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.

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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.

A Chinese suicide bomber prepares.

Chinese_infantry_soldier_preparing_a_suicide_vest_of_Model_24_hand_grenades_at_the_Battle_of_Taierzhuang_against_Japanese_TanksThe Battle of Taierzhuang, part of the Second Sino-Japanese

The Battle of Taierzhuang, part of the Second Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan, ran from the 24th of March to the 7th of April, 1938. The first major Chinese victory of the conflict, it was won in part because of the lengths the Chinese soldiers were willing to go to for victory.

This image shows one of China’s suicide bombers putting on a vest made of hand grenades. Some soldiers threw themselves under Japanese tanks and blew themselves – and the vehicles – up.

The Japanese were humiliated by the defeat and denied it in media reports for days after the battle concluded. Chinese victory gave the morale of their people a big boost.

This war ran up until the conclusion of the Second World War, and is considered part of the Pacific Theatre of the worldwide conflict, ending with Japan’s surrender in 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: the Japanese retreat from Borneo

This photograph is dated the 21st of October, 1945. After surrendering to Australian forces, Japanese soldiers and civilians on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo prepare to leave for Jesselton (modern-day Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia) for repatriation.

As with Russia in territories annexed by the Soviet Union, Imperial Japan imported hundreds of thousands of their own people into occupied territories outside Japanese borders. These locations included Korea, China and Taiwan. There, they enjoyed a higher social standing than the original occupants.

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21st of October, 1945. After surrendering to Australian forces, Japanese soldiers and civilians on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo prepare to leave for Jesselton (modern-day Kota Ki