Death on the Hellships: Prisoners at Sea in the Pacific War

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Naval Institute Press, 2001 - History - 366 pages
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"Though the Japanese treatment of prisoners of war during World War II has been written about before, with this chronicle readers come to appreciate the true dimensions of the Allied POW experience at sea. It is a disturbing story; many believe the Bataan Death March pales by comparison. Survivors describe their ordeal in the Japanese hellships as the absolute worst experience of their captivity. Crammed by the thousands into the holds of the ships, moved from island to island and put to work, they endured all the horros of the prison camps magnified tenfold." "Gregory Michno draws on American, British, Australian, and Dutch POW accounts as well as Japanese convoy histories, recently declassified radio intelligence reports, and a wealth of archival sources to present for the first time a detailed picture of what happened. More than 126,000 Allied prisoners were transported in the hellships with more than 21,000 fatalities. While beatings, starvation, and disease caused many of the deaths, the most, Michno reports, were caused by Allied bombs, bullets, and torpedoes. He further reports that this so-called friendly fire was not always accidental - at times high-level decisions were made to sink Japanese ships despite the presence of POWs. The statistics led Michno to conclude that it was more dangerous to be a prisoner on the Japanese hellships than a U.S. Marine fighting in the campaign. His careful examination of the role of U.S. submarines in the sinkings and rescue of POWs makes yet another significant contribution to the history of the Pacific war."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Contents

1943
62
AN UNEASY STASIS
87
1944
101
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Gregory F. Michno has won numerous awards for his books, which include "Lakota Noon", an Indian perspective to the Battle of Little Bighorn. He works for the state of Michigan's department of social services in Ypsilanti.

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