As 1945 comes to a close, death tolls of the Second World War are still being calculated.
In northern China, there are 46 thousand US Marines posted to avert the civil war between the Nationalists and Communists. In Japan, by a SCAP (Supreme Command for the Allied Powers) directive, the Japanese emperor works on drafting his imperial rescript renouncing his "manifest deity," to be delivered in the new year. Much hope rests in 1946.
The global conflagration culled mankind of somewhere between 60 and 80 million souls, of whom the greater number were civilians. It has been suggested that war--to prosecute it to its proper conclusion--must incur civilians deaths. And who can know those millions of physical, psychological, and economic casualties? Few remained untouched.
News featured in the US this last week of 2015 are borne out of the war: litigation over the relocation of an American air force base in Okinawa; the question of moral and legal responsibility for the dragooning of comfort women--a long-standing thorn in Japan-South Korea relations; declassification of 200,000 French Vichy-Nazi collaborationist records; and perhaps others. Every year there are over 1,000 publications alone on the subject of the Holocaust. The aftermath of the war seems to be forever experienced and examined. For further exploration, consider a virtual visit to the recently designated National WWII Museum, affiliated with the Smithsonian; the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, particularly their maps; National Archives World War II Records; and the Library of Congress World War II Materials.
The infographic from the U.S. Census Bureau crunches some numbers on Americans in WWII. More were wounded than died as tabulated here. (As a side note: there are millions more displaced persons today in 2015 than there were Americans who served the armed forces in the Second World War.)
Newsmap. Monday, 7 January, 1945 [i.e. 1946]: week of 25 December to 1 January
Front: Text describes 5 Moscow conference decisions. Maps: Moscow conference decisions as reflected on the global map.
Includes photograph of Ernest Bevin (Britain), V. M. Molotov (Russia) and James F. Byrnes (U.S.) Verso: Reenlistment. List of reasons to reenlist. Charts of income and retirement income for enlisted classes.
Notes: Newsmaps were color posters issued by the U.S. Army and the Government Printing Office (GPO) on Mondays during the World War II. They combine maps, images, and news from the previous week’s war effort.
In a hospital in Heidelberg, Germany, General Patton succumbs to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. One of his last acts is to shield the American sergeant driving the other vehicle from any prosecution. He will be buried according to his wishes with his men who died in the Battle of the Bulge in an American cemetery in Luxembourg City.
In parts of Asia and the Pacific, millions of Japanese still await repatriation to their homeland. In Manchuria, Japanese civilians who have survived the brutal Soviet invasion and local Chinese attacks in the waning days of the war are the least likely to see Japan before the end of the year, including several thousand Japanese orphans.
In the US, President Truman directs priority of immigration visas in the American occupation zone in Europe to displaced persons: "distributed fairly among persons of all faiths, creeds and nationalities." He desires special attention be devoted to orphaned children. The presidential statement and directive appears in the December 23 Department of State Bulletin (text inadvertently chopped off), or digitally from the Truman Library. In this same bulletin, the US government recognizes the present regime of the newly established Yugoslavia (reserving approval of its policies however).
Newsmap. Monday, 31 December, 1945: week of 18 December to 25 December
Front:Text describes photographs of: German PWs arriving in States on V-E-Day; January: Yanks on Luzon; February: "Big three" at Yalta; March: across the Rhine at Remagen; April: Franklin Delano Roosevelt dies; May: V-E-Day; June: United Nations; July: Potsdam Conference; August: atomic age begins; September: V-J-Day ends World War II; October: Goering and 23 other high Nazis indicted for war crimes; November: new chief of staff; December: Moscow meeting. Verso: If you plan to return to school or college. Text describes how to apply for college credit for Army training. 2 photographs.
Notes: Newsmaps were color posters issued by the U.S. Army and the Government Printing Office (GPO) on Mondays during the World War II. They combine maps, images, and news from the previous week’s war effort.
As 1945 draws to a close war criminals are being rounded up and trials convening, of which there will be thousands in the coming decades, in all quarters of the world. This week at Luneburg, Germany, the British, having held a trial of former SS men, women and kapos of Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz concentration camps, execute 11 out of the 45 with the noose. Evidence produced by the British Army attract the international media, informing the public in some cases for the first time the systematization of mass murder as practiced by the Nazis.
In the US zone of occupation, the military governor has had the difficult task of dealing with half a million displaced persons. An increase from November is due in part to better registration, but also because of Jewish refugees from persecution in Poland and those Germans illegally moving in from a different zone. But this is but a small part of the many tasks facing the occupation force: demobilization of German Armed forces; reporting on status of prisoners of war; capturing of war criminals; clearance and destruction of armed installations; enacting directives for German society and its rehabilitation; and more, as can be seen in the monthly report for December by the military government, US zone.
Back in the US, Congress passes a resolution for establishing a Jewish homeland, free entry by Jews into Palestine and for making Palestine a democratic homeland. The transcripts of the hearings in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs can be read here in Problems of World War II and Its Aftermath Part 2.
Newsmap. Monday, 24 December, 1945: week of 11 December to 18 December
Front:Chart of U.S. troop deployment is keyed to world maps. 3 maps include Asiatic-Pacific, European, American areas of deployment. Verso: V-E, V-J, VD: there is an enemy still to be defeated. Text warns of venereal diseases.
Notes: Newsmaps were color posters issued by the U.S. Army and the Government Printing Office (GPO) on Mondays during the World War II. They combine maps, images, and news from the previous week’s war effort.
This week Americans reflect on the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entry into world war four years earlier, very aware that their nation has transformed from an isolationist third world power to one engaged globally (Newsmap below).
On the other side of the Pacific, an unprecedented, hasty trial takes place in Manila. A Japanese army general is charged with a war crime--command responsibility (liable for acts committed by his troops)--not a new concept but distinctly formulated after his capture. Despite failure to directly trace General Tomoyuki Yamashita to the unspeakable atrocities committed by Japanese troops in Manila earlier the same year, the American military commission apply the "must have known," "should have known" logic to deliver a verdict December 7, 1945: death by hanging. The U.S. Supreme Court by a vote 6 to 2 will render judgment in February 1946 on the constitutional aspect and not the military commission's findings, declining to overturn the verdict. Shortly afterwards, General Douglas MacArthur, who saw first-hand his beloved Manila destroyed, enforces the judgment of the commission.
The general will be executed February 23, 1946, and the legal ramifications of an officer's personal responsibility for the actions of his subordinates will be resurrected in the Nuremberg trials; in the trial of Captain Ernest Medina for his men in the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai in 1969; in the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and the current global war on terror. Herewith the Yamashita Standard serves as notice and incentive to leaders for the control of those under their command. Read the opinion of the Supreme Court if you dare in United States Reports.
Newsmap. Monday, 17 December, 1945: week of 4 December to 11 December
Text describes U.S. role in world affairs and is keyed to map. Map projection is "designed to minimize distortions along the 40th parallel which runs approximately through Tokyo and Washington."
Congress considers the meaning of its obligations to the United Nations, and how it impacts control over the country's armed forces.
Meanwhile in the Nuremberg Trials, former Nazi ringleader Rudolf Hess, who had feigned amnesia, now announces that his memory loss had been a ruse. Hess had assisted in editing Hitler's Mein Kampf, and insured that the Nazi antisemitic laws of 1935 were passed. Though despised by Hitler (due to his bizarre solo flight across the Channel in an attempt to negotiate an unauthorized peace agreement with England in 1941), Hess remains loyal to Hitler. He now puts himself back in court and will serve life imprisonment when he is sentenced a year later.
