Japanese in Normandy on D Day
Friday 16 August 2002
The German army in Normandy used many men pressed into service from eastern europe, Cossacks, Muslims and others.
I was surprised to read in Donald Burgess’s account of the 101st actions that there were Japanese soldiers in Normandy
"On the way Thomas told us that he had killed a Jap in full Japanese uniform. At first we thought he was kidding but he showed us the body lying in a ditch. .......Later on the 506 were to run into more of these Japs and killed them"
Since writing this article I’ve revised my opinion on this incident. I never seen any official records of Japaneses being in Normandy. There were however many different nationalities fighting in the German army, some from the soviet union who were of mongolian physical characteristics. The german army also had a variety of uniforms. So I think that the men of the 101st saw some oriental types in a german uniform different to the ones they’d already seen and put 2 and 2 together to make five, assuming that they were Japaneses.
There was a case of Koreans ending up in Normandy by a very circuitious route.
They were fighting against the Japanese and being taken prisoner, pressed into the Japanese army. They were then fighting against the Russians and the same thing happened. They then ended up in the German army in the same way, and posted to Normandy. When they were taken prisoner by the Americans they ended up in prison.