Today in WW II: 30 Nov 1939 Soviet Union invades Finland.   

World War II Timeline: 1945

Headlines blare:  Hitler Dead.   Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945 in his Berlin bunker to avoid being captured by the Red Army, already nearby
Headlines blare: Hitler Dead. Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945 in his Berlin bunker to avoid being captured by the Red Army, already nearby.

This page presents World War II Timeline events for the year 1945.

Links are provided in the timeline with additional information from pages or relevant books on the event or subject. For additional compilations of the events of World War II, go to one of the recommended time line web sites listed at the bottom of the main WWII Timeline page. If you have other events to suggest, or spot any errors, please contact

1 January Operation Nordwind: last major German Army action in the west attacks US 7th Army & French 1st Army in NE France; halted by US reinforcements, 25 Jan.
1 January Operation Bodenplatte: 800 German Luftwaffe aircraft attack Allied airfields in Belgium, Holland and northern France causing heavy losses.
3 January New Pacific theater command structure puts Gen. Douglas MacArthur in command of all US ground forces; Adm. Nimitz commands all naval forces.
4 January Operation Talon: British troops invade and occupy Akyab Island, Burma.
9 January US invasion of Luzon, Philippines.
12 January Japanese bombing balloon lands near Regina, Saskatchewa causing minor damage, one of over 9000 launched from Japan during 1944-1945 against US and Canada.
12 January First convoy of 113 vehicles starts from Ledo [in India] via the reopened Burma Road to deliver supplies to China.
16 January Adolf Hitler moves into the Führerbunker in Berlin, joined by his senior staff, where they will remain to the end of the war.
16 January US 1st and 3rd Armies link up ending Battle of the Bulge.
17 January Soviet troops capture Warsaw from German Army Group A who had occupied the city.
20 January Hungary signs armistice with Allies.
26 January The troops of Soviet General Georgy Zhukov, the 1st Byelorussian Front, cross the 1939 German-Polish border, moving West into Germany.
27 January Soviet army enters Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland; more than 7000 remaining prisoners liberated.
27 January Memel, Lithuania liberated by Red Army.
28 January Rangers conduct their most complex operation of WW II, rescuing 511 Allied POWs from Japanese prison camp at Cabanatuan, Philippines.
28 January German pushed back beyond their initial positions of 16 December 1944 bringing Battle of the Bulge to an end.
31 January 0600 hours: Soviet infantry crossed the Oder River ice to establish a bridgehead on the western side, 60 miles from Berlin.
31 January Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet in Malta.
3 February US troops return to Manila, Philippines.
4 February Yalta Conference between Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin [Feb 4-12].
4 February Supply truck convoy from India, en route since 12 January via the reopened Burma Road, arrives in Kunming, China.
7 February Gen. Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila, Philippines.
8 February Battle of the Reichswald: British and Canadian forces under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery begin Operation Veritable [8 Feb-11 Mar].
13 February Dresden destroyed by Allied bombing firestorm in four raids [13-15 Feb].
13 February Defenders surrender and Soviet forces occupy Budapest, ending a 100 day siege.
19 February US Marines attack the Japanese held island of Iwo Jima, landing 30,000 troops on the congested beachhead the first day.
21 February The last German V-2 rocket is launched from Peenemünde.
23 February US Marines from 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division captured the summit of Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, after days of intense fighting. Without realizing its significance, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal snapped the world famous Iwo Jima flag photo.
23 February Allied Forces cross the Roer River [Operation Grenade].
25 February Last pocket of Japanese resistance secured at Kitano Point, on the northern tip of Iwo Jima.
26 February Japanese emerged from Iwo Jima caves to infiltrate US lines, staging a final bloody attack costing 100 American lives and another 200 wounded. Afterward, island declared secure.
27 February Resistance ends on Corregidor, Manila Bay, Philippines after an assualt by US amphibious units.
4 March With a new President in office since June 1944, and a truce with the USSR and Britain [Moscow Armistice, 19 Sep 1944], Finland finally declares war on Nazi Germany.
4 March B-29 Superfortress Dinah Might lands on Iwo Jima while returning from bombing Tokyo, the first of 2251 emergency landings there that will save more than 20,000 airmen.
5 March US 10th Mountain Division completes occupation of ridges and mountain crests, improving Allied positions in the Northern Apennines, preparing for invasion of the Po Valley.
6 March Operation Frühlingserwachen: the last German operation of the war begins, to protect oil fields in the Lake Balaton region of Hungary, ended by 16 March.
7 March US First Army, 9th Armored Division crosses Rhine at Remagen, unexpectedly capturing the Ludendorff Bridge intact.
9 March 279 B-29 Superfortress bombers ignite a firestorm in Tokyo, destroying 267,000 buildings, creating 1 million Japanese homeless [Mar 9-10].
10 March Japanese incendiary balloon by chance becomes entangled in the electrical lines feeding the Hanford, WA plutonium reactor, forcing a shut down, the only American facility shut down by enemy action during WW II.