As war ships are decommissioned, military divisions are as well. The 101st Airborne is deactivated. Its storied history (highlighted in many dramatizations in literature and cinema) includes the courageous night jump behind enemy German lines five hours before the D-day coastal landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Along with the 82d Airborne, and a complement of support elements, together they numbered more than 13,000 men in 925 C-47's transported across the English Channel (not including the glider infantry). The account of the military operations in Normandy are put together in a preliminary study in 1947: Utah Beach to Cherbourg, with a foreword by now Chief of Staff Dwight D. Eisenhower. The study states, "In general the division did not have a good drop... About 1,500 troops were either killed or captured..." The division will be de- and reactivated many times, but will see action in all the major conflicts in the post-war era. In the map below of D-Day for the 101st, each dot represents one plane load of paratroopers.
Newsmap. Monday, 10 December, 1945: week of 27 November to 4 December.
Front: Text describes photographs: U.S. destroyer Shaw -- Third Fleet Unit -- Nazis march in Vienna -- 35th Infantry Division troops in Polch, Poland -- Joachim von Ribbentrop -- Signatures on the United Nations Security Charter -- Nipponese who helped capture the headquarters of Chinese 29th Army at Tungchow -- Pfc. Cecil Cunningham, of St. Louis, MO in Tokyo -- Navy Secretary Frank Knox draws the second number in the Third Selective Service drawing -- Five Michigan men leave a separation center at Fort Sheridan, Ill. after discharge. Verso: Map shows eastern portion of the United States with population statistics by state and per person income payments in 1940 and 1944.
Army General George Marshall, newly retired from post as Army Chief of Staff, is appointed special envoy to China by President Truman. He is charged with mediating a truce between the Nationalists and Communists in China's civil war, and will try to facilitate extricating the US Marines from China. An unenviable task that will ultimately, in terms of peace, fail. Marshall is a widely admired leader, but has no major film named "Marshall"--as "MacArthur," "Patton," or "Truman." He does, however, have centers, a foundation, scholarship, and collection bearing his name. He will win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953. As soldier and statesmen, his legacy is solid, commemorated in The Harmon Memorial Lectures in Military History.
Meanwhile, as the fourth anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war approaches, Congress conducts hearings investigating the attack on Pearl Harbor. While Marshall plays a part in the failure of intelligence and is criticized, he is not singled out or implicated.
Newsmap. Monday, 3 December, 1945: week of 20 November to 27 November.
Front: Text describes Generals Marshall, Eisenhower, and McNarney, as well as Admirals King, Nimitz, and Spruance. Includes 6 photographs. Verso: Where will the best jobs be? Illustration and text.
Seventy years ago, as still today, there are fears and expectations of nuclear energy, borne from the destruction visited upon two Japanese cities at the end of the war. An international conference is held to address its use and regulation--highlighted in this week's Newsmap.
Meanwhile, in Nuremberg, Germany, the trial of the twentieth century convenes. This Allied trial of Nazi leaders will conclude ten months later (while the Tokyo military tribunal will not begin until May 1946). US Supreme Court Chief Justice Stone calls it a high-grade lynching party, but for all its criticisms--and there are not a few--the trial will expose the extent of Nazi atrocities for posterity. Crimes never to see the light of day had there been an immediate execution by a UN firing squad (but none existed). International solidarity against Germany and a call for punishment had been brewing, even early in the war. Although Germany and France are now in 2015 staunch allies, in Punishment for War Crimes of the 1940s, France declares it has had enough--"invaded three times by Germany in 70 years."
Newsmap. Monday, 26 November, 1945: week of 13 November to 20 November
Front: Text highlights some of the issues of using atomic energy and weapons. Includes information on the three-nation [U.S., Great Britain, Canada] declaration on atomic energy. Photographs with captions: Smoke from an atomic bomb blast towers miles above Nagasaki; All but the base of a steel tower holding an atomic bomb was vaporized during test explosion in New Mexico; Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer; These men took part in the atomic bomb conferences at the White House : Prime Minister Attlee; President Truman; Prime Minister Mackenzie King; T. L. Rowan, Attlee's secretary; Dr. Vannevar Bush, U. S. expert; Maj. Gen. E. I. C. Jacob, British expert; Representative Charles A. Eaton of New Jersey; Senator Brian McMahon of Connecticut; Canadian Ambassador Lester B. Pearson; Secretary of State James F. Byrnes; Representative Sol Bloom of New York; Admiral William D. Leahy; the Japanese city of Hiroshima after it had been leveled by an atomic bomb. Verso: Text and illustration give a progress report on demobilization of Army, Marines, and Navy as of 1 November 1945.
While Korea struggles with an interim military government instead of the hoped-for independence, Japan is occupied with a new ruler--General MacArthur--viewed with something akin to awe. In the aftermath of war, great is the need for reorder in all areas of Japanese and Korean society. Occupational directives for both countries are outlined in consummate detail, for example, in November 1945: Summation of Non-Military Activities in Japan and Korea. For a repatriated Japanese soldier, the welcome home is not at all like for his American counterpart. He is not a hero. Japanese civilians, while liberated from the Japanese war-time thought police, are now imposed with censorship, due to become even stricter in December. Expressions of war-time nostalgia are closely monitored and banned, and no criticism or photographs of the Allied occupation forces allowed. For the Koreans, at last, Japanese elements are eliminated from their daily lives.
Newsmap. Monday, 19 November, 1945: week of 6 November to 13 November Front: Text highlights the strategic concept that guided the Western Allies to victory in Europe. Map shows German occupied territory as of 7 Dec 1941 in western Europe and North Africa. Verso: Text and illustration highlight the postwar job as a threefold task: Speedily demobilize those in uniform who want to return to civilian life, maintain and supply occupation forces, and provide for peacetime military strength to help ensure world security.
Operation Olympic, a combined naval, air, and ground assault to capture Kyushu--and the beginning of what would have been tremendous casualties on both sides--was originally scheduled for November 1. Instead, Americans are occupying Japan and massive numbers of people are on the move, including thousands of Japanese troops being repatriated from far flung outposts of the former Japanese empire. This week, the Japanese leave from the Marshall Islands, Wake Island and the Caroline Islands. One Allied repatriation ship Hikawa Maru, formerly a hospital ship (now a museum berthed at Yokohama), embarks some 4 thousand Japanese servicemen from Kusaie (now Kosrae), an island bypassed in the chain of Pacific battles. See Kusaie as depicted by a Japanese nautical chart of 1944 in our collection. Processing centers in Japan for repatriates, as shown in Reports of General MacArthur, give an idea of the large numbers incoming and outgoing from September 1945 to December 1948.
Newsmap. Monday, 12 November, 1945: week of 30 October to 6 November
Front: Text and chart show chain of command and organizational structure in the proposed unified armed forces. The
plan was presented to the Senate Military Affairs Committee on 30 October 1945. Verso: Illustration of a young woman with crossed fingers has caption emphasizing the need to save some of that hard-earned money.
Several million people on both sides of the Hudson River observe a proud nation's Navy Day, celebrated October 27. President Truman reviews the naval fleet on his favored battleship the USS Missouri--the vessal that hosted the Japanese Surrender in Tokyo Bay just a few weeks earlier. After departing Pearl Harbor, the USS Missouri had steamed pass Diamond Head on her way to New York to be part of the naval fleet.
(Mighty Mo fourth from the foreground.)
Meanwhile, General Tomoyuki Yamashita, known as the Tiger of Malaya, is arraigned in Manila to be tried by an American military tribunal. His war crimes include: derelict of duty in permitting those under his command to commit atrocities. His case will conclude shortly, leaving a lasting judicial legacy.
Newsmap. Monday, 5 November, 1945: week of 23 October to 30 October.
Front: Map with text shows routes of the Army's Air Transport Command as of 1 September 1945. Verso: The text and maps highlight the Naval Air Transport Service (Atlantic and Pacific wings).
Twenty-four major Nazi war leaders, accused of crimes tied to no specific geographic location, are indicted by the International Military Tribunal (IMT). This will be the first and most famous of the Nuremberg trials, taking place in the home city of the Nazi party, and presided over by the representatives of the Allied government. Despite preferences by some in the highest offices for summary executions, the trial will begin November 20, 1945. All of this is of keen interest to the Japanese Imperial Household Ministry, as the emperor contemplates abdicating.
Many lower level Nazi functionaries will be tried by military courts in the British, American, French, and Soviet zones of occupied Germany and Austria; and in Italy. (Nazi party scientists--those in the US zone--have a bargaining chip and are safe.) Other war crimes trials will take place in the countries where the crimes were committed according to the laws of the nation concerned.
See the first indictment in volume 1 of Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (collection of documentary evidence published by the Office of United States Chief of Counsel For Prosecution of Axis Criminality in 8 volumes in 1946). Germany: A Country Study by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, published 1996, briefly summarizes the Nuremberg trials in the larger context of post-war Germany.
Newsmap. Monday, 29 October, 1945: week of 16 October to 23 October.
Front: Photographs of 24 German leaders set into the shape of a swastika include names, titles, and crimes they are accused of committing. Verso: "The world we'll live in."-- illustration of a group of men inside a globe is accompanied by text highlighting the need for nations to work together for a better world ahead.
US Marines are sent to northeastern China to accept surrender of Japanese forces (while also asking them to stand guard), protect American lives and property, and maintain a temporary peace--that is, until Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist forces can get in place. The US military are, however, about to get embroiled in China's civil war, and will not be able to extricate themselves until 1949. (The Marines are not new to China, having been stationed in China since the early 1800s, with the exception of the period during WWII.) Another objective is to repatriate the Japanese and Koreans. US political interests lie in preventing the communists from taking over territories now left with a power vacuum. To that end, the Marine's will even airlift Chiang Kai-shek's troops to strategic locales. The increasing quagmire can be discerned in sample declassified documents from the summer of 1948. Document Number: CK3100395139
Meanwhile in Japan, General MacArthur is instructed to assemble all available evidence of Emperor Hirohito's participation and responsibility in Japan's prosecution of the war.
Newsmap. Monday, 22 October, 1945: week of 9 October to 16 October
Front: Text highlights what happened in the first weeks of the occupation of Japan. Photographs: General MacArthur receives Emperor Hirohito at the U.S. Embassy [MacArthur's personal residence in former embassy bld.] in Tokyo; Japanese officer reads demobilization order to Japanese troops in Tokyo; Shinto priests; Gen. Yamashita, on war-criminal list, has been arraigned in Manila; American officers inspect records of the Bank of Japan in Tokyo. Verso: Illustration of material goods arrayed on the outline of the United States is accompanied by text showing the good things of American life.
General George S. Patton, the swashbuckling commander who led the charge through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, and Czechoslovakia with his Third Army in 1944-1945, makes many discordant statements. Earlier he had recommended signing a separate peace with Germany, and then an Allied invasion of Russia. After the German surrender, he had wanted a command in the Pacific War, but the war ended too soon. In the most recent controversial uproar, Patton compares Nazi party members to Democrats in the United States. Seventy years ago this week, on the orders of General Eisenhower who oversees the U.S. Occupation Zone, Patton pays a farewell to the Third Army and greets the Fifteenth, tasked with gathering documents on the past tactical operations in the European theater of war. The general will not be in this position long.
There are not a few films made about General Patton, and a multitude of text resources; very popular of the former genre--a 1970 Twentieth Century Fox movie with Patton being played by George C. Scott. One nuanced read on this complex, fascinating character is found in The Harmon Memorial Lectures in Military History, 1959-1987.
Newsmap. Monday, 15 October, 1945: week of 2 October to 9 October. Front: Text is an excerpt from the Biennial Report of The Chief of Staff, United States Army, 1 July 1943 to 30 June 1945, to the secretary of war showing plans for the invasion of Japan. Shows map of Japan. Verso: Map and figures show the world population in 1940 and projected to 1970. Also gives population and projections for selected areas.
Military governance of Germany by the four nations grapples with its own unique problems. The full text of the "Code for the Conquered" highlighted in this weeks Newsmap may be found in A Decade of American Foreign Policy: Basic Documents, 1941-49. The regulation of all matters is by the Allied representatives, and this includes German return of people, properties, and assets, and the abolishment of the Nazi party and all of its associated institutions.
In Japan, Emperor Hirohito pays a first visit to Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers General MacArthur, an event captured forever in the photograph that appears in history resources. For the occupation of Japan, the OSS (officially dissolved at the end of October) has produced numerous civil affairs handbook on the Japanese prefectures. This study on Tokyo-to was published in September 1945: a comprehensive picture of greater Tokyo culled from information of the 1930s and 40s. A sample page shows leading causes of deaths in 1938.
Newsmap. Monday, 8 October, 1945: week of 25 September to 2 October. Front: Text describes principal points which disestablish the Reich and eliminate its war-making powers. Photograph: A group of men in uniform and in street dress stand in the foreground appearing to read the code for the conquered. Verso: Illustration of a serviceman in a hand-held test tube is accompanied by text giving points about identifying and preparing to pick a civilian job after discharge from the service.
By Executive Order President Truman closes the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the intelligence agency that operated behind enemy lines during the war. The precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that will form in 1947, OSS operations and missions are the stuff of legend.Their activities included everything from intelligence analysis to propaganda and guerilla warfare. For example, the OSS had assisted communist Viet Minh insurgents in their struggle against Japanese forces in Vietnam. As common in history, alliances are overturned a few years later. With the EO, functions of the OSS are now transferred to the State and War Departments.
Some OSS records have been declassified relatively recently and are available in the National Archives: Records of the Office of Strategic Services 1940-1946. The OSS trained in national parks; see OSS Training in the National Parks and Service Abroad in World War II. NARA published in 1992 The Secrets War (previously in our collection but lost in the 2004 flood), available via Hathi Trust Digital Library. Finally there is the Counterintelligence Reader: American Revolution to World War II, published by GPO available on line, which contains a chapter on the operations of the OSS (and which also includes a more readable version of the Executive Order).
Newsmap. Monday, 1 October, 1945: week of 18 September to 25 September
Front: New discharge scores are given for enlisted men, WACS, and officers. Also includes excerpts from a transcript of General Marshall's extemporaneous remarks on demobilization during an appearance before Members of Congress on 20 September . Photographs: General of the Army Marshall and General Handy confer at their recent meeting with Senate and House members, [soldiers and civilians]. Verso: Text gives important facts about service life insurance.
