Hell in the Pacific

Hell in the Pacific

History  -   43 Comments
Ratings: 7.93/10 from 70 users.

Hell in the PacificOne of the most bitter battle arenas of the Second World War, Pearl Harbor represented the trigger that led America into the greatest conflict ever recorded and the eventual liberation of the people of Asia and the Pacific.

On the 7th December 1941 Japan launched surprise attacks across the Pacific region, setting battleships ablaze in Pearl Harbor, then routing the British in Malaya and capturing Singapore itself: the greatest humiliation in British war history.

The Japanese now seemed unstoppable and after being at war with China for a decade, and shocking the world with atrocities like the Nanking Massacre, they believed their destiny was to rule Asia under the Emperor, for them, a living god.

Inferno - Dec, 7th 1941 and Japan launches attacks across the Pacific region, killing thousands in Pearl Harbor and capturing Singapore - a vicious and bloody battle ensues.

Purgatory - The plight of those who fell into Japanese hands during WWII. Over 100,000 prisoners of war endured appalling conditions in camps whilst doctors were raped and murdered.

Armageddon - In a war conducted far from the sight of the Geneva convention thousands of soldiers were captured, tortured and killed, both on the battlefields and in prison camps.

Apocalypse - As Japan weakened, her resistance grew - some committed suicide; with supplies dwindling others turned to cannibalism. But it all ended when the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima.

More great documentaries

43 Comments / User Reviews

  1. J

    Wow... I’m thinking the age of some of these people commenting have never lived through wartime’s, but rather in time of peace and tranquility and instant gratification. Lucky generation... I guess. Makes me feel very proud actually. As I continue my research on the horrific, torture and Grotesque death my uncle suffered in WW II in a POW Camp in the Philippines. Enjoy the freedom he died for. He did it for you. How selfish is that?

  2. jimmy_wtaf

    wtaf is wrong with people? how can we be so hateful and disgusting to one another? i know about the war(s) but every time i watch things like this i really question the existence of any civilizations and really wonder what im doing here.

    i feel horrible after i watch docs like this. i cant imagine any of the things they say they did to people and i would sooner die than kill anyone. i hate how people are...

  3. indianadave4

    Before I will ever answer protests about using the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki lets first talk about the Rape of Nanking. The Japanese military murdered more civilians at Nanking than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. When being driven out of Manila they murdered 100,000 civilians. Had we not force the war to close (using the atomic bombs) the American looses were estimated to be around 500,000, Japanese civilian loses were estimated to be around 10,000,000, South Korea would be communist and Half of Japan would have been under the bamboo curtain. It's real easy to look back 70 years later and play arm chair general/president but those making the criticisms didn't live through that time period.

  4. tazmo8448

    People today can't comprehend how brutal that war was and often wonder out loud about dropping the bomb but I'm here to tell you growing up in the 50's and hearing the vets talk amongst themselves about the brutality of it all and how lucky they felt about not having to invade Japan leaves no doubt whatsoever about that outcome. In reality Japan got off lightly for they did things that brought it all down around their heads.

  5. sam

    The US was all set to invade Japan after Okinawa (Operation Coronet) and that fight was one of the roughest of the war. The next step being Japan proper was going to be one helluva fight, we couldn't just surround it with subs and hope for the best as many think. Look at what happened when the Desert War of '91 pulled up short. You just can't look at a war and try to arm chair quarterback it from todays prospective. Too many people today look back and do the the 'what if' blame game. All wars are started over one thing money...one word for wanting what the other guy has call it greed call it 'Manifiest Destiny' call it 'Lebenstrum' call dictatorial power what ever label it boils down to one thing. Back in the day people settled things with fists now they pull out a gun and shoot...we haven't changed a bit just the perspective. Being born in the 40's and listening to those vets in the 50's talk about how rough it was and them thanking god the bomb stopped the damn thing will never be forgotten. Like those guys said then.....'they started the shit and by golley the allies finished it.'

  6. urban deadite

    incredible so many posts on here think it was the A-Bombs that ended the war with Japan i guess most of these posts are from Americans and thier twisted one sided version of History.
    I wonder if they realize that the Soviets invaded Manchuria (one of the most stunning victories in Military history) as well as the British general Slim doing amazing things and the Chinese too ALL had a massive effect on the Japanese and incidently the 'fire' bombings killed a hell of a lot more Japanese and did a lot more collateral damage than the Nukes that dropped.
    Thats the problem with Internet 'historians' i suppose.

