World War Two Timeline of Events - 1945

Sourced from the Forces War Records Historic Document Archives, the 'Timeline of Events from 1939-45' provide a fascinating picture of the war as it was viewed at the time. Looking at this detailed timeline of WWII you can see wht it was called a World War, with so many countries involved across land, sea and air.

Within this timeline you will also discover Victoria Cross recipients with citations, Shipping losses, Battles, actions, RAF operations and so much more.

World War II Day by Day - 1945

World War Two Timeline of Events - 1945

JANUARY 1945

January 1, 1945

  • Allied forces enter Remagne and Houmont and Chenogne are taken; enemy counter-attacks in the Bastogne sector are repelled. Stiff fighting proceeds at Mothum, south-east of Wiltz. In the area of Bitche to the Rhine enemy ground forces attack, and in one place make a slight gain.
  • Further ground is gained by 5th Army troops in the Serchio Valley and Sommocolonia is re-occupied.
  • In Greece the clearance of sectors north-west of the Piraus Harbour continues.
  • In Budapest Russian troops capture 200 blocks of houses and the railway-station of Rakos, in the eastern part of the city. More progress is made in the direction of Lucenec, in Czechoslovaks.
  • Indian troops in Burma occupy Rathedaung; 14th Army troops enter Kaduma.
  • Lancasters breach the Dortmund-Ems canal again; Mosquitoes launch 4,000-lb. bombs into railway tunnels in Western Germany. Oil supplies and railway-yards are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night R.A.F. heavy bombers attack the marshalling-yard at Vohwinkel, a benzol plant near Dortmund, and objectives in Hanover.
  • The Luftwaffe attack allied airfields in Belgium and Holland; at least 364 enemy aircraft are estimated to have been destroyed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Flight Sergeant 1370700 George THOMPSON, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Flight Sergeant George Thompson, 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. On 1st January 1945 in an attack on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, Germany, a Lancaster bomber, after releasing its bombs, was hit by two shells and raging fire broke out. Flight Sergeant Thompson, wireless operator, seeing that both gun turrets were ablaze, went at once to help the two gunners to a place of relative safety, extinguishing their burning clothing with his bare hands. Then, despite his shocking state of burns and charred clothing, he went through the burning fuselage to report to the pilot. The crippled aircraft finally crash-landed; one of the gunners survived, the other died. Flight Sergeant Thompson died of his wounds three weeks later.

January 2, 1945

  • The U.S. 3rd Army makes further progress on the southern flank of the Ardennes salient; Hubertmont and Bonnerue are entered and Moircy and Remagne, which had been retaken by the enemy, are recaptured. There is heavy fighting on the U.S. 7th Army front.
  • There is stiff house-to-house fighting in Athens as British forces advance on the perimeter 400 yards north-east of Omonia Square.
  • Soviet troops capture a further 232 blocks of houses in the eastern part of Budapest and 63 in the western part.
  • Marshalling-yards, road and rail junctions and other targets in Western Germany are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night R.A.F. heavy bombers visit Nuremberg and Ludwigshaven.

January 3, 1945

  • Gains are made to the south of Rochefort; Senonchamps, in the Bastogne bulge, is captured. Progress is made in the Saar valley against strong enemy resistance; in the Alsace plain north of Colmar some ground is gained.
  • In Italy Canadian troops make Further progress east of the Fosso Vecchio.
  • The Russians occupy 136 blocks of houses in the eastern part of Budapest and 31 in the western part of the city; south-east of Komarno attacks by large forces of enemy troops are repulsed.
  • Troops of the 14th Army in Burma are reported to have captured Yeu, on the railway to Mandalay; British and Indian troops land without opposition on Akyab Island, at the mouth of the Kaladan River.
  • Super-Fortresses bomb industrial targets at Nagoya, Honshu Island, in daylight; carrier-borne aircraft attack Formosa.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack communication centres north-west of Karlsruhe and marshalling-yards near Cologne, Aschaffenburg and Fulda; Lancasters bomb benzol plants near Dortmund.
British and Indian troops land on Akyab Island 1945
The first troops wading ashore from landing barges as British and Indian
troops land on Akyab Island on 3rd January 1945

January 4, 1945

  • In the Bois de Tave and Arbrefontaine areas enemy attacks are held; a counter-attack near Mande is repelled. South of Bastogne slight gains are made east of Harlange. In the Lower Vosges mountains south-east of Bitche the enemy makes several small attacks; allied troops retake Meisenthal.
  • North-west of Ravenna the Canadians progress against fierce enemy opposition and reach the Canale Bonifica.
  • In Athens British troops begin a drive to recapture the ruined Averoff prison.
  • Another 277 blocks of houses in Budapest are occupied by the Soviet forces; German attacks north-west of the city are beaten off.
  • Paluan, in the north-west of Mindoro Island, is captured by U.S. troops.
  • Polish Spitfires attack V2 storage and maintenance buildings in Holland.
  • Two separate forces of Mosquitoes make attacks on Berlin.
Fleet Air Arm Firefly returns to HMS 'Indefatigable' flight deck
Fleet Air Arm Firefly returns from Pagkalan Brandan oil refinery raid, Sumartra to
HMS 'Indefatigable' flight deck 4th January 1945

January 5, 1945

  • Some progress is made in the allied attack from the northern flank of the Ardennes salient; Abrefontaine is captured. On the southern flank heavy enemy pressure continues. Our forces withdraw from the Michamps area. It is announced that Field-Marshal Montgomery is directing allied operations against the northern flank of the salient.
  • Canadian 8th Army troops reach the River Reno and occupy San Alberto.
  • Russian troops capture a further 233 blocks of houses in Budapest; tank and infantry attacks by the enemy north-west of the city are repelled.
  • It is announced that the Russian Government has recognised the Polish Provisional Government of Lublin.
  • Luzon Island, in the Philippines, is bombarded by a fast carrier force of the U.S. 3rd Fleet.
  • Lancasters make an attack on marshalling-yards at Ludwigshaven; Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb marshalling-yards at Hanau, Frankfort and Coblenz, and rail centres at Kaiserslautern, Pirmasens and Neustadt. At night Hanover is twice attacked, first by Halifaxes and then by Lancasters: Mosquitoes pay two visits to Berlin.

January 6, 1945

  • In an attack across the River Ambleve allied troops achieve an initial gain of 3,000 yards; farther west Odeigne and Liemeux are captured; Tillet, two miles east of St. Hubert, is reached. The Sure River is crossed south of Wiltz. The German salient south-east of Bitche is slightly reduced; enemy units which had crossed the Rhine are mopped up.
  • In Italy Canadian 8th Army troops reach the sea nine miles north of Ravenna.
  • The clearing of the outskirts and suburbs of Athens-Piraeus proceeds without opposition.
  • Strong enemy infantry and tank attacks north-west of Budapest are repelled by the Russians; in the city another 173 blocks of buildings are wrested from the Germans.
  • In Burma allied troops advance from bridgeheads established east of the Mu River.
  • Targets on Kyushu Island are attacked by Super-Fortresses. American forces land on Marinduque Island, south of Luzon.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of H.M.S. destroyer Aldenham. Five officers and 121 ratings were killed. Five officers and 58 ratings were picked up by H.M.S Atherstone.
  • Hanau and Neuss are among night targets in Germany attacked by R.A.F. heavy bombers. During the day Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack road and rail bridges across the Rhine at Cologne and marshalling-yards at Ludwigshaven, Coblenz and Cologne.

January 7, 1945

  • South of Lierneux allied troops make a gain of two miles and farther west La Falaise and Fraiture are captured; Bure is evacuated under heavy enemy pressure, but Flamierge, north-west of Bastogne, is cleared. South of Wissembourg the enemy makes four attacks and gains more ground; other German elements enter Drusenheim. In Alsace allied troops are forced from Wittemheim and Friersenheim.
  • Field-Marshal Montgomery makes a statement on the battle of the Ardennes to war correspondents at the front.
  • In the fighting in Budapest the Soviet troops take a further 116 blocks of houses; attacks by the Germans north-west of the city are beaten off. After stiff fighting Esztergom is evacuated by the Russians.
  • Indian troops of the 14th Army in Burma enter Shwebo and consolidate their positions.
  • Marshalling-yards at Hamm, Bielefeld, Paderborn, Cologne and Rastatt are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night R.A.F. heavy bombers pay two visits to Muenich.

January 8, 1945

  • More progress is made on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient and Regne, Sart and Verleumont are captured; Dochamps, south-west of Grandmenil, is occupied; on the southern flank Bonnerue is again taken. Rilingen, east of Saargemund, is entered; west of Bitche a gain of half a mile is made. The German bridgehead across the Maas at Wanssum is wiped out.
  • The Russians continue to make progress in Budapest and capture another 130 blocks of houses; to the north-west of the city enemy tank and infantry attacks are repulsed. On the northern bank of the Danube, east of Komarno, Red Army troops take a number of inhabited places.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack marshalling-yards at Frankfort and road and railway-junctions in the battle area.

January 9, 1945

  • In the Ardennes mopping-up continues around Marcourt, the village of Sielle is captured and progress is made towards Laroche; south-east of Rochefort the village of Forrieres is taken. On the 7th Army front an enemy attack north of the Hagenau Forest is repelled; Gambsheim is re-entered. South of Strasbourg allied troops withdraw from Boofsheim.
  • The ring of encirclement around Budapest is further tightened; the south-east suburb of Kispest is being mopped up; north-west of the city more enemy attacks are held. More inhabited places on the north bank of the Danube, north-east and east of Komarno, are occupied.
  • In Burma Shwebo airfield and a village seven miles to the west are captured.
  • China-based Super-Fortresses bomb military installations in Formosa.
  • American forces land on Luzon, the northernmost of the large islands of the Philippines, and seize four bridgeheads in the Lingayen Gulf.
  • It is officially announced that-there was an increase in the losses of allied merchant craft by U-boat activity in December, 1944.

January 10, 1945

  • More progress is made in reducing the Ardennes salient; on the northern flank the Salm River is cleared as far south as Salmchâteau and the villages of Samree, Hodister and Ambly are occupied: on the southern flank Recogne, 4 miles north of Bastogne, is captured and to the east Berle is taken. South-west of Saarbruecken our troops enter Oetingen and progress is made in the Lower Vosges.
  • Russian troops take more than 1,000 blocks of houses in Budapest; further progress is made in Czechoslovakia to the north-east of Komarno.
  • U.S. ground forces on Luzon Island firmly establish themselves on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf; all beach-heads are linked up and an advance of four miles is made.
  • In Burma, Shwebo is completely in allied hands; Indian troops take Ponnagyun, 14 miles north-east of Akyab.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack aerodromes and landing-grounds near Bonn, Cologne and Euskirchen, road and rail bridges across the Rhine at Cologne and a railway-yard at Karlsruhe. Hanover is visited by Mosquitoes.

January 11, 1945

  • Bilhain and Laroche, on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient, are in allied hands and the enemy continues to withdraw from the extremity of the salient; on the southern flank St. Hubert is entered and the Germans are cleared from Vesqueville, while further progress is made south-east of Bastogne. Behren, south-east of Saarbruecken. is taken; there is hard fighting in the Alsace plain south of Strasbourg.
  • A truce between the land forces of Greece and the Central Committee of E.L.A.S. is signed in Athens: hostilities are to cease on 15th January.
  • Soviet troops continue to tighten the ring around the German and Hungarian troops in Budapest and capture a further 150 blocks of buildings; north-west and west of the city enemy attacks are repelled.
  • An advance of nine miles inland is made by U.S. troops on Luzon Island.
  • In Burma further progress is made south from Shwebo; Budalin, on the Yeu-Monywa-Mandalay railway, is captured.
  • A force of Super-Fortresses attacks military installations on the island of Singapore.
  • American carrier-borne aircraft attack four Japanese convoys off Indo-China and sink 25 ships and damage 13 others.

January 12, 1945

  • Langlir, on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient, is taken and progress is continued along the road from Laroche to Bertogne; Hines and Mierchamps are occupied. In the Bastogne area Wardin and Bras are occupied; east of Luxembourg allied troops clear Machtum. In the Lower Vosges salient Althorn is captured; there is hard fighting in the Maginot line positions. Enemy attacks south of Strasbourg are repelled.
  • The advance of the Americans south from Lingayen Gulf, on Luzon Island, continues unchecked; there is sharp fighting in the east sector.
  • In Burma, supported by naval and air bombardments, allied troops land on Myebon Peninsula, approximately 32 miles from Akyab town; 14th Army troops take Gangaw, 70 miles south of Kelemyo.
  • Lancasters attack U-boat shelters at Bergen with 12,000-lb. bombs; they also hit enemy shipping in and near the harbour.
  • Ships of the Home Fleet attack an enemy convoy of seven or eight vessels off the south-west coast of Norway and sink about half of them and badly damage the others.

January 13, 1945

  • In a local attack in Holland allied troops take Gebrock, north of Sittard. Good progress is made on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient, allied forces advancing south of Stavelot and Malmedy and east and south of Laroche.
  • On the southern flank, our troops advance to a point 3 miles north-east of Bastogne. Some progress is made near Hatten, north of the Hagenau Forest.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces that the Red Army, striking west from its Vistula bridgehead, 120 miles south of Warsaw, has advanced 25 miles on a 40-mile front in two days; about 350 localities, including Wislica, are captured. More progress is made in clearing Budapest.
  • Lancasters make a night attack on the synthetic oil plant at Politz, north of Stettin. During the day Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack railway bridges over the Rhine from Bingen to Karlsruhe.

January 14, 1945

  • Enemy opposition stiffens on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient, but progress is made and several more villages are taken. On the southern flank Givroulie and Berlogne are taken and the Ourthe River is reached; gains are made south-west of Wiltz. In Upper Alsace part of Hatten and nearly all of Ritlershofen is cleared.
  • In their new offensive the Russians capture Pinczow and 200 other inhabited places; they cross the River Nida along a stretch of about 40 miles and cut the railway from Kielce to Cracow.
  • U.S. forces on Luzon Island continue to advance against very slight opposition: the Agno River, near Bayambang, is crossed.
  • Super-Fortresses based on Saipan Island, in the Marianas, attack industrial targets on the Japanese main island of Honshu; other machines of the same type visit Formosa.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators, escorted by Mustangs and Thunderbolts, attack oil targets in Denmark and at Magdeburg, Derben and Ehmen, north-east of Brunswick; 189 enemy aircraft are shot down. Halifaxes bomb marshalling-yards at Saarbruecken. At night Lancasters visit the Leuna synthetic oil plant and Halifaxes bomb a fuel depot at Duelmen.

January 15, 1945

  • On the northern flank of the Ardennes salient the enemy puts up strong resistance to the American push towards St. Vith; to the south-west allied forces press farther on in the direction of Houffalize. More progress is made on the southern flank. On the 7th Army front fighting continues for the village of Hatten.
  • Developing their offensive in Southern Poland the Russians capture the Targe administrative centre of Kielce and more than 400 inhabited places.
  • Leading forces of the U.S. troops in Luzon Island advance farther in the direction of Manila; Catablan is occupied.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announces the capture of Namhkam by the 30th Chinese Division.
  • Lancasters attack benzol plants in the Ruhr and Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb marshalling-yards between the French frontier and Muenich.

January 16, 1945

  • Thirimont, on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient, is occupied by allied troops; on the southern flank Noville is captured by General Patton’s troops, who also enter Houffalize. Troops of the British 2nd Army launch a new attack from Sittard, in Holland, east of the River Maas. Following an artillery barrage allied troops attack the German bridgehead on the Rhine, eight miles north of Strasbourg.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces that Marshal Zhukov’s 1st White Russian front troops have assumed the offensive on two fronts on the western bank of the Vistula south of Warsaw and in three days have advanced up to 37 miles on a front of 74 miles; the important town of Radom is captured.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack military targets at Ruhland, Magdeburg, Dresden and Dessau. At night Lancasters visit Brux, in Sudetenland, and Zeitz, near Leipzig and Halifaxes bomb Magdeburg.

January 17, 1945

  • Vielsalm, on the northern flank of the Ardennes salient, is occupied, but there is strong enemy resistance at Bovigny; the U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies are coming into contact at Houffalize. Dieteren, north of Sittard, is captured by the British 2nd Army. Limited gains are made in the Bitche salient.
  • In Italy enemy patrols are unusually active south-west of Lake Commacchio.
  • It is reported that Salonika, in Greece, is occupied by British troops.
  • Marshal Zhukov’s troops capture Warsaw: troops of the 2nd White Russian front strike from two bridgeheads on the River Narew and advance 25 miles on a 62-mile front. Marshal Koniev’s forces occupy Radomsko and Przedborz and then capture Czestochowa.
  • In Burma further progress is made southwards from Shwebo.
  • Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack oil refineries at Harburg and Hamburg and marshalling-yards at Paderborn.

January 18, 1945

  • North of Sittard British troops capture Susteren and the attack is extended. South of Vielsalm further progress is made and east of Bastogne counter-attacks are repulsed. Gains are made in other areas, and east of Echternach the town of Rosport is cleared. There is stiff fighting in the Bitche salient; Auenheim and Leutenheim, near the junction of the Maginot Line and the Rhine, are occupied.
  • U.S. casualties on the Western Front between 6th June, 1944, and 1st January, 1945, are announced as 54,562 killed, 232,672 wounded and 45,678 missing.
  • Bad weather on the Italian front limits activity to patrolling.
  • Marshal Rokossovsky’s forces occupy Przasnysz (Krasnysz) and Modlin, north-west of Warsaw; Marshal Koniev’s troops take Piotrkow, and Marshal Zhukov’s army captures Sochaczew, Skierniewice and Lowiec. Pest, the eastern part of Budapest, is cleared of the enemy.
  • On Luzon Island U.S. forces capture Urdaneta; in the centre Paniqui is taken.
  • R.A.F. bombers make an early morning attack on Magdeburg; Flying Fortresses bomb railway-yards at Kaiserslautern.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Fusilier, 14768011 Dennis DONNINI, Royal Scots Fusiliers awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 14768011 Fusilier Dennis Donnini, 4/5th Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers. On 18th January 1945 between the rivers Roer and Maas, Holland, Fusilier Donnini's platoon was ordered to attack a small village. On leaving their trench they immediately came under heavy fire from a house and the fusilier was hit in the head. After recovering consciousness, he charged 30 yards down the open road and hurled a grenade through the nearest window, whereupon the enemy fled pursued by Fusilier Donnini and the survivors of his platoon. He was wounded a second time, but continued firing his Bren gun until he was killed. His gallantry had enabled his comrades to overcome twice their own number of the enemy.

January 19, 1945

  • Progress is made in the Sittard area; over the German border Schalbruch, Havert and Heilder are occupied. Recht, south-east of Malmedy, Bovigny, south of Vielsalm, and Rettigny and Brisy, north-east of Houffalize, are occupied.
  • The Russian armies make more sweeping gains. General Petrov’s troops in the course of three days’ fighting advance up to 50 miles on a 38-mile front and capture Gorlice and Jaslo; Marshal Koniev’s troops occupy the powerful stronghold of Cracow. Mlawa and Dzialdowo are taken by Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops and Lodz, Kutno and Tomaszow fall to Marshal Zhukov. Wielun, on the Silesian frontier, is captured.
  • American troops on Luzon Island capture Sisson and Cabaruan.
  • Kabwet, in Burma, is occupied by 14th Army troops.
  • In the House of Commons Mr. Winston Churchill makes a statement on British policy in Greece.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lance Naik, Sher Shah Awan, 16th Punjab Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - “On 19/20 January 1945 at Kyeyebyin, Kaladan, Burma (now Myanmar), Lance Naik Sher Shah was commanding a left forward section of his platoon when it was attacked by overwhelming numbers of Japanese. He broke up two attacks by crawling right in among the enemy and shooting at point-blank range. On the second occasion he was hit and his leg shattered, but he maintained that his injury was only slight and when the third attack came, he again crawled forward engaging the enemy until he was shot through the head and killed.”

January 20, 1945

  • North of Echt allied units occupy Stevensweert, and between that town and Sittard further progress is made. Schoppen, south-east of Malmedy, Deidenberg, north of St. Vith, and Courtil, farther to the south-west, are captured. A strong allied attack between the Rhine and St. Amarin results in gains up to three miles in some sectors.
  • Soviet forces make further splendid progress among their important successes being the capture of Tilsit, in -East Prussia, Wloclawek and Kolo, in Poland, and Kosice, in Czechoslovakia.
  • It is announced that Hungary has signed an armistice in Moscow.
  • More progress is made on Luzon Island; Villasis Carmen and San Manuel are occupied.
  • In Burma 15th Indian Corps troops capture Kantha, on the Myebon Peninsula.
  • Railway marshalling-yards at Rheine and Heilbronn are attacked by Flying Fortresses; Liberators from Italy bomb railway yards at Linz.

January 21, 1945

  • Progress is made in the area between the Juliana Canal and the Maas River in the vicinity of Stevensweert and Echt Bocket and Waldfeucht are taken. There is fighting in Born, north of St. Vith; Cirreux, Vissoule, Tavigny, Catturu and Buret are occupied. Moinet and other villages north-east of Bastogne are taken, and there is progress in other sectors. An enemy attack north of Strasbourg is repelled.
  • Russian troops break into Silesia and capture Tannenberg, across the southern frontier of East Prussia. Among other towns captured in the course of the day’s operations are Kreuzburg, Rosenberg and Landsberg, covering the roads to Breslau, Gumbinnen and Tannenberg in East Prussia, and Lubawa and Plock, in Poland.
  • Tarlac, on Luzon Island, is occupied by the Americans; on the east Victoria La Paz is captured.
  • British and Indian troops in Burma land on Ramree Island and enter Kyaukpyu.
  • Liberators and Flying Fortresses attack marshalling-yards at Aschaffenburg, Heilbronn and Mannheim. At night R.A.F. aircraft bomb Kassel.

January 22, 1945

  • North of Zetten the enemy is driven across the De Linge canal; the villages of Hontem and Selsten are captured. Born, north of St. Vith, and Hinderhausen are occupied. Gouvy, along the Houffalize-St. Vith Road, Hachiville, north-east of Bastogne, and Boevange, west of Chervaux, are in allied hands. In the Colmar sector the chief suburbs of Mulhouse are cleared.
  • In East Prussia the Russians capture Allenstein, Insterburg, Osterode and Deutsch Eylau; 1st White Russian front troops occupy Inowroclaw, Aleksandrov, Labiszyno and Gniezno.
  • More progress is made on Luzon Island, several villages, including Cuyapo, Anao and Capas being captured.
  • In Burma 14th Army troops take Monywa and Yonbingan and Tizaung are entered; 15th Indian Corps troops capture Kyaukpyu. It is announced that the Ledo road is open for convoys of traffic.
  • Flying Fortresses attack the synthetic oil plant at Sterkrade, in the Ruhr. At night Lancasters and Halifaxes attack Brueckhausen benzol plant at Duisburg and objectives at Gelsenkirchen; Hanover is also visited.

January 23, 1945

  • On the River Mass the allied hold is extended and Maasbracht is occupied; St. Joost is cleared and Obstringen and other villages are captured. More progress is made in the Ardennes, and St. Vith, Commanster and Beho are taken. North of Clervaux the Germans are cleared from Boxhorn, and Eschweiler and Walsdorf are captured. North of Colmar allied forces make a surprise attack.
  • Marshal Zhukov’s forces occupy the town of Bydgoszcz (Bromberg), 65 miles north-east of Poznan; 2nd White Russian front troops take Ortelsburg, Freystadt and other important towns; 3rd White Russian front troops force the Rivers Deime and Pregel and capture Wehlau and Labiau; Namslau is freed by 1st Ukrainian front troops who reach the Oder in the Breslau area on a 37-mile front.
  • Allied troops make a new landing north-east of the Myebon Peninsula, in Burma; progress is made on Ramree Island.
  • Railway-yards at Neuss are attacked by Flying Fortresses.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lance Corporal 11006144 Henry Eric HARDEN, Royal Army Medical Corps awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lance-Corporal Henry Eric Harden, Royal Army Medical Corps, attached 45 Royal Marine Commando. On 23rd January 1945, at Brachterbeek, Holland, three marines of the leading section of the Royal Marine Commando Troop to which Lance-Corporal Harden was attached fell, wounded. He at once ran across the 100 yards of open ground, gave first aid and, carrying one marine on his back, brought him to safety. Although slightly wounded, this Non-commissioned Officer insisted on going out again with two stretcher-bearers to rescue the others. On the next journey the second wounded marine was hit again and killed, but the rescue party returned to collect the third man, and in doing so Lance-Corporal Harden was killed.

January 24, 1945

  • On the western front Montfort is captured and Heinsberg is reached. The Bullingen-St. Vith Road is cut, and to the south-west Neundorf and other villages are occupied; Ourthe, on the upper Ourthe River, is in allied hands, and north of Clervaux progress is made beyond Binsfeld. North of Colmar the Ill River is crossed.
  • In Italy bad weather restricts activity to active patrolling.
  • Oppeln, on the River Oder, Rawicz and Trachenberg are captured by Marshal Koniev’s forces; Marshal Zhukov’s troops occupy Kalisz; Marshal Malinovsky’s forces are reported to have advanced 12 miles on a 25-mile front in Czechoslovakia and taken Rozniava and Yelsava. In East Prussia the towns of Lyck, Neuendorf and Bialla are in Soviet hands.
  • Advance American elements on Luzon Island capture Bamban and its near-by airfield.

January 25, 1945

  • Allied troops occupy Linne, north of Montfort, and Heinsberg, across the German border. Progress is made between Bullingen and St. Vith, to the south-west of which Audrange and Wattermal are cleared. Wilwerdange, Breidfeld and other villages are captured, and Hupperdange and Alscheid are cleared of the enemy; Hoscheid is taken. In Northern Alsace the enemy occupy Mulhausen and Bescholz.
  • Russian troops of the 1st Ukrainian front capture Oels and Gleiwitz, the large centre of the Silesian industrial area, and Chrzanow and Ostrow, in Poland.
  • American troops on Luzon Island capture Clark Field, the largest air base on the island.
  • Allied troops on Ramree Island, Burma, occupy Kyaukale; more progress is made by 14th Army troops east of Ondaw. Myohaung is occupied.

January 26, 1945

  • Allied forces advance between Linne and Heinsberg, to the south-east of which Grebben and other villages are occupied. Brachelen, east of the River Wuerm, is taken. North-east of St. Vith Wallerode is captured; Pintsch, south-east of Clervaux, is cleared. In Northern Alsace Mulhausen and Bescholz are re-occupied.
  • General Chernyakovsky’s troops occupy the East Prussian towns of Tapiau, Allenburg, Nordenburg and Loetzen, and Marshal Rokossovsky’s forces take Muehlhausen, Marienburg and Stuhm, and break through to the Gulf of Danzig. In Silesia the large industrial town of Hindenburg is captured. Moscow announces the crossing of the River Oder at several points.
  • On Luzon Island the U.S. forces capture Cauringan, north of Sison, and high ground north-east of Rosario.
  • In Burma allied forces land on Cheduba Island, south-west of Ramree Island; the landings are made by Royal Marines, who meet only slight opposition.
  • Despite being wounded, 2nd Lieutenant, Audie Murphy single-handedly repelled tank and infantry attacks on his unit's position at Colmar, France. For which he was awarded the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for bravery. Enlisting as a Private, Murphy finished the war as the U.S. Army’s most decorated soldier, granted thirty-three medals, was wounded three times and personally credited with killing 240 enemies. After the war he became a successful Hollywood film star.

January 27, 1945

  • The Soviet forces advancing through Poland liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  • Progress is made south-east of Linne by the allied forces and the River Roer is reached at a number of places in the vicinity of Neinsberg; Clervaux is occupied. In the Colmar area the outskirts of Cernay are reached after stiff fighting.
  • The armies of Marshal Rokossovsky and General Chemyakovsky complete the break-through of the Masurian Lakes defence system in East Prussia and capture Rastenburg, Barten and Drengfurt. In Polish Silesia Sosnowiec and Myslowitz are occupied and Vadovice, in the Carpathians area is taken.
  • American troops on Luzon Island reach Angeles, about 50 miles north of Manila.
  • In Burma in the 14th Army sector our troops make progress south-east of Monywa.
  • In separate attacks Super-Fortresses bomb Tokyo and Saigon, in French Indo-China.
  • Liberators with Australian crews, flying from North-West Australia, attack the Mendalin and Siman power stations in Java.
  • Aircraft of R.A.F. Bomber Command attack without loss objectives in Berlin.
On 27th January 1945, Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army
On 27th January 1945, Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the
Red Army during the Vistula–Oder Offensive.

January 28, 1945

  • Allied forces launch an attack in the area north-east of St. Vith; Hepscheid and Heppenbach are captured. Gains are made east of Ambleve and south-east of St. Vith; Munshausen, Wahlhausen and Weiler are occupied. Progress is made north-east of Colmar.
  • Troops of the 1st Ukrainian front capture Katowice and Beuthen; General Petrov’s forces occupy Poprad, in the Carpathians country. Troops of the 1st Baltic front take the town of Klaipeda (Memel), thus completely liberating Lithuania. Further progress is made in East Prussia and north-west and south-west of Poznan; Chelmno (Kulm) is occupied.
  • Rosario, on Luzon Island, is captured by the Americans.
  • Liberators and Flying Fortresses, escorted by Mustangs, attack two benzol plants near Dortmund, the railway marshalling-yard at Gremberg, the Hohenzollern railway and road bridge at Cologne and other military objectives in Western Germany. The marshalling-yard at Gremberg is also attacked by Lancasters. At night Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb the marshalling-yard at Komwestheim, five miles north of Stuttgart.

January 29, 1945

  • Allied forces take Bullingen and in the area north-east of St. Vith Herresbach is occupied; farther south Oberhausen is captured and the River Our is crossed in this area. Kalborn, Roder and Putscheid are in allied hands. Local gains are made north-east of Colmar.
  • Troops of the 1st White Russian front cross the German frontier west and north-west of Poznan and invade German Pomerania; Kreuz, Driesen and other towns are captured. General Petrov’s forces occupy Nowy Targ in their Carpathians offensive.
  • The important road junction of San Fernando, on Luzon Island, is captured by American forces.
  • Kyaukse, in Burma, is evacuated by the Japanese; the enemy’s main positions just east of Kabwet, on the Irrawaddy, are captured.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators, with Mustang and Thunderbolt escort, attack railway-centres at Hamm, Muenster, Coblenz, Niederlahnstein, Siegen and Kassel. Krefeld marshalling-yard is bombed by a force of escorted Lancasters. At night Mosquitoes without loss attack objectives in Berlin.

January 30, 1945

  • North-east of Monschau allied forces advance up to three miles to reach Kesternich and capture Konzen and Rohren; Wirtzfeld, Murrange, Hunningen and Honsfeld are also occupied. Welchenhausen, on the east bank of the Our, is cleared of the enemy. North-east of Colmar allied forces cross the Colmar Canal and advance more than a mile.
  • The Russians make more progress in East Prussia and occupy Wartenburg; on the lower portion of the River Vistula Marienwerder is captured. Linde and Krojanke, in Pomerania, are taken, as well as four more towns to the west of Poznan, including Betsche and Bomst.
  • U.S. troops land on the Zambales coast, Luzon Island, due west of San Fernando.
  • In Burma 14th Army troops clear the road from Monywa to Myinmu of the enemy.

January 31, 1945

  • On the Western Front, Vanguards of U.S. 1st Army crossed German frontier east of St. Vith.
  • Zhukov's forces on the Russian Front, invading Brandenburg on a broad front, captured Landsberg.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 323566 George Arthur KNOWLAND, Norfolk Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant George Arthur Knowland (323566), The Royal Norfolk Regiment, attached No. 1 Commando. On 31st January 1945 near Kangaw, Burma, Lieutenant Knowland was in command of a forward platoon of a troop which was being heavily attacked – some 300 of the enemy concentrating on his 24 men. When all the crew of one of his forward Bren guns had been wounded, the lieutenant manned it himself, standing up to fire at 10 yards range, until the casualties had been evacuated. For 12 hours he held his ground, until he was eventually mortally wounded.

FEBRURY 1945

February 1, 1945

  • On the Western Front, in North Alsace. U.S. 7th Army crossed river Moder and entered Oberhofen.
  • Day attacks by R.A.F. and U.S. bombers on railways at Munchen-Gladbach. Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Wesel; heavy night attack by R.A.F. on Mainz, Ludwigshafen and Siegen. Mosquitoes again bombed Berlin.
  • Rokossovsky’s troops captured railway centre of Torun on the Vistula, previously by-passed by advancing Russians.
  • In the Philippines, U.S. troops made new landing in Luzon, South West of Manila.
  • Floating dry dock at Singapore sunk by Super-Fortresses.
  • Part-time members of the National Fire Service are stood down.

February 2, 1945

  • On the Western Front, troops of 1st French Army and U.S. forces entered Colmar.
  • R.A.F. bombers made night attack on Wiesbaden. Karlsruhe, oil plant at Wanne-Eickel, Mannheim and Magdeburg.
  • On Russian Front, in new advance towards Stettin, Russians captured Sotdin and Drossen, North East of Frankfurt-on-Oder.
  • Lieutenant Jack L. Knight 124th Cavalry, Mars Task Force led an attack up a 250-foot climb, only to find at the summit that they had entered a horseshoe shaped Japanese strong-point. Wounded several times and with carbine ammunition exhausted, Knight organized another attack and was finally killed whilst tackling a sixth bunker. For his gallantry, Knight would ultimately be awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor, the only such infantry award made to a US soldier in the China-Burma-India theatre of war.

February 3, 1945

  • On the Western Front, U.S. 1st Army captured two more towns in Siegfried zone, Schoneseiffen and Harperscheid.
  • In heaviest attack on centre of Berlin, 1,000 Flying Fortresses, with 900 fighters, dropped 2,500 tons of bombs.

February 4, 1945

  • On the Western Front, advances by U.S. troops finally cleared Belgium of Germans.
  • Liberators of Coastal Command bombed enemy naval vessels, including U-boats, in the Baltic. R.A.F. bombers attacked Bonn, and benzol plants in the Ruhr.
  • Marshal Koniev's troops on the Russian front began to force the Oder South East of Breslau. In East Prussia, Russians captured Landsberg and Bartenstein.
  • Super-Fortresses from the Marianas bombed Kobo area of Japan.
  • American troops broke into Manila.
Japanese captives, taken during fighting east of Manila 1945
Guarded by military police of the 38th 'Cyclone' Infantry Division, Japanese captives, taken
during fighting east of Manila, wait to be taken to a POW camp by truck

February 5, 1945

  • Zhukov’s troops on the Russian front reached the Oder North and South of Kustrin.
  • Announced that on January 24 and 29 East Indies Fleet, including four aircraft-carriers, attacked Japanese oil supplies at Palembang, Sumatra.

February 6, 1945

  • On the Western Front, U.S. troops occupied Neuf Brisach, at west end of bridge over Rhine east of Colmar.
  • More than 1,300 U.S. bombers and 850 fighters attacked communications targets in Magdeburg, Leipzig and Chemnitz areas. Spitfire bombers attacked V2 sites in Holland.
  • On the Russian Front, Koniev’s troops in Bridge-head over the Oder South East of Breslau advanced up to 12 miles on a 50-mile front.

February 7, 1945

  • On the Western front allied infantry advance to the north-west of Schmidt and our armour pushes to within 500 yards of the town. The enemy is cleared from Hellenthal; Montheim and Sellerich, north and north-west of Pruem, and Hollnich, south-west of Pruem, are occupied. Attacks are launched across the Our and Sure Rivers at several points from north-east of Clervaux to near Echternach.
  • In Italy in the Serchio valley a number of strong enemy patrols are driven back.
  • To the north and south of Kuestrin, on the Oder, the Russians fight battles to clear the eastern bank of the river and capture a number of places, including Kunersdorf; south-east of Breslau the bridgehead on the western bank of the Oder is extended.
  • In Burma allied troops make a further advance towards Ramree town.
  • All of north Manila and Quezon city is now cleared of the enemy.
  • It is officially announced that Mr. Churchill, President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin are in conference in the Black Sea area.
  • R.A.F. Bomber Command aircraft attack enemy troops and equipment in Cleve and Goch; Magdeburg is also visited.

February 8, 1945

  • Allied forces launch an attack south-east of Nijmegen, with heavy air support; good initial progress is made and the edge of the Reichswald forest is reached. North-east of Monschau fighting takes place in Schmidt and Harsheidt; Wallendorf, at the junction of the Our and Sure Rivers, is captured. Progress is made south-east of Hagenau and in the Lower Alsace plain, where several villages are liberated.
  • Kreuzburg, in East Prussia, is captured by the Russians; Bernstein, Liebenow and more than 100 other places in German Pomerania are taken; south-east of Breslau the bridgehead on the western bank of the Oder is enlarged and Waldau, Ernsdorf and Kobern are occupied.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters escorted by Spitfires attack with 12,000- lb. bombs the E-boat shelters at Ijmuiden; units of the German Baltic fleet in Copenhagen harbour are attacked by allied bombers. At night Lancasters bomb the synthetic oil plant at Politz, near Stettin, and Halifaxes attack the synthetic oil plant at Wanne-Eickel.

February 9, 1945

  • The allied offensive south-east of Nijmegen makes good progress in spite of stiff enemy resistance and Zyfflich, Niel and a number of other places are captured. North-east of Monschau allied troops clear Harscheid and Schmidt; north of Pruem we take Olzheim and enter Neuendorf.
  • Progress continues in the River Our area; Oberhofen, east of Hagenau, is cleared. All enemy resistance on the west bank of the Rhine in Southern Alsace ceases.
  • The Russians enter Schlobitten and many other places in East Prussia; Elbing is surrounded and to the north-east Frauenberg is captured. In German Pomerania the town of Arnswalde is surrounded and several places are taken. Fighting continues in Budapest.
  • In Burma our forces capture Ramree town; 14th Army troops clear the area at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers.
  • U. S. heavy bombers attack the synthetic oil plant at Luetzkendorf and military objectives at Magdeburg and Weimar.
 Two German prisoners captured in the fighting for the road to Nijmegen
Captured in the fighting for the road to Nijmegen, two of the many German prisoners
who were taken arrive in Britain looking very despondent

February 10, 1945

  • South-east of Nijmegen allied troops take Heikant and enter the Reichswald forest and capture Schotteidte. Allied forces reach the northern end of the Schwammenauel dam despite heavy opposition; Hasenfeld is captured. Progress continues north of Pruem, and also to the north-west of the town. South-east of Hagenau our forces cross the Moder River; a strong counter-attack at Druisenheim forces allied troops to withdraw.
  • In an Order of the Day Marshal Stalin announces the capture of Elbing; in another he reports the fall of Preussisch-Eylau, 21 miles south-east of Koenigsberg. To the north and north-west of Schneidemuehl, the encircled garrison town in German Pomerania, 40 places are occupied.
  • Fighting for Poznan and Budapest continues.
  • Indian troops begin to force a crossing of the Shweli River to Myitson.
  • Super-Fortresses attack the Kanto factory area of Japan, embracing Tokyo and Yokohama.
A Vickers machine-gun providing supporting fire for the advancing infantry
A Vickers machine-gun providing supporting fire for the advancing infantry
during the allied offensive in the Reichswald forest area.

February 11, 1945

  • Millingen, on the Dutch-German border east of Nijmegen, and Keeken, across the border, are captured and there is fighting in Cleve; further progress is made in the Reichswald forest. The enemy is cleared from the area north and west of the Roer River between the Schwammenauel dam and Reimbach. U.S. 3rd Army troops consolidate their 10 crossings of the Rivers Our and Sure.
  • Troops of the 1st Ukrainian front force the Oder north­west of Breslau and in four days of fighting extend their breach up to 100 miles; in an advance of 37 miles Liegnitz, Lueben, Steinau and other towns are captured. Marshal Zhukov’s troops fight their way in to and capture Deutsch Krone and Maerkisch Friedland.
  • In Burma allied troops make further progress on Ramree Island; patrols make contact with West African troops north of Kangaw.

February 12, 1945

  • Cleve is cleared of the enemy; further progress is made through the Reichswald forest; and to the south-west Hekkens and Gennep are occupied. Pruem is virtually cleared and Watzerath, three miles south-west, is captured; farther to the south-west Harspelt is taken. To the south allied troops enter Vianden; in Northern Alsace hard fighting continues in Oberhofen.
  • General Petrov’s 4th Ukrainian front troops storm the town of Bielsko, in the Carpathians, and troops of the 1st Ukrainian front fighting west of the Oder capture Bunzlau. North and north-west of Bydgoszcz the town of Schwetz is taken, and three large towns north-west of Schneidemuehl, in German Pomerania, are also occupied.
  • Singu, in the bridgehead east of the Irrawaddy River, is captured by 14th Army troops.
  • A full statement on the decisions made at the conference between Mr. Churchill, President Roosevelt and Marshal Stalin at Yalta, in the Crimea, is published.
  • Peace talks between the Greek Government and the E.A.M. are announced to have ended in agreement on all points.

February 13, 1945

  • Progress is made east of Nijmegen and east of Cleve and most of the Reichswald forest is cleared. Vianden, on the Our River, Ammeldingen and Erschweiler are captured; our bridgehead across the Our and Sure Rivers is now 10 miles wide and 2 miles deep. There is increased enemy activity in the Hardt Mountains and Northern Alsace plain.
  • Troops of the 2nd Ukrainian command complete the occupation of Budapest. Beuthen, Neuhammer and more than 150 inhabited places in German Silesia are taken; Glogau is surrounded.
  • In Burma East African troops capture Seikpyu, on the Irrawaddy River.
  • Troops of the U.S. 37th Infantry and 1st Cavalry Divisions join forces south of Manila, where the Japanese are being compressed in to extinction.
  • R.A.F. bombers make two attacks on Dresden, dropping 650,000 incendiaries, many 8,000-lb. high-explosives and hundreds of 4,000-pounders. Nuremberg, Bonn, Dortmund and Bohlen, south of Leipzig, are also bombed.

February 14, 1945

  • Allied forces north-east of Cleve advance in spite of flooding in the area; the Reichswald forest is cleared and counter-attacks to the south of Bedburg are repelled. Progress is made in the Echternach sector; elements push north-east of Ferschweiler to a point half a mile from the Pruem River. Oberhofen is cleared of the enemy.
  • Troops of Marshal Koniev’s army fight their way into Neustadel, Neusalz, Freystadt and several other Silesian towns: Marshal Zhukov’s troops storm the town of Schneidemuehl in Pomerania.
  • Martial law ends in Greece.
  • In Burma Chinese troops occupy Kutkai, on the Burma Road.
  • U.S. troops make progress in the Bataan Peninsula.
  • Dresden is attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators: Chemnitz is also visited. At night a double attack by R.A.F. Bomber Command aircraft is made on Chemnitz; Berlin, Duisburg, Mainz, Nuremberg and Dessau and a synthetic oil plant at Rositz are also attacked.

February 15, 1945

  • Warheyen, north-east of Cleve, is captured, and allied troops advance beyond the Rhine; south of the Reichswald forest the bridgehead across the River Niers is extended and Kessel and Hommersum are captured. Gains are made north-west of Echternach, north of Ferschweiler and about a mile west of the River Pruem.
  • In Italy on the 5th and 8th Army fronts activity is confined to patrol clashes.
  • Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops capture Chojnice (Konitz) and Tuchola, in the western part of Poland, and Marshal Koniev’s forces take Gruenberg, in German Silesia, and Sommerfeld and Sorau, in Brandenburg.
  • Dresden is again bombed by U.S. 8th Air Force aircraft; another force attacks Cottbus.
  • A large force of Super-Fortresses attack Nagoya, on the Japanese mainland.

February 16, 1945

  • Canadian troops take Huisberden, east of Cleve; our bridgehead on the River Niers is extended. An enemy attempt to retake the bridge over the River Pruem at Hermispan is repulsed; further gains are made in the Echternach sector. Patrols enter Wasserbillig, at the junction of the Rivers Sure and Moselle, but are forced to withdraw under enemy pressure.
  • West of Gruenberg Russian troops reach the River Bober and capture Rothenberg and 50 other places. In the Breslau area the encirclement of the enemy grouping defending the town is completed; fighting for Poznan continues.
  • American troops on Luzon Island capture the Bataan Peninsula.
  • More than 1,500 aircraft from an immensely powerful naval force under the command of Vice-Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, make a destructive attack on aircraft, airfields, and other military objectives in and around Tokyo.
  • Wesel, on the east bank of the River Rhine, is attacked in daylight by Lancasters escorted by Spitfires.
  • Benzol plants at Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; railway-yards at Hamm and Osnabrueck are also bombed.
  • Victoria Cross recipient Jemadar, Prakash Singh Chib. 13th Frontier Force Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - “On 16/17th February 1945 at Kanlan Ywathit, Burma (now Myanmar), Jemadar Prakash Singh Chib was commanding a platoon which took the main weight of fierce enemy attacks. He was wounded in both ankles and relieved of his command, but when his second-in-command was also wounded, he crawled back and took command of his unit again, directing operations and encouraging his men. He was wounded in both legs a second time but he continued to direct the defense, dragging himself from place to place by his hands. When wounded a third time and final time, he lay shouting the Dogra war-cry, "Jawala Mata Ki Jai! [Victory to Goddess Jawala!]" as he succumbed to his wounds, inspiring his company that finally drove off the enemy.”

February 17, 1945

  • Good progress is made south-east of Cleve against stiff enemy opposition; Louisendorf, Hervorst and Asperden are captured and allied troops converge on Goch from the north and north-west. The bridgehead over the River Niers is extended and Hassum and Afferden are occupied. Rohrbach and Schankweiler, north-west of Echternach, are entered; the bridgehead across the River Sure is deepened.
  • Marshal Koniev’s troops engage in heavy fighting near Kossen, at the junction of the Rivers Bober and Oder: advance units reach the River Neisse at a point south of Guben. In East Prussia General Chernyakovsky’s troops capture Mehlsack and Wormditt.
  • In Burma the enemy, except for stragglers, is finally cleared from Ramree Island.
  • American troops land on Corregidor, in the Philippine Islands.
  • Carrier-borne aircraft make a further raid on military objectives in and around Tokyo; Formosa is also bombed.
  • Flying Fortresses attack the marshalling-yards at Frankfort.
  • The Admiralty announces the loss of submarine H.M.S. Porpoise (N-14) (Lieut.-Commander Hugh Bentley Turner, D.S.C., R.N.), was, most likely, sunk by a Japanese aircraft in the Malacca Strait on 11th January 1945 to the east-north-east of Pulo Perak.

February 18, 1945

  • There is fierce fighting in the outskirts of Moyland and north of Goch, where our troops clear the Cleve Forest. Progress is made south-west of Pruem; Kesfeld is cleared of the enemy and other elements cross the River Our. North-west of Echternach allied units capture Cruchten and Rohrbach and enter Hommerdingen; farther east Schankweiler is taken.
  • There is active patrolling on the 5th Army front and several sharp patrol clashes occur on the 8th Army front.
  • Attacking along the western bank of the River Vistula, Russian troops surround the enemy garrison defending Grudziadz. In Pomerania enemy attacks south and south-east of Stargard are beaten off; in Silesia the towns of Sagan and Naumburg are captured. General Chemyakovsky dies from wounds received.
  • Allied troops in Burma make a successful landing at Ru-ywa, 66 miles south-east of Akyab town; a bridgehead is established on the south bank of the Irrawaddy, opposite Myinmu.

February 19, 1945

  • Goch, a key point of the Siegfried defences, is entered by Scottish infantry, who occupy two-thirds of the town; heavy fighting continues in the Moyland area where allied forces advance on Calcar. Uttfeld and Masthorn, south-west of Pruem, are captured and other elements take Leidenborn; in the vicinity of Forbach our forces occupy Oetingen and Etzlingen. The Germans are driven from Auermacher, north of Saargemund, where the River Saar is crossed.
  • U.S. troops in the mountainous country west of the Pistoia-Bologna highway on the 5th Army front improve their positions.
  • In the Grudziadz area the Russians capture Neuenburg; in East Prussia a number of inhabited places are occupied. More progress is made south and south-west of Breslau.
  • In Burma the Kangaw area is cleared of the Japanese and British and Indian troops link up with West African forces.
  • American troops are reported to have landed on Iwojima.
  • Lancaster bombers, escorted by Mustangs, make another attack on Wesel: at night R.A.F. bombers visit Bohlen.
  • Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden arrive back from the Crimea Conference.
Infantry and guns passing along a road leading to Goch 1945
Infantry and guns passing along a road leading to Goch, which was broken into by
Scottish troops on 19th February 1945.

February 20, 1945

  • Enemy counter-attacks west of Calcar are beaten off: allied units mop up the last pockets of resistance in the south of Goch. Bivels, in the Vianden sector, is entered and to the routh-east Korterich is occupied.
  • Troops of the 5th Army seize the dominating features of Mount Belvedere and Mount Gorgolesco.
  • South of Danzig the Russians advancing along the western bank of the River Vistula occupy more than 50 inhabited places. In Brandenburg more than 80 inhabited localities, including Crossen, are captured. Progress is made in Czechoslovakia to the north-west of Lucinec.
  • About 900 Flying Fortresses give Nuremberg its heaviest daylight bombing. At night Bomber Command aircraft attack Dortmund and Duesseldorf.

February 21, 1945

  • On the Western front the woods to the south of Moyland are cleared of the enemy; Goch is also cleared. South-west of Pruem the town of Houf is captured; near the Luxembourg-German area Dahnen is occupied and Dasburg is entered. Units reach the German border north-east of Vianden; to the south-east Roth is taken. Armoured elements enter Saarburg, and Hamm and Taben are captured.
  • In Italy 5th Army troops improve their positions against stiffening opposition.
  • Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops capture Czersk, on the main Berlin-Danzig railway; west of Koenigsberg stubborn battles are fought with varying success. In Brandenburg the towns of Graefenhain, Priepus and Pfoerten are occupied.
  • In Burma the village of Zigon, in the bridgehead north of Mandalay, is captured.
  • On Iwojima there is increased Japanese resistance; the enemy on Corregidor is practically destroyed.
  • Nuremberg is attacked by more than 1,200 Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night R.A.F. bombers visit the railway centre of Worms, and communications at Duisburg; the Mittelland Canal is again breached by Lancasters.

February 22, 1945

  • Allied troops enter Moyland; east of the Luxembourg-German border Binscheid is cleared and Lichtenborn is taken. Vianden is captured, thus clearing the enemy entirely from Luxembourg. Fellerich and Tawern, in the Saar-Moselle triangle, are occupied, and also part of Saarburg; two crossings of the River Saar are made south of Strasbourg; two-thirds of Forbach are in allied hands.
  • More progress is made by the 5th Army west of the Bologna-Pistoia highway; Brazilian troops take Monte Castello.
  • South-west of Koenigsberg the Russians take Zinten and other places, but to the west they are compelled to yield some ground; south of Danzig several inhabited localities are occupied. In Brandenburg the River Neisse is reached and more than 60 inhabited places are taken south of Guben. Three suburbs of Breslau are captured.
  • Chinese troops in Burma capture Panghai and make further progress on the Burma Road.
  • More than 1,400 Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb targets in Germany over a widespread area; marshalling-yards at Luneburg, Wittenberge and Hildersheim are among the objectives hit.
Flying Fortresses back on the airfield after taking part in a raid on Germany, 1945
Flying Fortresses back on the airfield after taking part in a raid on German
railway communications on 22nd February 1945

February 23, 1945

  • Moyland is occupied. Across the River Roer Rurich and other towns are taken. Juelich is cleared, except in the north; Huchem-Stammeln, north of Dueren, is occupied. Further progress is made south-west of Pruem, Kopscheid and several other towns being captured; gains are made east of Dasburg. More of Forbach is cleared of the enemy; Schoenbach, on the west bank of the River Saar, is in allied hands.
  • The Russians take Arnstein, Lichtenfeld and a number of other inhabited places south-west of Koenigsberg; Ams-walde, in Pomerania, is captured. The town and fortress of Poznan is finally liquidated; more suburbs of Breslau are occupied.
  • Chinese troops in Burma cross the River Namtu and capture Namtu town.
  • The Americans make more progress on Iwo Jima; on Luzon Island San Mateo and Taytay are captured.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators again make heavy attacks on Germany’s main railway system; objectives in Essen and Gelsenkirchen are bombed by R.A.F. aircraft. At night R.A.F. bombers visit Pforzheim and Mosquitoes go to Berlin.
  • Turkey declares war on the Axis Powers.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Captain 6101V Edwin SWALES, Royal Air Force awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 6101V Captain Edwin Swales, South African Air Force, serving with 582 Squadron, Royal Air Force. On 23rd February 1945 over Pforzheim, Germany, Captain Swales was leading the raid when he was attacked by an enemy fighter, one engine, fuel tanks and the rear gun turret being badly damaged. Unperturbed, he carried on, but was again attacked and his port engine was put out of action. Nevertheless, he still remained over the target until satisfied that the attack had achieved its purpose. He finally managed to get his crippled Lancaster back to Allied-occupied territory before ordering his crew to bail out but as the last crew-member jumped, the aircraft plunged to earth. Captain Swales was found dead at the controls.
U.S Marines raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima
U.S Marines raising the flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima - Wiki image

February 24, 1945

  • The bridgehead over the River Roer is extended; several villages north-east of Linnich are occupied. Juelich and Dueren are completely occupied; Oberzier, north of Dueren, is taken, and fighting for Niederau, south of Dueren, continues. More progress is made south-west of Pruem; Sinspelt, south of Neuerburg, is captured.
  • In East Prussia several localities south-west of Koenigsberg are taken by the Russians, who repel enemy counter-attacks on the north-west. More progress is made in Breslau.
  • American troops overwhelm the last Japanese positions in Southern Manila and complete the destruction of the garrison.
  • Oil refineries at Hamburg, Harburg and Misburg and U-boat yards at Hamburg and Bremen are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; R.A.F. bombers visit the synthetic oil plant at Kamen. At night Berlin is bombed by Mosquitoes.

February 25, 1945

  • Allied forces are across the River Roer on a wide front; Doveren and other towns north and north-east of Linnich are occupied. East of Juelich the forest of Hambach is cleared; Ellen, Binsfeld and other towns in the Dueren area are captured. More progress is made north-east and east of Vianden; the River Pruem is crossed seven miles north of Echternach.
  • On the Samland peninsula, north-west of Koenigsberg, the Russians repel tank and infantry attacks; south-west of Koenigsberg a number of inhabited places, including Amalienwalde, Losten and Deuditten, are captured. Preussische-Friedland and other places in Pomerania are occupied.
  • There is heavy fighting on Iwojima for the central aerodrome; on Luzon the Americans capture San Isidro and Montalban.
  • Tokyo is again under attack by carrier-borne aircraft, and more than 200 Super-Fortresses.
  • Railway-yards at Muenich, Aschaffenburg and Ulm and other targets in Germany are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Lancasters bomb the synthetic oil plant at Kamen.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Sergeant, B46495 Aubrey Cosens, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - “On the night of 25th/26th February 1945 at Mooshof, Holland, Sergeant Cosens assumed command of the four survivors of his platoon whom he placed in position to give him covering fire and then, running forward alone to a tank, took up an exposed position in front of the turret and directed its fire. When a further counter-attack had been repulsed and, on his orders, the tank had rammed some farm buildings, he went in alone, killing several of the defenders and taking the rest prisoners. He then dealt similarly with the occupants of two more buildings, but soon afterwards was killed by a sniper.”

February 26, 1945

  • Allied forces advance against strong opposition to Keppeln, south-west of Calcar, which is captured; progress is made to the north of Linnich and to the north-east of Juelich. In the Juelich-Duren area Blatzheim and other towns are taken and Dueren is completely cleared. Armoured elements cross the River Nims and enter Bitburg.
  • Allied troops in Burma establish a bridgehead east of the River Irrawaddy in the area of Pagan, which is occupied; the village of Saye is cleared of the enemy.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators make the biggest daylight air attack on Berlin dropping more than 1,250 tons of high explosives and 500,000 incendiaries; Mosquitoes also attack the German capital for the seventh night in succession.

February 27, 1945

  • Allied troops advance to the western edge of the Hochwald; good progress is made east of the River Roer and Erkelenz is captured. Farther east Kuckum is occupied and to the south-east Sindorf is entered; north-west of Sindorf several towns are cleared. Gains are made east and south-east of Dueren; north of Bitburg the towns of Nattenheim and Matzen are captured.
  • Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops overcome German resistance west of Cholnice and in four days of fighting advance more than 42 miles.
  • The 14th Army, after 56 hours of continuous fighting, clear the village of Talingon, in the Myinmu bridgehead.
  • Leipzig and Halle are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Halifaxes and Lancasters bomb targets in Mainz and Gelsenkirchen. Berlin is bombed at night by two forces of Mosquitoes.
  • Mr. Churchill opens the debate on the Crimea Conference in the House of Commons.

February 28, 1945

  • On the Western front there is heavy fighting in the Hochwald; several villages are captured between Goch and the River Maas. Allied forces drive to within seven miles of Cologne; three bridgeheads over the River Erft are established. East of Dueren Norvenich and other towns are occupied; gains up to a mile are made north-east of Pruem. Waxweiler is taken and Bitburg is cleared of the enemy; Wasserbollig is in allied hands.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian command capture Neu-Stettin, Prechlau and more than 50 other inhabited places. More progress is made in Breslau.
  • American troops on Iwojima capture Motoyama.
  • Rail centres at Kassel, Soest, Schwerte, Hagen and Siegen are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. Mosquitoes attack Berlin for the ninth night in succession.

MARCH 1945

March 1, 1945

  • South of Udem allied forces enter Kervenheim; across the Roer good progress is made and Monchengladbach is captured. East of the River Erft Bergheim is entered; east of Dueren the River Neffel is crossed. The bridgehead across the River Pruem is extended; Scheid, in the Bitburg area, is occupied. More progress is made north and south of Trier and east of Saarburg.
  • Russian troops make progress north and north-east of Neu-Stettin; Stara-Gora and several other places west of Pucenec, in Czechoslovakia, are occupied.
  • In Burma 14th Army troops capture Yezin.
  • American infantrymen invade Palawan, the fifth largest of the Philippine Islands. On Luzon the town of Antipolo is captured.
  • Rail centres at Heilbronn, Goppingen and many other towns in Southern Germany are bombed by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Lancasters and Halifaxes hit targets at Mannheim and Kamen.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private 1592376 James STOKES, King's Shropshire Light Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 1592376 Private James Stokes, 2nd Battalion, The King's Shropshire Light Infantry. On 1st March 1945 during an attack on Kervenheim, Rhineland, a platoon was pinned down by intense rifle and machine-gun fire from a farm building. Private Stokes dashed into the building firing from the hip and reappeared with 12 prisoners. During the operation he was wounded but refused to go to the regimental aid post and continued the advance with his platoon and rushed another house, taking five more prisoners. Now severely injured he insisted on taking part in the advance on the final objective, but fell mortally wounded 20 yards from the enemy position.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Acting Major Frederick Albert TILSTON, Canadian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Acting Major Frederick Albert Tilston, The Essex-Scottish Regiment, Canadian Infantry Corps. On 1st March 1945 in the Hochwald Forest, Germany, Major Tilston, although wounded in the head, led his company in the attack, through a belt of wire 10 feet deep, to the enemy trenches, personally silenced a machine-gun and was the first to reach the enemy position. Pressing on to the second line he was severely wounded in the hip but carried on, his unshakeable confidence and enthusiasm so inspiring his men that they held firm against great odds. Even when wounded for a third time and hardly conscious, he refused medical attention until he had given complete instructions for holding the position.

March 2, 1945

  • Allied forces fight their way to the Hochwald forest; Weeze is captured. To the south Roermond and Venlo are taken. Dulken and Viersen, north of Monchengladbach, and Neuss are occupied, as are Bedburg and Buchholz, west of Cologne. East of Dueren allied units clear Wissersheim and Erp and advance elements enter Friesheim. Trier is taken by armoured and infantry units.
  • More than 30 inhabited places west and north-west of Neu-Stettin are captured by the Soviet forces; the southern part of Grudziadz is cleared of the enemy.
  • Chinese troops in Burma advance to within eight miles of Lashio.
  • American troops continue to make progress on Iwojima; Lubang Island, between Luzon and Mindoro, is seized.
  • Cologne is bombed twice by Lancasters and Halifaxes; oil plants at Magdeburg, Bohlen and Rositz and rail yards at Chemnitz and Dresden are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Acting Naik, 18602, Fazel DIN, Indian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Acting Naik Fazal Din, 10th Baluch Regiment, Indian Army. On 2nd March 1945 near Meiktila, Burma, during an attack, Naik Fazal Din's section was held up by fire from the enemy bunkers, whereupon he personally attacked the nearest bunker and silenced it, then led his men against the other. Suddenly six Japanese, led by two officers wielding swords rushed out and Naik Fazal Din was run through the chest by one of them. As the sword was withdrawn, the Naik wrested it from the hands of its owner and killed him with it. Having killed another Japanese with the sword he waved it aloft, continuing to encourage his men before staggering back to make his report and collapsing.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Naik 11620 Gian SINGH, Indian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - On 2nd March 1945 on the road between Kamye and Myingyan, Burma where the Japanese were strongly positioned, Naik Gian Singh who was in charge of the leading section of his platoon, went on alone firing his tommy gun, and rushed the enemy foxholes. In spite of being wounded in the arm he went on, hurling grenades. He attacked and killed the crew of a cleverly concealed anti-tank gun, and then led his men down a lane clearing all enemy positions. He went on leading his section until the action had been satisfactorily completed.

