Northern Eurasia 1945: Soviet Post-War Power
In the aftermath of World War II, Soviet-occupied territory stretched from central and eastern Europe to northern China, North Korea, and the Kuril Islands. However, its population and economy had been devastated by the war and it was surrounded on all sides by an increasingly hostile alliance led by the United States, the world's only nuclear power.
16 Aug 1945 Division of Korea▲
The Soviets accepted the US proposal of a temporary division of Korea along the 38th parallel.
18 Aug–4 Sep 1945 Kuril Landing Operation▲
A small detachment of Soviet forces, carried by two mine trawlers from Petropavlovsk, landed on Iturup—largest of the southern islands in the Japanese territory of the Kuril Islands. Urup and the northern islands were then occupied from 22 to 28 August, with the islands south of Iturup falling in early September. On 23 August, the Japanese garrison on the islands was ordered to surrender, although resistance continued in some areas until 4 September.
28 Aug 1945 US Forces arrive in Tokyo▲
Beginning of occupation of Japan
20 Nov 1945–1 Oct 1946 Nuremberg Trials▲
In November 1945, 24 high-ranking Nazi officials were tried by a joint American-British-French-Soviet tribunal for conspiracy, waging wars of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. All but two were convicted, twelve were executed, and several more received prison sentences or died or went missing before they could be sentenced.