Women and Children Were Deliberately Thrown Into the Middle of a Horrific Shark Feeding Frenzy in the Cheribon Atrocity

Yana Bostongirl

The Cheribon Atrocity which occurred during World War II is named after Cheribon, a port city in Northern Java.

In July 1945, 90 European civilians consisting of me, women, and children were loaded onboard a Japanese naval submarine heading out to sea from Cheribon. According to reports, none of the civilians were allowed inside the boat and had to stand on the deck: "As dusk fell on that day in late July, the submarine set sail. It traveled on the surface, the ninety prisoners standing outside on deck. From the top of the conning tower two machine guns, aimed fore, and aft, could be plainly seen. Fearing the worst, many of the women started crying but were helpless to do anything."

After sailing for an hour, the submarine suddenly dived without warning, cruelly leaving the victims to fend for themselves in the shark-infested waters. They immediately found themselves under attack by schools of hungry sharks intent on eating their fill.

Out of the 90 civilians who were taken on by the Japanese submarine, only one managed to survive the shark attacks, and that too barely. The man, who lost an arm and a foot to the vicious sharks was saved by Javanese fishermen as this excerpt explains: "There was only one survivor who, minus an arm and right foot to the sharks, stayed alive long enough to be picked up by three Javanese fishermen. After relating his story he lost consciousness through loss of blood and died from his injuries a short time later. His body was then committed back to the sea."

According to reports, the Javanese fishermen reported the incident only after the war ended out of fear of the Japanese but by then all the records of the incident had been destroyed. Because of that the people responsible for the Cheribon atrocity were never caught.

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