March 3, 1945

  • More progress is made east of the Hochwald forest; farther south Geldern and other towns are occupied. Krefeld is cleared of the enemy; allied units reach Pulheim, four miles from the outskirts of Cologne. Gains are made north-east and south of Pruem; Heilenbach is captured. Limited gains are made in an attack in Forbach.
  • In Italy, in the Adriatic sector, 8th Army troops capture several defended localities.
  • Rummelsburg, 24 miles north-east of Stettin, and Pollnow, 20 miles south-east of Koeslin, are occupied by the Russians.
  • Tincao and Burias Islands, off the south-west coast of Luzon, are seized by American troops. The airfield, on Luzon, is captured.
  • A large force of Super-Fortresses attack Tokyo.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb oil refineries at Dollbergen, Misburg and elsewhere and railway-yards at Chemnitz. Lancasters attack the Dortmund-Ems Canal.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 311376 William Basil WESTON, Green Howards awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant William Basil Weston (311376), The Green Howards, attached 1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment. On 3rd March 1945 during the attack on Meiktila, Burma, Lieutenant Weston was commanding a platoon which, together with the rest of the company, had to clear an area of the town of the enemy. In the face of fanatical opposition he led his men superbly, encouraging them from one bunker position to the next. When he came to the last, particularly well-defended bunker, he fell wounded in the entrance. Knowing that his men would not be able to capture the position without heavy casualties he pulled the pin out of one of his grenades as he lay on the ground and deliberately blew himself up with the occupants of the bunker.

March 4, 1945

  • There is dogged enemy resistance in the Xanten area, but elsewhere good progress is made; Kapellen is cleared. Widdersdorf, two miles west of Cologne, is reached: to the south there is fighting in Liblar. More progress is made in the Pruem area and north of Bitburg. Infantry units cross the River Kyll north of Trier; gains are made between Forbach and Saarbruecken.
  • West of the Bologna-Pistoia highway 5th Army troops occupy Monte della Croce.
  • In four days of fighting Marshal Zhukov’s forces advance 62 miles to the Baltic coast in the area of Kolberg; in their drive they occupy Baerwalde, Tempelburg, Falkenburg and several other towns. Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops also reach the Baltic coast and capture Koeslin.
  • Railway-yards, ordnance depots and other targets in Ulm and elsewhere in South-West Germany are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb the marshalling-yard at Wanne-Eickel.
  • Junkers Ju-88G-6, D5+AX struck a tree a crashed into a farmhouse whilst attacking R.A.F Elvington. Three residents of farmhouse were badly injured, all of whom died in hospital later. D5+AX was the final Luftwaffe aircraft to be brought down on British soil during World War Two.

March 5, 1945

  • Werdt is occupied; Horns and Homberg are cleared and the left bank of the Rhine from Homberg to Neuss is held. Cologne is entered by allied armour; farther south Euskirchen is cleared. Schoenfeld, north-east of Pruem, is captured and gains are made to the east and south. East of Bitburg the River Kyll is crossed; Forbach and Marieneau are cleared after hard fighting.
  • Marshal Zhukov’s troops occupy Stargard, Naugard and Polzin; several inhabited places south and south-west of Danzig are captured. In Pomerania progress is made north-east of Koeslin; gains are made west of Lucenec, in Czechoslovakia.
  • Armoured and mechanised forces of the 14th Army sweep 85 miles eastward from the Irrawaddy and capture the Meiktila group of eight airfields.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb the marshalling-yards at Chemnitz and oil refineries at Harburg; Lancasters attack a benzol plant near Gelsenkirchen. At night Chemnitz is visited by R.A.F. bombers.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Rifleman 10020 Bhanbhagta GURUNG, Gurkha Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. On 5th March 1945 at Snowden East, near Tamandu, Burma, a section was pinned down by heavy enemy fire and was also being subjected to sniping from a tree. Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung killed the sniper and later when the section was again attacked, he dashed forward under continuous fire personally clearing four enemy foxholes and he also silenced a light machine-gun. With the help of a Bren gunner and two riflemen he then repelled an enemy counter-attack on the captured bunker with heavy losses. His action in clearing these positions was decisive in capturing the objective.

March 6, 1945

  • There is fierce enemy resistance along the approaches to Xanten; Rheinberg is cleared of the enemy. Cologne is captured; east of Euskirchen progress is made and south of Gemund the River Olef is crossed. North-east of Pruem the River Kyll is reached and east and south-east the river is crossed. An armoured column, striking north-east and east from the Bitburg area, reaches the vicinity of Schoenbach after a drive of 25 miles.
  • In Italy 5th Army troops capture Monte della Spe and Monte Grande d’Aiano, west of the Bologna-Pistoia Road.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian front complete the reduction of the encircled garrison of Grudziadz; troops under the command of Marshal Zhukov capture Belgard, Treptow, Cammin and several other important enemy strong-points. German attacks north-east and south of Lake Balaton are repelled.
  • The Salzbergen oil refinery is bombed by Lancasters. Berlin is attacked for the fifteenth night in succession; Sassintz, on the Baltic Island of Ruegen, is visited by Lancasters.
  • It is announced that Mr. Churchill visited the Western front over the weekend.

March 7, 1945

  • On the Western front allied forces meet with fierce resistance in the approaches to Xanten; the west bank of the Rhine is cleared between Rheinberg and Orfoy. Zoms, south of Duesseldorf, and Rondorf, Immdorf and other towns south of Cologne are occupied; Bornheim and Botzdorf, north-west of Bonn, are captured. Progress is made south-east of Euskirchen and east of Schleiden; Bolsdorf and other towns east of Pruem are taken; an armoured unit reaches the Rhine in the area north of Coblenz. Gains are made south-east of Bitburg and north-east of Trier.
  • Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops capture the towns of Gniew (Mewe) and Starogard, on the approaches to Danzig; Marshal Zhukov’s forces take Gollnow, Stepenitz and Massow, on the approaches to Stettin. Banska-SIiavnica (Schemnitz), in Czechoslovakia, is occupied.
  • In Burma Chinese troops capture Lashio; Indian troops occupy Mandaya and Onhmin; tanks enter Mandalay.
  • Balayan and Calatagan, in Balayan Bay, Verde Island, are captured by U.S. troops.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack three benzol plants in the Dortmund area, the large railway viaduct at Bielefeld and railway-yards at Giessen, Soest and Siegen. At night Bomber Command aircraft bomb targets in Dessau, Harburg, Heide, Frankfort-on-Main and Muenster. Berlin is visited for the sixteenth consecutive night.

March 8, 1945

  • Allied forces enter Xanten. Farther south a bridgehead is established on the east bank of the Rhine south of Cologne, the crossing being made by 1st Army troops at Remagen. Half of the city of Bonn is cleared; Dransdorf, west of Bonn, is occupied, and three-quarters of Bad Godesberg, south of Bonn, is cleared. Gains up to 3 miles are made north-west of Pruem; Arrenrath and several other towns east of Bitburg are in allied hands.
  • Buetow and Koscierzyna are captured by Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops.
  • Benzol plants and a synthetic oil plant in the Ruhr are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators. At night Bomber Command aircraft visit Kassel.
British and Canadian troops attacking the enemy's bridgehead at Xanten
British and Canadian troops attacked the enemy's bridgehead at Xanten
in the morning of 8th March 1945.

March 9, 1945

  • Xanten is completely occupied after bitter fighting; Alpen and Millingen are captured. The bridgehead across the Rhine is extended; Erpel is taken. Mayen, 16 miles west of Coblenz, is in allied hands, and in a further advance Andernach is occupied; units of the U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies link up. Armoured elements in the Coblenz plain capture Karlich. South of Bitburg the River Salm is crossed; Fohren is entered.
  • In Italy 5th Army troops improve their positions near the town of Vergato.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian front occupy Schlawe, Ruegenwalde, Stolpmuende and Stolp, the last-named an important highway and railway-centre in Northern Pomerania.
  • Mandalay Hill is captured; the attack on Fort Dufferin continues.
  • Fighting continues on Iwojima where the U.S. troops make further progress.
  • Super-Fortresses make a fire raid on Tokyo.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack Kassel, Osnabrueck, Muenster and Rheine; Lancasters bomb benzol plants at Datteln.

March 10, 1945

  • The German bridgehead at Wesel is virtually eliminated; the enemy blows both bridges. Gains of 500 to 5,000 yards are made eastward from the Remagen bridgehead. Bauler and other towns in the area west of Mayen are captured; progress is made east of Bitburg where Wittlich, Neuerburg and other towns are occupied. Gains are made north-east of Trier.
  • Two features north-west of Castelnuovo are occupied by 5th Army troops.
  • Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops break into the southern suburbs of Danzig; more than 300 inhabited places are captured on this front, including Tiegenhov, Lauenburg and Kartuzy. Enemy attacks north-east of Lake Balaton are repelled.
  • U.S. troops land at Samboanga, on Mindanao Island, in the Philippines; most of the east coast of Iwojima is now in American possession.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack marshalling-yards in the Dortmund area and at Soest, Paderborn, and elsewhere; Lancasters bomb the Scholven-Buer synthetic oil plant in the Ruhr.

March 11, 1945

  • The enemy bridgehead west of the Rhine at Wesel is completely eliminated. The bridgehead at Remagen is extended to a width of nine miles and a depth of three miles; our units are fighting in Honnef and have taken Rhenbreitbach, Unkel, Linz and other towns.
  • Russian troops in North-East Pomerania reach the Baltic coast at Leba and capture more than 200 other inhabited places. North-east and east of Lake Balaton major German forces continue to attack.
  • In Burma allied troops make further progress in Mandalay; the Japanese continue to resist in the Fort Dufferin area.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes drop some 4,500 tons of bombs on Essen. U-boat building yards at Hamburg, Bremen and Kiel are attacked by Flying Fortresses and Liberators; oil refineries at Harburg, Hamburg and Bremen are also hit.

March 12, 1945

  • The bridgehead across the Rhine is further extended; fighting continues in Honnef, but Hargarten and Ginsterhaan, north-east of Linz, are cleared. On the west bank of the Rhine, the towns of Eich, Nickenich and Kretz are occupied. All the north bank of the Moselle between Trier and Coblenz, with the exception of a 10-mile stretch between Cochem and Reil, is now in allied hands. Progress is made west of Cochem, south-east of Wittlich and north-east of Trier.
  • West of the Bologna-Pistoia highway 5th Army troops capture Monte Spigolino.
  • Marshal Zhukov’s forces capture the town and fortress of Kuestrin, on the River Oder opposite Berlin. In the direction of Danzig and Gdynia the towns of Tczew, Wejherowo (Neustadt) and Puck are occupied.
  • U.S. troops capture Samboanga city and the San Roque aerodrome in South-West Mindanao.
  • Dortmund gets its heaviest air attack of the war from Lancasters and Halifaxes; Flying Fortresses and Liberators visit Swinemuende, in the Baltic, and several marshalling-yards.

March 13, 1945

  • In the Remagen bridgehead gains up to 1,000 yards eastwards are made; Honnef is cleared, but fighting continues in the suburbs, and also in Hoenningen. The enemy pocket in the Laacher See area, south-west of Andernach, is mopped up; several towns in the areas north-west of Ediger and north-east of Wittlich are occupied. The River Ruwer is crossed seven miles south-east of Saarburg.
  • South-east of Danzig the Russians occupy Reimerswalde and Langenau; Bohlschau and Gnesdau, in the Gdynia area, are captured. German attacks north-east and east of Lake Balaton are repelled.
  • Indian troops in Burma occupy the hill station of Maymyo; the Japanese in the Fort Dufferin area in Mandalay continue to hold out.
  • Antipolo, east of Manila, is captured by U.S. troops after a hard fight; Batangas is occupied in a swift sweep to the east from Balayan Bay.
  • R.A.F. heavy bombers attack Barmen; Berlin is bombed for the 22nd successive night.

March 14, 1945

  • The bridgehead at Remagen is increased in depth to more than five miles; Kalenborn, 1 mile from the Ruhr highway, is reached. Eller, Bremm and Aldegund, south of Cochem, are captured; Merscheid and other towns south-east of Trier are occupied. Allied forces advance up to three miles on a 5-mile front west of Saarbruecken.
  • Marshal Malinovsky’s troops capture Zvolen (Altsohl) in the Carpathians; troops of the 3rd White Russian front continue to fight offensive battles for the destruction of the encircled Germans in East Prussia.
  • In Burma the Japanese in Fort Dufferin, Mandalay, continue to resist.
  • The U.S. troops on Luzon and Mindanao continue to make progress; the American flag is formally raised on Iwojima.
  • Lancasters of the R.A.F. Bomber Command attack the viaduct at Bielefeld with 22,000-lb. bombs and another viaduct at Arnsberg is hit with 12,000-lb. bombs; other Lancasters bomb benzol plants at Bochum and Recklinghausen. Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack a variety of targets in Germany.
A 22,000-lb bomb or Grand Slam  which was used against the railway viaduct at Bielefeld on 14th March 1945
A 22,000-lb bomb or Grand Slam being hoisted from the bomb dump and which
was used against the railway viaduct at Bielefeld on 14th March 1945

March 15, 1945

  • The Remagen bridgehead is increased to a depth of six miles and a width of 11 miles. South-west of Coblenz U.S. 3rd Army troops cross the River Moselle and now hold a bridgehead nine miles wide and six miles deep; numerous towns are cleared. Further progress is made south-east of Trier and south-east of Saarburg; gains are made between Saarbruecken and the Rhine and farther south.
  • Troops of the 3rd White Russian front fight their way along the Frisches Haff and occupy several inhabited places; fighting continues in Kolberg.
  • British troops in Burma make a further advance eastward from their bridgehead south of the Irrawaddy. Fighting continues in Mandalay.
  • American troops on Luzon advance on all fronts; on Mindanao enemy resistance increases.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators make a heavy attack on the German General Staff headquarters at Zossen and also bomb Oranienburg; Lancasters again attack the viaduct at Arnsberg. At night Halifaxes attack Hagen and Lancasters visit Misburg.

March 16, 1945

  • The area of the Remagen bridgehead is again increased; the autobahn is cut both north-west and south-east of Hovel. General Patton’s troops cross the Moselle south-west of Coblenz and capture Waldesch; armoured elements advance up to 14 miles beyond the river. More gains are made south-east of Trier. Steady progress continues in the Saarbruecken area; Bitche is being mopped up and Hagenau is cleared.
  • In Italy 5th and 8th Army patrols continue to probe enemy positions.
  • Russian troops continue offensive operations south-east of Koenigsberg; Zuckau, 10 miles west of Danzig, is captured. Griefenhagen, in the direction of Stettin, is occupied. German attacks north-east of Lake Balaton slacken.
  • In Mandalay the areas south-east and south-west of Fort Dufferin are being cleared up.
  • U.S. troops continue to make progress on Luzon Island; the battle of Iwojima is won.
  • Bomber Command aircraft visit Nuremberg and Wuerzburg in strength; Berlin is attacked for the twenty-fifth night in succession.

March 17, 1945

  • More progress is made from the Remagen bridgehead; Bramscheid and Hoenningen are cleared. Coblenz is entered and to the south Boppard is entered and several towns occupied; farther west Maisborn and other towns are taken. Gains are made south-east of Trier and south-east of Saarburg; advances up to seven miles are made from Saarbruecken and the Siegfried Line is reached. Progress is made in the Rhine valley and an advance up to six miles is made north-west of Hagenau.
  • Russian troops capture the fortified town of Brandenburg, 12 miles south-west of Koenigsberg; several inhabited places on the Stettin front are taken.
  • In Burma, on the north bank of the Irrawaddy, allied troops enter Sagaing, south-west of Mandalay. Japanese troops still resist stubbornly from the south-west corner of Fort Dufferin.
  • On Mindanao more progress is made by U.S. troops.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack synthetic oil plants at Bohlen and Ruhland and other targets; Lancasters bomb benzol plants at Huls and near Dortmund.

March 18, 1945

  • The Remagen bridgehead is now 15 miles long and eight miles wide; the railway bridge collapses. Fighting continues in Colblenz; to the south Brey and Boppard are captured. Bingen and Bad-Kreuznach are entered after a seven-mile advance; Merzig, on the River Saar, is occupied. Rapid advances are made in the Alsace plain north of the Hagenau forest.
  • Troops of the 1st White Russian front occupy Kolberg, the port on the Baltic; more than 40 inhabited places south-west of Koenigsberg are captured.
  • In the southern part of Mandalay and in Fort Dufferin Japanese opposition is maintained; satisfactory progress is made elsewhere.
  • American troops land on Panay Island in the Philippines.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators make the biggest daylight attack on Berlin, which is again bombed at night by Mosquitoes. Lancasters bomb two benzol plants in the Ruhr. At night Witten and Hanau are targets for R.A.F. bombers.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant IEC/5504 Karamjeet Singh JUDGE, 15th Punjab Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge, 4th Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, Indian Army. On 18th March 1945 near Meiktila, Burma, Lieutenant Karamjeet Singh Judge, a platoon commander of a company ordered to capture a cotton mill, dominated the battlefield by his numerous acts of gallantry. After eliminating ten enemy bunkers he directed one tank to within 20 yards of another and asked the tank commander to cease fire while he went in to mop up. While doing so he was mortally wounded.

March 19, 1945

  • The Remagen bridgehead is extended to a length of 18 miles and a depth of eight miles. Coblenz is cleared of the enemy, and the west bank of the Rhine is controlled from there to Bingen. Good progress is made farther south where units cross the River Nahe and reach the vicinity of Merzweiler. Gains are made between Saarbruecken and the Rhine; in the Alsace plain, several towns are cleared and Lauterburg is occupied.
  • In Italy ground activity is confined to patrol clashes.
  • More progress is made by the Russians south-west of Koenigsberg; fighting continues in Breslau.
  • In Burma British troops occupy Amarapura; the Maymyo-Tonbo road is cleared.
  • American troops make gains on all the Luzon Island fronts.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack jet aeroplane component plants and other targets in Southern Germany; Lancasters make attacks on the railway viaducts at Arnsberg and Bielefeld and another force attack a benzol plant at Gelsenkirchen.
Grand Slam a 22,000-lb bomb leaves on a Lancaster during the attack on the viaduct at Arnsberg
Known as the Grand Slam a 22,000-lb bomb leaves on a Lancaster
during the attack on the viaduct at Arnsberg on 19th March 1945

March 20, 1945

  • Troops of the U.S. 3rd Army reach the Rhine at several points; Mainz is reached and Worms is captured; Kaiserslautern is entered. Saarbruecken, chief city of the Saar basin, is captured; Zweibruecken is taken and allied troops are through the Siegfried Line on a wide front in this area.
  • Troops of the 1st White Russian front capture the town of Altdamm and liquidate the strongly fortified German bridgehead on the right bank of the Oder east of Stettin. In East Prussia Marshal Vasilevsky’s troops take Braunsberg.
  • In Burma, following a heavy air strike, Fort Dufferin falls, thus marking the capture of Mandalay.
  • American troops on Panay Island capture Iloilo aerodrome.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack the Blohm and Voss U-boat yards at Hamburg and oil refineries; R.A.F. bombers visit the railway-yards at Recklinghausen and Hamm.

March 21, 1945

  • General Patton’s 3rd Army troops enter Ludwigshaven, and other forces clear seven towns north of Worms; eight towns south-west of Mainz are also cleared of the enemy, including Kaiserslautern. The Remagen bridgehead is again extended and is now 25 miles long and eight miles deep; Geislar, Hangelar and Putzchen are occupied, and Sand and Waschpohl are cleared.
  • Troops of the 3rd White Russian front south-west of Koenigsberg advance along the Frisches Haff and capture several inhabited places: a number of inhabited places are also occupied in the Danzig region.
  • In Burma there is sharp fighting in Myingyan.
  • Guimaras Island, one and a half miles south-east of Iloilo, capital of Panay Island, is invaded by U.S. troops.
  • The Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen are totally destroyed by T.A.F. (Tactical Air Force) Mosquitoes; Berlin is attacked for the thirtieth successive night.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant 273474 Claud RAYMOND, Royal Engineers awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Lieutenant Claud Raymond (273474), Corps of Royal Engineers (Seaford, Sussex). On 21st March 1945 at Talaku, Burma, Lieutenant Raymond was second-in-command of a reconnaissance patrol when they were fired on by a strongly entrenched enemy detachment and the lieutenant at once led his men towards the position. He was first wounded in the shoulder and then in the head, but continued leading his men forward, when he was hit a third time, his wrist being shattered. He still carried on into the enemy defences where he was largely responsible for capturing the position. In spite of the gravity of his wounds, he refused medical aid until all the other wounded had received attention. He died next day.

March 22, 1945

  • On Field-Marshal Montgomery’s front a smoke-screen nearly 70 miles long is kept going. U.S. 3rd Army troops cross the River Rhine at Oppenheim: Annweiler, Neustadt and Neunkirchen are cleared, and Mainz is nearly cleared. Troops of the U.S. 7th Army capture Pirmasens. Field-Marshal Kesselring is reported to have replaced Field-Marshal von Rundstedt as Commander-in-Chief on the Western front.
  • Troops of the 1st Ukrainian command break through the German defences west and south of Oppeln and advancing 25 miles link up in the area of Neustadt; in this attack 15,000 prisoners are taken and Neustadt, Cosel, Steinau and a number of other towns are occupied.
  • In Burma 14th Army troops take Pindale and Wundwin; Myingyan is occupied.
  • Heavy bombers of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces attack the enemy’s last three oil sources at Ruhland, 70 miles south of Berlin, Kralupy, north-east of Prague, and Kagran, near Vienna.
  • R.A.F. and American heavy bombers make big attacks on German communications between the Dutch frontier and the Ruhr.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal NX.102964 Reginald Roy RATTEY, Australian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. NX.102964 Corporal Reginald Roy Rattey, Australian Infantry Battalion. On 22nd March 1945 at Bougainville, Solomon Islands, an attack by a company of Australian Infantry on a strongly held enemy position was met by extremely heavy fire. Corporal Rattey, realising that any advance would be halted by this fire and heavy casualties inflicted, dashed forward firing his Bren gun from the hip and completely neutralised the enemy fire from three forward bunkers. Then, having silenced a bunker with one grenade, he fetched two more with which he silenced the other two bunkers. The company was then able to continue its advance. Later Corporal Rattey captured another machine-gun and 2000 rounds of ammunition.

March 23, 1945

  • Troops of Field-Marshal Montgomery’s 21st Army Group cross the Rhine on a 25-mile front north of the Ruhr; the crossings are made in the Wesel, Xanten and Rees areas. U.S 3rd Army troops narrow the enemy’s gap between Ludwigshaven and Karlsruhe on the west bank of the Rhine: Mainz is cleared and Landau and Speyer are captured; mopping up continues in Ludwigshaven. Troops of the U.S. 1st Army take Niederbieber; General Patch’s 7th Army troops capture Bergzabern, Bundenthal, Erlenbrunn and Silz.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian command occupy Zoppot and reach the bay between Gdynia and Danzig; in Silesia the Russians capture Jernau and other inhabited places north-west of Ratibor.
  • Allied troops advancing from Wundwin, in Burma, occupy Kume and Langwa.
  • R.A.F. and American heavy bombers again attack railway and other targets in the Ruhr and enemy troop concentrations and positions cast of the Rhine.

March 24, 1945

  • Elements of the 1st Allied Airborne Army land east of the River Rhine; U.S. 9th Army troops capture several smaller towns and reach Dinslaken. General Patton’s bridgehead across the Rhine is extended to a width of eight miles and a depth of four miles; Erfelden and Gernsheim are captured. The Remagen bridgehead is again extended; Rengsdorf and Kurtscheid are cleared.
  • Marshal Tolbukhin’s troops make a sweeping break-through in Hungary advancing 44 miles nearer to Vienna; Marshal Koniev’s forces capture Neisse and Leobschutz in Upper Silesia.
  • U.S. bombers from Italy, escorted by fighters, fly 1,600 miles to raid the Daimler-Benz tank factory at Berlin. Flying Fortresses and Liberators bomb 16 German airfields; Halifaxes and Lancasters attack targets east of the Rhine.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal B.39039 Frederick George TOPHAM, Canadian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. B. 39039 Corporal Frederick George Topham, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. On 24th March 1945 east of the Rhine, North-West Europe, when two medical orderlies had been killed while attending to a wounded man lying in the open, Corporal Topham, on his own initiative, went out and while he was attending to the casualty, was shot through the nose. In spite of his wound, he carried on, bringing the wounded man in under continuous fire, and refusing to have medical treatment until all the casualties had been cleared. Later in the day he rescued three men from a carrier which had been hit, regardless of the fact that the carrier's own ammunition was exploding.

March 25, 1945

  • The four major landings across the lower Rhine by Field-Marshal Montgomery’s troops are merged into a solid bridgehead 30 miles long and seven miles deep: more than 8,000 prisoners are taken. General Patton’s 3rd Army troops make further crossings of the Rhine; Darmstadt and a number of other towns and villages are occupied and Ludwigshaven is finally cleared of the enemy. U.S. 1st Army troops break out from the Remagen bridgehead and reach Flammersfeld.
  • Marshal Malinovsky’s troops advance 28 miles west of Budapest and capture Esztergom. Neszmely and more than 200 other inhabited places; Heiligenbeil on Frisches Haff is occupied, and the Danzig suburb of Oliva is taken.
  • In Burma 14th Army troops take Myittha.
  • American troops begin a drive into the long peninsula of South-East Luzon.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes make heavy attacks on the important railway centres of Muenster, Osnabrueck and Hanover; oil targets are hit by Liberators.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant Albert Chowne, 2/2nd Battalion (New South Wales), Australian Military Forces awarded the Victoria Cross: - “On 25th March 1945 near Dagua, New Guinea, Lieutenant Chowne attacked an enemy position which was holding up further movement towards Wewak. Seeing that the leading platoon was suffering heavy casualties, Lieutenant Chowne rushed forward and knocked out two light machine-guns with grenades and then, calling on his men to follow him and firing his sub-machine-gun from the hip, he charged the position. Although he was twice wounded in the chest, the impetus of his charge carried him forward 50 yards under intense machine-gun and rifle fire and he accounted for two more of the enemy before he was killed.”

March 26, 1945

  • Good progress is made by Field-Marshal Montgomery’s forces in all the Rhine bridgeheads; U.S. 1st Army troops advance 35 miles from the Remagen bridgehead. General Patton’s troops enter Frankfort-on-Main and penetrate into Bavaria. Troops of the U.S. 7th Army cross the Rhine, thus gaining the sixth allied bridgehead on the east bank of the river.
  • Troops of the 2nd Ukrainian command capture Banska-Bystrica (Neusohl); 3rd Ukrainian front forces take Papa and Devecser. More gains are made in the Frisches Haff and Danzig areas.
  • American troops land at Talisay, on the east coast of Cebu Island.
  • Enemy convoys in the Skagerrak, escorted by warships and night fighters, are attacked early in the morning by Halifaxes; several ships are damaged.
A narrow street in Rees jammed with troops & equipment, 1945
A narrow street in Rees jammed with troops & equipment after the town had been
captured & cleared by the Gordon Highlanders on 26th March 1945

March 27, 1945

  • British and Army troops to the north-east of Wesel advance eastwards against little enemy opposition following the capture of Bruenen; American troops take Kruedeuburg and Gahlen. Tanks of the U.S. first army reach a point nearly 60 miles east of the Rhine. Troops of the U.S. 1st and 3rd Armies join forces south of Coblenz.
  • In Silesia the Russians capture the towns of Strehlen and Rybnik; 3rd Ukrainian front troops between the Danube and Lake Balaton occupy Tapolca and several other towns. Soviet troops break into the centre of Danzig; there is street fighting in Gdynia.
  • Super-Fortresses attack industrial and military targets in Kyushu, Japan.
  • Lancasters make daylight attacks on U -boat pens at Farge, 15 miles north-west of Bremen, benzol plants at Koenigsborn and Sachsen, near Hamm, and railway targets at Paderborn.
  • Last V-2 attack on London.

March 28, 1945

  • General Eisenhower orders British and U.S commanders to allow the Soviet forces to take Berlin, and not risk lives rushing for the German capital.
  • On the Western front the Germans are in full retreat. British forces capture Dorsten; Canadians advance north-west from Emmerich. The U.S. 9th Army takes Hamborn, and the American 1st reaches Giessen. Patton’s 3rd Army tanks advance beyond Gemuenden. Formations of the 1st and 3rd make contact along the Lahn River. Troops of the 7th U.S. Army, pushing on from Frankfort, advance to the River Main, east of Worms.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian command capture Gdynia, on the Gulf of Danzig. In Hungary, the 3rd Ukrainians cross the River Raab, taking Csorna and Sarvar. Malinovsky’s 2nd Ukrainians capture Gyor and Komarno.
  • Four hundred Flying Fortresses bomb the industrial suburbs of Berlin and Hanover.

March 29, 1945

  • The Allied front east of the Rhine now runs from Emmerich on the Dutch border down to Mannheim, except for a gap at the entrance to the Ruhr; 37,000 prisoners have been taken. General Hodges’s tanks (1st U.S. Army) strike northwards from Giessen and reach the outskirts of Paderborn. General Simpson’s 9th Army breaks out of its bridgehead south of the River Lippe. The 3rd Canadian Division clears Emmerich of the enemy. Troops of the British 43rd Division capture Anholt.
  • American aircraft based on the Marianas attack air bases and other targets on Kyushu, Japan. Nagoya, the aircraft production centre on Honshu, is also bombed.
  • R.A.F. bombers attack a benzol plant near Brunswick; at night our Mosquitoes bomb the Berlin area.
  • Last V-1 flying bomb attack on London.

March 30, 1945

  • Resistance on the northern sector of the Rhine front weakens, though on the left our Highland troops and Canadians are fiercely opposed by parachute troops. Patton’s 3rd Army tanks capture Lauterbach.
  • Troops of the 2nd White Russian command storm Danzig. The enemy had left 39,000 dead on the Danzig battlefield; in addition, 10,000 Germans taken prisoner. Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian command cross the Austrian border north of Koeszeg.
  • A task force of the British Pacific Fleet (under Vice-Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings) shells and bombs objectives in the Sakashima islands, south-east of Formosa. American Super-Fortresses attack Nagoya on the Japanese mainland.

