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§Of World Interest

On September 2nd, World War II ended with the final official surrender of Japan accepted by Supreme Allied Commander General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz from a delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. In Japan, August 14 th is recognized as the day the Pacific War ended.



May 8 - The Sétif massacre, widespread disturbances and killings in northern Africa took place in and around the Algerian market town of Sétif located to the west of Constantine in 1945. The French police fired on local demonstrators at a protest. Then, riots in the town itself were followed by attacks on French colons (settlers) in the surrounding countryside resulting in 103 deaths. Subsequent attacks by French authorities and vigilantes are estimated to have caused much greater numbers of deaths amongst the Muslim population of the region: between 1,020 and 45,000 people. Both the outbreak and the indiscriminate nature of its repression are believed to have marked a turning point in Franco-Algerian relations ultimately leading to Algerian independence in 1962 CE.



January 28 – Supplies begin to reach China over the newly reopened Burma Road.

At the end of August, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek met in Chongqing to discuss an end to hostilities between the Communists and the Nationalists during the Chinese Civil War.


August 9 - The Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation (Манчжурская стратегическая наступательная операция, lit. Manchzhurskaya Strategicheskaya Nastupatelnaya Operaciya), began with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo and was the largest campaign of the 1945 Soviet–Japanese War which resumed hostilities between Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan after more than 4 years of peace. Soviets gains on the continent were Manchukuo, Mengjiang (Inner Mongolia) and northern Korea. The rapid defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army was a very significant factor in the Japanese surrender and the end of World War II, as Japan realized the Russians were willing and able to take the cost of invasion of its Home Islands, after their rapid conquest of Manchuria and southern Sakhalin.

§Iwo Jima

Thirty-thousand marines landed on the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima on February 19th.

Iwo Jima, which means "Sulphur Island" in Japanese, is one of the Volcano Islands, part of the Ogasawara, a group of islands about 1,080 km (522 miles) south of Tokyo, 1,130 km (555 miles) north of Guam, and nearly halfway between Tokyo and Saipan.

At the end of the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines, the Allies were left with a two month lull in their operations prior to the planned invasion of Okinawa. Iwo Jima was strategically important: it provided an airbase for Japanese aircraft to intercept long-range B-29 bombers and provided a haven for Japanese naval units in dire need of any support available. The capture of Iwo Jima would eliminate these problems and provide a staging area for the eventual invasion of the Japanese mainland. The distance of B-29 raids would be nearly halved, and a base would be available for P-51 Mustang fighters to escort and protect the devastating bomber raids. Intelligence sources were confident that Iwo Jima would fall in five days, unaware that the Japanese were preparing a quintessentially defensive posture, radically departing from any of their previous tactics. So successful was the Japanese preparation that it was discovered after the battle that the hundreds of tons of allied bombs and thousands of rounds of heavy naval gunfire left the Japanese defenders almost unscathed, and ready to wreak losses on the U.S. Marines unparalleled up to that point in the Pacific War. In the light of the optimistic intelligence reports, the decision was made to invade Iwo Jima: the landing was designated Operation Detachment.

General Kuribayashi made several changes in his basic defense plan in the months preceding the American invasion of Iwo Jima. The final strategy, which became effective in January 1945, called for the creation of strong, mutually supporting positions which were to be defended to the death. Neither large scale counterattacks, withdrawals, nor banzai charges were contemplated. The southern portion of Iwo in the proximity of Mount Suribachi was organized into a semi-independent defense sector. Fortifications included casemated coast artillery and automatic weapons in mutually supporting pillboxes. The narrow isthmus to the north of Suribachi was to be defended by a small infantry force. On the other hand this entire area was exposed to the fire of artillery, rocket launchers, and mortars emplaced on Suribachi to the south and the high ground to the north.

A main line of defense, consisting of mutually supporting positions in depth, extended from the northwestern part of the island to the southeast, along a general line from the cliffs to the northwest, across Motoyama Airfield No. 2 to Minami village. From there it continued eastward to the shoreline just south of Tachiiwa Point. The entire line of defense was dotted with pillboxes, bunkers, and blockhouses. Colonel Nishi's immobilized tanks, carefully dug in and camouflaged, further reinforced this fortified area, whose strength was supplemented by the broken terrain. A second line of defense extended from a few hundred yards south of Kitano Point at the very northern tip of Iwo across the still uncompleted Airfield No. 3, to Motoyama village, and then to the area between Tachiiwa Point and the East Boat Basin. This second line contained fewer man-made fortifications, but the Japanese took maximum advantage of natural caves and other terrain features.

As an additional means of protecting the two completed airfields on Iwo from direct assault, the Japanese constructed a number of antitank ditches near the fields and mined all natural routes of approach. When, on 2 January, more than a dozen B-24 Liberator bombers raided Airfield No. 1 and inflicted heavy damage, Kuribayashi diverted more than 600 men, 11 trucks, and 2 bulldozers for immediate repairs, rendering the airfield operational within only 12 hours. Eventually, 2,000 men were assigned the job of filling the bomb craters, with as many as 50 men detailed to one crater. By the end of 1944 American B-24 bombers were over Iwo Jima almost every night, and U.S. Navy carriers and cruisers frequently sortied into the Ogasawaras. On 8 December 1944, American aircraft dropped more than 800 tons of bombs on Iwo Jima, which did very little real damage to the island defenses. Even though frequent air raids interfered with the Japanese defensive preparations and robbed the garrison of badly-needed sleep, work was not materially slowed.

As early as 5 January 1945, Admiral Ichimaru conducted a briefing of naval personnel at his command post in which he informed them of the destruction of the Japanese Fleet at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the loss of the Philippines, and the expectation that Iwo would shortly be invaded. Exactly one month later, Japanese radio operators on Iwo reported to the island commander that code signals of American aircraft had undergone an ominous change. On 13 February, a Japanese naval patrol plane spotted 170 American ships moving northwestward from Saipan. All Japanese troops in the Ogasawaras were alerted and occupied their battle positions. On Iwo Jima, preparations for the pending battle had been completed, and the defenders were ready.

