Known by the Japanese high command in the Second World War as a bit of a liberal, and sidelined throughout most of the war because of it, General Tomoyuki Yamashita, 60, was brought back to favour in 1944 to command the Japanese 14th army defending the Philippines.

Ten days later the US Army landed and the Japanese were forced to retreat into the mountains, where they used delaying tactics until Japan surrendered in August, 1945.

Immediately the American commander, General Douglas MacArthur, ordered General Yamashita’s arrest for war crimes committed by his troops in the Philippines. Yamashita claimed he never gave the orders for which he was accused and didn’t even know about the crimes, but he was nevertheless hanged at Manila Prison on Saturday, February 23rd, 1946.

In later years it was suggested that his execution was MacArthur’s private revenge for the occupation of “his” Philippines.