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: 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.

On this day: Christmas Day in the Australian Women’s Army Service

Lae, New Guinea, 25 December 1945. The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley talking to Sergeant Pritchard, AWAS, the only woman interpreter of Japanese in the Australian Army.

25th December 1945: The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley is photographed talking to Sergeant Pritchard of the Australian Women’s Army Service in Lae, New Guinea.

Pritchard was the Australian Army’s only Japanese translator during the Second World War.

The AWAS saw tens of thousands of women serve in the army for the final four years of the war. The organisation was disbanded in 1947.

On this day: the death of a dictator’s mother

Kim_Jeong_Suk_1 North Korea in 1945 Korean anti-Japanese guerrilla, a Communist activist, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung_s first wife, Aged 25

In her mid-twenties in 1945. X

Kim Jong-suk, a Korean anti-Japanese guerrilla fighter, Communist, and mother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, died on the 22nd of September, 1949.

North_Korea_-_Great_Mother_(5015266475) Great Mother Kim Jong Suk safeguarding Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung at the risk of her life.

The “Great Mother” as a fighter in a propaganda painting. X

Twenty-nine at the time of her death, while the official state explanation is that she died of the hardships of fighting for Korea, it is thought she possibly died either giving birth to a stillborn son, from tuberculosis, or from a gunshot wound. Her death is not even mentioned in her biography.

Heo_Jong-suk_and_Kim_Jong-suk_ather_in_Pyongyang Heo Jong-suk and Kim Jong-suk 1948.

The year before her death. X

Kim Jong-suk was the first wife of Kim Il-sung, and the grandmother of current leader Kim Jong-un. She is buried in the “Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery” near Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea.

On this day: celebrating the end of the war

On the 2nd of September, 1945, the Chinese community of Montreal, Canada held a parade to celebrate the surrender of the Japanese in the Second World War.

The parade took place in Chinatown, and was photographed by photojournalism pioneer Conrad Poirier.

Parade_in_Montreal's_Chinatown Montreal's Chinese community celebrates V-J Day and the official surrender of Japan with a parade in Chinatown. 2nd September 1945.