Southern Asia 1945: Reconquest of Burma
In March and April 1945 the British advanced south into Japanese-occupied Burma, capturing Rangoon in an amphibious assault in early May and splitting the Japanese forces in two. In July the Japanese made a last desperate bid to break through British lines and reconnect their armies but were defeated, effectively bringing an end to the fighting in Burma.
British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf
The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India's influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.
The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.
Trucial Oman was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.
The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, was comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.
The area under direct British rule was known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.
Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, were the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.
23 Feb 1945 Turkey enters World War II▲
Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan, joining World War II on the side of the Allies. This was in response to the Yalta Conference declaration that only states formally at war with the Axis by 1 March 1945 would be admitted to the United Nations. Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran followed suit in the following days.
28 Feb 1945 Saudi Arabia enters World War II▲
Throughout World War II, the Saudi Arabian petroleum industry expanded rapidly, largely due to Allied investment and in order to supply the Allies with oil. After meetings with US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in mid-February 1945, Saudi King Ibn Saud declared war on Germany and Japan, entering World War II on the side of the Allies.
9 Mar 1945 Japanese coup in French Indochina▲
In Operation Bright Moon, Japan launched a surprise attack against French colonial garrisons across French Indochina, successfully preempting any attempt those forces might make to mount an uprising in favor of the Allies. French colonial power in Indochina was dismantled and replaced over the following months by Japanese-backed states—the Empire of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Kampuchea.
3 May 1945 Operation Dracula▲
In Operation Dracula, British forces mounted an amphibious and airborne attack on Rangoon, capital of Japanese-occupied Burma, in an attempt to secure it before the arrival of the monsoon later in May. With the main body of British forces fighting the Japanese only 70 km away in Pegu, Gurkha units made a parachute drop on Elephant Point at the mouth of the Rangoon River on 1 May and secured the coastal batteries. The following day, the 26th Indian Division arrived from the Bay of Bengal, capturing Rangoon itself on 3 May.
7 May 1945 German Instrument of Surrender▲
Representatives of the German armed forces signed the Instrument of Surrender in Berlin, along with representatives of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom (on behalf of the Western Allies, who had also overseen a surrender ceremony in Reims earlier that day). This act brought an end to World War II in Europe.
3 Jul–4 Aug 1945 Battle of the Sittang Bend▲
In July 1945, the Japanese 33rd Army under General Honda in the Shan Hills moves to support the 28th Army under General Sakurai in its attempt to break out from the Pegu Yoma and through British positions to cross the River Sittang. Honda mounts a feint attack on Waw, with the main offensive occurring south of Toungoo against the 17th Indian Division. The attacks are beaten back, with only a third of the 18,000 Japanese withdrawing from the Pegu Yoma making it across the Sittang.
26 Jul 1945 Potsdam Declaration▲
United States President Harry S. Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China Chiang Kai-shek issued the Potsdam Declaration, which outlined the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference that the Allies were then attending in Potsdam, Allied-occupied Germany. This ultimatum stated that, if Japan did not agree to unconditional surrender, it would face “prompt and utter destruction."