75th Anniversary of End of World War II - A Pictorial Narration

By Stephen P D’Souza, Melbourne
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Sep 2, 2020

September 2, 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, as on this day the Japanese delegation formally signed the ‘Instrument of Surrender’ on board the battleship USS Missouri, marking the official ending of the War. On September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, it was the second time the world went to war and with the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945 - the World War II was finally over.

On another front, the World War II ended with the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Western Allies and to Russia in the second week of May 1945. However, in the East, victory and surrender would not come easily for the Allies in the Pacific Theatre. The war in the Pacific had started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. After years of battles and unsuccessful attempts at negotiating a treaty between the Allies (France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union and to a lesser extent China) and the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan), the United States dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945. A week later, on August 15, 1945 (August 14th in the West), Japan announced its intention to surrender.

Visiting the site that dragged America into World War II

And touring the battleship where all of it ended, too …

In Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii in the United States

Witnessed the destruction and scars of history’s aches

Here is a pictorial journey of them all, clubbed together

Where the start, climax and end of the War gather!

Battleship USS Missouri:

Instrument of Surrender:

On September 2, 1945 - in Tokyo Bay aboard the battleship USS Missouri, representatives of the Allied and Axis Powers met in a solemn ceremony to “conclude an agreement by which peace can be restored.” Following Allied Powers’ Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur’s introductory speech, representatives of the Empire of Japan were directed to step forward and sign the two copies of the Instrument of Surrender. General MacArthur then signed on behalf of all the Allied Powers followed by the representatives of Allied nations in attendance. General MacArthur concluded the ceremony by saying: “Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed!” With those words, World War II was over. The ceremony aboard the deck of the Missouri lasted 23 minutes and was broadcast around the globe.

Rewind - Before the Storm:

At dawn on 7 December 1941 more than half of the United States’ Pacific Fleet, approx. 150 vessels and service craft, lay at anchor or alongside piers in Pearl Harbor. All but one of the Pacific Fleet’s battleships was in port that morning, most of them moored to quays flanking Ford Island. By 10.00 am, the tranquil Sunday calm had been shattered. 21 vessels lay sunk or damaged, the fighting backbone of the Fleet apparently broken. Smoke from burning planes and hangars filled the sky. Oil from sinking ships clogged the harbour. Death was everywhere!

Before this attack, the United States was not directly involved in World War II. The surprise offensive by the Japanese dragged America into war …

Pearl Harbor today:

Pearl Harbor, an American lagoon harbour on the island of O’ahu, Hawaii on the west of Honolulu is now a National Historic Landmark, though quiet today is still displaying the scars of war. There are five major historical sites currently in the World War II Pacific National Monument apart from many other places of significance. However, Pearl Harbor is more than just a reminder of the past as it is also a working Joint Naval and Air Force base. Today, the Japanese constitute the highest number of tourists who visit Hawaii and to the Memorial that sees two million visitors a year. The influence of the Japanese is so much evident that during my visit, in many pockets of the Island, I was left wondering whether it was an American State or a Japanese colony. Allies in the First World War and Allies now, history has indeed come a full circle!

‘Mangalore’ in World War II Map:

 

 

 

Comment on this article

  • Alzira Mascarenhas, Mangalore/Melbourne, Australia

    Mon, Sep 7 2020

    Dear Stephen,

    Well researched and detailed write up on history. Wars come and go, peace prevails but your words, pictures and narrative are top notch, 100/100.

    Coronovirus will surely make it into history books someday, and with sincerity, I strongly recommend your writing to be part of History curriculum. Every child and adult alike will revel in the in depth knowledge and documentation have provided. Great going ! Keep going !

    Agree [9]

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Fri, Sep 4 2020

    Mr Mohan Prabhu – that is an in-depth personal experience of yours of the war times that you have shared and thanks for your appreciative comments.

    I learn during the World Wars, the Arabian Sea was a beehive of activity during the British era. I am also given to understand that the glass doors of St Aloysius High School class rooms were replaced by wood to protect from any direct hit from the warships on the Arabian Sea, the entire school building in the firing line, though I love to have more clarification on this.

    Like Canada, as you have mentioned on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes' silence is observed in Australia too that is dedicated to those soldiers who died fighting to protect the nation. It is a bit different from observing Anzac day which is a day of commemoration for thanking the veterans. There are War Memorials across major Aussie cities.

