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15 Aug 1945
  • HMS Cumberland sailed with Eastern Fleet for Malayan assault (Operation Zipper. Note: The planned assault Landings were delayed due to pressure from the United States and indecision in London for political considerations associated with return of service personnel from the Far East in the Python Scheme). ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
  • Australia was given the responsibility oversee Japanese surrenders in Thailand; Java, Dutch East Indies; and Borneo, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chiang Kaishek made a radio address from the facilities of the Broadcasting System (forerunner of today's Broadcasting Corporation of China located in Taiwan, Republic of China) in Chongqing, China, noting that China must not seek revenge against the defeated Japan, for violence would only yield more violence. He urged that China must return "virtue for malice". ww2dbase [Chiang Kaishek | Japan's Surrender | Chongqing | CPC]
  • General Yasuji Okamura received orders to surrender to the Chinese. He initially contemplated disobeying this order, but would ultimately comply. ww2dbase [Yasuji Okamura | CPC]
French Indochina
  • During speeches, Prime Minister Son Ngoc Thanh of Cambodia, French Indochina urged his people to cooperate with the Japanese and resist the French. ww2dbase [Phnom Penh, Cambodia | CPC]
  • Various Vietnamese nationalist groups and cells rose up in Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina regions of French Indochina. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Hoe arrived at Apra Harbor, Guam, Mariana Islands. ww2dbase [Hoe | CPC]
  • Douglas MacArthur gave the responsibility of occupying southern Indochina and Dutch East Indies to the Allied South East Asia Command under Louis Mountbatten. On the same day, Mountbatten announced Proclamation No. 1 for the planning of the resumption of British rule of Malaya. ww2dbase [Louis Mountbatten | Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
  • Seafire aircraft of 887 and 894 Naval Air Squadrons of the British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm downed seven A6M5 Zero fighters at the cost of one Seafire fighter. Meanwhile, carrier aircraft from USS Ticonderoga (Air Group 87) and USS Shangri-La were launched for a strike on Tokyo, Japan, but the mission was aborted while en route due to the Japanese willingness to capitulate. USS Yorktown (Essex-class) cancelled all strikes planned for this day. ww2dbase [Yorktown (Essex-class) | Preparations for Invasion of Japan | Ticonderoga | Shangri-La | Tokyo | DS]
  • Emperor Showa addressed his nation via radio, announcing the end of the war. Meanwhile, the Japanese government informed the Allies its willingness to meet the unconditional surrender terms. In response, the US government ordered all hostilities to cease in Asia. A group of Japanese Army officers made a coup d'√©tat attempt by attacking the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan; it ended in failure. ww2dbase [Japan's Surrender | Imperial Palace Complex | Tokyo | TH]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze was assigned to Destroyer Division 41, Escort Squadron 31, Combined Fleet. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | CPC]
  • Marquis Hironobu was promoted to the rank of commander. ww2dbase [Hironobu | CPC]
  • Kiyoshi Ito saw his final combat mission of the war over central Japan. ww2dbase [Kiyoshi Ito | CPC]
  • Korechika Anami, as the Army Minister, signed an official document of surrender. He then committed ritual suicide in Kojimachi (now Chiyoda), Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Korechika Anami | Tokyo | CPC]
  • Korean Communist leader Yo Unhyong voiced his reluctant acceptance for the Japanese proposal to form an interim administration dominated by Koreans to rule Korea until the Allies form their own administration. ww2dbase [CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • I-401 received conflicting orders, one from Emperor Showa ordering her to surrender in the form of the radio address, another from naval leadership ordering all submarines to carry out existing orders; Tatsunosuke Ariizumi, commanding officer of 6th Fleet who was aboard the submarine, chose to follow the latter. I-400, under Commander Toshio Kusaka, opted to obey the order to surrender. ww2dbase [I-400 | I-401 | Tatsunosuke Ariizumi | CPC]
  • USS Wasp fired her anti-aircraft guns at attacking Japanese aircraft for the final time in the war. ww2dbase [Wasp (Essex-class) | CPC]
  • In Lisbon, Japanese Ambassador Morito Morishima informed the Portuguese government that Japan was developing a plan to return East Timor to Portugal. ww2dbase [Lisbon | CPC]
  • Japanese Ambassador to Thailand Kumaichi Yamamoto announced Emperor Showa's surrender order to Thai Prime Minister Khuang Aphaiwong. When Yamamoto was informed of the Thai intention to renounce the Japanese-Thai alliance, he raised no objections. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British government released details of one of most closely guarded secrets of war, radar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • VJ Day was declared in Britain. ww2dbase [Japan's Surrender | TH]
Photo(s) dated 15 Aug 1945
American servicemen and women gathered in front of African-American members of the US Army Air Forces 1909th Engineers Aviation Battalion aboard LST-683, 15 Aug 1945Map noting areas of Asia and Pacific under Allied and Japanese control as of 15 Aug 1945Aerial photo of Nagasaki, Japan after atomic bombing, mid-Aug 1945
See all photos dated 15 Aug 1945

15 Aug 1945 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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