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This is a timeline of events that stretched over the period of World War II.

Contents

January 1945

1: The Germans begin a surprise offensive Operation Nordwind along the Saar and aimed at retaking Strasbourg.
1: Unternehmen Bodenplatte is launched by the Luftwaffe against western Allied air bases in Belgium and Holland by elements of ten different Jagdgeschwadern (fighter wings), as its last major air offensive of the war in the West.
2: The Japanese increasingly use kamikaze tactics against the US naval forces nearby.
3: The Allies take the offensive east of the Bulge but they fail to close the pincers (which might have surrounded large numbers of Germans) with Patton's tanks.
4: US navy air attacks on Formosa (Taiwan)
5: The German offensive "North Wind" crosses the border into Alsace.
5: Japanese retreat across the Irrawaddy River in Burma with General Slim's troops in pursuit.
6: American B-29's bomb Tokyo again.
7: Germans, as part of the plan to retake Strasbourg, break out of the "Colmar Pocket", a bridgehead on the Rhine, and head east.
8: The battle of Strasbourg is underway, with Americans in defence of their recent acquisition.
9: Americans land on Luzon, the central island of the Philippines and there inside by the Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerillas; there are more kamikaze attacks on the American navy.
12: The first convoy moves on the Ledo (or "Stilwell") road in northern Burma, linking India and China.
12: A major Red Army offensive in East Prussia begins.
14: British forces clear the Roer Triangle during Operation Blackcock; it is an area noted for its industrial dams.
15: Hitler is now firmly ensconced in the bunker in Berlin with his companion Eva Braun.
15: The British commander in Athens, General Ronald Scobie, accepts a request for a ceasefire from the Greek People's Liberation Army. This marks the end of the Dekemvriana, resulting in clear defeat for the Greek Left.
January 1945
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16: United States First and Third link up following Battle of the Bulge; Soviet troops meanwhile lay siege to Budapest.
17: Warsaw liberated by Red Army troops. A government favourable to the Communists is installed.
17: It is announced officially that the Battle of the Bulge is at an end.
18: Americans drive on Manila.
20: The Red Army advances into East Prussia. Germans renew the retreat.
20: Franklin D. Roosevelt is sworn in as President (his fourth term); Harry Truman is sworn in as Vice President.
25: American navy bombards Iwo Jima in preparation for invasion.
25: The Allies officially win the Battle of the Bulge.
27: Auschwitz concentration camp is liberated by Soviet troops.
28: The Red Army completes the occupation of Lithuania.
31: Red Army crosses the Oder River into Germany and are now less than 50 miles from Berlin.
31: A second invasion on Luzon by Americans by inside to the Filipino soldiers and guerilla fighters, this time on the west coast.
31: The whole Burma Road is now opened as the Ledo Road linkage with India is complete.

February 1945

February 1945
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1: Ecuador declares war on Germany.
2: Naval docks at Singapore are destroyed by B-29 attacks.
3: U.S. forces enter Manila by helping with the Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerillas, Japanese forces in the city massacre 100,000 Filipinos civilians and devastates the city. A vicious urban battle ensues, to last for some weeks. Also known as Battle for Liberation of Manila
3: Heavy bombing of Berlin.
4: Yalta Conference ("Argonaut" of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin begins; the main subject of their discussions is postwar spheres of influence.
4: Belgium is now cleared of all German forces.
8: Paraguay declares war on Germany.
9: The "Colmar Pocket", the last German foothold west of the Rhine, is eliminated.
12: Peru declares war on Germany.
13: The Battle of Budapest ends with Soviet victory, after a long defence by the Germans.
13/14: The controversial bombing of Dresden; it is firebombed by Allied air forces and large parts of the historic city are destroyed. Allies claim it is strategically important.
14: Bombing of Prague; later called a mistake on the order of the bombing of Dresden.
16: American naval vessels bombard Tokyo and Yokohama.
16: American paratroopers and the Philippine Commonwealth troops land on Corregidor Island, in Manila Bay. Once the scene of the last American resistance in early 1942, it is now the scene of Japanese resistance.
19: U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
21: Vicious fighting in and around Manila was joint by Filipino and American troops.
23: U.S. Marines raise the American flag on Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima.
24: Egypt declares war on Axis.
24: Massive bombing of Germany by approximately 9,000 bombers.
25: US incendiary raids on Japan.
25: Turkey declares war on Germany.
25: After ten days of fighting, American and Filipino troops recapture Corregidor.
26: Syria declares war on Germany and Japan.
28: The Sixth United States Army captures Manila, capital of the Philippines by continued the Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and recognized guerilla fighters after an unyielding Japanese defence force. A Philippine government is established.
28: The combined Filipino and American military forces increase their presence in the Philippines by invading Palawan, a western island in the group.

March 1945

March 1945
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3: The combined Filipino and American soldiers take Manila, the Philippines.
3: Battle of Meiktila, Burma comes to an end with General Slim's troops overwhelming the Japanese; the road to Rangoon is now cleared.
4: Finland declares war on Germany, backdated to Sept. 15, 1944.
6: Germans launch an offensive against Soviet forces in Hungary.
7: When German troops fail to dynamite the Remagen Bridge over the Rhine, Americans begin crossing the Rhine into Germany.
7: Germans begin to evacuate Danzig.
9: The US firebombs a number of cities in Japan, including Tokyo, with heavy civilian casualties.
9: Amid rumours of a possible American invasion, Japanese overthrow the Vichy French Jean Decoux Government which had been operating independently as the colonial government of Vietnam: they proclaim an "independent" Empire of Vietnam, with Emperor Bảo Đại as nominal ruler. Premier Trần Trọng Kim forms the first Vietnamese government.
11: Nagoya, Japan is firebombed by hundreds of B-29's.
15: V-2 rockets continue to hit England and Belgium.
16: The German offensive in Hungary ends with another Soviet victory.
16: Iwo Jima is finally secured after a month's fighting;the battle is the only time that the number of American casualties is larger than the Japanese's. Sporadic fighting will continue as isolated Japanese fighters emerge from caves and tunnels.
18: Red Army approaches Danzig (postwar Gdansk).
19: Heavy bombing of important naval bases in Japan, Kobe and Kure.
20: German General Gotthard Heinrici replaces Heinrich Himmler as commander of Army Group Vistula, the army group directly opposing the Soviet advance towards Berlin.
20: Mandalay liberated by Indian 19th Infantry Division.
20: Tokyo is firebombed again.
20: Patton's troops capture Mainz, Germany
20: Mandalay, in central Burma, is now firmly under British and Indian control.
22-23: US and British forces cross the Rhine at Oppenheim.
23: By this time it is clear that Germany is under attack from all sides.
24: Montgomery's troops cross the Rhine at Wesel.
27: The Western Allies slow their advance and allow the Red Army to take Berlin.
28: Argentina declares war on Germany, the last Western hemisphere country to do so; its policies for sheltering escaping Nazis are also coming under scrutiny. Argentina had not declared war before due to British wishes that Argentine shipping be neutral (and therefore Argentine foodstuffs would reach Britain unharmed), this, however, went against the plan of the USA, who applied much political pressure on Argentina.
29: The Red Army enters Austria. Other Allies take Frankfurt; the Germans are in a general retreat all over the centre of the country.
30: Red Army forces capture Danzig.
31: General Eisenhower broadcasts a demand for the Germans to surrender.

