Marines and dead head.

In the film Full Metal Jacket is an interesting episode. Actually, there are all the episodes are interesting, but there is one particular, when the Joker arrives at the location of the first platoon. In the arrangement of the first platoon in a chair seated corpse Vietnamese soldier. The soldiers talking to him and congratulate his birthday and jeer at every one.


The episode, of course, can be interpreted as anything. Death is near, type. Live inseparable from the dead. Today, he is, and tomorrow we are. Existential lightness of being. Other nonsense. But reminds me of quite specific. The Americans generally very specific relationship with the bodies of enemies. Pulling out gold teeth, it inevitable for any war phenomenon was not limited. Although, of course, and his teeth pulled out, where do without it.


The Japanese was alive. He was severely wounded in the back and could not move his arms or he would resist to the last breath. In the mouth, it flashed a big gold tooth, which drew the winner. Marine teased base of the tooth end of a knife and struck the handle of his hand. Since Japanese jerked down and jerked the blade come off and entered deeply into the victim's mouth. Marine cursed and abruptly cut him from ear to ear. He put his foot on the lower jaw and tried again to get a tooth. Blood poured into his mouth dying. He issued a gurgling noise and thrashed wildly. I shouted, "finally finish him." He ran another Marine and put a bullet in the head of the victim, thus stopping the agony. Vulture with a dissatisfied grunt continued to retrieve their prey.
«With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa», Eugene Sledge.

The first in February 1943 Life magazine published a picture of Ralph Morse depicting the severed heads of Japanese that the Marines secured under the gun of the tank. Life has received letters of protest from the people, "not able to believe that American soldiers may exercise this atrocity." The editors argued that "war is unpleasant, cruel and inhuman, and forget about it would be worse." However, the image is drawn twice as much attention as photo abused cat.


Already in October 1943, the U.S. high command was concerned about a lot of newspaper notes with pictures like these. For example, one of them told about a soldier with a necklace of teeth of the Japanese, and the other is a photo even that demonstrate the process of making the skull, including the decoction and cleaning the bones from the flesh.

How common was the practice of this kind? According Ueyngartneru, specify any precision is not possible, but it is clear enough that everyday. If you believe Harrison dismembered corpse was engaged only a small part of the soldiers, but their behavior was maintained sentiments of the majority. Douer argues that the vast majority of men did not participate in this kind of hunting for souvenirs. However, the cases were sufficiently numerous to to bother the military leadership, and often commented upon in the military press. We can say with confidence that the extraction of teeth was a matter of ordinary and did not cause rejection or among the rank and file, not even among the officers. The other parts of the body attitude was different among the various units.

Interviewed during the research veterans have shown that at least ripped from the dead (and sometimes of living) enemies of gold teeth was common practice.

Started all this mess since the Battle of Guadalcanal. That is quite early. In fact — as a first opportunity. And in 1944, even customs in Hawaii interested in arriving Americans, if they do not carry Japanese bones.

There is no doubt of great importance in kolektsionirovanii body parts of the enemy has played an economic component. At such gifts was a constant demand. They were sent home as gifts to family or friends. Sometimes, even the relatives asked about such gifts.

A case where a mother begging for permission to send her son's ear, and even a case of bribery chaplain Japanese ears. The most famous episode refers to a photo of the week in the journal Life, with the following signature:

"When two years ago, a tall, handsome lieutenant said goodbye to his 20-year-old bride, he promised her head off the Japanese. Last week, Natalie waited gift, signed autographs of her beloved and his 13-year-friends. "

In 1942, Alan Lomax recorded the blues in which black soldier promises his son Japanese skull and tooth.

One of the congressmen even gave President Roosevelt knife for opening letters made of the humerus Japanese.

When in 1984 there was a repatriation of the remains of Japanese soldiers from the Mariana Islands, about 60 percent of the bodies found without skulls. According to most reports, the same thing is going on and on Iwo Jima.

Actually, the Japanese dosih skull (the second world) and Vietnamese (the Vietnam War) continue to return, sometimes veterans themselves or their relatives, sometimes accidentally find police.

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