This is coolbert:
Here is an example of an allied atrocity from World War Two [WW2]? Often thought to be. NOT this time the brutal Hun! In this specific case, the brutal American. An American submarine, in a deliberate and callous manner sinking a Japanese hospital ship, the sinking resulting in catastrophic loss.
"Only one of the 2,003 passengers and crew survived"
This was the sinking of the Awa Maru. Went to the bottom with almost all hands while on a relief mission.
NOT so fast!!
The Awa Maru was not a hospital ship in the strictest manner of the term. Can be more correctly called a "relief" ship. Ferrying supplies needed for the survival of allied POW's being held in Japanese captivity. Allied POW's being held prisoner in the Philippines, Malaya, Dutch East Indies. Prisoners-of-war not being treated humanely. POW's for which the various allied nations had sent much needed supplies. Supplies to be ferried in the war zone by the "relief" ship Awa Maru.
The Awa Maru NEVER carried a sick or wounded POW or treated same in even the slightest of manner. Did not carry a complement of doctors and nurses to treat injured or dying! NONETHELESS, was marked as a hospital ship and as agreed to by the allies, to be treated as such!!
"In 1945 the Awa Maru was employed as a Red Cross relief ship, carrying vital supplies to American and Allied POWs in Japanese custody. Under the Relief for POWs agreement, she was supposed to be given safe passage by Allied forces, and Allied commanders issued orders to that effect."
A Japanese hospital ship [??], sunk by an American submarine, in a callous and brutal fashion, a barbarous act.
This is so? Again - - NOT so fast!!
"Having delivered her supplies, Awa Maru took on several hundred stranded merchant marine officers, military personnel, diplomats and civilians at Singapore. In addition, there have been stories that the ship carried approximately $5 billion in treasure—40 metric tons of gold, 12 metric tons of platinum, and 150,000 carets of diamonds and other strategic materials. Less dramatic and more credible sources identify the likely cargo as nickel and rubber."
The "hospital ship", loaded with persons that can be classified as combatants, and also laden with precious cargo and LOOT, destined for Japan, sunk.
A "hospital ship" returning to Japan, legitimate as a non-combatant on the outward bound voyage, NOT SO during the return voyage!!
At that exact moment, A FAKE HOSPITAL SHIP!! So it would seem!
"There was a thick fog the night of 1 April and visibility was zero. The American submarine Queenfish located the Awa-maru on its radar. her position was fifty kilometers ahead of schedule and, because she was overloaded with cargo, her shape made her look like a cruiser. The submarine captain [Loughlin] attacked and sank the ship." - - Frank Gibney - - Senso - - letters to the editor Asahi Shimbun.
"The Awa Maru was sunk in April 1945 . . . Japan claimed he [Loughlin] had sunk a genuine hospital ship, implying that the 2,009 people who died were mostly patients. . . . After the war . . . records were discovered showing that the Awa Maru was a fake hospital ship that had carried munitions, crated fighter aircraft and VIP families to the South Seas, and was bringing war loot and VIP's back to Japan." - - Sterling Seagrave.
* I have it on the best authority - - right from the horses mouth so to speak, that the commander of the Queenfish DID NOT know that the Awa Maru at the exact moment of sinking was a FAKE hospital ship.
* Loughlin made contact by radar, under much less than optimum visual conditions, during hours of darkness and sank the Awa Maru, without making a positive identification if this was a hospital ship? The ship should have been well illuminated and marked but was NOT?
* Frank Gibney just recently passed away. Is said to have some high contacts at the CIA?
* Seagrave is the son of Dr. Seagrave from Burma WW2 fame? A writer on controversial items as pertain to Asia and conflict!
Again, such an attack and the legality of same is most dependent upon the mental state of the submarine commander at the exact moment he fired the torpedoes. An inadvertent attack against a FAKE hospital ship is NOT a war crime.