March 31, 1945

  • Armoured forces of the British 2nd Army are 70 miles beyond the Rhine; at the extreme northern end of Montgomery’s front our troops push forward to cut the V-2 supply lines. General Bradley announces that a new American army, the 15th, is in action. Tanks of General Patton’s 3rd Army advance 24 miles from Treysa, in Hesse, and approach Cassel. U.S. 7th Army tanks break through near Darmstadt, and are 15 miles from Wuerzburg.
  • Soviet troops are 36 miles from Vienna and 13 miles south of Wiener-Neustadt, where are the Messerschmitt shadow factories.
  • More than 1,300 Fortresses and Liberators attack Zeitz, Halle, Brunswick and Brandenburg. Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb the Bloem and Voss works and submarine yards at Hamburg.

APRIL 1945

April 1, 1945

  • On the Western front, tanks of the U.S. 9th Army swing south from near Hamm to link up with Hodges’s armour at Lippstadt; German armies in the Ruhr are thus encircled. On the northern sector of the British 2nd Army front, our troops are over 80 miles east of the Rhine. U.S. 1st Army captures Paderborn; the 3rd U.S. Army strikes south-east of Cassel towards Eisenach and Gotha.
  • Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian front capture Sopron, 33 miles from Vienna. Driving forward towards Bratislava, 2nd Ukrainian troops capture Trnava, Hlohovec and Szenc; in addition, Soviet troops gain more than 150 places in Czechoslovakia.
  • Kyauske, in Upper Burma, is taken by Indian troops; Japanese resistance at Meiktila is decreasing.
  • Soldiers and marines of the U.S. 10th Army, covered by British and U.S. warships, land on Okinawa Island, largest of the Ryukyu group.
  • Mediterranean allied air forces attack communications and supplies throughout Northern Italy, Southern Germany, Austria and the Balkans. The Brenner Pass route, as far north as Innsbrueck, is a principal objective. Fortresses and Liberators of the 15th Air Force, operating in conjunction with Russian ground forces, bomb railway-yards and bridges north of Zagreb and in the Vienna region.
  • Super-Fortresses bomb Tokyo, concentrating on the Nakajuma aero-engine factory.
  • The submarine U.S.S Queenfish torpedoed and sank the Japanese liner MV Awa Maru despite the liner having permission for passage as she was carrying Red Cross parcels and other aid for Allied POW’s. Of the estimated 2,500 people on board only one survived. The Captain of U.S.S Queenfish was court-martialled for negligence. But later exonerated when the ship was also found to be carrying war supplies.

April 2, 1945

  • On the 2nd Army front, the British 6th Airborne Division have pushed out to beyond the Dortmund-Ems Canal, and the outskirts of Lengerich, 8 miles south-west of Osnabrueck. British Guards, with American tanks and airborne troops, push into Muenster and drive 15 miles beyond. Canadians in the Emmerich sector fight their way to Terborg in Holland. Other formations of the 21st Army Group are in the outskirts of Cassel, and extend their hold on the Fulda River to the south; the 6th Armoured Division free 1,300 American and 200 British soldiers from a prisoner-of-war camp at Ziegenhain (Stalag IX-A). Germans in the Ruhr make a futile counter attack near Winterburg.
  • In Italy, 8th Army troops land on a narrow strip of land dividing Lake Comacchio from the Adriatic Sea, north of Ravenna.
  • Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian command capture the Hungarian oil centre of Nagy Kanizsa. The 2nd Ukrainian command take the railway-station of Topolchani, and more than 100 other inhabited places. Troops of this command also capture Magyarova, 23 miles from Gyor.
  • The American advance across Okinawa continues unchecked. U.S. troops take Tobara, on east coast, cutting the southern part of the island in two.
  • Italian-based Flying Fortresses and Liberators of the 15th Air Force attack communication targets, south-west of Vienna. Berlin and Magdeburg are bombed by the R.A.F.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal, 4080657, Edward Thomas CHAPMAN, Monmouthshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 4080657 Corporal Edward Thomas Chapman, 3rd Battalion, The Monmouthshire Regiment. On 2nd April 1945, near the Dortmund-Ems canal, Germany, Corporal Chapman's section came under heavy machine-gun fire, causing many casualties. He ordered his men to take cover and went forward alone with a Bren gun, mowing down the enemy at point-blank range, forcing them to retire. His section isolated, Corporal Chapman again halted the enemy advances with his Bren gun, at one time firing it over his shoulder, to cover those bringing him ammunition. He then carried in his company commander who was lying wounded, but on his way back the officer was killed and Corporal Chapman wounded.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal CH/X 110296 Thomas Peck HUNTER, Royal Marines awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Corporal Thomas Peck Hunter, 43rd Royal Marine Commando. On 2nd April 1945 at Lake Comacchio, Italy, Corporal Hunter, who was in charge of a Bren gun section, offered himself as a target to save his troop. Seizing the Bren gun, he charged alone across 200 yards of open ground under most intense fire towards a group of houses where three Spandau machine-guns were lodged. So determined was his charge that the enemy were demoralized and six of the gunners surrendered, the remainder fled. He cleared the house, changing magazines as he ran and continued to draw the enemy fire until most of the troop had reached cover and he was killed, firing accurately to the last.
A Churchill tank on the way to Muenster, manned by a British crew and carrying U.S. Airborne troops.
A Churchill tank passing through the village of Appelhulsen on the way to Muenster, manned
by a British crew and carrying U.S. Airborne troops.

April 3, 1945

  • Montgomery’s 11th Armoured Division takes Tecklenburg and reaches the outskirts of Osnabrueck. The U.S. 9th Army is in Hamm, and has pushed 20 miles beyond Lippstadt, outflanking Bielefeld. At Hamm and Neuhaus the Germans attempt to break out of the Ruhr pocket. Farther south, the U.S. 3rd Army reach the outskirts of Gotha. On the Dutch border, British forces have advanced 15 miles from Enschede; Canadians establish two bridgeheads over the Twenthe Canal, clearing the Germans from the region between Arnhem and Nijmegen. U.S. 1st Army foils further German attempts to escape from the Ruhr. General Patton’s troops capture Cassel.
  • On the Russian front, Marshal Tolbukhin’s 3rd Ukrainian Army occupies Wiener-Neustadt, Eisenstadt, Neunkirchen and Gloggnitz. Marshal Malinovsky’s troops, in conjunction with Rumanians, take Kremnitza.
  • Japanese retreating eastwards from Central Burma are bombed and shot up by allied aircraft. More enemy troops around Meiktila are harassed from the air. 14th Army formations strike towards the railway centre of Thazi, 20 miles from Meiktila.
  • From Zamboanga (Philippine Island of Mindanao), an American force makes a 200-mile dash to the Sulu archipelago, 30 miles from British North Borneo.
  • Striking from the Marianas, 300 Super-Fortresses bomb Shizuoka, Tachikawa and Koizumi.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temp. Captain 156048 Ian Oswald LIDDELL, Coldstream Guards awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Captain Ian Oswald Liddell, 5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards. On 3rd April 1945 near Lingen, Germany, a bridge over the River Ems was covered by an enemy strong point and prepared for demolition with 500lb bombs. Captain Liddell, in command of a company which had been ordered to capture the bridge intact, ran forward alone and, scaling a 10ft high road block, crossed the bridge under intense fire. In full view of the enemy, he disconnected the wires at both ends and also the charges under the bridge. His task completed, he climbed on the road block and signalled to the leading platoon that the way was clear for the advance across the river.

April 4, 1945

  • On the Western front, General Crerar’s Canadians fight in Zutphen, in their drive to the Zuider Zee. General Dempsey’s 2nd Army develop attacks across the Dutch border, where men of the 43rd Division enter Hengelo. The Guards Armoured Division, advancing from Nordhorn, reach the Ems River. British and Canadian troops of the Canadian 1st Army clear the Nijmegen pocket. Montgomery’s 11th Armoured Group push into the Hanover plain, by-passing Osnabrueck and Bielefeld. The French Army under General de Lattre de Tassigny enters Karlsruhe.
  • Russian troops of the and Ukrainian command storm Bratislava, capital of Slovakia.
  • British destroyers successfully intercept an enemy convoy off Josing Fjord, Norway.
  • 1,000 Fortresses and Liberators attack Kiel and Hamburg; also, airfields in North-Western Germany. R.A.F. Lancasters bomb barracks at Nordhausen. At night, Bomber Command attack synthetic oil plants at Merseburg, near Halle, and an oil refinery at Harburg. Berlin and Magdeburg are also bombed.

April 5, 1945

  • The 6th Airborne and 11th Armoured Divisions take Minden on the Weser, halfway between Osnabrueck and Hanover. They now hold 15 miles of the Weser western bank from Minden to Stolzenau. Tanks and infantry of the U.S. 9th Army cross the Weser near Tundern, south of Hamelin.
  • Crerar’s Canadian troops in Holland take Almedo and reach the outskirts of Ulsen. Patton’s 3rd Army consolidates its gains along the road to Gotha. A little to the north, Patton’s tanks reach Muelhausen and free 4,000 British prisoners.
  • Soviet troops of the 3rd Ukrainian front are 2 miles south of Vienna, and cut the Linz Road. The 2nd Ukrainians capture the railway-junction of Malacky and Bruck; with the aid of Rumanian troops, they also take Prievidza and Banovce.

April 6, 1945

  • In Northern Holland the 3rd Canadian Division is up to the River Ijssel and, at Zutphen, links up with the British 49th Canadian troops, coming northwards around Zutphen along the Ijssel, are now near Deventer. The Canadian 4th Division, moving forward to the Dutch frontier from Almelo, take Coevorden, 30 miles north-east of Zwolle. The 7th Armoured Division (“Desert Rats”) head for Bremen. British 11th Armoured and 6th Airborne Divisions cross the Weser near Minden. In the Ruhr pocket, General Simpson’s 9th Army mop up in Duisberg, Dortmund and Hamm. Hodges sends tanks out from Paderborn to aid the Weser advance. General Patton’s 3rd Army continue to make progress north and south-west of Gotha.
  • On the Italian front, the 5th Army make a surprise attack on the Germans in Masea, and gain the town. On the Adriatic coast, 8th Army troops take four islands in Lake Comacchio and strengthen their positions south of Porto Garibaldi.
  • A British carrier force of the Pacific Fleet attacks airfields on Ishigaki and Miyako, in the Sakashima group of islands.
  • U.S. heavy bombers attack railways at Leipzig, Halle and Geva, 35 miles south-west of Leipzig.

April 7, 1945

  • The Canadians 1st Army are 25 miles from the Zuider Zee. Other Canadians are 15 miles from Zwolle, while units in the Coevorden area are 35 miles from the North Sea, west of Emden. At night allied parachute troops drop in Northern Holland, east of the Zuider Zee. Canadians enter Zutphen and also push north to link up with airborne forces. Dempsey is 20 miles from Hanover.
  • The 8th Army troops in Italy attack on the River Reno, north-west of San Alberto, and thus improve their position on Lake Comacchio. The 5th Army strengthen positions on Mount Folgorito overlooking the Ligurian coastal area.
  • On the Russian front, Marshal Tolbukin’s troops fight in the streets of Vienna. Malinovsky’s forces, coming from Bratislava, join up with Tolbukin’s right flank in the outskirts of Vienna. In Yugoslavia, Russian and Bulgarian troops occupy Cukovec, 46 miles north-east of Zagreb.
  • In Burma the 14th Army wipe out Japanese forces between Mandalay and Meiktila; remnants of the enemy flee to the hills.
  • Nearly 2,000 U.S. Bombers attack airfields, railways, and ordnance and oil depots in Germany. At night, the R.A.F. raid an oil refinery at Molbis.
British 3rd Infantry Division advance on Lingen 7th April 1945
British 3rd Infantry Division advance on Lingen 7th April 1945

April 8, 1945

  • Crerar’s 1st Canadians clear the east bank of the Ijssel, from Zutphen to Westervoort, near Arnhem. The Guards Division cross the Ems at Lingen. The 6th Airborne Division fight in the outskirts of Neustadt, on the Hanover-Bremen Road. U.S. 1st Army reach Goettingen, 55 miles south of Hanover, taking 15,000 prisoners. Troops of the 9th are in Hildesheim, 20 miles south of Hanover. Steadily closing in the Ruhr pocket, 9th Army formations reach Dortmund and Essen. The French 1st Army takes Pforzheim, north-west of Stuttgart.
  • In Italy the 8th Army has a bridgehead over the Reno River; on the west coast, U.S. 5th Army formations advance towards Spezia, supported by British destroyers.
  • Troops of the 3rd Ukrainian command fight in the south and western part of Vienna; units of this force capture more than 80 in habited places in Austria.
  • 1,200 Flying Fortresses bomb Central Germany from west of Berlin to south of Nuremberg. At night, the R.A.F. bomb submarine yards at Hamburg, and synthetic oil plants at Leipzig; Berlin and Dessau are also bombed.
  • U.S. carrier-planes of the Pacific Fleet sink the Japanese battleship Tamato off Okinawa: two enemy cruisers and three destroyers also sunk. Japanese air attacks on Okinawa weaken.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temporary Major 234907 Anders Frederik Emil Victor Schau LASSEN, Special Air Service awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Temporary Major Anders Frederik Emil Victor Schau Lassen (234907), General List, attached Special Boat Service, No. 1 S.A.S. Regiment. On 8th April 1945 at Lake Comacchio, Italy, Major Lassen was ordered to take a patrol and raid the north shore of the lake, causing as many casualties and as much confusion as possible to give the impression of a major landing. In the face of overwhelming enemy numbers, he fulfilled his mission, three positions being wiped out, and when he was mortally wounded he refused to be evacuated so that the withdrawal should not be impeded and his men's lives endangered.

April 9, 1945

  • 1st Canadian troops, in their drive northwards, are fighting in the region of Zwolle and Meppel. The 4th Armoured Division advance from their crossing of the Ems at Meppen: one column thrusts east towards Bremen, another to Emden. Tanks of the British 2nd Army edge their way in to the open country around Hanover and Bremen, and take Bassum. The 11th Armoured Division reach the Leine River. Meanwhile, the 6th Airborne Division capture two undemolished bridges over the Leine, north-west of Hanover; other units are at Neustadt. British Guards on the Ems still meet stiff resistance around Lingen.
  • On the Russian front, Koenigsberg surrenders to the 3rd White Russian troops. The 2nd Ukrainians continue the overrunning of Czechoslovakia, taking over 40 places.
  • Fighting continues in the streets of Vienna, Soviet troops now holding the centre of the city.
  • In Burma, 14th Army troops capture Thazi, an important junction on the direct Mandalay-Rangoon route. British and American heavy bombers attack Japanese bridges in Burma and Siam.
  • Flying Fortresses and Liberators attack Munich. R.A.F. bomb ship building yards at Kiel; during this raid, the German pocket-battleship, Admiral Scheer is sunk.

April 10, 1945

  • Canadians of the 1st Army isolate the remaining Germans in Northern Holland. The British 7th Armoured Division drive nearer to Bremen. North of Hanover, the 11th Armoured and 6th Airborne Divisions expand their bridgeheads over the Leine from Neustadt to Esperke, and join up with left flank of U.S. 9th Army. Hanover is captured by the 9th Army, while the 1st U.S. enter Nordhausen. In the Ruhr pocket, Essen is taken by the U.S. 17th Airborne Division.
  • Opening an offensive in the Adriatic sector, the British 8th Army in Italy cross the Senio River near Lugo, 16 miles from Ravenna. M.A.A.F. support attack by heavily bombing enemy positions.

April 11, 1945

  • Troops of the 1st Canadian Army move forward, north of Arnhem, and cross the Ijssel River. Other Canadians push along the Ems, above Meppen, where the Guards Armoured Division meet less resistance. South of Bremen, the 7th Armoured Division secure Wildeshausen and Harpstedt. The U.S. 9th Army enter Brunswick, while their 2nd Armoured Division reach the Elbe near Magdeburg, 70 miles from Berlin. Patton’s 3rd Army troops capture Coburg, road and railway centre 49 miles south of Erfurt.
  • In Italy, troops of the 8th Army, from the Senio bridgehead, cross the Canale Tratturo, and reach the Santerno River at several points; other units land on the shores of Lake Comacchio. On the left flank, U.S. 5th Army formations approach Carrara, 4 miles north of Massa.
  • R.A.F. attack railway targets in Bavaria; three raids are made on Berlin. Coastal Command set on fire five merchant ships off the Norwegian coast.
  • The German vengeance V-weapon development centre at Nordhausen falls into Allied hands. The Allies begin removing technology to the west to avoid the science falling into Russian hands. 

April 12, 1945

  • In Holland, Canadian troops continue to fight hard widening their bridgehead over the Ijssel. Welsh infantry takes Rethem, and push northwards. Celle is entered by the 15th Division. The 2nd Armoured Division of the 9th Army cross the Elbe, while other formations hold a six-mile front on the east bank. Fighting continues around Erfurt, and 3rd Army troops take Weimar. Units of the 4th and 6th Armoured Division cross the Saale, south of Jena.
  • In Italy the 8th Army is across the Santerno at many points. Troops in Lake Comacchio area link up with others along the Reno River.
  • The Russians in Vienna engage enemy pockets holding out between the Danube and the Danube canal. North-east of Bratislava, Russian troops continue to advance.
  • Super-Fortresses from the Marianas bomb Nakajim a Massashino aircraft-engine works near Tokyo: they also attack industrial targets at Koriyama.
  • President Roosevelt dies suddenly, and is succeeded by the Vice-President, Mr. Harry Truman.
  • U.S Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton are led around Buchenwald concentration camp. They are overwhelmed by the horrors of what they witness.

April 13, 1945

  • Polish troops fighting with the Canadians take Wedde, Eldingen and Eschede, north of Celle, are reached by Scottish infantry. The 43rd Division take Cloppenburg after a fierce struggle. Hodges’s forces advance 25 miles nearer Leipzig, while 3rd Army troops take Jena, 45 miles to the south: the 4th Armoured Division pushes on 47 miles to cross the Mulde. Armoured units of the U.S. 7th Army take Schweisdorf and Ehrl, bringing them about 50 miles from the Czech border.
  • In Italy General McCreery's forces reach the Santerno and link up with bridgeheads to the north and south. Our troops take Bastia and Massa Lombarda, 6 miles west of Luga.
  • The 5th Army continues to advance towards Spezia.
  • Russian troops of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian front complete the capture of Vienna. Formations of the 2nd Ukrainians also push on into Czechoslovakia and take Hodonin, 53 miles north-east of Vienna.
  • Lancasters and Halifaxes bomb Kiel harbour at night.

April 14, 1945

  • In Northern Holland, Canadians enter Groningen.
  • Polish troops under General Crerar reach Winschoten on the Ems estuary. In Western Holland, Arnhem is cleared by 4th Lincolnshire Regiment, and Canadians are fighting in Zwolle and Apeldoorn. The 51st Highlanders capture Ambergen. South of Hamburg, the 15th Scottish Division reaches the outskirts of Uelzen, 25 miles from the Elbe. Hodges’s 3rd Armoured Division advance into Dessau, while Patton’s troops, by-passing Leipzig, reach a point near Chemnitz. Farther south, Patton’s forces enter Bayreuth.
  • In Italy, 8th Army troops cross the Sillaro, 20 miles south-east of Bologna; south the 5th Army continues its progress.
  • North of the Danube, Malinovsky’s troops are 30 miles from Brno, capital of Moravia.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters bomb Potsdam and other parts of Berlin; other targets include Kiel, Hamburg and Stralsund.
  • Super-Fortresses bomb Tokyo and Kawasaki.

April 15, 1945

  • In Northern Holland, scouting unit of the Canadian Army penetrate to Ternaard, on the North Sea: Leeuwarden, a little to the south, is also reached. In Groningen, the 2nd Division gains some more ground after a stiff struggle. In the British sector, tanks from Aller area are at Rethem. The Ruhr pocket is cut in two by the linking up of the 1st and 9th U.S. armies at Wetter, 6 miles south of Dortmund. General Hodges’s troops are in the outskirts of Halle, while his armour is near Dessau. Other units take the Leuna synthetic oil plant, 12 miles west of Leipzig. Patton’s tanks across the Mulda River north-west of Chemnitz, meet stiff resistance near Zeitz. To the south, Patch’s 7th Army troops advance 15 miles towards Nuremberg. The French Armoured Division, under General Leclerc, begin a new offensive in the Gironde estuary; they enter Royan, at the mouth. This attack is preceded by a bombardment by the French Fleet.
  • 8th Army troops in the Adriatic area meet stiffening resistance as they bridge the Sillaro. To the north also, at Bastia, fighting is heavy. Polish troops of the 8th Army take Imola. The U.S. 5th Army advances up the Reno valley towards Vergato.
  • Super-Fortresses bomb Tokyo for the second successive night; Kawasaki is also attacked. Carrier planes from the British Pacific Fleet bomb Formosa.

April 16, 1945

  • Soviet forces surrounding Berlin begin their final assault on the German capital.
  • General Crerar’s troops in the Arnhem area push on to Otterloo, 12 miles from the Zuider Zee: other Canadians mop up in Leeuwarden, and push on to Sneek. Groningen surrenders. In the Bremen area, General Dempsey’s armour reaches Fallingsbostel, near Soltau. Simpson’s 83rd Division strengthens their Elbe bridgehead at Barby, south of Magdeburg; on his southern flank, a link-up with Hodges's 1st Army troops is made near the Harz mountains. Patton’s infantry columns press on to Chemnitz; to the south, other formations take Hof, which brings them 8 miles within the Czech border. Patch ’s 7th Army troops enter Nuremberg.
  • In Italy, 8th Army troops west of Lake Comacchio are near Argenta. Heavy fighting continues on the Ravenna-Bologna Road. American 5th Army troops begin a new offensive around Vergatto, near the Pistoia-Bologna Road.
  • After a short lull, Russian troops on the Oder sectors strike out 12 miles and reach Scelow, on the main Kuestrin-Berlin Road.
  • Good progress is maintained in Burma; our front extends from Meiktila to the foothills of the Shan mountains. The 15th Indian Corps take Taungup, near Arakan.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters attack German ships at Swinemuende on the Baltic coast. During this raid the German pocket battleship Lutzow is sunk.

April 17, 1945

  • 1st Canadian Army troops lake the port of Harlingen west of Leeuwarden, and also reach the end of the causeway across the Zuider Zee. Montgomery’s troops (11th Armoured Division) advance northwards, cross the Soltau-Ulsen railway and are 15 miles from the Elbe, while the 7th Armoured Division take Schneverdingen and Soltau. On their left flank, the 53rd Welsh Division reach the out-skirts of Verden, 15 miles south-east of Bremen. Patton ’s 3rd Army infantry, east of Hof. are 4 miles from the Czech frontier; they take Greiz and Werdau.
  • British Forces inspect the horrific conditions at the Belson concentration camp. British medical teams attempt to save some of the 30,000 survivors of the camp affected by dysentery and typhus.
  • On the Italian front, Gurkhas of the 8th Army take Medicina on the Ravenna-Bologna Road; New Zealand troops reach the Medicina canal; Polish troops take Castel Guelfo.
  • Marshal Malinovsky’s troops on the northern bank of the Danube capture Zistersdorf, the Austrian oil centre. 3rd White Russians in the Sam land peninsula take Fischhausen, with 5,650 prisoners.

April 18, 1945

  • General Crerar’s Canadian troops reach the Zuider Zee, north-west of Putten on the Amersfoort-Zwolle coastal road. The 49th Division take Ede; other Canadians take Barneveld. The 11th Armoured Division of the 21st Army Group, reach the outskirts of Lauenburg, about 8 miles from the Elbe. The 7th Armoured Division are 8 miles from Hamburg. Magdeburg falls to the U.S. 9th Army. U.S. 1st Army troops enter Duesseldorf. Hodges’s troops close in on Leipzig. Patton crosses the Czech frontier 10 miles east of Hof; other units clear Zwickau. Troops of the U.S. 7th Army fight in Nuremberg.
  • North of Vienna, Russians enter Mistelbach and Ulrich.
  • 8th Army troops in Italy take Argenta; Indian troops fight beyond Medicina. The 5th Army continues to advance on the Vergato road.
  • In Burma, the 14th Army enters Chauk, an oil town on the Irrawaddy.
  • American troops land at Malabang and Parang, on the south-western coast of Mindanao Island.

April 19, 1945

  • In Holland extensive areas of the Hook of Holland are flooded by the Germans. On the British sector, the 7th Armoured Division cut the Bremen-Hamburg railway and autobahn. The 11th Armoured Division reach the Elbe near Lauenburg. The 51st Highlanders meet fierce resistance around Delmenhorst; Brinkum falls to the 3rd Infantry Division. Hodges’s troops clear Halle and most of Leipzig. Patch turns some of his troops southwards towards the Danube, and takes Ansbach. French in the Gironde estuary capture Royan and Pointe de Grave.
  • 8th Army troops push on towards Porto Maggiore. 5th Army forces near Pianore.
  • In the Neisse sector, Russians take Muskau and Weisswasser. To the north, Soviet tanks take Wrienzen, 30 miles from Berlin. In Moravia, the battle of Brno begins.
  • In Burma, the 14th Army take the town of Magwe.
  • U.S. forces land on Balatac island, south of Palawan, 45 miles from Northern Borneo. On Mindanao, in the Philippines, MacArthur’s troops take Cotabato and Tamontake.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters attack Heligoland, and bomb Pasing, near Munich. Mosquitoes bomb Berlin.

April 20, 1945

  • 1st Canadians are 2 miles from Amersfoot. The bridgehead on the Kusten canal near Oldenburg is heavily counter attacked. British 3rd Division is near the southern outskirts of Bremen. Delmenhorst falls to the 51st Highlanders. The 52nd Lowlander Division converge on Bremen from the south-east. The 7th Armoured Division are within a mile of Harburg, while the 11th reaches the Elbe north of Wisen. U.S. 3rd Army take Grafenwohr, 20 miles south-east of Bayreuth; organised resistance inside Nuremberg ends. Hodges’s troops clear Leipzig. French reach Tuebingen.
  • In Italy, the 5th Army troops reach the Po valley, west of Bologna, and cut the Via Emilia between Modena and Bologna. 8th Army troops advance north-west from Porto Maggiore towards Ferrara.
  • Zhukov’s armies reach Bad Freinewalde and Seelow, both less than 30 miles east of Berlin. Koniev’s left flank nears Bautzen and Kamentz in the drive towards Dresden; his right takes Spremberg, on the Spree.
  • The 14th Army in Burma advance from Meiktila 70 miles south taking in their drive Pyawbwe and Yamethin.
  • U.S. Flying Fortresses attack railway centres near Berlin. Liberators bomb railways between Munich and Prague. Lancasters bomb Regensburg.
Churchill and Sherman tanks passing through the main square of Porto Maggiore, 1945
Churchill and Sherman tanks passing through the main square of Porto Maggiore
which was captured by troops of the 8th Army on 20th April 1945

April 21, 1945

  • Canadian troops from the Arnhem area are 20 miles east of Amsterdam; large stretches of water-logged country separate them from the ports. The Polish Armoured Division is within 3 miles of Delfzijl, on the Ems estuary. Other Polish troops enlarge their bridgehead over the Ems and take Aschendorf, Tunzdorf and Menndorf. British 2nd Army tanks cut the Bremen-Hamburg Road and drive on to Bremerhaven. General Dempsey holds 35 miles of the Elbe south of Hamburg. Together with Simpson’s 9th U.S. Army. Dempsey’s men prepare to cross the Elbe in strength. Farther south, Hodges’s 1st U.S. Army troops enter Dessau, while Patton’s troops capture Asch, in Czechoslovakia. French troops reach the Upper Danube, 10 miles from the Swiss frontier.
  • 8th and 5th Armies in Italy enter Bologna. 8th Army troops push on northwards towards Ferrara.
  • Russians in the Berlin sector enter Bernau, 4 miles east of Berlin. Many north and north-eastern suburbs of the capital as far west as Muncheberg, are taken.
  • The 14th Army in Burma completes its seizure of the oil fields by the capture of Yenanyaung.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Guardsman, 2722614 Edward Colquhoun CHARLTON, Irish Guards awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 2722614 Guardsman Edward Colquhoun Charlton, 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards. On 21st April 1945 at Wistedt, Germany, Guardsman Charlton was a co-driver of one tank of a troop which, with a platoon of infantry, captured the village. When shortly afterwards, all the tanks were hit in a fierce enemy attack, and the infantry were in danger of being over-run, Guardsman Charlton, on his own initiative, seized a Browning and advanced firing from the hip, inflicting such heavy casualties that the enemy were halted. Although wounded in the left arm the guardsman mounted his gun on a fence and continued firing even when wounded again. He died later, but his gallantry had saved a desperate situation.

April 22, 1945

  • Polish troops under General Crerar take Papenburg, on the Ems. The 7th Armoured Division and Royal Marine commandos enter Buxtehude. Outside Bremen, British infantry meets bitter resistance; the 51st Highlanders press on from Delmenhorst, while the 52nd Lowlanders approach Bremen from the south-east and take Achim. Rotenburg is captured by the Guards Armoured Division. In the Leipzig sector, Hodges’s troops cross the Mulde and free Bitterfeld. Other 7th Army troops take a bridge over the Danube at Dillingen. French forces cross the Upper Danube and push towards Lake Constance.
  • Pushing northwards from Bologna, the 8th Army is within sight of Ferrara, while the 5th approach Modena.
  • Soviet forces are 5 miles from the centre of Berlin and have captured many more of its suburbs. To the south, along a 60-mile front, Koniev’s armies are 16 - 40 miles from the Elbe.
  • In Southern Okinawa, Japanese troops retake Kakazu, on the western coast. U.S. marines occupy Taka Banare, an island cast of Okinawa; they also free half of Sesoko island, west of the Motobu peninsula.

April 23, 1945

  • Canadian troops in Northern Holland have almost freed the country of the enemy. Near Bremen, the 52nd Lowlanders cut the eastern main road, and are 5 miles from the centre of the city. From west of Chemnitz, Patch’s 3rd Army tanks push southwards to Nabburg on the Naab.
  • On the Berlin front, Marshal Zhukov’s 1st White Russian troops take Pankow, Oranienburg, Friedrichsfelde and Koepenick. Marshal Koniev’s 1st Ukrainians capture Cottbus and Lueben on the Spree; on his southern flank, Koniev’s troops reach the Elbe north-west of Dresden. 4th Ukrainians take Troppau, 19 miles west of Morava-Ostrava.
  • In Italy, units of both 8th and 5th Armies reach the Po River.

