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How WW2 ended?

Updated: 8/18/2023
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13y ago

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It ended with the unconditional surrender of the Third Reich. Germany surrendered on May 7th to the Western Allies, and May 8th to the Soviet Union, 1945, about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide. Japan was able to hold out for another few months and was preparing for a desperate and bloody defense in the event of an American invasion of the home islands. Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 respectively. After that the Imperial government sought the Emperor's personal authority to surrender which he granted. He made a personal radio address announcing the decision on August 15, 1945. The surrender was signed on Sept. 2, 1945 aboard the battleship A.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

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11y ago
Britain at the end of World War 2

Britain was among the victorious allies. However, it was much reduced financially and many leading countries in the British Empire were demanding independence quickly. In 1947-49 the following all gained independence: India, Pakistan, what is now Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Israel/Palestine.

Britain's international standing was much reduced, but it took a while for the true extent of this to become apparent.

In the 1945 General Election there was a sharp swing to the Left with the Labour victory. (It was a very different Labour Party from the present one). Many key industies were nationalized, a national health service established and a welfare state that was supposed to care for everyone from 'the cradle to the grave'.

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WWII changed Britain forever. In WWI, Britain considered itself a great power. One reason for that war was the fear the British felt of Germany, a rising power.

WWI saw Britain emerge a victor nation, appearing to be stronger than ever. Additional colonies were collected. Britain had no real rival for several years on the high seas. All seemed well on the surface. But in reality strains were beginning to show.

In WWII these stresses reached crisis status. Many leaders in Britain realized that the war would bankrupt the country, overstress its financial and industrial base, and likely cost Britain its position as a world leading nation. Churchill would hear no arguments however, and proceeded on a war path. Ultimately this led to the bankruptcy and collapse of empire.

The two wars thus changed Britain in a tremendous fashion. Britain turned from a nation with vast overseas possessions in mining, plantations, railroads and other assets, to a creditor nation. The colonies were quickly lost. The Britain that emerged from WWII was much poorer than the one that entered it. The government changed too in reaction to this increase poverty. The old conservative, industry/colony based governments of the past were swept aside. (Churchill didn't even get to stay in office until the conflict was over). The replacement government was socialist, controlled by labor unions, hostile to industry, agreeable to high taxes on incomel, and shot through with Communist influence.

Britain went into a long decline, until, incredibly, around 1963-64, their standard of living fell below that of Germany. The Thatcher government of the 1980s stabilized the situation somewhat but basically Britain today is just another minor nation on the map. The world leading nation that entered WWII is a thing of the past.

Addendum

The above answer is substantially accurate. A few further points:

  • In the interwar period Britain was overstretched. The heavy commitment to 'Southern Britain' (Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) involved a huge commitment in the Far East, too (Singapore and to a lesser extent, Hong Kong). At the same time, Britain was heavily committed to India and in the Middle East. There were also colonies in Africa. With the rise of Nazi Germany, Britain faced the massive additional investment required to re-establish itself again as a great power **in Europe itself**. It's no wonder that this wrecked the country's finances. (In the 1930s Germany, by contrast, had no military commitments far from its home base. It was a compact country).
  • There is plenty of evidence that Britain was struggling to reconcile its various commitments and that the British Empire didn't have much of a future, anyway. I am convinced that the decision in 1940 to continue the fight against Nazism was right.
  • Despite the decline mentioned above, after 1945 living standards for ordinary people rose to levels that were way above those of earlier decades. One can argue that some of this wasn't soundly financed and that successive governments came close to killing the goose that laid the golden eggs.
  • Britain was ruled by the Conservatives from 1951-64. They feared social strife and chose to do nothing to reverse existing trends - in some ways quite the opposite.
  • The decline was worst in the late 1960s and the mid 1970s. According to some of the reports on the fall of Harold Wilson it seems that in 1976 Britain came dangerously close to the ultimate humiliation in domestic politics in a democracy - a military coup.
  • In retrospect, Margaret Thatcher did more much than stabilize the situation: she reversed the decline, though this probably wasn't obvious at the time and some of the key reforms predated her premiership.
  • A couple of examples. In 1974 the left-wing National Union of Mineworkers brought down the Conservative government of Prime Minster Edward Heath. (This followed very damaging miners' strikes in 1972 and 1974). Many of miners' leaders spoke and acted as it they thought they were perfectly entitled to behave like this. They overplayed their hand and in 1984, in a bruising confrontation, Margaret Thatcher smashed the power of the miners' union for ever.
  • In 1976 the very top rate of income tax was still close to WW2 levels at about 98%. (The mind just boggles!). By 1978, this was reduced to about 70% and soon afterwards to 60%. These rates, though high, were a vast improvement on 98%+. At last there was a recognition of the need to stop discouraging investment, entreprise, creativity and hard work.
  • The won the war when Adolf Hitler shot himself and all the hope for the soldiers was banished from their minds
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13y ago

The war in Europe ended May 9, 1945, when the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the United States accepted the unconditional surrender of all German forces. The war in the Pacific lasted until Aug 1945, after dropping 2 atomic bombs against the Japanese and they finally surrendered. It was the emperor,

not the military, that made the decision to surrender. In Europe, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in Berlin on 30th April, and week later Admiral Doenitz, the new leader of the Third Reich, surrendered to the Allies.

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13y ago

well it ended in Europe when Berlin fell, then World War II officially ended when they dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan.

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15y ago

VE-day

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