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What happened in 1945?

Page Created
April 3rd, 2022
Last Updated
May 10th, 2023
World War 2

In May 1945, the Western Allies celebrate VE Day and a few months later VJ Day becomes a fact.

Before that would happen, there was still a long way to go. The year starts off with a German attempt to take out the Allied Air Force in the lower countries. Operation Bodemplatte fails to reach its goals and the Germans lose between 130 and 140 pilots.

Also in January, the Western Allies cross the Siegfried Line. The advance towards the river Rhine resumes. On March 7th, U.S. troops capture the Ludendorff Bridge over the river Rhine at Remagen. Immediately they start moving huge quantities of troops and equipment across that bridge. With a Remagen bridgehead secured, the Allied launch Operation Varsity part of Operation Plunder to secure a bridgehead across the Northern Rhine. Airborne troops land across the Rhine to facilitate the amphibious crossing of ground troops. The ground and airborne forces were able to link up that same night securing a second bridgehead across the Rhine.

After crossing the Rhine, the Canadian 1st Army under General Crerar take a turn to the left to start the liberation of the East and North of The Netherlands. The British 2nd Army under General Dempsey heads towards the North of Germany and Denmark. While The U.S. 9th Army under General Simpson advances towards the Northeast of Germany and encircling the Ruhr (Germanies industrial heart) from the North. By April 26th the British capture Bremen and around that same time the Canadians reach the North of The Netherlands and move East to capture Wilhelmshaven in the North of Germany.

Three days later the 6th U.S. Army Group crosses the Rhine on March 26th near Worms. With this crossing it secures the southern flank of the Remagen bridgehead of the U.S. 3rd Army Group. After this both Army Groups break out of their bridgehead. The 1st U.S. Army under General Hodges start the encirclement of the Ruhr from the South and heads towards the East of Germany. The 3rd U.S. Army under General Patton also heads to the East of Germany and towards Slovakia. The 7th U.S. Army under General Patch Heads towards the South of Germany.

The Western Allies rush threw Germany encircling pockets of resistance. By April 25th U.S. Forces link up with Soviet troops at the Elbe near Torgau.

On January 12th, the Eastern Allies also start their offensive. With the East Prussia offensive, the Soviets try to eliminate the German troops in East Prussia. Within a week Germany starts evacuating East Prussia. By the end of the March the Soviet Army defeats the German 4th Army, trapped in the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia. On April 9th, the Soviets take Königsberg, ending the East Prussia Campaign.

The Vistula-Oder offensive that starts on January 13th, is the final push of Soviet and Polish troops towards Germany and Austria. Within 4 days they occupy Warsaw. Later in February they are able to end the siege of Budapest. The German troops inside the city surrender. End March they have forced the Germans to retreat from Hungary and they stand on the Austrian border. Begin March they take Bratislava, and they enter the outskirts of Vienna.

Halfway March, the Soviets proceed the assault with the Upper Silesian Offensive. The intention of this offensive is to capture Silesia.

From april 16th the Soviet Armies attack the area of the Oder-Neisse River to start their final push towards Berlin. They establish a bridgehead on the 19th. With Berlin in reach, they start shelling the city. On April 23rd, the Soviets complete encircling the city. On April 29th, the Soviets hoist the Red flag over the Reich Chancellery. One day later on April 30th, the Germans were almost completely out of ammunition. After Hitler was informed about that, and he granted the remaining German troops permission to break out of the encirclement. A few hours later Hitler committed suicide.

After Hitler’s death Admiral Karl Dönitz succeeds Hitler as President of Germany and Joseph Goebbels succeeds him as Chancellor of Germany. However, on May 1st Goebbels also commits suicide. A day later the Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin.

On May 4th the General Montgomery accepted the Unconditional surrender of the German troops in The Netherlands, Northwest Germany, Denmark and all ships within these areas, taking effect on May 5th. ON May 7th the German General Jodl signs the unconditional surrender of Germany, taking effect on May 8th. On that VE day, Victory in Europe is announced. The Soviets do the same one day later.

On the last day of January. The British defeat the Japanese in Burma at the Battle of Hill 170. The British 3rd Commando Brigade defeats the Japanese 54th Division, after which the Japanese Twenty-Eighth Army withdraw from the Arakan Peninsula.

In the beginning of February, the Allies finally reach the Capital of the Philippines, Manilla. A few days later General Mac Arthur returns to the city. It takes to the beginning of March, before the city is completely in Allied hands. Halfway February however the U.S. and Filipino troops recapture Bataan. Around that same period U.S. and Filipino troops land on the island of Corregidor. On July 2nd, the Philippines are completely liberated.

On February 19th U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima. The Island is captured halfway March that same year.

On the Italian front, Brazilian troops, defeat the Germans after a three-month battle for Monte Castello. This artillery point delayed the British 8th Army on their way to Bologna. The same Brazilians troops take Castelnuovo with the start of the spring offensive in Italy. On April 29th, a German representative signs the unconditional surrender of all Axis troops in Italy, taking effect on May 2nd.

In March, Finland declares war on the Axis, joining the Allies. By the end of April, they have driven all the Germans from Finland ending the Lapland War.

On April 1st, the U.S. Army lands on Okinawa, Japan. This was the start of one of the fiercest battles in the Pacific. It takes the U.S. until May 21 st to finally capture the complete island. The U.S. lost up to 82,000 casualties, killed and wounded. The Japanese lost 110,000 killed and 16,000 captured soldiers. Over 100,000 civilians were killed, many of them by suicide.

On August 9th, the Soviet Union declares war on Japan. The very next day they the Japanese attack on three fronts in Manchuria. Ending their assault with the signing of the unconditional surrender of Japan in September.

On July 16th the first test of the atomic bomb, the trinity test, is successful. Hours later the U.S.S. Indianapolis leaves San Fransisco, carrying the enriched uranium and parts for the assembly of an Atomic Bomb. On July 26th, the ship delivered her load on the Island of Tinian in the Pacific. On August 6th, a B29 bomber named Enola Gay leaves the Island and drops the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On August 9th, the second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki by another B 29 bomber called, Bockscar.

One day later the Japanese offers the unconditional surrender providing the status of the Emperor is untouched. On August 14th, the U.S. President Truman announces VJ Day. Victory over Japan. One day later, the Japanese Emperor announces the unconditional surrender of Japan on the radio. On September 2nd, the unconditional surrender of Japan is signed onboard the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.