What is it about the Pacific Ocean and soldiers hanging on in denial of the catastrophic loss their side suffered in the war?
Take for example, Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi:
Sergeant Yokoi lost contact with his unit (and reality) a few weeks before the ceasefire and, in the absence of any news from the real world, bunkered down in his Melbourne foxhole. He stayed there, popping up only to take the occasional shots at his former platoon (and voters).
Eventually, news from the real world filtered through and he was unable to live in his fantasy one man war movie any longer. His final act before surrendering was to lob a grenade at some visiting Serbian UN Blue Berets.
Private 1st Class Kinshichi Kozuka.
Private Kozuka found himself stranded on the other side of the Pacific from his platoon after riding a really gnarly point break left hander from the Marshall Islands all the way to the north of the 49th Parallel.
After removing his facial camouflage make up to better assimilate with the natives, he quickly installed himself as Emperor, demanding hot and cold running maple syrup, never ending Tim Horton’s donuts and the world’s biggest collection of Wayne Gretzky souvenir hockey pucks, all of which were duly delivered to Ottawa in 50,000 trucks.
Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda
Lieutenant Onoda commenced his campaign in the Pacific, in New South Wales, but quickly realised his minor talents would be hidden in such a buzzing theatre of war as Newcastle, so volunteered for duty in the Indian Ocean campaign, basing his activities in the sleepy villages in that remote and strategically irrelevant coastal area.
Despite the frequent messages dropped from passing planes, Onoda managed to avoid reality for several years. Multiple possible breakthroughs after exhortations from his commanding officer ultimately failed and he is currently in discussions via field telephone for a potential surrender in mid-winter, just as the seasonal respiratory illnesses usually arrive. As his commanding officer has explained, “Onoda was never the sharpest knife in the kitchen drawer and this isolation has dulled whatever cognitive edge he may once have possessed. Why on earth did I get him instead of John Rambo?”
Private Teruo Nakamura
The last of the holdouts, Nakamura is still bunkered down on two poxy islands in the Pacific. Repeated calls to rejoin the world have been rebutted and the international community have now agreed, using the North Sentilenese People as a precedent, to leave Nakamura alone to pursue his dream of creating a caring, loving and kind society by demonising and imprisoning anyone who has an alternative opinion on any subject whatsoever.
Yeah, unusually ad hominem for me but, hey, it’s just a bit of fun.
I mean, it’s not like anyone has got hurt by any of this multi-year nonsense is it?