    Agree [10]

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Fri, Sep 4 2020

    Dear Stephen,

    Thanks indeed for your gracious Comments.

    Hope to Meet you when I come Next to Melbourne.

    With Regards,
    Joe
    joebritto1950@rediffmail.com

    linkedin.com/in/joe-britto-6371a83

    Agree [9]

  • Mohan Prabhu,, Mangalore (Kankanady)/Ottawa, Canada

    Thu, Sep 3 2020

    Wonderful pictures that ignite the memory especially of those, like me, lived in that era – From the beginning of the Great Depression and the Great War [nothing GREAT about them; they were calamities!). Congratulations.Stephen.
    The Mangalore (now Mangaluru) that I still remember after being away for 73 years, was not excited by either of the above calamities which seemed to have occurred elsewhere. I remember the old days when there was a great deal of unemployment, but didn’t know then that there was this Depression as I saw hardly more than the current number of beggars on the street. A few stood at the entrance to our house (no gate) in Kankanady reciting Rosary and a few coins (a couple of dedki) or a handful of raw rice would satisfy them and they would go away. My father had a job which was low paying at the Hospital, and we got free use of the hospital quarters (Pumpwell).
    I do not remember any troop movements other than a few ARPs marching occasionally down the street; perhaps Mangalore was too small a town (population then: about 70,000) to be of any consequence. But I do remember the ubiquitous ration card – which is still in use in India – for essential items such as rice, kerosene oil, etc., as well as substitution for coffee beans by chicory (?), and for rice by wheat and ragi. But I remember this much: Nobody went hungry; rations were sufficient except for big eaters.
    Thank you for your timely reminder of a special anniversary. Canada celebrates Remembrance Day on the 11th of November, 11th Day, 11th Hour, and it is a holiday for Federal public servants.

    Agree [9]

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Sep 3 2020

    Glad to know you enjoyed this piece of writing Dr. Cynthia, finding it useful and many thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Our trip to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States in January last year was an eye-opener offering me a new perspective of World War II. We need to be indebted to the Allies who decisively won the war, if not for which we ought to have been fluent in Japanese, German or Italian to fly high and make a mark in this world with English relegated to the background.

    Agree [7]

  • Dr. Cynthia Menezes, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Sep 3 2020

    Wow! Thoroughly enjoyed your article. Great idea, well presented, what a lovely journey to the past!
    So many lessons to learn. Informative, answers many hidden questions. Thank you!
    Keith and Cynthia Prabhu

    Agree [8]

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Sep 3 2020

    For your positive feedback in general and photographs in particular, KR Ballal, thank you!

    Agree [7]

  • K.R.Ballal, KAPU

    Thu, Sep 3 2020

    Wonderful and highly instructive accompanied by some rare photographs.Thank you.

    Agree [8]

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Sep 3 2020

    Thank you Deepak and Joe for your comments.

    Good on you Joe! Lots of insight from you there. Another war is not required for humanity to be in peril, just a 'virus' can create enough havoc. The total deaths in the United States due to Covid-19 has far exceeded the total personnel they lost during World War I and still counting.

    It is also interesting to note the Japanese expressed their intention to surrender in World War II on the 15th of August 1945 (Japanese time zone) and a couple of years later, on the same date India gains its Independence from the British.

    Agree [10]

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 2 2020

    Thanks Stephen P D'Souza for such a well Narrated Historical Data of World War II. The pictures speak a Thousand Words.

    LEST WE FORGET :
    The current Generations have only heard Stories from their Fathers/Grandparents about the Harsh Sufferings they had to undergo during the War Times . Earlier 1914 to 1918 WW I and later the Great Depression of 1929 followed soon by the War II 1939 to 1945. There was shortage of Essentials , Money was scarce , Rations were limited and Barter was quite Common. The entire world was living in FEAR.

    The Population of the world was just about 3.5 Billion in 1945 and now it's over 7 Billion.

    The Covid-19 Pandemic is indeed a Timely reminder of the Fragile Eco System that we are living in and the ENTIRE Mankind needs to Protect Our One and Only Earth and Live in PEACE & HARMONY .

    Agree [12]

  • Deepak N., Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 2 2020

    Nice narration with beautiful pictures.

    Agree [11]


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Title : 75th Anniversary of End of World War II - A Pictorial Narration


 
 
 
 

 
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