Primary U.S. plan

The U.S. V Amphibious Corps scheme of maneuver for the landings was relatively simple. The 4th and 5th Marine Divisions were to land abreast on the eastern beaches, the 4th on the right and the 5th on the left. When released to VAC, the 3rd Marine Division, as Expeditionary Troops Reserve, was to land over the same beaches to take part in the attack or play a defensive role, whichever was called for. The plan called for a rapid exploitation of the beachhead with an advance in a northeasterly direction to capture the entire island. A regiment of the 5th Marine Division was designated to capture Mount Suribachi in the south.

The detailed scheme of maneuver for the landings provided for the 28th Marine Regiment of the 5th Marine Division, commanded by Colonel Harry B. Liversedge, to land on the extreme left of the corps on Green 1. On the right of the 28th Marines, the 27th Marine Regiment, under Colonel Thomas A. Wornham, was to attack towards the west coast of the island, then wheel northeastward and seize the O-1 Line. Action by the 27th and 28th Marines was designed to drive the enemy from the commanding heights along the southern portion of Iwo, simultaneously securing the flanks and rear of VAC. As far as the 4th Marine Division was concerned, the 23rd Marine Regiment, commanded by Colonel Walter W. Wensinger, was to go ashore on Yellow 1 and 2 beaches, seize Motoyama Airfield No. 1, then turn to the northeast and seize that part of Motoyama Airfield No. 2 and the O-1 Line within its zone of action. After landing on Blue Beach 1, the 25th Marine Regiment, under Colonel John R. Lanigan, was to assist in the capture of Airfield No. 1, the capture of Blue Beach 2, and the O-1 Line within its zone of action. The 24th Marine Regiment, under Colonel Walter I. Jordan, was to be held in 4th Marine Division reserve during the initial landings. The U.S. 26th Marine Regiment, led by Colonel Chester B. Graham, was to be released from corps reserve on D-Day and prepared to support the 5th Marine Division.

Division artillery was to go ashore on order from the respective division commanders. The 4th Marine Division was to be supported by the 14th Marine Regiment, commanded by Colonel Louis G. DeHaven; Colonel James D. Wailer's 13th Marine Regiment was to furnish similar support for the 5th Marine Division.

The operation was to be timed so that at H-Hour 68 Landing Vehicle Tracked, comprising the first wave, were to hit the beach. These vehicles were to advance inland until they reached the first terrace beyond the high-water mark. The armored amphibians would use their 75 mm howitzers and machine guns to the utmost in an attempt to keep the enemy down, thus giving some measure of protection to succeeding waves of Marines who were most vulnerable to enemy fire at the time they debarked from their LVTs. Though early versions of the VAC operations plan had called for tanks of the 4th and 5th Tank Battalions to be landed at H plus 30, subsequent studies of the beaches made it necessary to adopt a more flexible schedule. The possibility of congestion at the water's edge also contributed to this change in plans. In the end, the time for bringing the tanks ashore was left to the discretion of the regimental commanders.

Alternate plan

Since there was a possibility of unfavorable surf conditions along the eastern beaches, VAC issued an alternative plan on 8 January 1945, which provided for a landing on the western beaches. However, since predominant northerly or northwesterly winds caused hazardous swells almost continuously along the southwest side of the island, it appeared unlikely that this alternate plan would be put into effect.

At 02:00 on February 19, battleship guns signaled the commencement of D-Day. Soon 100 bombers attacked the island, followed by another volley from the naval guns. At 08:59, one minute ahead of schedule, the first of an eventual 30,000 Marines of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Marine Divisions, under V Amphibious Corps, landed on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima and a battle for the island commenced.

The Marines faced heavy fire from Mount Suribachi at the south of the island, and fought over inhospitable terrain: rough volcanic ash which allowed neither secure footing nor the digging of foxholes. Nevertheless, by that evening the mountain had been surrounded and 30,000 Marines had landed. About 40,000 more would follow.

By the morning of the fourth day of the battle, Mount Suribachi was effectively cut off from the rest of the island—above ground. By that point, the Marines knew that the Japanese defenders had an extensive network of below-ground defenses, and knew that in spite of its isolation above ground, the volcano was still connected to Japanese defenders via the tunnel network. They expected a fierce fight for the summit.

Two four-man patrols were sent up the volcano to reconnoiter routes on the mountain's north face. Popular legend (embroidered by the press in the aftermath of the release of the now-famous photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima") has it that the Marines fought tooth and nail all the way up to the summit. But although the riflemen were tensed for an ambush, none materialized. They made it to the summit and scrambled down again, reporting the lack of enemy contact to Colonel Chandler Johnson.

Johnson then called for a platoon of Marines to climb Suribachi. With them, he sent a small American flag to fly if they reached the summit. Again, Marines began the ascent, expecting to be ambushed at any moment. And again, the Marines reached the top of Suribachi without incident. Using a length of pipe they found among the wreckage atop the mountain, the Marines hoisted the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi, the first foreign flag to fly on Japanese soil in centuries.

As the flag went up, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal had just landed on the beach at the foot of Mt. Suribachi. He decided that he wanted the flag as a souvenir. Popular legend has it that Colonel Johnson wanted the flag for himself; in fact, he believed that the flag belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, who had captured that section of the island. He scrounged up a second flag, and sent that one up the volcano to replace the first. As the first flag came down, the second went up, and it was then that Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima" of the replacement flag being planted on the mountain's summit.

After Mt. Suribachi

Despite the loss of Mt. Suribachi, the Japanese still held a strong position. Kuribayashi still had the equivalent of eight infantry battalions, a tank regiment, two artillery and three heavy mortar battalions, plus the 5,000 gunners and naval infantry. The struggle to take the Motoyama Plateau, including "Turkey Knob" was to take the better part of three weeks. The Japanese actually had the Marines outgunned in this area, and the extensive tunnels allowed the Japanese to reappear in areas thought "safe". It was with weapons like the 8 Sherman M4A3 medium tanks equipped with the Navy Mark I flame thrower ("Ronson" or Zippo Tanks) that the Marines would force the Japanese to leave their caves.

