Paul Warren
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
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War - Wwii - The Yamashita Standard

Tomoyuki Yamashita was a Japanese General
Who defeated the British in Malaya and Singapore
Against superior numbers he embarrassed the British Empire
When a larger army under General Arthur Percival surrendered to him

His abilities as a military commander were never doubt
But his control of his troops was a question
For his War Crimes Tribunal at the end of World War II
When what his troops did under his command was examined

What became known as the Yamashita Standard
Rested liability on commanding officers of troops
To put controls into place to ensure
That their troops did not commit crimes whilst under their command

His defence was that he had done his best to discharge his command responsibilities
But that he did nothing to bring to justice his troops
Once he found out the atrocities his troops had committed
Did not go in his favour at his war crimes trial

So Tomoyuki Yamashita was found guilty and was hung
Since then some officers have been acquitted in similar circumstances
Such as Captain Medina of the Mai Lai of the Vietnam War
When he was acquitted by a military tribunal

So if you are in command keep it in mind
To put controls into practice for the troops under you
Particularly if you are on the losing side of a war
And saying it was Victors Justice will not work.

© Paul Warren Poetry
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