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American troops in the Philippines celebrate the long-awaited news that Japan has, finally, unconditionally, surrendered in August 1945.

Russian and American soldiers shaking hands and greeting each other as Allies at the end of World War 2, 1945

When Corregidor and Bataan fell in 1942, there were 11 US Navy nurses and 66 Army nurses who were captured along with the American and Filipino forces, and imprisoned in and around the city of Manila. These 77 women became known as the Angels of Bataan (sometimes even referred to as the Battling Belles of Bataan) who, despite being prisoners of war, continued to serve as an active nursing unit until their liberation in February 1945.

From D-Day until Christmas 1944, German prisoners of war were shipped off to American detention facilities at a rate of 30,000 per month. Above: Captured German troops, June 1944.

World War II, the Bataan Death March, American Prisoners in the Philippines, 1942

Three American soldiers lie half-buried in the sand at Buna Beach on New Guinea. This photo was taken in February 1943, but not published until September, when it became the first image of dead American troops to appear in LIFE during World War II. George Strock's photo was finally OK'd by government censors, in part because FDR feared the public was growing complacent about the war's horrific toll.

John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Gunnery Sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal during World War II. He was the only enlisted Marine in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

The Dirlewangers, (36th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS), a military unit of the Waffen-SS, often wore masks in late 1944, early 1945, due to the pictures taken of them during the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. The Dirlewangers were the most criminal and heinous SS unit in Hitler's war machine.

A navy photographer snapped this photograph of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, just as the USS Shaw exploded.