    1. rufusclyde

      Ammurikuh had to drop the bombs. Just because the US submarine force had managed to cut off the bulk of Japan's armed forces in Manchuria and severed the flow of materiel necessary for Japan's war economy, it doesn't mean that Japan couldn't have suddenly lashed out and invaded San Fransisco. Although every Japanese would have fought the Americans to the death, they also would not fight to the death, and so they surrendered. It's confusing unless you're Ammurikin.

    2. charley coryn

      Or, that's the problem with 'humans' I suppose. We're all the same, mate. I remember it from 1942 on as a young boy. But which one of us has the 'correct' picture, the 'whole' picture of what 'really' happened? Were it that simple.......

      What stuns me now after reliving this history, is the fact that humans have been killing each other every day of my life, and every day of history as I know it, and before that..... Was there ever a time when humans weren't killing each other? In all of history has there ever been a time.....?

      So we're not 'really' human..... that's the only answer that makes any sense. We think of ourselves as human, but when it's him or me, them or us, we all know the answer. We follow the leader and learn to hate. How bizarre it all is....... What will it take to make us truly 'human'?

    3. Attilashrugs

      No. I know how trendy it is to denigrate America. The USSR was content to remain neutral regarding Japan until both Germany was defeated and Japan was on its last legs.
      True enough the Soviets opportunistically declared war on Japan in summer of 1945. And it is true that there were a million Japanese troops in Manchuria and Korea at the time. However, they were more like stranded flotsam marking the high water mark of the "Greater Asiatic Co-Prosperity Sphere": no fuel, no reinforcements, and basically dying on the vine.
      The Soviet offensive was nothing more than an easy conquest. And if not for the two A-Bombs surely there'd have been a North and South Japan divided between Moscow and Washington.
      Let us be truly cognizant of the fact that about 5 of every 7 German soldiers killed in WW2 were killed by the Red Army. But let us not denigrate the U.S. Pacific campaign.
      The Burma theater alluded to by the "historian" Urban Deadbeat though British, was saved by Stilwell and U.S. intervention.
      The fact is that America fought TWO parallel Pacific campaigns (Southwestern: under McCarthur; and Central under Admiral King) AND two parallel European campaigns: Africa-Sicily-Italy, and Normandy-France-Benelux-Germany. There has never been a more powerful nation viz its contemporaries than the USA of the 1940s.

  7. Gene Cain

    I lived through WW2 as a child and my oldest brother served in the Navy.
    Additionally, I have been a life long stufent of history. Some people play golf. I study history.
    Consequently it is depressing and discouraging to read so many pathetic observations about the use of the A-bomb, particularly Mr. McDermott's arrogant and unenlightened conclusions.
    If you want to know why the bomb was used, begin with studying what happened at Okinawa.

  8. Sarcastic_Drew

    Excellent documentary. We all complain about the Japanese relocation camps being sooo bad but no one alive today can understand the pure hatred and fear we felt toward Japan at that time. Imagine what the Japanese would have done to whites that lived in Japan during the war. I guarantee you they'd have done a lot more than just relocate the population. ;)

    America did what they had to to uphold national security. It's so hard to see that nowadays when we are cloaked in warmth and security and have liberty to speak our minds while nursing off the teat of our ever-stable government; sheltered, babied, spoiled. When your way of life is threatened, you will react differently. Hard times, they were. All we can do is remember, empathize, and never forget.

    1. rufusclyde

      The wicked Japanese devils were within inches of conquering Kansas and turning everyone in the US into ancestor-worshipping slaves. The Japanese attack on the US naval base in Hawaii, which had been settled by the Mayflower over two thousand years ago, almost destroyed the US as we know it. Only the courage of the indigineous American populations of Guam, the Fillipines and all of the other territory across the Pacific that belonged to the US since ancient times preserved the freedom to watch American Idol and drink Sunny Delight. The only thing better than knowing history is being able to regurgitate propaganda.

