What American Celebrity Was Part of a Japanese War Cry in World War II?

Professional baseball player Babe Ruth was a celebrity that was part of a Japanese war cry in World War II. According to 1944 reports, Japanese soldiers fighting in the South Pacific were said to shout “to hell with Babe Ruth!” A decade earlier, Babe Ruth had participated in a successful goodwill tour in Japan as part of the American All-Stars baseball team. After the Japanese attacked the US at Pearl Harbor in 1941, this resulted in the US declaring war on Japan. Babe Ruth became a spokesperson for war efforts against the Japanese, including radio commercials, print advertisements, and other public appearances, and was seen as a symbol of American patriotism hated by the Japanese.

More about Babe Ruth:

  • Jackie Mitchell, one of the first women to ever pitch in professional baseball, is said to have struck out Babe Ruth during an exhibition game between her minor league team the Chattanooga Lookouts and the New York Yankees.
  • Babe Ruth was reported to pack an entire suitcase filled with just chewing tobacco during the 1934 tour of Japan.
  • Before Babe Ruth began his career as a baseball player, he trained as an apprentice to become a tailor.

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