US in World War II
North America 1945.0814
US in World War II
America in World War II, the Cold War and today (14 August 1945)
Historical Map of North America & the Caribbean
Despite initial setbacks, the US took only 6 months to defeat Japan at sea, allowing it to focus on Europe. In 1944, the Western Allies liberated France and, together with the Soviet Union, conquered Germany the following year. That August, the US used the newly invented atomic bomb to help force the Japanese surrender and bring the Second World War to an abrupt end.
Battle of Midway
In an attempt to lure the US Pacific Fleet's few remaining aircraft carriers into a trap, the Imperial Japanese Navy launches an offensive against Midway Atoll. However, warned of Japanese plans by its codebreakers, the US is prepared for the attack and successfully ambushes the Japanese force, sinking all four of its major aircraft carriers - Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu - and a heavy cruiser for the loss of just the carrier Yorktown and a destroyer.
After extensive aerial and naval bombardment, including the landing of 24,000 airborne troops, 156,000 US, British, and other Allied troops land on the beaches of Normandy, German-occupied France, in the largest seaborne invasion in history. The landings begin at 06:30 and meet heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, along with numerous mines and obstacles. Over the day, the Allies suffer at least 10,000 casualties vs about 1,000 for the Germans, but secure their beachhead.
Following the German signing of the Act of Surrender on 7 May in Reims, France, and 8 May in Berlin, Germany, a public holiday - Victory in Europe Day, or V.E. Day - is celebrated in Allied countries to mark the Allies' formal acceptance of Germany's surrender and the end of World War II in Europe.
United Nations Charter
United States conducts first detonation of a nuclear weapon, at Trinity Site in New Mexico
Atomic bombing of Hiroshima
After being briefed in Operations Order No. 35 - the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan - the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets, departs from the US-occupied island of Tinian at 02:45 on 6 August 1945. Having reached Hiroshima, they release the Little Boy atomic bomb at 08:15 from a height of 9,400 m, making it to 18.5 km away before they feel the shock waves of the blast. The explosion and resultant firestorm kill some 70,000-80,000 people in the city, with another 70,000 injured and more later dying from the after-effects.
Jewel Voice Broadcast
Japanese Emperor Hirohito reads out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War in a radio broadcast, announcing to the people of Japan that their government has accepted the Potsdam Declaration and agreed to unconditional surrender. The speech is the first time the Emperor has spoken to the common people.