The year 1945 may have been the final year of World War Two, but it certainly wasn't the quietest. Proving to be just as aggressive as the five before it, 1945 began with the Germans and the Japense struggling to hold up their defensives across key locations around Europe and Asia. However, the events that took down the final two key leaders of the Axis forces were far from similar.
In Europe, having successfully disrupted German defences in Normandy, allied forces marched towards Berlin with force, joined by the Soviet army. As they advance, Adolf Hitler resigned himself to his fate; he wedded his mistress Eva Bruan, before poisoning his dog, his wife and himself in his underground bunker.
Meanwhile, the Japanese were pressed by the United States military aggression, which began with naval bombardment and the bombing of key Japanese coastal towns. By June 1945, the attack by the US had become so strong it forced Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushjima to follow in the footsteps of Hitler, and he committed suicide on 22 June.
World War Two 1944
|25 January||The Battle of the Bulge ended. The German offensive was unsuccessful and led to the loss of up to 100,000 troops.|
|13 February||Allied bombing raids on Dresden - the ‘Florence of the Elbe’ - began.|
|16 February||The Battle of Iwo Jima started - the US Navy began a 3 day bombardment of Iwo Jima.|
|19 February||US Marines landed on Iwo Jima.|
|23 February||US Marines raise the US flag on the summit of Mount Suribachi.|
|7 March||British and American troops crossed the Rhine.|
|16 March||Iwo Jima was declared secure by US forces.|
|22 March||The US 3rd Army crossed the River Rhine.|
|29 March||The last bomb (a V1) fell on Britain.|
|1 April||America captured Okinawa, the last island held by Japan. The Allies circled around the Ruhr.|
|12 April||F D Roosevelt died from a stroke.|
|13 April||Vienna was taken by the Soviets. Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was handed over to the British who entered it on 15 April.|
|18 April||All resistance in the Ruhr ended. 370,000 German prisoners were taken.|
|22 April||Hitler decided to stay in Berlin 'until the end'.|
|25 April||American and British troops met at Torgau, Germany.|
|30 April||Hitler committed suicide.|
|2 May||Berlin surrendered to the Russian Army.|
|4 May||The German VII Army surrendered.|
|7 May||Germany surrendered unconditionally.|
|8 May||Victory in Europe (VE) Day.|
|11 May||German forces in Czechoslovakia surrendered.|
|22 June||Japanese resistance on Okinawa ended.|
|12 July||Britain held another General Election - Winston Churchill’s replacement as Prime Minister was Clement Attlee.|
|6 August||The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress 'Enola Gay'.|
|9 August||The second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress 'Bockscar’.|
|2 September||Japan surrendered. Victory in Japan (VJ) Day celebrated.|
|20 November||Start of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.|
"World War Two 1945". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.