Hillenbrand's Unbroken

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7 December 1941, hundreds of Japanese warplanes and submarines bombarded Pearl Harbor on the island of Honolulu, Hawaii. The Japanese empire viewed America as hamper on their goals to dominate territories in Asia and the Pacific, which were rich in raw material. Pearl Harbor was the specified target in order to destroy the naval battleships and warplanes. It was the stroke of this well-strategized plan that lured America into World War II. Japan aspired to induce America of their capabilities, doing so by killing over 2000 soldiers and sailors and injured around 1000 during this raid. They accomplished in destroying around 20 American naval ships and around 200 warplanes. Three months after this attack, the Pacific Ocean Theatre was officially…show more content…
The high status enjoyed by the guards inclined them to act spontaneously on the prisoners without a second thought. In Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” she explains a case of spontaneous action from a guard. “Something about this affectionate little duck, perhaps the fact that he was beloved to the captives, provoked the guards. They tortured him mercilessly, kicking him and hurling him around. Then one day, in full view of the captives, Shithead opened his pants and violated the bird. Gaga died.” (166). It is actions such as this that mentally traumatized these prisoners of war for a lifetime. The surrender of the U.S. and Pilipino forces on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines was the largest surrender in the military history of the United States and for the Philippines. Around 75,000 total troops were forced into surrender and made to march to their prison camps. The march, known as the Bataan Death March, was a 65 mile long hike through scorching heat and the typical barbaric treatment by the guards. Thousands of men died along the way. Japan promulgated a kill-all policy throughout the Japanese prisoner of war camps. This policy was the course of action that the Japanese would immediately take upon the slightest belief that the camp would be raided by allied forces in the near future. It meant that every living prisoner on the camp would be killed if the guards felt a threat from an allied force. Basically, a large…show more content…
Brought up at the time of the ancient Japanese Samurai, it has been followed ever since. The doctrines imposed by bushido revolved around the preparedness of anything to come, such as death. Bushido stressed the importance of loyalty honor, and obedience to those of a higher superiority. The code of bushido proselytized Japanese citizens into believing that surrender is not an option. According to Pearson, “The bushi (people who abided by the bushido honor code) believed that men who surrendered were men disgraced, unworthy of soldierly treatment. This philosophy became a code called bushido and was witnessed firsthand by the allies immediately when Bataan capitulated” (88,89). The indoctrination of bushido throughout Japan helped in the prevention of surrenders. The Japanese would fight until death and if surrender is the only option, they would commit suicide. The belief that immense disgrace would be brought upon those and the family of those who surrendered was embedded in the Japanese soldiers. The idea that surrender is never an option and that the soldiers must fight until death induced fighter pilots to launch kamikaze attacks. Whole villages in Japan would participate in mass suicides if they were raided, in order to avoid becoming captive. The Japanese had the idea that being held captive would disown the family name. When America first went into battle with Japan,

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