Date of Award

Summer 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Maura Hametz

Committee Member

Timothy Orr

Committee Member

Jelmer Vos


In the post-World War II era, the Allied nations faced multiple issues, from occupying the Axis countries and rebuilding Europe and Japan to trying war criminals for atrocities committed prior to and during the war. War crimes trials were an important part of the occupation process and by conducting the trials, the Allied nations hoped not only to punish war criminals, but to provide examples of democratic principles to the former Axis powers and deter future wartime atrocities. When considering war crimes trials, it is most often Nuremberg that comes to mind, and it is Nuremberg that has dominated much of written history since the trials took place. However, the Pacific saw over 2,000 war crimes trials and over 5,000 defendants, divided into Class A and Class BC categories, with trials conducted by several Allied nations. In the Pacific arena, the Class BC suspects were considered "small fry" compared to the "big fish" suspects such as Hideki Tojo who were tried as Class A criminals in Tokyo.


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