    2. D Hunter Sanchez

      rufusclyde. While I can agree with some of your comments, the statement saying that "all of the other territory across the Pacific belonged to America" is just dumb. Before 1898 and the Spanish American War, Guam and the "Phillipines" belonged to Spain. You need to read James Bradley's "Imperial Cruise." American commanders killed many filipinos in order to "pacify" that nation, who wanted independence. The only heroes in WW2, were marines, soldiers, seamen, and flyboys and their immediate superiors. Roosevelt, Truman and their associates should have been out on trial for the bombs.

    3. rufusclyde

      My curiosity is piqued. You really do believe that the Japanese were capable of taking San Francisco or Kansas? You also believe that the Japanese were going to fight to the death even though 640 000 of them gave up to the Russians and the whole kit and kaboodle packed it in for Macarthur? In light of the tone of my entire commentary, how could you possibly have concluded that the claim about eternal US dominion over the Pacific was earnest? As for heroes, the US armed forces carried out the Imperial mission for US elites that was begun in 1898. The US ended the war with dominance over vast swathes of the Pacific, dominance that Howdy Doody Obama is struggling to maintain to this day.

    4. D Hunter Sanchez

      I do think the Japanese were capable of taking HI prior to Coral Sea and Midway. Yes. This is what Yamamoto had proposed. However, no offense to your post. I am just saying that the use of the atomic weapons were not solely to end the Pacific war, rather, Truman and Burns wanted to gain the upper hand in the beginning stages of the Cold War. Hence, the use of the bomb can be considered a criminal act.

    5. Attilashrugs

      Gawd what a well-indoctucated little PC twerp you are!

  9. WTC7

    It is actually quite a coincidence that in my language 'pokorni' means the submissive one, compliant :)

  10. L0LAW0NKA

    I advocate to not blame the Japanese. If you knew their history, you would understand. Besides, without Japan you wouldn't have the technology that exists today. Imagine, no plasma tvs, no new cars, no video games, no anime!?!? It would be a sad world. <3 Japan

    1. cdnski12

      Don't ever forget that the Japanese Govt is responsible for putting the Communists into power in China in 1949. The German Gov't is responsible for putting the Communists into power in Russia in 1917. I've never seen either of these govts appolgize for these historic devastations.

    2. D Hunter Sanchez

      US ought to apologize for selling steel to Germany and Japan, and helping Sadam H. Dumb argument.

  11. Pervis Casey

    This was the real world, and you have to deal with it/

  12. trlrprkcon

    I wish we had NOT a-bombed Japan. I would rather be looking at the documentary about Stalins invasion of Japan. The punishment of the Japanies would have been much more complete and have lasted till the USSR fell. We could be looking at how well the Japanies are doing since their liberation in 1989.
    Would'nt THAT be a great documentary.

    1. Brian

      Lol you have to be a communist to say something that stupid. A free and capitalist Japan, that is now flourishing is better then your idea. Europe punished Germany after ww1 and look what happened.

    2. Richard Cloven

      dont you recognize sarcasim? that was in responce to all the comments "evil USA dropped a-bomb just to be mean boo hoo"

    3. Richard Cloven

      people people people dont you recognize sarcasim???

    4. Bill Pokorny

      If we didnt drop the A-Bomb, Millions of Americans would have been killed invading Japan. n Millions more Japenese would have died. The A-Bomb saved lives

    5. WTC7

      I can't believe I just read this! Somebody please tell me I am having a nightmare! A really bad one!

    6. Yavanna

      The poor boy was probably home schooled and doesn't understand what a million is. (Oh and you are having a nightmare - a really bad one!)

    7. Guest

      Bill's first comment...very promising isn't it?
      You are having an induced nightmare.

    8. Patrick McDermott

      Japan was militarily defeated by mid 1945, a blockade would have brought a easy victory within months. The A-bomb was used to show Stalin that the US had it simple as that, because Truman was afraid of the USSR invading western Europe. Truman knew the USSR had a overwhelming conventional military strength in the region, evidenced by the defeat of Germany, something the USSR could claim 75% of the credit for. The A-bomb was just a piece of political posturing a despicable act all Americans should be as ashamed of as the Germans or Japanese are of their wartime governments and their despicable acts.

    9. Sarcastic_Drew

      I think the tinfoil hat on your head is constricting blood flow to your brain. You should study the Japanese military/government/culture a bit more before giving such an ignorant response. Japan was prepared to fight to the death, every last Japanese citizen was to take up arms against an invading force. Japan was much more ingrained in an "honor" system than any other fighting body in WWII. Culturally, this goes back to the Code of Bushido in the samurai days and is passed on through the generations.

