World War II's greatest survivalists face-off in a battle to the death! The Malmedy Survivors, the few Americans who escaped being killed in the open snow by the 1st SS Panzer Division at the Malmedy Massacre, and Hiroo Onoda, the Imperial Japanese soldier who subbornly waged the second world war for nearly thirty years after it was finished! Both of these warriors faced severe strains when it came to logistics, and both had to pick their shots carefully and keep a low profile to avoid certain death or capture! Cunning minds will take on their counterparts and wage a stealthy war to decide who is the deadliest warrior!
The Malmedy Massacre Survivors
The Malmedy Survivors were 43 U.S. Army soldiers left of about 120 that managed to escape ferocious German guns after their captors of the 1st SS Panzer Divison opened fire on their mostly unarmed prisoners. The massacre took place on December 17, 1944, in a field near the Belgian town of Malmedy, during the notorious Battle of the Bulge. The men who made it back to Allied lines faced an intense brutal winter's cold, SS search parties sent after them, and their own wits and many who escaped the inital attack perished quickly afterward. Their struggle was featured in the film Saints and Soldiers, as survivors of the massacre struggle to evade German patrols and hide out until the Allies retake the area.
|Mid:||M3 Trench knife|
|Long:||Colt M1911 pistol|
Hiroo Onoda is a former Second Lieutenant in the Imperial Japanese Army who held out in the jungles of the Philippines long after the end of World War 2 until 1974. When the Allies began to advance onto the island where Onoda and his men were stationed,a few of them fled to the hills. Once Japan surrendered in 1945, efforts were made to convince all Japanese troops that were holding out to surrender themselves, to no avail. For the next 29 years he and his comrades held out agianst all attempts to capture them or convince them to surrender. Finally, his former commander was brought to the island and told him that the war had ended long ago. Despite all, he was pardoned and went back home to Japan after holding out in the jungle for that long time.
|Close:||Type 30 Bayonet|
|Mid:||Type 98 Shin guntō|
|Long:||Type 14 Nambu pistol|
Now, here's a new thing I'm adding because the warriors use so few weapons - but instead of me rating the X-Factors, just like I don't give the weapons edges, I'll let you guys evaluate what numbers the warriors deserve.
Both of these warriors must be very strained as far as logistics are concerned; they're trapped behind enemy lines and have to keep a low profile constantly. Still, the Malmedy Survivors are closer to friendly help than Onoda is, but Onoda is better hidden and has more ammo to begin with. Who gets the edge here?
Again, if these guys want to stay alive they have to lay low. Onoda did this for twenty-nine years! He and his men were stuck on an island where Allied forces and later civilian police forces were trying to comb them out of the jungle! The Malmedy Survivors can boast stealthy abilities themselves though - with the 1st SS Panzer Division hunting them down in the freezing cold winter, they don't have much of a choice but to dig in.
The Malmedy Survivors are well-trained U.S. Army soldiers while Onoda is an Imperial Japanese officer.
The men who survived the Malmedy Massacre have been fighting for quite a while throughout the European theater, and combat is nothing new to them. Onoda himself, on the other hand, has been in the Japanese military since the early 1940's, and held out for nearly thirty years in the Phillippines.
When it comes to endurance, both warriors are likely going to rate very high. Onoda and his men had to hold out with no supplies of any kind in the jungle, while the Malmedy Survivors braved chilling winter temperatures and the mental confusion of having just escaped being gunned down.
Onoda has held out in the jungle for three decades, while the Malmedy Survivors faced a much shorter ordeal but arguably a much more intense one - they didn't have the option to stop and rest, while Onoda likely had some time to relax over the course of thirty years.
Calm Under Fire
The Malmedy Survivors sure weren't calm when the entire SS Panzer division opened fire on them, but they managed to control their fear and tried to escape the attack as best they could. Onoda was under constant attack from local police forces and had to keep his nerve to avoid capture.
Discipline / Extremism
The Japanese military was very strong on discipline, evidenced in almost every island battle the U.S. military fought with them - in battles like Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal, almost every Japanese soldier was killed in their quest to avoid dishonor in capture. Onoda is very disciplined and fanatical to his cause, continuing the second world war long after it finished to keep the honor of himself and his nation. The Malmedy Suvivors had to be disciplined to avoid capture by the Germans as they hid and they had to hold their position as hostile patrols passed by sometimes mere feet from their location.
The Ardennes Forest
December 17, 1944
A truck from the 1st SS Panzer Division leads a convoy down a dirt path. Several armored cars follow behind and two troop transports drive at the back of the line.
"It is very fortunate, is it not, Mr. Onoda, that my divison was able to discover you and your men?" The German SS officer gave an emotionless smile and crossed his legs, folding his hands in his lap as he looked at the Japanese man sitting in the seat across from him. A translator seated next to the officer spoke in rapid Japanese, repeating the German's words to Onoda.
Hiroo Onoda shifted uncomfortably in his seat and made a reply, stony-faced.
