Events of 1945 - WW2 Timeline (January 1st - December 31st, 1945)


The final year of the war proved just as bloody as the previous five - the Axis forces finally defeated by September.

Both the Germans and Japanese were on the ropes by early 1945. With the Soviets closing in on his location, German leader Adolph Hitler decided suicide was his best option. The war in Europe was over the following month. In the Pacific, the use of Atomic weapons as well as a relentless aerial bombing campaign and continued successes both on the ground and at sea meant that the Empire of Japan had very little choice but to surrender - which they did in August, officially ending the fighting of World War 2.


There are a total of (102) Events of 1945 - WW2 Timeline (January 1st - December 31st, 1945) events in the Second World War timeline database. Entries are listed below by date-of-occurrence ascending (first-to-last). Other leading and trailing events may also be included for perspective.





Sunday, April 1st - April 30th, 1945

The USN is credited with sinking four German U-boats in what turns out to be the last recorded combat actions in the Atlantic Theater of War.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

By May of 1945, the U-boat scourge in the Atlantic is over, completing one of the more important battles in all of World War 2.
Saturday, March 24th, 1945

In preparation for the amphibious assault landings on the island of Okinawa, US Naval elements begin bombardment of shoreline positions.
Saturday, March 31st, 1945

The US Navy lobs some 30,000 explosive shells on the Okinawa coastline by this time, ending a week of bombardment.
Saturday, March 24th, 1945

The US 77th Infantry Division lands at the Kerama Islands to secure a staging post for the eventual invasion of Okinawa.
Thursday, March 29th, 1945

Further landings of US forces on the Kerama Islands, complete its capture for the Allies.
Sunday, April 1st, 1945

Two US Army and USMC divisions land along the southwest coast of Okinawa near Hagushi, meeting little resistance. The US 10th Army is commanded by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner. Some 550,000 personnel and 180,000 soldiers take part in the fray.
Friday, April 6th, 1945

As American forces move further inland, the battle for Okinawa intensifies. Pockets of dug-in Japanese defenders become evermore concentrated the more inland the Allied forces go.
Friday, April 6th, 1945

American forces are now amassed as two separate assault fronts. To the north are the 1st and 6th Marine divisions. To the mountainous south are the 7th and 96th Infantry divisions.
Friday, April 6th, 1945

The deadly kamikaze air attack is unleashed on American Naval vessels in the Pacific. These aircraft appear as coordinated airstrikes and prove equally deadly to both sides. USN vessels off the coast of Okinawa itself are targeted. Some 34 US Navy ships fall victim.
Saturday, April 7th, 1945

The IJN Yamato, having already been spotted by an American submarine, makes its way to the fighting at Okinawa. The crew understand that this is a suicide mission at this point in the war.
Tuesday, April 10th, 1945

The American 27th Infantry Division lands at Tsugen. The island is just to the east of Okinawa proper.
Wednesday, April 11th, 1945

The conquest of Tsugen is completed by the 27th Infantry Division.
Friday, April 13th, 1945

US Marines reach Hedo Point in the north of Okinawa.
Monday, April 16th, 1945

A five-day offensive is undertaken involving the American 77th Infantry Division and the island of Ie Shima. Ie Shima represents the tip of the Motobu Peninsula. Motobu is a defensive Japanese stronghold located to the west of Okinawa proper.
Saturday, April 21st, 1945

The offensive to take Ie Shima is completed.
Thursday, April 19th, 1945

Japanese defenders are pushed back towards Naha by American forces. The Japanese defensive lines are reset as territory is lost. The Americans report 1,000 casualties in their assaults.
Friday, April 20th, 1945

Motobu Peninsula falls to the Americans as the Japanese defenders are either killed or captured.
Friday, May 4th, 1945

The Japanese enact a major offensive in the south of Okinawa. A coast-to-coast defensive front is established from Naha to Yonabaru. Regardless, the line is targeted by prolonged American firepower and infantry.
Sunday, May 27th, 1945

