23 May 2012

German POWs in Japan during WWII?

Several thousand (mainly Jewish) Germans and Austrians served in the British armed forces in WWII (The so-called King Own loyal Enemy Aliens), perhaps the most famous being Klaus Hugo Adam who served in the RAF (and became better known as Sir Ken Adam, the Oscar set designer of many of the early Bond films) and Horst Pinschewer (known as Geoffrey perry) who captured Lord Haw Haw.

Quite a few Germans served in the French Foreign Legion during WWII.This is no huge surprise as the Legion tends to attract recruits from nations in political or economic turmoil. One regiment, the 5eme REI was based in Indochina in 1940. Although the Vichy regime signed a treaty in September 1940 allowing the Japanese very limited basing rights in Vietnam, the Japanese tore up the agreement almost immediately and sent in a force to take at lest a part of the country. Fighting lasted for four days with a French defeat. The upshot was that the Japanese gained the right to base troops as they liked in the north f the country (and in the whole of the country the following year). All prisoners taken by the Japanese were released ecept fro 200 Germans in the 5eme REI.

I can find no reference to their subsequent treatment in Japan but I would be quite interested to find out. I have no idea whether they received the same treatment as allied POWs but I daresay that it was somewhat worse than that received by Germans captured by the Japanese in WWI.

If any visitor can guide me to more information on their fate I would be most interested.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Interesting story. Be watching these pages for a sequel.

jams o donnell said...

I hope I get to find out Snoopy