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Nishimura Takuma (1899-1951)


Photograpf of Nishimura Takuma

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Nishimura served as presiding judge at the court-martial of Army officers responsible for the assassination of Prime Minister Inukai in 1932. The defendants all received light sentences, representing another step into the abyss for Japan.

Shortly before war broke out in the Pacific, Nishimura was given command of Imperial Guards Division, which was largely a ceremonial unit responsible for defending the Imperial Palace. His division was assigned to 25 Army for the invasion of Malaya at the outbreak of war. His troops moved through Thailand down the Kra Isthmus and fought better than many senior Army officers expected, but they then disgraced themselves by engaging in a number of atrocities. Nishimura himself was constantly at odds with Yamashita, the 25 Army commander, at times engaging in conduct that seemed deliberately insulting. As a result, his division was denied the Emperor's Victory Citation, and he was recalled to Japan and forced to retire in April 1942.

Following the surrender, Nishimura was tried and found guilty of ordering the beheadings of 155 wounded Allied prisoners of war and the massacre of thousands of Chinese civilians at Singapore, often on no more pretext than that they bore tattoos associated with gang activity.  He was hanged for these offenses in 1951.

Service record

1899     

Born
1934
Colonel     
Chief, 3 Section (Defense), 1 Bureau, General Staff
1935

Chief, Military Administration Section, Military Affairs Bureau, Ministry of War
1936

Commander, 9 Regiment
1938
Major general     
Commander, 1 Heavy Field Artillery Brigade
1939

Chief of staff, Eastern District Army
1940

Commander, Indochina Expeditionary Army
1941

Commander, 21 Independent Mixed Brigade
1941
Lieutenant general     
Commander, Imperial Guards Division
1942-4     

Retires
1944

Governor of Sumatra
1951

Hanged for war crimes

References

Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (accessed 2007-6-14)

Fuller (1992)

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-4-8)



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