Naha is officially captured by American forces. The Orouku Peninsula to the south is now within reach.
Friday, June 22nd, 1945

The fighting on Okinawa comes to a close as American forces overwhelm the islands determined Japanese defenders. Those that are not taken prisoner or die in the fighting, subject themselves to ritual suicides.
Thursday, April 5th, 1945

Allied forces find and locate the Japanese defenders along the southern portion of Okinawa. Heavy defenses are noted.
Friday, June 22nd, 1945

Understanding that defeat is iminent, Japanese Lieutenant General Mitsuru Ushjima commits ritual suicide with his staff after reporting the loss of Okinawa to his superiors.
Friday, June 22nd, 1945

The Battle of Okinawa officially draws to a close and now represents the all-important staging area for the Allied invasion of the Japanese mainland.
Friday, April 6th, 1945

The IJN Yamato, Japan's pride and joy and the largest battleship ever built, sails from the Inland Sea on a suicide mission at Okinawa. She is escorted by the light cruiser Yahagi and some eight destroyers on her final voyage.
Saturday, April 7th, 1945

In the early morning hours, US Navy reconnaissance aircraft spot the IJN Yamato and relay her position.
Saturday, April 7th, 1945

Task Force 38 launches some 380 aircraft against IJN Yamato.
Saturday, April 7th, 1945

With no air cover, the IJN Yamato is blasted to pieces by the American Navy warplanes. Her magazine stores explode in a fantastic display as she goes up in smoke. Most of her crew is lost with the ship in the afternoon hours.
Sunday, June 17th, 1945

By this time, the Japanese defenders have been seperated into three major fighting groups. The more raw recruits find it somewhat easy to surrender than fight to the death.
Monday, April 16th, 1945

The Soviet Army begins its Berlin campaign with spectacular display of artillery, exploding targets throughout Berlin and its surrounding areas. The bombardment signals the beginning of the offensive to take the German capital.
Monday, April 20th, 1945

Soviet Army groups advance against German defenses at the Oder River.
Monday, April 20th, 1945

Adolf Hitler celebrates his final (56th) birthday, seemingly unaware of the fate to befall him and his Germany.
Tuesday, April 21st, 1945

General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian army break into the Berlin suburbs.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 1945

Soviet leader Stalin sends his final assault orders to generals Zhukov and Koniev.
Thursday, April 23rd, 1945

The Berlin suburbs gradually fall under Soviet control as fighting rages on everywhere.
Friday, April 24th, 1945

German General Wenck of the 12th Army launches a futile counter-offensive against the Soviet onslaught.
Friday, April 24th, 1945

The British Royal Air Force slow down the 12th Army offensive through intense bombing.
Saturday, April 25th, 1945

The 1st Belorussian Front meets up with the st Ukranian Front, formally encircling Berlin.
Saturday, April 25th, 1945

All access points west of the German capital are cutt off by Soviet forces.
Saturday, April 25th, 1945

Over 2 million Berlin civilians hunker down for the violent fighting ahead.
Saturday, April 25th, 1945

Some 30,000 German soldiers ready themselves for the bloody business of the day.
Sunday, April 26th, 1945

Twin Soviet offensives break the final defensive fronts of the Germans.
Sunday, April 26th, 1945

Soviet forces advance across the Spree River.
Sunday, April 26th, 1945

Soviet forces advance towards Unter den Linden.
Monday, April 27th, 1945

General Wenck's 12th Army is halted by the Soviet Army.
Monday, April 27th, 1945

The Soviet Army remains just 15 miles from the center of Berlin.
Monday, April 27th, 1945

German soldiers set up defensive areas across a small 10 mile long front for their ultimate "last stand".
Monday, April 30th, 1945

The Soviets capture the Reichstag.
Monday, April 30th, 1945

German leader Adolf Hitler weds his mistress, Eva Braun, in his underground bunker under Berlin. After giving a final speech to his remaining supporters, he poisons his dog, then Braun and ultimately takes his own life. In his will, he leaves his authority to Admiral Doenitz.
Monday, April 30th, 1945

