The Soldier who fought for the Japanese, the Soviets and the Germans - History Key

The Soldier who fought for the Japanese, the Soviets and the Germans

Probably one of the most discussed history subjects from the last decades would be Hitler and the Nazi context, including atrocities, battles, weapons and much more. Let’s be serious, if you will follow any historical TV channel, something related to Hitler would be aired on a daily basis.

But there are many details related to that period that are unknown, appearing incredible if discovered. It sounds strange, but it’s true, just like the following incredible story unlocked for you.

A versatile soldier?

Yang Kyoungjong was a Korean soldier with a unique military career. He fought for three different countries, in three different armies. Probably sounds like a low budget movie script, but keep in mind that most of the scripts are made after real facts.

Yang Kyoungjong captured by US troops, June 1944
Yang Kyoungjong captured by US troops, June 1944 © Image Source: Wikipedia

During 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was a soldier in the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army and was involved in the fight against the Soviets.

The first sides switch happened during the Battle of Khalkhin Gol, where the Red Army soldiers captured Yang in battle. He was sent to a labor camp, but shortly after that, he has enlisted in the Red Army together with many others prisoners. Why? Due to the lack of manpower. During 1942, Yang was sent to the European Eastern Front as a Red Army soldier.

While in Eastern Ukraine, during the Third Battle of Kharkov, Yang was captured by German soldiers, and transformed into a “new German soldier”. Yang was eventually sent to Occupied France, where he served in the “Eastern Battalion”, which was formed by Soviet prisoners of war.

Koreans in the Wehrmacht
Koreans in the Wehrmacht ©

How far can he go?

This already strange series of circumstances sent Yang into the D-Day battle, where everything became even stranger because he was captured by a US paratrooper unit, in June 1944.

At the beginning, the situation of having Asian soldiers with German uniforms (Yang was captured with other three Japanese soldiers) caused a little bit of confusion, when Lt. Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry reported having four Asians in German uniforms as prisoners. They were captured during the battle at Utah Beach. The American paratroopers believed that Yang was also Japanese, like his three fellow comrades.

Avoiding all sorts of dangerous situations, Yang was eventually sent to a prison camp located in Britain, later on being transferred to the United States, in another prison camp.

After this crazy life timeline, Yang became a very popular case, having some sorts of legendary status related to his life and to the fact that he became the only soldier to fight on three sides of the war. At the end of the war, Yang was released from the prison camp, and lived in Illinois until his death, in 1992.

Yang Kyoungjong
Yang Kyoungjong ©

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