On this day: Manila in Wartime

U.S. troops at the Rizal Baseball Stadium, Manila, Philippines. 16th February 1945.

US troops stand in the Rizal Baseball Stadium in Manila in the Philippines on the 16th of February, 1945.

The Japanese had occupied the country for nearly three years. Two weeks before this image was taken, the Battle of Manila began, a fight for liberation that killed over 100 000 civilians and razed the city to the ground.

A combined force of American and Filipino troops finally defeated Japan at the beginning of March.

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On this day: Manila on Fire

10th February 1945: Residents of the Philippines run from suburbs burned by the Japanese during the Battle of Manila.

The battle ran from the 3rd of February to the 3rd of March, when combined American and Filipino forces liberated the country from nearly three years of Japanese control.

Over 100 000 civilians were killed before victory was achieved.

Citizens of Manila run for safety from suburbs burned by Japanese soldiers. Philippines. 10th February 1945.

On this day: Australian Troops in Libya

Tobruk Libya 22 January 1941. Members of C Company Australian 2-11th Infantry Battalion having penetrated the outer defences of Tobruk, assemble on the south side of the harbour after at

Australian troops photographed by Frank Hurley in Tobruk on the 22nd of January, 1941.

The harbour town in Libya became the focus of a 241-day siege a few months later. 14 000 Australians – known as the Rats of Tobruk – fought a combined force of Nazis and Italians. Control of the town was crucial to Allied interests in North Africa.

On this day: the USS Missouri aground

21st of January, 1950, and shows US Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) four days after running aground near Thimble Shoal Light in Virginia, USA.

This photograph is from the 21st of January, 1950, and shows US Navy battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) four days after running aground near Thimble Shoal Light in Virginia, USA. She was trapped there until the 1st of February, when she was refloated and repaired.

The Missouri is famous for being the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan in 1945, ending the Second World War.

In the years following the accident in Virginia, the ship was used in the Korean and Gulf Wars before being transformed into a museum ship at Pearl Harbor.

On this day: the birth of the Duchess of Northumberland

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott; 20 January 1922 – 19 September 2012)

Photographed as a teenager in 1935.

Elizabeth Diana Percy, Duchess of Northumberland (née Montagu Douglas Scott) was born on the 20th of January, 1922, to parents the future Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.

During the Second World War she served in both the Civil Nursing Reserve and the Women’s Royal Naval Service, and worked on the RMS Mauretania and in Australia.

She married Hugh Percy, 10th Duke of Northumberland in 1946 and went on to have seven children. Her husband ascended to the title after his brother, the 9th Duke, was killed in action in the war in 1940.

The Duchess outlived her husband, dying in Surrey, England in 2012.

On this day: a Japanese Church in Ruins

UrakamiTenshudoJan1946Urakami Tenshudo (Catholic Church in Nagasaki) destroyed by the atomic bomb, the bell of the church having toppled off. 7th January 1946.

One of the many buildings destroyed in the 9th August, 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan was the city’s Catholic church. The Urakami Tenshudo was of historical significance because of the centuries of persecution Japanese Christians faced for practicing their religion.

At Urakami people risked death by torture for following a religion Japanese authorities saw as undermining their power and bringing too much Western influence to the Empire.

Urakami was ground zero for the nuclear attack on the city.

Photographed here on the 7th of January, 1946, the destroyed church is seen to still be a ruin five months after the atomic bombings that forced Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

The aftermath of an air raid.

London was bombed by the Nazis on the 29th of December, 1940. Now world-famous photographer Cecil Beaton took this image after the attack. The bell towers of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City can be seen in the background, showing how close the internationally-renowned building came to being destroyed.

Some of the most famous images of the Second World War (e.g.) involved the cathedral surviving Nazis bombs.

The Western Bell Towers of St Paul’s Cathedral After the Incendiary Raid of 29 December, London.

Cecil Beaton, 'The Western Bell Towers of St Paul's Cathedral After the Incendiary Raid of 29 December, London', 1940.