The bodies of Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun are taken to the Chancellery Gardens and incinerated under previous orders from Hitler, this to avoid capture and ultimate humiliation at the hands of the progressing Soviet Army.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

Soviet artillery opens up once again, this time in a massive barrage against the Chancellery and surrounding areas.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels murders his wife and six children before taking his own life.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 1945

German forces across Berlin begin surrendering.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 1945

The Fall of Berlin is complete - Soviet forces occupy all major sections of the German capital.
Wednesday, May 2nd, 1945

The war in Europe officially comes to a close.
Tuesday, May 8th, 1945

This day is formally announced as "VE Day" and celebrations break out across the world, though fighting in the Pacific against the Japanese Empire is ongoing.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

General Chuikov makes his way into the center of Berlin.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

German Generaloberst Hans Krebs approaches Chuikov with the formal German surrender.
Tuesday, May 1st, 1945

Berlin formally and unconditionally surrenders to the Soviet legions and Western Allies. General Jodl signs for the defeated Germans and Generals Bedell Smith and Suslaparov for the Allies.
Saturday, April 25th, 1945

Elements of the 5th Guards Army reach the Elbe River at Torgau and celebrate with the arriving US 1st Army.
Monday, January 1st, 1945

Weeks of fighting see German forces destroyed, taken prisoner or sent packing as the Allies regroup and respond.
Wednesday, February 7th, 1945

By this date, all of the German gains of the Ardennes Offensive have been erased.
Wednesday, February 7th, 1945

The German loss of life is a staggering 82,000 men, matched only by the 77,000 casualties suffered by the American Army.
Saturday, January 6th, 1945

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the west coordinates via telegram with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in the east on launching a combined January offensive. Churchill plans on the 20th as the target date.
Sunday, January 7th, 1945

Stalin moves the offensive launch date forward to January 12th.
Friday, January 12th, 1945

The Red Army enacts a massive offensive against German foes along the East Front. His targets are German Army Group A and Army Group Center located in East Prussia and Poland. The battle line is a long running front from the Lithuanian coast down to the Balkans region.
Friday, January 12th, 1945

The Red Army offensive is spear-headed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Belorussian Fronts as well as the 1st Baltic Front joined by the 1st Ukrainian Front.
Sunday, January 14th, 1945

Initial thrusts by the Soviet Army prove positive against the German defense.
Tuesday, January 16th, 1945

Adolf Hitler reorders his forces, weakening key areas of defense, to attempt a flanking manuever against the Red Army near Poznan.
Wednesday, January 17th, 1945

The Polish capital city of Warsaw officially falls to the advancing Soviet Army.
Wednesday, January 17th, 1945

Soviet forces engage German foes in East Prussia with gains being made towards Danzig and Konigsberg.
Saturday, January 20th, 1945

Hitler orders his 6th SS Panzer Army out of the Ardennes forrest on the West Front towards Budapest, Hungary in the east.
Monday, January 22nd, 1945

Soviet General Konev and his 1st Ukranian Front cross the Oder River at Steinau.
Thursday, January 25th, 1945

Hitler reorganizes his forces under the new names of Army Group North, Army Group Center and Army Group Vistula.
Thursday, February 1st, 1945

German forces at Kustrin derail any further Soviet advance towards Berlin. General Zhukov's 1st Belorussian Front is halted.
Saturday, February 3rd, 1945

General Zhukov and his 1st Belorussian Front combine forces with General Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front along the Oder River near Kustrin.
Saturday, February 3rd, 1945

The Soviet front lines total some 50 miles along the Oder River by this time.
Monday, February 5th, 1945

Soviet Army forces begin to cross the Oder River into Germany.
Thursday, February 15th, 1945

The German city of Breslau is surrounded by Soviet troops.
Thursday, February 22nd, 1945