Close air support was initially provided by fighters from escort carriers off the coast. This shifted over to the 15th Fighter Group (flying P-51 Mustangs) after they arrived on the island on D+15. Similarly illumination rounds (flares) to light up the battlefield at night was initially provided by ships, shifting over later to landing force artillery. Navajo code talkers were a key part of the American ground communications, along with walkie-talkies and SCR-610 backpack radio sets.

With the landing area secure, more troops and heavy equipment came ashore and the invasion proceeded north to capture the airfields and the remainder of the island. Most Japanese soldiers fought to the death. On the night of 25 March, a 300-man Japanese force launched a final counterattack in the vicinity of Airfield Number 2. Army pilots, Seabees and Marines of the 5th Pioneer Battalion and 28th Marines fought the Japanese force until morning but suffered heavy casualties—more than 100 killed and another 200 American wounded. Nearly all of the Japanese force was killed in the battle. The island was officially declared "secure" the following day.

March 26 – WW II: The Battle of Iwo Jima officially ends, with the mopping up of the remaining areas of Japansese resistance.


On August 6th, the Soviet Union, in keeping with a commitment made to the United States government, declared war on the Japanese Empire and on August 8th, began an attack on the northern part of the Korean peninsula. As agreed on with the U.S., the USSR halted its troops at the 38th parallel. President Harry S. Truman ordered the landing of U.S. troops in the south.

On August 10, with the Japanese surrender imminent and following a plan drawn up earlier by the United States, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to divide Korea along the 38th parallel. Japanese forces north of that line would surrender to the Soviet Union, and those to the south to the United States. Thus, without consulting the Korean people, the two major powers divided the Korean peninsula into two occupation zones. Although later policies and actions contributed to Korea's division, the United States did not envision this as a permanent partition.

August 15 - Korea gains its independence upon Japan's surrender.

In December, the US and the Soviet Union agreed to administer the country temporarily. Concurrently, both countries established governments in their respective halves, each one favorable to their political ideology. In the process, the USA ran elections supervised by the UN, replacing an indigenous, left-wing government that had formed in June 1945, before the end of the war, with one led by anti-Communist Syngman Rhee. The southern part's left-wing parties boycotted the elections. The Soviet Union, in turn, approved and furthered the rise of a Communist government led by Kim Il-Sung in the northern part. The Allies said that Korea would be a unified, independent country under an elected government but failed to specify the details.


March 9–10 – WW II: American B-29 bombers attack Japan with incendiary bombs; Tokyo is fire-bombed killing 100,000 citizens. For the attack on Tokyo, over 300 B-29’s were involved. They took off for a flight that would get them to Tokyo just before dawn, thus giving them the cover of darkness, but with daylight for the return journey to the Marianas. They flew at 7,000 feet. This in itself may have baffled the city’s defenders as they would have been used to the B-29’s flying at 30,000 feet.

The raid had a massive impact on Tokyo. Photo-reconnaissance showed that 16 square miles of the city had been destroyed. Sixteen major factories – ironically scheduled for a future daylight raid – were destroyed along with many cottage industries. In parts of the city, the fires joined up to create a firestorm. The fires burned so fiercely and they consumed so much oxygen, that people in the locality suffocated. It is thought that 100,000 people were killed in the raid and another 100,000 injured. The Americans lost 14 B-29’s; under the 5% rate of loss that was considered to be ‘acceptable’.

On March 12th, a similar raid took place on Nagoya. The raid was less successful as the fires did not join up and just over 1 square mile of the city was destroyed. On March 13th, Osaka was attacked. Eight square miles of the city were destroyed. Nearly 2.5 square miles of Kobe was also destroyed by incendiary raids. In the space of ten days, the Americans had dropped nearly 9,500 tons of incendiaries on Japanese cities and destroyed 29 square miles of what was considered to be important industrial land.

March 17 – WW II: Kobe, Japan is fire-bombed by 331 B-29 bombers, killing over 8,000 people.

March 19 - Off the coast of Japan, bombers hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing about 800 of her crewmen and crippling the ship.

April 7 - Kantarō Suzuki becomes Prime Minister of Japan.

August 6 – WW II: Atomic bombing of Hiroshima: The United States drops an atomic bomb (nicknamed "Little Boy") on Hiroshima, Japan, at 8:15 a.m. (local time).

"You didn't see anything except a bright flash and the airplane. You saw a white cloud hanging over the city. You saw the -- underneath the cloud the entire city was just entirely covered with smoke and dust, and it looked like a pot of boiling oil down there." - Navigator, Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk

August 9 – The United States drops an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, at 11:02 a.m. (local time).

August 10 - Japan offered to surrender to the Allies, "...provided this does not prejudice the sovereignty of the Emperor." The same day, the US dropped warning leaflets on Nagasaki. The next day, the 11th the Allies replied to the Japanese surrender offer by saying that Emperor Hirohito would be subject to the authority of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.

August 14 - Emperor Hirohito accepted the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and the next day Hirohito announced Japan's surrender on the radio. The United States called this day V-J Day (Victory in Japan). This ended the period of Japanese expansionism and began the period of Occupied Japan.

August 15 – WW II: - Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender on the radio. The United States calls this day V-J Day (Victory in Japan). This ends the period of Japanese expansionism and begins the period of Occupied Japan.

September 2 – World War II ends: The final official surrender of Japan is accepted by the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz for the United States, and delegates from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, China, and others from a Japanerse delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, on board the American battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay (but in Japan August 14 is recognized as the day the Pacific War ended).

September 5 – Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose," is arrested in Yokohama.

September 8 – Hideki Tojo, Japanese prime minister during most of World War II, attempts suicide to avoid facing a war crimes tribunal.

September 18 – Typhoon Makurazaki in Japan kills 3,746 people.


Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh took power in Hanoi on August 19th. September 2nd, Ho Chi Minh promulgated the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence, and unity from the north to the south.

§Eastern Europe

May 19th 1945, President Edouard Benes of Czechoslovakia decreed that 'we have decided to eliminate the German problem in our republic once and for all.' Germans (as well as Hungarians and other 'traitors') were to have their property placed under state control. In June 1945 their land was expropriated and on August 2nd of that year they lost their Czechoslovak citizenship. Nearly three million Germans, most of them from the Czech Sudetenland, were then expelled into Germany in the course of the following eighteen months. Approximately 267,000 died in the course of the expulsions. Whereas Germans had comprised 29 percent of the population of Bohemia and Moravia in 1930, by the census Of 1950 they were just 1.8 percent.