April 1945

April 1945
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1: U.S. troops start Operation Iceberg, which is the Battle of Okinawa. It would have been a leaping off base for a mainland invasion.
1: Americans retake Legaspi, Albay in the eastern Philippines was helping the Philippine Commonwealth troops and Bicolano guerillas, one of the original Japanese landing sites in December,1941.
2: Soviets launch Vienna Offensive against German forces in and around the Austrian capital city.
2: German armies are surrounded in the Ruhr region.
4: Bratislava, the capital of the Slovak Republic, is over-run by advancing Soviet forces. The remaining members of Prime Minister Jozef Tiso's pro-German government fled to Austria.
4: Ohrdruf death camp is liberated by the Allies.
5: Po Valley Campaign begins in northern Italy.
7: The Japanese battleship Yamato is sunk in the North of Okinawa.
9: Battle of Königsberg ends in Soviet victory.
9: A heavy bombing at Kiel by the RAF destroys the last two major German warships.
9: Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer is executed at Flossenburg prison.
10: Buchenwald concentration camp liberated by American forces.
11: Japanese kamikaze attacks on American naval ships continue at Okinawa; the carrier Enterprise and the battleship Missouri are hit heavily.
12: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies suddenly. Harry S. Truman becomes president of the United States.
13: Vienna Offensive ends with Soviet victory.
14: Large-scale firebombing of Tokyo.
15: Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated by the British Army.
16: The Battle of the Seelow Heights and the Battle of the Oder-Neisse begin as the Soviets continue to advance towards the city of Berlin.
18: Ernie Pyle, famed war correspondent for the GI's, is killed by a sniper on Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa.
19: Allies continue their sweep toward the Po Valley.
19: The Soviet advance towards the city of Berlin continues and soon reach the suburbs.
Happy 2nd Lt. William Robertson and Lt. Alexander Sylvashko, Red Army, shown in front of sign "East Meets West" symbolizing the historic meeting of the Red Army and American armies, near Torgau, Germany on Elbe Day.
20: Hitler celebrates his 56th birthday in the bunker in Berlin; reports are that he is in an unhealthy state, nervous, and depressed.
21: Soviet forces under Georgiy Zhukov (1st Belorussian Front), Konstantin Rokossovskiy (2nd Belorussian Front), and Ivan Konev (1st Ukrainian Front) launch assaults on the German forces in and around the city of Berlin as the opening stages of the Battle of Berlin.
21: Hitler ordered SS-General Felix Steiner to attack the 1st Belorussian Front and destroy it. The ragtag units of "Army Detachment Steiner" are not fully manned.
22: Hitler is informed late in the day that, with the approval of Gotthard Heinrici, Steiner's attack was never launched. Instead, Steiner's forces were authorised to retreat.
22: In response to the news concerning Steiner, Hitler launches a furious tirade against the perceived treachery and incompetence of his military commanders in front of Wilhelm Keitel, Hans Krebs, Alfred Jodl, Wilhelm Burgdorf, and Martin Bormann. Hitler's tirade culminates in an oath to stay in Berlin to head up the defence of the city.
22: Hitler ordered German General Walther Wenck to attack towards Berlin with his Twelfth Army, link up with the Ninth Army of General Theodor Busse, and relieve the city. Wenck launched an attack, but it came to nothing.
23: Hermann Göring sends a radiogram to Hitler's bunker, asking to be declared Hitler's successor. He proclaims that if he gets no response by 10 PM, he will assume Hitler is incapacitated and assume leadership of the Reich. Furious, Hitler strips him of all his offices and expels him from the Nazi Party.
23: Albert Speer makes one last visit to Hitler, informing him that he ignored the Nero Decree for scorched earth.
24: Meanwhile, Himmler, ignoring the orders of Hitler, makes a secret surrender offer to the Allies, (led by Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Red Cross) provided that the Red Army is not involved. The offer is rejected; when Hitler hears of Himmler's betrayal, he orders him shot.
24: Forces of the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front link up in the initial encirclement of Berlin.
24: Allies encircle last German armies near Bologna, and the Italian war in effect comes to an end.
25: Elbe Day: First contact between Soviet and American troops at the river Elbe, near Torgau in Germany.
26: Hitler summons Field Marshall Robert Ritter von Greim from Munich to Berlin to take over command of the Luftwaffe from Göring. While flying into Berlin, von Greim is seriously wounded by Soviet anti-aircraft fire.
27: The encirclement of German forces in Berlin is completed by the 1st Belorussian Front and the 1st Ukrainian Front.
28: Head of State for the Italian Social Republic, Benito Mussolini, heavily disguised, is captured in northern Italy while trying to escape. Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci, are shot and hanged in Milan the next day. Other members of his puppet government are also executed by Italian partisans and their bodies put on display in Milan.
29: Dachau concentration camp is liberated by the U.S. 7th Army. All forces in Italy officially surrender and a ceasefire is declared.
29: Hitler marries his companion Eva Braun.
30: Hitler and his wife commit suicide, he by a combination of poison and a gunshot. Before he dies Adolf Hitler dictates his last will and testament. In it Joseph Goebbels is appointed Reich Chancellor and Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz is appointed Reich President.
30: While Donitz ascends to his high office, Goebbels and his wife kill their six children and then take poison in the bunker.
30: Soviet troops declared final victory over Germany.