      It was dishonorable to retreat, dishonorable to fail, dishonorable to be defeated. The only cure for dishonor is death. Their extremist belief is shown in the radical usage of kamikaze fighters, banzai raids, as well as ritualistic (and non-ritualistic) suicides after losing battles to the Allies. To invade Japan facing such a strong extremist tradition would have been a costly measure for the Allies. We would have obviously won, but not without thousands if not hundreds of thousands of casualties.

      You state, "The A-bomb was used to show Stalin that the US had it simple as that." We didn't need to drop the bomb to PROVE to Russia we had it. We had informed Russia of the bomb's existence, power, and destruction many moons before it was actually used. Russia not only knew of it's existence but knew we were planning on using it on Germany too if they didn't surrender in a timely fashion.

      Russia knew better than to invade Western Europe. Russia wouldn't have been that dumb to take over Hitler's world domination policy knowing we had the bomb and the technological powerhouse to drop Russia to it's knees.

      As an American, I am not ashamed of dropping the bomb. We tried our hardest to stay peaceful and neutral but were thrown in the ring after thousands were murdered at Pearl Harbor. So many of our people lost their lives in a war that we did not create. Over 200,000 people died in the A-bomb explosions. A minor statistic when you consider the (genocidal) 10,000,000 Chinese deaths committed by the Japanese... not to mention the countless hundreds of thousands of coldblooded murder of islanders and other Asians.

      If we followed a policy of eye-for-an-eye, Japan would be underwater right now, and justly so. But thankfully, we live in a country that values human life. We took over 200,000 lives to save the lives of Allied soldiers and the murdering of innocent people. Japan took MILLIONS of lives purely for world domination and other evil beliefs. I believe two wrongs don't make a right... but when it comes to Japan in the 40's, there was no option for diplomacy.

      Please do more research. Your tinfoil hat propaganda is nauseating.

    10. D Hunter Sanchez

      Negative sir. We know through the intercepts that Japan was putting out feelers for surrender. It was freakin Truman and his buddy Burns that insisted on "unconditional surrender." Read Gar Alpovertiz's book. I admit the bomb saved my father's life, but it was not necessary. Macarthur and Nimitz both advocated blockade. Eisenhower disagreed with it as well.

  13. Robin_Hood_89

    Decent but ever so slightly biased documentary, they managed to get a few interesting characters on the japanese side. My problems however are; how can they possibly be interviewing a kamikaze pilot? and the ginger american (US ARMY) seems a little young to be reminiscing the war.
    Interesting also slating the vulgarity of the japanese, yet stories of theft from their own, treason and prostitution whilst prisoners of war seemed to come from the American soldiers, so does it tell you anything about how the american government prepared its troops for war? and what they were really there defending?
    would be nice to have had a more in depth commentary of such matters

  14. Robin_Hood_89

    how can they be interviewing a kamikaze pilot? and how young is that ginger american?

    1. hey_okay

      Not all of the kamikaze missions were completed, and some of them refused to go through with it.

  15. unidestiny

    I smiled when I saw Lee Kuan Yew with the title Student, Singapore.
    I'm Singaporean and currently Student, Singapore too.

    Who knows what I''ll accomplish in 60 years time! Maybe Minister Mentor, Singapore?

  16. unidestiny

    I smiled when I saw Lee Kuan Yew with the title Student, Singapore.
    I'm Singaporean and currently Student, Singapore too.

    Who knows what I''ll accomplish in 60 years time! Maybe Minister Mentor, Singapore?

  17. Joe Jones

    Very good war doc,,The price for freedom is not cheap..SEMPER FI

  18. NAND Gate

    You would think god would be omnipotent enough to fight for himself huh?

    But naaaw he needs an army of dark-age mentality goat-herders, bible-belt god botherers and political theocrats.

    1. Jack1952

      God and Allah don't need the help. It's these religious zealots who prop their own egos by pretending the Deities of their choice are helpless without the help of their faithful servants.

  19. kiokio23

    I have watched some of the religion docs in the site and i have the felling I will have to go trough with something like that in the near future...

  20. NAND Gate

    Just watched the whole series.

    Truly amazing. What the hell are we still fighting for?

    ..oh yeah oil and god.

    1. Guest

      right to the point like an arrow. The oil of God!