Morbid Fact Du Jour For January 6, 2017

Today’s Sacrificial Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

By 1944 it had become an accepted method of warfare that Japanese soldiers, sailors and airmen were called upon to commit suicide as a measure to destroy Allied equipment and personnel in an attempt to keep the Allies away from the Japanese home islands, together with their spiritual and material resources. The best known of these suicide measures was the kamikaze flying bomb, but there were others that are now less well known, including various forms of self-destruction involved in eliminating Allied tanks.

Japanese Kamikaze Pilot

Perhaps the most extreme of these were the backpack human mines. This weapon was very simple to devise and devastating in use, for it consisted of little more than a canvas backpack loaded with about 9 kg (19.8 lb) of explosive to form a satchel charge. The user worse this charge and concealed himself until an Allied tank approached. He then ran forward to the tank and dived underneath it, at the same time pulling a length of cord that initiated a short delay to ensure the tank would be right over the charge before it exploded, destroying both tank and user. This tactic was hard to counter, for very often the user waited until the tank was really close before making his suicide rush, so protecting infantry had to be very quick to react if they were to prevent the attack. It was also very unnerving for Allied tank crews. A variant on the satchel charge was a Type 93 anti-tank mine on a pole which was simply shoved under a track with dire results for both the track and the user.

A further modification on the suicide theme was encountered in some parts of Burma in 1945. Here there was no deliberate death rush, for the hapless anti-tank troops were concealed in foxholes either in the center of roads or tracks, or at the sides of routes that Allied tanks were expected to use. There they remained until a tank approached and once one was overhead or very close the idea was that it would be destroyed by the man in the foxhole setting off a charge; this might be a simple explosive device, or a form of mine, or sometimes even a small aircraft bomb. The charges were set off manually and deliberately by the suicide candidate, who acted as little more than a human fuse. In practice this ploy did not work too well for the personnel in their foxholes were easily spotted by infantry and were killed before they could use their charges. Accounts exist of Allied personnel surrounding foxholes and their suicidal occupant without the Japanese making any attempts to injure the attackers with their charges, the philosophy appears to have been that such attackers were not tanks and the explosives had to be saved to use against tanks, not infantry. As these suicide anti-tank miners had no weapons other than their explosives, they were killed in their foxholes to no benefit for the Japanese war effort.

Culled from: Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II


Ghastly: Broken Doll Edition

Katelyn Nichole Adams

Perhaps you’ve heard of the 12-year-old girl who live streamed her suicide last week? It’s been a few hours now since I watched the video on You Tube but I still feel numb inside.

Maybe it’s because she was so beautiful and fragile and determined?

Maybe it’s because I’m writing this while sitting in the bedroom in California where I spent countless days plotting my own suicide, staring at the tree that used to have a rope hanging from it that used to imagine placing around my own neck.

Maybe it’s because the mother calling for her daughter reminds me of the time my own mother, clued in to my intentions by my best friend, walked in on me when I was 16 and preparing to overdose on sleeping pills – and guilted me out of it by declaring that her life would be worthless without me.

Maybe it’s because the sound of the cell phone ringing reminds me of awakening in the hospital after my own near-fatal suicide attempt and seeing my mother’s gentle face staring down at me, reminding me that I was never alone, even though I felt that I was.

Maybe because the sight of that body gently swinging from the tree as the sun goes down reminds me of the many dark nights I spent alone in my rural countryside surrounded by coyotes yiping, owls hooting, and a vast emptiness.

I just feel overwhelming sadness and empathy for Katelyn.

I wish I could have helped her get through those awful, unforgiving years.

I wish her mother could have stopped her before it was too late, like my mother did, and get her the help that she needed.

I wish that someone watching that video would have sent help.

I wish we lived in a better world, a world that doesn’t make 12 year olds want to desperately escape it.

I wish she hadn’t killed herself that way – a slow hanging death – one of the most excruciating ways to die, her arms jerking, probably wanting to reach up for the noose, but unable to do so

But above all, I wish her peace.

And I hope that her brave act – and yes, though you may disagree, it IS brave to kick that bucket away – brings greater attention to other depressed kids, so that they might get the help they need before it’s too late.

Here’s an article about Katelyn that gives some of the background of her troubled young life as detailed in her Diary of a Broken Doll.
Why Did 12-Year-Old Katelyn Nichole Adams Hang Herself on a Livestream? 

(I won’t host the video of Katelyn’s death, but here’s a link on You Tube if you want to watch it. It may not be there for long but I’m sure you’ll be able to find it somewhere online.)

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