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1945

Jan 5  In the liberated city of Lublin, Polish Communists have created a provisional government. The Soviet Union announces recognition of that government. Stalin is hostile to the London Poles and wants a friendly government in Poland. Churchill cables Stalin and complains.

Jan 11  The Soviet Army enters Warsaw.

Jan 12  The Soviet Army resumes its offensive – 180 divisions against 75 German divisions. Hitler has 28 other divisions defending his front in Hungary. Hitler orders sixteen divisions in the West to the East.

Jan 12  In a conversation at a private party a 27-year-old nurse, Gertrude Seele, expressed dislike for Hitler's regime. Someone reported her, and it was been learned that she had helped some Jews. She was imprisoned, and, on this day, she is executed.

Jan 18  With the Red Army approaching, a German order is given to evacuate slave laborers and inmates in the Auschwitz area to points farther west. Marching on foot in freezing weather, anyone who does not keep up is shot.

Jan 20  Soviet troops are pushing into East Prussia. More than 2 million Germans from East Prussia are fleeing westward.

Jan 26  Soviet troops enter Auschwitz. 

Jan 30  In a raid behind Japanese lines on the Island of Luzon, 100 US soldiers and more than 400 Filipino guerrillas rescue 531 American prisoners of war. One US soldier and 26 guerrillas die.

Feb 2  Ecuador announces that it is at war with Japan.

Feb 3  The US Army is converging on Manila from three directions and has pushed into the northern outskirts of the city. The battle for Manila begins.

Feb 3-11  Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt meet at Yalta and firm up agreements, including a coalition government for Poland. Stalin speaks of continuing good relations but warns that after the war will come a difficult time when they will be divided by "diverse interests."

Feb 7  Paraguay declares war on Germany and Japan.

Feb 12  Peru announces it is at war with Germany and Japan.

Feb 13  The Soviet army drives German forces from Budapest.

Feb 13  British bombers make two raids against railway yards at Dresden. A firestorm results that burns eleven squared miles of the city. The city has been filled with people fleeing from the advancing Soviet forces.

Feb 14  Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru join the United Nations.

Feb 15  Dresden is still burning. The US Airforce joins in bombing the city, believing that more havoc will be created by hitting the city when firefighting equipment is in the streets. Dresden is to burn for five more days. The identifiable dead number 39,773. The unidentifiable are 20,000 or more. 

Feb 15  Venezuela and Uruguay declare war on Germany and Japan.

Feb 17  In Manila, Japanese troops are holding 5,000 Filipinos hostage. Japanese troops release their frustration and anger against civilians. A young Japanese soldier writes in his diary of the killing of "several thousand ... young and old, men and women." 

Feb 19  Two divisions of U.S Marines land at Iwo Jima, a small island with an airfield closer to Japan than Tinian Island.

Feb 23  On Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi, Marines and a Navy Corpsman raise the US flag.

Feb 24  The Prime Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Pasha, announces that Egypt has declared war on Germany and Japan. Later on this day he is assassinated.

Feb 26  Egypt's parliament approves the declarations of war.

Feb  A Russian artillery officer at the front in eastern Germany, Captain Alexander Solzhenitsyn, has been arrested for a deprecatory remark about Stalin in a letter to a friend.

Mar 1  Iran and Saudi Arabia declare war on Japan.

Mar 3  The battle for Manila ends. There, approximately 100,000 Filipinos have died. The US Army has lost 1,010 dead, the Japanese about 16,000.

Mar 3  Finland declares war on Germany retroactive to Sept 15, 1944.

Mar 6  King Michael of Romania gives power to a coalition government dominated by the National Democratic Front and Romanian Communists.

Mar 7  Romania declares war on Japan.

Mar 8  In Yugoslavia, Josip Tito creates a federal republic. He is premier.

Mar 9  The dropping of tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo begins. A firestorm  consumes oxygen and suffocates thousands. Liquid glass rolls down streets. As many 120,000 die. Perhaps as many as 200,000. 

Mar 16  The last of the Japanese resistance on Iwo Jima ends. Of the 22,000 Japanese fighting men on the Island only 1,083 survive. The US Marines have lost 6,891.

Mar 23   US, British and Canadian forces have crossed the Rhine River.

Mar 28  Churchill sends a memorandum to Air Marshall Arthur Harris saying that "It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing the terror, though under other pretexts, should be reviewed."

Apr 1  The US Army and Navy land 50,000 troops on an eight-mile beachhead at Okinawa – a part of Japanese homeland – against about 100,000 Japanese troops.