April 24, 1945

  • Canadian infantry south of the Zuider Zee gain ground around Amersfoort. Other Canadians take Appingeham, near Delfzijl, while on their right, Polish armour is on the Leda River, south of Lear. The battle for Bremen continues: Lowlanders enter Arbergen, a south-eastern suburb. Patton’s 11th Armoured Division takes Cham, north-west of Regensburg; other units advance up the Danube valley and are 35 miles from the Austrian frontier. U.S. 7th Army troops and French forces converge on Ulm and capture the city.
  • Soviet troops of the 1st White Russian command drive further into Berlin and cross the Dahme river. Here they link up with Koniev’s 1st Ukrainians coming from the south.
  • 8th Army troops capture Ferrara and cross the Po at some points. Modena falls to the U.S. 5th Army, while to the west, other formations take Spezia.
  • The 14th Army in Burma take Pyinmana, some 50 miles south of Yamethin.

April 25, 1945

  • British forces in North Germany launched an attack towards Bremen. Infantry of two divisions are now fighting their way into the town itself, the 3rd from the south and the 52nd from the south-east. Canadians and Poles are developing the investment of the port and naval base of Emden.
  • General Patton’s armour driving on into Bavaria is closing on Regensburg, advances of up to 28 miles on a 75-mile front have been made. The armies of Zhukov and Koniev have joined north-west of Potsdam, thus surrounding Berlin. In Czechoslovakia, troops of the 2nd Ukrainians continue their offensive.
  • In Italy the 5th Army is now well across the River Po, lessening the distance to other important cities. To the west, 5th Army troops have reached the Mantua area. On the 8th Army front the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards and New Zealand infantry were the first to cross the River Po. Heavy bombers struck a blow at a concentration of 2,000 railway-waggons at the main station, and railway-yards at Linz in Austria. Other air force activities including an attack on Berchtesgaden by R.A.F. Lancasters.
  • In Burma it is announced that the oilfields area has been cleared of the Japanese. Most of the Japanese from the oilfields area are retreating west across the Irrawaddy. U.S. infantrymen on Okinawa have captured an important enemy position west of Ishin.
Pilots discussing their mission after Lancasters of R.A.F Bomber Command attacked Hitler's chalet and other targets at Berchtesgaden, 1945
Fighter Command Pilots discussing their mission after Lancasters of R.A.F Bomber Command
attacked Hitler's chalet and other targets at Berchtesgaden on 25th April 1945

April 26, 1945

  • Bremen surrenders and the whole of the city except for the dork area has been cleared by the British 2nd Army. Troops of the British 2nd and U.S. 9th Armies now control 200 miles of the Elbe. Patton’s 3rd Army made a new crossing of the Danube at Ingoldstadt.
  • On the Italian battlefront allied armies are driving ahead against weak resistance - Verona was captured by the 5th Army and the River Adige crossed near the city. The 8th Army have captured 20 tanks, 40 guns and taken or destroyed nearly 1,000 vehicles. In Burma the 14th Army’s drive continues to make progress. Toungoo 163 miles south of Meiktila and 166 miles north of Rangoon was captured by Punjabis, Dogras and men of a north country regiment. Since breaking out of Meikila troops of the 14th Army have covered more than 50 miles a week and killed over 4,800 Japanese.
  • It has been officially stated a total of 1,050 rockets fell in Southern England, killing 2,754 and seriously injuring 6,523 people.
  • Marshal Petain entered French territory near Vallorbe, he was arrested and conveyed to the fortress of Mont Valerien.

April 27, 1945

  • Russian and American troops have made contact on the Elbe north-east of Leipzig and Germany is cut in two. In Berlin Soviet forces are striking deeper into the heart of the city, and in the western area they are moving towards a new link-up. It was announced from Moscow that Potsdam, Spandau and Rathenow have been captured. In the south General Patton’s armour are thrusting into Austria, and farther west they have captured Regensburg. In Italy armoured units of the 5th Army have captured Piacenza and have entered Genoa.
  • A Parliamentary deputation of two peers and eight M.P.s which visited Buchenwald concentration camp issued its report yesterday.
  • Mr. Churchill, Marshal Stalin and President Truman issued simultaneous messages reaffirming the determination of the Three Powers to complete the destruction of the enemy.

April 28, 1945

  • Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, captured by partisans whilst attempting to flee to Switzerland, is executed by firing squad. His body was taken to Milan where it was hung upside down to confirm his death.
  • American and Russian troops have linked up on a 50-mile front on the Elbe, north and south of Torgau. German resistance has collapsed on the 1st Army front on the Elbe between Dessau and Dresden. This advance threatens to cut off the last Baltic ports remaining in German hands.
  • Dempsey’s troops with Bremen in their hands are massing for a push across the mouth of the Elbe for Hamburg, the Kiel Canal, and beyond into Denmark. Patch's armour has captured Augsburg, and is within 27 miles of Munich. The battle of Berlin is swiftly approaching its end with two-thirds of the capital in Russian hands.
  • On the Italian front all organised resistance in the Genoa area has closed. Further east armoured units of the 5th Army have pushed on from Brescia and captured Bergamo, 30 miles to the north-west. At the eastern end of the front General McCreery’s 8th Army troops are now 30 miles from Venice.
  • In Burma, all Japanese left in the Rangoon area and the western half of Burma have been practically cut off by land as a result of the swift advance by the 14th Army.

April 29, 1945

  • Great Britain, United States and Russia are awaiting Himmler’s reply to the allied refusal to accept his offer of unconditional surrender made to Great Britain and the United States. British troops are across the Elbe near Lauenburg south-east of Hamburg. The assault was made in darkness by infantry of the 1st Commando Brigade and the 15th Scottish Division using assault boats and ferries.
  • Towards Western Holland in front of Amersfoort the British 49th Division under Canadian command are opposed by Dutch S.S. troops. In the extreme west R.A.F. Lancaster bombers dropped thousands of pounds of foodstuffs in special containers. Allied Supreme Headquarters announce that forces of the U.S. 7th Army to-day entered Munich. Last night the 8th Army entered Venice and the 5th Army Milan. Mussolini and 12 members of his Cabinet have been executed by Italian partisans. Field-Marshal Alexander has received a message of congratulation on the allied victory in Northern Italy.
  • United States military troops entered Dachau, where they found thousands of mostly emaciated prisoners. The U.S. soldiers also discovered several dozen train cars loaded with corpses.
German civilians and freed prisoners watch tanks and American troops pass through the Dachauerstrasse
German civilians and freed prisoners watch tanks and American troops pass
through the Dachauerstrasse on 29th April 1945 to occupy Munich

April 30, 1945

  • Führer ('Leader') of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head in his Führerbunker in Berlin.
  • The German capital falls to the Soviet Army after a battle which cost the Russians over 30,000 dead.
  • British 2nd Army troops over the Elbe have advanced 10 miles beyond Lauenburg and have taken Schwarzenbek. Farther along the river the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division have made an assault crossing at Bleckede.
  • The 2nd White Russians have captured more towns, including Greifswald and Treptow, important road junctions in North-West Pomerania and Mecklenburg. In Berlin Russian troops continue to fight street battles. They captured the Reichstag building, also 200 blocks of buildings in the central part of Berlin.
  • In Italy the liberation is nearing completion. U.S. troops have entered Turin. New Zealand troops of the 8th Army have crossed the River Piave.
  • In the Far East 14th Army troops are at Pegu in Burma. They have also driven the Japanese from a defile which was their last natural defensive position before Rangoon.
  • The frigate, H.M.S. Goodall is torpedoed by German submarine U-286 whilst escorting a convoy in the Barents Sea. Badly damaged the ship was sunk by gunfire from H.M.S. Anguilla the following day. Thus becoming the last British ship to be lost to German naval action.

MAY 1945

May 1, 1945

  • British and Americans under British command have joined their Elbe bridgeheads into a solid foothold 20 miles long and 12 miles deep. General Patton’s 3rd Army is now substantially across the River Isov. The U.S. 7th Army has captured Admiral Horthy, former Regent of Hungary, and Field-Marshals List and Ritter von Leeb.
  • The 1st White Russian Army carried by assault the town of Brandenburg, principal city in the province of Brandenburg.
  • In Berlin fighting draws to a close, after fanatical enemy resistance. Russian troops have crossed the Hermann Goering Strasse.
  • 8th Army troops after crossing the River Isonzo have reached Monfalcone and made contact with forces of Marshal Tito’s army. Troops of the 15th Army Group continue to clear the enemy from Northern Italy.
  • In Burma, armoured columns of the 14th Army are sweeping forwards past Pegu and are heading for Rangoon 50 miles to the south.

May 2, 1945

  • In Northern Holland few Germans remain near Delgfzijl. The British 6th Airborne Division reach Wismar on the Baltic, while the 11th Armoured Brigade take Luebeck. On the Elbe, south-east of Hamburg, British troops enter Doemitz; on their left flank the 43rd Wessex Division and the Lowlanders join forces. Across the Ems, Canadian infantry advance towards Emden, while Polish troops to the right are within 18 miles of Wilhelmshaven. In Bavaria, 7th Army tanks capture Bad Toelz, not far from the Austrian frontier. The Berlin commander surrenders the Reich capital to Marshal Zhukov’s and Marshal Koniev’s troops (3 p.m.); 70,000 prisoners are taken. To the north, Marshal Rokossovsky’s 2nd White Russians take Rostock and Warnemuende, on the Baltic coast.
  • New Zealanders of the 8th Army in Italy accept the surrender of Germans in Trieste.
  • In Burma, air and sea landings are made on the banks of Rangoon River by troops of S.E.A.C. Japanese report that British warships bombarded the Nicobar Islands, 600 miles south of Rangoon. In the Andamans, Port Blair is attacked by the Allies.
  • The Australian troops on Tarakan Island off Borneo drive on to Tarakan airfield. Other formations, supported by tanks, reach the outskirts of Tarakan township.
  • American troops in Okinawa take the village of Kuhazu and advance towards Gaja Hill, north of Yonaburu.
  • R.A.F. Mosquitoes attack the naval base of Kiel.
  • Civil Defence Service is stood down.
German colonel enters the British lines bearing a letter asking for a meeting to arrange surrender
On 2nd May 1945 a German colonel enters the British lines bearing a letter from
Field-Marshal Busch asking for a meeting to arrange surrender

May 3, 1945

  • Hamburg falls to the British 2nd Army troops, while Canadians enter Oldenburg. Other Canadian infantry is four miles from Emden. On the Baltic front, Travemuende is captured by the 11th Armoured Division; other tanks drive towards Kiel. The 6th Airborne Division meets Russian tanks coming from Rostock in the Wismar-Wittenburg area. 3rd Army troops take Passau, Braunay and Wasserburg, all on the Inn River. To the east, General Patton’s guns are within range of Linz. Patch’s troops join with Russians at three places in the vicinity of Witenberge (on the Elbe). Russians in Czechoslovakia enter Teschen, 15 miles south-east of Moravska Ostrava, on the Cracow railway. Grand-Admiral Doenitz proclaims Prague to be a “hospital city”.
  • Our troops in Burma (15th Corps) enter Rangoon, while patrols of the 14th Army occupy Prome, 178 miles to the north-west of Rangoon.
  • Japanese aircraft attack U.S. shipping off Okinawa Island, sinking two small vessels. The Americans gain little ground owing to heavy enemy fire.
Field Marshal Montgomery at this H.Q at Luneburg Heath meets German representatives for their surrender
Field Marshal Montgomery at this H.Q at Luneburg Heath meets German
representatives for their surrender on 3rd May 1945

May 4, 1945

  • The unconditional surrender of the Germans in Holland, North-West Germany and Denmark takes place at Luneberg Heath, south of Hamburg. In the south, Salzburg surrenders to General Patch’s 7th Army which, in their advance south-wards, capture Innsbrueck, pass through the Brenner Pass and link up with the 5th Army in Italy at Vipileno, 10 miles south-west of the pass. General Eremenko, driving from Teschen, pushes on in the direction of Prerov. Other units, sweeping down the Morava River, take Zlin, where are the great Bata factories.
  • R.A.F. 2nd T.A.F. attack enemy ships trying to escape from the Baltic coast to Denmark and Norway. Coastal Command bomb ships at Kiel.
  • Super-Fortresses bomb the Hiro naval aircraft works at Kure on Honshu Island, while another American bomber force from the Marianas attacks two airfields on Kyushu. A few hours later a further attack is made on Kyushu Island at Konoya, Chirana and Ibusuki.
British soldiers gathered round a wireless set listening to Montgomery's announcement of the German surrender in Holland
British soldiers gathered round a wireless set listening to Field-Marshal Montgomery's announcement
of the German surrender in Holland, northwest Germany and Denmark.

May 5, 1945

  • On the Baltic front, Swinemuende and Peenemuende are captured by Russian troops.
  • Vidkun Quisling reported dismissed from his post as head of the German government in Norway. General Boehme is said to be willing to surrender enemy forces in Norway to the Allies.
  • Patton’s 3rd Army swings round to drive into Western Czechoslovakia and isolate Prague. The 1st and 19th German Armies surrender to General Patch; the 24th German Army yields to the French 1st Army.
  • Czech patriots in Prague ask for help from Russian and American troops against the 300 German tanks in the city.
  • U.S. Navy, operating in the Tsushima and Korea Straits attack Japanese ships, damaging 20 of the enemy.
The Victory salvo was fired at 3pm on 5th May 1945 at Field-Marshal Montgomery's HQ
The Victory salvo was fired at 3pm on 5th May 1945 at Field-Marshal Montgomery's
HQ by 24 AA guns of the 60th London HAA Regiment

May 6, 1945

  • On the Baltic front Marshal Rokossovsky’s troops force the Stralsund Fahrwasser, and take the island of Ruegen; prisoners number 4,600. Southwards, Patton’s troops enter Pilsen, 50 miles from Prague. Czech patriots in Prague revolt against the Germans; they capture the radio station. To the west, Russian troops under General Eremenko and Marshal Malinovsky enter Olomouc, 130 miles south-east of Prague.
  • In Burma 14th Army patrols coming southwards from Pegu meet advanced units of the 15th Corps at Hlegu, advancing north from Rangoon.
  • In Tarakan, off North Borneo, Australians take Tarakan township and the airfield. Netherlands East Indies troops are with the Australians.
  • Warships of the British Pacific Fleet bomb airfields on Miyako Island, one of the Sakishma islands in the Southern Ryukyu group; 18 enemy aircraft are destroyed.

May 7, 1945

  • British and Canadian occupation troops pour into the surrendered parts of Denmark, Holland and Germany. Royal Dragoons join the British 6th Airborne Division in Copenhagen, while advanced patrols of the Guards Armoured Division drive into Cuxhaven, at the Elbe mouth. Canadian troops are in Emden and, to the north, Polish tanks are in Wilhelmshaven. Field-Marshal Montgomery meets Marshal Rokossovsky at Wismar. The unconditional surrender of all German land, sea and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force and the Soviet High Command is signed at General Eisenhower’s headquarters at Rheims. Count Schwerin von Krosigk, the new German Foreign Minister, tells the German people of the surrender over the radio, but despite this, fighting still goes on in Prague.
  • In Italy, 8th Army troops cross the Italian frontier near Udine and enter Austria.
  • The Japanese in Burma are heavily shelled and bombed by 14th Army troops as they retreat from the Rangoon area eastwards towards Moulmein. On the Irrawaddy, other 14th Army troops advance on Paungde, 36 miles south-east of Prome and 142 from Rangoon.
  • 9th Division of the A.I.F. take Tarakan Hill, a Japanese stronghold on Tarakan Island.

May 8, 1945

  • VE -Day (Victory in Europe) - A day of world-wide rejoicing; hostilities in Europe are timed officially to cease at one minute past midnight. Only in Czechoslovakia does fighting continue for a while. General Patton’s 4th Armoured Division advances up the Pilsen-Prague Road while, to the north, Marshal Koniev’s troops capture Dresden. General Eremenko occupies Olomouc. Marshal Malinovsky’s 2nd Ukrainians in South-Eastern Czechoslovakia take Jaromerice and Znoime; they also cross the Austrian frontier and occupy Hollabruenn and Stockerau.
  • Up the River Rangoon, in Burma, sail the first deep-water ships carrying food and supplies to the 14th Army.
  • R.A.F. Lancasters land in Germany to bring back freed prisoners of war. In the afternoon more food is dropped to the Dutch people.
The King and Queen with the two Princesses and Mr Churchill on the balcony at Buckingham Palace on VE Day
The King and Queen with the two Princesses and Mr Churchill on the
balcony at Buckingham Palace on VE Day 8th May 1945

May 9, 1945

  • Ratification of the unconditional surrender of all German forces to Allied Expeditionary Force and the Russian High Command takes place in Berlin at 12.16 a.m. Field-Marshal Keitel signs for Germany, while Marshal Zhukov and Air Chief Marshal Tedder represents Russia and Great Britain respectively. German Fleet surrenders at Copenhagen (Prince Eugen, Nuernberg, three destroyers and many smaller ships). Major-General Heine, head of the German garrison in the Channel Islands, surrenders to British troops, who land in Guernsey for the first time since June, 1940.
  • Russian troops in Czechoslovakia capture Prague, the capital, after four days of hard fighting.
  • In Okinawa, Americans fight hard against stubborn enemy resistance, but are greatly handicapped by bad weather.
  • 400 Super-Forts from the Marianas attack Japanese oil storage plants as Oshima, and airfields on the southern island of Kyushu.
The Union Jack is about to be raised in Guernsey after the Channel Islands was liberated
The Union Jack is about to be raised in Guernsey after the Channel Islands
was liberated at 7.14am on 9th May 1945

May 10, 1945

  • Russian forces from Prague drive on towards Przibram and Pisek; from the south, other formations push on to meet those from Prague.
  • Our troops in Burma continue to harass the retreating Japanese. 14th Army troops enter Sandoway, 160 miles north-west of Rangoon. Aircraft of Eastern Air Command bomb Japanese retreating over the Shan hills towards Siam; they also attack Moulmein. Announced that a “Burma Star” is to be struck for issue to men who have fought in the Burma campaign.
  • On Okinawa, U.S. 6th Marine Division cross the Asa estuary, which had previously been bombarded by American warships and aircraft.
  • On the northern coast of New Guinea, Australian troops come within two miles of Wewak. In Southern Bougainville Australian units cross the Hongorai River; to the north, on the eastern coast, they are near Ruri Bay.
  • Australian and N.E.I. troops on Tarakan Island, after almost clearing the town of Tachkau, reach the southern side of the Djoeata oilfield, second largest of the group.
  • Super-Fortresses attack the Kawanishi seaplane plant at Fukae, on the Inland Sea of Japan. Other American aircraft attack oilfields at Oita and Saiki, while the towns of Miyakonozyo and Nittigahara and the Miyazaki airfield are also bombed.
Crowds pack the quayside as British warships arrive at Copenhagen harbour
Crowds pack the quayside as British warships arrive at
Copenhagen harbour on 10th May 1945 after the surrender

May 11, 1945

  • German troops in the Aegean surrender. Two large Russian forces are converging on South-Western Bohemia to cut off German formations still fighting there.
  • S.E.A.C. reports that Allied forces in Burma drive the Japanese down the Irrawaddy valley and inland from Taungup, in their last concentrated effort to free Burma from the enemy before the monsoon begins.
  • On Okinawa, American troops begin a new offensive: after warships, land artillery and carrier aircraft had heavily bombarded the enemy positions, U.S. 1st Marines and the 77th Division take hills which overlook Shuri. The 6th Marines drive on to beyond Asa in the direction of Nahr, the chief town on the island. Japanese resistance is strong, with many hand-to-hand battles.
  • American aircraft, from their base on the Aleutians, bomb Mataoka harbour, and radio installations on Shimushu.

May 12, 1945

  • German garrison in Crete surrenders. Russian forces in Czechoslovakia continue to mop up the enemy groups still at large.
  • Australian troops, covered by warships, land in Northern New Guinea at Wewak.
  • In Okinawa, the Japanese land troops behind the Americans near Machinato airfield, but are repelled. On all sectors of the American fronts, the enemy fights hard and often counter-attack; his mortar fire is heavy and well placed. U.S. 10th Army capture Tori Island, 55 miles east of Okinawa.
  • U.S. 21st Bomber H.Q. announces that for the past six weeks Super-Fortresses from Tinian have mined important Japanese harbours, including those of Tokyo and Nagoya. All operations have been carried out during the night.
  • Thousands of troops were landed in the Channel Islands by a relief expedition which brought supplies of food, clothing, medical necessities and fuel. The King has issued a Royal Proclamation referring to the restoration of the islanders’ ancient rights and privileges.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Corporal NX30219 John Bernard MACKEY, Australian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. NX.20317 Corporal John Bernard Mackey, 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion, Australian Military Forces. On 12th May 1945 at Tarakan Island, North Borneo, Corporal Mackey led his men along a very narrow spur where it was almost impossible to move to a flank. The section came under fire from three well-sited enemy positions, but Corporal Mackey went ahead, charging the first position, wrestling with and killing one of the enemy and he then rushed a heavy machine-gun post killing the crew. He again attacked a third position further along the spur and was killed, but not before he had accounted for two more of the enemy.

May 13, 1945

  • At Bornholm, a Danish Island in the Baltic, the German garrison refuses to surrender; Russian troops land on the island and clear Bornholm of the enemy. Island of Heligoland occupied by British troops.
  • 14th Army troops in Burma capture Nyaungkashe, a village 30 miles north-east of Pegu.
  • U.S. 6th Marines in Okinawa, after severe fighting, reach the northern bank of the Asa River, nearer to Naha.
  • 500 Super-Fortresses from the Marianas make a concentrated attack on Nagoya, on the Japanese mainland. Their main targets are the plants of the Mitsubishi electricity company and the Chigusa plant of the Nagoya arsenal. Later reports state that nine square miles of the city were devastated.
  • The King and Queen and their daughters drove to St. Paul’s Cathedral yesterday and attended the national service of thanksgiving, with Queen Mary, many heads of States, and representatives of the services and people.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Rifleman 87726 Lachhiman GURUNG, Gurkha Rifles awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. 87726 Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung, 8th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. On 12th/13th May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon which bore the brunt of an attack by at least 200 of the enemy. Twice he hurled back grenades which had fallen on his trench, but the third exploded in his right hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his arm and severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded, but the rifleman, now alone and disregarding his wounds, loaded and fired his rifle with his left hand for four hours, calmly waiting for each attack which he met with fire at point blank range.

May 14, 1945

  • Swedish seaports re-opened to ships; first British warship arrives at Gothenburg.
  • In New Guinea, troops of the 6th Australian Division close in on the central Wewak area from east and west. Australian troops hold Wewak harbour and are about 5,000 yards from Cape Moem, the next headland along the coast.
  • Japanese aircraft make suicidal dives on the American Pacific Fleet around Okinawa. 21 are shot down; only one U.S. ship is damaged.
  • British aircraft bomb Miuako and Ishigaki in the Ryukyu group of islands, where are many Japanese airbases used for attacks on American troops on Okinawa.
  • Targets in the central “backbone” province of Honan, on the north, and Hunan, farther south, were hit again by 14th Air Force planes on Monday, said an American communique issued at Chungking.

May 15, 1945

  • Announced that Ruthenia seeks union with Soviet Russia.
  • 8th Army troops in Austria continue to round up German forces still at large. They link up with the Russian troops (who have come from the west) at several points, and by mutual agreement create a boundary line.
  • Australians on Tarakan Island now hold most of the important sectors including two major oilfields; the Japanese have fled to the hills and swamps.
  • In New Guinea, Australian 6th Division attacks the Wirui Mission - a Japanese stronghold west of Wewak.
  • In Okinawa, U.S. 10th Army reaches the outskirts of the dock area of Naha; the 6th Marine Division, after crossing the Asa River, fight their way to the suburbs of the city itself.
  • Aircraft of the British Pacific Fleet bomb objectives in the Sakashima Island (of the Ryuku chain).
  • Domei agency reports that the Japanese Cabinet abrogates all treaties with Germany and other European nations.
  • General MacArthur’s communique this morning said that American troops have liberated 90 per cent of the big Philippine Island of Mindinao and freed 70 per cent of the population.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private VX102142 Edward KENNA, Australian Infantry awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. VX.102142 Private Edward Kenna, 2/4th Battalion (New South Wales), Australian Military Forces. On 15th May 1945 near Wewak, New Guinea, when fire from a Japanese bunker was holding up the company's advance, Private Kenna stood up in full view of the enemy less than 50 yards away and engaged the bunker, firing his Bren gun from the hip. The enemy returned the fire and bullets actually passed between Private Kenna's arms and body. Undeterred, he remained completely exposed and went on firing until his magazine was exhausted, when he continued with a rifle. As a result of his gallantry the bunker was taken without further loss.
Prince Olaf of Norway greets two little girls on the quayside at Oslo, May 1945
Having returned from Britain on 15th May 1945 Prince Olaf of Norway
greets two little girls on the quayside at Oslo

May 16, 1945

  • President Benesh returns to liberated Prague.
  • British troops reoccupy Alderney, remaining Channel Island to be freed, and take 3,200 German prisoners. It is announced that Dr. Robert Ley, German Labour Front leader, is a captive in Allied hands.
  • American troops in Central Okinawa, after a five-day battle, gain Chocolate Drop Hill, east of Ishimmi. In the struggle for Naha U.S. 6th Marines, fighting hand-to-hand battles, reach Tomari, residential part of the town. To the east, around Shuri, the 1st Marine Division fight desperately in difficult country.
  • It is announced that from 1st February to 14th May, 1945, Japanese casualties in the Burma campaign were 105,328.
  • In a naval action off the Malacca Strait, units of the British East Indies Fleet sink a Japanese cruiser.
  • S.E.A.C. reports that heavy bombers of Eastern Air Command attack shipyards at Chatham Island and Phoenix Bay, in the Andaman Islands.
  • More than 500 Super-Fortresses raid Nagoya for the second time in three days.
Their Majesties talking with wounded soldiers during their victory tour of Edinburgh on 16th May 1945
Their Majesties talking with wounded soldiers during their victory tour of Edinburgh on 16th May 1945

May 17, 1945

  • In Burma, British and Indian troops join forces north of Rangoon, harassing still further the retreat of the enemy. The British Government issues a White Paper proposing to continue the emergency administration of Burma for a further three years; meanwhile an executive council is to be set up in which non-official Burmese may be included.
  • The Australian 9th Division on Tarakan, off the north coast of Borneo, control one-third of the island. Australian 6th Division on the north coast of New Guinea come within sight of Saura, a village four miles south-west of Wewak. To the south-east, other formations are in the vicinity of Mandai.
  • On Mindanao, in the Philippines, American troops capture Valencia and two nearby airfields. In the Ipoh dam region of Southern Luzon, American troops are isolating large Japanese forces.

May 18, 1945

  • Mr. Churchill announces in the House that the King has created six new campaign stars for issue to the fighting forces, and a Defence Medal for which civil defence personnel also are eligible. These decorations are: the Atlantic Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Italy Star, France and Germany Star, Pacific Star, the Burma Star and the Defence Medal.
  • Marshal Tito, who claims to have a right to add Trieste to Yugoslav territory, refuses to leave the area; however, negotiations with British and United States leaders are proceeding.
  • American troops on Okinawa repel Japanese counter-attacks, and win, for the fifth time, Sugar Loaf Hill, a strong defence point overlooking Naha and Shuri. A little to the left, near Shuri, 1st Marine Division gain a little ground around Wana; while in the Ishimmi region, the 77th Infantry Division make a slight advance.
  • Chungking reports that Foochow, a port about mid-way between Hongkong and Shanghai, is now in Chinese hands.

May 19, 1945

  • It is announced that U.S. 15th Army is to occupy the Saar basin, the Rhine valley, and the western half of the industrial Ruhr area.
  • Large numbers of Japanese still remain in Burma, but only those in the eastern sector, between the Mandalay-Rangoon railway and the coast - about 45,000 in all - offer organised resistance. The enemy’s object here is to shield his formations trying to escape into Siam and Moulmein.
  • In Bougainville. Australian troops drive across to the Ruri Bay coastline, cutting enemy communication lines and isolating the Japanese troops in the peninsula. In New Guinea, Australian formations of the 6th Division, driving on to the centre of the Wewak area from east and west, are only three miles apart.
  • In Luzon, Southern Philippines, American troops of the 43rd Division take Ipoh Dam, Manila’s source of water supply.
  • Super-Fortresses attack war factories at Tokyo, and also the important industrial town of Hamamatsu, 30 miles south-east of Nagoya.

May 20, 1945

  • Marshal Tito turns down British and American proposals for Field-Marshal Alexander to control the western part of Venezia Giulia until the allocation of disputed territories is finally settled.
  • The Syrian and Lebanese Presidents object to the landing of fresh French troops - some 1,200 in number - on their territory.
  • Chinese troops from Foochow push on six miles and take Diongloh, a small town south of the Min River, which reaches the sea near Foochow. Ten miles east of Foochow, other Chinese troops reach the outskirts of Maomi.

May 21, 1945

  • The War Department at Washington announces that the U.S. 1st Army has left Europe en route for the Pacific theatre of war.
  • Marshal Tito withdraws his troops from Carinthia; help in transportation is given by the 8th Army.
  • In consequence of the French authorities despatch of troops to Syria and the Lebanon, ostensibly to relieve a French Senegalese battalion there, the local government break off negotiations then proceeding for a treaty with France.
  • Japanese forces in Okinawa stubbornly resist the American troops; 6th Marine Division advances eastwards from captured Takamotoj - a suburb of Naha - while the 1st Marine Division push on towards Shuri. The 77th Infantry Division take Taira Machi at dawn; enemy attempts to win back the town fail, and U.S. troops push slowly south-wards, outflanking to the north-east the town of Shuri.
  • On Tarakan Island, Australians capture Hill 105, a main bastion of the enemy’s defence line. In New Guinea, Australians take territory east of Boram airfield. To the west of Wewak, around Maprik, other Australians enter three villages, taking over 100 Japanese.
  • In the Philippine Island of Mindanao, the Japanese control a wide area of the Sayre highway; near Davao, where there are six airfields, four of them are in American hands.

May 22, 1945

  • It is announced in London that Field-Marshal Sir B. Montgomery, K.C.B., D.S.O., has been appointed C.-in-C. of the British Forces of Occupation in Germany and the British member of the Allied Control Council in Germany.
  • Julius Streicher, the notorious Jew baiter, is taken prisoner by the U.S. 7th Army.
  • U.S. 7th Infantry Division on Okinawa capture Yonabari, second largest town on the island, which lies two and a half miles south-east of Shuri. These troops push on through the shattered city to higher ground overlooking Rior and Itarashiku. Sugar Loaf Hill, in the Naha-Shuri area, after being captured and recaptured many times, is now strongly held by the Americans.
  • Hard fighting in difficult terrain continues on Tarakan Island. Australians in New Guinea, passing Boram air strip, reach the foot of Cape Moem, in the Wewak region. In Bougainville (in the Solomons), 3rd and 11th Australian Divisions strengthen their bridgehead over the Hongorai River; they push on and cross the next water barrier, the Porarei River.
  • Washington reveals that Japanese balloon-carried bombs have fallen on United States and Canadian territory.

