World War II ended in two stages: the total destruction of the German government in Berlin in May 1945 and the capitulation of the Japanese government four months later. In each case, the victorious Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the Axis nations' land, sea and air forces, as well as a political surrender of their civil governments.Know More
Germany surrendered first. In April 1945, with hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers fighting toward the Reich Chancellery, Adolf Hitler took his own life in a fortified bunker complex beneath the building. After Hitler's death, what was left of the German state was administered by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz of the German Navy. His brief term ended with his arrest in the temporary capital of Flensburg on May 23. The surviving leaders of the Third Reich were put on trial at Nuremberg, and many of them were eventually executed.
Japan formally surrendered to the Allies on Sept. 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri, which was then docked in Tokyo Harbor. American histories tend to credit the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the Japanese decision to surrender, though Japanese and Russian scholarship credit the Soviet Union's Aug. 8 declaration of war and subsequent attack on Manchuria for the final breakdown in the Japanese war effort.Learn more in World War 2
Word War II began in Europe on September 1, 1939, and ended on May 8, 1945. The beginning of the war was marked by the German invasion of Poland, while the end is considered to be Germany's unconditional surrender.Full Answer >
World War II began mainly as a result of Nazi Germany reoccupying increasing amounts of land over which, according to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, it no longer had claim. England and France, allied countries that fought against Germany in World War I, declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939, after it invaded Poland, despite repeated demands to cease military occupation.Full Answer >
Adolph Hitler started World War II on Sept. 1, 1939, by invading Poland. While he had earlier taken over Austria and Czechoslovakia, these actions were ignored or explained away by European leaders who did not want a war.Full Answer >
World War II officially ended with the formal surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 after the U.S.A. dropped two atomic bombs on the country, which killed over a 100 thousand people. The Allies offered Japan a chance to surrender prior to dropping the bombs, but they refused. Germany had already surrendered to the Allies in May.Full Answer >