"From Hungary a further 623,000 Germans were expelled, from Romania 786,000, from Yugoslavia about half a million and from Poland 1.3 million, But by far the greatest number of German refugees came from the former eastern lands of Germany itself - Silesia, East Prussia, eastern Pomerania and eastern Brandenburg. At the Potsdam meeting of the US, Britain and the USSR (July 17th-August 2nd 1945) it was agreed, in the words of Article XIII of the subsequent agreement, that the three governments 'recognize that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken.' In part this merely recognized what had already taken place, but it also represented a formal acknowledgement of the implications of shifting Poland's frontiers westwards. Some seven million Germans would now find themselves in Poland, and the Polish authorities (and the occupying Soviet forces) wanted them removed - in part so that Poles and others who lost land in the eastern regions now absorbed into the USSR could in their turn be resettled in the new lands to the West.



March 30 – Soviet Union forces invade Austria and take Vienna.


January – American troops cross the Siegfried Line into Belgium.

January 7 – British General Bernard Montgomery holds a press conference at Zonhoven describing his supporting role at the Battle of the Bulge.


January 26 – World War II: Infantry action at Holtzwihr, France, for which Audie Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor

With casualties in the war extremely high, the American military was having a problem with desertion. On January 31st, Eddie Slovik became the first person to be executed for desertion since the Civil War. The execution, by firing squad, was carried out at 10:04 a.m. on January 31, 1945, near the village of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines. Slovik was twenty-four years old.

February 6 – French writer Robert Brasillach is executed for collaboration with the Germans. Brasillach was executed for "intellectual crimes", rather than military or political actions.

November 13 – Charles De Gaulle is elected head of a French provisional government


January 6 - Edith Frank dies at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Adolf Hitler relocated to the Führerbunker on January 16th, where he presided over the rapid disintegration of his Third Reich as the Allies advanced from both east and west. By late April, Soviet forces had entered Berlin itself and were battling their way to the center of the city where the Chancellery was located. Realizing that defeat was imminent, Hitler began making preparations for his suicide.

January 27 - Otto Frank is liberated from Auschwitz by the Russian army. He is taken first to Odessa and then to France before he is allowed to make his way back to Amsterdam.

January 27 – The Holocaust – The Red Army liberates the Auschwitz and Birkenau death camps.

March 7 – American troops seize the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany and begin to cross.

March 18 – 1,250 American bombers attack Berlin.

March 19 – Adolf Hitler orders that all industries, military installations, machine shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany be destroyed.

The Germans had lost the war from a military perspective, but Hitler did not allow negotiation with the Allied forces, and as a consequence the German military forces continued fighting. Hitler's stubbornness and defiance of military realities also allowed the continued mass killing of Jews and others to continue. He even issued the Nero Decree on March 19th, ordering the destruction of what remained of German industry, communications and transport. However, Albert Speer, who was in charge of that plan, did not carry it out (The Morgenthau Plan for postwar Germany, promulgated by the Allies, aimed at a similar de-industrialization).

March 24 - Operation Varsity (24 March 1945) was a joint American–British airborne operation that took place toward the end of World War II. Involving more than 16,000 paratroopers and several thousand aircraft, it was the largest single airborne operation in history to be conducted on a single day and in one location, at Wesel, Germany.

In April, Soviet forces were at the outskirts of Berlin. Hitler's closest lieutenants urged him to flee to Bavaria or Austria to make a last stand in the mountains, but he seemed determined to either live or die in the capital. SS leader Heinrich Himmler tried on his own to inform the Allies (through the Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte) that Germany was prepared to discuss surrender terms. Meanwhile Hermann Göring sent a telegram from Bavaria in which he argued that since Hitler was cut off in Berlin, as Hitler's designated successor he should assume leadership of Germany. Hitler angrily reacted by dismissing both Himmler and Göring from all their offices and the party and declared them traitors.

April 4 – American troops liberate their first Nazi concentration camp, Ohrdruf death camp in Germany.

April 7 – The only flight of the German ramming unit known as the Sonderkommando Elbe takes place, resulting in the loss of some 24 B-17s and B-24s of the United States Eighth Air Force. This was not a true suicide mission as German pilots were expected to bail out.

April 9 – Abwehr conspirators Wilhelm Canaris, Hans Oster and Hans Dohanyi are hanged at Flossenbürg concentration camp , along with pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer for taking part directly in the 20 July Plot, 1944, to assassinate Hitler. Together with his deputy General Hans Oster, military jurist General Karl Sack, theologian Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Ludwig Gehre, Canaris was humiliated before witnesses and then executed on 9 April 1945, in the Flossenburg concentration camp, just weeks before the end of the war. He was led to the gallows barefoot and naked.

April 10 – The Allied Forces liberate the Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald.

April 15 – The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated.

April 22 – Heinrich Himmler, through Count Bernadotte, puts forth an offer of German surrender to the Western Allies, but not the Soviet Union.

April 25 – WW II – Elbe Day: United States and Soviet troops link up at the Elbe River, cutting Germany in two.

April 25 - Hitler's retreat, Berghof, was bombed by the British

April 26 – Battle of Bautzen (World War II): The last "successful" German panzer-offensive in Bautzen ends with the city recaptured.

April 27 - The Western Allies flatly reject any offer of surrender by Germany other than unconditional on all fronts.

After intense street-to-street combat, when Soviet troops were spotted within a block or two of the Reich Chancellory in the city center. Hitler, having dictated his last will and testament to secretary Traudl Junge, signed them at 04:00 on April 29. Shortly after midnight on April 29, 1945, Hitler married Eva Braun in a small civil ceremony in a map room within the bunker complex, before finally retiring to bed at around 04:00.

