Talk:Masaharu Homma

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Untitled[edit]

While I admittedly know very little on this subject, the whole article reads like an essay written to defend Homma and blackface MacArthur. It needs to be more NPOV in style, and it needs to show some sources for what it's writing. As it is now, the article only implicitly assures us that Homma was a kind man, innocent (in one way or another) of warcrimes and that his trial was a scam, without backing any of these claims up. --kissekatt 15:43, 2005 May 28 (UTC)

After spending about 30 minutes reviewing the Bataan Death March that happened under Homma's command, I cannot believe this listing. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataan_Death_March or the referred to article at http://history.acusd.edu/gen/st/~ehimchak/death_march.html. I can't tell you what the unbiased report would say... but any general that would have 70,000 people, that have just surrendered after six months of seige where he knew they didn't have food, and have them march 100 km during the hottest part of the tropical year isn't a "kind man." I don't care whether he "knew" his people where murdering the stragglers or had Japanese items on them... just the fact that you would approve of such a march requires a rewriting of this article. Oh, by the way, 16,000 people who died on the Bataan Death March probably agree... --- TheWoodmanIII

It is obvious that this page needs review. To the Japanese credit, they thought they were far fewer American soldiers that had surrendered. They were not prepared to take 70 thousand prisoners. There are also reports that half of the American soldiers were taken by truck. The japanses were not well fed or hydrated during this time either. So an unbiased look may be impossible given the differing and scattered reports of what really happened. I will try to remove the parts that are in question and remove the neutrality issue. Until the sources of the "overhearing" can be found, I am deleting them.-Cyclonus0102

Cyclonus0102's points are well taken, I have taken a further stab at editing the page. A couple of comments on Cyclonus0102's comments. The men did not march through wilderness. American and Philippine solders were POWs and they passed by Philippine civilians who offered them water (who were promptly beheaded by the Japanese) (read Oral history external link I have attached). As you read, don't stop at the end of the march, read on and you will be treated to the story of how they POWs were then packed like sardines into sealed railcars for the final miles of the trip leading to more deaths (does this remind anyone of anything???). All in all the POWs were beheaded, beaten, tortured, shot, buried alive, made to stand by clear streams of water at attention and not drink (but later offered dank water with floating bodies). By Homma's own statements at his trial, he was too busy to look into the evacuation of the troops. As we are taught again and again, a leader is responsible for the actions of his troops, especially when it leads to the deaths of thousands of POWs. Oh, and finally, I finally think I have cracked the code on this whole "they expected only 40,000 POWs" This quote appears again and again in the research I have done... as well as, "supplies where scheduled to arrive three weeks later when the surrender was anticipated." This is given as the justification of why the Japanese acted so poorly... but I finally have got what they are really saying: The Japanese expected the Allied forces to fight for three more weeks which would have lead to war deaths of 40,000 men, women and children, thus significantly reducing the supplies required. --TheWoodmanIII 04:40, 15 July 2005 (UTC)


"the Japanese beliefs that they were a superior race, and their training that the POWs surrender was highly dishonorable might have contributed to the tragedy that occured. Over 30,000 people, men women and children died during the 90 mile march and first month of imprisonment." I cleaned up this and took out some of the irrelevence that seemed to be present. If a person wishes to read about the Bataan death march itself, this is not the page for him. This pages is a support page of the death march and so redundancy should be kept at a minimum.-Cyclonus0102

2/2/07 edit[edit]

I added details found in John Toland's book "The Rising Sun" which is a very comprehensive history of the lead-up to WWII and the battles in the Pacific from the Japanese perspective (written by an American author). There is a lot of evidence in this book that Homma was probably an honorable man in war but came up with a disastrously incompetent plan to move the 76,000 America and Filipino troops in what became known as the Bataan Death March. I am not an expert on this topic but after reading this book (won the Pulitzer Prize, is heavily referenced and hundreds of interviews done for it) it appears Homma would have seriously disapproved and been appalled by what happened on the march. He was being seriously undermined by a group of fanatical officers under him. There is an instance where the Japanese army captured and executed a Filipino Chief Justice, and Homma blew up at the responsible officer, saying that he had disgraced all Japanese. I think it's most likely that he was concentrating on the upcoming battle for Corregidor (as was his primary job there - to conquer the country) and left the treatment of the prisoners to these younger officers. This does not absolve his responsibility though - as the highest ranking officer he is obviously responsible for the actions of officers under him. Whether or not this warranted the death penalty is up for argument. P. Moore 02:39, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

2/23/07 Edit[edit]

I removed the statement that Homma was in charge of the aerial bombardment of Manila. Both John Toland's book "Rising Sun: The Decline & Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945" and the "List of War Crimes" Wikipedia page attribute this act to Gen. Yamashita. If anyone can find a reference which implicates Homma in the death of civilians in Manila, please add it. P. Moore 14:53, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 10:46, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Head of state of the Philippines?[edit]

I don't think so. As a military governor, he was not a head of state. That would either be Manuel Quezon as President in exile or Hirohito as Emperor of Japan, depending on how you view the occupation. Anyone have a good reason why I should not remove the category link? --Yaush (talk) 17:32, 6 December 2011 (UTC)