May 1945

May 1945
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1: As one of his last acts Reich Chancellor Joseph Goebbels has sent German General Hans Krebs to negotiate the surrender of the city of Berlin with Soviet General Vasily Chuikov. Chuikov, as commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army, (and one time leader of the defence at Stalingrad) commands the Soviet forces in central Berlin. Krebs is not authorized by Goebbels to agree to an unconditional surrender, so his negotiations with Chuikov end with no agreement.
1: Partisan leader Tito and his troops capture Trieste in northwest Italy. New Zealand troops play a supporting role.
1:Goebbels and his wife kill their children and then commit suicide.
1: The war in Italy is over but some German troops are still not accounted for.
1: Australian troops land on Tarakan island off the coast of Borneo
2: The Battle of Berlin ends when German General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the Berlin Defence Area, (and no longer bound by Goebbels commands), unconditionally surrenders the city of Berlin to Soviet General Vasily Chuikov.
3: The German cruiser Hipper is scuttled, having been hit heavily by the RAF in April.
3: Eamon de Valera, Prime Minister of Ireland, offers regrets for Hitler's death to German officialdom.
3: Rangoon is liberated.
4: Neuengamme concentration camp is liberated.
4: German troops are surrendering throughout Europe, notably to Montgomery in the North.
5: Czech resistance fighters started Prague uprising.
5: Soviets started Prague Offensive.
5: Mauthausen concentration camp is liberated.
5: German troops in the Netherlands officially surrender; Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands accepts the surrender.
5: Denmark liberated by Allied troops.
5: Formal negotiations for Germany's surrender begin at Reims, France.
5: Kamikazes have major successes off Okinawa.
6: This date marks the last fighting for American troops in Europe.
6: German soldiers open fire on a crowd celebrating the liberation in Amsterdam.
7: Germany surrenders unconditionally to the Allies at the Western Allied Headquarters in Rheims, France at 2:41 a.m. In accordance with orders from Reich President Karl Dönitz, General Alfred Jodl signs for Germany.
7: Hermann Göring, for a while in the hands of the SS, surrenders to the Americans.
8: Ceasefire takes effect at one minute past midnight; V-E Day in Britain
8: The remaining members of the Prime Minister Jozef Tiso's pro-German Slovak Republic capitulates to the American General Walton Walker's XX Corps in Kremsmünster, Austria.
8: Germany surrendered again unconditionally to the Allies in Berlin but this time in a ceremony hosted by the Soviet Union. In accordance with orders from Reich President Karl Dönitz, General Wilhelm Keitel signs for Germany.
8: In accordance with orders from Reich President Karl Dönitz, Colonel-General Carl Hilpert unconditionally surrenders his troops in the Courland Pocket.
8: Prague uprising ends with negotiated surrender with Czech resistance which allowed the Germans in Prague to leave the city.
8: Viet Nam is considered a minor item on the agenda; in order to disarm the Japanese in Viet Nam, the Allies divide the country in half at the 16th parallel. Chinese Nationalists will move in and disarm the Japanese north of the parallel while the British will move in and do the same in the south. During the conference, representatives from France request the return of all French pre-war colonies in Southeast Asia (Indochina). Their request is granted. Viet Nam will once again become French colony following the removal of the Japanese.
9: Red Army entered Prague as part of the Prague Offensive.
9: German garrison in Channel Islands agreed to unconditional surrender.
11: Prague Offensive ends with Soviet capture of the capital city, the last major city to be liberated, though the war is over. Eisenhower stops Patton from participating in the liberation.
11: German Army Group Centre in Czechoslovakia surrenders.
11: War in New Guinea continues, with Australians attacking Wewak.
14: Nagoya, Japan is heavily bombed.
14: Fighting in the southern Philippines continues.
16: British troops complete liberation of Channel Islands.
18: Continued fierce fighting on Okinawa.
20: Georgian Uprising of Texel ends, concluding hostilities in Europe.
23: British forces capture and arrest the members of what was left of the Flensburg government. This was the German government formed by Reich President Karl Dönitz after the suicides of both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.
23: Heavy bombing of Yokohama, an important port and naval base.
23: Heinrich Himmler, head of the notorious SS, dies of suicide by cyanide pill.
29: Fighting breaks out in Syria and Lebanon, as nationalists demand freedom from French control.

