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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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.

On this day: the bombing of Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg_ob_der_Tauber_Bomben_Zerstörung_Weltkrieg_1945 As the Second World War came closer to its end, German soldiers gathered at the Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on th

In ruins after the attack.

As the Second World War came closer to its end, German soldiers gathered to defend the Bavarian town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the 31st of March, 1945.

The town, considered a model of idyllic Nazi life and used as an example for people across Germany, was bombed by sixteen Allied planes that day. Thirty-seven people were killed, and there was significant damage to structures, including the loss of hundreds of homes, half a dozen public buildings, and hundreds of metres of the historic wall.

Even considering the extensive damage, the Allies were aware of Rothenburg’s historical significance and limited the attack in a way they did not with other targets.

Today the town has been carefully reconstructed, and is a popular tourist destination that makes up part of the famed Romantic Road.

On this day: Guerrilla Warfare in Copenhagen

Sabotage-_People_looking_at_Langebro_(bridge)_in_Copenhagen_27th_March_1945 Communist sabotage group BOPA places 150 kg. explosives in a train that blew up while it was crossing the bri

27th March 1945: Citizens of Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, watch as a train explodes on a bridge. Communist group BOPA, who operated from 1942-45, had packed the train with 150 kilograms of explosives.

Denmark was under Nazi occupation at the time, and the country was not liberated until the 5th of May the same year.