Shortly after noon on April 30, Hitler had a short meeting with Party Secretary Bormann before eating a small lunch consisting of spaghetti with a light sauce. according to the secretaries who ate with him, conversation revolved around dog breeding and how lipstick was made from sewer grease. Both were topics Hitler had brought up on numerous past mealtime occasions. Hitler and Eva Braun then said their personal farewells to members of the Führerbunker staff and fellow occupants, including the Goebbels family, Bormann, the secretaries, and several military officers. At around 14:30, as Soviet forces raised their banner over the neighbouring Reichstag, Adolf and Eva Hitler went into Hitler's personal study.

Some witnesses later reported hearing a loud gunshot at around 15:30 (the Goebbels' young son is said to have declared, "A direct hit!" thinking it was a bomb overhead). After waiting a few minutes, Hitler's valet, Heinz Linge, with Bormann at his side, opened the door to the study. Linge later stated he immediately noted a scent of burned almonds in the small study, a common observation made in the presence of prussic acid, a form of cyanide. Adolf and Eva were both sitting on a small sofa, Eva on the left, Adolf to the right. Eva's body slumped away from Adolf's. Hitler appeared to have shot himself in the right temple (though one source claims it was his mouth) with a 7.65 mm pistol which lay at his feet. Blood was dripping from Adolf's right temple and had made a large stain on the right arm of the sofa. Eva had no visible physical wounds and Linge assumed she had poisoned herself.

Several witnesses stated the two bodies were carried to a small, bombed-out garden outside the bunker complex, where they were doused with petrol and set alight by Linge and members of Hitler's personal SS bodyguard. The SS guards and Linge later noted the fire did not completely destroy the corpses, but Soviet shelling of the bunker compound made further cremation attempts impossible and the remains were later covered up in a shallow bomb crater.

The KGB/FSB opened information to the public in [[1993 CE|1993], releasing records and statements by former KGB members. From these revelations, historians reached a consensus about what happened to the bodies of Hitler and Braun.

Red Army troops began stormed the Chancellory at approximately 23:00, about 7 hours and 30 minutes after Hitler's death. On May 2nd the remains of Hitler, Braun and two dogs (thought to be Blondi and her offspring Wulf) were discovered in a shell crater by Ivan Churakov of the 79th Rifle Corps (Commonly referred to as 79th SMERSH). When Russian forces reached the Chancellory, they found his body and an autopsy was performed using dental records (and German dental assistants who were familiar with them) to confirm the identification.

After the autopsy their remains were frequently buried and exhumed by SMERSH during the unit's relocation from Berlin to a new facility at 30-32 Klausnerstrasse in Magdeburg where they (along with the charred remains of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, his wife Magda and their six children) were permanently buried in an unmarked grave beneath a paved section of the front courtyard and the location was kept highly secret.

By 1970 the SMERSH facility (now controlled by the KGB) was scheduled to be handed over to the East German government. Keen to destroy any possibility Hitler's burial site might become a Neo-Nazi shrine, KGB director Yuri Andropov authorized a special operation to destroy the remains. On April 4, 1970 a Soviet KGB team (who had been given detailed burial charts) secretly exhumed the bodies and thoroughly burned them before dumping the ashes in the Elbe river. According to the Russian Federal Security Service, a fragment of human skull stored in its archives and displayed to the public in a 2000 exhibition came from the remains of Hitler's body uncovered by the Red Army in Berlin, and is all that remains of Hitler; however, the authenticity of the skull has been challenged by many historians and researchers.

At the time of Hitler's death, most of Germany's infrastructure and major cities were in ruins and he had left explicit orders to complete the destruction. Millions of Germans were dead with millions more wounded or homeless. In his will, he dismissed other Nazi leaders and appointed Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz as Reichspräsident (President of Germany) and Goebbels as Reichskanzler (Chancellor of Germany). However, Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide on May 1st. On May 7th, in Rheims, France, the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Western Allies and on May 8th, in Berlin to the Soviet Union thus ending the war in Europe and with the creation of the Allied Control Council on June 5th, the Four Powers assumed "supreme authority with respect to Germany". Adolf Hitler's proclaimed Thousand Year Reich had lasted 12 years.

April 30 - Karl Dönitz succeeds Hitler as President of Germany. Joseph Goebbels succeeds Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.

May 1 - Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide after killing their six children. Karl Dönitz appoints Count Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk as the new Chancellor of Germany.

May 2 – The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin. Soviet soldiers hoist the Red flag over the Reich Chancellery.

May 2 - Lübeck is liberated by the British Army.

May 3 – The prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland are sunk by the RAF in Lübeck Bay.

May 3 - Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and 120 members of his team surrender to U.S. forces (later going on to help to start the U.S. space program).

May 3 - German Protestant Theologian Gerhard Kittel is arrested by the French forces in Tübingen, Germany.

May 4 – The concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg is liberated by the British Army.

May 4 - The North German army surrenders to Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

November 20 - The Nuremberg Trials begin and last through 1949.

March 1945 - Anne and Margot Frank die at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp within days of each other.

§Great Britain

March 4 – In the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen Elizabeth II, joins the British Army as a driver.

July 26 – Winston Churchill resigns as the United Kingdom's Prime Minister after his Conservative Party is soundly defeated by the Labour Party in the 1945 general election. Clement Attlee becomes the new Prime Minister.


January 17 – A Soviet patrol arrests Raoul Wallenberg in Hungary.

January 23 – Hungary drops out of World War II, agreeing to an armistice with the Allies.


April 17 – Brazilian forces liberate the town of Montese, Italy, from German forces.

April 24 – Retreating German troops destroy all the bridges over the Adige in Verona, including the historical Ponte di Castelvecchio and Ponte Pietra.

April 28 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are executed by Italian partisans as they attempt to flee the country. Their bodies are then hung by their heels in the public square of Milan.

May 1 - Troops of the Yugoslav 4th Army, together with the Slovene 9th Corpus NOV, enter Trieste.

May 2 - Troops of the New Zealand Army 2nd Division enter Trieste a day after the Yugoslavs; the German Army in Trieste surrenders to the New Zealand Army.


April 29 – Operation Manna: British Lancaster bombers drop food into the Netherlands to prevent the starvation of the civilian population

May 4 - Holland is liberated by British and Canadian troops. German troops officially surrender one day later.

