1945 Events  
  January 1945 Events  
  Operation Baseplate was launched by the Luftwaffe against Allied air bases in Belgium and Holland.  The British landed the British 3rd Commando Brigade and the Indian 25th Division on the northwest tip of Akyab Island in Burma. The Japanese retreated across the Irrawaddy River.  General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold announced that he was naming Major General Curtis E. LeMay as the new commander of the XXI Bomber Command.  The concentration camps of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau were liberated by Soviet troops.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler authorized the gradual withdrawal of German Army from the Ardennes.  American forces broke through the German lines at Bavigne, Luxembourg.  The 25th “Tropic Lightning” Division, now assigned to the Sixth Army, landed on Luzon, Philippines, at San Fabian.  The Red Army began the Vistula-Oder offensive across the Narew River and the River Vistula.  The German High Command decided to withdraw its forces back behind the Siegfried Line.  The first convoy of 113 vehicles departed on the Ledo Road bound for Kunming, China.  The Soviet 1st Belorussian Front liberated Warsaw.  Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was last seen leaving Budapest with his driver and three Soviet officers.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in as the President of the United States for the fourth time.  Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz implemented Operation Hannibal, an effort to transport millions of German refugees in East Prussia fleeing before the advancing Soviet armies to Germany.  The last of the German forces in Luxembourg surrendered.  The Battle of the Bulge ended.  The Germans abandoned the port of Memel, Lthuania.  About 30,000 men of the U.S. XI Corps, commanded by Major General Charles P. Hall, landed at San Antonio north of Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands.  The Malta Conference began.  The first Red Army troops of Marshal Georgy Zhukov reached the Oder River in Germany.  U.S. Army private Edward D. Slovik was executed for desertion.  20 ships (89,578 tons) were sunk and 4 ships (18,658 tons) were damaged by U-boats during January 1945.  
   
  February 1945 Events  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met at Malta in preparation for the summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Marshal Josef Stalin.  More than 900 B-17 bombers of the USAAF Eighth Air Force, protected by over 550 P-51 fighter escorts, attacked the Berlin railway system.  The U.S. Sixth Army aided by Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerillas reached Manila.  Santo Tomas University in Manila was liberated.  The first firebombing raid on Japan was conducted by the U.S. Army Air Forces on the city of Kobe.  The Yalta Conference (codenamed "Argonaut") was held.  San Francisco, California was selected for site of United Nations Conference to be held in April, 1945.  The siege of the Hungarian capitol city of Budapest ended with the unconditional surrender of a collection of Axis forces.  Close to 800 RAF Lancaster bombers bombed the center of Dresden with incendiaries and high explosives, starting a firestorm.  After an initial naval and air bombardment, the first of 30,000 U.S. Marines landed on the beaches of Iwo Jima.  Allied Air Forces launch Operation Clarion, a concerted effort to wipe out all forms of transport available to the Germans in 24 hours.  U.S. Marines captured the crest of Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima's highest peak and most strategic position, and raised the U.S. flag.  22 ships (73,022 tons) were sunk and 2 ships (15,305 tons) were damaged by U-boats during February 1945.  
   
  March 1945 Events  
  The 1st Belarus Front under Marshall Georgy Zhukov opened a massive offensive in Pomerania.  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the results of the Yalta Conference to the U.S. Congress.  King Michael of Romania asked Petru Groza, the leader of the leftist Plowman's Front, to form a new government.  Finland declared war on Germany.  Cologne was captured, the first major German city to be occupied by the Allies.  Germany launched Operation Frühlingserwachen (Spring Awakening) with attacks near Lake Balaton in Hungary.  The Germans began to evacuate Danzig.  The Ludendorff Bridge (the Bridge at Remagen) was captured by elements of the U.S. Army's 9th Armored Division.  U.S. B-29 bombers firebombed Tokyo, Japan with 1,665 tons of incendiary bombs that destroyed sixteen square miles of the city, killed 83,700, and injured 40,000.  Japanese forces in Indochina overthrew the Vichy French Government of Jean Decoux.  The U.S. 8th army landed on Mindanao Island in the Philippines.  RAF "Dambusters" attacked the Bielefeld railway viaduct destroying two spans of the viaduct in the first use of a “Grand Slam” bomb.  Iwo Jima was officially declared secure.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler issued the “Nero Decree” that ordered the destruction of German infrastructure.  The Arab League was founded following the Protocol of Alexandria signed by seven Arab States.  Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine, began.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that the German army on the Western Front in Europe was a "whipped army" during a news conference.  The first units of the Red Army to enter Austria crossed the border at Güns/Köszeg.  The final German positions in Danzig were overcome by Soviet forces.  Eisenhower broadcasted a demand for the Germans to surrender.  U.S. Marines landed without opposition on Keise Shima, four islets just 8 miles west of the Okinawan capital of Naha.  19 ships (69,408 tons) were sunk and 2 ships (7,011 tons) were damaged by U-boats during March 1945.  
   