Poznan falls to the Soviet Army after the defending German troops surrender.
Saturday, February 24th, 1945

General Konev's 1st Ukranian Front claims Lower Silesia.
Friday, March 16th, 1945

From Hungary, Soviet Army groups begin their offensive into Austria along the Danube River. The target is Vienna.
Saturday, March 31st, 1945

The Soviet Front gains tremendous ground since the start of the offensive back in January. Forces are a mere 50 miles from Berlin.
Saturday, March 31st, 1945

Preparations for the final battle of Berlin are made.
Tuesday, February 13th, 1945

805 RAF bombers level the German city of Dresden, killing up to 130,000 of its inhabitants. The attack is notable for Dresden held little to no military or strategic value for Germany.
Sunday, April 1st - April 30th, 1945

The final raid, this by American medium bombers, is launched against Schweinfurt.
Tuesday, May 1st - May 31st, 1945

The last Artic Convoy voyage - with the designation of JW67 - between Britian and Russia is completed.
Tuesday, July 3rd - 11th, 1945

About 6,000 men, left over from the decimated Japanese 33rd Army, assail Allied positions at Waw. The fighting lasts until July 11th when the attackers are finally driven off by combined Allied air and ground assaults.
Thursday, July 12th, 1945

The Allies conduct an amphibious landing at Sarangini Bay in a step towards removing the Japanese defenders at Mindanao.
Monday, July 16th, 1945

The Americans complete the detonation of the world's first atomic bomb under the codename of "Manhattan Project". The operation takes place at Alamogordo in New Mexico. Such bombs are intended to be used on the Japanese mainland to help finish the war.
Tuesday, July 17th - August 2nd, 1945

Allied leaders meet for the Potsdam Conference to discuss the post-war world order. Chuchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin are the primary leaders in attendance.
Thursday, July 19th, 1945

Elements of the Japanese 28th Army attempt to push out of Pegu Yomas against the Indian 17th. Japanese forces are slaughtered by gunfire and the escape fails.
Thursday, July 26th, 1945

Japanese defenders on Mindanao in the Philippines are defeated.
Saturday, July 28th, 1945

Japanese leaders disregard the proclamations by Allied leaders made at the Potsdam Conference.
Saturday, August 4th, 1945

In the Far East theater of Burma, the remaining elements of the Japanese 28th Army are destroyed.
Monday, August 6th, 1945

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress 'Enola Gay' drops the first of two atomic bombs on the Japanese mainland - the target being the densely populated city of Hiroshima. About 70,000 of its citizens are killed and a further 70,000 are injured in the blast. Many more will die in the coming years from its effects.
Thursday, August 9th, 1945

In the Manchurian Theater, the Soviets commit some 1.5 million troops against the Japanese's Kwantung Army.
Thursday, August 9th, 1945

A United States B-29 bomber delivers a second atomic bomb on the Japanese mainland, this time on the city of Nagasaki. This is in direct response to Tokyo's disregard of previous ultimatums by the Allies calling for an immediate and unconditional surrender. Some 35,000 are killed in the blast with another 60,000 citizens injured.
Friday, August 10th, 1945

Following the drop of a second atomic bomb on one of its major cities, the Emperor of Japan formally supports a Japanese surrender to the terms specified in the Potsdam Conference.
Wednesday, August 15th, 1945

For the first time during his tenure, Emperor Hirohito speaks to his people, calling on his commanders to support his order to surrender to the Allies.
Thursday, August 23rd, 1945

The Soviets claim the complete victory in Manchuria over the defeated Japanese Army. The war has cost the conquered some 80,000 KIA with a further 594,000 taken prisoner to an unknown fate. In comparison, the Soviets lose just 8,000 of their own with 22,000 wounded.
Sunday, September 2nd, 1945

The formal Japanese surrender takes place on the deck of the American battleship USS Missouri. Japanese leaders sign the surrender in front of American General Douglas MacArthur. The end of World War 2 - with VJ day - has arrived.