On this day: a family portrait at the end of a war

The Hughes family of 129 Railway Street, Armagh, Northern Ireland pose in military-style clothing on the 19th of July, 1945. Less than a month later VJ Day (the surrender of Japan) occurred, effectively ending the Second World War.

The extensive archives of photographers H. Allison & Co., based in County Armagh, are now available through Wikimedia Commons.

Creator-_H__Allison_&_Co__Photographers_(6174941465)Hughes family of 129 Railway Street, Armagh, County Armagh. Portrait. 19th July 1945.

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On this day: War in the Pacific

D Day on the beach at Balikpapan with Australian soldiers from a unit of the 7th Infantry Division carrying a wounded soldier on a stretcher along the beach.

1st July 1945: Australians carry a wounded soldier along the beach at Balikpapan, Borneo. Smoke billows from burning oil tanks bombed by the Japanese.

The Borneo Campaign ran from the 1st of May until Japan’s surrender on the 15th of August, and succeeded in pushing the Japanese further from Australia. However, Japan’s inhumane treatment of Allied prisoners of war became infamous, and included sex slavery and death marches.

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: 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: 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.