  April 1945 Events  
  Two corps of the US 10th Army, under command of Lt. General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. landed on Okinawa.  U.S. Marines crossed Okinawa and reached the east coast, cutting off Japanese troops in the Katchin Peninsula.  Hungary was liberated by the Red Army.  Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov told the Japanese Ambassador that the Soviet Union would not renew its five year neutrality pact with Japan.  The cabinet of Premier Kuniaki Koiso's resigned. Admiral Baron Kantaro Suzuki was called on to form a new government.  The Japanese kamikaze onslaught against U.S. ships off Okinawa began.  A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier force sank the battleship IJN Yamato.  Königsberg was captured by Soviet forces of the 3rd Belorussian Front.  The German pocket battleship SMS Admiral Scheer was struck and capsized during a RAF bombing raid on the dockyard in Kiel.  Admiral Wilhelm Franz Canaris, former head of the Abwehr, was executed.  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia at the age of 63.  The Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front liberated Vienna, Austria.  On southern Okinawa the Japanese attempted a failed counterattack on U.S. troops.  More than 320 US B-29 bombers dropped incendiary bombs on the Tokyo, obliterating 6.3 square miles of the city and damaging the Imperial Palace.  The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated by the Allied 21st Army Group.  The Red Army launched the final offensive on Berlin. The last German forces resisting in the Ruhr Pocket surrendered.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler celebrated his 56th birthday in his bunker in the New Reich Chancellery.  Nuremberg was captured by the U.S. 7th Army. The American flag was raised over the rostrum of the Nuremberg Stadium, the scene of Nazi Party rallies.  Reichsmarschall Hermann W. Göring cleaned out his vast Prussian estate, Karinhall. He filled up twenty trucks and cars with files, equipment, and his remaining riches.  The Red Air Force and Red Army artillery began a fierce bombardment of the Zentrum (Berlin's city center) with shells and bombs falling at a rate of one every 5 seconds.  Berlin was fully encircled by the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukraine Front.  U.S. President Harry S. Truman opened the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco.  Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, leader of France's Vichy collaborationist regime during WWII, was arrested for treason.  Former Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci, and the members of their 15-man party were executed.  Hitler married Eva Braun and dictated his last testament.  Operation Manna began, as RAF Bomber Command began dropping food in four pre-approved drop zones in western Holland.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide.  Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz became Reich President.  18 ships (76,634 tons) were sunk and 5 ships (34,194 tons) were damaged by U-boats and mines during April 1945.  
   
  May 1945 Events  
Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels and his wife committed suicide after poisoning their six children. U.S. forces were forbidden to advance farther into the Soviet designated zone across the Elbe and Mulde Rivers.  The Battle of Berlin ended when the Germans unconditionally surrendered the city to Soviet forces. Germans forces in Italy surrendered.  Rangoon was captured by the British 26th Indian Division.  Japanese forces launched a counteroffensive from positions in southern Okinawa but failed to break through the American lines. The 400,000 strong German Army Group G surrendered to Lt. General Jacob Devers and the U.S. 6th Army Group.  Denmark was liberated from Nazi control by Allied troops.  At the headquarters of SHAEF in Rheims, France, German armed forces signed the unconditional surrender instrument, effective at 12:01 am on May 9.  Former Reichsmarschall Hermann W. Göring was arrested by U.S. troops southeast of Salzburg, Austria.  The German surrender was ratified at a second signing in Berlin.  U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson's Interim Committee met to recommend use of the atomic bomb.  The 6th Australian Division occupied Wewak on the New Guinea coast.  A number of Spanish Nationalist officials participated in a requiem mass for Chancellor Adolf Hitler.  The 150,000-strong German Army Group Kurland in East Prussia and Latvia surrendered to Soviet forces.  A fire bombing raid Nagoya was conducted by American B-29 Superfortress bombers resulting in nearly 6 square miles of the city being incinerated.  U.S. President Harry S. Truman informed the French that the United States would relinquish part of the American Zone of Occupation in Germany to French control.  Chinese troops had reoccupied port of Foochow.  French troops arrived in Syria and Lebanon. Arab nationalists launched protest demonstrations against their presence.  Former Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler committed suicide.  Japanese paratroopers attacked American held airstrips on Okinawa.  The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff met in Washington and approved plans for invading Japan.  U.S. B-29s raided Tokyo again and burned out nearly 16 square miles of the city.  Nationalist Chinese troops captured the city of Nanning cutting off the 200,000 Japanese troops in Burma, Thailand, Indochina, and Malaya.  The Royal Navy announced the end of the convoy system for shipping operating in the Atlantic, Arctic, and Indian Oceans.  Admiral Soemu Toyoda replaced Admiral Koshirō Oikawa as Chief of the Navy General Staff.  The Iranian government formally requested the withdrawal of American, British, and Soviet troops from Iran.  Representatives of the Norwegian government in exile returned to Oslo.  5 ships (10,705 tons) were sunk and 1 ship (6,386) was damaged by U-boats during May 1945.
   
