Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


This is coolbert:

Here is the web site that deals with the Wahoo "incident". Japanese sailors and soldiers in the water massacred by the American submarine Wahoo.

[this is the incident as shown in the made-for-TV-movie, "Winds of War".]

Was not concealed at the time. The captain of the Wahoo, Morton, did include the "incident" in his after-action report. the "Brass" did know what had "gone down".

"Later, the action was duly noted in the report of WAHOO's Third War Patrol which received a glowing endorsement from the Pacific submarine command."

[the general public WAS NOT until years later told of what had happened!!]

Captain Morton did feel that at that exact moment, the survivors of the sinking were legitimate targets of war and subject to further attack.

Morton claimed killing 'most of the troops' from BUYO MARU, estimated at between '1,500 to 6,000.'"

[there could possibly be valid reasoning to his appreciation, under the generally accepted Rules of Warfare. The crew OF THE SHIP would have been considered to have been hors de combat [out of action] and no longer posed a threat. SOLDIERS in the water would NOT have been considered to be out of action and were therefore legitimate targets? I am not sure about this!]

"hors de comĀ·bat - - Out of action; disabled."

The fact that evidently some of the survivors responded to the Wahoo with a burst of machine gun fire undoubtedly prompted the action by Morton.

"Morton ordered a 4" shell fired into the largest boat. WAHOO received in response a long burst of machine gun fire from the Japanese."

It WAS tragic that many of those killed seem to have prisoners-of-war, captured soldiers from the British Indian Army. In the water, Morton and his crew would NOT have been able to distinguish between them and Japanese combatants.

"BUYO MARU was not exclusively a troop transport but also a POW ship, loaded with 491 Indian prisoners of war."

Some critics have suggested that Morton reacted out of racial hate and callousness toward the "Jap". This is probably NOT so. Morton acted out of military concerns as he saw fit at the time. My opinion.

"When asked [Paine, the fourth officer of the Wahoo] if Morton's actions against the Japanese were racially motivated, he responded in the negative."




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