On this day: the Surrender of Japan

(Color) Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945

2nd September 1945: This photograph, taken on board the USS Missouri, shows Japanese representatives taking part in a ceremony to formalise Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.

The document of surrender, signed on this day, ended the war.

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On this day: Nagasaki Destroyed

These aerial photographs show the Japanese city of Nagasaki before and after the American nuclear bomb attack on the 9th of August, 1945.

Amongst those in the city at the time of the bombing were thousands of conscripted Korean workers and hundreds of Western (Allied) prisoners of war. Not all of them survived.

Nagasaki_1945_-_Before_and_after_(adjusted) Nagasaki, Japan, before and after the atomic bombing of 9th August, 1945.

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: 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.