As Japanese forces put down their arms in former colonial territories, the United States faces military governance on two fronts: in divided Germany and in Japan. In the US Senate, occupation news from Japan takes the floor. Will the occupation last one year or twenty years? Might there be a contingent of Chinese occupation forces to assist? Are the Japanese acting as if they are "receiving a large group of tourists who were to be tolerated for a short time..."? A Georgia senator declares Emperor Hirohito be put on trial as a war criminal; this becomes a joint resolution (S. J. Res. 94) and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs. Read the discussion in Congressional Records, 79th Congress 1st Session, Vol. 91, Part 7, pages 8671~8680.
Newsmap. Monday, 24 September, 1945: week of 11 September to 18 September.
Maps: Silhouette maps of Japan and Korea, U.S., and Germany and Austria help illustrate the distribution of men in the Army as of 1 July 1946. Verso: Text and color illustrations show various shoulder insignia of United States Army combat divisions with a partial list of their combat locations (World War II).
When American occupation forces land on Honshu and Kyushu, they are astonished by the urban rubble that meets their eyes. These are the results from Allied bombing raids. Nearly 9 million Japanese people have lost their homes.
As General MacArthur (now Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers) establishes his quarters in Tokyo, former Japanese army minister and prime minister Tojo, under whom the military field code of no surrender was promulgated in 1941, finally attempts suicide goaded by his compatriots. But it is with a pistol (instead of a sword) and he fails. As happened in Nazi Germany, hundreds of Japanese military leaders have committed suicide since the surrender.
In Asia, there are several more surrender ceremonies: in Nanjing, China, Japanese troops to the nationalist Chinese government; in Korea, Japanese forces to Americans military officers; and Rabaul, New Britain, Japanese forces in Australian territory in the South Pacific to Australian command.
Photographs of Japanese shantytowns may be seen in U.S. Army in World War II series Pictorial Record.
Newsmap. Monday, 17 September, 1945 : week of 4 September to 11 September.
Maps: Major bases proposed for postwar U.S. Navy; Japan: American troops invest the enemy homeland. Photograph: First U.S. Occupation Forces March Down Tokyo Street. Verso: Comparison chart of non-commissioned grades and ratings of the armed forces (Army, Navy and Coast Guard, Marine Corps).
On September 2, 1945 more than 250 Allied warships lay anchored in Tokyo Bay. From battleships and submarines to minesweepers and tank landing ships, the armada would have been a majestic sight. Aboard the USS Missouri, Japan's formal surrender is presided over by representatives of the Allied nations. Signing the surrender document on the Japanese side are the foreign minister and a general of the imperial forces. Both will later be imprisoned for war crimes, the latter for life. The emperor and his imperial household are missing. On the Allied side are 10 signatories. Also witnessing this historical event are two generals, an American and a British, liberated prisoners of war. Japan's empire is now back to where it was when Commodore Perry's ships first appeared in Tokyo Bay less than a century earlier. A fly-by of hundreds of B-29 bombers and Navy fighter planes puts the final period to Japan's defeat.
A facsimile of the instrument of surrender is on view in the department exhibit area. The fly-by photo is from the National Archives, WWII holdings.
Newsmap. Monday, 10 September, 1945: week of 28 August to 4 September.
Front: Text describes American advancement and control of Korean and Japanese cities after Japan's formal surrender on 1 Sept., United States time. Map shows Japan and Korea. Photographs: Gen. MacArthur signs Japanese surrender terms on Battleship Missouri; Japanese foreign minister Shigemitsu signs at Tokyo Bay ceremony; Allied prisoners of war at Omori, Japan, hail their liberators. Verso: Text and color illustrations show United States Marines' activities.
Two weeks after the Japanese emperor's broadcast of defeat, the first major contingent of Allied occupation forces land near Tokyo, but not before voluminous amounts of documents have been destroyed by the Japanese military and civilian agencies. The occupation, based on the Potsdam Declaration for the demilitarization and democratization of conquered Japan, will be prosecuted by the Americans and ultimately last 6 years and 8 months. Despite having been briefed in preparation, both sides can not know what to expect in this unprecedented cross-cultural engagement. General Douglas MacArthur, designated Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers and authorized over Emperor Hirohito, is ordered last minute to govern indirectly, relying on existing Japanese organs of government.
In the Soviet Far East, the Red Army continues its advance. Effective upon V-J Day, America's Lend-Lease shipments halt, but this loss will be made up by dismantling Manchuria, shipping materials as well as people to the USSR.
See the nautical chart of Tokyo Bay showing anchorages for Allied vessels, possibly for the surrender ceremony Sept. 2, displayed on the TV monitor in Hamilton Library lobby (August only).
Newsmap. Monday, 3 September, 1945: week of 21 August to 28 August. Text describes American occupation of Japan beginning 28 August, 1945 and is keyed to map. Map shows eastern central coast of Japan. Inset shows map of Japan. Verso: Armed forces radio. Text describes stations and programs. World maps shows locations of AFRS stations, AFRS hospital systems in the U.S., commercial and government stations airing AFRS programs.
On August 15 the Japanese Emperor's announcement of the nation's acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, recorded the previous day, is radio broadcast to a stunned people. For a nation whose infrastructure is on the verge of collapse, a navy demolished, and a populace malnourished and exhausted after fourteen years of war, the imperial rescript baffles for its understatement. For the Allies, and millions across the globe, including those of the occupied and colonized countries of Asia and the Western Pacific, Japan's surrender is a momentous, emotional event.
Not all Japanese units surrender; there are pockets of fighting, and POWs are slaughtered. Massive volumes of incriminating documents are burned throughout the former empire. The Soviets push forward into Manchuria, Korea, southern Sakhalin, and the Kurile Islands. In the ensuing power vacuum, leaders in China and Vietnam make their moves for territorial gains and political power.
Meanwhile, reports begin to reach the highest echelons of the US government about radiation sickness suffered as a result of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
See a facsimile of Emperor Hirohito's Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War in the Hamilton Library lobby display case (August only).
Newsmap. Monday, 27 August, 1945: week of 14 August to 21 August.
Text chart of the history of Japan's empire from 1895 to 19 August, 1945. 4 maps: Japanese empire, 1931; Japanese empire, Dec. 1941; Japanese empire, Aug. 1942; Japanese holdings as war ended. Verso: "Please...get there and back!": contains photographs and text about the Army Transportation Corps. Includes picture of a woman's face.
Uncle Joe fulfills his promise from the Yalta Conference: exactly three months after the defeat of the Third Reich, the Soviets declare war on Japan August 8. Stalin wastes no time and one minute past 12:00 am on August 9, 1.5 million of the Red Army amass and cross into Manchuria. Colonized Korea is also not spared.
The entry of the Soviets in the war is a game changer. Having lost Stalin as an intermediary to negotiate favorable surrender terms with the Allies (keep colonial territories, avoid war crimes trials, maintain their form of government, etc.) and now faced with two great powers on her national borders, the Japanese situation is dire.
On that morning, the people of Nagasaki are the victims of a second nuclear bomb--made of plutonium and more powerful even than the one of Hiroshima. But in the eyes of Japanese military leaders this port city represents only another amongst the tens of Japanese cities bombed and destroyed in the summer of 1945 . Unless Japan surrenders, Truman threatens with more atomic bombs, but there are, in fact, no more large cities left to bomb (and secretly not yet assembled nuclear devices).
Galvanized by the emperor, the Japanese government on August 10 attempt to preserve at least the sovereignty of the imperial head of state: an unconditional surrender with a condition. The response is immediate. View the diplomatic exchange in Department of State Bulletin, August 12, 1945.
