22nd December 1937: Locals in Nanking, China clean up after the retreat of the Chinese army. The image appeared in a January 1938 edition of Japanese news picture magazine Asahi Graph. Japan had defeated China in the Battle of Nanking earlier in the month.
Despite promises that civilians wouldn’t be harmed, by the time the image was published Japanese soldiers had killed between 40 000 and 300 000 people in what would become known as the Rape of Nanking, or the Nanking Massacre.
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.