On December 5th 1937, eight days before the invasion, orders were sent out to kill all captives and prisoners of war. The logic behind these orders were ruthless and inhumane as captives could not be fed thus meaning they were destroyed. Killing them would not only eliminate the shortage of food but as well diminish the possibility of the Chinese retaliating. However, when it came to completing the order given, the Japanese troops were vastly outnumbered, estimating over half a million civilians and ninety thousand Chinese troops compared to the fifty thousand troops they had. Nonetheless, this would not stop the Japanese from taking over the city and ruling over the civilians as the worst had yet to come. Killing the prisoners of war was one of their first initial operations because of their limited manpower. They relied heavily on deception and their strategy for the mass killings involved a number of steps before initiation. First, they would promise fair treatment between them in return for no resistance, persuading them into their own surrendence towards the Japanese. Then, victims were neglected of food or water for days, yet promised food and work. After such many days, victims wrists were bound securely with wire or rope, they were then divided into groups of one to two hundred men, and then lured to different areas around Nanking to be killed. The men who were too dehydrated and tired to rebel against followed through, believing they would be fed. By the time they reached the isolated area, filled with machine guns, blood covered swords and bayonets, the corpses of the men before and the smell of rotting flesh, it was too late to escape. All of this was easier than what the Japanese had anticipated. 1″Resistance was sporadic; indeed, it was practically nonexistent”. Chinese soldiers did not put up a fight when the Japanese closed in on them. Many believed that if they simply were to turn themselves in, they would be treated better and once a man surrendered, the rest of the task was easy. When the soldiers practically surrendered altogether, there was genuinely no one left to protect the civilians of the city. Planning for this to happen, the Japanese troops invaded into Nanking taking over banks, government buildings and warehouses, shooting at random civilians in the streets and wherever they ran, having many shot in the back because of this. The use of machine guns, revolvers and rifles towards the crowds of wounded soldiers, elders, women and children created chaos filled with their screams and moans of pain as they toppled to the ground in a lifeless state. They killed Chinese civilians in every section of the city: small alleyways, major boulevards, city squares, government buildings and mud dugouts, nowhere was safe. The city ran cold with their blood, having barely living bodies scattered around, with no more strength to get up and run away. Systematically, the Japanese troops went house-to-house in the nearby suburbs and countryside in search of any surviving civilians or Chinese Soldiers. 2″ Corpses piled up outside the city walls, along the river (which had literally turned red with blood), by ponds and lakes, and on hills and on hills and mountains.”. In nearby villages, Japanese troops would shoot down any young man who passed by them, under the belief that the man was a former Chinese Soldier. Cruelly enough they would also murder people who are evidently not a Chinese soldier such as elderly men and women. If they hesitated or failed to recognize orders, spoken in the Japanese language, they would be killed.
July 21, 2019 0 Comments