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General Yamashita
General Yamashita took command of all 250,000 Japanese forces in the Philippines. After about two weeks of Yamashita's taking over command the Japanese were under attack by USA armed forces. General Douglas MacArthur was in charge of the US troops. The United States had to surrender of the Philippines two years earlier and left with the words now famous "I shall return" The Japanese were strong in ambush and in sniping attacks but the US forces seemed to be the ones in command in the war in the Philippines. Early in the battle Yamashita retreated into the mountains on the Luzon. Some of his troops had been left in Manila to defend that city. and other left to fight the American Army. They were placed strategically. Yamashita himself was in a well hidden area in the mountains. The Japanese soldiers left behind basically retreated killing civilians and raping women. The Americans saw what had happened but could do nothing but push on hoping to find the men responsible for this horrifying thing.
We had dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Japanese cities. And the war in the Pacific came to a quick and deadly end. At that time Yamashita was corresponding with the US Army to arrange a surrender of himself and his troops. This was on September 2nd 1945 when Yamashita and his troops surrendered formally and without any conditions. They marched out of hiding to the US Commander of the Philippines. What the Japanese army did to those civilians was unforgotten and the US wanted to make sure someone paid for those crimes. Since Yamashita had been in charge of those troops he had been arrested and charged with war crimes. The charges stated that he Unlawfully disregarded and failed to discharge his duty as commander to control the operations of the members of his command. And permitted them to commit brutal high crimes against the US and of its allies and dependencies.
He was then to go in front of a court-martial board on October 29, 1945 Army lawyers were appointed to be the defense and the prosecution. The prosecution based there case on that the Japanese forces was ultimately responsible for crimes that were committed against the Philippines and that as commander of these men he General Yamashita was responsible for these crimes. The defense was that Yamashita did not order his men to do these crimes or did he take part in them.. He had been totally unaware of what was happening because he was in a secret location somewhere away from his troops. He was said to be guilty as charged but his lawyers quickly appealed and it got all the way to the Surpreame court they said that he was being illegally held in prison and the court-martial itself was illegal. The surpreame court ruled that the trail was fair and just and the death sentence should be carried out he should be hung. And on February 23, 1946 he was hung at a small prison outside the city limits in Manilla.
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