You might be asked a question in the world war 2 quiz that when did it finish? After six bloody years since 1939, the second World War finally ended in 1945. In Europe, it ended with the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allies on May 8, 1945. May 8th and 9th are celebrated as Victory in Europe Day or VE day. Both days are celebrated as Germany surrendered to the Western Allies, including Britain on the 8th and separately surrendered to the Soviet Union on the 9th.
In the East, Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 14, 1945, and signed on it on September 2nd. This day is celebrated as the Victory in Japan Day.
- End in Europe:
- Since the beginning of the war, Adolf Hitler had conquered much of the European continent within two years (1939-1941). Hitler even conquered France in his blitzkrieg. He would have successfully conquered almost all the European countries, had he not attacked the Soviet Union. His attack on the Soviet Union backfired and left him no choice but to retreat from Russia.
- Joseph Stalin and the people of the Soviet Union did not back down to German forces and fought well. Stalin led the Battle of Stalingrad to victory and forced German troops all the way back, across Europe.
- The final nail in the coffin was when the Allied troops of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada landed in Normandy, which gave them the geographical advantage to tackle Germany. Together, both from the east and west, Germany was attacked.
- Hitler, now helpless and hidden in a bunker, realized that the enemies were close and he couldn’t do anything. He committed suicide on April 30th, 1945. The reigns were passed on to Admiral Karl Doenitz after Hitler’s death. Doenitz knew there was no way to prevent the attack and an unconditional surrender was needed, hence he was ready to sign. But due to the strained relations between the US and Soviet Union, the Soviets wanted a separate surrender. With that, on May 8th, World War II came to an end in Europe.
- End in the East:
- The Allies fought hard in the Pacific and victory did not come easily. The Eastern leg of the war commenced with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. Japan bombed Pearl Harbour on December 7th, 1941. This agitated the United States to a great extent. After repeated attempts to mend relations with Japan and trying to sign a peace treaty with them, the United States decided to drop bombs in Japan.
- The United States issued orders to drop atomic bombs on four Japanese cities, on July 25th. On August 6th, 1945, a B-29 uranium gun-type bomb named ‘Little Boy’ was dropped on Hiroshima, and on August 9th, 1945, another B-29 plutonium implosion bomb named ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki. The mass destruction caused by these atomic explosions was the worst that humankind had ever seen and left Japan weak.
- A week later, on August 14th, 1945, Japan announced its intention to surrender. Then foreign affairs minister of Japan, Mamoru Shigemitsu, signed the official surrender document on September 2nd, 1945. The signing of the document ended the war in the Pacific.