May 23, 1945

  • The Coalition Government, formed in May, 1940 comes to an end: Mr. Churchill (Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister of Defence) tenders his resignation to the King. Labour Ministers decline to accept Mr. Churchill’s proposal to carry on with the Coalition Government until the end of the war with Japan. - Mr. Churchill is to form a new government, to act until the pending dissolution of Parliament for the General Election.
  • Himmler Dead - Heinrich Himmler, head of the Gestapo and S.S., poisons himself at Lueneburg after his capture by the British field security police.
  • 21st Army Group in North-West Germany announces that Grand-Admiral Doenitz and members of his “Government” have been arrested. Admiral-General Friedeburg commits suicide.
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas is appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, British Air Forces in Germany.
  • The Yugoslav Government send a second note to the British and U.S. Governments concerning the dispute over the control of Trieste and Western Venezia Guila.
  • The 15,000 Japanese in Burma west of the Rangoon-Meiktila Road, trying to escape, are constantly being headed off by our patrols.
  • Australian troops in Tarakan now have a strong defence line running across the centre of the island. Australian forces in New Guinea, aided by naval gunfire, mop up the enemy around Wewak. In Bougainville, fierce fighting continues near the Hongarai and Pororei Rivers.
  • Large force of Super-Fortresses drop many tons of incendiaries on the Shinagawa industrial district of Tokyo.

May 24, 1945

  • General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe, is to be given the freedom of the City of London, as a token of gratitude for the part he played in defeating the German forces.
  • The Japanese forces in Burma guarding their escape route into Siam are pushed back to east of Toungoo. 14th Army troops in Southern Burma continue to round up the enemy.
  • The U.S. 6th Marine Division in Okinawa cross the Asato River, and reinforce Marines on the south side of the river who are attacking Naha. The 7th Infantry Division take two hills, one south of Taira and the other west of Yonabaru. On their right flank, the 7th and 96th Divisions repel counter-attacks, west of Conical Hill. The 77th Division attack the hills south of Ishimmi.
  • U.S. Army Thunderbolts, based on the Ryukyus, make heavy attacks on airfields at Konoya, Kushura and Miyazaki, all on Kyushu Island.
  • The British Pacific Fleet attacks the Sakishma Islands, between Okinawa and Formosa.
the Queen chatting to soldiers during a garden party for repatriated prisoners-of-war at Buckingham Palace, 1945
H.M. the Queen chatting to soldiers during a garden party for repatriated
prisoners-of-war at Buckingham Palace on 24th May 1945

May 25, 1945

  • In Paris, General de Gaulle decorates Field-Marshall Montgomery with the insignia of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.
  • Mr. Joseph Davies, President Truman’s special envoy, arrives in London to talk to leading men of Britain on future developments in Europe. Mr. Harry Hopkins and Mr. Harriman (U.S. Ambassador to Russia) arrive in Moscow.
  • General Slim’s 14th Army troops in Burma enter the inland port of Bassein, 88 miles west of Rangoon.
  • On Mindanao, in the Philippines, U.S. troops operating from both ends of the Sayre highway meet north of Malaybalay. American forces in the Davao area take Licanan aerodrome. In Luzon, Filipino troops capture Infanta and Misua, on the east coast.
  • Australian forces in New Guinea join up near the Bradi plantation; they now control the whole of the Wewak coastal area.
  • U.S. Navy Department announces that the destroyer Little and four small vessels have been lost off Okinawa.
  • 500 Super-Fortresses raid Tokyo, devastating the heart of the city.

May 26, 1945

  • Mr. Churchill forms a new Government: among the chief Cabinet ministers are Mr. Eden, Foreign Secretary, Sir John Anderson, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord Woolton, Lord President of the Council; Lord Beaverbrook, Lord Privy Seal; Mr. Oliver Lyttelton, President of the Board of Trade and Minister of Production; Mr. Brendan Bracken, First Lord of the Admiralty; Sir James Grigg, Secretary of State for War: Mr. Harold Macmillan, Secretary of State for Air.
  • Vidkun Quisling - the notorious Norwegian collaborator with the Germans, is tried at a People’s Court at Oslo. The Norwegian people choose a woman to represent them at the trial.
  • Tension over the Levant crisis grows. At Aleppo there is spasmodic shooting.
  • Washington announces that the U.S. 8th Air Force, with General Doolittle as its leader, will in future operate against Japan.

May 27, 1945

  • The Norwegian Government, including the Prime Minister Mr. Nygaardsvold, leave London en-route for Norway.
  • The Moscow-Berlin railway is operating once more; only one change has to be made, at the Vistula, where the European gauge gives place to the broader Russian one.
  • Japanese forces in Okinawa appear to be withdrawing their troops from the Shuri area, now that the Americans are converging on the town from four points of the compass. In the Naha area, the 6th Marine Division continues to strengthen its bridgehead south of the Asato River.
  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops retake Nanning, capital of Kwangsi province (100 miles north-east of the Indo-China frontier). To the north-east (35 miles north of Foochow), Chinese troops re-capture Loyuan. In Western Hunan, the Chinese drive on towards Paoching, a Japanese supply base.
  • Guam reports that one-sixth of Tokyo’s area has been burnt out by the 8,500 tons of incendiaries sent down in the two recent large-scale attacks by Super-Fortresses.

May 28, 1945

  • William Joyce, better known as “Lord Haw-Haw”, is captured in the Flensburg area by two British officers.
  • The Foreign Secretary, Mr. Eden, gives the House the British Government’s view regarding the Levant question. The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Abdul Hamid Karamah, announces that a Lebanese national army is to be formed. At Aleppo and Damascus strikes prevail; while at Homs, French guns shell the Syrian local administrative office; at Hama, tribesmen attack French soldiers, killing three.
  • On the western coast of Okinawa, the 6th Marine Division control the town of Naha in the area between the harbour and the Asato River. On their left, the 70th Infantry Division, fighting around Tera and Kamizato area, drives inland.
  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops from Nanning have advanced 60 miles in their drive for Ishan and are now in the area of Pinyang.

May 29, 1945

  • The Admiralty announce that no more trade convoys will sail; at night; ships may, show full navigation lights in future, and need no longer “darken ship”.
  • Mr. Churchill announces that 60,585 civilians were killed in air raids on Britain during the war in Europe. 86,175 were badly injured, while about 150,000 were slightly hurt. Total casualties suffered by the armed forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire as reported to the end of February, 1945, were 1,128,315; 307,201 of these were deaths.
  • Negotiations between the Yugoslav Government and Allied H.Q, continue, and a further note to Marhal Tito is expected soon.
  • Formosa is bombed again by Allied planes; their objectives are oil and alcohol depots and railways on the western coast of the island.

May 30, 1945

  • Marshal Zhukov appointed Soviet representative on Allied Control Commission.
  • On Okinawa, U.S. Marines captured Shuri Castle on the Ryukya Islands.
  • Truce arranged in Damascus for evacuation of British and American civilians.
  • Persian Foreign Minister demanded withdrawal of British, U.S. and Russian troops from Persia.

May 31, 1945

  • “Cease fire” in Syria after intervention of British Government.
  • In Burma U.S. Air Force units withdrawn from Eastern Air Command.

JUNE 1945

June 1, 1945

  • Berlin radio broadcast warning of reprisals for attacks on Soviet soldiers or officials.
  • Osaka in Japan heavily attacked by Super-Fortresses with incendiaries.
  • Announced that new British Army, 12th, formed under Lieut.-Gen. Sir Montagu Stopford.

June 2, 1945

  • On the Ryukyu Islands U.S. troops captured Shikiya town on Okinawa.

June 3, 1945

  • French troops in Damascus escorted from city by British.
  • U.S. carrier-aircraft attacked “suicide plane” bases on Kyushu.

June 4, 1945

  • Kobe attacked by 450 Super-fortresses with incendiary bombs.
  • U.S. Navy Dept, announced loss of two destroyers off Okinawa.

June 5, 1945

  • In Germany, Eisenhower, Montgomery, Zhukov and Lattre de Tassigny signed in Berlin declaration of assumption of supreme authority in Germany by governments of their countries.
  • Mr. Churchill disclosed transfer of British warships to Russian fleet.

June 6, 1945

  • The Russians name the German states which will be included in the Soviet’s zone of occupation. They are: Thuringia, Saxony, Mecklenburg and Anhalt.
  • Field-Marshal Johannes Blaskowitz, Commander of the German 25th Army, is arrested north of Aurich.
  • To celebrate the anniversary of D-Day, one day’s holiday is given to allied forces in Europe. Religious services are held at appropriate, key points; the British troops hold theirs at Arromanches, under the cliffs.
  • The Foreign Minister of the Brazilian Government announces that Brazil is at war with Japan.
  • American marines on Okinawa now control the entire Naha airfield. Chinen peninsula, on the east coast of the island, is completely in American hands.
  • Shaef H.Q. announce the total casualties from D-Day to V-E day among die ground forces of the Allies fighting on the western front. British and Canadian total 184,512; 39,599 were killed, 126,545 wounded and 18,368 missing. Of the American forces 89,477 were killed, 367,180 wounded and 57,877 missing - a total of 514,534. 11,080 French troops were killed, 45,966 wounded and 4,201 missing – a total of 61,247. The Poles had 5,593 casualties, the Czechs 590, the Belgium 364 and the Dutch 127.
A scene at Arromanches during the commemoration of the anniversary of the D-Day landings
A scene at Arromanches during the commemoration by the French and British of the anniversary
of the D-Day landing by the Allies on the beaches of Normandy

June 7, 1945

  • The King and Queen visit the Channel Islands.
  • King Haakon, King of Norway, returns to his own country. He left Norway five years ago, after the Germans over-whelmed allied forces.
  • British troops of the 21st Army Group, it is announced, are to control 5,000 square miles of the northern part of the Rhine province, including the industrial Ruhr district.
  • A joint statement is issued from President Truman and Mr. Churchill on the U-boat campaigns during the war years. Over 700 U-boats were destroyed, 462 of them being sunk by British or British-controlled forces.
  • After a lapse of three years, the first allied cargo ship enters Wewak harbour in New Guinea.
  • Chinese troops in the Foochow area reach the outskirts of Futing.
  • Over 400 Super-Fortresses attack Osaka arsenal with high explosive and incendiary bombs. Nearly 200 U.S. carrier-planes bomb Kanoya, on Kyushu Island.
School children cheering the King and Queen when they visited the liberated Channel Islands
School children cheering the King and Queen when they visited the
liberated Channel Islands on 7th June 1945

June 8, 1945

  • Field-Marshal Montgomery is given the freedom of Antwerp in recognition of the part he played in the liberation of the city.
  • The Air Ministry announce the discovery, near Grenoble, of the wreckage of the plane in which Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory lost his life in November, 1944.
  • Dr. Karl Hoven, resident physician at Buchenwald concentration camp, is captured by the troops of the 15th Army.
  • On Okinawa, American troops force the remnants of the Japanese army towards the narrow southern top of the island.

June 9, 1945

  • An agreement is signed at Belgrade which provides that the eastern part of Venezia Giulia (including the port of Fiume) is to be controlled by Marshal Tito; and the western portion, including Trieste, by the Supreme Allied Commander.
  • Marshal Zhukov, Commander of the Soviet forces of occupation and Colonel-General Barzarin, commander of the Berlin garrison, confirm that the Russian policy towards Germany will be to eradicate Nazism and make it impossible for her to make another war.
  • Tokyo radio announces that from March to May, in the American air raids, 4,930,000 Japanese have lost their homes.
  • In the Tarakan operations the Australian 9th Division advance on the principal centre of Japanese resistance.
  • Australian troops in the Solomon Islands capture some of the cultivated land south of Bougainville, thus threatening the enemy’s food reserves.

June 10, 1945

  • At Frankfort-on-Main, Marshal Zhukov decorates General Eisenhower and Field-Marshal Montgomery with the Russian Order of Victory.
  • A farewell victory parade of the Civil Defence and Allied Services is held at Hyde Park, London. King George VI takes the salute.
  • General MacArthur’s H.Q. announce that Australian troops, supported by Australian and U.S. aircraft and warships, land on the west coast of North Borneo at Labuan Island, at Brooketon, and at Muara (in Brunei Bay). Little resistance is encountered. General MacArthur goes ashore with the assault troops at Labuan.
  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops fighting north of Hoyun in the Kwangtung province are now 95 miles from Hong Kong; while at Sinfeng (in Kiangsi province), 230 miles north of Hong Kong, fierce fighting is reported. Other Chinese troops retake Peishao, 25 miles from Kweilin. To the north-east, in Fukien province, the Chinese recapture Futing (105 miles north-east of Foochow). From Nanning, in Kwangsi Province, Chinese troops are advancing towards the Indo-China frontier; they hold Lungshow and are attacking Mingkiang.

June 11, 1945

  • Sir Edward Grigg, who has been visiting the Levant, tells war correspondents that France is holding up the proposed talks between Britain, United States and France, over the Levant crisis by her desire for a five-power conference. Sir Edward Grigg also reveals that a British officer gave General Roget the “cease fire” order at 9.30 p.m. on May 31, but that General Roget refused to accept the British order. Fighting therefore continued that night: looting began next morning, increasing as the day wore on.
  • Paul Ferdonnet (known as “the traitor of Stuttgart”), who had long been broadcasting from Stuttgart radio to France, is captured at Tuttlingen by the French 1st Army.
  • Suzuki, Japanese Prime Minister, is given emergency powers by the House of Representatives. The effect is that of a virtual dictatorship.
  • United States Navy Department announce the loss of the destroyers Longshore and Drexler, and an auxiliary transport (Bates), off Okinawa.
  • Australian troops in the Solomon Islands make new landings on Northern Bougainville near Chabai, and at Matchin Bay.
  • On New Guinea, Australian forces drive inland from the coastal district of Wewak, capturing some enemy strongholds.
  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops are 10 miles north-west of Kweilin, capital of Kwangsi province. In Northern Kwandsi other Chinese forces reach Liangchiang, 12 miles west of Kweilin.

June 12, 1945

  • General Eisenhower receives the Freedom of the City of London. Later he goes to Buckingham Palace, where the King confers upon him the Order of Merit.
  • At Trieste the Yugoslav flag flying over the town hall is lowered, and the flags of Great Britain and the United States are hoisted. This act signifies the departure of Yugoslav forces from Trieste, carrying out the recent agreement made between Marshal Tito and the Allied Military Governments.
  • Signor Bonomi, Italian Prime Minister, hands in his resignation to Prince Umberto, Lieutenant of the Realm. He has taken this step to enable a new administration to be set up, including men from Northern Italy.
  • In Northern Borneo, Australian troops drive on nearly three miles inland from Brunei Bay. Labuan (just off the mainland) and its airfield are now in Australian hands. It is stated that the Australian cruiser Hobart and the destroyer Arunta were in action during the North Borneo landings; three converted liners took Australian infantry to the scene of battle.

June 13, 1945

  • H.M. King George appoints General Zhukov to become an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, in recognition of his great services to the Allied cause.
  • Burma H.Q., announces that reinforcements for South-East Asia command are now arriving by air. The journey takes five days, and troops break their journey in the Middle East so as to become acclimatised to the new conditions.
  • It is reported that French troops are withdrawing from the Val d’Aosta region of Italy, and that they are being replaced by Americans. Meanwhile negotiations are proceeding between French and Italian Governments for a settlement of outstanding questions affecting this region.
  • United States War Department publishes the figures of troop losses in ocean transport; from December, 1941, to May 9,1945,3,604 Americans were lost. These figures do not include U.S. soldiers who took part in the invasion of Europe.
  • Australian troops in North-East Borneo, after taking Brunei airstrip, drive on towards Brunei town.

June 14, 1945

  • Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany, is found by three British security officers in a flat at Hamburg.
  • Lord Wavell, as Viceroy of India, presents to the Indian peoples a four-point plan as a way of bringing to a close the present deadlock between the Indian leaders and the British authorities.
  • Australian 9th Army troops take the oil and rubber town of Brunei. On Labuan Island, just off the North Borneo mainland, Japanese resistance has weakened, and the Australians drive on towards the Timbalai airstrip.
  • In Southern Okinawa the U.S. 7th Infantry Division widens its hold on the Yaeju Dake escarpment. To the north, the 96th Infantry Division, in their drive for Ozato, reach the outskirts of this town.
  • It is announced from Manila that incendiaries comprising over 25,000 gallons of jellied petrol are dropped on Hong Kong causeway, causing great damage. It is the first fire raid on this target.
  • New York reports that the British Pacific Fleet is attacking Truk in the Caroline Islands; airfields, docks, and radio stations are the targets, and enemy opposition is very slight.
  • 500 Super-Fortresses drop 3,000 tons of fire bombs on industrial plants north and east of Osaka and the neighbouring town of Amagasaki.

June 15, 1945

  • Parliament is dissolved.
  • Mr. Attlee accepts Mr. Churchill’s invitation to attend the proposed Three Power Conference to be held in Berlin.
  • Rangoon holds a Victory Parade to celebrate the reoccupation of Burma. The Red Ensign of the Port Commissioner of Rangoon, which had been taken away by the Japanese in 1942 and was later found by the Americans in Attu (Aleutians), was given back to the Commissioner.
  • It is announced that between 1939 and 1945 Bomber Command lost 9,163 aircraft; Fighter Command, 3,558; Army Co-operation Command, 70; 2nd Tactical Air Force, 2,115; and Coastal Command, 1,479. The Air Ministry give the figures for bombs and mines dropped by the R.A.F. in the war against Germany. They are: Bomber Command, 955,044 bombs, 33,263 mines; Fighter Command, 3,481 bombs; 2nd T.A.F., 61,838 bombs; Coastal Command, 4,778 bombs, 602 mines. In the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre of war the figures are: 160,840 bombs, 1,734 mines.

June 16, 1945

  • King Leopold of the Belgians, who since his release from German captivity has been staying at Salzburg, announces his decision to return to Belgium. As a consequence, the Belgian Government resign, stating that they cannot be responsible for the political events which will inevitably develop as soon as the King returns. The Catholic party is the only one that favours the King’s return.
  • Mr. Duff Cooper, British Ambassador in Paris, hands to General de Gaulle the British Government’s reply to the French proposal for a Five-Power conference over the Levant question. The British Note repeats H.M. Government’s suggestion for a Three-Power Conference - between France, Britain and America.
  • U.S. 10th Army in Southern Okinawa captures three hills which form part of the Yaeju Dake plateau. The Americans have now easier terrain in which to fight, but strong Japanese resistance continues.

June 17, 1945

  • Lord Wavell’s plan for resolving the Indian deadlock is favourably viewed by Congress party and the Moslem League. Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Jinnah are invited by the Viceroy to a conference at Simla on the 21st June.
  • Signor Parri, one of the most active leaders of resistance in Northern Italy, is asked by Prince Umberto to form a cabinet.
  • Admiral Nimitz appoints Major-General R. S. Geiger (of the 3rd Marine Amphibious Corps) to be commander of the forces in the Ryukyus.
  • S.E.A.C. report that British troops in Burma attack an enemy stronghold 21 miles east of Prome, in the foothills of the Pegu Yomas.
  • The Japanese in Southern Okinawa are retreating from their positions on the Yaeju Dake plateau. The body of Admiral Minoru Ota, the Japanese base commander, is found in a cave by U.S. marines; he had committed suicide.
  • Over 400 Super-Fortresses make low-level attacks on Omuta and Kagoshima (two cities on Kyushu Island) and on Hamamatsu and Yokkaichi on Honshu Island.

June 18, 1945

  • The trial begins in Moscow of the 16 Polish citizens arrested last March by the Russians for diversionary activities in the rear of the Red Army.
  • General Eisenhower, returns to the U.S.A. for the first time since he was appointed Supreme Allied Commander of all forces in Europe. President Truman decorates him with the Distinguished Service Medal. In his speech to Congress General Eisenhower pays a great tribute to the British people, Mr. Churchill, to President Roosevelt, and to the Soviet leaders and people.
  • Sir Walter Monckton (as leader of the British delegation), with members of the British Foreign Office, fly to Moscow to join American and Russian delegates to discuss how Germany shall pay reparations.
  • Chinese troops, Chungking announced, enter the treaty port of Wenchow. The Japanese are said to be fleeing along the north bank of the River Wu, with the Chinese in close pursuit.
  • From Colombo comes a report that the Japanese in the Andaman and Nicobar group of islands, which lie between Sumatra and Burma, are facing starvation on account of the shortage of Japanese ships and the activity of British naval and air patrols in that area.
  • Demobilisation of the armed forces begins.

June 19, 1945

  • King Leopold decides to form a new Government before he returns to Belgium; meanwhile his brother, Prince Charles, continues as Regent. It is reported that the King does not intend to abdicate - a step that had been suggested by the present Government.
  • French High Court of Justice passed a death sentence on Marcel Deat, a French collaborator.
  • Driving from Brunei along the coast, the Australians in North Borneo enter Tutong, 35 miles south-west of Brunei. Tutong is 23 miles away from Seria, the centre of the largest oilfield region in Borneo.
  • More than 400 Super-Fortresses make a fire-bomb attack on Honshu and Kyushu, islands of the Japanese mainland. Their main targets are the Kanegafuchi spinning mills and the Nippon Rubber Company which are situated at Fukuoka, in north-west Kyushu.

June 20, 1945

  • A demarcation line in Yugoslavia has been agreed upon between the Allies and Yugoslavs. Lieut.-General Morgan and General Jovanovic sign an agreement at X III Corps H.Q.
  • Hermann Karnau, one of Hitler’s bodyguards in the underground shelter at Berlin, who escaped through the Russian lines into the British, gives an account of Hitler’s death and his recent marriage to Eva Braun. He confirms other reports that, after their death, the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun were burnt in the grounds of the old Reich Chancellery.
  • A provincial Government has been set up in Thuringia by the Allied Military Government; the headquarters will be in Weimar and its leader is Dr. Hermann Brill, former Professor of Jurisprudence at Jena University.
  • More Australian troops of the 9th Army land at Lutong, in the British Protectorate of Sarawak, North Borneo.
  • Lutong is the refinery centre for the Seria and Miri oilfields, and is 85 miles down the coast from Brunei Bay where the original Australian landing was made. Lutong’s airfield and the town itself are captured.
American Marines passing their time on an airfield at Okinawa, 1945
American Marines passing their time in a rain-filled bomb crater on an airfield at
Okinawa where enemy resistance ended on 20th June 1945

June 21, 1945

  • During a recent tour of the British-controlled sector of Germany, Field-Marshal Montgomery said he did not think Germany was “down and out.” He gave a warning that the Reich will need watching, since Germans are already talking of another war.
  • Mr. Douglas Abbot, Canadian Navy Minister, announced that 32,000 men had volunteered to serve in the Canadian Pacific Fleet; 37,000 will be needed, but only volunteers will serve in the 60 ships of the Canadian Pacific Fleet.
  • It is announced that five ships of the British Pacific Fleet were hit by Japanese “suicide” aircraft during operations off Sakashima Islands. An aircraft-carrier received two hits, but within two hours all fires were controlled, and returning aircraft were able to land on the flight deck.
  • Admiral Nimitz announces that all organised resistance in Okinawa has come to an end; the battle, which has lasted for 82 days, is over and American bombers now have an air-base within 330 miles of the Japanese mainland. It is stated that about 90,000 Japanese have been killed during the battle for Okinawa. Japanese aircraft begin attacks on U.S. Fleet off Okinawa; they lose 24 planes, but sink two U.S. light vessels and damage three others.
  • General Joseph Stilwell, it is announced from New York, has been appointed by General MacArthur to be commander of the U.S. 10th Army, operating in the Ryuku area.
  • In Burma, British and Indian troops, fighting in country flooded by the monsoon rains, continue to harass the Japanese on the escape routes over the Shan Hills.
  • Super-Fortresses based on the Marianas make a high-explosive bomb attack on Japanese industrial centres. Targets include the naval arsenal at Kure, the Mitsubishi and Kawasaki aeroplane plants at Himeji (north of Nagoya) and the Kawasaki aeroplane plant at Akashi (west of Kobe).

June 22, 1945

  • In a statement issued on the question of British intervention in the Levant, His Majesty's Government give the reasons for this action. Intervention was necessary, since the disturbances in Syria were likely to upset the whole Middle East, and thus to affect the allied war effort.
  • At the beginning of the twelfth session of the Supreme Soviet, with Marshal Stalin in attendance, General Autonov (Chief of Staff) announces that 13 Red Army Groups are to be demobilised; soldiers will receive one year’s pay for each year’s service, while officers will receive up to five months’ pay, according to length of service.
  • U.S. Navy Department announce the appointment of Lieut.-General R. S. Geiger (who took over General Buckner’s command in Okinawa recently) as Commanding General of the Pacific Fleet in Marine Force; he succeeds Lieut.-General H. M. Smith, who will in future train the replacement command of this Force.
  • Although the battle of Okinawa has ended, mopping up continues.

June 23, 1945

  • India’s political leaders arrive at Simla to attend the conference on India’s future administration. Mr. Gandhi is in Simla, but only in an advisory capacity for the Congress Party.
  • The radio-telephone service between Britain and America, suspended during the war with Germany, is reopened. American soldiers are able to telephone home at the rate of £3 for three minutes.
  • The Special Allied Airborne Reconnaissance Force, formed in March 1945 to secure information about conditions in German prisoner-of-war and concentration camps, is to be disbanded. Its function was to get in touch with these camps in case the sudden collapse of the German armies put the prisoners in jeopardy.
  • Mustang fighters based on Iwojima attack Hyakurigahara and Shimodate airfields (north of Tokyo), destroying or damaging many Japanese planes; three Mustangs are lost in this action.

June 24, 1945

  • Moscow holds a victory parade in Red Square. Two hundred German banners, including Hitler’s personal standard, are trailed across the Square and hurled at the foot of the Lenin mausoleum. Fighting units of 10 Army commands parade the streets of Moscow; Marshals Rokossovsky and Zhukov ride on horseback along the ranks, greeting the soldiers.
  • The Admiralty announce that up to May, 1945, 261,521 British sea mines have been laid by the Royal Navy, and by Dominion navies and Allied navies operating with the Royal Navy.
  • Tarakan Island off Borneo has been won for the Allies; all organised resistance has ceased. Labuan Island, off Brunei Bay, is cleared of the enemy; other units of the Australian 9th Division, fighting on the mainland of North Borneo, capture the Seria oilfield. Seria town itself lay in ruins when the Australians entered.

June 25, 1945

  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops in Kwangsi province fight in the southern suburbs of Liuchow; while about six miles away another Chinese column is advancing down the Kweishow-Kwangsi railway towards Liuchow. The report also states that about 200 miles of coast around Foochow has been evacuated by the Japanese, but since this area is so near Formosa where there is a strong Japanese garrison, it cannot at present be brought under Allied control.
  • It is reported that glider-borne U.S. troops land in rice fields near Aparri in Northern Luzon; they link up with Filipino guerrillas in the Cagayan Valley.
  • U.S. Super-Fortresses from the Marianas attack 10 war factories in Honshu; Mustangs from Iwojima also take part, making the attack the biggest Japan has yet received.

June 26, 1945

  • At the Opera House in San Francisco the World Security Charter is signed by two hundred statesmen representing 50 nations. For the past nine weeks this conference has been working out future plans for world peace and security. President Truman, in his speech which brought the final session of the conference to a close, said: “If we had had this Charter a few years ago - and above all, the will to use it - millions now dead would be alive. If we should falter in the future in our will to use it, millions now living will surely die.”
  • The Duke of Gloucester arrives at Port Moresby, New Guinea, to inspect Australian Forces there.
  • The Japanese Prime Minister, Suzuki, tells his people that they are facing a great crisis, and asks the Japanese to “endure the mounting hardships.”

June 27, 1945

  • Gen. Leclerc appointed to command French Far East expeditionary force to serve in Pacific.
  • Marshal Stalin promoted to new rank of Generalissimo of the Soviet Union.

June 28, 1945

  • Heavy attack by Super-Fortresses on seaports in Kyushu and industrial centre of Okayama on Honshu, Japan.
  • Formation of new Polish Government of National Unity, including Mr. Mikolajczyk, announced from Warsaw.
  • Story released of Japanese suicide aircraft attack on U.S. aircraft carrier Bunker Hill near Okinawa.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private, WX.11519, Leslie Thomas Starcevich, 2/43rd Battalion, Australian Military Forces awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - “On 28th June 1945 during the capture of Beaufort, North Borneo, the leading section came under fire from two enemy machine-gun posts and suffered casualties. Private Starcevich, a Bren gunner, moved forward and assaulted each post in turn, killing five of the enemy and putting the rest to flight. Later, when the section was again held up, he adopted similar tactics and single-handed captured two more posts, disposing of seven of the enemy.”

June 29, 1945

  • Super-Fortresses bombed Kudamatsu oil refinery in Honshu, Japan.
  • Chinese troops captured Liuchow airfield.
  • Ruthenia transferred to Soviet Union by agreement between Soviet and Czech governments.
  • French and Swedish Governments recognized new Polish Government.

June 30, 1945

  • U.S. occupation of Kumo island, west of Okinawa, announced by Admiral Nimitz.
A little Norwegian girl greets some of our sailors with flowers at a Liberation Parade in Oslo, 1945
A little Norwegian girl greets some of our sailors with flowers at a
Liberation Parade on 30th June 1945 in Oslo

JULY 1945

July 1, 1945

  • Australian forces under Gen. MacArthur landed at Balikpapan, Borneo.
  • Nearly 600 Super-Fortresses dropped 4,000 tons of incendiaries on Kure. Shimonoseki, Ube and Kumamoto in Japan.
  • Red Army troops took over Magdeburg from British in Germany.

July 2, 1945

  • Super-Fortresses attacked oil refinery at Shimotsu, south west of Osaka, Japan.
  • Australians on Bougain­ville secured Mivo River line on the Solomon Islands.

July 3, 1945

  • About 500 Super-Fortresses bombed Himaji on Honshu, and Tokushima. Takamatsu and Kochi on Shikoku, in Japan.
  • In Germany the first United States occupation troops arrived in Berlin.