Newsmap. Monday, 20 August, 1945: week of 7 August to 14 August, V-E Day + 15 weeks, 192nd week of U.S. participation in the war. Front displays map and text of Allied attacks in East Asia. Map title: "The Knockout blows fall." Includes photographs: Soviet Union sends powerful Far Eastern forces into Manchuria, American plane drops atomic bomb on Japanese city of Hiroshima, Third fleet warships and planes. Verso: Advance base sectional docks. Description and photographs of Navy floating dry docks.
The United States feels options have run out in face of the fanatical militarism of Japan. How to bring an end to a war that could bring millions more in deaths. With a single event, the state of human affairs is changed forever: the use of a nuclear bomb as a weapon of war. About 70,000 perish instantly from the uranium bomb dropped on the carefully selected target city of Hiroshima in southwestern Japan. About an equal number will die afterwards from burns, radiation sickness, and cancer. In the brutality of World War II, these casualties are surpassed, nonetheless, by such venues as the fire bombing of Tokyo March 9-10, and the rape of Nanking--not to speak of the Holocaust.
While factions within the Japanese government wrangle with questions of whether, when, and how to surrender, the US Office of War Information, stationed in Saipan, goes into overdrive. Previously, the office had dropped millions of leaflets with the text of the Potsdam Proclamation. Now they broadcast via Radio KSAI messages to the Japanese people and prepare millions more leaflets of warning as a second atomic bomb is prepared. You can read about the efforts of this office to warn the Japanese people in the weeks leading up to the end of the war online at the Central Intelligence Agency library website.
OWI notice #2106 dropped August 1, 1945. Verso: text in Japanese warns: "Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. . . ." (Note: neither Hiroshima nor Nagasaki are named on the front side of this leaflet.)
Newsmap. Monday, 13 August, 1945: week of 31 July to 7 August, V-E Day + 14 weeks, 191st week of U. S. participation in the war. A summary of the Potsdam conference in text, with map showing European boundaries as of January 1938. Inset map details administration of eastern Germany and East Prussia. Verso: Map of Formosa; inset map shows location of Formosa in Asia.
At the Potsdam Conference, only two out of the original three Allied leaders of the Yalta Conference are the same. But they are able to reach agreements on significant points, including the aims and method of occupation of Germany and Austria; war reparations; reversion of German annexed lands; and expulsion of the German population outside German borders. The Potsdam Declaration is a judiciously worded ultimatum on behalf of the governments of the U.S., Great Britain, and the Republic of China, delivered to Japan by radio and dropped leaflets. Its message: unconditional surrender of military forces or face destruction. Russia is not at war with Japan at this time. To what degree the silence to this ultimatum by the Japanese government represented arrogance, a cultural ambiguity, or an effort to buy time perhaps will never be known, but the consequences will be disastrous. See the Potsdam Declaration here in The Axis in Defeat, published by the State Department in 1945.
On the same day as the Potsdam Declaration, the cruiser USS Indianapolis delivers the radioactive core of the atomic bomb to Tinian Island. Four days later on her way to Leyte in the Philippines the cruiser is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and sinks. She had been traveling under radio silence, and most of the hundreds of sailors do not survive in the shark-infested waters of the Pacific. While Commander Charles Butler McVay III survives, he is court martialed for losing his ship during wartime. (He would be exonerated 55 years later.) At Tinian, arguably one of the busiest airport complexes in the world in 1944~1945, B-29 bombers are flying missions non-stop on targets in and around Japan and Korea. See the North Field airfield with its four runways taken in this May 1945 aerial photograph from our MAGIS collection.
Newsmap. Monday, 6 August, 1945: week of 24 July to 31 July, V-E Day + 13 weeks, 190th week of U. S. participation in the war. "In a few months we expect to run out of targets in Japan"--Maj. Gen. C. E. LeMay quote is displayed along with text and map describing targets in Japan. Includes photograph of Kobe : under B-29 attack, 4 June 45. Verso: Special devices. "Dedicated to the safe and rapid training of pilots and aircrewmen." Photographs: Recognition; Navigation; Maintenance; Bombing and torpedoing; Operational flight training; Terrain recognition; Anti-aircraft; Fixed gunnery; Free gunnery.
Congress approves the Bretton Woods Agreements Act (named after Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, for the 1944 United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference), authorizing U.S. entry into the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), commonly known as the World Bank. One is to oversee a system of monetary cooperation and stability across nations and the other to provide financial assistance for war-ravaged nations and less developed countries. You can read about this milestone from the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian, see the original Articles of Agreement, or dip into how it was debated--and passed--in the Senate in July of 1945 in the Congressional Record.
Meanwhile, as materials of the atomic bomb are being shipped across the Pacific, President Truman informs Soviet leader Stalin at the Potsdam Conference of a nuclear weapon. Stalin already knows from his own channels. In preparation for the atomic attack, light B-29 raids on Japanese cities are conducted to soften the defense alert. Japanese continue to prosecute special attack sorties. In Europe, Austria is divided into zones of occupation by an agreement by the Allied powers.
Newsmap. Monday, 30 July, 1945: week of 17 July to 24 July, V-E Day + 12 weeks, 189th week of U. S. participation in the war. Text describes Allied assault on 7 points along Japanese coast, keyed to map with photograph of U.S. war vessel. Verso: Text describes the creation of a division of aeronautics in 1907. Photographs depict various Allied aircraft with descriptive captions.
As France celebrates French National Day for the first time since being invaded by Germany in 1940, U.S. scientists (with British collaboration) ignite a nuclear bomb in the desert of New Mexico. Data from hundreds of instruments record what occurs. This plutonium device would be the model dropped less than a month later on Nagasaki. On the same day components of the untested but foolproof uranium model are departing San Francisco on the USS Indianapolis to be shipped across the Pacific to Tinian, in the Mariana Islands. President Truman learns of the successful nuclear test while attending the Potsdam Conference, in occupied Germany, with the two other Allied heads of state Winston Churchill (to be replaced shortly by Clement Attlee) and Joseph Stalin. They are discussing the administration of post-war Germany and not the use of the atomic bomb. Learn more about the nuclear bomb project in Manhattan: The Army and the Atomic Bomb published in 1985 by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.
Newsmap. Monday, 23 July, 1945: week of 10 July to 17 July, V-E Day + 11 weeks, 188th week of U. S. participation in the war. Text and photographs describe seaborne and Mariana-based B-29 attacks on the Japanese home islands; the return of American troops on the Queen Mary; training in Ft. Jackson, S.C.; listing of divisions returning in 1945 and those scheduled to redeploy; and outline map of U.S. showing training camps. Verso: text and photographs describe the various functions of the Army Engineer.
American bombing of Japanese targets on the home islands and in China increase in number and in tonnage as never before. Thousands of mines are laid in the coastal waters of Japan to effect a blockade of food and critical supplies from the continent. Japan, meanwhile, prepares ever desperate measures to repel the impending American amphibious landings--exactly when the Japanese don't know--by designing new one-way assault weapons, such as the manned torpedo and the manned mine. Allied mines, for their part, contribute to bringing about the starvation of the Japanese population. See Twentieth Air Force: A Statistical Summary of its Operations Against Japan published in 1945 for a view of some of these missions, tonnage, and results.
Newsmap. Monday, 16 July, 1945: week of 3 July to 10 July, V-E Day + 10 weeks, 187th week of U. S. participation in the war. Chart chronicles 8 years of war in China with significant dates. Included are 3 photographs, map of Southeast Asia with Japanese held areas as of July 10, and inset map of Asia. Verso: Quote from General Somervell "Burn this thought into your minds ..."