16 March Formal end of fighting on Iwo Jima although pockets of Japanese resistance remain.
16 March Würzburg, Germany 90 percent destroyed in 20 minute raid by British RAF bomber Group Number 5, with 5000 dead and missing.
20 March Mandalay, Burma liberated from the Japanese by 19th Indian Division after diversionary attack at Meiktila [Mar 20-21].
21 March Copenhagen, Denmark headquarters of the German secret police [Gestapo] bombed by 20 RAF Mosquitos escorted by 30 Mustangs. Nearby school accidently hit killing 123 civilians including 87 children.
26 March US forces land on Kerama Islands in the Ryukyus, fifteen miles from Okinawa.
27 March Final German V-2 rocket attacks of the war, one on Antwerp, killing 27 people, and one on England, which seriously injured 23 and killed one.
29 March US Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army captures Frankfurt, Germany.
29 March Last day of V-1 rocket bomb attacks on England.
30 March As the Wehrmacht is pushed westward to Germany itself, Soviet troops capture West Prussian port city of Danzig.
30 March German fortress city of Küstrin surrenders to Soviet troops after a 60 day siege, opening Reichsstrasse 1, the main route to Berlin now only 50 miles away.
1 April US troops land on Okinawa.
1 April Anne Frank dies from starvation, mistreatment and disease in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp [exact date unknown].
4 April American troops liberate Ohrdruf death camp in Germany, the first encountered by US units.
4 April War ends in Hungary with the expulsion of the last German troops.
5 April Beginning of Allied operations to break out of the North Apennine mountains and surge into the Po Valley of Northern Italy.
6 April Yugoslav Partisans liberate Sarajevo from the troops of Nazi Germany who then withdraw from Bosnia.
6 April Japanese battleship Yamato and supporting ships sunk 200 miles [320 km] north of Okinawa while enroute there to relieve increasingly desperate defenders [6-7 Apr].
7 April German aircraft ramming unit [Sonderkommando Elbe] makes its only flight, destroying 24 B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers of the US Eighth Air Force.
7 April Following the loss of Okinawa, Kantaro Suzuki becomes Prime Minister of Japan, ad advocte of ending the war on any terms, opposed by Japan's military leaders.
8 April Japan's 20th Army launches the last major Japanese offensive in China, against Chihchiang, the Fourteenth Air Force's largest forward base south of the Yangtze.
9 April Abwehr conspirators Wilhelm Canaris, Hans Oster and Hans Dohanyi are hanged at Flossenberg concentration camp, along with pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
9 April Surrender of Königsberg, East Prussia [now Kaliningrad, Russia].
11 April US Army troops liberate Buchenwald concentration camp, already taken over by its inmates.
12 April President Franklin Roosevelt dies and V.P. Harry Truman becomes President.
13 April Soviet Red Army enters Vienna, Austria.
13 April Japanese wiped out on Fort Drum island, Manila Bay, Philippines after assault team sets off explosives in 3000 gallons of diesel fuel.
14 April Gen. Truscott's US Fifth Army begins ground attack in the Po Valley of Northern Italy.
15 April British-Canadian 21st Army Group liberates Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
16 April After an immense artillery barrage, Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov's troops advance from the Oder River toward the Seelow Heights defenses of Berlin.
16 April German troop transport Goya sunk by Soviet submarine L-3, with loss of about 7,000 lives.
17 April German forces defeated by Brazilian troops who liberate the town of Montese, Italy.
17 April US Eighth Army lands on Mindanao, liberating the last of the major Philippine Islands.
18 April Esteemed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle killed by Japanese machine gun fire, island of Ie Shima off Okinawa.
20 April Northern Italy: US 5th Army breaks out beyond the Apennines, into the broad Po River Valley, forcing retreat across the Po by forces of German Gen. Heinrich Von Vietinghoff.
21 April Soviet Red Army reaches Berlin.
21 April In Northern Italy, Bologna falls to the US 34th Infantry Division.
22 April Heinrich Himmler, aware the Third Reich would end within days, attempts to surrender Germany to the Western Allies, but not the Soviet Union. Allies not interested.
24 April Retreating German troops in Italy destroy all the bridges over the Adige in Verona, including the historical Ponte di Castelvecchio and Ponte Pietra.
25 April United Nations founding meeting in San Francisco.
25 April US and Soviet troops meet at Torgau, on the Elbe River in northwestern Saxony, Germany, only 60 miles from Berlin.
26 April Last German panzer offensive operation, in Bautzen, Germany, initially gained ground, but battle ends with the city recaptured by Allies [21-26 Apr].
26 April In Northern Italy, Verona falls to Allied troops.
27 April In Northern Italy, the port of Genoa falls to Allied troops.
28 April Benito Mussolini and mistress Clara Petacci executed by Italian Partisans, bodies hung by heels in Milan plaza.
29 April British Lancaster bombers airdrop food to aid the starving Netherlands civilian population [Operation Manna].
29 April Adolf Hitler and mistress Eva Braun are married in a civil ceremony at the Führerbunker in Berlin.
29 April Dachau concentration camp near Munich liberated with the guards' surrender to US troops.
30 April Germans abandon Stalag Luft I -- near Barth, Germany -- as advancing Russian forces near, liberating nearly 9,000 Allied airmen imprisoned there.
