Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre

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Ramree Island Crocodile Massacre

Post by weasel666 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 14:27



Some British soldiers, including naturalist Bruce Stanley Wright who participated in the battle, claimed the large population of saltwater crocodiles native to Ramree Island's mangrove swamps preyed on the trapped Japanese force at night and ate many soldiers. Wright gave a description in Wildlife Sketches Near and Far (1962), quoted by Frank McLynn, That night [of the 19 February 1945] was the most horrible that any member of the M. L. [motor launch] crews ever experienced. The scattered rifle shots in the pitch black swamp punctured by the screams of wounded men crushed in the jaws of huge reptiles, and the blurred worrying sound of spinning crocodiles made a cacophony of hell that has rarely been duplicated on earth. At dawn the vultures arrived to clean up what the crocodiles had left.... Of about one thousand Japanese soldiers that entered the swamps of Ramree, only about twenty were found alive. — Wright[11] If Wright's claim is true the Ramree crocodile attacks are the worst in recorded history. The British Burma Star Association seems to lend credence to the swamp attack stories but appears to draw a distinction between the 20 Japanese survivors of one attack and the 900 Japanese who were left to fend for themselves in the swamp. There is no corroboration of the event by British military reports or by interviewed Japanese soldiers and local Burmese. As Wright's account is the only known source for the mass crocodile attack and his figures have been disputed by other historians, who call the event an urban myth. On Wright's reporting of the Ramree events, McLynn wrote Most of all, there is a single zoological problem. If 'thousands of crocodiles' were involved in the massacre, as in the urban (jungle) myth, how had these ravening monsters survived before and how were they to survive later? The ecosystem of a mangrove swamp, with an exiguous mammal life, simply would not have permitted the existence of so many saurians before the coming of the Japanese (animals are not exempt from the laws of overpopulation and starvation). — McLynn In 1965, the British official history (volume IV, The Reconquest of Burma) had only referred to "crocodile-infested mangrove swamps" wrote:

For more info check this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ramree_Island

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