Japanese soldiers used hand grenades to commit suicide when it was clear that their final banzai attack on Attu on May 29, 1943, would fail. This photograph shows a group of approximately 40 Japanese soldiers who died in this manner; the rest were killed by Americans. The photo shows just where the soldiers fell. Later these bodies were removed and buried.
Questions for Photo 6
1. Refer to Reading 1 and describe what happened in Photo 6. Why would the Japanese soldiers do this?
2. Examine all six of the photos presented in Visual Evidence. How can photos help historians analyze a particular event? What are the strengths of using photos to interpret history? What are the weaknesses?
3. All of the photos in Visual Evidence, except Photo 2, were taken by military personnel as an official record of the island campaign. Can photos, by themselves, fairly represent a historical event? Why or why not?
* The photo on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Photo 6, but be aware that the file will take as much as 35 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.