In 1944 with the war in Europe turning in the Allies’ favor, Japan still occupied vast swathes of South East Asia and the Pacific.
In Burma, the seemly unstoppable Japanese advance was halted at Kohima and Imphal in June and July 1944. Six months later the advances made by British-led forces enabled the re-opening of the supply routes from India to US forces in China. It was not until Spring 1945 that British-led forces seized first Mandalay and then the port city of Rangoon after a year of grueling fighting.
Admiral Nimitz’s and General MacArthur’s forces meanwhile were overcoming fanatical Japanese resistance as they invaded Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Leyte and Luzon in late 1944. Iwo Jima and Okinawa fell to the Allies in early 1945. These successes enabled USAAF Superfortresses to bomb mainland Japan. Late Spring/early Summer 1945 saw the steady recapture of the Northern Solomons and Brunei, Borneo and former Dutch colonies. The Soviets were advancing into Manchuria and Korea.
The atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 finally forced the Japanese to surrender without the inevitable carnage of an invasion of their mainland.
The tumultuous events of the final year of the Second World War in the Far East are brilliantly described here in contemporary well captioned images and succinct text.