VJ Day in numbers: Key facts and figures as world marks the end of Second World War

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender, which ended the war

Lizzie Dearden
Tuesday 06 October 2015 14:18
Londoners partied in Piccadilly Circus on VJ Day in 1945
Londoners partied in Piccadilly Circus on VJ Day in 1945

The Queen is leading events to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the end of Second World War today.

David Cameron is joining the royal family and former prisoners of war at a memorial in London, followed by another service in Horse Guards Parade, a flypast and march.

Fighting in Europe ended in May 1945 to jubilant celebrations but the battle between Allies and Japan continued until 15 August, following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Here are the key facts and figures on VJ Day:


Number of British casualties in the war against Japan of whom 29,968 died - 12,433 whilst prisoners of war.

Emaciated English soldiers liberated from a Japanese prison camp


men from Britain fought in Burma, as did 119,000 soldiers from her East and West African colonies.


Royal Air Force and Commonwealth squadrons flew in support of the land operations, and the Royal Navy, including Royal Marines, and the Royal Indian Navy provided vital assistance in the provision of landing craft, minesweeping, gunfire support and other duties.

Allied aircraft in Singapore before it was taken by the Japanese

Men and women from all over the British Empire and Commonwealth made a vital contribution to the Allied victory over Japan. Nearly 2.5 million men served in the all-volunteer Indian Army and a further 60,000 in the Royal Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.


Squadrons of the Royal New Zealand Air Force were fighting in the Pacific by the end of the war, while squadrons of the Royal Australian Air Force flew more than 45,000 sorties from 20 Pacific bases in 1944.

British and Indian Troops advancing on a town 80 miles south of Mandalay.


Indians took part in the Burma campaign between December 1941 and August 1945, 340,000 of them in the Fourteenth Army, and they outnumbered the forces from all other Allied nations combined.


Length of the Burma Railway. It travelled from Thailand to Burma and was built to support Japanese Forces.


Allied Prisoners of War were put to work on the railway and subjected to brutal treatment. Around 12,621 of them died during its construction, including 6,904 British personnel.

Allied Prisoners of War after being liberated


People killed when an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by US B-29 bomber Enola Gay on 6 August 1945.

The nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, Japan


People killed on August 9, when an atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing more than 74,000 people.

Press Association

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments