where assorted bodies have been lying in the gutter for three days now. Makes you shudder in revulsion.

All the women and children, their eyes big with terror, are sitting on the grass in the garden, pressed closely together, in part to keep warm, in part to give each other courage. Their one hope is that I, the 'foreign devil' will drive these evil spirits away."

This eyewitness account appears in: Rabe, John, The Good Man of Nanking, Erwin Wickert (ed.) (1998); Chang, Iris, The Rape of Nanking (1998).

World War II Death Count

Although it's impossible to determine the precise number of deaths, these numbers are as accurate as can reasonably be achieved by available records. Figures for military and civilian deaths are given where these were available.

Country Military Civilian Deaths
USSR 13,600,000 7,700,000 21,300,000
China 1,324,000 10,000,000 11,324,000
Germany 3,250,000 3,810,000 7,060,000
Poland 850,000 6,000,000 6,850,000
Japan - - 2,000,000
Yugoslavia 300,000 1,400,000 1,706,000
Rumania 520,000 465,000 985,000
France 340,000 470,000 810,000
Hungary - - 750,000
Austria 380,000 145,000 525,000
Greece - - 520,000
United States 500,000 - 500,000
Italy 330,000 80,000 410,000
Czechoslovakia - - 400,000
Great Britain 326,000 62,000 388,000
Netherlands 198,000 12,000 210,000
Belgium 76,000 12,000 88,000
Finland - - 84,000
Canada 39,000 - 39,000
India 36,000 - 36,000
Australia 29,000 - 29,000
Albania - - 28,000
Spain 12,000 10,000 22,000
Bulgaria 19,000 2,000 21,000
New Zealand 12,000 - 12,000
Norway - - 10,262
South Africa 9,000 - 9,000
Luxembourg - - 5,000
Denmark 4,000 - 4,000
Total - - 56,125,262

"Japs Quit"

from Time Magazine August 1945


Nowhere did the expected "pockets of resistance" develop. The Japs quit as unanimously as they had fought. Did they all suddenly realize the hopelessness of the struggle? Or all bow to the will of the Emperor? Or all share a hope of their power's revival? Anyway, they quit.

At Wake, Redemption. When the Stars & Stripes went up on Wake Island (see cut), the U.S. redeemed the second territory (after Guam) to be occupied by a foreign foe since 1814.

The Japs had eaten all the island's gooney birds, and most of its rats. Everywhere were relics of Major James ("Send us more Japs") Devereux's stand: U.S. ammunition was stacked in neat piles; rusted machinery was everywhere.

At Singapore, Threat. The British made the Japs sweep Singapore's streets, just as the Japs had done to British prisoners in 1942. The point was not childish retribution, but restoration of British "face" with the natives.

The Japs retreated over the Johore causeway over which they had entered the supposedly impregnable fortress city. Lieut. General Seishiro Itagaki told the Sultan of Johore: "We hope the peace will last 20 years. Then we will be back again."*

At Nanking, Doubt. At his Nanking headquarters, General Yasuji Okamura surrendered 1,000,000 Jap troops in China to General Ho Ying-chin.

There were no crowds, no cheers, no bunting in Nanking. Food was plentiful, shops were full of goods, but the people were lifeless.

Explained one Nanking citizen: "The truth is that we have all been puppets, more or less. We have held jobs under the puppet government, or we have done business with the Japanese. After eight years you get used to it. This is our city. What will happen to us now that you have come back?" But in Shanghai, Joy! The war's orphans, the men from the gorges of the Salween and the mountain bivouacs of Central China, came to Shanghai, which greeted liberation as no city in the world had greeted it.

The laughter of yeh chi ("wild chickens") rang through every thick-carpeted hotel corridor. The steaks were thick and plentiful. Real Scotch (not Australian) whiskey flowed. Hotel beds had spring mattresses and clean white sheets.