June 1945

June 1945
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5: A huge Pacific typhoon hits the American navy under Admiral Halsey; the fleet suffers widespread damage.
5: Allies agree to divide Germany into four areas of control.
10: Australian troops land at Brunei, Borneo.
15: Osaka, Japan is bombed heavily.
16: The Japanese are in a general retreat in central China.
19: The United Kingdom begins demobilisation.
20: Schiermonnikoog, a Dutch island, is the last part of Europe freed by Allied troops.
21: The defeat of the Japanese on Okinawa is now complete.
26: The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.

July 1945

July 1945
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1: Australian troops land at Balikpapan, Borneo in the Western Allies last major land operation of the war
4: General MacArthur announces that the Philippines have been liberated.
6: Norway declares war on Japan.
10: US 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, New Mexico, the first test of a nuclear weapon.
17: The Potsdam Conference begins. The Allied leaders agree to insist upon the unconditional surrender of Japan.
24: Truman hints at the Potsdam Conference that the United States has nuclear weapons.
26: The Labour Party win the United Kingdom general election by a landslide. The new United Kingdom Prime Minister Clement Attlee replaces Churchill at the negotiating table at Potsdam.
28: The Japanese battleship Haruna is sunk by aircraft from US Task Force 38.
30: The USS Indianapolis is sunk shortly after midnight by a Japanese submarine after having delivered atomic bomb material to Tinian; because of poor communications, the ship's whereabouts are unknown for some time and many of its men drown or are attacked by sharks in the next four days.
31: US air attacks on the cities of Kobe and Nagoya in Japan.

August 1945

August 1945
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2: End of the Potsdam Conference: left unsolved is the status of a divided Germany and the birth of a new atomic age.
6: Enola Gay drops the first atomic bomb "Little Boy" on Hiroshima.
8: Soviet Union declares war on Japan; the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation begins about an hour later which includes landings on the Kurile Islands.
9: Soviet troops enter China and Korea.
9: Bockscar drops the second atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki.
14: An attempted coup by Japanese military and right-wingers to overthrow the government and prevent the inevitable surrender.
14: Last day of United States Force combat actions. All units frozen in place.
15: Emperor Hirohito issues a radio broadcast announcing Japan's surrender; though the surrender seems to be "unconditional," the Emperor's status is still open for discussion.
15: World-wide celebration of VJ Day.
16: Emperor Hirohito issues an Imperial Rescript ordering Japanese forces to cease fire.
The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocentre.
19: At a spontaneous non-communist meeting in Hanoi, Hồ Chí Minh and the Việt Minh assumed a leading role in the movement to wrest power from the Japanese.
19: Hostilities between Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists break into the open.
22: Japanese armies surrender to the Red Army in Manchuria.
27: Japanese armies in Burma surrender at Rangoon ceremonies.
30: Royal Navy force under Rear-Admiral Cecil Harcourt liberates Hong Kong.
31: General MacArthur takes over command of the Japanese government in Tokyo.

September 1945

2: The commander of the Imperial Japanese Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita surrenders to Filipino and American troops at Kiangan, Ifugao in Northern Philippines.
2: Japan signs the articles of surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
2: In Viet Nam, Chinese Nationalists accept surrender of Japanese Occupation Forces north of the 16th parallel. The British are to accept surrender south of the line under British Major General Douglas Gracey's 20th Indian Division, some 26,000 men in all. British General Gracey arrives in Saigon (South Vietnam) which is in turmoil.
5: Singapore is officially liberated by British and Indian troops.
16: Japanese garrison in Hong Kong officially signs the instrument of surrender.
22: The British release 1,400 French Paratroopers from Japanese camps around Saigon.

October 1945

1: In the South of Vietnam, a purely bilateral British/French agreement recognizes French administration of the southern zone. In the North, 180,000 Chinese troops go on a "rampage". Hồ's Việt Minh are hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with it. Hồ Chí Minh accepts an Allied compromise for temporary return of 15,000 French troops to rid the North of anti-Communists. The Chinese troops of Chiang flee to Taiwan, looting as they depart. As World War II ends, starvation kills over 2 million Vietnamese.

December 1945

31: The British Home Guard is disbanded.

On September 3rd 1990 World War Two technically ends with the reunification of Germany.

See also

External links

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