Anne Frank Early February - Anne Frank dies of Typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. It was previously thought she died on March 31 but new research shows an earlier date. The last time she was seen by witnesses was February 7.

June 3 - Otto Frank arrives in Amsterdam, where he is reunited with Miep and Jan Gies. He knows his wife has died, but he does not know that his daughters have died too. He still has hope.

October 24 - Otto Frank receives a letter informing him that his daughters died at Bergen-Belsen. Miep gives Anne's diary to Otto. She found and hid the diary after the Franks' arrest and had been hoping to return it to Anne.

§Northern Europe

January 30 – The Wilhelm Gustloff, with over 10,000 mainly civilian Germans from Gotenhafen (Gdynia) in the Gdansk Bay, is sunk by three torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S-13 in the Baltic Sea; 7,700 die.

§Poland and East Germany

Vistula-Oder Offensive

The offensive was launched on January 12, 1945 by Ivan Koniev from the large Soviet bridgehead near Sandomierz over the Vistula. Georgy Zhukov started his attack on the 14th from two smaller Pulawy and Magnuszwew bridgeheads north of Koniev's forces. The Soviet artillery attacks that preceded the armored and infantry assaults were very effective due the fact that the Germans had their two main defence lines within the reach of the Soviet artillery.

One of the strategies of defense that Hitler had ordered was "fortified cities", some of which, like Breslau held out for months. They were however largely ineffective in stopping the Soviet advance.

January 20 - The evacuation of Auschwitz concentration camp begins.

On January 27, troops of Koniev's First Ukrainian Front liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp. They found ample evidence of the holocaust there, such as huge collections of human hair, thousands of pairs of shoes, dead or dying people, etc.

Koniev's troops managed to conquer the heavily industrialized area of Silesia intact by semi-encircling it. The loss of the area was a heavy blow for Germany's weapons industry and meant that the war had become hopeless. Germany's Minister of Armaments Albert Speer wrote this to Hitler, but Hitler did not take any steps to end the war.

By January 31 the Red Army had secured bridgeheads over the frozen Oder, 500 km (310 miles) West from their starting point. They decided to stop due to logistics problems aggravated by the Spring thaw, the lack of air support, and fear of encirclement through flank attacks from East Prussia, Pommern and Silesia. At that time Berlin was undefended and only approximately 70 km away from the bridgeheads. After the war a debate raged, mainly between Vasily Chuikov and Zhukov whether it was wise to stop the offensive. Chuikov argued that Berlin should have been taken then, while Zhukov defended the decision to stop. The controversy is fueled by the fact that the battle of the Seelow Heights (16-19 April) and the battle of Berlin (April until early May) were costly to the Soviets.


According to British Historian, Anthony Beevor, the soldiers of the Red Army looted and committed many atrocities, like rape and murder. Beevor mentioned as reasons for the atrocities, among others, the will to take revenge by soldiers who quite often had a personal reason for this, e.g. a family member killed by the German invaders. Apart from that, the Soviet propaganda machine (e.g. Ilya Ehrenburg) encouraged a harsh and vengeful attitude toward the Germany military and these encouragements may have unintentionally led to atrocities on German civilians in Germany. As a result of the Soviet atrocities that were widely published by the German propaganda, millions of ethnic Germans fled to the West.

Nuremberg Trials November 20 - Nuremberg trials begin


March 6 – A Communist-led government is formed in Romania.


March 8 – Josip Broz Tito forms a government in Yugoslavia.

April 6 - Sarajevo is liberated from the Nazi Germany and Nazi Croatia (German puppet state) by the Yugoslav Partisans.

April 10 - Visoko is liberated by the 7th, 9th and 17th Krajina Brigades from the Tenth Division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.


September 20th, Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru demanded that British troops leave India.

§Middle East

June 1 – The British take over Lebanon and Syria.


March 22 – The Arab League is formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.


On August 13th, the Zionist World Congress approached the British government to talk about the founding of Israel.

§North America

§United States

April 10 - Injection of plutonium into the victim of a car accident in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to see how quickly the human body rid itself of the radioactive substance.

April 25 – Founding negotiations for the United Nations begin in San Francisco.

July 16 - Trinity was the code name of the first nuclear weapons test of an atomic bomb. This test was conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945, at a location about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, at the White Sands Proving Ground, now the White Sands Missile Range.

July 21 – WW II: President Harry S. Truman approves the order for atomic bombs to be used against Japan.

July 28 – An U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people, including all on board.

August 8 - The United Nations Charter is ratified by the United States Senate, and this nation becomes the third one to join the new international organization.

October – Arthur C. Clarke puts forward the idea of a communications satellite in a Wireless World magazine article.

October 3–10 – The Detroit Tigers win the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, who haven't made it to the World Series since.

October 29 – At Gimbels Department Store in New York City, the first ballpoint pens go on sale at $12.50 each.

November 1 – John H. Johnson publishes the first issue of the magazine Ebony.

November 1 – Telechron introduces the model 8H59 "Musalarm", the first clock radio.

November 15 – Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee, and Mackenzie King call for a U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.

November 16 – Cold War: The United States controversially imports 88 German scientists to help in the production of rocket technology.

December 21 – General George S. Patton dies from injuries sustained in a car accident on December 9.

§U.S. Politics

January 22 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to an unprecedented 4th term as President of the United States. No president before, or since, has ever reached a third term in office.

March 1 – Franklin D. Roosevelt gives what will be his last address to a joint session of Congress, reporting on the Yalta Conference.

March 2 – Former U.S. Vice-President Henry Agard Wallace starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, serving under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

April 12 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–1945) dies suddenly at Warm Springs, Georgia; Vice President Harry S. Truman (1945–1953) becomes the 33rd President.

Truman's presidency saw the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War, with a hot war in Korea. The year 1945 was marked by victory over Germany, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II, the founding of the United Nations. The period between 1947-49 saw the Cold War start to contain Communist expansion, the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe, the Truman Doctrine to help Greece, the Marshall Plan to rebuild western Europe, the move of China to Communism, and the creation of NATO. The first test of containment was the Korean War with North Korea and China. The war became a frustrating stalemate, with over 30,000 Americans killed.