By changing U.S. dollars to Chungking dollars to Nanking dollars to Japanese yen, the fabulously inflated prices unreasonably became reasonable (steaks 50¢, silk nightgowns $3). For 15 incredible days the celebration throbbed—firecrackers and kisses, music and laughter. British and U.S. soldiers were surrounded by "saltwater plums" (sailors' girls) from Szechwan Road, and by delicate Eurasian women, warm Russians, big-eyed Hungarians.

Chinese soldiers of the Ninety-fourth Army, the men who halted the last Japanese drive in southeastern China last spring, arrived wearing shabby yellow uniforms and straw sandals. They stared at silken gowns and leather shoes.

They were bewildered when the crowds cheered them. The men of the Ninety-fourth had never heard cheers before.

Japanese soldiers, allowed to keep their arms until sufficient Chinese forces arrived in the city that the Japanese had possessed but never won, stared blankly at the joyous finale as the curtain, ruffled by Shanghai's breezes, came down upon their empire.

Patton Info

The "Slapping Incident"


November 10, 2002, South Bend Tribune

In the summer of 1943, 27-year-old Pvt. Charles H. Kuhl was in Gen. George S. Patton's Seventh Army, which was engaged in an arduous, month-long campaign to seize control of Sicily from the Germans and Italians. The Allies took Sicily, but only after Axis forces successfully withdrew to the Italian mainland. The campaign frustrated Patton, and he wrote he was eager "to get out of this infernal island."

On the afternoon of Aug. 3, Patton made one of his frequent hospital visits, this time to the 15th Evacuation Hospital near Nicosia.

In a 1970 interview withthe South Bend Tribune, Kuhl remembered that when Patton entered the hospital tent, "all the soldiers jumped to attention except me. I was suffering from battle fatigue and just didn't know what to do."

After asking each soldier what his injury was, Patton questioned Kuhl about why he had not stood and saluted. Kuhl told The Tribune, "I told him my nerves were shot and, of course, I didn't feel like getting up to salute him."

The furious general began swearing at Kuhl, calling him a coward and ordering him to leave the hospital tent. The frightened Kuhl did not move, which only further enraged Patton. Patton then slapped Kuhl's face with a glove, raised him to his feet by the collar of his shirt and pushed him out of the tent with a final "kick in the rear." Patton ordered the private to return to his unit and told the doctors not to readmit him to the hospital.

Kuhl fled from the tent and hid until Patton left the hospital. Kuhl then returned and was admitted for acute anxiety, chronic diarrhea, malaria and a high fever. Two days later, Patton ordered that Seventh Army soldiers alleging shell shock not be admitted to hospitals and that those who refused to fight would be court-martialed "for cowardice in the face of the enemy."

The slapping incident soon became widely known in Sicily, but it wasn't until later in the year that it got back to the States. Since striking an enlisted man was a court-martial offense, Gen. Eisenhower, Patton's senior commander, needed to punish Patton without causing a stir back home. He feared that such a backlash would result in losing a general whom he felt was crucial to the war effort.

Eisenhower strongly censured him, saying he could not condone brutality or uncontrollable temper in front of the enlisted men. Eisenhower ordered Patton to publicly apologize for his actions. On Aug. 22, Patton summoned all of the Seventh Army to Palermo to publicly apologize for his actions.

Patton also personally apologized to Kuhl. He told the private that his slapping and verbal abuse were intended to motivate Kuhl to fight, out of anger towards Patton. He admitted that he had used the wrong psychology and asked Kuhl to shake his hand in forgiveness. An observer noted that Kuhl grinned enthusiastically and shook Patton's hand.

The slapping incident likely cost Patton command of the American ground forces during Operation Overlord, the invasion of France in 1944. Patton died in December 1945 from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Luxembourg. Charles Kuhl returned to the Michiana area and worked at Bendix. He died in Mishawaka on Jan. 31, 1971.

[Comment:] Note that these soldiers he slapped had been fighting for some months. Gen. Patton was taking time off from his behind-the-lines headquarters to visit this hospital. He wasn't at the front lines, he hardly ever visited them. Patton's "courage" put others at risk while he remained safe.