Apr 4  A provisional government for Czechoslovakia is established in the eastern Slovak town of Kosice, cleared of Germans by the Soviet Army. Eduard Benes, a liberal, is the provisional government's president. A leader of the Czech Social Democrats is prime minister. Communists dominate the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Apr 5  The Soviet Union ends its neutrality pact with Japan.

Apr 11  Hitler's Gestapo telephones the Buchenwald concentration camp and says that it is coming to blow up the camp and its inmates. Camp administrators have already fled. An inmate answers the phone and, pretending to be an administrator, says not to bother, that it has already been done. The Gestapo does not arrive. A few hours later the US 3rd Army arrives. 

Apr 11  Chile declares war on Japan.

Apr 12  President Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorage.

Apr 13  The Soviet army takes Vienna.

Apr 15  British troops liberate Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They are shocked by what they find.

Apr 15  Since early February the Allies have bombed Berlin eighty-three times. Berliners are living without water and electricity and with little food. The bombs are accomplishing little strategically but making rubble bounce, killing more civilians and killing Allied airmen. In Berlin people joke about Hitler having promised that under his administration they would eventually not recognize their city.

Apr 25  US and Soviet troops meet at the Elbe River.

Apr 28  Benito Mussolini has been fleeing northward toward Germany and is caught by Italian partisans. Mussolini is reported to have said he is sorry just before he is shot. At an Esso gas station In Milan, the bodies of Mussolini, his mistress and some other leading fascists are hung by their heels, on display as executed criminals. 

Apr 30  Hitler has written his will and testament. He names the head of his armed forces, Admiral Donitz, chief of state and apologizes for nothing. All failure he sees as the work of others. He commits suicide.

May 1  Joseph Goebbel's commits suicide, taking with him his wife Magda, six children and dogs.

May 2  In Berlin, soldiers place the Soviet flag over the parliament building. The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.

May 8  Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allied forces. The Soviet army enters Prague.

May 9  In Prague the usual civility of the Czech people has broken down. A public announcement calls for "Death to Germans." A week of revenge begins. A former mistress to a German officer is murdered in the street. German-speaking civilians, male and female, are brutalized and some others killed. Taking advantage of the rampage, some engage in rape and thievery.

May 23  In western Germany, Heinrich Himmler has been found by the British. While in custody he commits suicide with a hidden vial of cyanide.

May 29  In Damascus, French troops have fired upon people demonstrating against their presence, and this creates more anger and demonstrations.

Jun 4  Amid famine in northern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh establishes a provisional government in a region free of Japanese in northern Vietnam. It abolishes the "corvee" (forced labor) and begins distribution of French owned lands to peasants. It begins literacy programs and the training of local militia.

Jun 21  After three months and 21 days, the fighting on Okinawa ends. US Army, Navy and Marines dead or missing are 18,900. At least 150,000 Japanese civilians have died – about one-third of the population – many by suicide. About 100,000 Japanese soldiers have died, many by suicide. 7,000 were taken alive.  

Jun 22  Emperor Hirohito tells his ministers that he desires concrete plans to end the war.

Jun 26  At San Francisco, 50 nations sign the United Nations charter.

Jul 16  In New Mexico, the first atomic bomb is successfully exploded.

Jul 17  Stalin has just reaffirmed his commitment to have the Soviet Union enter the war against Japan on August 15. Truman writes in his diary: "Fini Japs when that comes about."

Jul 21  Since July 17, Stalin, Churchill and President Truman have been attending the Potsdam Conference, not far from Berlin. Truman approves use of the atomic bomb against

Jul 25  The Japanese have been talking to Soviet officials regarding an end to the war. The United States has been intercepting messages between Tokyo and Japan's representatives in Moscow, and US leaders are aware that Japan realizes that the war for them is lost. The Japanese consider the "formality of unconditional surrender" an unacceptable dishonor.

Jul 26  Britain's Labour Party has won elections in a landslide, Clement Attlee replaces Winston Churchill as Prime Minister.

Jul 27  From Potsdam, Truman cables the Japanese and warns of "utter devastation of the Japanese homeland" unless Japan surrenders unconditionally.

Aug 6  The Japanese have not accepted Truman's demand for unconditional surrender, and rather than wait patiently for the Japanese to change their mind, the US military has been waiting for good weather. The military has participated in choosing Hiroshima as the target, and there the United States drops its atomic bomb.

Aug 8  The Soviet Union declares war on Japan.

Aug 9  The United States drops its second demonstration bomb, on Nagasaki.

