This page is an article containing the short story which is affiliated with the "Lost Battalion".
Immortal Honour is the final short story about the feats of the 75th Foreign Infantry Regiment's Shingetsu Squad.
October 27, 1944
Vosges Mountains, Bruyères
Through the dense fog and heavy snow of autumn, the mountains were considered impassable by many. However, for the few brave segregated Japanese soldiers that accepted the challenge to advance, they knew that their struggles would bring honour and a future for their family name. Squad Leader Shizuya Matsunaga of the Empire of Daresia’s 75th Foreign Legion stared at the direction of his enemies, where images of numerous figures went through his mind. He wondered why, and suddenly remembered; years ago when he was in Japan, there were people arresting his father, followed by his execution and the exile of his family.
Whilst lying prone on the wet snow, he tightly squeezed the trigger of his bolt-action rifle, firing at the distant German opponents. Before he could fire again, he constantly had to ‘bolt’ his rifle. Suddenly, a bullet rapidly flew past his head, hitting a fellow comrade, with another impacting on the tree in front of him causing small pieces of bark to fall. Dazed, with the addition of operating on barely any sleep, and having been deployed for hours, the Lance-Corporal had every right to curse the world, as he clenched his teeth and swore whilst crawling on his chest towards cover.
"Ne, daijobu ka?!"
(Hey, are you okay?!)
The loud verbal exchange between unit members was common. The thick trees, heavy fog, constant shouting and deafening gunfire, made visibility and hearing awfully low. Following his close encounter with death, he dove onto the ground next to Private Tsukamoto Masaru, the squad’s second in command. Anxiously, Shizuya shoved his back against a tree, grasping the bloodied helmet on his head, staring straight into the dirt. The Private stared at the inanimate leader, and questioned, if the leader was already traumatized, then how low could the squad’s morale possibly go? The last thing they needed was uncertainty among the ranks.
“Matsunaga Heichō! Daijobu ka?! Heichō!”
(Lance-Corporal Matsunaga! You okay?! Lance-Corporal!)
December 9, 1941
A few days after the Empire of Japan simultaneously attacked America, Daresia, Hong Kong and the Philippines, those of Japanese descent who were living near the coast were relocated and incarcerated. Most, if not all, were relocated further inland. Conscription in Daresia was enforced ever since the Second World War started, as the continent was considered as a valuable strategic point in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, neighbouring the United States of America to the East, and the Empire of Japan to the West. Prior to his relocation, Shizuya received a blank envelope from an officer within Daresia's Foreign Legion, notifying him that he was to be drafted into the Empire's Foreign Legion. However, simply joining the armed forces does not "automatically" grant citizenship to an individual, and instead had to prove themselves worthy.
October 27, 1944
After several attempts trying to communicate with the shattered Lance-Corporal, Private Tsukamoto grabbed his shoulders and shouted at the leader multiple times.
"D-daijobu desu- kuso!" he snapped, throwing his helmet in front of him.
(I'm all right damn it!)
With the help of the Private, and attempts to cheer himself with his own thoughts, the will to fight reignited within his tired soul. Through his mind, the tenacity to keep fighting came from many thoughts. The men he fought alongside with, the faith and hope for the country he has fled to, his honour and lastly; his family. With these thoughts in mind, he got back up and continued to support his besieged brethren.
Eventually, the fog started to wear off, thus benefiting communication amongst the ranks, at the cost of exposure to the Germans.
In an instant, Shizuya found the opportunity to throw a smoke grenade which would temporarily cover their advance towards the garrisoned Germans, and thus ordered his men to start closing the gap against the Germans. While barking orders at his subordinates, he simultaneously fired his own rifle, further depleting what little remained of his valuable ammunition.
However, by the time the smoke wore out, the 75th were pinned. Just like the Americans, they had gone deeper into the forest, reaching the point where they would not move out from behind cover. With their backs against the wall, the men of Shingetsu squad relied on the orders of the highest ranking officer.
“Lance-Corporal, give us your orders,” Private Tsukamoto requested, pressing his body against a tree.
What was once a full sized platoon of 48, now stood at only 17 ready to carry out his orders. What remained of their ammunition and equipment were consolidated and divided apart; however, they all knew it wouldn't last long. His subordinates, who were previously sharing their ammunition, were already affixing bayonets to their rifles, already knowing what the commander will order next.
He knew that many of the legionnaires here fought today with the intentions of death before dishonour. His body was filled with anticipation, and his blood boiled from excitement. Indeed, his very soul yearned for this very moment.
“Shingetsu, unsheathe your blades!”
In flawless unison, the surviving men of 17 drew out their blades.
“Today, we shall forever solidify the name and image of the Foreign Legion into the very soul of the land! My brethren, we must rescue our allies, and make our Empire proud! Pierce through their lines!”
As the rest of the squad answered with a simultaneous acknowledgement, all remaining survivors stood up and prepared to sprint towards the enemy.
“Father, I know that you may already be gone, but I feel that you’re always with me.”
Readying his blade, Lance-Corporal Shizuya prepared his soul.
“Despair not! Make your death count! Charge!”
The 75th Foreign Infantry Regiment’s, 1st Platoon, under the provisional leadership of Corporal Shizuya Matsunaga, lost 15 more soldiers before accomplishing their goal and finally aiding the Americans in liberating their isolated battalion. It was stated in the after action report that all the legionnaires charged the Germans screaming, with many screaming “Banzai” through suppressive gunfire and artillery shells as they fought and died to the last few men. The actions of the Empire of Daresia’s Foreign Legion that day forever solidified themselves into the hearts of many German and American soldiers.