With the fall of Okinawa, the southernmost of the main islands of Japan--Kyushu--is within 350 miles of American forces. At a conference in Hawaii General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz prepare for the invasion of Japan. They formulate a program for photographic and mapping operations, now possible with photo reconnaissance aircraft. Mapping requirements for the projected invasion campaigns include large-scale coverage of beach areas. This important order involves compiling from a) earlier maps by the Japanese Imperial Land Survey; b) seized Japanese consulate and private company files by the FBI after Pearl Harbor; c) research from other sources; and d) revised aerial photographs. With the help of many lithographic and drafting firms, the Army Map Service (AMS) reproduces and ships 27 million maps by the first week of July 1945. Understand the considerable challenges in furnishing detailed maps in overseas theaters of the war from The Corps of Engineers: Troops and Equipment, published by the Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army.
Newsmap. Monday, 9 July, 1945: week of 26 June to 3 July, V-E Day + 9 weeks, 186th week of U.S. participation in the war. Maps show Allied advances in East Asia and Pacific. Verso: Size! Comparison map of the United States to the western Pacific with text.
On June 26, 1945, the Charter of the United Nations is signed in San Francisco by 50 countries at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization. An integral part of the Charter is the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Aimed to preserving international peace and security, fundamental human rights, and promoting social progress, the Charter enters into force in October of 1945 after ratification. Missing among the signatories is Poland--a country which lost 5-1/2 million of its population, including more than 90% of its Jews. While Poland couldn't form a government in time, her representatives would sign later. Read this important charter here on the United Nations website.
As nations converge in San Francisco to sign the United Nations charter, the battle at Okinawa sees its commanding Japanese officers General Ushijima and Lt. General Cho commit ritual suicide, seppuku, for failure to defend this part of the Japanese homeland. Many surviving Japanese soldiers, for their part, hold grenades against their stomachs to prosecute a "poor man's hara-kiri"--as Americans would describe it. Okinawa is declared "secure" on June 22, 1945. An accounting of the staggering numbers of casualties, both Allied and Japanese, as well as the island civilians caught in the crossfire, would come later. But as was common, Japanese forces fatalities are some 90%; only 7,400 are captured. Even then, it may have been worse if not for the work of the American psychological warfare units before and during the invasion. A brief summary of this campaign can be found in Ryukus, published by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.
Newsmap. Monday, 2 July, 1945: week of 19 June to 26 June, V-E Day + 8 weeks, 185th week of U. S. participation in the war. Text describes action on various war fronts and is keyed to maps of Asia and the Pacific. Maps of Borneo and Southeast Asia. Relief shown by gradient tints. Inset shows the area of Borneo compared with the United States. Photograph of Balikpapan. Verso: Color illustration of woman with hammer in hand and four lucky horseshoes hanging around a service star, admonishing "Now--if he will just save some money--everything will be O.K."
The Joint Chiefs of Staff direct Generals MacArthur and Arnold and Admiral Nimitz to prepare for immediate occupation of Japan in the event the enemy suddenly collapses or surrenders. Meanwhile B-29s mine the waters around the southern Japan homeland in preparation for an invasion.
In Okinawa, since March, American planes drop millions of propaganda leaflets aimed at winning the confidence of the civilians and Japanese soldiers and at spreading defeatism. Fighting continues and on June 18 Lt. General Simon Buckner becomes the highest ranking officer to be killed in action in WWII while at the front lines. Assistant commander Brig. Gen. Claudius Easley is killed the following day. These deaths are in addition to the notable death of the well-known war correspondent Ernie Pyle on Ie Shima in April. Before he is killed, General Buckner personally urges Lt. General Ushijima to surrender, but the letter is not received until June 17. However, there is no intention of capitulation on the side of the Japanese. It is later learned that he and his chief of staff, General Cho, considered the message funny to the extreme, as it was not consonant with their Japanese military code of honor. Read an excerpt from General Buckner's letter to General Ushijima in Bulletins of the Intelligence Center...1942-1946, published by the U.S. Naval History Division, 1976, in the microfilm collection. You can see a short excerpt here in Okinawa: The Last Battle, published by the Center for Military History, U.S. Army.
Newsmap. Monday, 25 June, 1945 : week of 12 June to 19 June, V-E Day + 7 weeks, 184th week of U. S. participation in the war. Text and maps depict Asia Pacific battle fronts with photos of Japanese military, her war industry, and aerial view of Allied bombing planned for Japan. Verso: World map with shaded areas showing liberated areas since 7 Dec 1941, enemy held areas as of 8 May 1945; dotted lines show battlelines as of 7 Dec 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and 8 May 1945.
Project Hula requires American and Russian sailors to work side by side in a program for the final fight against Japan. This program requires a special detachment of the U.S. Navy to train Russian military in the handling of naval vessels--vessels that are scheduled for transfer to the Soviet Pacific Ocean Fleet under the lend-lease program. Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan describes this extraordinary instance of Allied cooperation during the spring and summer of 1945. More information about USSR as an American ally can be found in Chapter XXVII "Aid to the USSR in the Later War Years" in the 1968 publication Global Logistics and Strategy 1943-1945 in the United States Army in World War II series.
Meanwhile, an Australian division, assisted by the U.S. Navy and Army, land at Brunei Bay, Borneo, in the second of three phases to cut off oil supplies for the Japanese war machine. In contrast to American amphibious assaults in the Pacific, Australian troop numbers greatly overwhelm Japanese defenders with sufficient pre-assault Navy bombardment; comparatively fewer Allied casualties result. Still, controversy remains as to the necessity of the Borneo campaign when the end of the war was so close. See a 1945 Office of Strategic Services map of Borneo in the collection.
Newsmap. Monday, 18 June, 1945: week of 5 June to 12 June, V-E Day + 6 weeks, 183rd week of U. S. participation in the war. Text and maps describe Pacific military activities, including action on Luzon, Allied troops in New Borneo landings, and Japanese retreat toward the French Indo-China border. Verso: Illustration of two fingers in the sign for victory, encouraging no waste of materials for a sooner end to the war.
Sailors call them "Bat out of Hell," "Hara-Kiri on Wings," "Dead Pigeon," or simply "suicide planes." In Okinawa, the proximity of Japanese airfields in Kyushu and Formosa (Taiwan) permit mass kamikaze attacks, causing great damage to American ships. There are ten such intensive attacks during the invasion of Okinawa, sinking 26 American vessels and killing more than 5,000 sailors. Incomprehensible tactically and philosophically to the Western mind, these kamikazes have a demoralizing effect on the Navy. Still, they are described colorfully in June of 1945 in the Navy periodical All Hands. Japanese officers after the war, however, thought differently about these pilots on their one-way missions in Interrogations of Japanese Officials and Mission Accomplished: Interrogations of Japanese Industrial, Military, and Civil Leaders of World War II.
Newsmap. Monday, 18 [i.e. 11] June, 1945: week of 29 May to 5 June, V-E Day + 5 weeks, 182nd week of U. S. participation in the war. Allied engagement in areas of China, Japan, Okinawa and the Philippines are depicted, along with strategic geographic locations on both sides. Verso shows descriptions of Ribbons representing decorations and awards and the correct way of wearing them.
