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 about World War 2
The Holocaust is generally said to have taken place from the time that Adolf Hitler was elected as Chancellor on January 30, 1933, to the conclusion of World War II, on May 8, 1945. This time period marks the discrimination and persecution of Jewish people and other minorities.Full Answer >
Many factors lead to World War II, and many of them were either directly or indirectly linked to World War I, including dissatisfaction over the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Fascism and Hitler's rise to power and his eventual aggression, using his Nazi party to fulfill a mission to unite all German-speaking people.Full Answer >
World War II lasted six years in Europe and eight years in the Pacific. American involvement in the war lasted four years from December 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, to 1945, when both Japan and Germany were defeated.Full Answer >
World War II began when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. The invasion began on September 1, but the war didn't begin officially until Great Britain and France declared war on Germany.Full Answer >