On 15 August 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s unconditional capitulation after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordering all Japanese forces to cease hostilities and surrender to Allied troops. And that is how World War II ended for the world. But not for ‘holdouts.’ These were Japanese soldiers scattered in the Philippines islands who continued fighting despite Japan’s surrender, the most notable being a soldier called Hirro Onoda.
Second Lieutenant Hirro Onoda was deployed in Lubang Island and ordered to battle relentlessly until the Japanese Army launched a counter-offensive to oust Allied troops. And he did exactly that. When Allied troops arrived in Lubang, most Japanese soldiers either died fighting or surrendered, but Onoda hightailed to the hills with three soldiers and continued guerilla warfare.
His group lived off the jungles, raiding villages, killing dozens of innocent villagers and skirmishing with local police. He kept at it for 29 years after the war was over! There were innumerable attempts to draw out holdouts from the islands by communicating over radio broadcasts, loudspeakers and air-dropped leaflets proclaiming that the war had ended. Many Japanese soldiers came out and surrendered.
But not Onoda. He was convinced that these were American ruses to beguile him into surrendering. Even leaflets signed by senior military generals commanding Onoda to lay down arms were rubbished by him.
His logic was as simple as his indoctrination. He had been taught that the Japanese would fight to the last man, woman and child, and die before surrendering, thus obeying an emperor who Japanese culture held as a direct descendant of God. So, to his brainwashed mind, those leaflets had to be fake.Read more on livemint.com