KEY EVENTS OF 1945
30: American soldiers turn back German troops in Europe, winning the Battle of the Bulge.
7-12: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin meet at the Yalta Conference.
19: After 72 days of shelling the island, U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima. The intense fighting lasted a month.
23: The flag is raised on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima; the photo of this is one of the most famous of the 20th century.
3: The U.S. Army liberates Manila in the Philippines.
7: U.S. troops cross the Rhine River at Remagen and enter Germany.
1: The battle to take Okinawa commences. The Allies want Okinawa as a base for the expected invasion of Japan.
12: President Roosevelt dies. Harry S. Truman becomes president.
16: The Russians launch their final offensive, encircling Berlin. They arrive in the city April 26.
28: Italian leader Benito Mussolini is captured while trying to escape. He and his mistress Clara Petacci are shot and hanged in Milan the next day.
29: Dachau concentration camp is liberated by the U.S. Army.
30: German Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun commit suicide. Joseph Goebbels is appointed Reich Chancellor and Grand Admiral Karl Donitz is appointed Reich President.
1: Goebbels and his wife poison their six children and commit suicide.
2: The Battle of Berlin ends.
7: Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies in Reims, France, at 2:41 a.m.
8: V-E Day, Victory in Europe: The cease fire takes effect at one minute past midnight.
9: Germany surrenders to the Soviets.
23: Heinrich Himmler, head of the notorious SS, dies of suicide via cyanide pill.
5: The Allies agree to divide Germany into four areas of control (American, British, French and Soviet).
11: Schiermonnikoog, a Dutch island, is the last part of Europe freed by Allied troops.
21: The defeat of the Japanese on Okinawa is complete.
4: General Douglas MacArthur announces that the Philippines has been liberated.
10: U.S. Navy aircraft participate in attacks on Tokyo for the first time.
14: Italy declares war on Japan.
16: U.S. conducts the Trinity test at Alamogordo, N.M., the first test of a nuclear weapon.
26: Allied leaders meet in Potsdam, Germany, to send an ultimatum to Japan. Japanese military leaders ruling the government issue no surrender.
6: Enola Gay drops the first atomic bomb, nicknamed “Little Boy,” on Hiroshima.
8: Soviet Union declares war on Japan, invades Manchuria.
9: Bockscar drops the second atomic bomb, “Fat Man,” on Nagasaki.
14: Japan agrees to unconditional surrender.
30: Occupation of Japan begins.
31: General MacArthur takes over command of the Japanese government in Tokyo.
2: V-J Day, victory in Japan: Japan formally surrenders aboard USS Missouri, ending World War II.