Did all the WW2 armed forces employ military chaplains?

I’ve been reading recently about the involvement of US Navy chaplains when the Marines stormed the beaches at Tarawa. Some even came with the early assault waves to support and bolster morale and provide moral support for the Marines fighting to take the island. This prompted the question in the subject line. As an extension, if chaplains weren’t used, was their support function effectively handled by another group or were these functions just not addressed by other Allied and Axis armed forces?

Thanks Indy and company for your excellent videos!


Interesting topic. Some years ago we had a discussion here in Denmark about the chaplains embedded with the danish soldiers in Helmand province in Afghanistan. They blessed the soldiers before battle, so they were also motivators and slapped himself on the chest. This was seen by some as a Viking like attitude. So I guess the exact role for the chaplains are up for discussion in most armed forces.

i have read a lot about Japan in WW2, but have never thought about and heard about what the japanese did with this matter. A Quick search found this book which take up the topic. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_at_War


Hi Finn, I haven’t read the book but Zen at War seems to make an excellent point. Thanks for sharing.

While I don’t want to bash religions Buddishm does have a lot of very positive advertising in Western Europe. (not sure about other parts of the globe). When I was in Japan I was negatively surpised by the the going hand in hand of Buddhism with flat out Yakusan (Mark Felton has a vid on this) war crime denial. Fysically the temple is just next door.

I can see why people buy Buddhas, well I did that when my University had study trips to Thailand. (Yep that exists :smiling_imp:). The happy smiling character and whole entourage.

Yet, to puncture the myth balloon Bhuddism also has its conflicts and bad history like probably any other religon.

An other example is Sri Lanka which is mostly Bhuddist but the country forever had its problems. This is not to bash religions per se (and I am not an expert on religions) . However it has its problems.

See Polity IV on Sri Lanka (and every other country actually). It is getting a bit old (They are working on a Polity V) BUT we are supposed to be staying in the past anyway :wink:

Polity IV Country Report 2010: Sri Lanka (systemicpeace.org)