30 April American troops enter Munich, Germany, the Bavarian capital, finding the city largely destroyed and undefended.
30 April Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his bunker in Berlin.
30 April Following Hitler's suicide, Adm. Karl Dönitz succeeds him as President of Germany while Joseph Göbbels succeeds as Chancellor.
30 April Soviet flag raised over the Reichstag in Berlin.
1 May Grand Admiral Dönitz takes command in Germany.
2 May British Eighth Army forces in Northern Italy reach Trieste on the Adriatic where they join Tito's Yugoslavian Communist partisans.
2 May Fall of Berlin to the Soviet Army.
3 May German troops in Italy surrender, formally ending World War II in the Mediterranean.
3 May Reconquest of Burma essentially completed with the capture of Rangoon.
4 May US 349th Inf, moving north from Italy, meets patrols from 103rd Div (Seventh Army) coming from Austria in the north, at the Brenner Pass in the Alps, linking the European and Mediterranean fronts.
5 May OSS Detachment 101 captures the Burma city of Sandoway from the Japanese.
5 May Japanese balloon bomb attack killed six people in a rural area of Eastern Oregon, the only combat casualties for the United States in the 48 states.
7 May Unconditional surrender of all German forces to Allies.
8 May VE Day (Victory in Europe): celebrates the formal acceptance of the unconditional surrender Nazi Germany and the end of Hitler's Third Reich.
9 May German officials in Berlin sign a document explicitly surrendering to Soviet forces in the presence of Soviet General Georgy Zhukov.
19 May 272 USAAF B-29 Superfortress bombers attack Hamamatsu, 120 miles (192 km) from Tokyo, as a secondary target after raid on Tachikawa aborted by weather.
25 May Chiefs of Staff of US military set 1 November 1945 as start date for invasion of Japan [Operation Downfall]. The huge casualties of Downfall avoided by use of Atomic Bombs in Aug 1945.
2 June Soviet delegates to proposed United Nations insist that permanent members of the Security Council, including USSR, have veto power in international disputes.
12 June Yugoslav Army leaves Trieste; New Zealand Army takes control for the Allies.
23 June Final battle on Okinawa ends with the harakiri suicide of Gen. Ushijima, Commander of the Japanese 32nd Army, and his Chief of Staff.
26 June United Nations Charter signed in San Francisco.
1 July Occupation forces from the US Britain and France enter Soviet-occupied Berlin.
5 July In British election, Winston Churchill loses to Labour Party, Clement Atlee becomes Prime Minister.
14 July Supreme headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), at Frankfurt-on-Main, was formally dissolved by General Eisenhower.
14 July Italy issues a formal declaration of war to Japan, effective July 15, its nearly defeated former Axis partner, gaining nothing but symbolic alliance with the victorious Allies.
16 July Trinity Test at the Alamogordo Test Range, New Mexico, detonates first US atomic bomb creating world's first nuclear explosion.
17 July Potsdam Conference with Truman, Stalin, Churchill [17 Jul-2 Aug].
23 July Submarine USS Barb [SS-220] destroys a Japanese locomotive and supply train at Patience Bay off the coast of Karafuto, Japan, the only known such attack by a submarine.
26 July Allies issue the Potsdam Declaration calling for the surrender of Japan, promising 'prompt and utter destruction' if not.
28 July B-25 Mitchell bomber, lost in fog, crashes into 79th floor of the Empire State Building in Manhattan, causing 14 deaths and extensive damage.
30 July USS Indianapolis [CA-35] torpedoed by Japanese submarine, sinks in 12 minutes killing 300 immediately, leaving 900 men in shark-infested waters without lifeboats; only 316 rescued 4 days later.
1 August US Army Air Force dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities warning of an imminent attack, advising residents to leave.
6 August First atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
8 August Soviet foreign minister Molotov informs Japanese ambassador Sato that the Soviet Union has declared war on the Empire of Japan.
9 August Soviet army launches a classic double envelopment of Japanese-occupied Manchuria.
9 August Second atomic bomb dropped, on Nagasaki, Japan.
14 August Japanese agree to unconditional surrender [14 August east of the date line, 15 August in Japan].
15 August Japanese surrender, remembered as VJ Day (Victory over Japan) in the U.K. [14 August east of the date line, 15 August in Japan].
2 September Japanese formal surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, remembered as VJ Day (Victory over Japan) in the US.
3 September Gen. Wainwright receives the surrender of Gen. Yamashita, the Japanese commander in the Philippines, at Baguio.
4 September Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender.
5 September British land in Singapore to take over from Japanese.
8 September Gen. Douglas MacArthur enters Tokyo, Japan.
8 September Japanese forces in China surrender.
8 September Japanese in Korea surrender.
12 September Japanese forces in southeast Asia surrender in ceremony at Singapore.
13 September Japanese forces in Burma surrender.
24 October United Nations organization officially comes into existence.
20 November Nuremberg war crimes trials begin.
9 December Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. severely injured in a collision between his staff car and an Army truck, while on a hunting trip in the country outside Mannheim, Germany.
21 December Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. dies in a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany from complications following a 9 Dec 1945 road accident.