Abstract

The U.S. invasion of the Micronesian island of Guam in July of 1944 ended the three-year Japanese occupation of this American possession, and by August 10 all formal resistance was over. However, two companies of approximately 60 Japanese infantry still under military command were ordered by their officers to conduct guerilla warfare against American forces, while smaller groups of stragglers escaped into the rugged interior of the island to avoid combat. Recent archaeological surveys of the U.S. Naval Ordnance Annex revealed evidence of occupation of limestone rockshelters and caverns by one of these companies, who often utilized or modified items of American manufacture recovered from U.S. military dumps for their daily survival. The company’s military commander eventually surrendered upon orders of the Emperor of Japan on September 4, 1945, but other stragglers on Guam survived for decades after World War II, the last being captured in 1972. The disciplined survival of organized World War II Japanese soldiers across the Pacific reflected the spirit of Bushido or Way of the Warrior, a feudal code of conduct embracing not only military behavior during battle, but the conduct of soldiers in all aspects of life.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 110-127
Launched on MUSE
2013-12-18
Open Access
No
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