Robert Hellyer

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Some of the top Japanese war criminals that were convicted--including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, sitting in the center of the front row wearing glasses--are seen during war crimes trial proceedings in Tokyo. (Associated Press)

After U.S. soldiers broke down the door of his Tokyo residence on the afternoon of Sept. 11, 1945, they found Hideki Tojo struggling to stand despite a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Tojo, who was prime minister when Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, chose an unusual weapon for his suicide attempt: a Colt pistol taken from a captured U.S. aviator. With no physician at hand, the last Axis dictator — as most Americans viewed him — seemed to have little time to live.

Tojo survived, however, thanks to U.S. medical care, and because Sgt. John Archinal of Allentown, Pa.,…  Seguir leyendo »