Battle of Ramree Island: 1000 elite Japanese soldiers were eaten by crocodiles
Today I want to tell you about an incredible incident that occurred during the Second World War.
On February 19, 1945 during a fierce battle on the island of Ramree (Burma), the English naval landing lured the Japanese army into mangrove swamps, in which thousands of combed crocodiles lived. As a result, the thousandth detachment was destroyed – eaten by hungry reptiles.
The British did not spend a single bullet or shell. The report of the Japanese Army Colonel Yasu Yunuko, declassified several years ago, testifies: “Only 22 soldiers and 3 officers of that detachment returned from Ramree’s mangrove swamps.” An audit of the special commission of the military tribunal, which conducted an investigation after 2 months, showed that the water in the area of the marshes, an area of 3 square kilometers, consists of 24% human blood.
This story happened in February 1945, when Hitler’s Japanese allies still carried out a counter-attack on all strategic positions, including the so-called Southwestern Front. Its key territorial link was a long-range artillery base on the Uhan hill, located on the Burmese island of Ramree. It was from there that the most successful attacks on the British landing craft were made.
When the object was uncovered by Anglo-American military intelligence, its destruction was identified among the five highest priorities for the 7th Royal Navy airborne squadron. To protect the base, the Japanese command sent to the island the best special forces unit of the army – sabotage corps No. 1, which was considered unsurpassed for repelling attacks of mobile infantry.
Tricky Officer’s Plan
The commander of the English airborne battalion, Andrew Wyert, turned out to be a very cunning and resourceful officer. He sent a reconnaissance group deep into the island, where there were impassable mangrove swamps, and after finding out that they were simply teeming with huge combed crocodiles, he decided at all costs to lure the enemy detachment there.
The major objected: “Our uniforms and weapons are not designed to go through the swamps, unlike the Japanese, who are equipped with special suits and a decent arsenal of cold steel”. The plan was terrific in its tactical study. After the Japanese detachment was withdrawn to the very depths of the swamp through positional battles (which the Japanese officers were only happy about, thinking that they would gain an advantage there), Wyert ordered a gradual retreat to the coastline, eventually leaving only a small detachment under the guise of artillery.
A few minutes later, the British officers who watched through binoculars witnessed a strange sight: despite a temporary lull in the attacks, the Japanese soldiers, one by one, began to fall into the muddy swamp slurry. Soon, the Japanese detachment completely ceased to resist their military opponents: the soldiers still standing on their feet ran to the fallen and tried to pull them out from somewhere, then falling and falling into the same epileptic convulsions.
Andrew ordered the vanguard detachment to retreat, although he met the objections of fellow officers – they said, we must finish off the reptiles. The next two hours, the British, sitting on a hill, calmly watched as the powerful, well-armed Japanese army was rapidly dying. As a result, the best sabotage regiment, consisting of 1215 selected experienced soldiers, who repeatedly defeated significantly superior enemy forces, for which at one time was nicknamed “Tornado” by the enemies, was eaten alive by crocodiles. The remaining 20 soldiers, who managed to escape from the deadly trap of the jaws, were safely captured by the British.
The memories of English soldiers
This incident went down in history as “the largest number of human deaths from animals.” The article in the Guinness Book of Records is also named this way. “About a thousand Japanese soldiers tried to repel an assault by the British Royal Navy, ten miles offshore, in mangrove swamps, where thousands of crocodiles live. Twenty soldiers were later captured alive, but most were eaten by crocodiles. The hellish position of the retreating soldiers was aggravated by the huge number of scorpions and tropical mosquitoes that also attacked them, ” – the Guinness book says.
Naturalist Bruce Wright, participating in the battle on the side of the English battalion, claimed that most of the soldiers of the Japanese detachment ate crocodiles: “This night was the worst night that any of the fighters had ever experienced. Bloodstained screaming Japanese scattered in a black swamp liquid, squashed in the mouths of huge reptiles, and strange alarming sounds of spinning crocodiles made up a kind of cacophony of hell. Such a sight, I think, few people could observe on earth. At dawn, the vultures flew in to clean up what the crocodiles left … of the 1,000 Japanese soldiers who entered Ramree’s swamps, only about 20 were found alive. ”
A combed crocodile is still considered the most dangerous and most aggressive predator on planet Earth. Off the coast of Australia it is from the attacks of combed crocodiles that more people die than from the attack of a great white shark, which is mistakenly considered the most dangerous animal. This type of reptile has the strongest bite in the animal kingdom: large individuals can bite with a force of more than 2500 kg. In one case, recorded in Indonesia, a Suffolian stallion, weighing a ton and capable of pulling more than 2000 kg, was killed by a large male sea combed crocodile, who dragged the victim into the water and rolled his horse’s neck. The strength of his jaws is such that he is able to crush the skull of a buffalo or the shell of a sea turtle in a few seconds.