  June 1945 Events  
  French forces left Damascus, escorted by British troops.  Two regiments of U.S. 6th Marine Division made landings on the Oroku peninsula on Okinawa in an attempt to outflank Japanese defensive positions.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill opened an electioneering campaign warning that a Labour government would establish totalitarian state employing "some form of Gestapo” in Britain.  The Allied Control Commission was established with Germany being divided into four occupation zones and Berlin being divided into four occupation sectors.  The Soviets announced that German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s body had been found and identified in the Chancellery gardens.  King Haakon, his family, and his government returned to Oslo.  An agreement was reached creating the Morgan Line which divided the Trieste region into two military administrations.  The Japanese resistance in the Oruku peninsula on Okinawa ended.  Filipino guerrillas liberated Cervantes in northern Luzon.  The trial of 16 officers of a resistance group, the Polish Home Army, took place in Moscow.  Japanese resistance on Okinawa finally collapsed.  The Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 was held by the Soviet army in Moscow.  The United Nations Charter was signed by 50 nations in San Francisco.  A Polish Government of National Unity was formed.  U.S. President Harry S. Truman approved Operation Downfall, the overall Allied plan for the invasion of Japan.  
   
  July 1945 Events  
  The Australian 7th Division landed at Balikpapan, Borneo.  The American military announced that operations on Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands were officially concluded.  Allied occupation troops arrived in Berlin, Germany.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the closure of SHAEF.  Lights went on at night in London's West End, ending over 2,000 nights of blackouts and dim-outs.  The world's first atomic bomb was exploded at Alamagordo in New Mexico.  The Potsdam Conference, codenamed Terminal, of the Big Three (Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States) was held.  The 33rd Army under command of General Masaki Honda launched an offensive to break out of their encircled positions Burma.  The trial of Nazi collaborator Marshal Philippe Pétain, the former head of state of Vichy France, began at the Palais de Justice in Paris.  The Potsdam Declaration was issued demanding the immediate and unconditional surrender of Japan.  The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35) arrived at the American base on Tinian with its cargo of uranium and major components of the atomic bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima.  Clement Attlee, leading the Labour Party defeated Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the ruling Conservative Party in the British general elections.  The United States Senate ratified the United Nations Charter by 89 votes to 2.  
   
  August 1945 Events  
  The Potsdam conference ended.  The first atomic bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy", was dropped on Hiroshima.  The Soviet Union declared itself to be at war with Japan and invaded Manchuria and Korea.  The second atomic bomb, nicknamed "Fat Man," was dropped on Nagasaki.  The Japanese offer to surrender conditionally was refused by the United States.  Japan accepted the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration and agreed to surrender.  U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur was named Supreme Allied Commander to receive Japan’s capitulation and conduct the occupation of the Japanese homeland.  The recorded message of Emperor Hirohito announcing the surrender of Japan is broadcast to the Japanese people.  Japanese Emperor Hirohito issued an Imperial Rescript ordering all Japanese forces to cease fire. The Soviet Union and Poland governments signed a treaty which delineated the new borders of Poland.  Indonesian leaders proclaimed the independence of the Republic of Indonesia from Dutch rule.  The "Peace riots" ended in San Francisco.  The Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh began the August General Uprising.  The War Production Board removed most of its controls over manufacturing activity.  U.S. President Harry S. Truman ordered the immediate end of the Lend-Lease program.  Allied fleets anchor in Sagami Wan (outer Tokyo Bay.)  Allied soldiers set foot on Japan.  Hong Kong was liberated.  MacArthur arrived in Japan and established the supreme allied command in Tokyo.  
   
  September 1945 Events  
  Japan signed the official surrender, accepted by General Douglas MacArthur, aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) in Tokyo Bay.  Nationalist President Ho Chi Minh declared the independence of the Viet Nam Republic from French rule.  Japanese forces on Luzon, Philippine Islands surrendered.  Singapore was liberated from Japanese occupation.  Shanghai, China, was liberated from Japanese occupation.  Former Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo attempted to commit suicide when American troops arrived at his house to arrest him as a war criminal.  Japanese commanders signed capitulation terms in Nanking to representatives of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.  The Japanese in Korea surrendered.  Operation Magic Carpet, the return of American forces to the United States, began in the Pacific Theater.  Vidkun Quisling was convicted of high treason by a Norwegian court and was sentenced to death.  Japanese forces at Rangoon, Burma surrendered.  The Japanese garrison in Hong Kong surrendered.  William Joyce, "Lord Haw-Haw," was sentenced to death at the Old Bailey, London, England.  The Labour government in Great Britain announced that it would begin negotiations on Indian autonomy.  British and Dutch forces landed on Batavia to disarm Japanese forces in the East Indies and repatriate these troops back to Japan.  
   
  October 1945 Events  
  No events listed.  
   
  November 1945 Events  
  No events listed.  
   
  December 1945 Events  
  No events listed.  
   
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