German-made Junkers Ju-87B Stuka dive bombers, part of the Condor Legion, in flight above Spain on May 30, 1939, during the Spanish Civil War.
The black-and-white “X” on the tail and wings is Saint Andrew’s Cross, the insignia of Franco’s Nationalist Air Force. The Condor Legion was composed of volunteers from the German Army and Air Force.
An excerpt from my novel, Citizens of Jericho, concerning an event in the war that, while unimportant in the ultimate scheme of things, remains hugely significant in the lives of two of our characters.
Mostly under the cut because of content warnings: graphic depiction of violence.
Nobody was where they were supposed to be. Dead, too many of them, an as yet uncounted number of their own people, dead, and for no other reason than that nobody was where they were supposed to be.
Corporal Antonio Ponte Anido (1922-1943) was a Spanish Volunteer at the Blue Division. Ponte Anido born in Galicia in 1922 and fought for the Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War. Later on he enlisted in the Blue Division, the Falangist Volunteer force who fought in the Eastern Front against Soviet forces. On February 10 he was part of the Spanish 250th Division composed of 5.000 men who planted an heroic defense against the masive offensive of the Soviet 55th Army who counted with 40.000 infantry soldiers, 90 tanks and 1.000 artillery pieces. Ponte Anido, who was an scout, was wounded and was lying in an first aid post along with other wounded soldiers when he catch a Russian T-34 Tank advanding against their
defenceless position. Then, the 21 years old corporal, got up and raced to put anti-tank mines under its track. The explosion stopped the tank and save his wounded comrades but also killed Ponte Anido. By this action Antonio Ponte Anido was posthumously awarded with the San Fernando Laurate Cross by his heroic action at the Battle of Krasny Bor.
-September 2, 1945
Japan surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Harbor.
Officially ends the war in the Pacific and WWII.
-December 1, 1945 Guam
Captain Oba and about forty-six other members of his force surrendered to U.S. forces. These were the last organized hold-outs of the Japanese forces in Saipan. Captain Oba’s company of Japanese soldiers who held out after the Battle for Saipan hiding in the caves and jungles, carrying out occasional guerrilla actions against U.S. forces.
-January 25, 1946 Philippines
A Japanese unit of 120 men was routed after a battle in the mountains 150 miles south of Manila.
-February 1946 Philippines - on Lubang Island.
70 miles southwest of Maillia Bay a seven week campaign to clear the island was begun by the Filipino 341st and American 86th Division. Intense fighting developed on February 22, 1946 when troops encountered 30 Japanese. Eight Allied troops were killed, including 2 Filipinos. The Filipino and Americans sent for an additional 20,000 rounds of small arm ammunition, but not future battles occurred of this magnitude.
-March 1946 Guam
A Japanese band of unknown size attacked and killed a six man patrol on Guam on March 1946.
-August 1946 Navy Lieutenant Hideo Horiuchi volunteered as an Indonesian volunteer Army Lieutenant Colonel. Horiuchi was arrested by Dutch troops on August 13, 1946, while his wounds were being treated in a village after the battle with Dutch troops.
-1946 Major Sei Igawa volunteered as a Viet Minh staff officer and commander. Igawa was killed in a battle with French troops in 1946.
-Early April 1947 Philippines - on Lubang Island.
Forty-one members of the Japanese garrison come out of the jungle, unaware that the war had ended.
-End March - early April 1947 Peleliu Island - Band of 33 Japanese soldiers, commanded by Lt. Ei Yamaguchi renews fighting on the island by attacking a Marine patrol with hand grenades. At that time, only 150 Marines were stationed on the island, with 35 dependents. Reinforcement were called in to hunt down the hideouts. American patrols with a Japanese Admiral sent to convince the troops that the war was indeed over finally convinced the holdouts to come out peacefully. The band emerged from the jungle in two groups in late April, lead by Ei Yamaguchi who turned over his sword and unit’s battle flags.
-April 1947 Philippines - on Palawan Island.
Seven Japanese troops armed with a mortar launcher emerged from the jungle.
-June 1947 Philippines
4,000 of the 114,000 troops in the Philippines as of August 1945 were still unaccounted for in mid 1946. Only 109 miles from the capital, Manila, were signs warning about armed Japanese soldiers still in the hills.
-October 27, 1947 Guadalcanal Island
The last Japanese soldier surrenders. belongings included a water bottle, a broken Australian bayonet and a Japanese entrenching tool.
-January 1948 Philippines - Mindinao Island
200 well organized and disciplined troops finally gave themselves up on Mindinao.
-Late 1948 China
An estimated 10-20,000 well equipped Japanese troops were trapped in the mountains of Manchuria and did not surrender until late in 1948. They were caught in a no man’s land of civil war stuck between the warring Nationalist and Communist forces and were unable to surrender.
-January 6, 1949 Iwo Jima- Two Holdouts Found
Two former IJN soldiers, machine gunners, Matsudo Linsoki and Yamakage Kufuku (24) are discovered on the island and surrender peacefully. They had been living under the shadow of American forces and stealing supplies.
