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Requiem for “Victory at Sea,” Part 2

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Japan­ese air­craft prepar­ing to attack Pearl Har­bor

COMMENT: Hav­ing been born in 1949, I grew up with World War II as a crit­i­cal ele­ment of my polit­i­cal, civic and cog­ni­tive upbring­ing. I vivid­ly remem­ber watch­ing the doc­u­men­tary “Vic­to­ry at Sea” on tele­vi­sion as a child. As I have grown old­er, more knowl­edge­able and wis­er, learn­ing the truth about World War II has been very sad and painful.

In numer­ous pro­grams, we have dis­cussed Kodama Yoshio, one of Japan’s pre­mier orga­nized crime boss­es, who was head of the Kodama Agency, charged with procur­ing mate­ri­als for Japan’s Impe­r­i­al Naval Air Force. Kodama was aid­ed in his efforts by Tai Li, Chi­ang Kai-shek’s chief of intel­li­gence, who swapped key raw mate­ri­als for nar­cotics to back the Kuom­intang nar­co-dic­ta­tor­ship.

Note: the Strike South was the name for Japan’s offen­sive in the Pacif­ic and South Pacif­ic. The Pearl Har­bor attack was designed to neu­tral­ize the U.S. Sev­enth Fleet, facil­i­tat­ing the Strike South.

Gold Warriors—America’s Secret Recov­ery of Yamashita’s Gold; by Ster­ling Sea­grave and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; p. 42.

. . . . Offi­cial­ly, Kodama was in Shang­hai as a buy­er for the Impe­r­i­al Navy Air Force, under the rubric of the Kodama Kikan, or Kodama Agency. (Spe­cial Ser­vice Units were named after the offi­cer in charge and then called an agency.) On paper, his mis­sion was to locate and acquire sup­plies of cop­per, cobalt, nick­el and mica. In most cas­es, he bought these direct­ly from KMT secret police chief Gen­er­al Tai Li, who was paid in hero­in. Accord­ing to U.S. intel­li­gence, the Kodama Agency took over the salt monop­oly, molyb­de­num mines, farms, fish­eries and muni­tions plants.

. . . . Just before Pearl Har­bor and the Strike South, Kodama accom­pa­nied Prince Take­da to Japan’s south­ern mil­i­tary head­quar­ters in Saigon to con­fer with Field Mar­shal Ter­auchi, son of the gen­er­al who had loot­ed and bru­tal­ized Korea. Because the Strike South would involve Japan’s navy, and the navy would admin­is­ter the Malay Arch­i­pel­ago through which [Gold­en Lily] trea­sure ships must pass, Kodama was trans­ferred overnight from the army to the navy, and giv­en the rank of rear admi­ral. This was like mak­ing Al Capone a U.S. Navy admi­ral. . . .

. . . . Kodama returned to Shang­hai just in time for Pearl Har­bor. . . .

 

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