The Japanese war crimes, unlike the Nazi atrocities described by Lord Russell in the earlier Scourge of the Swastika, were hysterical, wanton and sadistic in a personal sense. This book principally concerns the treatment of prisoners of war, and to a small but deft extent reviews the political and nationalistic background for this treatment, as well as the ""abuses"" (for example, the murder of 200,000 defenceless Chinese at Nanking) perpetrated in the past. Prisoners were beaten, starved and killed without cause or provocation. They were used as slave labor, and forced to live in unspeakable filth. This was a uniform fact, and received the covert sanction and occasionally the direct insistence of the military and governmental leaders. However, the Japanese crimes lack the planning and impersonality of their German counterpart. The processes of medieval torture, the senseless strafing of helpless prisoners, the humiliations inflicted- even if officially condoned, these brutal acts are for the most part private excesses of cruelty. The account, shocking enough, maintains some perspective and throughout derives from impeccable sources. Significance and shocking.