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WWII Timeline – Summer 1945

I’m continuing my WWII Timeline series with a look at July – September 1945 in this post.

A Timeline of WWII, Summer 1945

July 1, 1945

American, British, and French troops moved into Berlin.

July 5, 1945

Liberation of the Philippines from Japanese rule was announced by General Douglas MacArthur.

July 10, 1945

One thousand bomber raids against Japan began.

July 13, 1945

Italy (formerly an Axis power) declared war on Japan.

July 14, 1945

The first U.S. Naval bombardment of the Japanese home islands began when US Navy warships attacked the Japanese cities of Kamaishi and Muroran.

July 16, 1945

The first atomic bomb was successfully tested in the U.S. when the first-ever nuclear bomb was detonated in New Mexico at the Alamogordo Test Range. The bomb, nicknamed “Gadget,” created a crater nearly 1,000 feet wide. The test, code-named the “Trinity” nuclear test, began the Atomic Age.

July 17 – August 2, 1945

The Potsdam Conference, the last of the WWII meetings held by the “Big Three” heads of state (American President Harry S. Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his successor, Clement Attlee, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin) was held near Berlin. The conference established a Council of Foreign Ministers and a central Allied Control Council for administration of Germany. Talks primarily centered on the future of postwar Europe, but the “Big Three” also issued a declaration demanding “unconditional surrender” from Japan.

July 26, 1945

Clement Atlee of the Labour Party was elected British Prime Minister to succeed Conservative Winston Churchill.

The USS Indianapolis delivered components of the atomic bomb “Little Boy” at Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

July 28, 1945

A B-25 Mitchell bomber pilot became disoriented in heavy fog and crashed his aircraft into the Empire State Building in New York City. Although the accident did not compromise the building’s structural integrity, it caused fourteen deaths, three crewmen and eleven people in the building.

July 30, 1945

A Japanese submarine sank the Cruiser USS Indianapolis resulting in the loss of 881 crewmen. The ship sank before a radio message could be sent out leaving survivors adrift for two days. Only 316 onboard survived.

August 6, 1945

The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan from a B-29 flown by Col. Paul Tibbets, killing as many as 140,000 people.

August 8, 1945

The Soviet Union declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria.

August 9, 1945

The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan from a B-29 flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney, killing as many as 80,000 people. Emperor Hirohito and Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki sought an immediate peace with the Allies.

August 14, 1945

Japan agreed to unconditional surrender. Some consider this date (August 15 in the UK because of time differences) as V-J (Victory over Japan) Day, but others consider September 2, when the surrender document was signed, to be V-J Day.

General Douglas MacArthur was appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.

August 15, 1945

Some of the first child Holocaust survivors arrived in England from Europe.

August 16, 1945

General Jonathan M. Wainwright, a prisoner of war since May 6, 1942, was released from a POW camp in Manchuria.

Winston Churchill delivered an address in the British House of Commons stating,

…it is not impossible that tragedy on a prodigious scale is unfolding itself behind the iron curtain which at the moment divides Europe in twain.

August 27, 1945

B-29’s dropped supplies to Allied POWs in China.

August 29, 1945

The Soviets shot down a B-29 dropping supplies to POWs in Korea,

U.S. Troops landed near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan.

August 30, 1945

The British reoccupied Hong Kong.

September 2, 1945

President Harry S. Truman declared V-J (Victory over Japan) Day as Japan formally surrendered and signed a surrender agreement during a ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, as one thousand aircraft carrier-based planes flew overhead, officially ending WWII.

September 3, 1945

General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the Imperial Japanese Army, commander in the Philippines, surrendered to General Jonathan Wainwright at Baguio.

September 4, 1945

Japanese troops on Wake Island surrendered.

September 5, 1945

The British landed in Singapore.

September 8, 1945

General Douglas MacArthur entered Tokyo.

September 9, 1945

The Japanese in Korea surrendered.

September 13, 1945

The Japanese in Burma surrendered.

September 25, 1945

The Nazi party was declared illegal in Germany.

Sources:

This series of posts is based on a compilation of timelines from:

The Holocaust Encyclopedia

The History Place:

The National WWII Museum Interactive Timeline

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

World War II Chronicle by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Potsdam Conference

Fold3 Blog Post: The 75th Anniversary of the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis

Most recent post from the series:

Spring 1945

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020


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