On this day: Japan Surrenders

The_Far_East-_Singapore,_Malaya_and_Hong_Kong_1939-1945_A30522Indian soldier who'd been kept as a Japanese prisoner of war in Hong Kong, being cared for by British nurses aboard the hosp

Imperial Japan surrendered on the 15th of August, 1945, effectively ending the Second World War (the official surrender came on the 2nd of September).

The moment resulted in the liberation of occupied regions across Asia and the Pacific, where many sex slaves and prisoners of war were kept in appalling conditions.

The photograph shows an emaciated Indian soldier who’d been kept as a prisoner of war in Hong Kong, being cared for by British nurses aboard the hospital ship Oxfordshire.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

On this day: the Battle of Magdhaba

Australian_Lewis_gunner_MagdhabaAustralian War Memorial image P00812.011. An Australian soldier firing a Lewis Gun during the Battle of Magdhaba 23rd December 1916 First World War One

An Australian soldier firing a Lewis Gun during the battle.

The Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The Battle of Magdhaba, officially known in Britain as the Affair of Magdhaba, was a First World War battle fought between the British and Ottoman Empires on the 23rd of December, 1916.

9th_Light_Horse_Regiment_MagdhabaThe advance of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade) at Battle of Magdhaba, 23 December 1916. First World War One

The advance of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment.

British Empire forces, consisting of British, Australian, Indian and New Zealand soldiers, defeated the Turks on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in a day of fierce fighting.

On this day: work on the Uganda Railway begins.

This image was taken on the 30th of May, 1896, when construction on the Uganda Railway began.

The project was started in British East Africa, and many of the workers were brought over from India. Several thousand chose to stay on in Africa after the work was done.

Despite its name, the railway was in in what is now Kenya, with Uganda being the destination.

Uganda_railway_first_work First day of work in the Uganda railway, 30th May 1896.

On this day: the bombing of the Kashmir Princess

The Kashmir Princess was a chartered Lockheed L-749A Constellation aircraft owned by Air India. On 11 April 1955, it was damaged in midair by a bomb explosion and crashed into the South China Sea.

The Kashmir Princess, an aircraft operated by Air India, was bombed and sank into the South China Sea on the 11th of April, 1955.

Of the nineteen people on board, sixteen died.

Zhou_Enlai_MeiyuanXincun17_Nanjing_1946Zhou Enlai (Chinese 周恩来; Wade–Giles Chou En-lai 5 March 1898 – 8 January 1976) was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China

Zhou Enlai in 1946

It emerged that the target of the bombing was China’s first Premier, Zhou Enlai, though he was not on the flight. More recently it has emerged that he might have known about the assassination attempt and so did not board the plane, even though he claimed to have been delayed due to surgery.

The aeroplane was supposed to have travelled from Bombay, India to Hong Kong and then on to Jakarta, Indonesia.

While China accused the United States’ CIA for the bombing, America has always denied the claims. Evidence points to Kremlin-backed Chinese nationalist party Kuomintang as the likely bombers.

On this day: the theft of the Peacock Throne


On the 22nd of March, 1739 Nader Shah of Persia (Iran) sacked the Indian city of Delhi and stole the jewels of the famous Peacock Throne. The seat of the Mughal emperors who ruled the north of India, the throne was never seen again.

NaderShahPaintingNāder Šāh Afšār or Nadir Shah (Persian نادر شاه افشار‎‎; also known as Nāder Qoli Beg - نادر قلی بیگ or Tahmāsp Qoli Khān - تهماسپ قلی خان) Shah of Persia (1736–47).

Nader Shah

A replacement throne was made, and existed until a rebellion in 1857.

On this day: the fall of Singapore in 1942

Surrendering troops of the Suffolk Regiment are held at gunpoint by Japanese infantry.

Suffolk Regiment troops held at gunpoint by Japanese infantry.

The Battle of Singapore ended on the 15th of February 1942, when Singapore fell to the Japanese.

Japanese_shooting_blindfolded_Sikh_prisonersJapanese soldiers shooting blindfolded Sikh prisoners

Japanese soldiers shooting Sikh prisoners


Japanese air raid on the 8th of February 1942.

Fighting in Singapore, at the time a major base for British soldiers, began on the 8th of February.

Hawker Hurricane of No. 232 Squadron RAF shot down on 8 February 1942.

Hawker Hurricane of No. 232 Squadron RAF shot down on 8 February.

The fall of Singapore was the largest fall of British-led troops in history, with some 80 000 British, Australian and Indian troops becoming prisoners of war.

LieutenantGeneral Arthur Percival led by a Japanese officer walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore on 15 February 1942

Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces

Many Australian and British soldiers died in captivity in the infamous Changi Prison.