In domestic affairs, Truman faced challenge after challenge: a tumultuous reconversion of the economy marked by severe shortages, numerous strikes and the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over his veto. After confounding all predictions to win re-election in 1948, he was able to pass almost none of his Fair Deal program. He used executive orders to begin desegregation of the U.S. armed forces and to launch a system of loyalty checks to remove thousands of Communist sympathizers from government office; he was nevertheless under continuous assault for much of his term for supposedly being "soft on Communism." Corruption in his administration reached the cabinet and senior White House staff; 166 of his appointees were fired for financial misbehavior in the Internal Revenue Service alone. Republicans made corruption a central issue in the 1952 campaign.

Truman, whose personal style contrasted sharply with that of the patrician Roosevelt, was a folksy, unassuming president; he popularized such phrases as "The buck stops here" and "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." He overcame the low expectations of many political observers who compared him (unfavorably) to his highly regarded predecessor.


January 16 - In the face of the East Prussian Offensive, the Germans tried to strengthen the localities they controlled against great odds. In a diary entry dated 16 January 1945, famed Russian sniper, Roza Shanina wrote that despite her wish to be in a safer place, some unknown force was drawing her to the front line. In the same entry she wrote that she had no fear and that she had even agreed to go "to a melee combat." The next day, Shanina wrote in a letter that she might be on the verge of being killed because her battalion had lost 72 out of 78 people. Her last diary entry reports that German fire had become so intense that the Soviet troops, including herself, had sheltered inside self-propelled guns.

January 27 - Roza Shanina was severely injured while shielding a wounded artillery officer. She was found by two soldiers disemboweled, with her chest torn open by a shell fragment. Despite attempts to save her, Shanina died the following day near the Richau estate (later a Soviet settlement of Telmanovka), 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) southeast of the East Prussian village of Ilmsdorf (Novobobruysk (de)). Nurse Yekaterina Radkina remembered Shanina telling her that she regretted having done so little.

§Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine

February 3 – World War II – The Soviet Union agrees to enter the Pacific War against Japan, once hostilities against Germany are concluded.

Yalta Conference

On the 4th of February 1945 the Big Three (Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) convened at Yalta, on the Crimean Peninsula. It was the second of the large war time conferences, preceded by Tehran in 1943, and succeeded by Potsdam (after Roosevelt's death) later in 1945.

The Soviet leader refused to travel farther than the Black Sea Resort of Yalta in the Crimean Riviera for the next meeting and, once again, Churchill and Roosevelt took long trips to attend the Yalta summit.

Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin

Each of the three powers brought his own agenda to the Yalta Conference. Roosevelt was lobbying for Soviet support in the Pacific War concerning the invasion of the Empire of Japan; Churchill was pressing for free elections and democratic institutions in Eastern Europe (specifically Poland), while Stalin was attempting to establish a Soviet sphere of influence in Eastern Europe which the Soviets thought was essential to Soviet national security. Additionally, all three of them were trying to establish an agenda as to how to govern post-war Germany. In 1943 a thesis by William Bullitt prophesied the “flow of the Red amoeba into Europe” and ironically enough, Stalin had the military advantage. The Soviet Union was physically in control of most of Eastern Europe. While the Allies had their hands full with the invasion of France, at great cost the Soviet Red Army had penetrated the eastern borders of the Third Reich. At the time of Yalta, Russian Marshall Zhukov was only forty miles from Berlin. Moreover, Roosevelt hoped to obtain a commitment from Stalin to participate in the United Nations. Concerning the first topic on the Soviets' agenda — Eastern Europe — the subject of Poland immediately arose. Stalin was quick to state his case with the following words:

"For the Russian people, the question of Poland is not only a question of honor but also a question of security. Throughout history, Poland has been the corridor through which the enemy has passed into Russia. Poland is a question of life and death for Russia."

Accordingly, Stalin made it clear that some of his demands regarding Poland were not negotiable: the Russians were to keep territory from the eastern portion of Poland and Poland was to compensate for that by extending its Western borders, thereby forcing out millions of Germans. Stalin promised free elections in Poland, notwithstanding the recently installed Communist puppet government. However, it soon became apparent that Stalin had no intentions of holding true to his promise of free elections. The elections, which were held in January 1947 and resulted in the official transformation of Poland into a socialist state by 1949, were widely considered rigged in favour of communist parties.

Roosevelt's concern about the USSR entering the Pacific War on the side of Allies can be seen as misplaced. In fact, some argue that Stalin was anxious to reverse the humiliation and territorial losses during the Russo-Japanese War, and hoped to extend Soviet influence into East Asia. However there is some dispute to whether Roosevelt would ever allow Soviet troops to land in Japan, as can be seen by President Truman's decision to drop the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively preventing an invasion.

Roosevelt met Stalin's price, hoping that the USSR could be dealt with through the U.N. Some Americans later considered Yalta to be a 'sellout,' because it encouraged the Soviets to expand their influence into Japan and Asia and also because Stalin eventually violated the terms by forming the Soviet bloc. Furthermore, the Soviets agreed to join the United Nations given the secret understanding of a voting formula with a veto power for permanent members in the Security Council, thus ensuring that each country could block unwanted decisions. Some critics suggested that Roosevelt's failing health (Yalta was his last major conference before he died from a cerebral hemorrhage) was to blame for his seemingly poor judgement. At the time, the USSR had troops in much of Eastern Europe with a military about three times as large as Eisenhower's forces.

The Big Three had ratified previous agreements about the postwar division of Germany: there were to be three zones of occupation, one zone for each of the three dominant nations (France would later get a portion when the USA and Great Britain divided up parts of their zones and gave them to France). Berlin itself, although within the Soviet zone, would also be divided into three sectors, and would eventually become a major symbol of the Cold War because of the division of the city due to the infamous Berlin Wall, constructed and manned by the Soviet-backed Communist East German government.

The Big Three had further decided that all original governments would be restored to the invaded countries and that all civilians would be repatriated. Democracies would be established, all territories would hold free elections, and order would be restored to Europe, as declared in the following official statement:

"The establishment of order in Europe and the rebuilding of national economic life must be achieved by processes which will enable the liberated peoples to destroy the last vestiges of Nazism and fascism and to create democratic institutions of their own choice."

