01 September 1939. Germany invades Poland. German forces have invaded Poland and its planes have bombed Polish cities, including the capital, Warsaw. The attack comes without any warning or declaration of war. Britain and France have mobilised their forces and are preparing to wage war on Germany for the second time this century. Just before dawn today, German tanks, infantry and cavalry penetrated Polish territory on several fronts with five armies, a total of 1.5 million troops. (Source: BBC)
01 September 1983. Korean airliner ‘shot down’. The United States has accused the USSR of shooting down a civilian airliner which is missing off Russia’s eastern coast. All 269 people on board the Korean Airlines flight KAL 007 are presumed dead. Moscow has so far only admitted to an incident with an “unidentified aircraft” in Soviet airspace. The Boeing 747 was flying from the USA to Seoul via Anchorage. It is believed to have strayed north of its scheduled course towards the Soviet island of Sakhalin. (Source: BBC)
02 September 1945. Japan signs unconditional surrender. Japanese officials have signed the act of unconditional surrender, finally bringing to an end six years of world war. In the presence of 50 Allied generals and other officials, the Japanese envoys boarded the American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay to sign the surrender document. Within half-an-hour of the signing, a convoy of 42 US ships entered Tokyo Bay and landed 13,000 American troops.