"He says that he appreciates the rescue, but he insists that he and his men could have held out longer by themselves," the translator relayed. The SS officer cocked his head slightly and his expression shifted by a millimeter as he studied his Japanese ally.
The 1st SS Panzer Division had made an unexpected strike into the Phillippines, both to release pressure on Japanese soldiers hiding there and to make an attack on several U.S. airbases there to prevent American-dominated skies giving the Japanese trouble during the naval battles to come. They were unsuccessful against the Allied forces, but had stumbled across Onoda and his men and "rescued" them.
Onoda spoke up quickly.
"Onoda would like to know why he and his men have had to accompany you this far west," the translator said. Onoda continued speaking and the translator said, "He says, Doesn't Japan have a war of its own to fight?"
The SS officer's eyebrows scrunched together and he answered slowly and deliberately, "Perhaps the Land of the Rising Sun would do well to cast its light on its allies to the West. The Third Reich did all it could to prevent the fall of Mussolini. Japan hasn't demonstrated the same level of commitment." The translator sat silent for a moment, his hands clasped tightly together, but before he could try to speak without offending Onoda the German officer continued. "Regardless, tell Mr. Onoda he is here for a demonstration of how the Fatherland deals with those who stand in its way."
The convoy pulled over to the side of the road in the town of Malmedy. The armored cars were driving German soldiers, who piled out and trudged into the ankle-deep snow, while the troop transports held American prisoners-of-war. The SS officer, the translator, and Onoda stepped down from the truck and Onoda walked over to stand with two of his men who had accompanied him on his trip. A Nambu pistol and a Shin guntō officer's sword hung at his belt.
The German soldiers pointed their rifles up at the Americans and herded them into the middle of the snowy field, forcing them to line up single-file. The armored cars had machine-guns mounted in turrets on top, and one of the SS soldiers climbed up and sat lazily, watching the scene unfold. The American soldiers stood bored with their arms up in the air as the Germans stepped in and began to search them. The SS officer made his way to Onoda with the translator. As the Japanese soldiers saw the German approaching, they rolled their eyes. "We have to make sure they aren't carrying weapons, you see," the officer explained, although this was rather obvious. One of Onoda's men bent over and said something and the Japanese men laughed. The translator stifled a chuckle and shifted uncomfortably in the cold snow.
The American prisoners grew restless, shifting and lowering their arms slightly as they stood in line. The German soldiers barked orders at them and pointed their rifles at the Americans, but held their fire. One of the Americans had an M1911 pistol tucked in his winter coat, and as his German captor tried to take the pistol from him, he struggled and yanked back, stumbling into the snow. The German soldier shouted loudly and a gunshot tore through the quiet air as somewhere, one of the Germans fired his rifle.
The tension building up cut loose in an instant as the German soldiers standing and watching opened fire on the American prisoners, sending them flying through the air as the bullets tore through their coats. The machine gun on the armored car spat out a murderous volley of fire down at the Americans floundering in the field. The gunfire was as defeaning as it was quick. Onoda and his men were still crouching in surprise when the shooting stopped. The bodies of the American soldiers lay in the snow, their blood staining it white. The SS officer was unfazed at this display of ferocity, and as he turned to order his men back to their trucks, a good number of the Americans sprang up from the prone position and sprinted toward the forest just a few meters from their location. The machine gun began to shoot again, the rounds tearing up the snow and chasing the soldiers as they disappeared into the woods.
"Damn it! Damn it!" screamed the SS officer in frustration. He turned to his men standing there in disarray. "Shoot the bodies! Make sure that they're dead!" he shouted, spit flying from his mouth in rage. Clenching his gloved hand into a fist, he turned to find Onoda and his men gone.
Three of the American soldiers (including the one who had hidden his M1911) had regrouped behind a fallen tree and peered out over the trunk. They could barely see the figures of the German soldiers walking around, placing extra shots into their fallen prisoners. With a good deal of cursing, the G.I.s checked to see what weapons they had gotten away with: three magazines for the handgun, a bayonet, and a combat knife. One of them had managed to keep a map tucked in his britches, and he pulled it out and studied it. "We need to head further south, away from the Germans," he muttered, his breath condensing as he spoke. "We're just a few miles from Allied positions, but I have no idea if we've been overrun, or if the Krauts are going to send search parties after us... we'd best get moving." The group of men cautiously ducked out from the trunk of the tree and crouched off deeper into the forest.
Onoda and his men crawled through the snow and stopped to rest by a flat rock.
"We'll find these Yankee bastards and bring them back to the Germans..." Onoda muttered. "We'll show them who's more committed to their cause." One of his soldiers held a Type 30 bayonet in his hand, a makeshift handle created by wrapping cloth around the bottom so he could safely hold the blade like a knife. "Those years in the Phillippines will do us good," Onoda continued. "We can keep a low profile and pick them off before they have a chance to react."
The forest was quiet, and Onoda winced at the crunching footsteps he and his men made as they pushed through the heavy snowfall. White flakes began to trickle slowly down from the sky, and Onoda began to regret his decision instantly - pride had cost him here, and he couldn't afford to be bogged down in a snowstorm. "Move quickly," he whispered to his men.
The Japanese soldiers did well to pick up their pace, for they quickly spotted the cautious Americans, who moved so slowly that Onoda didn't notice them at first. "There," he whispered to his men. He raised his Nambu pistol and stood up, shouting at the Americans and pointing his handgun at them.
The Americans turned around, startled, and dove into the bushes for cover. Onoda didn't shoot, though, as he only wanted to capture the Americans. The Malmedy Massacre survivors were unaware of this, and the pistol-carrying soldier fired off a shot at Onoda, which only grazed his left shoulder. Onoda jerked back and shouted in pain before firing off blindly with his Nambu, spending an entire magazine in his rage. He stopped and pointed the pistol at the snow as he pulled the trigger once more - no bullet fired. He dropped the magazine and left it in the snow, sliding a new one into place and pulling back the slide on the top of the gun. The Americans hadn't moved from their position, and they held their breath, waiting. Onoda peered through the bushes and lowered his pistol, firing a shot that flew straight into an American's chest, shattering his clavicle as it traveled downward into his body. As the Malmedy massacre survivor slumped forward onto his face, dead, blood pooled out from under him and stained the snow red. The two remaining Americans jumped up from cover and ran away from Onoda and his men, not even bothering to fire back as they fled. Onoda chanced one more shot that missed, and he and his men gave chase.
The Malmedy survivors broke to the left and one of them began to scale a tree that offered enough branches to climb easily and offer camoflage. The other American looked wildly about for somewhere to hide but the Japanese soldiers rushed down the path and spotted him. He held out his trench knife in front of him and backed away nervously. Onoda drew his sword and approached his opponent, but the American turned and ran as he saw the sword. The Japanese soldiers continued their pursuit and didn't notice as the American in the tree dropped down and landed cat-like behind them. He raised his Colt pistol and fired at the Japanese soldiers ahead of him, sending the .45 round spinning through the forest and into the neck of its target. The Japanese soldier fell forward into the snow. As Onoda pushed forward after his fleeing opponent, his fellow soldier turned and approached the Malmedy survivor with the M1911. The American raised his handgun as the Japanese soldier whipped out his Type 30 bayonet, makeshift handle and all.
The Malmedy survivor squeezed the trigger on the M1911, firing off a shot that smashed into the Japanese soldier's stomach. Onoda's man grunted and jerked back in pain but pushed forward, breathing heavily. The Malmedy survivor stumbled back in shock and tripped over a tree root sticking out of the snow. The American sank deep into the snow and floundered as he tried to get up. The Japanese soldier walked over to the American and knelt down, face blank and emotionless. The Malmedy survivor fired his entire magazine into the Japanese soldier, pulling the trigger in terror as the magazine emptied. The Japanese man was riddled through the torso but held on long enough to swing his bayonet down into the American soldier, stabbing into his chest. The Japanese soldier gave one final, rasping cough and rolled to the side, his eyes glazed. The American spat blood and slumped back into the snow, sinking deeper into it.
Hiroo Onoda had closed in on the last Malmedy survivor, who had turned in terror and held his M3 knife out in front of him. Onoda approached the shaking man and placed the Nambu on his forehead. As Onoda began to speak in Japanese, the American reached up and dropped the magazine out of Onoda's pistol, then swiped at the Japanese man's face with his knife. Onoda stumbled back, dropped his handgun, and locked eyes with his foe before they both dove for the pistol. The American's hand slammed down over the Nambu first, but Onoda dug his nails deep into the Malmedy survivor's forearm and raked them across his hand, drawing blood. The Malmedy survivor spat in rage and swung his bloody arm into Onoda's face, knocking the Japanese lieutenant aside. He stumbled up to a knee and kicked Onoda across the face as he tried to recover, then stood up with the pistol and fumbled with the magazine, trying to slip it up the grip and into place. Onoda stood up and whipped out his shin guntō, leaving it loose on the American's neck.
They stared at each other, breathing ragged. The Malmedy survivor slowly slides the magzine into place, and Onoda drives the blade deeper into the American's neck, drawing blood. Finally, the Malmedy survivor leaps back as Onoda makes a desperate lunge forward. He pulls the slide back and fires the contents of the magazine into Onoda, killing the Japanese lieutenant and dropping him to the ground.
The Malmedy survivor takes Onoda's spare magazine and his sword and looks around wildly for any other enemy soldiers before he sprints off into the forest.
WINNER: MALMEDY SURVIVORS
The Malmedy Survivors won because they had a much tougher ordeal than did Onoda - ultimately being hunted down and having to hide mere feet from opponents in freezing temperatures was more taxing on a person than was hiding in the jungle for so many years. The M1911 outperformed the Nambu with ease and up-close, although Onoda had the longer shin guntō sword, the Americans were stronger physically and were able to overpower him with their shorter blades.