The execution of Polish hostages in retaliation for an attack on a Nazi police station by the underground organization. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

By Rebecca Drew

SHOCKING pictures have been revealed in a new book detailing the reasons why soldiers commit dark war crimes.


Einsatzgruppen soldier executes a prisoner in Ukraine. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

Horrifying pictures show Chinese women who were raped by Japanese soldiers in Nanking, China whilst others show the Japanese preparing to cut off a Chinese soldier’s head and bayoneting the Chinese in a pit.

Other disturbing photographs show Russian soldiers bothering women in Berlin in 1945 and Vietnamese women and children huddled together before being killed by American soldiers in the My Lai massacre of March 1968.


Russian soldiers bothering women in Berlin. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

More recent crimes pictured in the book include the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in 2004.

The images have been released in the book, Beyond Duty: The Reasons Some Soldiers Commit Atrocities by Walter S. Zapotoczny Jr, published by Fonthill Media.


Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

“The history of warfare is filled with accounts of brutality. The behaviour of any human being is, of course, a very complex phenomenon whether in war or in peace,” said Walter in the book’s preface.

“After a close analysis of these soldiers, I have identified five principle factors that had the greatest influence, either directly or indirectly, on the many members.


An unidentified Abu Ghraib detainee seen in a 2003 photo. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

“The idea for this book sprang from my graduate thesis, which examined the actions of the Japanese Army and the actions of the German Einsatzgruppen during World War II.

“Together, the factors supported each other and crystallised into a modus operandi that resulted in atrocities and bestial acts on civilians. The soldiers who committed atrocities became violent criminals.”


Soldiers and civilians on the move in Berlin. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

The book focuses on the behaviour of five groups in history; the Japanese Army in Nanking, China, 1937, the German Einsatzgruppen’s actions in Russia in WW2, the Red Army in Germany in WW2, the Americans in Vietnam in 1968 and American guards who tortured inmates at an Iraqi prison in 2004.

“While these are different situations in many ways, there are similar factors that allowed most of the soldiers in these groups to abuse or kill men, women, and children in cold blood,” he added.


4 Japanese soldiers bayoneting Chinese soldiers. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

“Historians, in large part, have described in great detail the actions of these groups, but they have not adequately dealt with the factors that contributed to those actions.

“As we examine these factors, we can perhaps predict the actions of future groups given similar circumstances.


Prisoner being threatened with dog at Abu Ghraib. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

“Beyond Duty begins with the examination of the collective behaviour of the five military groups representing different combat actions.”


Japanese soldier prepares to cut off the head of a Chinese soldier. Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz /

Published by Fonthill Media, Beyond Duty: The Reasons Some Soldiers Commit Atrocities by Walter S. Zapotoczny Jr is now available to order on Amazon for £25 RRP.