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An Australian soldier being executed by the Japanese in Second World War


Naval civil service officer Chikao Yasuno prepares to decapitate Sergeant Leonard George Siffleet, an Australian Army radioman caught operating behind Japanese lines in New Guinea. Siffleet and two comrades were beheaded on October 24, 1943, at Aitape after natives betrayed them to the Japanese. American troops found this film on the body of a dead Japanese man during the invasion of Hollandia in 1944. The photo received wide publicity, reinforcing the perception that the Japanese were savages who gave no mercy and deserved none. Chikao was sentenced to hang after the war, but his sentence was later commuted to 10 years in prison.

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