Eastern Mediterranean 1945: Levant Crisis

Although they had officially recognized the independence of Syria and Lebanon in 1944, the French continued to act as though the two countries were colonial possessions. In June 1945, after France violently suppressed pro-independence protests in Damascus, the British intervened, militarily occupying much of Syria and Lebanon and forcing a French agreement to evacuate the region by early 1946.

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Main Events

16 Apr–2 May 1945 Battle of Berlin

In mid-April 1945 three Soviet fronts, comprising some 2.5 million men, converged on Berlin from the east, south, and north, facing a little over 766 thousand German defenders. On 20 April—Hitler’s birthday—they began bombarding the city, with the fronts completing its encirclement on the 25th. German attempts to break the siege failed and on 2 May the advancing Soviets captured the Reichstag at Berlin’s heart. Over 80,000 Soviet troops died in the offensive for German losses of up to 100,000 (including Adolf Hitler, who committed suicide on 30 April).in wikipedia

2 May 1945 Surrender of Caserta

On 1 April 1945 the Allies broke through the German line at Emilia-Romagna, advancing rapidly toward Italy’s northern border. While attempting to flee to Switzerland on 27 April, former Italian leader Benito Mussolini was captured and executed on 28 April by Italian partisans. The following day, the German armed forces in Italy agreed to surrender, effective May 2.in wikipedia

8 May 1945 V.E. Day

Following the German signing of the Act of Surrender on 7 May 1945 in Reims, France, and on 8 May in Berlin, Germany, a public holiday—Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day—was celebrated in Allied countries to mark the Allies’ formal acceptance of Germany’s surrender and the end of World War II in Europe.in wikipedia

19 May–19 Jul 1945 Levant Crisis

In April 1945 Charles de Gaulle, head of the French Provisional Government, ordered the establishment of an air base in Syria and a naval base in Lebanon, despite having officially recognized the independence of both countries. When Syrian protests against these moves led to the deaths of some French nationals that May, France called an end to independence talks and marched troops into Damascus, storming the Syrian parliament and killing over a thousand Syrians through indiscriminate bombardment and gunfire. These actions provoked an international outcry against France and on 1 June British forces intervened in Syria and Lebanon to enforce a ceasefire. in wikipedia

1 Jun–19 Dec 1945 British intervention in Levant Crisis

In response to French attempts to crack down on the independence movements in Syria and Lebanon, the British sent troops into both countries on 1 June 1945 and by the next day had enforced a ceasefire. Despite French protests—in which Charles de Gaulle criticized Britain, the United States, and even the Soviet Union—over the following month or so the British imposed a curfew on all French citizens in Syria and kept French soldiers in their barracks. French hopes were further dashed in October, when both Syria and Lebanon were accepted as founding members of the United Nations, and that December France finally came to an agreement with Britain that they would both withdraw from Syria and Lebanon in early 1946. in wikipedia