World Battlefronts: THE NATURE OF THE ENEMY

To the marines on Saipan, the suicide of Japanese soldiers in the last days of the battle for the island, was an old story. But there were 20,000 civilians on the island, too, and many of them elected to die for the Emperor, or perhaps to escape a conqueror represented by Jap propaganda as hideously brutal. In this dispatch, TIME Correspondent Robert Sherrod describes the gruesome deeds, incomprehensible to the occidental mind, which followed the U.S. victory:

We thought we had seen everything in the line of Jap military suicides by the time the last charge of the Japs had been beaten...

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