With Germany's surrender, priority is at last focused on the war's Pacific theater. By a system of point credit, soldiers are either discharged or redeployed from Europe to the Pacific, with a paid 30-day rest and recuperation at home if continuing service. Many will receive B-29 bomber training. Those in the supply and service units go directly to the Pacific. See Global Logistics and Strategy, 1943-1945 for the planned schedule. By the end of this week 70 years ago, over 10,000 from the Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard are killed or missing fighting in Okinawa. Over 61,000 are dead on the Japanese side. But the battle in Okinawa continues, despite the monsoon rains. Provisions of food and medicine are included in the anticipated casualties and surrender of Okinawa.
Newsmap. Monday, 4 June, 1945: week of 22 May to 29 May, V-E Day + 4 weeks, 181st week of U. S. participation in the war. Text and maps depict military action on Okinawa, in Foochow, Tokyo, and Mindanao. Verso: illustrated description of psychological warfare "paper bullets"--leaflets--which are Safe-Conduct Surrender Pass instructions to encourage enemy German and Japanese to surrender.
Military defeat of Nazi Germany was the first part, the second is eliminating Nazi philosophy from its society. Upon surrender one in every ten is a Nazi who tries to evade discovery. Flushing out 8 million adherents is a monumental task, but a thousand Nazi scientists are fortunate to be in U.S. custody. By the spring of 1946 they will be on U.S. soil because of Operation Paperclip, put to work in the cold war space race--to the chagrin of Stalin. Sixty million Germans, meanwhile, are hungry in post-Hitler Germany. You can read about Operation Paperclip in Remembering the Space Age published in 2008 by the History Division of NASA. For Nazi thought and organization, see National Socialism published by the Department of State in 1942 here in the collection.
Newsmap. Monday, 28 May, 1945: week of 15 May to 22 May, V-E Day + 3 weeks, 180th week of U.S. participation in the war. Text and maps depict military action in Okinawa and Nagoya. Verso: illustrated description of reconnaissance aircraft and activities.
General Eisenhower, as Allied Supreme Commander, oversees the redeployment of U.S. forces to the United States and Pacific theater and Allied military government. This includes disarmament and control of German forces to ensure the terms of surrender. He must take preliminary steps for aid programs for liberated countries--the entire country of Holland, for example, is on the verge of collapse from starvation, and for relief and evacuation of Allied prisoners of war and displaced persons. A brief summary is available of this phase in The Supreme Command. Meanwhile, in Japan, hundreds of B-29s bomb urban Nagoya, and slaughter in the battle for Okinawa continues.
Newsmap. Monday, 21 May, 1945: week of 8 May to 15 May, 297th week of the war, 179th week of U.S. participation. Text keyed to map of Asia describes military action in Japan, Okinawa, China, the Philippines, and Borneo. Inset: View from the North Pole of the distance U.S. must now travel to fight Japan. Verso: Illustration and text explain the next step: ongoing war against Japan.
Hitler's successor Admiral Karl Dönitz attempts to delay Germany's surrender in order to allow as many German troops as possible to flee westward and surrender to the Western Allies rather than to the Russians. Two hundred thousand such soldiers make it to American and British lines before General Eisenhower exacts immediate and unconditional surrender. (The Act of Military Surrender is signed in Reims, France, on May 7, 1945.) Berliners are not so fortunate. Undisciplined Soviet troops ravage their city and people. In the Pacific, Allied guns on Okinawa fire one round at noon in celebration of V-E Day. You can see facsimiles of the surrender documents online through Hathi Trust or here in the Government Documents collection in Executive Agreement Series 502 (S9.8:502) from the State Department. The originals are at the U.S. National Archives.
Newsmap. Monday, 14 May, 1945: week of 1 May to 8 May, 296th week of the war, 178th week of U.S. participation. Victory in Europe: map overlays photograph of military prisoners; map of Japan and Japanese-held areas includes text pointer giving current and projected troop strength of Japanese military forces. Verso describes through text and photos concentration camp victims and the circumstances of Pfc. James L. Watkins, Oakland, Cal., 106th Inf. Div being examined by Army personnel after rescue.
More than a million Germans surrender to the Allies in Italy while a defiant Hitler writes his last will and testament. Two days after dictator Mussolini is captured, killed, and hung out for public display by his countrymen, Hitler and his now bride commit suicide in the Berlin subterranean bunker. You can read Hitler's final instructions in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, volume 6, by the United States Office of Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality. General Eisenhower, anticipating the cost too high to take Berlin, gives the honor to the Soviets.
On the other side of the globe, U.S. troops endure repeated kamikaze attacks in the ongoing invasion of Okinawa. While defending itself from the encroaching Allied forces on multiple fronts in Asia and the Pacific, Japan must now face the unwelcome news from the Soviet government of the denunciation of the 1941 neutrality pact between the U.S.S.R. and Japan. This foresees the Soviet entry into the war against Japan later. See the weekly published U.S. Department of State Bulletin of April 29, 1945.
Newsmap. Monday, 7 May, 1945: week of 24 April to 1 May, 295th week of the war, 177th week of U.S. participation. The war on the Europe and Asia-Pacific fronts depicted. U.S. Sixty-Ninth Division Infantrymen greet Red Army soldiers on the Elbe River bridge at Torgau. Verso shows the cartographic work of Richard Edes Harrison: Japan from Siberia.
The RAF (Royal Air Force) bomb Berlin for the last time as Soviets enter Berlin suburbs. Hitler, despite recognizing the coming end, remains in his capital and in his bunker. Several hundred German civilians are ordered to bury a thousand plus charred remains of concentration camp prisoners in Gardelegen. Here the townspeople are charged with keeping the burial site "green forever." As each camp is liberated General Eisenhower encourages both soldiers and the press to take photographs for the permanent record. In San Francisco, governments and organizations from around the world meet to establish the United Nations Charter. Meanwhile, future U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, platoon leader in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, is gravely wounded fighting entrenched German defenses near San Terenzo, Italy. He, like many of the 442nd and 100th, would be highly decorated. You can view photographs from this stage of the war in Italy in The War Against Germany and Italy in the United States Army Historical Series.
Newsmap. Monday, 30 April, 1945: week of 17 April to 24 April, 294th week of the war, 176th week of U.S. participation. The war on muliple fronts depicted, including the ongoing Okinawa Battle, Philippines, China, Burma, Germany; and Italy. Verso of map highlights the meeting in San Francisco attended by an international contingent for the establishment of the United Nations.
When Harry S. Truman takes over the presidency after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 12, he is briefed on the development of the atomic bomb. As slaughter continues in the battle on Okinawa, Allied forces begin to liberate one concentration camp after another in Germany: Dora-Mittelbau, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen . . .
Military personnel requirements were an important part of the atomic weapons program--the Manhattan Project (1942-1946). For example, the Women's Army Corps (WAC) filled urgent posts, including highly technical jobs. You can read more about it here: Manhattan, the Army and the Atomic Bomb.
Newsmap. Monday, 23 April, 1945: week of 10 April to 17 April, 293rd week of the war, 175th week of U.S. participation. Two fronts of the war depicted in maps, including the ongoing Okinawa Battle; Vienna; Germany; and Italian offensive. Verso of map highlights the contributions made by the WAC (Women's Army Corps) on its 3rd anniversary.
The week of 5 April 2015
As the assault on Okinawa intensified, at Iwo Jima--where American troops had suffered 26,000 casualties since D-Day, including 6,800 killed, where the most Medals of Honor were awarded in any battle in U.S. history, and where the Japanese defenders, too, had suffered some 20,000 dead--an advanced airfield was finally established. Many B-29 bombers would make emergency landings on the island in the months ahead, saving the lives of thousands of crewmen. See photos of Iwo Jima from United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record series: The War Against Japan.
