12 August 1945

12 August 1945

12 August 1945



Far East

Soviet troops continue to advance across Manchuria, and capture the port of Rashin in Korea

War in the Air

Aircraft from the Far Eastern Air Force attack Kyushu

12 August 1945 - History

Dr. Michihiko Hachiya lived through that day and kept a diary of his experience. He served as Director of the Hiroshima Communications Hospital and lived near the hospital approximately a mile from the explosion's epicenter. His diary was published in English in 1955

Suddenly, a strong flash of light.

"The hour was early the morning still, warm, and beautiful. Shimmering leaves, reflecting sunlight from a cloudless sky, made a pleasant contrast with shadows in my garden as I gazed absently through wide-flung doors opening to the south.

Clad in drawers and undershirt, I was sprawled on the living room floor exhausted because I had just spent a sleepless night on duty as an air warden in my hospital.

Suddenly, a strong flash of light startled me - and then another. So well does one recall little things that I remember vividly how a stone lantern in the garden became brilliantly lit and I debated whether this light was caused by a magnesium flare or sparks from a passing trolley.

Garden shadows disappeared. The view where a moment before had been so bright and sunny was now dark and hazy. Through swirling dust I could barely discern a wooden column that had supported one comer of my house. It was leaning crazily and the roof sagged dangerously.

All over the right side of my body I was cut and bleeding. A large splinter was protruding from a mangled wound in my thigh, and something warm trickled into my mouth. My check was torn, I discovered as I felt it gingerly, with the lower lip laid wide open. Embedded in my neck was a sizable fragment of glass which I matter-of-factly dislodged, and with the detachment of one stunned and shocked I studied it and my blood-stained hand.

Suddenly thoroughly alarmed, I began to yell for her: 'Yaeko-san! Yaeko-san! Where are you?' Blood began to spurt. Had my carotid artery been cut? Would I bleed to death? Frightened and irrational, I called out again 'It's a five-hundred-ton bomb! Yaeko-san, where are you? A five- hundred-ton bomb has fallen!'

Yaeko-san, pale and frightened, her clothes torn and blood stained, emerged from the ruins of our house holding her elbow. Seeing her, I was reassured. My own panic assuaged, I tried to reassure her.

'We'll be all right,' I exclaimed. 'Only let's get out of here as fast as we can.'

She nodded, and I motioned for her to follow me."

Dr. Hachiya and his wife make there way to the street. As the homes around them collapse, they realize they must move on, and begin their journey to the hospital a few hundred yards away.

After the Blast
"We started out, but after twenty or thirty steps I had to stop. My breath became short, my heart pounded, and my legs gave way under me. An overpowering thirst seized me and I begged Yaeko-san to find me some water. But there was no water to be found. After a little my strength somewhat returned and we were able to go on.

I was still naked, and although I did not feel the least bit of shame, I was disturbed to realize that modesty had deserted me. On rounding a corner we came upon a soldier standing idly in the street. He had a towel draped across his shoulder, and I asked if he would give it to me to cover my nakedness. The soldier surrendered the towel quite willingly but said not a word. A little later I lost the towel, and Yaeko-san took off her apron and tied it around my loins.

Our progress towards the hospital was interminably slow, until finally, my legs, stiff from drying blood, refused to carry me farther. The strength, even the will, to go on deserted me, so I told my wife, who was almost as badly hurt as I, to go on alone. This she objected to, but there was no choice. She had to go ahead and try to find someone to come back for me.

Yaeko-san looked into my face for a moment, and then, without saying a word, turned away and began running towards the hospital. Once, she looked back and waved and in a moment she was swallowed up in the gloom. It was quite dark now, and with my wife gone, a feeling of dreadful loneliness overcame me.

I must have gone out of my head lying there in the road because the next thing I recall was discovering that the clot on my thigh had been dislodged and blood was again spurting from the wound.

I pressed my hand to the bleeding area and after a while the bleeding stopped and I felt better

Bombing victim: her skin is
burned in a pattern
corresponding to the light
& dark portions of her komono.
I tried. It was all a nightmare - my wounds, the darkness, the road ahead. My movements were ever so slow only my mind was running at top speed.

In time I came to an open space where the houses had been removed to make a fire lane. Through the dim light I could make out ahead of me the hazy outlines of the Communications Bureau's big concrete building, and beyond it the hospital. My spirits rose because I knew that now someone would find me and if I should die, at least my body would be found. I paused to rest. Gradually things around me came into focus. There were the shadowy forms of people, some of whom looked like walking ghosts. Others moved as though in pain, like scarecrows, their arms held out from their bodies with forearms and hands dangling. These people puzzled me until I suddenly realized that they had been burned and were holding their arms out to prevent the painful friction of raw surfaces rubbing together. A naked woman carrying a naked baby came into view. I averted my gaze. Perhaps they had been in the bath. But then I saw a naked man, and it occurred to me that, like myself, some strange thing had deprived them of their clothes. An old woman lay near me with an expression of suffering on her face but she made no sound. Indeed, one thing was common to everyone I saw - complete silence.

All who could were moving in the direction of the hospital. I joined in the dismal parade when my strength was somewhat recovered, and at last reached the gates of the Communications Bureau."

Hachiya, Michihiko, Hiroshima Diary (1955) Hersey, John, Hiroshima (1963).

Hear Col. Paul Tibbets describe dropping the Bomb in Voices of the Twentieth Century

Second World War (1939-1945)

As in the First World War, Indian soldiers were called upon by Britain to help in the war effort. Despite the constitutional fall-out from Britain’s declaration of war on behalf of India, without prior consultation of Indian representatives, Britain could nevertheless rely on India’s support. The massive involvement of men and women from India in Britain's war effort and her allies has remained a marginalized story of the Second World War. Indian soldiers provided manpower, equipment and auxiliary support in theatres of war throughout the world. Their contribution was vital to keep the supply lines to Britain open and to defend her borders at home and in the empire.

An Indian contingent provided vital backup to the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940 and these mule transport companies were evacuated at Dunkirk and received praise from British officers for their discipline and exemplary conduct in the midst of chaos. They were stationed in Britain until 1943 to provide vital back-up on the home front. South Asians in Britain such as Cedric Dover and Sudhindra Nath Ghose worked as ARP Wardens in Civil Defence. Indian pilots such as Mahinder Singh Pujji, one of seven fighter pilots chosen to join the RAF, flew Hurricanes, engaging German aircraft in dogfights over the English Channel. He was one of 24 Indian Air Force pilots sent to Britain in September 1940 to fly with the RAF (including four other Sikh pilots: Shivdev Singh, Gurbachan Singh, Tirlochan Singh and Manmohan Singh). Tirlochan Singh and Air Marshal Shivdev Singh flew bombers, the latter making twenty-two operational flights over Germany and later commanding an Indian Air Force squadron in Burma. The Royal Air Force needed to make up a shortage in pilots by actively recruiting personnel from across the Commonwealth. It dispensed with the colour bar of the armed forces that stipulated that only ‘British subjects of pure European descent’ could join. After October 1939 people from across the Commonwealth, regardless of nationality or race became eligible to join the RAF. By the end of the Second World War, over 17,500 such men and women had been recruited, serving in a variety of roles. A further 25,000 served in the Royal Indian Air Force.

In addition to meeting her own requirements, India’s new factories maintained a regular supply of vital war materials to her Allies. Textiles were sent to 15 countries. India would supply 37,000 of the 50,000 different textile articles required by the United Nations in the war. India was the third largest consignor of supplies to Australia for the Pacific war. Russia and China also received much war material from India.

South Asian merchant seamen living around the ports of London, Cardiff, Liverpool and South Shields also played a significant role . These sailors helped to ensure that the supply lines to Britain remained open and provided vital manpower often working under atrocious conditions for less pay than their white counterparts.

American POWS in Japanese Captivity

I recently read that, prior to the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, up to 1,000 Allied POWs were dying per week at the hands of the Japanese. Is this true?


I have found no indication of this figure in the works of several historians who have written about the fate of Allied POWs in Japanese captivity.

Gavan Daws, in Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific, states, “Tokyo’s policy as of late 1944 was ‘to prevent prisoners of war from falling into the enemy’s hands,’” citing proceedings of the International Military Tribunal of the Far East and a research report of the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service Section as his sources. Drawing on a document in the National Archives dated February 26, 1945, entitled “Captured Japanese Instructions Regarding the Killing of POW,” of the Military Intelligence Division, Daws cites an entry in the journal of the Japanese headquarters at Taihoku on Formosa that called for “‘extreme measures’ to be taken against POWs in ‘urgent situations: Whether they are destroyed individually or in groups, or however it is done, with mass bombing, poisonous smoke, poisons, drowning, decapitation, or what, dispose of the prisoners as the situation dictates. In any case it is the aim not to allow the escape of a single one, to annihilate them all, and not to leave any traces.’”

Daws concludes, however, that with regard to carrying out the policy of killing POWs in various camps, “the picture was mixed.” In Palawan, in the Philippines, Japanese soldiers machine-gunned, clubbed, and bayonets 150 POWs trying to escape air raid shelters that the captors had doused with gasoline and lit. During the Battle of Manila in February and March 1945, guards at the camp at Bilibid left without harming the POWs.

Historian David M. Kennedy has summarized figures regarding the brutal treatment of American POWs by the Japanese. “Ninety percent of American prisoners of war in the Pacific reported being beaten,” Kennedy states. “More than a third died. Those who survived spent thirty-eight months in captivity on average and lost sixty-one pounds.”

After noting that 20 American POWs died as a result of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, according to Japanese military commanders, and that between one and three American prisoners may have been killed by the Japanese after the bombing, Richard B. Frank states, “The average number of Allied prisoners of war or civilian internees who died each day of the effects of captivity at the hands of the Japanese easily doubled this toll.”

In a radio broadcast on the night of August 9, 1945, hours after the U.S. dropped the second atomic bomb on Japan, President Harry S. Truman linked the use of the bomb to the treatment by the Japanese of American prisoners of war: “Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans.” In a letter two days later, Truman wrote, “nobody is more disturbed over the use of Atomic bombs than I am, but I was greatly disturbed by the unwarranted attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor and their murder of our prisoners of war.”


Gavan Daws, Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific (New York: William Morrow, 1994), 324-25.

David M. Kennedy, Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 813.

President, “Radio Report to the American People on the Potsdam Conference,” August 9, 1945, in John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA: University of California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database). Available from World Wide Web: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=12165.

Harry S. Truman to Samuel Cavert, August 11, 1945, in Harry S. Truman and the Bomb: A Documentary History, ed. and commentary by Robert H. Ferrell (Worland, WY: High Plains Publishing Co., 1996), 72.

Van Waterford, Prisoners of the Japanese in World War II: Statistical History, Personal Narratives, and Memorials Concerning POWs in Camps and on Hellships, Civilian Internees, Asian Slave Laborers, and Others Captured in the Pacific Theater (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1994).

Bernard M. Cohen, and Maurice Z. Cooper, A Follow-up Study of World War II Prisoners of War (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1954).

"U.S. medical men are attempting to identify more than 100 American Prisoners of War captured at Bataan and Corregidor and burned alive by the Japanese at a Prisoner of War camp, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippine Islands. Picture shows charred remains being interred in grave: 03/20/1945," National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

"A volunteer of the Red Cross Motor Corps, at the loading of the Gripsholm, painting the destination on boxes of clothing, food, etc., for prisoners of war in Japan and the Far East," Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

These Are The 12 Largest Nuclear Detonations in History

Since the first nuclear test on 15 July 1945, there have been over 2,051 other nuclear weapons tests around the world.

No other force epitomises the absolute destructive power humanity has unlocked in the way nuclear weapons have. And the weapons rapidly became more powerful in the decades after that first test.

The device tested in 1945 had a 20 kiloton yield, meaning it had the explosive force of 20,000 tons of TNT.

Within 20 years, the US and USSR tested nuclear weapons larger than 10 megatons, or 10 million tons of TNT. For scale, these weapons were at least 500 times as strong as the first atomic bomb.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

To put the size of history's largest nuclear blasts to scale, we have used Alex Wellerstein's Nukemap, a tool for visualising the terrifying real-world impact of a nuclear explosion.

In the following maps, the first ring of the blast is the fireball, followed by the radiation radius.

In the pink radius, almost all buildings are demolished and fatalities approach 100 percent. In the grey radius, stronger buildings would weather the blast, but injuries are nearly universal.

In the orange radius, people with exposed skin would suffer from third-degree burns, and flammable materials would catch on fire, leading to possible firestorms.

11 (tie). Soviet Tests #158 and #168

Alex Wellerstein/Nukemap

On August 25 and September 19, 1962, less than a month apart, the USSR conducted nuclear tests #158 and #168.

Both tests were held over the Novaya Zemlya region of Russia, an archipelago to the north of Russia near the Arctic Ocean.

No film or photographs of the tests have been released, but both tests included the use of 10-megaton atomic bombs.

These blasts would have incinerated everything within 1.77 square miles of their epicentres while causing third-degree burns up to an area of 1,090 square miles.

10. Ivy Mike


On 1 November 1952, the US tested Ivy Mike over the Marshall Islands. Ivy Mike was the world's first hydrogen bomb and had a yield of 10.4 megatons, making it 700 times as strong as the first atomic bomb.

Ivy Mike's detonation was so powerful that it vaporised the Elugelab Island where it was detonated, leaving in its place a 164-foot-deep crater. The explosion's mushroom cloud traveled 30 miles into the atmosphere.

9. Castle Romeo

US Department of Energy

Romeo was the second US nuclear detonation of the Castle Series of tests, which were conducted in 1954.

All of the detonations took place over Bikini Atoll. Castle Romeo was the third-most powerful test of the series and had a yield of 11 megatons.

Romeo was the first device to be tested on a barge over open water instead of on a reef, as the US was quickly running out of islands upon which it could test nuclear weapons.

The blast would have incinerated everything within 1.91 square miles.

8. Soviet Test #123

Alex Wellerstein/Nukemap

On 23 October 1961, the Soviets conducted nuclear test #123 over Novaya Zemlya. Test #123 used a 12.5 megaton nuclear bomb.

A bomb of this size would incinerate everything within 2.11 square miles while causing third-degree burns in an area of 1,309 square miles.

No footage or photographs of this nuclear test have been released.

7. Castle Yankee


Castle Yankee, the second-strongest of the Castle series tests, was conducted on 4 May 1954. The bomb was 13.5 megatons.

Four days later, its fallout reached Mexico City, about 7,100 miles away.

6. Castle Bravo

US Department of Energy

Castle Bravo, detonated on February 28, 1954, was the first of the Castle series of tests and the largest US nuclear blast of all time.

Bravo was anticipated as a 6-megaton explosion. Instead, the bomb produced a 15-megaton fission blast. Its mushroom cloud reached 114,000 feet into the air.

The US military's miscalculation of the test's size resulted in the irradiation of approximately 665 inhabitants of the Marshall Islands and the radiation poisoning death of a Japanese fisherman who was 80 miles away from the detonation site.

3 (tie). Soviet Tests #173, #174, and #147

Alex Wellerstein/Nukemap

From August 5 to September 27, 1962, the USSR conducted a series of nuclear tests over Novaya Zemlya. Tests #173, #174, and #147 all stand out as being the fifth-, fourth-, and third-strongest nuclear blasts in history.

All three produced blasts of about 20 megatons, or about 1,000 times as strong as the Trinity bomb. A bomb of this strength would incinerate everything within 3 square miles.

No footage or photographs of these nuclear tests have been released.

2. Soviet Test #219

Alex Wellerstein/Nukemap

On December 24, 1962, the USSR conducted Test #219 over Novaya Zemlya. The bomb had a yield of 24.2 megatons.

A bomb of this strength would incinerate everything within 3.58 square miles while causing third-degree burns in an area up to 2,250 square miles.

There are no released photos or video of this explosion.

1. The Tsar Bomba


On October 30, 1961, the USSR detonated the largest nuclear weapon ever tested and created the biggest man-made explosion in history.

The blast, 3,000 times as strong as the bomb used on Hiroshima, broke windows 560 miles away, according to Slate.

The flash of light from the blast was visible up to 620 miles away.

The Tsar Bomba, as the test was ultimately known, had a yield between 50 and 58 megatons, twice the size of the second-largest nuclear blast.

A bomb of this size would create a fireball 6.4 square miles large and would be able to give humans third-degree burns within 4,080 square miles of the bomb's epicentre.

The first atomic bomb


The first atomic blast was a fraction the size of the Tsar Bomba, but it was still an explosion of almost unimaginable size.

According to the NukeMap, a weapon with a 20-kiloton yield produces a fireball with a radius of 260 meters, making its total width the size of 5 football fields.

It would spew deadly radiation over an area 7 miles in width, and would produce third-degree burns in an area over 12 miles in width.

If dropped over lower Manhattan, a bomb of that size would kill over 150,000 people and produce fallout stretching all the way to central Connecticut, according to the NukeMap.

The first atomic bomb was tiny by nuclear weapons standards. But its destructiveness is sill nearly impossible to grasp.

An earlier version of this story was written by Armin Rosen.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Born in 1882 at Hyde Park, New York–now a national historic site–he attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School. On St. Patrick’s Day, 1905, he married Eleanor Roosevelt.

Following the example of his fifth cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt, whom he greatly admired, Franklin D. Roosevelt entered public service through politics, but as a Democrat. He won election to the New York Senate in 1910. President Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and he was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 1920.

In the summer of 1921, when he was 39, disaster hit-he was stricken with poliomyelitis. Demonstrating indomitable courage, he fought to regain the use of his legs, particularly through swimming. At the 1924 Democratic Convention he dramatically appeared on crutches to nominate Alfred E. Smith as “the Happy Warrior.” In 1928 Roosevelt became Governor of New York.

He was elected President in November 1932, to the first of four terms. By March there were 13,000,000 unemployed, and almost every bank was closed. In his first “hundred days,” he proposed, and Congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring recovery to business and agriculture, relief to the unemployed and to those in danger of losing farms and homes, and reform, especially through the establishment of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

By 1935 the Nation had achieved some measure of recovery, but businessmen and bankers were turning more and more against Roosevelt’s New Deal program. They feared his experiments, were appalled because he had taken the Nation off the gold standard and allowed deficits in the budget, and disliked the concessions to labor. Roosevelt responded with a new program of reform: Social Security, heavier taxes on the wealthy, new controls over banks and public utilities, and an enormous work relief program for the unemployed.

In 1936 he was re-elected by a top-heavy margin. Feeling he was armed with a popular mandate, he sought legislation to enlarge the Supreme Court, which had been invalidating key New Deal measures. Roosevelt lost the Supreme Court battle, but a revolution in constitutional law took place. Thereafter the Government could legally regulate the economy.

Roosevelt had pledged the United States to the “good neighbor” policy, transforming the Monroe Doctrine from a unilateral American manifesto into arrangements for mutual action against aggressors. He also sought through neutrality legislation to keep the United States out of the war in Europe, yet at the same time to strengthen nations threatened or attacked. When France fell and England came under siege in 1940, he began to send Great Britain all possible aid short of actual military involvement.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt directed organization of the Nation’s manpower and resources for global war.

Feeling that the future peace of the world would depend upon relations between the United States and Russia, he devoted much thought to the planning of a United Nations, in which, he hoped, international difficulties could be settled.

As the war drew to a close, Roosevelt’s health deteriorated, and on April 12, 1945, while at Warm Springs, Georgia, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.

For more information about President Roosevelt, please visit Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum

Learn more about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s spouse, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Japanese surrender

The Japanese surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur on board an American battleship, Missouri, at Tokyo Bay at 9 am on 2 September 1945 &ndash officially ending WWII. 1 Two weeks later, on 12 September 1945 at 11.10 am, local time, another Japanese surrender ceremony was held at the Municipal Building of Singapore (now known as City Hall), which was accepted by Lord Louis Mountbatten. 2 It officially ended the Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia. 3

Surrender ceremony on board the American battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay
The Japanese representatives comprised Foreign Minister, Mr Mamoru Shigemitsu, General Yoshijiro Umezu of the Imperial General Headquarters, and nine others three, each from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japanese navy and army. The Instrument of Surrender was signed by Mr Shigemitsu as &ldquoby command of, and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Government of Japan&rdquo, and General Umezu who signed as "by command of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters&rdquo. They had initially made a request that they be allowed to sign as "by command of and on behalf of the Emperor of Japan" in accordance with the Japanese constitution, but this request was denied. 4

MacArthur represented and signed on behalf of the Allied Powers &ndash Admiral C. W. Nimitz for the United States, Admiral B. Fraser for Great Britain, General T. A. Blamey for Australia, Colonel L. M. Cosgrove for Canada, Air Vice-Marshall L. M. Isitt for New Zealand, General Hsu Yung-chang for China, General P. Leclerc for France, Admiral C. E. L. Helfrich for the Netherlands, and Lieutenant-General K. N. Derevyanko for Russia. 5

In addition, MacArthur was assigned the duty of administering the occupation of Japan, which lasted till 1952. During this administration, many high-ranking Japanese officials were tried, and were either executed or given long sentences. 6

Surrender ceremony at Municipal Building of Singapore (now known as City Hall)
On 12 September 1945, Supreme Allied Commander (Southeast Asia), Lord Louis Mountbatten, accompanied by the Deputy Supreme Commander Raymond Wheeler, was driven to the ceremony by a released prisoner-of-war. As the car drove by the streets, sailors and marines from the East Indies Fleet who had lined the streets greeted them. At the Municipal Building, Mountbatten was received by his Commanders-in Chief and high-ranking Allied Officers based in Singapore. Also gathered in front of the Municipal Building were four Guards-of-Honour, from the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, the Indian army, and Australian paratroopers. Mountbatten led an inspection of the officers before proceeding to the chamber where the ceremony was to be held. During the inspection, a fleet band played &ldquoRule Britannia&rdquo accompanied by the firing of a seventeen-gun salute by the Royal Artillery. 7

The Instrument of Surrender was signed by General Itagaki, who signed on behalf of Hisaichi Terauchi, Field Marshall Count, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Japanese Forces, Southern Region. 8 Terauchi was not able to attend the surrender ceremony as he had fallen ill due to a stroke. 9 However, he personally surrendered to Mountbatten on 30 November 1945 in Saigon (Ho Chih Minh city). He also surrendered his two swords: a short sword forged in the 16th century and a long sword forged in the 13th century. Mountbatten later presented the short sword to King George VI. 10

The Japanese signed a total of 11 copies of the Instrument of Surrender 11 one each for the British, American, Chinese, French, Dutch, Australian, Indian and the Japanese governments and one each for King George VI, the Supreme Commander, Mountbatten 12 and the South East Asia Command&rsquo records. 13

The ceremony was also witnessed by 400 spectators made up of commanders and officers from the navy, army and air force, as well as senior officers from the Supreme Headquarters of the South East Asia Command, 14 leaders of the Malayan communities, Sultan of Johore, Sir Ibrahim, and released prisoners-of-war, who were all seated behind the Allied representatives. In the chamber, flags of Allied forces were hung and at the bases of its pillars stood one officer representing the different fighting forces the Gurkhas, Sikhs, Australians, British airmen, Dutch, Americans, French (from the battleship Richelieu) and the 5th Indian Division. 15

The surrender ceremony finally ended with the hoisting of the Union Jack and the playing of the national anthems of all the Allied nations. This was the same flag that flew over the Government House before the war, and which was hidden by Malayan civil servant, Mervyn Cecil Frank Sheppard in his pillow during his captivity in the Changi prison during the Japanese Occupation. 16

Japanese Representatives 17
General Seishiro Itagaki (7th Area Army)
Lieutenant-General Hyotaro Kimura (Burma Area Army)
Lieutenant-General Akita Nakamura (18th Area Army)
Lieutenant-General Kinoshita (3 rd Air Army)
Vice-Admiral Shigeru Fukudome (1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet)
Vice-Admiral Shibata (2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet)
Lieutenant-General Tokazo Numata (Chief of Staff to Field-Marshall Count H. Terauchi, Commander-in-Chief, Southern Army)

Allied Representatives 18
Major-General William Ronald Campbell Penney (Director of Intelligence, South East Asia Command)
Brigadier K.S. Thimayya (representing the Indian Army)
General P. Leclerc (representing France)
Admiral Sir Arthur John Power (Commander-in Chief, East Indies Fleet)
Lieutenant-General Raymond Albert Wheeler (Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia, representing U.S.A.)
Admiral Lord Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten (Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia)
General Sir William Joseph Slim (Commander-in-Chief, Allied Air Forces, South East Asia Command)
Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park (Commander-in-Chief, Allied Air Forces, South East Asia Command)
Major-General Feng Yee (Head of the Chinese military mission to South East Asia Command)
Air Vice-Marshall A.T. Cole (representing Australia)
Colonel D.C. Boorman van Vreedon (representing the Netherlands)

27 Jul 1945: The Foreign Ministry of Japan received the Potsdam Proclamation from the Allies, which arrived in Tokyo at 6.00 am. It instructed the Japanese to surrender unconditionally or face the consequences. 19 The document also contained specific details that guarantee the continuing existence of Japan as a nation, and the Allied forces&rsquo withdrawal from Japan once order had been restored and all Japan war-making capabilities destroyed. 20
6 Aug 1945: At 8:15 am, Japanese time, the first atomic bomb, code-named &ldquoLittle Boy&rdquo, struck Hiroshima. It was dropped from an American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay, 21 piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets. The bomb destroyed almost all building structures and killed more than 100,000 people. 22
8&ndash9 Aug 1945: Russia delivered a declaration of war on Japan to Japanese Ambassador Sato in Moscow at midnight. 23
9 Aug 1945: At 11.02 am, Japanese time, the second atomic bomb, code-named &ldquoFat Boy&rdquo, was dropped on Nagasaki, 24 from another American B-29 bomber named Bock&rsquos Car, piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney. It had the same effect as the first bomb, only this time there were 23,753 people killed and 43,020 wounded. 25
15 Aug 1945: Emperor Hirohito made a radio announcement to his people announcing the decision to accept the Potsdam Proclamation, and surrender to the Allies.
25 Aug 1945: Emperor Hirohito issued a decree ordering all Japanese forces to demobilise and cease operation.
27 Aug 1945: The American 3rd fleet accompanied the Duke of York of the British Pacific Fleet anchored at the Sagami Bay, before proceeding to occupying the Yokosuka naval base.
30 Aug 1945: General MacArthur arrived at Atsugi airport.
2 Sep 1945: At 9.00 am (Japanese time), the Instrument of Surrender was signed on board the American battleship, Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, officially ending the WWII. 26
4 Sep 1945: General Itagaki and Vice Admiral Fukudome signed surrender terms on board HMS Sussex at Keppel Harbour, handing Singapore to Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia&rsquos naval and military representatives. 27
12 Sep 1945: The official surrender ceremony was held at the Municipal Building of Singapore (now known as City Hall), marking the end of Japanese Occupation in Southeast Asia. 28

1. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 220. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
2. Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Historical research on the surrender ceremony at City Hall on 12th September 1945. (1975). Singapore: Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 HIS-[WAR])
4. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 220. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
5. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 220. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
6. Wiest, A. A., & Matson, G. L. (2001). The Pacific war. Staplehurst: Spellmount, p. 250. (Call no.: R q940.5426 WIE-[WAR])
7. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 271. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR) Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. The instrument of surrender. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG Bose, R. (2012). Singapore at war: Secrets from the fall, liberation & aftermath of WWII. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 248. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 BOS-[WAR])
10. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 272. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
11. Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Historical research on the surrender ceremony at City Hall on 12th September 1945. (1975). Singapore: Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, p. 6. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 HIS-[WAR])
13. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 273. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
14. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, pp. 271&ndash272. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
15. Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Bose, R. (2012). Singapore at war: Secrets from the fall, liberation & aftermath of WWII. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 252. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 BOS-[WAR]) Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Historical research on the surrender ceremony at City Hall on 12th September 1945. (1975). Singapore: Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, p. 7. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 HIS-[WAR]) Bose, R. (2012). Singapore at war: Secrets from the fall, liberation & aftermath of WWII. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 244. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 BOS-[WAR]) Seven Japanese commanders. (1945, September 12). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Historical research on the surrender ceremony at City Hall on 12th September 1945. (1975). Singapore: Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, p. 7. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 HIS-[WAR]) Singapore at war: Secrets from the fall, liberation & aftermath of WWII. Bose, R. (2012). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, pp. 298&ndash304. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 BOS-[WAR])
19. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, pp. 205&ndash207. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
20. Wiest, A. A., & Mattson, G. L. (2001). The Pacific war. Staplehurst: Spellmount, p. 244. (Call no.: R q940.5426 WIE-[WAR])
21. Hiroshima remembered. (2005, August 7). The Straits Times, p. 17. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 207. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR) Wiest, A. A., & Mattson, G. L. (2001). The Pacific war. Staplehurst: Spellmount, pp. 242, 248. (Call no.: R q940.5426 WIE-[WAR])
23. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 198. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR) Wiest, A. A., & Mattson, G. L. (2001). The Pacific war. Staplehurst: Spellmount, p. 248. (Call no.: R q940.5426 WIE-[WAR])
24. Nagasaki urges US to give up nukes. (2005, August 10). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
25. Wiest, A. A., & Mattson, G. L. (2001). The Pacific war. Staplehurst: Spellmount, p. 249. (Call no.: R q940.5426 WIE-[WAR]) Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, p. 209. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
26. Kirby. S. W., et al. (1957). The war against Japan: The surrender of Japan (Vol. 5). London: H.M.S.O, pp. 216, 218, 220. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.542 KIR)
27. Bose, R. (2012). Singapore at war: Secrets from the fall, liberation & aftermath of WWII. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, pp. 291, 310&ndash321. (Call no.: RSING 940.5425 BOS -[WAR])
28. Japanese in Malaysia surrender at Singapore. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Further resources
Lee, G. B. (2005). The Syonan years: Singapore under Japanese rule 1942&ndash1945. Singapore: National Archives of Singapore and Epigram.
(Call no.: RSING q940.53957 LEE-[WAR])

This is no negotiated surrender. (1945, September 13). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

PICTURES FROM HISTORY: Rare Images Of War, History , WW2, Nazi Germany

In India, Stilwell soon became well known for his no-nonsense demeanor and disregard for military pomp and ceremony. His trademarks were a battered Army campaign hat, GI shoes, and a plain service uniform with no insignia of rank he frequently carried a .30 Springfield rifle in preference to a sidearm. His hazardous march out of Burma and his bluntly honest assessment of the disaster captured the imagination of the American public: "I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma and it is humiliating as hell. I think we ought to find out what caused it, go back and retake it.". However, Stilwell's derogatory remarks castigating the ineffectiveness of what he termed Limey forces, a viewpoint often repeated by Stilwell's staff, did not sit well with British and Commonwealth commanders. However, it was well known among the troops that Stilwell's disdain for the British was aimed toward those high command officers that he saw as overly stuffy and pompous.

Although sometimes considered a mercenary unit, the AVG was closely associated with the U.S. military. Most histories of the Flying Tigers say that on 15 April 1941, President Roosevelt signed a "secret executive order" authorizing servicemen on active duty to resign in order to join the AVG. However, Flying Tigers historian Daniel Ford could find no evidence that such an order ever existed, and he argued that "a wink and a nod" was more the president's style. In any event, the AVG was organized and in part directed out of the White House, and by the spring of 1942 had effectively been brought into the U.S. Army chain of command.

During the summer and fall 1941, some 300 men carrying civilian passports boarded ships destined for Burma. They were initially based at a British airfield in Toungoo for training while their aircraft were assembled and test flown by CAMCO personnel at Mingaladon airport outside Rangoon. Chennault set up a schoolhouse that was made necessary because many pilots had "lied about their flying experience, claiming pursuit experience when they had flown only bombers and sometimes much less powerful airplanes." They called Chennault "the Old Man" due to his much older age and leathery exterior obtained from years flying open cockpit pursuit aircraft in the Army Air Corps. Most believed that he had flown as a fighter pilot in China, although stories that he was a combat ace are probably apocryphal.

Tense Drama �” Details a Little-Known Slice of Second World War History

Ferenc Török’s black-and-white drama, which compellingly charts the course of just a few hours in a Hungarian village on August 12, 1945, probes an underrepresented slice of Second World War history — the brief pocket of time between the fall of fascism and the implementation of Communist rule. Török considers this fraught climate through the p.o.v. of the town’s boisterous notary, István (Péter Rudolf), whose firm grip on the populace starts to give following the arrival of two Orthodox Jewish ex-residents (Iván Angelus and Marcell Nagy). Their appearance stirs feelings of guilt in the villagers who have prospered in the wake of the forced removal of the Jewish population. On top of this, István has his son’s wedding, set to take place later that day, to worry about an early scene in which he corrals a hoard of people for a celebratory shot of brandy speaks at once to his domineering charisma and to the fragile nature of his power — each successive forced handshake and fraternal smile is like a crack in the facade of his performative veneer. (Rudolf, stocky and bald, plays István convincingly in the manner of a pitbull run amok.) Though these tensions develop over mere hours, Török (adapting Gábor T. Szántó’s short story “Homecoming”) manages in his 91 minutes to squeeze in pleasing detours into period detail, as in one shot that pans up from a woman’s churning feet to the Singer sewing machine on which she is working. Collaborating with DP Elemér Ragályi, Török also invests the movie with strong visual motifs, perhaps most prominently a consistency of shots that peer at characters through everyday barriers (windows, curtains). The resultant sensation of uncomfortable prying underlines the boiling suspicions that power the plot.

Directed by Ferenc Török
Menemsha Films
Opens November 1, Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinema

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