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WWII actually ended in 1974!

January 11, 2018 0

WWII actually ended in 1974!

Will you believe if I say that there was a Japanese Soldier who continued World War II till 1974 just because he didn't know that WWII ended in 1945.

YES, it's true.

The name of soldier was Hiroo Onoda. After the world war began, On December 26th, 1944 he was sent to a small island of Lubang in Western Philippines to spy on American soldiers. The orders he received from his commanding officer, Major Yoshimi Taniguchi were as such:

You are absolutely forbidden to die by your own hand. It may take three years, it may take five, but whatever happens, we’ll come back for you. Until then, so long as you have one soldier, you are to continue to lead him. You may have to live on coconuts. If that’s the case, live on coconuts! Under no circumstances are you [to] give up your life voluntarily.

But on February 28th, 1945, allied soldiers captured the Island, as a result, Japanese soldiers split up into small groups of 3 or 4 and headed into the jungles. Most of these small groups were killed. However, Onoda along with three other soldiers survived and continued guerrilla warfare tactics to remove the enemy troop. In October 1945, when a local islander told him that the war was over and asked them to come down the mountains he refused to accept it. He thought that it was tactics of the allied forces to capture them.

After spending five years in the jungle one soldier named Akatsu surrendered and fled without telling other soldiers, as a result, Onoda’s cell became more cautious and went in more deeper hiding. About five years later another member of crew named Shimada was killed by a local group. Now there were just two left, Onoda and Kozuka, fighting a war that ended many years ago.

In October 1972, after 27 years of hiding Kozuka was killed during a fight with a Filipino patrol. When he was recognized the Japanese thought that maybe Onoda was still alive. They sent troops for his search but Onoda was so good at hiding that they couldn’t find him.

Later in 1974, a student named Nario Suzuki decided to travel the world and his priorities were to find Onoda, a panda and the Abominable Snowman. And he succeeded in finding him when all other failed. Suzuki tried to convince Onoda that the war was over but he refused to accept it. Dejected Suzuki traveled back to Japan and told the authorities the whole story. Major Taniguchi, who was retired and working in a bookstore was sent to the Island and he informed Onoda that Japan has lost the war and told him to give up his weapons and surrender to the Filipinos.

On March 12th, 1974 at the age of 52, Onoda in full uniform that was somehow still immaculately kept, marched out of the jungle and surrendered his samurai sword to the Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. And the President pardoned him for all the crime he have committed in those dark years.

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