The conference was held in Yalta, a resort town on the Crimean peninsula in the Soviet Union (now in Ukraine). The American delegation was housed in the Tsar's former palace, while President Roosevelt stayed at the Livadia Palace where the meetings took place. The British delegation was installed in Prince Vorontsov's palace in Alupka. Key members of the delegations were Edward Stettinius, Averell Harriman, Anthony Eden, Alexander Cadogan, and Vyacheslav Molotov. According to Antony Beevor, all the rooms were bugged by the NKVD. Stalin arrived by train on February 4. The meeting started with an official dinner that evening.

Major points

Key points of the meeting are as follows:

  • There was an agreement that the priority would be the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. After the war, Germany would be split into four occupied zones, with a quadripartite occupation of Berlin as well, prior unification of Germany.
  • Stalin agreed to let France have the fourth occupation zone in Germany and Austria, carved out from the British and American zones. France would also be granted a seat in the Allied Control Council.
  • Germany would undergo demilitarization and denazification.
  • German reparations were partly to be in the form of forced labor.
  • Creation of an allied reparation council with its seat in Moscow.
  • The status of Poland was discussed, but was complicated by the fact that Poland was at this time under the control of the Red Army. It was agreed to reorganize the Provisionary Polish Government that had been set up by the Red Army through the inclusion of other groups such as the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity and to have democratic elections. This effectively excluded the Polish government-in-exile that had evacuated in 1939.
  • The Polish eastern border would follow the Curzon Line, and Poland would receive substantial territorial compensation in the west from Germany, although the exact border was to be determined at a later time.
  • Citizens of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia were to be handed over to their respective countries, regardless of their consent.
  • Roosevelt obtained a commitment by Stalin to participate in the United Nations once it was agreed that each of the five permanent members of the Security Council would have veto power.
  • Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Germany. The Soviet Union would receive the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kurile islands after the defeat of Japan.
  • A "Committee on Dismemberment of Germany" was to be set up. The purpose was to decide whether Germany was to be divided into several nations, and if so, what borders and inter-relationships the new German states were to have.
  • A new organization, (the United Nations) should be set up to replace the failed League of Nations.
  • It was decided that Czechoslovakia would be freed by the Red Army and that Allies would stop at a demarcation line drawn by the city of Plzeň.

Yalta was the last great conference before the end of the war in Europe and the death of President Roosevelt, and the last trip Roosevelt took abroad. To observers he appeared already ill and exhausted. Arguably, his most important goal was to ensure the Soviet Union's participation in the United Nations, which he achieved at the price of granting veto power to each permanent member of the Security Council. Another of his objectives was to bring the Soviet Union into the fight against Japan, as the effectiveness of the atomic bomb had yet to be proven. As a reward, Soviet Union was allowed to seize Sakhalin and Kuril Islands, which used to be under Japanese sovereignty, and some other privileges in colonial China remained intact.

The Red Army had already removed Nazi forces from most of Eastern Europe, so Stalin obtained his goals: a significant sphere of influence as a buffer zone. In this process, the freedom of small nations was sacrificed for the sake of stability, which meant that the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia would continue to be annexed by USSR.

Allegations about Yalta would play a significant role in United States politics during the Cold War. American conservatives alleged that decisions reached at Yalta were a betrayal of the Eastern European nations that resulted in their domination by the Soviet Union. During the McCarthy period, Yalta was a centerpiece of accusations that the Democrats were "soft on communism."

February 9 – Walter Ulbricht becomes leader of the German Communists in Moscow.

February 11 - Yalta Conference ends.

March 30 - Alger Hiss congratulated in Moscow for his part in bringing about the Western betrayal at the Yalta Conference.

August 8 - Soviet foreign minister Molotov informed Japanese ambassador Sato that the Soviet Union had declared war on the Empire of Japan, and that from August 9 the Soviet Government would consider itself to be at war with Japan.



May 4 - Denmark is liberated. All German troops there officially surrender one day later.


March 3 - Previously neutral Finland declares war on the Axis powers.


June 6 – King Haakon VII of Norway returns to Norway.

§South America

Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru joined the United Nations on February 14th.


October 29 – Getúlio Vargas resigns as the president of Brazil.

December 2 – General Eurico Gaspar Dutra is elected president of Brazil.

§Southeast Asia


August 19 – Vietnam War: The Viet Minh (led by Ho Chi Minh) take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.

September 2 – Ho Chi Minh promulgates the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence, and unity from the north to the south. After the surrender of the Japanese in World War II, Ho Chi Minh made his 'Declara­tion of Independence' that borrowed language from U.S. and French docu­ments of freedom. Thus began the armed revolution.

§South Pacific


March 21 – British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.


Indonesian nationalists Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta declared the independence of Republic of Indonesia on August 17th, and made Sukarno president. Dutch colonial authorities did not approve of this action.


Curtis LeMay flew to the Marianas to take control of 21st Bomber Command. The 20th Bomber Command, which had been based in India and China, was also transferred to the Marianas and LeMay was given command of this as well. Both units became the 20th Air Force. By March, over 300 B-29’s were taking part in raids over Japan from this location.


April 1 – WW II – Battle of Okinawa: United States troops land on Okinawa.

April 7 - The Japanese battleship Yamato is sunk 200 miles (320 km) north of Okinawa while enroute on a suicide mission.


January 30 – Raid at Cabanatuan: 121 American soldiers and 800 Filipino guerrillas free 813 American POWs from the Japanese-held camp at Cabanatuan City, Philippines.

February 3 - United States forces capture Manila from the Japanese Imperial Army.

February 7 – World War II: General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila.

March 3 - The United States and Filipino troops take Manila, Philippines.

July 5 – The Philippines are declared liberated.

September 2 – Japanese general Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Filipino and American forces at Kiangan, Ifugao.


March - 15 battleships, 29 carriers, 23 cruisers, 106 destroyers, and a train of oilers and supply ships sailed from a secret Pacific base built on the tiny atoll island of Ulithi. At one time it had the same population as a large US city.


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