-Major Takuo Ishii continued to fight as a Viet Minh adviser, staff officer and commander. He was killed in a battle with French troops on May 20, 1950.
-30 1951 Anatahan A group of stranded survivors of a Japanese vessel sunk by the American military found their way to the island of Anatahan, 75 nautical miles north of Saipan. The island’s coast line is precipitous with landing beaches on the northern and western shore and a small sandy beach on the southwest shore. It’s steep slopes are furrowed by deep gorges covered by high grass. This brooding cone jutting from the sea floor is a large, extinct volcano with two peaks and a grass covered flat field, the final resting place for a B-29 Superfortress that crashed upon returning from a bombing mission over Nagoya, Japan on January 3, 1945 killing the aircraft’s crew.
By 1951 the Japanese holdouts on the island refused to believe that the war was over and resisted every attempt by the Navy to remove them. This group was first discovered in February 1945, when several Chamorros from Saipan were sent to the island to recover the bodies of the Saipan based B-29, T square 42, from the 498th Bomb Group, 875th Squadron, 73rd Wing under the command of Richard Carlson Stickney, Jr. The Chamorros reported that there were about thirty Japanese survivors from three Japanese ships sunk in June 1944, one of which was an Okinawan woman.
Pamphlets had been dropped informing the holdouts that the war was over and that they should surrender, but these requests were ignored. They lived a sparse life, eating coconuts, taro, wild sugar cane, fish and lizards. They smoked crushed, dried papaya leaves wrapped in the leaves of bananas and made an intoxicating beverage known as “tuba”, (coconut wine). They lived in palm frond huts with woven floor matting of pandanus. Their life improved after the crash of the aircraft . They used metal from the B-29 to fashion crude implements such as pots, knives and roofing for their hut. The oxygen tanks were used to store water, clothing was made from nylon parachutes, the cords used for fishing line. The springs from machine guns were fashioned into fish hooks. Several in the group also had machine guns and pistols recovered from the aircraft.
Personal aggravations developed as a result of being too long in close association within a small group on a small island and also because of tuba drinking. The presence of only one woman, Kazuko Higa, caused great difficulty as well. Six of eleven deaths that occurred among the holdouts were the result of violence. One man displayed thirteen knife wounds. Ms. Higa would, from time to time, transfer her affections between at least four of the men after each mysteriously disappeared as a result of “being swallowed by the waves while fishing.” In July 1950, Ms. Higa went to the beach when an American vessel appeared off shore and asked to be removed from the island. She was taken to Saipan aboard the Miss Susie and, upon arrival, informed authorities that the men on the island did not believe the war was over.
Meanwhile, officials of the Japanese government became interested in the situation on Anatahan and asked the Navy for information “concerning the doomed and living Robinson Crusoes who were living a primitive life on an uninhabited island”, and offered to send a ship to rescue them. The families of the Japanese holdouts on the island of Anatahan , were contacted in Japan and requested by the U. S. Navy to write letters advising them that the war was over and that they should surrender. In January 1951, a message from the Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture was delivered.
The letters were dropped by air on June 26 and finally convinced the holdouts that they should give themselves up. Thus, six years after the end of World War II, “Operation Removal” got underway from Saipan under the Command of James B. Johnson, USNR, aboard the Navy Tug USS Cocopa. Lt. Commander James B. Johnson and Mr. Ken Akatani, an interpreter, went ashore by rubber boat and formally accepted the last surrender of World War II on the morning of June 30, 1951 which also coincided with the last day of the Naval Administration of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
Japanese soldier Murata Susumu was captured in 1953. He was living in a small shack near a swamp since the war.
-November 1955 Seaman Noburo Kinoshita, after his capture from the Luzon jungle, hanged himself rather than “return to Japan in defeat.”
-1965 Vella Lavella Straggler
One Japanese straggler was located. Sited by a women in her garden, the Solomon’s Japanese ambassador flew to the island. Fliers were dropped saying the war was over, and he was returned home to Japan with full honors.
-January 1972 Guam
Shoichi Yokoi, was found along the Talofofo River. He brought back his army-issue rifle and said “I am sorry I did not serve his majesty to my satisfaction.” “We Japanese soldiers were told to prefer death to the disgrace of getting captured alive,”
Private Teruo Nakamura surrendered after 33 years hiding on a small island of Morotai.
-1974 Philippines -2nd Lt. Hiroo Onada Lubang Island - Probably the most ‘famous’ of the Japanese holdouts, Onoda was the only survivor of a group of four. 29 years after Japan’s formal surrender, and 15 years after being declared legally dead in Japan.
-December 1974 Private Teruo Nakamura, a Taiwan-born soldier (Amis: Attun Palalin) was discovered by the Indonesian Air Force on Morotai, and surrendered to a search patrol on December 18, 1974.
