Sub-Saharan Africa 1945: End of World War II
The surrender of Germany and Japan in May and August 1945 brought an end to World War II. Africa ended the war almost exactly as it started it, under the colonial rule of the European powers. However, the full restoration of Ethiopian independence (in late 1944) was a sign of changing international attitudes and colonialism’s days would prove to be numbered.
19 Dec 1944 1944 Anglo–Ethiopian Agreement▲
After negotiations beginning in 25 May 1944, the Ethiopian government, supported by the United States, pressured Britain into signing a new Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement to supersede the one signed in 1942. By the renegotiated terms, the British agreed to remove their garrison from Ethiopia, open Ethiopia’s airfields to non-British traffic, end their control of Ethiopian section of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti railroad, and recognize Ethiopia as an independent member of the Allies. However Britain retained its hold on the Ogaden and Haud.
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.
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.
15 Aug 1945 Jewel Voice Broadcast▲
Japanese Emperor Hirohito read out the Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War in a radio broadcast, announcing to the people of Japan that their government had accepted the Potsdam Declaration and agreed to unconditional surrender. The speech was the first time the Emperor had spoken to the common people.