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The end of World War II in Asia occurred on 2 September 1945, when armed forces of the Empire of Japan surrendered to the forces of the Allies. The surrender came almost four months after the surrender of the Axis forces in Europe and brought an end to World War II.
The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
The Axis powers, also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis", were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.
November 28, 1943
Tehran Conference: Soviet Union agrees to invade Japan "after the defeat of Germany" and begins stockpiling resources in the Far East.
The Tehran Conference was a strategy meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill from 28 November to 1 December 1943, after the Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran. It was held in the Soviet Union's embassy in Tehran, Iran. It was the first of the World War II conferences of the "Big Three" Allied leaders. It closely followed the Cairo Conference which had taken place on 22–26 November 1943, and preceded the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam conferences. Although the three leaders arrived with differing objectives, the main outcome of the Tehran Conference was the Western Allies' commitment to open a second front against Nazi Germany. The conference also addressed the 'Big Three' Allies' relations with Turkey and Iran, operations in Yugoslavia and against Japan, and the envisaged post-war settlement. A separate protocol signed at the conference pledged the Big Three to recognize Iran's independence.
February 4, 1945
Yalta Conference: Soviet Union agrees to invade Japan within 3 months of German surrender.
The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference convened near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.
April 5, 1945
Soviet Union denounces the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact that had been signed on April 13, 1941.
The Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact, also known as the Japanese–Soviet Non-aggression Pact, was a neutrality pact between the Soviet Union and Japan signed on April 13, 1941, two years after the brief Soviet–Japanese Border War. The pact was signed to ensure the neutrality between the Soviet Union and Japan during World War II, in which both countries participated.
April 29, 1945
Italian Fascist Republican troops, under Rodolfo Graziani’s command, surrender in the "Rendition of Cazerta".
Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, 1st Marquis of Neghelli, was a prominent Italian military officer in the Kingdom of Italy's Regio Esercito, primarily noted for his campaigns in Africa before and during World War II. A dedicated fascist, he was a key figure in the Italian military during the reign of Victor Emmanuel III.
May 8, 1945
July 16, 1945
Potsdam Conference begins.
July 26, 1945
Potsdam Declaration issued, calling for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces.
The Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender was a statement that called for the surrender of all Japanese armed forces during World War II. On July 26, 1945, United States President Harry S. Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China Chiang Kai-shek issued the document, which outlined the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference. This ultimatum stated that, if Japan did not surrender, it would face "prompt and utter destruction".
The surrender of Imperial Japan was announced on August 15 and formally signed on September 2, 1945, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was incapable of conducting major operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent. Together with the British Empire and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945—the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". While publicly stating their intent to fight on to the bitter end, Japan's leaders were privately making entreaties to the still-neutral Soviet Union to mediate peace on terms more favorable to the Japanese. Meanwhile, the Soviets were preparing to attack Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea in fulfillment of promises they had secretly made to the United States and the United Kingdom at the Tehran and Yalta Conferences.
The Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan during that Empire's existence from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 through the Second World War until the signing of the Constitution of Japan (1868–1947) included the:
August 3, 1945
Soviet General Vasilevskii reported to Stalin that Soviet forces ready for invasion from August 7.
August 6, 1945
An atomic bomb, Little Boy, dropped on Hiroshima from a special B-29 Superfortress named Enola Gay , flown by Col. Paul Tibbets. It is the first use of atomic weapons in combat. (Atomic bombing of Hiroshima)
August 8, 1945
The Soviet Union declares war on Japan against the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact.
August 9, 1945
Second, and more powerful plutonium implosion atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped on Nagasaki from a different Silverplate B-29 named Bockscar , flown by Maj. Charles Sweeney (Atomic bombing of Nagasaki)
August 9, 1945
Soviet Armies launch the Soviet invasion of Manchuria.
August 10, 1945
The 38th Parallel is set as the delineation between the Soviet and US occupation zones in Korea.
August 14, 1945 (noon JST on August 15, 1945)
Emperor Shōwa's decree to accept the Potsdam Declaration is announced over radio.
August 14, 1945
General Douglas MacArthur is appointed to head the occupation forces in Japan.
August 16, 1945
Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, a POW since May 6, 1942 following the surrender of U.S. forces in the Philippines under his command, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria.
August 17, 1945
Japanese IGHQ issues formal cease-fire in Manchuria.
August 17, 1945
General MacArthur issues General Order No. 1.
August 18, 1945
Soviet Army invades Karafuto on southern Sakhalin Island.
August 18, 1945
Soviet amphibious landings begin in northern Korea.
August 18, 1945
Japanese pilots attack two Consolidated B-32 Dominators of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, on a photo reconnaissance mission over Japan. Sgt. Anthony Marchione, 19, a photographer's assistant on the B-32 Hobo Queen II, was fatally wounded in the attack. Marchione would be the last American killed in air combat in the Second World War.
