The book presents for the first time hitherto unpublished documents on the capture, treatment and mental outlook of the Japanese POWs, who were picked up by the British forces in Burma and kept in the POW camps in India during 1942-1946.
The fate of these prisoners has never been discussed in the post-war studies of the Second World War either in India or Japan. There are many reasons for the total neglect of the subject, but the main being the dearth of original archival sources, lying scattered at different places.
The documents in this volume were selected from archival repositories in U.K, USA, Japan, India and Geneva. Author has also included the first hand accounts and letters of former POWs and the British officials who looked after them.
In the detailed introduction, the author has provided an insight into the way the Japanese were captured, their mental outlook behind the barbed wire and how they reconciled with the anguish of becoming POW. For the Japanese to be captured alive meant disloyalty of the Military Code of the warrior known as Bushido. British tried to change their mental outlook by political indoctrination, but it was difficult for them to shake off the impact of their cultural tradition, under which, to become a POW was disgraceful and shameful. To overcome this the Japanese POWs entered into some sort of a conspiracy of silence about their life in India after they returned to Japan in 1946.
The volume projects a neglected part of history and will be useful to students and specialists alike, particularly those studying the history of the Second World War or Indo-Japanese relations or POW history.
Author: TR Sareen