On this day 75 years ago, more than three months after fighting in Europe had ceased, WWII finally came to an end. To commemorate this significant date, here are some insightful reads that recount the important events of that time.
1. Dunkirk to Belsen by John Sadler
This unique and movingly personal history shares stories from soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry who served in World War II. These are first-hand accounts of astonishing courage and admirable perseverance that create a poignant narrative of war, with all its terror, hope, heroism and sacrifice.
2. Escape From the Rising Sun by Ian Skidmore
In February 1942, Singapore fell. Following one of the greatest defeats the British Army has ever suffered, one man remained convinced that he could escape and reclaim some honour from the disaster. Geoffrey Rowley-Conwy joined a group of fellow officers for a desperate bid to escape the Japanese. Their plan? To take a dilapidated sailing boat across the Indian Ocean to Ceylon.
But to reach safety they would have to cross miles of open sea swept by the fury of the monsoon and patrolled by Japanese fighter planes on the lookout for British survivors…
With snippets from personal diaries and documents, this incredible survival story is a revealing recollection of the extraordinary feats of a group of remarkable men.
3. Air Heroes of World War II by Robert Jackson
This collection tells the inspirational true stories of men who became heroes in the sky during WWII. Featuring tales of courageous pilots from all nations, including the men who risked their lives each night to land agents in occupied Europe and the Russian pilot who crawled through the snow for nineteen days with no feet, Air Heroes of WWII reveals ordinary people who performed truly extraordinary things.
4. 1945: The World We Fought For by Robert Kee
The year WWII ended is often considered the year in which our modern world began to take shape. But at the start of 1945, everything remained unclear. From contemporary newspapers and broadcasts, Robert Kee recaptures the intensity, anxiety and excitement of the year as it unfolded, illuminating its interest for us today.
5. Eyewitness Hiroshima by Adrian Weale
The world undoubtedly changed with devastating effect on the morning of 6 August 1945, the day the first atomic bomb exploded above the Japanese city of Hiroshima with catastrophic consequences.
This detailed account of one of the most destructive attacks in human history tells of the events as they happened, and the deadly discoveries leading to them, in the words of those who were there. An important read on one of the great tragedies of WWII.