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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 FTR #1095, we not­ed the his­tor­i­cal back­ground to the ongo­ing con­flict with China–the bru­tal Japan­ese onslaught and the col­lab­o­ra­tion of Chi­ang Kai-shek’s Kuom­intang nar­co-dic­ta­tor­ship with Japan’s attack and occu­pa­tion.

As a boy, I was awed and moved by the hero­ism of Amer­i­can and Allied ser­vice per­son­nel who braved the dan­gers of fly­ing over the Hump to bring U.S. sup­plies to Chi­ang Kai-shek’s forces. Although offi­cial­ly allied with the U.S., Chi­ang Kai-shek’s forces were actu­al­ly work­ing “both sides of the street.”

We have encoun­tered noth­ing more grotesque­ly trag­ic and dis­il­lu­sion­ing than the aware­ness that Amer­i­can mil­i­tary sup­plies flown over the Hump and/or sent along the Bur­ma Road found their way into the hands of the Japan­ese, cour­tesy of KMT gen­er­al Ku Chu-tung and his orga­nized crime broth­er.

Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Kodama Yoshio, the Japan­ese crime boss and Admi­ral of the Impe­r­i­al Japan­ese Navy, the broth­ers swapped U.S. lend lease sup­plies for drugs.

Gen­er­al Ku Chu-Tung com­mand­ed a dev­as­tat­ing oper­a­tion against the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist New Fourth Army, illus­trat­ing why the Sea­graves called him “one of the most hat­ed men in Chi­na.”

Although obscured by the sands of time and pro­pa­gan­dized his­to­ry, Ku-Chu Tung’s actions illus­trate why Gen­er­al Joseph Still­well held Chi­ang Kai-Shek in con­tempt. Still­well not only (cor­rect­ly) viewed Chi­ang Kai-Shek as a fas­cist, but (cor­rect­ly) saw him as an imped­i­ment to opti­miz­ing Chi­nese resis­tance to the hat­ed Japan­ese invaders.

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. 41.

. . . . All pro­ceeds were divert­ed from Chi­nese rack­e­teers to Gold­en Lily, minus a han­dling charge for Kodama him­self. Ulti­mate­ly, Kodama was respon­si­ble to Prince Chichibu, and to the throne.

Princes were not equipped to deal with gang­sters. Kodama saved them from soil­ing their hands. He con­vert­ed nar­cotics into bul­lion by the sim­ple method of trad­ing hero­in to gang­sters for gold ingots. How bro­kers got the ingots was not his con­cern. He closed a deal with water­front boss Ku Tsu-chuan to swap hero­in for gold through­out the Yangtze Val­ley. Thanks to Ku’s broth­er, KMT senior gen­er­al Ku Chu-tung, Japan also gained access to U.S. Lend-Lease sup­plies reach­ing west­ern Chi­na by way of the Bur­ma road, or on air­craft fly­ing over the Hump from India. Once in ware­hous­es in Kun­ming or Chungk­ing, the Lend-Lease was re-sold to the Japan­ese Army, with Kodama as pur­chas­ing agent. . . .

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; pp. 300–301.

. . . . The Ku broth­ers had evil rep­u­ta­tions. In 1940, Gen­er­al Ku became one of China’s most hat­ed men. When the Chi­nese com­mu­nist New Fourth Army passed through his ter­ri­to­ry on their way to attack the Japan­ese held rail­way between Nanking and Shang­hai, Ku ambushed them and mas­sa­cred all but the head­quar­ters con­tin­gent, includ­ing many women cadres. All these women were sub­ject­ed top mass rape and kept in KMT army broth­els for the next 18 months, where a num­ber of them com­mit­ted sui­cide. As his reward, Gen­er­al Ku was pro­mot­ed to com­man­der in chief of the KMT armies. . . .

 

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