graduate

Saito Masatoshi (1885-1953)

Saito Masatoshi (Saito Yaheita) commanded 101 Division at the battles of Wuhan, Changsha and Nanchang prior to war breaking out in the Pacific. Given command of 25 Army from July 1942, he was replaced in March or April 1943 and posted to Java for garrison duty. On 27 March 1944 he took command of all prisoner of war camps in Malaya.

When Saito formally surrendered his sword to Mountbatten following the general surrender, Mountbatten is said to have immediately handed the sword to a female aide with a comment that he had not time for such trash. This was a calculated insult in response to Saito's mistreatment of Allied prisoners of war. An Australian paper reported that he grew angry when ordered to carry his own baggage into Changi Jail following his arrest on for war crimes on 11 September 1945. Saito denied all the charges against him at his subsequent trial, claiming that he tried to make the internees as cheerful as possible and blaming delays in distributing Red Cross parcels on the sinking of Awa Maru. He was subsequently convicted and hanged.

Service record

1885     

Born
1929
Colonel     
Instructor, War College
1930

Chief, Control Section, Economic Mobilization Bureau, Ministry of War
1932

Staff, Kwantung Army
1933

Commander, 6 Regiment
1935
Major general     
Commander, 28 Brigade
1937

1 Division
1937

Commander, 4 Independent Garrison Unit
1938
Lieutenant general     
Commander, 101 Division, China
1940

General Staff
1940

Head, Ordnance Headquarters
1942-7     

Commander, 25 Army, Malaya
1943-4

General Staff
1944-3-27     

Commander, POW camps, Malaya
1953

Condemned to death for war crimes


References

The Argus (1945-9-14; accessed 2011-4-2)

Fuller (1992)

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-6-26)

Straits Times (1946-9-10; accessed 2011-4-2)



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