July 4, 1945

  • British troops, headed by a squadron of the 11th Hussars from the 7th Armoured Division, enter the western suburbs of Berlin to take up their occupation positions.
  • Paris High Court of Justice condemns to death (in his absence) Abel Bonnard, former Minister of Education in Petain’s Government.
  • Australian troops capture Manggar airstrip on the coast of Macassar Strait, 13 miles east of Balikpapan, while other 7th Division troops occupy the rest of Balikpapan, along the shore of the bay, and also penetrate enemy positions in the Pandansair oil refinery areas. General MacArthur announces that the whole of the Philippine Islands are freed; 23 Japanese divisions have virtually been wiped out.
  • S.E.A.C. announces that Japanese troops attack our positions on the Sittang River, east of Pegu. The enemy gains a little ground, but is held by British and Indian troops.
  • 240 Super-Fortresses bomb Honshu and Kyushu Islands; five U.S. warships shell Japanese part of Sakhalin Island (in the Sea of Okhutsk), reports Tokyo.

July 5, 1945

  • Britain and the United States recognise the new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity. The Foreign Office states that the Polish Government in London will be liquidated.
  • Britain, U.S., Russia and France agree on zones of occupation of Vienna: British troops will occupy the southern section of the city; Soviet troops the eastern part and both sides of the Danube, with a communication strip cutting the British area in two. The French area, on the western side of the city between the American and British zones, includes two railway stations. All four countries are to hold sections of central Vienna.
  • U.S. War Department at Washington announces that in future General Carl Spaatz is to direct the strategic air attacks on Japan. His command will be known as the United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific. Major-Generals Doolittle and Curtis Lemay will come under General Spaatz.
  • In Italy, General Mark Clark announces that the 15th Army Group, made up of the 8th and 5th Armies together with Canadians, South Africans, Indians, Brazilians, Poles, Yugoslavs, Greeks and Italians, will be dissolved at midnight.
  • Troops of the Australian 7th Division in Borneo land at Penajam, west of Balikpapan Bay, advancing inland against little Japanese opposition.
  • In Great Britain Polling took place for General Election.

July 6, 1945

  • At Canberra Mr. F. M. Forde is sworn in by the Governor-General (the Duke of Gloucester) as Australian Prime Minister.
  • Mr. Churchill arrives at Hendaye, where he will spend a short holiday before attending the “Big Three” conference in Berlin.
  • British troops of occupation in Berlin formally take over their sector. At a ceremony by the Franco-Prussian Victory Column in the Koenigsplatz, General Sir Ronald Weeks (Montgomery’s deputy on the British Control Commission) inspects British troops; the Union Jack is unfurled over the city, watched by many Berliners.
  • In Burma, British troops attack two small Japanese groups which have recently crossed the Pegu-Sittang canal 25 miles north-east of Pegu. At a point 24 miles east of Toungoo, the enemy attacks in strength, but is beaten off.
  • 600 Super-Fortresses based on the Marianas attack an important oil refinery near Osaka, and four towns on Honshu Island.

July 7, 1945

  • President Truman, accompanied by Mr. Byrnes (the new American Secretary of State) and other military and political advisers, leaves Virginia aboard the U.S. cruiser Augusta for Europe, to attend the conference in Berlin with Mr. Churchill and Generalissimo Stalin.
  • The French Government announces its decision to transfer to the Syrian and Lebanese Governments the command of the 25,000 local troops known as “Troupes Speciales.” This question has been one of the outstanding difficulties in the Levant negotiations.
  • M. Drozniak and M. Kolodziejski, of the Polish finance commission at Warsaw, arrive in England.
  • Japanese positions across the Sittang River, Burma, are mopped-up by British troops. Two hundred Japanese who tried to cross the river in rafts, 16 miles from Pyu, are intercepted and heavy casualties are inflicted. But S.E.A.C. reports that the enemy is trying to reinforce his troops in this area.

July 8, 1945

  • The schoolroom at Rheims where the unconditional surrender terms were signed by the German High Command is handed over to the Mayor of Rheims and the French people.
  • Now that the British troops have cleared the Germans out of Crete, they will leave the island; this was announced by Brigadier Preston, commander of the British troops in Crete.
  • General MacArthur announces that U.S. planes from Okinawa have bombed targets in Kyushu for the fourth consecutive day. In Formosa, the Toko seaplane base, Takao docks, and the town of Tailo (on the south-east coast) have also been attacked.
  • S.E.A.C. reports more Japanese activity along the Sittang River. Some 25 miles north-west of Pegu, at Nyaungkashe, the Japanese have shelled the village for two successive nights. In the Mawchi road section, our positions are shelled during the night.
  • From Guam comes the announcement that three British aircraft-carriers of a British task force (the Indefatigable, Victorious and an undisclosed warship) were hit by Japanese suicide aircraft during recent operations against the Sakashima Islands.
The City of Brussels presented a flag to the R.A.F on 8th July 1945 at a ceremonial farewell parade
The City of Brussels presented a flag to the RAF on 8th July 1945 at a ceremonial
farewell parade in honour of the Air Force units leaving Belgium

July 9, 1945

  • Dr. T. V. Soong, who is on a visit to Moscow, has a third talk with Generalissimo Stalin; the Chinese Premier has also seen Mr. Averell Harriman, U.S. Ambassador in Moscow.
  • Australian troops north and north-east of Balikpapan, Borneo, meet stiffening enemy resistance as they push inland. In the Pandansari oil refinery region, Australians have cut the enemy’s escape route; some patrols are near Kapak village in their drive for Mount Batochampar - a natural defence point dominating a wide area. The Australian troops who landed at Penaham expand their original bridge-head about two miles in all directions. In the north-east corner of Borneo, around Brunei Bay, Australians reach Memakut, bringing them 45 miles from Jesselton. For many days now the R.A.A.F. have been particularly active over Borneo.
  • Honshu, Japan’s main island, is subjected to heavy attacks by Super-Fortresses from the Marianas, and also by more than 1,000 aeroplanes from Admiral Halsey’s 3rd Fleet. This powerful task force, lying off Honshu without any Japanese interception, includes the carriers Lexington, Essex, Independence and San Jacinto.

July 10, 1945

  • The problem of feeding Berlin’s civilian population is discussed again by Marshal Zhukov, General Sir Ronald Weeks and General Lucious Clay (deputies of Montgomery and Eisenhower as members of the Allied Control Council). A satisfactory agreement is reached, and progress is also made on the fuel problem.
  • The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representative at Washington asks President Truman to invite Italy to join the United Nations.
  • Chinese troops in Southern China advance along the rail and highway towards Kweilin. Other Chinese forces capture Chungtu on the Kweilin-Liuchow highway and also retake Luchai, on the Kwangsi-Hunan railway. Taku, a communications centre in Southern Kiangsi province, is retaken.

July 11, 1945

  • An announcement from Johannesburg states that the South African land, sea and air forces suffered during the period from September 3, 1939-May 31, 1945, a total of 37,962 casualties; of these 9,027 were killed and 14,693 prisoners-of-war.
  • The 7th Australian Division in Borneo attack the Japanese around Mount Batochampar, some six miles to the north-east of Balikpapan.
  • In Burma, the enemy still occupy Myitkyo, 12 miles north-east of Waw, and a few other villages in that area. But 25 miles east-north-east of Pegu, a Japanese defence point on the Abya-Nyaungkashe railway line is destroyed. On the Toungoo-Mawchi road our lines are attacked by Japanese troops, but a mortar barrage keeps the enemy at bay.
  • The Chinese report the taking of Sincheng, in Kiangsi province, a former American air base. 200 miles to the north-east of Canton, in Kiangsi, other Chinese columns drive on Kanhsien, also a former air base. In Kwangsi, Chinese troops capture Chungty, near Lichow and push on in the direction of Kweilin. No heavy fighting is reported.
  • Admiral Nimitz announces from Guam that 154 Japanese planes have been destroyed or damaged on the ground recently and that “complete mastery of the skies over Tokyo” had been won. Allied planes, it is reported, attack Tokyo and the airfields on Honshu.
  • British and U.S. authorities in Berlin took over control of their zones of occupation.

July 12, 1945

  • At a meeting of the Allied Control Council for Germany, held in Berlin, agreement is reached on the feeding of the civilian population. Food stocks in the occupation zones are to be pooled. The British and U.S. areas will henceforth be controlled by their respective military governments.
  • In Borneo, Australian troops have to fight hard in the region of Sepinggan, but get nearer Mount Barrochampar. Japanese resistance is strong, but by the use of flame-throwers and tanks the enemy is being pushed back. Around Brunei Bay other Australians advance 10 miles along the Beaufort-Jesselton railway, to within 30 miles of Jesselton.
  • 500 Super-Fortresses drop 3,200 tons of bombs on four Japanese cities; targets include oil centres in Honshu and Ichimoniya; an arms city near Nagoya; and Kawasaki, a petrol centre on an island in Tokyo Bay.
  • Field-Marshall Montgomery in Berlin invested Marshals Zhukov and Rokossovsky with British decorations.

July 13, 1945

  • Field-Marshal Montgomery announces that from 6 p.m. the non-fraternisation order imposed upon British and American soldiers stationed in Germany is relaxed. A similar announcement is made by General MacCreery and General Mark Clark concerning British and U.S. troops in Austria.
  • The British garrison in Berlin, led by massed tanks four abreast march past the saluting base in the Charlottenburger Chaussee. General Lyne (commander of the 7th Armoured Division) and the Military Governor of British-occupied Berlin, takes the salute from a dais draped with the Union Jack. With him are American, Russian and French military officers.
  • S.E.A.C. Headquarters announce that during July 5-10 ships of the British East Indies Fleet laid mines in the approaches of the Malacca Strait. Units of the Fleet also attacked airfields, shore batteries and radar installations on the Nicobar group of islands.
Looking down the Charlottenburger Chaussee at a British parade July 13th 1945
Looking down the Charlottenburger Chaussee at a British parade July 13th 1945

July 14, 1945

  • The conference at Simla - called to discuss Lord Wavell’s plan to form an Executive Council consisting of members from all political parties - fails to achieve its end. Lord Wavell, at the final meeting, lays the blame for the failure at his own feet since, he says, “the main idea underlying the conference was mine.” In his closing statement he thanked all the delegates for their “restraint, patience, and understanding” and bade them not to be discouraged by the setback.
  • In Burma, in the Sittang Bend region and north-west of Kyaukki, Spithres and Thunderbolts attack enemy troop concentrations, destroying huts and starting fires. Mosquitoes bomb troop areas near Naunglon (north of Moulmein), and damage a factory.
  • Kamiashi, on the eastern coast of Honshu Island, is attacked by a U.S. naval force, announces Admiral Nimitz’s communique. Kamaishi is 275 miles north-east of Tokyo and is one of Japan’s principal iron-production centres.
  • Fraternization ban lifted in British and American zones of occupation in Germany and Austria.

July 15, 1945

  • Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (Shaef) is dissolved; it has existed for 17 months and a day. General Eisenhower, in his farewell message, expresses his gratitude and admiration for the way in which the soldiers of the two nations responded to every demand made upon them.
  • The Australians in Borneo capture Mount Batochampar (north-east of Balikpapan).
  • Liberators of S.E.A.C. attack warehouses at Singora (in Southern Siam, on the South China Sea), making a round flight of some 2,500 miles. In the Sittang Bend area patrol activity by our troops continues; five villages in the area of Pegu are now clear of the Japanese.
  • Mustang fighters based on Iwojima attack Nagoya and Osaka areas. For the first time for some weeks, they meet Japanese aircraft; they shoot down 24 and probably destroy 16 others. U.S. naval bombardment of Japan continues, Admiral Nimitz reports. The American battleships Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri take part; 128 Japanese vessels of all kinds are sunk and 92 aircraft are destroyed or damaged in this attack. Super Fortresses from the Marianas join in a co-ordinated attack on the oil refinery at Kudumatsu in Southern Honshu, while nearly 300 aeroplanes from Okinawa and Iwojima attack air bases in Kyushu and Honshu.

July 16, 1945

  • A preliminary meeting of the Chiefs of Staff to the Potsdam conference is held. During the day President Truman and Mr. Churchill tour the battle-scarred city of Berlin.
  • The Chinese High Command at Chungking announce the recapture of Luikiangshien (in South-Western China), 21 miles east of Luchai on the Kweilin-Luichow highway. Chinese troops drive on towards Yungfu, 43 miles south-west of Kweilin (capital of Kwangsi province).
  • Admiral Nimitz announces that a British task force has joined the U.S. Third Fleet now attacking the Japanese home islands. At night British and U.S. ships shell the Kitachi area of Honshu. It is announced that British warships now operating in the Pacific include the battleship King George V, the aircraft-carrier Formidable, cruisers Black Prince and Newfoundland, and destroyers Quickmatch, Batfleur, Grenville, Troubridge and Undine. Vice-Admiral Sir Bernard Rawlings, R.N., is in command of the British force, with Vice-Admiral Vian commanding the carriers.

July 17, 1945

  • King Peter of Yugoslavia’s office in London announces that the Queen of Yugoslavia gives birth to a son.
  • In Belgium, six Catholis members of the Government resign over the question of King Leopold’s return. M. van Acker, the Prime Minister, reads a letter from the king to the Chamber of Representatives and then asked that a Bill be passed making it legally impossible for the Regency to be terminated without permission of Parliament. The Bill was passed by the House, but has to be passed also by the Senate before becoming law.
  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, with H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth, are on a visit to Ulster; they land at Long Kesh aerodrome, some 12 miles from Belfast.
  • At Potsdam, President Truman is invited by Mr. Churchill and Generalissimo Stalin to preside over the conference meetings; the first formal session takes place at 5 o’clock.
  • The Foreign Office announces that Mr. V.F. W. Cavendish-Bentinck, C.M.G., is to be Ambassador to the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity in Warsaw.

July 18, 1945

  • General J. McNarney, deputy C.-in-C. to Sir H. R. L. G. Alexander, states that 28,000 of the American Army forces will remain in the Mediterranean area for occupation duties; the remainder will be shipped away by the end of December.
  • From Rangoon comes the report that the first train to run from Rangoon to Pegu arrives at Pegu. Thus 134 miles of the Mandalay railway north of Rangoon is now in working order. The Bassein-Henzada line has been restored, and in Upper Burma 202 miles of railways are in use.
  • The Australian troops in Borneo capture the town and oil-field of Samboja, 28 miles north-east of Balikpapan.
  • Tokyo radio reports that the east coast of Honshu is bombarded, and that 500 carrier-planes attack the Tokyo area (including the Yukosuka naval station) During the attack on Yokosuka, it is revealed later, the Nagato a Japanese battleship is badly damaged. Admiral Nimitz announces that a light cruiser force bombards Nokima Cape, 50 miles south of Tokyo and also patrols the entrance to the Gulf of Sagami (separated from Tokyo Bay by the Yokosuka peninsula). No enemy aircraft or vessels of any description are found, so radio and other military installations on Nojima Cape are attacked.
  • More than 200 fighters and bombers from General Kenney’s Far East air forces bomb the Kiangwan airfield at Shanghai. Kiangwan is the Japanese bomber base.

July 19, 1945

  • Ottawa announces that the 1st Canadian Army will be dissolved as a field formation on July 31; General Crerar, the commander, will return to Canada. Thereafter the Minister of National Defence states, Canadian troops in Europe will be known as “Canadian forces in the Netherlands.”
  • Admiral Mountbatten, it is announced from Manila, visited General MacArthur on July 12-14 to arrange for complete co-ordination of activities of their respective commands.
  • In Borneo, the Australians advancing inland from the Seria and Miri oil-fields take Marudi, about 30 miles from the coast. They meet no opposition. Other 7th Division troops, who landed at Penajam, have widened their bridge-head north and south along the shore of the Macassar Strait; forward patrols pass beyond Pondakmarian.
  • 600 Super-Fortresses shower 4,000 tons of incendiary and other bombs on Chosi, an important fishing harbour on the east coast of Honshu; on the industrial centre of Hitachi; on Fukui, railway and industrial centre of the west coast; and on Okazaki, the industrial suburb of Nagoya. An oil refinery north of Osaka is also attacked early this morning (New York time).
The Big Three Conference in session at its third meeting in Potsdam on 19th July 1945
The Big Three Conference in session at its third meeting in Potsdam on 19th July 1945

July 20, 1945

  • At the Chamber of Deputies in Brussels, M. Van Acker, Belgian Prime Minister, accuses King Leopold of making many grave mistakes, including his belief in a German victory. In the Premier’s opinion, the King no longer has the support of the majority of the people. A debate followed.
  • Captain Eric Stevens, chief of the British naval information in Washington, discloses that most of the British battle fleet have been sent to the Far East to fight Japan. No major modem ships of the British Fleet, he said, were now in home waters, other than those needing repair.
  • General MacArthur announces that for the second consecutive day over 200 bombers based on Okinawa have attacked five aerodromes in. the Shanghai region.
  • Nearly 100 Mustangs bomb the Okazaki, Toyohashi and Nagoya areas of Honshu.
  • Ministry of Health empowered local authorities to requisition empty houses.

July 21, 1945

  • In the Charlottenburg Chaussee, Berlin, Mr. Churchill takes the salute at a march past of 10,000 British Service men of the three fighting forces. Later on, Mr. Churchill opens a “Winston Churchill” club for British soldiers in the Kurfueistendamm.
  • Captain E. M. Zacharias, an official spokesman for the U.S. Government, in a broadcast (in Japanese) to Japan tells her that if she surrendered unconditionally soon, she would be given a peace based on the Atlantic Charter; otherwise, he continued, Japan would be virtually destroyed, and would have to bow to a dictated peace.
  • In Burma, the remnants of the trapped 28th Japanese Army attempt to break out from the Pegu hills, but British and Indian troops, using mortars and machine-guns, destroy 500 of the enemy.
  • Around Balikpapan, Borneo, the 7th Australian Division consolidates its positions; mopping up continues in the isolated pockets north of Manggar air strip. Australian engineers begin the work needed to make Balikpapan a great allied shipping base.
  • Liberators from Aleutian bases attack Matsuwa Island airfield in Central Kuriles.

July 22, 1945

  • Signor Parn, the Italian Prime Minister, flies to Palermo (Sicily) to discuss the island’s future with local authorities; in his evening broadcast he expresses a sympathetic feeling for the Sicilians concerning their desire for self-government. “Regional autonomy,” he said, “was a matter for the constituent assembly to decide.”
  • General MacArthur’s headquarters announce that Australians of the 7th Division and at Tempadeong, having advanced up the headwaters of Balikpapan Bay. Australian and U.S. aircraft continue to attack targets in northern, eastern and north-western Borneo.
  • Nearly 100 Super-Fortresses bomb the Ube coal plant on the island of Honshu. 305 aircraft, including Liberators, Mitchells, Invaders, Thunderbolts and Mustangs, attack Kiangwan, Tachang, and Tinghai airfields in China. Invader aircraft bomb the Shanghai area.

July 23, 1945

  • In Paris, the trial of Marshal Petain begins: he is charged with high treason. Paul Reynaud, Premier at the fall of France in June 1940, is the first witness for the prosecution.
  • Japanese troops in Burma continue their attempts to cross the Mandalay-Rangoon Road towards the Sittang River. In the lower Sittang region British troops take a foot-bridge, 22 miles east-north-east of Pegu.
  • Australian 7th Division troops in Borneo enlarge their bridgehead near Tempadeong by six miles; they now occupy 15 miles of the eastern shore of Balikpapan Bay, and 12 miles of the western shore.
  • The bombardment of Japan by Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet continues; four ships are attacked in Sagami Bay; our warships sink two, damage another and probably destroy the fourth. Destroyers of another allied flotilla bombard Omura (one of the Bonin Island).

July 24, 1945

  • General Koenig (of Bir Hakeim tame) is appointed commander-in-chief of the French troops in Germany; he has been Military Governor of Paris since the liberation.
  • S.E.A.C. announces that more than 1,300 Japanese have been killed and 80 taken prisoner in the fighting which broke out recently when large numbers of enemy troops made attempts to cross the Mandalay-Rangoon Road and reach the Sittang. All along the 77-mile stretch of the road between Toungoo and Nyaunglebin the Japanese continue to attack us; the heaviest fighting is at Penwegon, 20 miles south-east of Pyu. A later report states that approximately 1,000 Japanese, together with Major-General Koga, have reached the far side of the Sittang.
  • About 1,500 aircraft of the American Third Fleet attack the Japanese fleet anchored off Kure base in the Inland Sea. At the same time a very large force of Super-Fortresses bomb towns and ports from Osaka to Nagoya. From Iwojima and Okinawa, other aircraft concentrate on targets in Southern Honshu.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Private N.454409 Frank John PARTRIDGE, Australian Army awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - No. N.454409 Private Frank John Partridge, 8th Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Military Forces. On 24th July 1945 at Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Private Partridge's section came under heavy machine-gun fire and suffered severe casualties, including the Bren gunner who was killed. Private Partridge, in spite of having been badly wounded, retrieved the Bren gun from the dead gunner and handed it to another man to provide covering fire while he rushed a bunker and silenced the machine-gun with a grenade. He killed the only living occupant and attacked another bunker, but weakness from loss of blood then compelled him to halt. Later he re-joined the fight and remained in action while the platoon withdrew from an untenable situation.

July 25, 1945

  • In Paris, Marshal Petain’s trial is continued for the third day. M. Daladier completes his evidence and M. Lebrun (President of the Republic until this office was abolished by Petain) is called on to give his account.
  • In the Belgian Chamber of Representatives M. Spaak, the Foreign Minister, speaks for four-and-a-half hours on the King’s action at the time of the German invasion of Belgium. In his opinion, owing to the controversy about the King’s action, King Leopold could not return to the throne. M. Spaak, however, was in favour of maintaining the monarchy.
  • Our troops in Burma continue to harass the retreating Japanese in the Sittang area. It is announced that since the 21st of July over 2,000 Japanese have been killed and 252 taken prisoner in this region.
  • The Australians in Bougainville clear the Japanese from Choiseul, an island south-east of Bougainville; they have also trapped a substantial number of naval troops in Northern Bougainville, and in the south have besieged the Buin “fortress.”

July 26, 1945

  • Labour Party obtained large majority in General Election.
  • Mr. Churchill resigns; and the King asks Mr. Attlee, leader of the Labour Party, to form a new Government.
  • In a joint proclamation signed by President Truman, Mr. Churchill and General Chiang Kai-shek, an ultimatum is issued to Japan; it tells her that she can either surrender unconditionally - in which case the Allies’ requirements are clearly set out in a number of clauses - or be subject to complete and utter destruction.
  • As the Potsdam conference has been postponed because of Mr. Churchill’s return to England, President Truman pays a visit to Frankfort-on-Main and to General Eisenhower’s headquarters.
  • Over 350 Super-Fortresses drop fire bombs on the following targets: Omuta, a chemical-producing centre on Kyushu; Matsuyama, a west coast port of Shikoku; and the chemical works arid oil-refineries at Tokuyama, in South-Eastern Honshu.

July 27, 1945

  • Mr. Attlee names the principal members of his government. Mr. Attlee becomes Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, and Minister of Defence; Mr. Herbert Morrison is Lord President of the Council; Mr. Ernest Bevin becomes Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Mr. Arthur Greenwood is Lord Privy Seal; Mr. Hugh Dalton is Chancellor of the Exchequer; Sir Stafford Cripps, K. C., is President of the Board of Trade; and Sir William Jowitt, K.C., is Lord Chancellor.
  • The Domei agency reports that the Japanese Government intends to ignore the British, American and Chinese ultimatum. Thereupon Major-General Le May, commanding the 20th Air Force, announces to the Japanese the names of the next eleven towns to be attacked by Super-Fortresses. This warning is given by leaflets dropped in advance on the towns to be attacked.

July 28, 1945

  • Mr. Attlee, as Prime Minister, and Mr. Bevin, the new Foreign Secretary, fly to Berlin to resume the Three-Power Conference at Potsdam.
  • In Washington, the United States Senate ratify the United Nations Charter by 89 votes to 2, after a six-day debate.
  • At Marshal Petain’s trial in Paris, M. Clemenceau (son of the French Premier during the 1914-1918 war) gives evidence. During his speech Clemenceau says “If my father had ever known what was going to happen, he would never have made him (Petain) a Marshal of France.”
  • In Brussels, the Guards Armoured Division (who liberated the city) are presented with plaques and standards as a mark of the city’s appreciation.
  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops, by a combined attack from the west and south suburbs, enter Kweilin, the capital of Kwangsi province, 50 miles north-west of Canton.
  • The Japanese report a second allied landing on Puket Island, off the north-west coast of Malaya.
  • Super-Fortresses from the Marianas to-day attack six out of the eleven Japanese cities which were warned by leaflet to expect allied raids. Among the places bombed are Ogaki and Ichinomiya, both on Honshu Island. Kure, the naval base and arsenal, is also attacked. It is announced that the new “Super-Liberator” (the B-32) is now in action against the Japanese.
  • British and U.S. carrier aeroplanes of the 3rd Fleet again attack the Japanese navy in the Inland Sea, sinking 24 vessels and damaging 75 others. Pilots returning from the raid report that the battleships Harunn and Ise and the cruisers Tone, Aoba, and Oyodo (previously damaged) are on fire, while the escort carrier Kaiyo is damaged again.

July 29, 1945

  • Lieut.-General McCreery, commander of the 8th Army, announces the disbandment of this world-famed army. It had fought its way from El Alamein to the Austrian Alps - 3,000 miles - in 30 months.
  • British intelligence officers find a list giving German war casualties in the house of General Reinecke, head of the public relations department of the German High Command. According to these documents German losses from the beginning of the war until the end of November, 1944, were 1,911,300 dead; 1,435,000 missing and interned; 378,000 reported prisoners of war. The number discharged is given as 438,000.

July 30, 1945

  • Mr. T. V. Soong relinquishes the office of Foreign Minister (which he held with that of Premier). He is succeeded by Dr. Wang Shih-chieh, who holds a B.Sc. (London) and is a doctor of law (Paris). Dr. Wang Shihchieh has also served as Minister of Education and Minister of Information. Mr. T. V. Soong has been appointed vice-chairman of the joint administration of the four Chinese Government banks.
  • Field-Marshal Sir Harold Alexander, Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, announces that the Mediterranean Allied Air Force is disbanded and that the British force will revert to the R.A.F. Mediterranean Command, with Air-Marshal Sir Guy Garrod, as their commander.
  • U.S. and British battleships bombard the industrial centre of Hammamatsu, 135 miles south-west of Tokyo. Soon after this attack is launched, over 1,000 aircraft from carriers attack the Tokyo area.

July 31, 1945

  • King George VI approves the appointment of Field-Marshal the Hon. Sir Harold Alexander, G.C.B., C.S.I., D.S.O., M.C., as Governor-General of Canada. Field-Marshal Alexander succeeds the Earl of Athlone, who has held the office since 1940.
  • General Weygand gives evidence on the eighth day of Marshal Petain’s trial.
  • Pierre Laval, one-time Premier in the Vichy government, lands at Horsching (near Linz) in Austria, having flown there from Barcelona, where he sought refuge in May last. Laval is taken into protective custody by the United States Air Force, and sent, under escort, to the French zone near Innsbrueck.
  • S.E.A.C. reports that 6,000 Japanese have been killed by our troops in the region between the Mandalay-Rangoon Road ana the Sittang River.
  • For the 22nd day, Admiral Halsey’s 3rd Fleet attack Japan; this time his destroyers bombard Shimizu, 80 miles south-west of Tokyo. About 100 Japanese vessels, including a battleship, a cruiser, two aircraft-carriers and several destroyers have been sunk or damaged by bombers and fighters of General MacArthur’s command. Thunderbolts attack Makarasaki (in Kyushu) for the first time.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Lieutenant Ian Edward FRASER, Royal Naval Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: -Lieutenant Ian Edward Fraser, Royal Naval Reserve. On 31st July 1945 in the Johore Straits, Singapore, Lieutenant Fraser, in command of HM Midget Submarine XE.3, went to attack the Japanese cruiser Takao, which was located after a long and hazardous journey. Lieutenant Fraser slid the submarine under the target which lay over a depression in the sea bed, and his diver went out to fix the limpet mines to the bottom of the ship. The two side-charges then had to be released, but the starboard charge stuck and the diver climbed out again and after a nerve-wracking five minutes released the charge. XE.3 then made for home.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Acting Leading Seaman D/JX.144907 James Joseph MAGENNIS, Royal Navy awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: - Acting Leading Seaman James Joseph Magennis, Royal Navy. On 31st July 1945 in the Johore Straits, Leading Seaman Magennis, a diver in the midget submarine XE.3, attached limpet mines to the Japanese cruiser Takao under particularly difficult circumstances. He had to squeeze through a narrow space in the partly-open diving hatch, and then scrape barnacles off the bottom of the cruiser before attaching the limpets. During this time his breathing apparatus was leaking and he returned to the submarine after completion of his task very exhausted. On withdrawing, his commander found that one of the limpet carriers which was being jettisoned, would not release itself and Magennis immediately volunteered to free it. This he did, after five minutes of nerve-racking work with a heavy spanner.

AUGUST 1945

August 1, 1945

  • In London, the new Parliament meets for the first time. The House of Commons re-elects Colonel Clifton Brown to the office of Speaker.
  • British soldiers, with their commander General McCreery, take up their quarters in Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna, formerly occupied by the Russians.
  • The War Department at Washington announces that about 800 Super-Fortresses from the Marianas drop some 6,000 tons of bombs on the industrial towns of Hachioji, Toyama, Nagaoka, and Mito; and on the petroleum works at Kawasaki.
  • General MacArthur announces that units of the Far East Air Force bomb ships in Nagasaki harbour; they sink or damage a dozen vessels, including a submarine. Japanese fighter planes try to intercept, but U.S. Mustangs bring down six of them without loss to themselves.

August 2, 1945

  • The Potsdam conference ends and a report is issued. It deals with (1) supreme authority over Germany, to rest with the Allied Control Council; no German central Government to be established at present. (2) Reparations to be satisfied by removing industrial property from Germany; (3) Frontiers of Poland to follow the Oder-Neisse line on the west, and the Curzon line on the east; part of East Prussia to go to the U.S.S.R., while the rest is to be occupied by Poland. (4) Peace treaties: a council of the foreign ministers of the Five Great Powers is to draft peace treaties with Italy, and, later, with countries in Eastern Europe which were formerly in the Axis group.
  • H.M. the King meets President Truman on board H.M.S. Renown in Plymouth Sound. The President had flown from Germany to an airport in Devon, and had toured Plymouth.
  • U.S. fighter-bombers bomb Central Japan; Tokyo says the attack was made on the industrial area of Osaka-Kobe.

