Unit 731 – Biological and Chemical Warfare

Living History

During the second Sino-Japanese War and World War II the Japanese military formed an infamous secret squadron whose goal was to research and develop biological and chemical warfare. This unit showed no remorse and carried out some of the most heinous experiments in human history on men, women, children, and infants. More than 10,000 civilian and military personnel were subjected to human experimentation. The West knew about it but said nothing.

Based in Pingfang, Unit 731, commanded by Shiro Ishii, conducted experiments that would leave 200,000+ dead before the disbandment of the unit in August 1945 due to the Russian invasion at Manchukuo where subsidiary unit 200 was researching bio warfare. The victims of this atrocity mainly comprised of Chinese, Koreans, and American POW’s.

The divisons of Unit 731 are as follows:

Unit 731 was divided into eight divisions:

Division 1 : Research on bubonic plague, cholera, anthrax, typhoid and tuberculosis using live human subjects. For this purpose, a prison was constructed to contain around three to four hundred people.

Division 2 : Research for biological weapons used in the field, in particular the production of devices to spread germs and parasites.

Division 3 : Production of shells containing biological agents. Stationed in Harbin.

Division 4 : Production of other miscellaneous agents.

Division 5 : Training of personnel.

Divisions 6–8 : Equipment, medical and administrative units.

Some of the experiments conducted by Unit 731 and its subsidiary units include:

Victims were subjected to live autopsy without anesthesia where upon they were purposefully infected with diseases (including pregnant women who were impregnated by doctors). The reasons for this; to study the effect on human organs and avoid decomposition from affecting results, amputate limbs to study blood loss and effects of rotting and gangrene (some limbs were later attached to the other side of the body), and to remove parts of the stomach, liver, brains and lungs to observe the effects (the removal of the stomach was replaced by a direct connection from the esophagus to the intestines).

Weapons testing
Grenades were detonated near living targets to determine the effects of the explosion with regards to different distances and angles to determine how long victims could survive with their sustained injuries (if at all possible), while others were tied to stakes and were subject to the use of biological bombs, chemical weapons, and other explosive material.

Germ Warfare
Male and female prisoners were injected with venereal diseases in the disguise of inoculations (or sometimes infected via rape) to determine the viability of germ warfare, victims were infested with fleas in order to communicate the disease to an organism which could be later dropped onto a populace. Fleas themselves were also tainted with cholera, anthrax, and the bubonic plague (as well as other plagues) which were later dropped in the guise of clothing and supplies which resulted in the estimated death of 400,000 Chinese civilians. This was the origin of the “flea bomb” which infected large geographic areas and polluted land and water.

In other experiments victims were hung upside down to observe how long it took for one to die due to choking and the length of time until the onset of embolism occurred after inserting air into ones blood stream.

If anyone wishes to learn more simply search for the term “Unit 731”. There is also a documentary titled “Unit 731: Nightmare in Manchuria” and a graphic movie titled “Man Behind the Sun“.



Shiro Ishii – commander of Unit 731

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