Aug 15  Japan surrenders. Emperor Hirohito breaks the news of surrender to the Japanese people.

Aug 15  Japan's governor, General Abe, transfers power to a Korean Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence. Koreans are jubilant, believing that Korea is an independent nation again.

Aug 17  Sukarno reads his declaration of independence for Indonesia.

Aug 22  Stalin announces his treaty with the government of Chiang Kai-shek. He orders Mao to dissolve his army and work for Chiang Kai-shek.

Aug 22  Near Tokyo, a revolt by diehard soldiers has been quelled. Japan's military high command, following the will of Emperor Hirohito, has established calm and order.

Aug 24  The Soviet forces have entered Pyongyang in northern Korea, in agreement with the Allies at the Potsdam Conference. They are rounding up Japanese forces, some of whom are coming south from Manchuria.

Aug 25  Saigon comes under the control of the Communist Viet Minh. Vietnam's Emperor Bao Dai follows Ho Chi Minh's advice and abdicates.

Aug 28   In agreement with the Japanese, an advance party of 150 US experts and engineers and 38 combat troops arrive at Atsugi airbase near Tokyo.

Aug 30  The US 11th Airborne arrives at Atsugi airbase on transport planes. General MacArthur arrives in the afternoon. The 11th Airborne band plays "Ruffles and Flourishes." A motorcade takes him to his temporary headquarters. Japanese soldiers line the route, their backs facing the motorcade – a gesture of respect and also a security measure.

Sep 2  Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam's Independence. Bao Dai has agreed to be "supreme advisor" to the new Communist government in Hanoi.

Sep 2  On board the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, the Japanese sign the instrument of surrender.

Sep 3  Japanese authorities learn of US plans to put Japan under military governance – contrary to the Potsdam agreement, which declared the right of Japan's government to continue to exist. Japanese authorities fear losing credibility with the Japanese people. MacArthur listens and agrees to rescind rule by military governance. He agrees to keep Japan's paramount social and political institutions in place. The occupation is to be seen as background and secondary. In the US, authorities are to see MacArthur's authority in Japan as "indirect governance."

Sep 7  General MacArthur assumes power over the southern half of the Korean peninisula. He delegates that authority of US Lieutenant General John R. Hodge.

Sep 8  The US military is welcomed at the Port of Inchon, near Seoul, by a delegation of Japan's military.

Sep 8  British troops parachute into Jakarta's Kemayoran Airport. Japan's military begins surrendering to Australian forces.

Sep 9  In Seoul the US military accepts the surrender of the Japanese. It frees English and Australians prisoners of war. It establishes a US military government south of the 38th parallel. Koreans are hostile and frequently violent toward those among them who had collaborated with the Japanese, but the US general in charge, John R. Hodge, includes those who had collaborated with the Japanese in his Korean administration and police.  Many Koreans see the Americans as occupiers.

Sep 13  British forces arrive in Saigon for the expressed purpose of disarming the Japanese there.

Sep15  The freeing of Dutch prisoners in Indonesia begins.

Sep 22  In Saigon 1,400 French soldiers and some of the 20,000 or so French civilians there, attack the Viet Minh and kill civilians, including children. A French struggle for control of Vietnam begins. 

Oct 9  The British arrange for the transport of additional French troops to Indochina, including Vietnam, and agree to turn over responsibilities there to the French.

Oct 15  Poland becomes the 51st member of the United Nations.

Oct 24  In Norway, Quisling has been convicted of treason and is hanged.

Nov 10  The government of Enver Hoxha in Albania is recognized by Western Powers.

Nov 11  Yugoslavia's population has more than a 90 percent voter turn-out, and it gives overwhelming support to the popular front government of Josip Tito.

Nov 20  In Nuremberg Germany, war crimes trials begin.

Dec 4  US Senator James O. Eastland joins others in helping alarm the Russians about opinion in the United States. He speaks of "Mongolian hordes stalking the streets of Western civilization as conquerors." He adds that the American people "must realize that Russia is a predatory, aggressor nation, and that today she follows the same fateful road of conquest and aggression with which Adolf Hitler set the world on fire."

Dec 29  The US and the Soviet Union have agreed to the formation of a provisional government for a united and independent Korea. With Britain they have agreed to "trusteeship" for Korea not to exceed five years. In Korea news of the trusteeship is greeting with disappointment, anger and violence.

Dec 1-31  Australians are turning over areas in Indonesia to Dutch forces.

to 1935 | to 1946

Copyright © 2006-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.