-April 1980 Philippines - Mindoro Island
Captain of the Japanese Imperial Army, Fumio Nakahira, held out until April 1980 before being discovered at Mt. Halcon.
-1989 Thailand - Two ex-Japanese Army soldiers: Kiyoaki Tanaka and Shigeyuki Hashimoto went onto fight with the Malaysian Communist Party (Malaysian Communist Party), in Southern Thailand. The two were part of a group of ex-Japanese Army soldiers and civilians fighting with the MPAJA.
(NOTE - Although fascinating, these two were not true hold-outs because they knew the war was over. Rather, they were former Japanese Army Soldiers who went on to fight with another faction and never returned home.)
-May 2005 Two Japanese Soldiers on Mindanao
A report in early May 2005 talked about two former Japanese Army soldiers found on Mindanao;
Reportedly, their names were Yoshio Yamakawa, 87, from Osaka, and Tsuzuki Nakauchi, 85.
Nationalist soldiers attempt to defend the telephone exchange building in Barcelona in July, 1936. The 12,000 or so soldiers who joined the uprising in the city were quickly killed or captured by the Loyalists.
L'expression cinquième colonne désigne les partisans cachés — au sein d'un État ou d'une organisation — d'un autre État ou d'une autre organisation hostile.
Cette expression fut initialement utilisée lors d'une allocution radio-diffusée par le général Emilio Mola, membre de l'état-major des forces nationalistes espagnoles en 1936 pendant la guerre d’Espagne parlant des partisans nationalistes cachés au sein du camp républicain.
Elle est entrée dans le vocabulaire courant dans diverses langues. Par
extension, l'expression désigne en effet tout groupe de partisans
infiltrés, généralement civils, prêts à œuvrer de l'intérieur pour
favoriser la victoire des forces armées traditionnelles du même camp
puis, plus généralement, tout groupement agissant dans l'ombre pour
saper de l'intérieur une organisation ou un État.
The success of the Nationalists was by no means clear cut early in the Civil War. A major boon that they received at the time of the initial uprising was the supply of Ju 52 transport aircraft from Germany. With much of their forces not in Spain, but North Africa, the ability to quickly transport troops into the country was an important step in bolstering their chances. Their purpose served, many, including this example, were used as bombers for the rest of the war.
In 1991, Bosnia and Herzegovina joined several republics of the former Yugoslavia and declared independence, which triggered a civil war that lasted four years. Bosnia’s population was a multiethnic mix of Muslim Bosniaks (44%), Orthodox Serbs (31%), and Catholic Croats (17%). The Bosnian Serbs, well-armed and backed by neighboring Serbia, laid siege to the city of Sarajevo in early April 1992.
They targeted mainly the Muslim population but killed many other Bosnian Serbs as well as Croats with rocket, mortar, and sniper attacks that went on for 44 months. As shells fell on the Bosnian capital, nationalist Croat and Serb forces carried out horrific “ethnic cleansing” attacks across the countryside.
Usually, war is what happens when at least two sets of ruling classes, usually separated and competing in the forms of nation states, each see a political necessity, and/or a material advantage, in forcibly defeating each other in some area or sphere of influence. They then mobilise their domestic working classes into attacking each other, under the direction of elites. This can be achieved despite the fact that neither set of working classes has any fundamental grievance with the other, or is going to see any advantage in attacking their foreign kin. Indeed, the mutual attack is generally very much against their interests. War becomes the extention and violent dramatisation of the class struggle under normal conditions: the workers don’t just work for the profits of their bosses, they kill each other for them. The ruling classes mobilise their control over the means of ideological production to gain popular consent to the war by hyping humbug of some kind, be it nationalistic or religious or moral or whatever. Or they simply use coercion and/or reliance upon ingrained conformity.
War is a phenomenon of agricultural civilisation onward, which to say a product of hierarchical class societies based on class, property, and exploitation. Before such societies arise, generally there is no war - certainly not in the sense of modern warfare.
Throughout the history of class societies, war has taken many forms - as indeed has class and exploitation. In the developed capitalist world, war is generated by the fused interests of nation states and domestic blocs of capital competing against other such fused blocs. War also becomes the extention and violent dramatisation of the struggle between ruling classes under normal conditions: these classes no longer simply compete economically and politically, but now also violently. To an extent, domestic capitals fuse their interests and start cooperating where they before competed, externalising the competition inherent in capitalism and turning it into attrition and arms races against foreign capitals, etc.
There are other forms of war. They are unusual, historically, but they’ve happened. Wars waged by upcoming classes within changing societies against the old ruling classes and forms of property. These are generally civil wars. There are also wars of liberation in which nationalist forces will attempt to expel foreign colonisers and/or dominators… though these are also based on class in that they usually express the conflicting interests of a foreign class of exploiters and a rising domestic class aiming to seize power.
Even rarer are revolutionary wars in which the working classes - rather than a layer of a rising middle class - wage war against the ruling classes.
The various types of war have fuzzy boundaries, and one type can have aspects of another, or turn into another.