Some Japanese measures concerning intelligence and
security are presented below. For additional information
on these subjects, see Intelligence Bulletin, Vol. II,
No. 7, pages 43-46, and the following issues of Vol. I:
No. 12, pages 65-71; No. 10, page 86; No. 8, pages 58-59;
and No. 6, pages 16-17.
Japanese intelligence apparently was not completely
up to date on U.S. equipment at the time our forces
landed on Makin Island. The defending enemy troops
evidently thought our amphibious personnel carriers
(alligators) were landing boats, and waited for the
infantry to disembark before opening fire. When the
alligators came out of the water, the Japanese fled
their positions, apparently believing the alligators were
That the Japanese are interested not only in details
of U.S. arms and equipment but also in the characteristics
of the U.S. soldier is borne out from the following
quotation from an enemy treatise:
It is very important to know the enemy [Americans]. What
about him? If you do not know the enemy, you cannot prepare
against him. If you understand the enemy's way of
thinking and the combat methods he has used in the past, you
can make preparations before you oppose him.
2. ENEMY VIEWS ON HANDLING PRISONERS
The views of a Japanese naval ensign on handling
prisoners of war are presented below. While these
views are not necessarily enemy doctrine, it is believed
that they are pretty well in line with Japanese thought
on the subject. The ensign's views tend to verify that
the enemy is very much interested in prisoner-of-war
information, and that he is aware of the talkative
tendencies of some United Nations soldiers. The ensign's
a. Insofar as possible, prisoners should be picked up separately.
b. Conversation and communication between prisoners should be restricted.
c. Captured documents, messages, and other items of intelligence
value should be used in connection with the interrogation
of prisoners. These should be studied and arranged in
a manner convenient for reference. The main idea is to get
the prisoners to interpret these documents as completely as
d. In interrogating, force should be the guiding principle. Because
the prisoner's native language is different from ours,
it is difficult to take advantage of any slip of his tongue, to
give a detailed examination, or to use indirect-questioning
methods (especially when the interrogator lacks confidence in
his vocabulary). Therefore, it is easier (for the interrogator)
to conduct a formal interview. The feeling that the victor is
superior and the loser inferior should pervade the interrogation.
If necessary, you should demand that questions and answers
be made in writing.
e. Until the object of the interrogation has been attained, the
prisoner should be made to feel anxious about his fate,
should become physically exhausted. Consideration should be
given to his quarters, food and drink, surveillance, and so
3. BURYING ARMS AND EQUIPMENT
Reliable Japanese sources indicate that the enemy
often buries arms and equipment he cannot evacuate
The following order was issued to a Japanese unit:
All unrequired ammunition will be buried in order to prevent
hostile forces from using it when they penetrate our position.
Another unit received the following order:
If time permits, bury the gun in a safe location. The breechblock
and gun sight will be removed and carried back at the
time of retreat.
U.S. troops are warned that the Japanese have been
known to booby-trap buried arms and equipment, and
that the proper precautions should be taken when this
buried "treasure" is located.
4. STANDARDS FOR CENSORING MAIL
Within recent months the Japanese have adopted the
following standards for censoring mail:
a. In letters you will not mention any unusual condition
of forces, any Army plans, or any thoughts that might affect
morale at home.
b. You will make no comment regarding unit dispositions, supplies
and allowances, or any other matter that would be militarily injurious.
c. You will not even hazard a guess as to the sector of operations
or your location.
d. You will not refer to the progress of operations, or to our
losses (personnel, equipment, supplies, and so forth).
e. You will not mention identification numbers of forces or
names of commanding officers above the rank of force commanders.
f. You may write about air attacks, but not about the effectiveness
of our antiaircraft weapons and so forth.
g. You will not mention anything about low morale or make
any comment which might become the source of wild rumors.
h. You will not make exaggerated comments concerning
hardships or suffering in the combat zones.
i. You will not write about any lingering desire to go home, or
about any matter that might lead those at home to presume
our morale is low.