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OTD 9 SEPT 1945 - General Blamey accepts Japanese surrender at Morotai, ending Australian WW2 operations

75 years ago today - with thanks to the Australian Military History group.

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On the 9th of September 1945, General Sir Thomas Blamey, Commander in Chief Allied Land Forces Southwest Pacific Area, accepted the surrender of Lieutenant General Fusataro Teshima, Commander of the 11th Japanese Army at Morotai. This event marked the end of Australian military operations in WWII.

Although Japan had formally surrendered in Tokyo Bay on the 2nd of September, individual surrender ceremonies were held throughout the Pacific afterwards. These ceremonies symbolised the surrender of the individual units in each region, and were significant in ensuring that no independent Japanese units would continue fighting.

The surrender ceremony at Morotai saw the surrender of the 11th Japanese Army, which at the time comprised of 126,000 Japanese troops, was the second largest surrendering force of Japanese after the 136,000 soldiers from the Bougainville and New Britain area which surrendered on the 6th of September.

General Blamey signed the surrender document in front of 10,000 allied troops. In his speech, he said he did not recognise the Japanese as an honourable and gallant foe, recalling the treacherous attacks made by them against China, the British Empire and USA, and the atrocities that had been inflicted upon prisoners of war.

The acceptance of the surrender at Morotai saw the disbandment of the final significant Japanese force in the Pacific, effectively ending Australian military operations for WWII.

Lest we forget.

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(Lieutenant General Fusataro Teshima signing the surrender document at Morotai)

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