Japanese Prisoners of War in India, 1942-46: Bushido and Barbed Wire

Japanese Prisoners of War in India, 1942-46: Bushido and Barbed Wire

By: T.R. Sareen (author)Paperback

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This is the first in-depth study to examine the history, treatment and conditions of more than 2500 Japanese prisoners of war who were captured by British forces on the Burma front and kept in India during the period 1942-46. Drawing on original sources, including the National Archive of India, the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as limited government records in the UK, USA and Japan, together with some former Japanese POWs' first-hand accounts, the author has been able to provide a detailed picture of the way of life of these prisoners, the organization of camp life, as well as the policies that governed their incarceration. In so doing, the author fills a significant gap both in Pacific War studies and prisoner-of-war history. The manner of the capture and surrender of the Japanese was unique, in that they were captured, for the most part, when they were either seriously wounded or sick, or had become unconscious due to hunger or disease while fighting on the Arakan, Imphal and Kohima (Burma) fronts. A few in good health gave themselves up; but there was no mass surrender, even by a single regiment or unit, ever took place, thus giving rise to the myth that no Japanese soldier ever became a prisoner of war. This account sets the history straight and will be widely welcomed by the generalist and specialist alike, particularly those studying the history of this period, including POW history, as well as students of international law and the work of international agencies, such as the Red Cross.

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About Author

T.R. Sareen was Consultant of the Indian Council of Historical Research as whose Director he served from 1985 to 1997. He was Assistant Director of the National Archives of India from 1979 to 1985 and Consultant of the Government of Kenya from 1980 to 1981. He was also General President of the Punjab Historical Congress and Vice President of the International Association of Historians of Asia. He was educated at Punjab University where he gained his M.A. and Ph.D. In 1993 he was a visiting fellow at the University of Heidelberg, also at the University of Tokyo in 1994-95 and at Senshu University in 1998. His more recent publications include Indian Revolutionarie, Japan and British Imperialism (1993), Sharing the Blame - Subhas Chandra Bose and the Japanese Occupation of the Andaman, 1942-1945 (2002), The Indian National Army: A Documentary Study (5 volumes, 2004), and Building the Siam-Burma Railway during World War II.


Foreword; Introduction; Acknowledgements; List of Abbreviations; Map of India; 1 The Japanese Military Tradition; 2 The Battlefields of Arakan, Imphal and Kohima; 3 Surrender or Death; 4 Utility Value of the Japanese POWs; 5 Psychological Warfare; 6 Nature of Japanese Capture; 7 Attitude of POWs Towards Suicide; 8 POW Camp No. 29, Bikaner; 9 Political Indoctrination; 10 The Geneva Convention; 11 Mountbatten at Bikaner Camp; 12 The Twilight of Suicidal Nationalism; 13 From Bikaner to Baleli, to POW Camp No. 30; 14 Living as POWs; 15 Sunshine Beyond the Barbed Wire; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/06/2006
  • ISBN13: 9781901903942
  • Format: Paperback, Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 278
  • ID: 9781901903942
  • weight: 600
  • ISBN10: 190190394X

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