10th December 1941: Britain suffered heavy losses off the coast of Malaya at the midway point of the Second World War. Japanese torpedoes took out both HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, delivering a heavy blow to British morale.
The photograph was taken from a Japanese aeroplane.
The retouched image can be found in the collection of the Imperial War Museum.
9th December 1937: Japanese troops march on Nanking, China, carrying guns and wheels.
Days later, the soldiers would begin a spree of mass rape and mass murder that claimed the lives of between 40 000 and 300 000 people. The crime would come to be known as the Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre.
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.
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.