Newsmap. Monday, 16 April, 1945: week of 3 April to 10 April, 292nd week of the war, 174th week of U.S. participation. War fronts described include the German Reich as it is squeezed by Allied forces and the Okinawan resistance. Verso of map markets the ten dollar war savings bond.
The week of 29 March 2015
When 50,000 American troops landed on Okinawa on April 1—the final stepping stone before the planned invasion of the Japanese mainland—there were twice as many Japanese defenders. It would be a ghastly affair in military and civilian lives lost. On the other side of the world Hitler moves to his underground bunker in Berlin, and on April 2 the Third Reich’s last supply of fuel oil is cut off by Soviet and Bulgarian forces. On April 4, American troops enter Ohrdruf concentration camp. Hundreds of prisoners had already been shot as Germans retreated. It was to be the first of more than 50 mass extermination sites within Germany to be uncovered by Allied forces.*
You can read about the Battle of Okinawa from the perspective of 60 years after the war from American Military History in the Army Historical Series: https://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=2865547
*From Martin Gilbert's History of the Twentieth Century, published by William Morrow, 2001.
Newsmap. Monday, 9 April, 1945: week of 27 March to 3 April, 291st week of the war, 173rd week of U.S. participation. War fronts described include Allied gains in the Ruhr, the Soviet approach to Vienna, and the invasion of the Ryukyu Islands. Verso of map shows China's southeast coast with inset maps of major coastal cities in that area.
Displayed: The week of 22 March 2015
The last casualties of Hitler's V-2 experimental weapon, set off from mobile launchers, occurs on March 27, 1945. During Germany's failed missile program several thousand civilians are killed in Britain, Belgium, and France. Many POWs, used as slave labor in its production, die in such underground facilities as Nordhausen (Mittelwerk), the largest and most notorious for its conditions. But the American space program stood to gain from the knowledge of former German rocket engineers. You can see the 1944 War Office maps of Peeremunde, the testing site for the rockets, and the Nordhausen region.
Find out more of the lessons learned from these"V" weapons: Preemptive Defense (https://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1773089) and Vengeance Weapon 2 (https://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=191217).
Newsmap. Monday, 2 April, 1945: week of 20 March to 27 March, 290th week of the war, 172nd week of U.S. participation. The Western Front gains ground by Rhine crossings and surge into enemy strongholds; the Red Army drives across Hungary. Verso of map shows flame-throwing tank accompanied by text highlighting research and development of new weaponry.
Displayed: The week of 15 March 2015
Description: Ludendorff Railroad Bridge at Remagen finally collapses March 17, 1945, but not before seven US divisions have established themselves east of the Rhine. For control of Germany's western maritime highway, more than 23,00 Allied troops and 67,000 Germans give their lives. In the Far East, American B-29s continue the raid against the largest Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe. Thirty-one square miles of densely populated urban areas are incinerated. You can read about the overall bombing campaign here in The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II / Hitting Home: the Air Offensive Against Japan, published in 1999: https://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=650889
Newsmap. Monday, 26 March, 1945: week of 13 March to 20 March, 289th week of the war, 171st week of U.S. participation. Includes the Rhine bridgehead, threat on Berlin, and battle fronts in Japan. Map verso highlights some facts about the U.S.S.R., making comparisons for easier understanding.
Displayed: The week of 8 March 2015
Description: More than three hundred American bombers drop incendiary bombs on Tokyo. From the three-hour raid a firestorm greater than that in Dresden erupts, killing 130,000 and displacing a million people. You can read and see about the destruction in context here from Effects of air attack on urban complex Tokyo-Kawasaki-Yokohama published by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey in 1947: https://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=3951932
Newsmap. Monday, 19 March, 1945: week of 6 March to 13 March, 288th week of the war, 170th week of U.S. participation. Shows the Allied assaults on Mandalay (Burma), Mindanao (P.I.), and drive toward Berlin; text describe crossing over the Rhine.
Displayed: The week of 1 March 2015
Description: Seventy years ago this week while U.S. Marines continued to battle it out on Iwo Jima, in the Bonin Islands, U.S. troops fortuitously captured the bridge at Remagen intact. They succeeded in crossing the Rhine River, transporting thousands of troops, tanks, and vehicles--before it collapsed ten days later. This was the beginning of the drive into the industrial heartland of Germany, crucial to Germany's eventual surrender. The 1969 film The Bridge at Remagen is one way to experience this momentous assault. Or, you could read the more accurate account from the U.S. Army Center of Military History in our collection: https://uhlibs.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1012035
Newsmap. Monday, 12 March, 1945: week of 27 February to 6 March, 287th week of the war, 169th week of U.S. participation. Shows the ongoing Battle of Iwo Jima--with heartrending photos of the U.S. Marines, and text describing the Allied taking of Cologne and Soviet reach into the Baltic.
Displayed: The week of 22 February 2015
Description: "Uncommon valor was a common virtue." Come see what that meant in February-March of 1945. United States Marine Corps War Memorial: https://uhmanoa.lib.hawaii.edu/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=2854291
Newsmap. Monday, 5 March, 1945: week of 20 February to 27 February, 286th week of the war, 168th week of U.S. participation. Shows Allied drives into Germany, bombing of Tokyo, and advances on Iwo Jima. Verso of map shows the proper way to apply for benefits to the Office of Dependency Benefits. Not shown is the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima--later to be memorialized in one of the largest bronze monuments in the U.S. capitol, and the massive firestorm that was to engulf Pforzheim, killing 17,600 people--the third highest death toll during bombing of a Germany city after Dresden and Hamburg.
Displayed: The week of 15 February 2015
Description: Newsmap. Monday, 26 February, 1945: week of 14 February, to 21 February, 285th week of the war, 167th week of U.S. participation. European and Pacific war fronts depicted. U.S. Marines land on Iwo Jima in what is to be one of the bloodiest invasions of the war. The battle had strategic importance—to gain additional airfields for future operations against the main Japanese islands. Verso of map shows the big three Crimea conference: "President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin meeting on the shores of the Black Sea, fully agreed on plans and policies that are designed to bring a secure peace to the World."
Displayed: The week of 8 February 2015
Description: The Yalta Agreement was signed February 11, 1945 by Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin in Yalta on the Black Sea. Official agreements included the treatment of Germany after surrender and reparations to be exacted; democratic elections in parts of liberated Europe; and the intervening of the Soviet Union in the war against Japan in return for certain territories.
Displayed: The week of 1 February 2015
Description: Newsmap. Monday, 12 February 1945: week of 31 January to 7 February, 283rd week of the war, 165th week of U.S. participation. Manila liberated by General Douglas MacArthur. Bonin Islands as well as Berlin bombed by Allied aircraft. Verso of map shows scenes of Japanese life in 1939.
2015 is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. This exhibit is a series of mini displays featuring materials from the maps, government documents, and United Nations collections of the library. Materials on display change weekly or as interesting events occur. The exhibit runs from February to December 2015.
MAGIS Exhibits are formal or impromptu displays and may be on-going or one-time exhibits featuring resources held in the Maps, Aerial Photographs, and GIS (MAGIS) and U.S. federal and United Nations collections of the library.
We welcome you to visit the Government Documents and Maps Department on the ground floor of Hamilton Library to see the physical resources currently exhibited, or when there are digital reproductions, you may view them online.