This Day In History: Japan Surrenders

September 2nd marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese Empire officially surrendering in World War II. On that day in 1945, Japanese foreign minister, Manoru Shigemitsu, boarded the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to formally sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, overseen and accepted by General Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of the Allies.

Before cracking open your old history books or popping in the Pearl Harbor or Saving Private Ryan DVDs, check out these top five documentaries featured on CuriosityStream that will give you an in-depth experience of our world’s most epic conflict of the 20th century. Gain insight from world historians that closely examine the war experience, from Hitler’s rise in power to Hiroshima.


BBC | Two-Part Documentary

A two-part documentary series on the defining moment of the 20th Century – the world’s first atomic attack. This program shows what it is like to live through a nuclear explosion. The action takes viewers into the room where the crucial political decisions are made; on board the Enola Gay on her fateful voyage; inside the bomb as it explodes; and on the streets of Hiroshima when disaster strikes. Special effects recreate the reality of the mission, and archive film replays the horrific aftermath.  Here’s a preview:


Killing Hitler

BBC | Two-Part Documentary

June 1944 — British intelligence suggests that without Hitler, the German war effort would falter. ‘LBX’, a staff officer with the Special Operations Executive, must devise a plan for Hitler’s assassination. How could a British agent get close enough to Hitler to kill him?


BBC | Documentary

The planning for the Allied invasion on June 6th 1944 took two years and cost thousands of lives, and involved a deception of breathtaking audacity. D-Day examines the intricate jigsaw, presenting events through the eyes of the men and women who were there, telling their extraordinary stories.

D-Day: Hidden Traces

Terranoa | Documentary

D-Day – June 6th 1944 : Uncovered by recent archeological digs, traces left behind by soldiers and civilians on the battle ground such as helmets, badges, bullets, weapons, and cans plus findings of underground passages and secret blockhouses provide new insights into WW2 history.  Here is a look:


The Men and Machines That Beat Hitler

BBC | Two-Part Documentary

This is the story of the veterans who fought in the 5th Royal Tank Regiment – a team of ordinary men who faced the frontline in both Europe and beyond. Their involvement in the Second World War spanned the humiliating defeat at Dunkirk, victory in the deserts of North Africa and finally saw resentment and revolt before D-Day. Based on the unpublished diaries and memoirs of the men who were thrust together in extraordinary circumstances to fight Hitler and his forces, this program uses drama and documentary to bring their stories to life.

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