On this day: the release of Bombardier

Bombardier_movieThe American film Bombardier was released on the 14th of May, 1943. Concerning the training of United States Army Air Forces bombardiers, the movie was unpopular with cri

The American film Bombardier was released on the 14th of May, 1943. Concerning the training of United States Army Air Forces’ bombardiers, the movie was unpopular with critics, but a success with viewers.

The film was actually conceived in 1940, more than a year before the United States entered the Second World War. The storyline evolved after America was drawn into the conflict at the halfway point, and the script was changed to include Japanese bombing scenes after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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On this day: the bombing of Nagoya Castle

Burning_Nagoya_CastleBurning Nagoya Castle 14th May 1945 Allied Air Raid Second World War

Nagoya Castle in Japan was destroyed by Allied bombing on the 14th of May, 1945. The city had been under attack from air raids since April of 1942, and the castle was targeted as it was being used as a Japanese military command post as well as the administrative headquarters for the local prisoner of war camp.

The castle was considered a national treasure. Reconstruction began in the 1950s.

On this day: Cologne in Ruins

Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) seemingly undamaged (although having been directly hit several times and damaged severely) area surrounding it is completely devastated. The Hauptbahnhof

The German city of Cologne is seen in ruins on the 24th of April, 1945, as the Second World War drew to an end. Though is was hit by Allied bombs a number of times, Cologne Cathedral still stands.

The city suffered heavy damage over the course of the war, and had come under Allied control in early March.

 

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.

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: 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.

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.