On VE day in May 1945, while the nation celebrated and partied, British and Commonwealth Armed Forces continued to fight in Burma, Singapore and Thailand. Japan had yet to surrender. It was a bloodied, ferocious few months, which finally came to an end following the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August.
|Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: POW camps, & work on the Death Railway|
The British Forces over there had been stuck for three solid years, as even on a three day leave, it was simply too far to come home. They would only see their homes once victory in Japan was achieved.
There were around 300,000 Allied POWs in Japanese camps, and of these only 200,000 would survive. Life in those camps was extremely harsh with torture and executions being commonplace. Their rations were extreme too, with many surviving on
Many, if not all of the men were in a poor state of health and extremely weak and yet they were forced to work on the infamous Thailand-Burma Railway, known as the Death Railway. Around 16,000 POWs died during its construction, along with more than 80,000 Asian
|Wampo Viaduct "Hellfire Pass" Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons|
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; Bridge on the River Kwae|
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: Colonel Tibbetts just prior to his mission.|
On the 8th August, Russia declared war on Japan and invaded the Japanese state of Manchukuo. Later that day, the US dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The primary target had originally been Kokura, but due to bad weather it was amended.
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: "Little Boy" the mushroom cloud rose to more than 20,000 feet|
On August 14th, Emperor Hirohito addressed his Empire on the radio where he announced the surrender of Japan to the Allies. The next day, 15th August 1945 was celebrated as VJ day.
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: Hiroshima|
|Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Japanese surrenders on USS Missouri|
|Crowds swarm in front of Buckingham Palace VJ Day 1945|
|That unforgettable Sailor's kiss in Times Square on VJ Day 1945|
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons