Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Swordplay: Lord Mountbatten, Count Terauchi and the Japanese surrender in Southeast Asia

Sturma, M. (2021) Swordplay: Lord Mountbatten, Count Terauchi and the Japanese surrender in Southeast Asia. The English Historical Review, 136 (580). pp. 651-671.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Field Marshal Count Terauchi’s personal surrender of swords to Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten in November 1945 highlights some of the complexities related to the Japanese surrender in Southeast Asia. Japanese swords served as important symbols for both their owners and the Allies. Mountbatten’s determination to dispossess the Japanese of their swords reflected his views on Japan’s militarism and a desire to impress upon soldiers their subservience to British authority when most had not been directly defeated in battle. On the other hand, Mountbatten was constrained by the huge area placed under his command, the lack of resources at his disposal and rising nationalist resistance. In these circumstances, Mountbatten sought the co-operation of surrendered Japanese personnel in British interests. The issue of surrendering Japanese swords underlines Mountbatten’s conflicting objectives and Count Terauchi’s efforts to manipulate the situation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): IT, Media and Communications
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © 2021 Oxford University Press.
Item Control Page Item Control Page