August 18, 1945
Soviet invasion of the Kuril Islands begins with amphibious landings on Shumshu.
August 19, 1945
Kwantung Army HQ transmit capitulation order to Japanese troops in Manchuria.
August 23, 1945
Last Japanese troops on Shumshu surrender to Soviet forces.
August 25, 1945
Japanese surrender in Karafuto (south Sakhalin Island).
August 27, 1945
B-29s drop supplies to Allied POWs in China.
August 29, 1945
The Soviets shoot down a B-29 Superfortress dropping supplies to POWs in Korea
August 29, 1945
U.S. troops land near Tokyo to begin the occupation of Japan by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.
August 30, 1945
The United Kingdom reoccupies Hong Kong.
September 2, 1945
Formal Japanese surrender ceremony aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay; U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares VJ Day.
September 2, 1945
The Japanese garrison in Penang surrenders, while the British retake Penang under Operation Jurist.
September 3, 1945
The Japanese commander in the Philippines, Gen. Yamashita, surrenders to Gen. Wainwright at Baguio.
September 4, 1945
Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.
September 5, 1945
The British land in Singapore.
September 5, 1945
The Soviets complete their occupation of the Kuril Islands.
September 6, 1945
Japanese forces in Rabaul surrender.
September 8, 1945
MacArthur enters Tokyo.
September 8, 1945
U.S. forces land at Incheon to occupy Korea south of the 38th Parallel
September 9, 1945
The remaining Japanese forces in China surrender.
September 9, 1945
The remaining Japanese forces on the Korean Peninsula surrender.
September 10, 1945
Japanese in Labuan surrender.
September 11, 1945
Japanese in Sarawak surrender.
September 12, 1945
Japanese in Singapore formally surrender.
September 13, 1945
Japanese in Burma formally surrender.
September 14, 1945
Japanese in Sulawesi surrender.
September 16, 1945
Japanese in Hong Kong formally surrender.
October 25, 1945
Japanese in Taiwan surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek as part of General Order No. 1, which later led to the ambiguous and unresolved political status of Taiwan.
After Japan's defeat in 1945, with the help of Seri Thai, Thailand was treated as a defeated country by the British and French, although American support mitigated the Allied terms. Thailand was not occupied by the Allies, but it was forced to return the territory it had regained to the British and the French. In the postwar period Thailand had relations with the United States, which it saw as a protector from the communist revolutions in neighbouring countries.
At the end of World War II, Japan was occupied by the Allies, led by the United States with contributions also from Australia, India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This foreign presence marked the first time in its history that the island nation had been occupied by a foreign power.The San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, marked the end of the Allied occupation, and after it came into force on April 28, 1952, Japan was once again an independent country.
During the occupation, leading Japanese war crime charges were reserved for those who participated in a joint conspiracy to start and wage war, termed "Class A" (crimes against peace), and were brought against those in the highest decision-making bodies; "Class B" crimes were reserved for those who committed "conventional" atrocities or crimes against humanity; "Class C" crimes were reserved for those in "the planning, ordering, authorization, or failure to prevent such transgressions at higher levels in the command structure."
Twenty-eight Japanese military and political leaders were charged with Class A crimes, and more than 5,700 Japanese nationals were charged with Class B and C crimes, mostly entailing prisoner abuse. China held 13 tribunals of its own, resulting in 504 convictions and 149 executions.
The Japanese Emperor Hirohito and all members of the imperial family such as Prince Asaka, were not prosecuted for involvement in any the three categories of crimes. Herbert Bix explains that "the Truman administration and General MacArthur both believed the occupation reforms would be implemented smoothly if they used Hirohito to legitimise their changes."As many as 50 suspects, such as Nobusuke Kishi, who later became Prime Minister, and Yoshisuke Aikawa, head of the zaibatsu Nissan Group, and future leader of the Chuseiren (a body representing small and medium-sized Japanese companies) were charged but released without ever being brought to trial in 1947 and 1948. Shiro Ishii received immunity in exchange for data gathered from his experiments on live prisoners. The lone dissenting judge to exonerate all indictees was Indian jurist Radhabinod Pal.
The tribunal was adjourned on 12 November 1948.
Operation Downfall was the proposed Allied plan for the invasion of Japan near the end of World War II. The planned operation was cancelled when Japan surrendered following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet declaration of war, and the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. The operation had two parts: Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet. Set to begin in November 1945, Operation Olympic was intended to capture the southern third of the southernmost main Japanese island, Kyūshū, with the recently captured island of Okinawa to be used as a staging area. Later, in the spring of 1946, Operation Coronet was the planned invasion of the Kantō Plain, near Tokyo, on the Japanese island of Honshu. Airbases on Kyūshū captured in Operation Olympic would allow land-based air support for Operation Coronet. If Downfall had taken place, it would have been the largest amphibious operation in history.
Victory over Japan Day is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made – to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 – as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II.
The Invasion of the Kuril Islands was the World War II Soviet military operation to capture the Kuril Islands from Japan in 1945. The invasion was part of the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation, and was decided on when plans to land on Hokkaido were abandoned. The successful military operations of the Red Army at Mudanjiang and during the Invasion of South Sakhalin created the necessary prerequisites for invasion of the Kuril Islands.
The Soviet invasion of Manchuria, formally known as the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation or simply the Manchurian Operation, began on 9 August 1945 with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. It was the last campaign of the Second World War, and the largest of the 1945 Soviet–Japanese War, which resumed hostilities between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Empire of Japan after almost six years of peace. Soviet gains on the continent were Manchukuo, Mengjiang and northern Korea. The Soviet entry into the war and the defeat of the Kwantung Army was a significant factor in the Japanese government's decision to surrender unconditionally, as it made apparent the Soviet Union had no intention of acting as a third party in negotiating an end to hostilities on conditional terms.
USS Newport (PF-27), a Tacoma-class frigate in commission from 1944 to 1945, and from 1950 to 1952, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the city of Newport, Rhode Island. She later served in the Soviet Navy as EK-28 and in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as JDS Kaede (PF-13), JDS Kaede (PF-293) and as YAC-17.
USS Glendale (PF-36), a Tacoma-class patrol frigate, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Glendale, California. In commission in the US Navy from 1943 to 1945, and from 1950 to 1951, she also served in the Soviet Navy as EK-6 from 1945 to 1949 and in the Royal Thai Navy as Tachin (PF-1) from 1951 to 2000.
The second USS Gallup (PF-47), a Tacoma-class frigate in commission from 1944 to 1945 and from 1950 to 1951, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Gallup, New Mexico. She also served in the Soviet Navy as EK-22 and in the Royal Thai Navy as HTMS Prasae.
The Soviet–Japanese War was a military conflict within World War II beginning soon after midnight on August 9, 1945, with the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. The Soviets and Mongolians terminated Japanese control of Manchukuo, Mengjiang, northern Korea, Karafuto, and the Chishima Islands. The defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army helped in the Japanese surrender and the termination of World War II. The Soviet entry into the war was a significant factor in the Japanese government's decision to surrender unconditionally, as it made apparent the Soviet Union would no longer be willing to act as a third party in negotiating an end to hostilities on conditional terms.
The Japan Campaign was a series of battles and engagements in and around the Japanese Home Islands, between Allied forces and the forces of Imperial Japan during the last stages of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The Japan Campaign lasted from around June 1944 to August 1945.
During World War II, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed several countries effectively handed over by Nazi Germany in the secret protocol Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. These included Eastern Poland, as well as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of eastern Finland and eastern Romania. Apart from Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and post-war division of Germany, USSR also occupied and annexed Carpathian Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia in 1945.
USS Palisade (AM-270) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1945. In 1945 she was transferred to the Soviet Union and served in the Soviet Navy after that as T-279.
This is a timeline of the events that stretched over the period of World War II from January 1945 to its conclusion and legal aftermath.
The evacuation of Karafuto (Sakhalin) and the Kuriles refers to the events that took place during the Pacific theater of World War II as the Japanese population left these areas, to August 1945 in the northwest of the main islands of Japan.
Project Hula was a program during World War II in which the United States transferred naval vessels to the Soviet Union in anticipation of the Soviets eventually joining the war against Japan, specifically in preparation for planned Soviet invasions of southern Sakhalin and the Kuril islands. Based at Cold Bay in the Territory of Alaska, the project was active during the spring and summer of 1945. It was the largest and most ambitious transfer program of World War II.
The Battle of Shumshu, the Soviet invasion of Shumshu in the Kuril Islands, was the first stage of the Soviet Union's Invasion of the Kuril Islands in August–September 1945 during World War II. It took place from 18 to 23 August 1945, and was the only major battle of the Soviet campaign in the Kuril Islands and one of the last battles of the war.
The Soviet occupation of Manchuria took place after the Red Army invaded the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo in August 1945 and would continue until the last of the Soviet forces left in May 1946.
The Invasion of South Sakhalin, also called the Battle of Sakhalin, was the Soviet invasion of the Japanese territorial portion of Sakhalin island known as Karafuto Prefecture. The invasion was part of the Soviet–Japanese War.
The Empire of Japan entered World War II by launching a surprise offensive which opened with the attack on Pearl Harbor at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time on December 7, 1941. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The strategic goals of the offensive were to cripple the U.S. Pacific fleet, capture oil fields in the Dutch East Indies, and expand the outer reaches of the Japanese Empire to create a formidable defensive perimeter around newly acquired territory.