Unit 731

unit 731

bio chem

Unit 731 was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel. Unit 731 was the code name  of an Imperial Japanese Army unit officially known as the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army. It was initially set up under the Kempeitai military police of the Empire of Japan to develop weapons of mass destruction for potential use against Chinese, and possibly Soviet forces.

The test subjects were selected to give a wide cross section of the population and included common criminals, captured bandits and anti-Japanese partisans, political prisoners, and also people rounded up by the secret police for alleged ‘suspicious activities.’ They included infants, the elderly, and pregnant women. Prisoners of war were subjected to vivisection without anesthesia. Prisoners had limbs amputated in order to study blood loss. Human targets were used to test grenades. Plague fleas, infected clothing, and infected supplies encased in bombs were dropped on various targets. The resulting cholera, anthrax, and plague were estimated to have killed around 400,000 Chinese civilians

Prisoners were deprived of food and water to determine the length of time until death, being placed into high-pressure chambers until death, having experiments performed upon prisoners to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival, being placed into centrifuges and spun until dead, having animal blood injected and the effects studied, being exposed to lethal doses of x-rays, having various chemical weapons tested on prisoners inside gas chambers, being injected with sea water to determine if it could be a substitute for saline.

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