What are some examples of atrocities committed by the Western Allies in WW2?

It really depends if we're being honest or not. So it depends if we apply the standards that we apply to others to ourselves. That's the principle of universality. Namely, if something is wrong for the enemy to do, it ought to be wrong for me to do. The question, therefore, is if we apply the Nuremberg Laws universally, would the Allies be war criminals? The answer, of course, is unequivocally yes.

Let's just take the example of General Yamashita. He was the commander of Japanese troops in Manila, Phillipnes, some of whom committed gross war crimes (many more troops outside of his command committed the bulk of the crimes in Manila). The issue is that General Yamashita never ordered these crimes, never knew about the crimes, lacked communication with his troops, and had no power to stop them if he knew what they were doing. He was hanged at the dissent of two U.S. Supreme Court Justices for the crime of being a general in the Japanese army.

If we applied this principle universally, how many U.S. Army generals do you think we would have had at the end of the War? Very few.

But that's just the small picture. There were unspeakable war crimes committed by the Allies, chief among them being the dropping of two atomic bombs on civilian centers. But in most cases when it came to the war tribunals, which of course were held by the victors of the War, the very deliberately focused on the crimes of the Axis in an ex post facto manner and legitimized the crimes of the Allies. There was really one independent Asian judge and that was Radhabinod Pal of India who really highlighted the farce of it all in his dissent. Today, the Japanese have monuments dedicated to him, not that the Japanese forces were innocent of war crimes, but that he was the singular voice opposed to the type of hypocrisy that we witnessed in the war tribunals following the War.

/r/AskHistorians Thread