August 3, 1945

  • Most of the Ministerial appointments to the new Labour Government are announced: the most important are as follows: Home Secretary, Mr. Chuter Ed; Dominion Secretary, Lord Addison; Secretary for India and Burma, Mr. Pethick-Lawrence; Colonial Secretary, Mr. G. Hall; First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. A. V. Alexander; Secretary for War, Mr. J. Lawson; Secretary for Air, Viscount Stansgate; Minister of Labour and National Service, Mr. G. Isaacs; Minister of Education, Miss Ellen Wilkinson; Minister of Health, Mr. Aneurin Bevan; Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production, Mr. J. Wilmot; Minister of War Transport, Mr. A. Barnes; Minister of Food, Sir Ben Smith; Minister of Fuel and Power, Mr. E. Shinwell.
  • Washington reports that every Japanese harbour of any importance has been mined; so, too, have the harbours from Korea to the Russian border.
  • Allied planes again attack Honshu; their targets, according to Tokyo radio, are Utsonomiya, Omiya, Maebashi and Takasaki. The broadcast adds that about 100 Mustangs, together with a small number of Super-Fortresses, bomb the Tokyo area.

August 4, 1945

  • British troops in Narvik begin the task of evacuating 140,000 German soldiers, left in Norway at the time of the German surrender. To-day 1,000 of them leave by train and will go overland to Sweden.
  • U.S. Navy Department announce the loss of the submarine Snook; it is the 46th U.S. submarine to be lost since Pearl Harbour.
  • General MacArthur’s H.Q. announce that a Japanese hospital ship has been boarded near Timor. Inspectors find on board many unwounded soldiers masquerading in bandages; there are arms and ammunition in boxes marked medical supplies. The ship is being brought to an Allied port for further investigation.
  • From their base at Iwojima, Privateer planes (the latest version of the Liberator bomber) attack the Shantung peninsula. Other aircraft bomb shipping in HangshowBay.

August 5, 1945

  • Marshal Stalin and M. Molotov arrive back in Moscow from the Potsdam conference.
  • S.E.A.C. reports that our patrols in the Lower Sittang region continue to meet strong resistance east of Abya, 22 miles north-east of Pegu and on the Pegu-Martaban railway.
  • It is announced from Delhi that the IV Corps (temporary commander Major-General Francis Tuker) has been taking part in the recent battles on the Rangoon-Mandalay Road between Taungoo and Nyaunglebin.
  • General MacArthur’s command in the Pacific is to be extended, it is announced, to include the Ryukyu Islands - the recently won island of Okinawa is the most important of this group.
  • Twelve more Japanese cities have been warned of impending raids by allied aircraft; 31 cities have been thus warned and 10 of them have now been attacked.
  • Over 400 bombers and fighters (based on Okinawa) of the Far East Air Force attack military targets at Tarmuizu, a port on the southern coast of Kyushu.

August 6, 1945

  • Atomic bombing of Hiroshima - President Truman announces that an atomic bomb has been dropped on the Japanese base at Hiroshima, on Honshu Island. Later reports state that four square miles of Hiroshima were laid waste. Mr. Attlee issues from 10, Downing Street a statement (prepared by Mr. Churchill), telling of the part British scientists have played in the production of this deadly weapon.
  • Field-Marshal Montgomery issues a proclamation to the German people under his control. He tells them that he intends to relax some of the present restrictions; that he will give them all the aid he can in the coming winter, but that they must help themselves to get back to a more normal life. General Eisenhower broadcasts to Germans in the American zone in similar strain. After reaffirming the Allies’ intention to prevent Germany from ever threatening the peace of the world again, he tells the Germans: “You can redeem yourselves both at home and in the eyes of the world through your own efforts.”
  • The Australians in North-East Borneo, having cleared Balikpapan Bay and the airstrips along the coast, turn to the Batochamper region, where there are still some Japanese troops.
  • In New Guinea the main fighting is taking place along the “big road” which runs across the Prince Alexander mountains and joins the coastal road to Wewak.

August 7, 1945

  • Dr. T. V. Soong (Prime Minister of China) and Dr. Wang Shih-chieh (Chinese Foreign Minister), arrive in Moscow to resume the talks with Generalissimo Stalin and M. Molotov which were interrupted by the Potsdam conference.
  • At the Yugoslav National Congress, held in Belgrade, Marshal Tito appeals for a republican form of government and the destruction of reactionary bands still at large in the forests. He alleges that King Peter has been in touch with General Mihailovitch of the Chetniks, and with the Serbian quisling Prime Minister, General Neditch.
  • S.E.A.C. communique states that in the flooded area between Myitkyo and the old Sittang River channel, determined enemy resistance is encountered. Around Abya, enemy positions across the Pegu-Martaban railway are cleared, while a Japanese attack on a village 20 miles east of Pegu is beaten off.
  • Super-Fortresses from the Marianas, continuing the assault on Japan, bomb the naval arsenal of Touakawa. Tokyo reports attacks on Tokyo and Yokohama, adding that British aircraft took part in the raids.

August 8, 1945

  • At 8 o’clock, British Summer Time, Moscow radio announces that Russia will be at war with Japan as from one minute past midnight.
  • Mr. Byrnes, U.S. Secretary of State, declares in formal statement issued in Washington soon after the announcement that “there is still time - but little time - for the Japanese to save themselves from the destruction which threatens them.”
  • First reconnaissance photographs show that the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima completely destroyed 4.1 square miles of the city’s built-up area which is 6.9 square miles in extent.
  • Britain, United States, Russia, and France sign agreement establishing an international military tribunal before which the major war criminals are to be tried.
  • Four-Power statement issued by Governments of Britain, United States, Russia, and the French provisional government separates Austria from Germ any and divides the country into four zones.

August 9, 1945

  • Atomic bombing of Nagasaki - Second atom bomb raid made on Japan at 4a.m. London time (twelve noon Japanese time). Target is great naval base of Nagasaki, city of 230,000 people on the Japanese island of Kyushu. Preliminary reports from General Spaatz H.Q., in Guam describe results as “excellent.”
  • Russian Army launches attack on Manchurian border.
  • Report, contained in a communique from Kwantung (Japanese) Army H.Q., declares that at same time as ground troops were attacking, Soviet aircraft in small numbers opened bombing attacks on Manchurian territory.
  • Gains of several miles reported in Russian advance. Tokyo admits that Red Army is over border at several points on 1,000-mile front, driving from the East near the junction of the Soviet, Manchuria and Korean borders, 80 miles south-west of Vladivostock, and from the west on the Trans-Siberian Railway, near the junction of the border of Siberia, Outer Mongolia and Manchuria.
  • Tokyo is raided by 1,000 Super-Fortresses.
  • In Burma our troops operating on the Toungoo-Mawchi Road, the main Japanese escape road to the safety of the Shan Hills in the east, continue their advance without opposition.
  • Victoria Cross recipient – Temp. Lieu. Robert Hampton GRAY, Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve awarded the Victoria Cross: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned: -Temporary Lieutenant Robert Hampton Gray, Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve (1841 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm). On 9th August 1945 at Onagawa Wan, Honshu, Japan, Lieutenant Gray led an attack on a Japanese destroyer. In the face of fire from shore batteries and heavy concentration of fire from some five warships, he pressed home his attack, flying very low in order to ensure success. Although he was wounded and his aircraft in flames he obtained at least one direct hit, sinking the destroyer. His aircraft crashed into the bay.

August 10, 1945

  • In a broadcast early this morning President Truman calls on Japanese civilians to leave the industrial cities immediately and save themselves from destruction.
  • Japanese News Agency indicates that Tokyo may be making new approach to Russia who, in the middle of June, rejected Emperor’s appeal that she should mediate. Japanese Foreign Minister, Togo, reported to be receiving M. Malik, Soviet Ambassador in Tokyo.
  • Red Army announce progress in four thrusts into Manchuria capturing the important towns of Manchouli and Chalainor in the north-west, Fuyuan in the north-east. In Vladivostock area Red Army break through strong Japanese border defences.
  • 70 Super-Fortresses raid great Tokyo arsenal, and crews report many hits with 2,000 lb. bombs. Another formation of 90 attack Nippon oil refinery at Amagasaki, Japan’s chief refinery for aviation petrol.
  • News reaches London that Japan has made offer of surrender, based on Potsdam ultimatum of July 26th, with a proviso that the terms should not prejudice the “prerogative of Emperor Hirohito as Sovereign ruler.”

August 11, 1945

  • Reply to Tokyo setting out allied terms handed to Swiss Legation in Washington at 3.30 p.m. B.S.T. by U.S. Secretary of State, James Byrnes. These are: (1) Authority of the Emperor to rule the State shall be subject to the Supreme Commander of the. Allied Powers, who will take such steps as be deemed proper to effectuate the surrender terms. (2) The Emperor will be required to authorise and ensure signature by the Government of Japan and Japanese Imperial Headquarters of surrender terms necessary to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, and shall issue his commands to all Japanese military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under their control, wherever located, to cease active operations and to surrender their arms and to issue such other orders as the Supreme Commander may require to give effect to the surrender terms. (3) Immediately upon surrender the Japanese Government shall transport prisoners of war and civilian internees to places of safety, as directed, where they can quickly be placed on board Allied transports. (4) Ultimate form of government of Japan shall, in accordance with the Potsdam ultimatum, be established by the freely expressed will of the Japanese people. (5) Armed forces of the Allied Powers will remain in Japan until the purposes set forth at Potsdam are achieved.
  • Moscow announces that Marshal Vassilevsky, former Red Army Chief of Staff who, in latter days of German campaign, succeeded General Cherniakovsky, now in supreme command of Soviet troops in Far East.

August 12, 1945

  • Washington, London, Chungking and Moscow await Japan’s answer to Four-Power terms of surrender.
  • General McArthur’s headquarters announce that there will be no pause in the offensive until the surrender terms are accepted.
  • Great battle fleet of American and British ships, under command of Admiral William F. Halsey, arrayed off Tokyo ready to occupy ports or to strike again.
  • Red Army’s swift drive to cut off Japanese armies in Northern Manchuria makes more rapid progress from north, east and west as Soviet forces push on towards Harbin.

August 13, 1945

  • Still no reply from Tokyo to Allies’ surrender terms. Swiss Foreign Office discredit Japanese statement that official text of Allied offer was not received in Tokyo until to-day. Washington officially denies that time-limit has been placed on Japan.
  • Force of nearly 1,500 British and American carrier planes of United States 3rd Fleet attack Tokyo area in rain and fog. Very heavy damage inflicted on airfields and aircraft factories. Japanese lose at least 138 aircraft - 21 shot down, 46 destroyed on ground, and 71 damaged. Not one enemy plane able to penetrate to the fleet.
  • Soviet forces in Manchuria reported to have reached vicinity of Linsi, 250 miles from Peking.
  • Bogus news flash of Japanese acceptance of Allies’ surrender terms starts premature victory celebrations in United States and Canada. Report officially denied two minutes later, and reward of £1,250 offered for identification and conviction of person responsible.

August 14, 1945

  • Japan surrenders unconditionally!
  • At midnight, after bewildering day in which the hopes of the world have been raised and dashed again as peace report and denials follow one another, Prime Minister Attlee broadcasts from Downing Street that Japan has accepted the Allied terms without qualification. Simultaneous announcements in Washington, Moscow and Chungking.
  • Two-day holiday proclaimed in Great Britain.
  • President Truman names General MacArthur as Supreme Allied Commander to receive the surrender. Britain, Russia and China to be represented by high-ranking officers.
  • More than 800 Super-Fortresses drop 6,000 tons of demolition and incendiary bombs on Japanese military targets in last raid of war.
  • Russian troops, driving south-eastward into Manchuria from the Great Khingan mountain range, advance 93 miles.

August 15, 1945

  • Victory over Japan Day, generally known as VJ Day.
  • H.M. King George VI opens Parliament and, in a speech, outlines the new Government’s plans. The event is made more historic because in England (and in most other countries) following the Prime Minister’s midnight broadcast on the 14th, the end of the Second World War is celebrated. In the evening the King broadcasts to his peoples at home and abroad.
  • General MacArthur (newly appointed Allied Supreme Commander) gives the Japanese an order to cease hostilities. He also instructs them to send a representative to Manila, approved by the Emperor and able to act on his behalf.
  • Admiral Nimitz gives the “cease fire” order by radio to all allied units under his command; carrier aircraft were on their way to bomb Tokyo, but pilots turned their machines homewards, delivering their bombs into the sea.
  • Meanwhile in Japan itself, Emperor Hirohito broadcasts to his people telling them that he has ordered the Government to accept the Potsdam ultimatum of 26th July. In his speech he said “in spite of the best that has been done by everyone . . . the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interests.”
  • Marshal Petain is sentenced to death by the French High Court of Justice, with a recommendation to mercy owing to his great age. He has been sent to the fortress of Le Pourtalet - the prison where Petain during his time of office imprisoned Georges Mandel and M. Paul Reynaud without trial.

August 16, 1945

  • Moscow announces by radio that Marshal Vassilevsky sends an ultimatum to the Japanese Kwantung army in Manchuria, ordering them to surrender by noon on 20th August. Meanwhile Russian troops of the 1st Far Eastern Command, overcoming the Japanese, take Wanching. Russians of the 2nd Far Eastern Command, in conjunction with the Amur River flotilla, occupy Chiamussu, while troops of the Transbaikal front repel strong enemy attacks and gain the town and railway-junction of Taoan.
  • A new Japanese Cabinet has been chosen; the new Prime Minister is Prince Naruhiko Higashi-Kuni, a cousin of the Emperor. The Emperor has given the cease fire order to his troops, but it is stated that it will be some days before the outlying fronts receive the order. The broadcast also states that it is impossible to send an envoy to Manila to-day, as ordered by General MacArthur. It is announced from Manila that General MacArthur has granted the Japanese envoys a little longer time to reach his headquarters there.
  • In Burma, Dakota and Lysander aircraft drop leaflets to the Japanese, telling them of their Government’s surrender. These leaflets also instruct them to keep to the main tracks and to assemble at certain places. But fighting continues in the Karen hills, since the Japanese walking through the mountains to Siam, have no knowledge of the surrender.

August 17, 1945

  • The new Japanese cabinet is sworn in with Prince Higashi-Kuni as Prime Minister and War Minister. Prince Konoye is Minister without portfolio and will act as vice-premier, when necessary; Shigemitsu is the new Foreign Minister. The Prime Minister tells the Army to obey the Emperor’s order to lay down arms.
  • Tokyo radio announces that the Japanese envoy will leave Tokyo for Manila on Sunday.
  • The Soviet High Command announces that in Manchuria 20,000 Japanese troops surrender. Meanwhile the 1st Far Eastern Command enter Wuli, Ninguta and Tumin; and troops of the 2nd Far Eastern Command on the banks of the Sungari River drive on 12 miles westward from Chiamussu. On the Transbaikal front Tungliao is occupied.
  • Moscow announces that Mr. Molotov (Russian Foreign Minister) and M. Osubka-Morawski (Prime Minister of the Polish Government of National Unity) sign a treaty in Moscow. The treaty settles with the Soviet-Polish frontier. Agreement is also reached about the apportionment of reparations for damage to Polish territory by Germany.
  • General de Gaulle commutes the death sentence passed on Petain a few days ago to a sentence of imprisonment for life.

August 18, 1945

  • The Swiss Charge d’Affaires in Shanghai states that 6,000 British subjects in that area have been freed by the Japanese.
  • Moscow radio announces that Russia is to have a further five-year plan, to cover the years 1946-1950; it will deal mainly with restoration and development.

August 19, 1945

  • The Japanese surrender envoys reach the Island (off Okinawa) and from there continue their journey to Manila in an American transport plane. They arrive at Manila in the evening and are taken to their quarters by General Willoughby, officer in charge of intelligence in the South-West Pacific.
  • Mamoru Shigemitsu, Japanese Foreign Minister, in a broadcast speech tells the Japanese to read the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration and to “carry them out courageously.”
  • In Bougainville (Solomons) Japanese army and naval forces cease fire; Lieut.-General Kanda sends an envoy across the Mivo River carrying a white flag.
  • The Soviet High Command announce that most of the Kwantung army in Manchuria have ceased fighting and continue to surrender. Russian airborne troops who landed in Harbin, Kirin, Chanchun, Tientsin and Mukden report that the Japanese troops in these areas are ready to surrender when Russians arrive.
Royal Family leaving St Paul's Cathedral after the Thanksgiving Service for VJ day 1945
The Royal Family leaving St Paul's Cathedral after the Thanksgiving Service
for VJ day on Sunday 19th August 1945

August 20, 1945

  • The 16 Japanese envoys leave Manila, without seeing General MacArthur, Allied Supreme Commander in the Pacific. The discussions dealt only with the preparations necessary before General MacArthur could land on Japanese soil with his forces.
  • General Ho Ying-chin, commander of the Chinese forces in the field, leaves Chihkiang (Hunan) to accept the Japanese surrender on behalf of General Chiang Kai-shek.
  • The Soviet High Command announce that fighting continues in Manchuria. Troops of the 1st Far Eastern Command take Zhuhe, Donhua, Emu, and Girin; while troops of the 2nd Far Eastern Command capture Mulan, Tunhe, and Harbin. Russians of the Transbaikal Command occupy Mukden and Chanyu. During the day 52,000 prisoners are taken.
  • Lord Louis Mountbatten sends a message to the Japanese H.Q., requesting them “to confirm that hostilities by all sea, land, and air forces in all areas under your command will cease by Wednesday, 22nd August.”
  • General de Gaulle leaves Paris at midnight for Washington.
  • The trial of Vidkun Quisling - from whom all later (and lesser) “Quislings” get their name - opens at Oslo in an old concert hall near Akepshus fortress.

August 21, 1945

  • President Truman orders the cancellation of all outstanding contracts for lend-lease, except where allied Governments will pay cash, or where it would be in the interest of U.S. to complete the deliveries.
  • In view of the pending Bulgarian election, the Foreign Office in London informs the Bulgarian Government that the British Government will be unable to recognise as democratic or representative any Bulgarian Government formed as a result of elections held under the conditions at present existing in Bulgaria. The U.S. Government has already sent a similar Note to the Bulgarian Government.

August 22, 1945

  • Russian airborne troops land in Dairen and Pori Arthur, and are disarming the Japanese garrisons there. South of Kamchatka, other Russian units land on Shumshu Island where Japanese troops begin to surrender.
  • General de Gaulle and M. Bidault (French Foreign Minister) arrive at Washington; the former drives to the White House for his first talk with President Truman.
  • Chungking reports that Chinese troops will take part in the occupation of Siam and Indo-China, and occupy Formosa.
  • Canberra announces that General Sir Thomas Blarney will sign the Japanese surrender document on behalf of Australia.

August 23, 1945

  • In Burma, Lieutenant-General Kimura, commander of the Japanese garrison, confirms the “cease fire” order in a message to allied headquarters in Burma. It was the first communication received from General Kimura, and he states that owing to the conditions of communication lines he cannot accept responsibility for his troops 145 miles north-east of Rangoon.
  • Manila announces the names of the allied signatories to the Japanese instrument of surrender: Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser will sign on behalf of Great Britain; Admiral Chester Nimitz for Am erica; and Lieut.-Gen. Derovyanko for Russia. China, France and the Netherlands East Indies will also be represented.
  • New Zealand announces her Army losses as follows: from the beginning of the war until May 1, 1945, she suffered 33,015 casualties; 4,130 men were killed in action, and a further 1,833 died of wounds; 17,917 were wounded. The New Zealand Air Force had 3,998 oversea casualties; 2,875 of these were killed or presumed dead.

August 24, 1945

  • Mr. Attlee spoke in the House of Commons on the end of American Lend-Lease; he said that Britain was now in a “very serious financial position,” and that Lord Halifax and Lord Keynes would be going to Washington to discuss with Americans the resulting situation.
  • General de Gaulle, speaking at a Press conference in Washington, said that France is now receiving “a very appreciable amount of economic help” from United States.
  • The Soviet High Command announced that Russian troops in Korea take Iffu, while airborne troops land in Kanto. Russian troops liberate 28 allied generals and 1,670 officers and men in a camp near Mukden; they capture 14,000 Japanese officers and men.
  • Washington Navy Department report that the submarine Bullhead was overdue and must now be presumed lost; she had 90 men on board. The Bullhead left Fremantle, Australia on July 31 for service in the Java Sea.
  • From Herford in Germany comes the news that from tomorrow Field-Marshal Montgomery’s 21st Army Group will be known as the British Army of the Rhine (B.A.O.R.).

August 25, 1945

  • General MacArthur’s headquarters at Manila states that the allied landing on Japan, which was to have taken place to-day, is held up by typhoons in the Western Pacific.
  • The Chinese High Command announce that troops under the command of General Chiang Kai-shek enter Nanking, where the Japanese surrender is to be signed.
  • U.S. carrier planes drop food and medical supplies to prisoners-of-war in the Tokyo area. Japanese civilians, who crowd into the streets to watch the operation, wave handkerchiefs at the planes.
  • As a result of the British and American Notes recently sent to the Bulgarian Government, the latter has decided, it is announced from Sofia, to postpone the proposed elections until a later date.

August 26, 1945

  • In Burma the Japanese envoys, led by Lieutenant-General Takazo Numata, reach Ingahado airfield (near Rangoon). After a series of conferences with British officers it was announced that the talks had been satisfactory, and that useful information had been given us by the Japanese.
  • A treaty is signed (and ratified) between Russia and China. In it Russia agrees to support Chiang Kai-shek’s regime (the Central Government of China). Chinese sovereignty in Manchuria is recognised. The Manchurian railways, after unification, are to be owned jointly for 40 years by Russia and China; after this they will revert to China. Dairen is to be a free port for 30 years, while Port Arthur is to be used jointly by Russia and China as a naval base for 30 years.
  • Lord Wavell, Viceroy of India, arrives in London for talks with the British Cabinet on the future of India. Sir John Colville, Governor of Bombay, will take over the duties of Viceroy and Governor-General of India while Lord Wavell is in London.
  • Mao Tse-tung, the Chinese Communist leader, agrees to go to Chungking for talks with Chiang Kai-shek.
Japanese surrender delegation arrives at Rangoon on 26th August 1945
Japanese surrender delegation arrives at Rangoon on 26th August 1945

August 27, 1945

  • Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, Commander-in-Chief British Pacific Fleet, announces that the British Fleet is lying in Sagami Bay, off Tokyo Bay. Admiral Fraser is flying his flag on the battleship Duke of York; H.M.S. King George V, and the aircraft-carrier Indefatigable are among the British ships anchored there. As the fleet steams into Tokyo Bay the crews will be at “action stations.”
  • More carrier aircraft from Admiral Halsey's fleet drop food to prisoners in the Tokyo area. Over one camp flew the Union Jack, while occupants of the camp at Naoestsu (Honshu) spelt out the words “food” as the planes went overhead. It is estimated that 36,000 allied prisoners-of-war are waiting release.
  • Lord Keynes leaves Southampton in the French liner Pasteur for Washington, where he will attend the discussions with U.S. Government officials on the situation which has arisen out of the sudden cessation of lend-lease supplies. It is expected that Lord Halifax, who is also to attend these talks, will leave later in the week by plane.
  • Chungking reports that Russian industrial and mining experts arrive at Chungking for discussions with the Chinese War Production Board and Ministry of Economic Affairs.

August 28, 1945

  • The occupation of Japan begins; 48 allied troop-carrying planes land on Atsugi airfield. An American advance head-quarters is set up 20 miles from Tokyo. Later, nine ships, carrying U.S. marines and sailors and some British marines, enter Tokyo Bay to land the troops.
  • Among the allied prisoners so far released are Lieutenant-General A. E. Percival (British Commander in Singapore in 1942); Lieutenant-General J. Wainwright (U.S. commander at the fall of Corregidor) and Sir Shenton Thomas, Governor of the Straits Settlements.
  • Two British naval forces travelling towards Malaya and Sumatra make contact with the Japanese authorities at Penang (where a Japanese naval officer boards H.M.S. Nelson), and at Sabang, where a Japanese lieutenant comes aboard H.M.S. London.
  • The Russian 2nd Far Eastern troops now control the southern half of Sakhalin Island. On the Kamchatka front other Russians, with the help of the Pacific Fleet, occupy the islands of Shishiry, Urup and Iterup in the southern group of the Kuriles.
  • At Rangoon, Lieutenant-General Numata (Japanese envoy) and General Browning (for Britain) sign the preliminary agreement for surrender arrangements.
  • H.M. the King has instituted two new medals, to be awarded to allied or other foreign subjects for services to the British Commonwealth in the allied cause during the war. They are the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom, and the King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom.

August 29, 1945

  • Admiral Nimitz arrives in Tokyo Bay by seaplane and transfers to the battleship Dakota; at the surrender ceremony Admiral Nimitz will represent President Truman. Admiral Halsey is also in Tokyo Bay, in the Missouri. Among the ships anchored there is H.M.S. Duke of York. U.S. airborne troops land at Atsugi airfield, near Tokyo, to prepare for the allied occupation.
  • It is reported from Rangoon that General ltagaki, C.-in-C. of the Japanese garrison in Singapore, decides to continue the fight against the Allies, in spite of the Imperial surrender order.
  • General de Gaulle arrives at Ottawa for talks with Mr. Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister.
  • A list of major war criminal is published by the committee of chief prosecutors for the investigation and prosecution of major war criminals. Goering heads the list; next comes Hess, and then Ribbentrop. There are 24 war criminals listed.

August 30, 1945

  • The allied occupation of Japan continues. Troops of the U.S. 11th Airborne Division take over Yokohama without incident; it is here that General MacArthur makes his headquarters for the time being. American Marines of the 4th Regiment land at the Japanese naval base of Yokosuka.
  • President Truman makes his report to Congress on lend-lease operations.
  • The Swiss Federal Government agrees to King Leopold of the Belgians residing in Switzerland, provided he takes no part in political activities. It is thought that the Belgian king will live near Geneva.
  • At Chungking, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Tse-tung, the Yenan leader, begin their talks.
  • The French battleship Jean Bart arrives at Cherbourg from Casablanca, where she has been since June, 1940.

August 31, 1945

  • By nightfall the White Ensign flies over the British sections of Yokusuka naval base; it is the “success” signal of a Royal Marine battalion. Meanwhile at Yokohama, U.S. 8th Army troops finish the task of occupying the town.
  • Lieut.-General Jonathan Wainwright, who for three-and-half years had been a prisoner of war in Japanese hands, meets General MacArthur at his headquarters in Yokohama. Shortly after this reunion, General Sir Archibald Percival (also a released prisoner of war) joins the party. Both Percival and Wainwright have been invited by General MacArthur to attend the surrender ceremonies.
  • It is announced from Melbourne that Lieut.-General Imamura, C.-in-C. of the Japanese 8th Area Army, will sign the Japanese surrender terms in New Guinea.
  • During the last three months of the war, the U.S. Navy has sunk 69 enemy ships in Far Eastern waters. The U.S. Navy Department states also that, according to official Japanese sources, Japan had no ship which she could put to sea within 10 days; her losses during the war were 12 battleships, 15 carriers, four escort carriers, 15 heavy cruisers and 1 old cruiser; 20 light cruisers, 126 destroyers and 125 submarines.
  • Two more high-ranking German officers are arrested; they are Field-Marshal von Brauchitsch and Field-Marshal Manstein. Manstein came into prominence by capturing Sevastopol; Brauchitsch was C.-in-C. of the German Army in 1938, but was dismissed by Hitler in 1941.
  • Mr. Edward Stettinius, former U.S. Secretary 61 State, arrives in London to take up his duties as U.S. representative on the Preparatory Commission for the United Nations Organisation.

SEPTEMBER 1945

September 1, 1945

  • President Truman, in a broadcast speech, proclaims tomorrow as VJ Day.
  • Moscow radio announces that ail the Kurile Islands (north of Japan) have been cleared of armed Japanese troops.
  • New Delhi radio states that a Chinese military delegation is at Hankow, and that Chinese troops are now in Canton.
  • The Four-Power Tangier Conference (held in Paris) announces that Spain has been given some 28 days in which to evacuate her troops from the International Zone of Tangier. Should Spain fail to remove her troops, the four Powers will take measures to compel her to do so.

September 2, 1945

  • U.S.A VJ Day - The war with Japan officially ends at 10.30 a.m. (Tokyo time); on board die Missouri in Tokyo Bay the Emperor of Japan’s representatives sign an 8-point surrender document pledging Japan to accept the Potsdam declaration.
  • A short time after the signing of the Japanese surrender 42 ships carrying American troops enter Tokyo Bay; by night 13,000 soldiers had landed, among them the 1st Cavalry Division from the Philippines.
  • The Japanese Prime Minister, Prince Higashi-Kuni, tells the Japanese to carry out faithfully the terms of the surrender and the orders of the Imperial Government in that respect.
  • S.E.A.C. headquarters announce that minesweepers of the Royal Navy and the Royal Indian Navy, supported by the British East Indies Fleet, begin their task of sweeping the Malacca Straits, in readiness for the entry to Singapore.
  • A Siamese military mission - led by Lieut.-Gen. Akdi Sena Narong, deputy C.-in-C. of the Siamese Army, arrives at Colombo for talks with British staff officers of S.E.A.C. about plans for the evacuation of prisoners-of-war from Siam and of or the surrender of the Japanese there.
  • The War Office announce that General Sir Miles Dempsey has taken over command of the 14th Army, and that General Slim (late of the 14th Army) succeeds Lieut.-General Sir Oliver Leese as commander of Allied Land Forces, South-East Asia

September 3, 1945

  • Some 500 prisoners-of-war leave Japan on board the escort-carrier Speaker on their first stage of the journey homewards.
  • Admiral Sir Arthur Power, C.-in-C. East Indies Fleet, arrives at Singapore in his flagship Cleopatra, accompanied by units of the Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy. At Penang, Royal Marines formally take over the island, following the signing on Saturday last of the agreement for allied occupation.
  • Melbourne gives the news that the Japanese troops in Bougainville have been disarmed. Japanese messengers, who brought this news across the Mivo River, say that Lieut.-General Kanda (Japanese Army commander) will obey instructions from superior officers in Raboul and Tokyo and is ready to offer the surrender of his forces.

September 4, 1945

  • General MacArthur holds a long conference with the Japanese Foreign Minister, Shigemitsu. In Tokyo, at a meeting of the Diet, the Emperor calls for strict observance of the Imperial instructions.
  • The Japanese are told in an order issued by General MacArthur that foreign language broadcasts by Japanese radio stations are forbidden; all Japanese towns are to display news both in English and Japanese. The Japanese are instructed to turn over every existing prisoner-of-war camp.
  • Dr. Evatt, Australian Minister for External Affairs, leaves Sydney by air for London to attend the meeting of Foreign Ministers in London. From their deliberations will come the draft treaties of Peace with the defeated countries.

 

Acknowledgements

Various sources have been used to create this timeline but a large proportion have come from ‘Hutchinson’s Pictorial History of the War’ within the Forces War Records Document Library

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