Segment 7


The veterans felt better having other veterans around. When replacements came in Akins knew that they were well trained and could tell quickly if they could be trusted or not.The Marines didn't take any prisoners. They didn't even have enough to eat for themselves and had no place to keep them.Akins feels that since World War II we [Annotator's Note: the United States] haven't fought a war to win it.Combat was a continuous thing. The men rarely knew the names of the towns they were passing through. You just took care of your buddy. You never cared about yourself.After the war Akins unit was sent to China. Many of the Japanese there didn't know that the war was over. The Russians took many of the Japanese off to Siberia and wouldn't return them to the Marines so they could be repatriated.There were no strays in China. If the civilians didn't have a card indicating that they were employed they would be executed. At one point the Marines had to give the Japanese their guns back so they could protect themselves from the Chinese.The Marines didn't have to tell the Japanese what to do on work details. They had one man in charge and he led the others.Akins felt like he would never make it home during times like when he was pulling burned tankers out of their burning tanks and the Japanese snipers immediately shooting them. In combat they did whatever they had to do.When they were pulled off of the line for the last time and were told that the war was over it was a big relief. At the time all six Marine divisions were training for the invasion of Japan.The Marines were elated when they heard of the dropping of the atomic bombs. If they had had to invade Japan many more people would have been killed on both sides.


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