On this day: the Australian Women’s Army Service

Awas_in_wa_1943Northam, West Australia. 1943-04-20. The Minister for the Australian Army, the Honourable F.M. Forde, inspecting personnel of the Australian Women's Army Service at the We

Minister for the Australian Army, the Honourable F.M. Forde, is photographed inspecting members of the Australian Women’s Army Service in Northam, Western Australia on the 20th of April, 1943.

The AWAS was formed in August of 1941, two years into Australia’s participation in the Second World War. Tens of thousands of women served in various positions in the Australian Army, including several hundred who were sent to New Guinea.

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April 1906: the aftermath of a disaster

A massive earthquake hit San Francisco, USA on the 18th of April, 1906. The fires that it sparked lasted days and devastated the city.

This image shows the community rallying together in the middle of the destruction.

5 Times San Francisco Was Almost Destroyed

On April 18, 1906, one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States shook San Francisco. Though the quake was bad, 80 percent of the city was destroyed by the fires

On this day: a Kamikaze Attack

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Near Okinawa on the 11th of April, 1945, the USS Missouri was hit by a Japanese kamikaze attack – a suicide mission in the style used by the Japanese military during the Second World War.

The battleship only sustained minor, superficial damage, but the pilot was killed. The ship’s American captain insisted on giving him a funeral with full military honours.

It is estimated nearly four-thousand Japanese pilots died this way in the war’s Pacific Theatre.

The Missouri is now famous for being the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan later that year, the event that ended the war.

On this day: Arthur Conan Doyle

British writer Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, is photographed here in New York City on the 10th of April, 1922.

Also in the picture are his second wife, Jean, and the children he had by her. Doyle, who was almost sixty-three at the time, married for the second time almost immediately after the death of his first wife.

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Sir_Arthur_Conan_Doyle_and_familySir Arthur Conan Doyle and family looking over wall and pointing, New York City 10th April 1922

On this day: the German invasion of Denmark

Danish_soldiers_on_9_April_1940 A squad of Danish troops on the morning of the German invasion, 9 April 1940, photographed near Bredevad i Southern Jutland. Two of these men were killed

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This photograph of Danish soldiers was taken on the 9th of April, 1940, the date of the German invasion of Denmark.

Two of these seven soldiers were killed later that day.

King Christian X on his horse. 1940. Defiance to teh Nazi occupation of Denmark.

During the occupation King Christian X became a prominent figure of defiance, seen riding unaccompanied through the streets of Copenhagen.

The Nazis occupied the country until the Allied victory on the 5th of May, 1945.

A Chinese suicide bomber prepares.

Chinese_infantry_soldier_preparing_a_suicide_vest_of_Model_24_hand_grenades_at_the_Battle_of_Taierzhuang_against_Japanese_TanksThe Battle of Taierzhuang, part of the Second Sino-Japanese

The Battle of Taierzhuang, part of the Second Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan, ran from the 24th of March to the 7th of April, 1938. The first major Chinese victory of the conflict, it was won in part because of the lengths the Chinese soldiers were willing to go to for victory.

This image shows one of China’s suicide bombers putting on a vest made of hand grenades. Some soldiers threw themselves under Japanese tanks and blew themselves – and the vehicles – up.

The Japanese were humiliated by the defeat and denied it in media reports for days after the battle concluded. Chinese victory gave the morale of their people a big boost.

This war ran up until the conclusion of the Second World War, and is considered part of the Pacific Theatre of the worldwide conflict, ending with Japan’s surrender in 1945.

On this day: Australians at War

New Britain. 4 April 1945. Private Leon Ravet of Parramatta, NSW Pte Bernard Kentwell of Cronulla, NSW, on patrol duty with their Owen sub machine guns. Both men served with the 19th Bat

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. X

4th April 1945: Private Leon Ravet of Parramatta and Private Bernard Kentwell of Cronulla on duty in New Britain, the largest island of New Guinea, near the end of the Second World War.

Both men are holding Owen submachine guns, which were designed and manufactured in Australia, and used by the Australian Army from 1943 until the 1960s.