Hisao Tani

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Lieutenant General Tani Hisao
Tani Hisao.jpg
Lieutenant General Tani Hisao
Nickname(s) Tiger of Kyushu
Born December 22, 1882
Okayama, Japan
Died April 26, 1947(1947-04-26) (aged 64)
Nanjing, China
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Service/branch War flag of the Imperial Japanese Army.svg Imperial Japanese Army
Years of service 1903–1945
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Imperial Japanese Army
Battles/wars Russo-Japanese War, Second Sino-Japanese War, Pacific War
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Tani".

Hisao Tani (谷 寿夫 Tani Hisao?, 22 December 1882 – 26 April 1947) was a Lieutenant General in the Imperial Japanese Army in the Second Sino-Japanese War, and was implicated in the Nanjing Massacre.

Biography[edit]

Tani was a native of Okayama Prefecture. He graduated from the 15th class of the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1903 and from the 24th class of the Army War College. He saw service as a second lieutenant in the Imperial Guard's infantry regiment during the Russo–Japanese War. Subsequently, he was posted to Great Britain as a military attaché from 1915–18, during which time he was an official observer for the Japanese government on the combat situation on the Western Front in World War I. After his return to Japan, from 1922–24, he was attached to 6th Regiment/IJA 3rd Division.[1]

In 1924 Tani became an instructor at the Army War College, and his texts on strategy and tactics during the Russo–Japanese War became required reading.

From 1929–32 Tani was assigned to various posts in the Imperial General Staff, and in 1932 when was made Chairman of Military Investigation. In 1933 he took command of the 2nd Imperial Guards Brigade, and in 1934, Commandant of the Tokyo Bay Fortress, and in 1935 Command of the 9th Depot Division.

From 1935–37 Tani was commanding officer of the 6th Division (Imperial Japanese Army), which was assigned to the China Expeditionary Army in December 1937 under the overall command of General Matsui Iwane. The 6th Division fought in North China during the Peiking – Hankow Railway Operation. Shipped south with the Japanese 10th Army, it took part in the end of the Battle of Shanghai, and the Battle of Nanking.

Returning to Japan at the end of 1937, Tani became Commander in Chief of the Central Defence Army until 1939 when he went into reserve and retired. In 1945, towards the end of World War II, Tani was recalled to active service and given command of the IJA 59th Army and Chugoku Army District.

Trial and Execution[edit]

Tani, left in 1938

After the end of World War II, the Chinese government demanded that Tani be extradited to China to stand trial for war crimes at the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal. Some historians[citation needed] portrayed the prosecution at the trial as incoherent and incompetent, and pointed out its alleged errors, such as the prosecution repeatedly blaming Tani for actions of the IJA 16th Division (which he did not command), instead of the IJA 6th Division, confusing events between the Battle of Shanghai and the Battle of Nanjing, and accusing Tani of atrocities on dates after which he had already been transferred back to Japan. Nevertheless, evidence for a guilty conviction were overwhelming. Tani initially denied all charges, blaming Korean soldiers for the massacre. However after hundreds of survivors as well as several foreigners who witnessed the atrocity from Nanking Safety Zone, including Professor Bates from University of Nanking, provided opposite testimony, he was found guilty of instigating, inspiring and encouraging the men under his command to stage general massacres of prisoners of war and non-combatants and to perpetrate such crimes as rape, plunder and wanton destruction of property, during the Battle of Shanghai, Battle of Nanking and early in its occupation, the Rape of Nanking, and he was consequently executed on 26 April 1947.

References[edit]

  • Dorn, Frank (1974). The Sino-Japanese War, 1937–41: From Marco Polo Bridge to Pearl Harbor. MacMillan. ISBN 0-02-532200-1. 
  • Hsu Long-hsuen and Chang Ming-kai, History of The Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) 2nd Ed., 1971. Translated by Wen Ha-hsiung, Chung Wu Publishing; 33, 140th Lane, Tung-hwa Street, Taipei, Taiwan Republic of China.
  • Higashinakano Shudo The Nanking Massacre: Fact Versus Fiction 2005 Sekai Shuppan, Inc. ISBN 4-916079-12-4, ISBN 4-916079-13-2, http://www.sdh-fact.com/ (Original Japanese edition: Nankin gyakusatsu no tettei kensho 1998 Tendensha ISBN 4-88656-153-5 C0021)
  • Yoshida Hiroshi Tennou no guntai to Nankin jiken 1998 Aoki shoten, ISBN 4-250-98019-7.

External links[edit]

  • Ammenthorp, Steen. "Tani, Hisao". The Generals of World War II. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ammenthorp, The Generals of World War II