Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oct

24

1943

Japanese execute Australian commando Leonard Siffleet

On 24th October 1943, Australian World War II commando Leonard Siffleet was beheaded on Aitape Beach in Papua New Guinea, along with two Ambonese, H. Pattiwal and M. Reharing.

This photograph,  of  Japanese soldier Yasuno Chikao just before he struck, was taken from the body of a Japanese casualty later in the war.

The Major has drawn his favourite sword. It is the famous masamune sword which he had shown us at the observation station. It glitters in the light and sends a cold shiver down my spine. He taps the prisoner’s neck lightly with the back of the blade, then raises it above his head with both arms and brings it clown with a powerful sweep. I had been standing with muscles tensed, but in that moment I closed my eyes.