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: 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 devastate 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.(a)
4: Yalta Conference ("Argonaut" of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin begins; the main subject of their discussions is postwar spheres of influence.
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.
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 guerrilla 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.
3: Battle of Meiktila, Burma comes to an end with General Slim's troops overwhelming the Japanese; the road to Rangoon is now cleared.
3: The allies attempted to destroy V-2s and launching equipment near The Hague by a large-scale bombardment, but due to navigational errors the Bezuidenhout quarter was destroyed, killing 511 Dutch civilians.
4: Finland declares war on Germany, backdated to September 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 EmperorBảo 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 Gdańsk).
19: Heavy bombing of important naval bases in Japan, Kobe and Kure.
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.
18: Ernie Pyle, famed war correspondent for the GI's, is killed by a sniper on Ie Shima, a small island near Okinawa.
19: Switzerland closes its borders with Germany (and former Austria).
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.
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.
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.
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: 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 Marshal 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.
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.
8: Germany surrendered again unconditionally to the Soviet Union army 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: Soviet forces capture the Reichstag during which the soviets install the famous flag of Soviet Union over Reichstag.
8: Vietnam 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 Indochina. Their request is granted. Vietnam will once again become French colony following the removal of the Japanese.
28: The Japanese battleships Haruna and Ise are sunk by aircraft from US Task Force 38 while in shallow anchorage at Kure Naval Base.
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.
19: At a spontaneous non-communist meeting in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh assume a leading role in the movement to wrest power from the French. With the Japanese still in control of Indochina in the interim, Bảo Đại goes along because he thought that the Viet Minh were still working with the American OSS and could guarantee independence for Vietnam. Later, Ho Chi Minh's guerrillas occupy Hanoi and proclaim a provisional government.
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.
5: Singapore is officially liberated by British and Indian troops.
13: British forces under Major-General Douglas Gracey's 20th Indian Division, some 26,000 men in all, arrive in Saigon which is in turmoil, South Vietnam to disarm and accept surrender of Japanese Occupation Forces in South Vietnam south of the 16th parallel. 180,000 Chinese Nationalist soldiers, mainly poor peasants, arrive in Hanoi, North Vietnam to disarm and accept surrender north of the line. After looting Vietnamese villages during their entire march down from China, they then proceed to loot Hanoi.
16: Japanese garrison in Hong Kong officially signs the instrument of surrender.
22: The British rearm 1,400 French soldiers from Japanese internment camps around Saigon. In Saïgon, on the 24 september night, a mob composed of Viet-Minh miliants and sympathizers attacks french colonial administration and kills around 150 european civilians. An estimated 20,000 French civilians live in Saigon.
29: US 10th army Brig General R.M. Cannon accepts the surrender of arms from Japanese Navy and Army soldiers on the islands of Miyako and Ishigaki at Sakishima Gunto.
1: In southern Vietnam, a purely bilateral British/French agreement recognizes French administration of the southern zone. In northern Vietnam, Chinese troops go on a "rampage". Hồ's Việt Minh are hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with it.
The non fraternization directive for U.S. troops against German civilians was rescinded. Previously even speaking to a German could lead to court martial, except for "small children", these had been exempt in June 1945.
29: The prohibition against marriage between GIs and Austrian women was rescinded on November 29. Later it would be rescinded for German women too. Black soldiers serving in the army were not allowed to marry white women, (in the case that they remained in the army) so they were restricted until 1948 when the prohibition against interracial marriages was removed.
U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares, "Although a state of war still exists, it is at this time possible to declare, and I find it to be in the public interest to declare, that hostilities have terminated. Now, therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the cessation of hostilities of World War II, effective twelve o'clock noon, December 31, 1946."
End of state of war with Germany was granted by the U.S. Congress on 19 October 1951, after a request by president Truman on 9 July. In the Petersberg Agreement of November 22, 1949 it was noted that the West German government wanted an end to the state of war, but the request could not be granted. The U.S. state of war with Germany was being maintained for legal reasons, and though it was softened somewhat it was not suspended since "the U.S. wants to retain a legal basis for keeping a U.S. force in Western Germany".
End of occupation of West Germany. West Berlin remained as a special territory. The Eastern quarter of Germany remained annexed by the Allies, but Germany would not legally accept this as a fact until in 1970 when West Germany signed treaties with the Soviet Union (Treaty of Moscow) and Poland (Treaty of Warsaw) recognizing the Oder-Neisse line between Germany and Poland.
The mother of a prisoner thanks Konrad Adenauer upon his return from Moscow, September 14, 1955. Adenauer has succeeded in concluding negotiations about the release to Germany, by the end of the year, of 15,000 German civilians and prisoners of war.