VJ Day - august 15 relation

Aug 17, 2020 - 04:47

Victory over Japan Day - or VJ Day - was celebrated on 15 August 1945 and it marked the end of World War Two.

Victory over Japan Day - or VJ Day - was celebrated on 15 August 1945 and it marked the end of World War Two.As the name would suggest, 15 August 1945 was the moment that the Allies - that is Britain, the US and other countries that were fighting together - marked a victory over Japan. After days of rumours about it, US President Harry S Truman broke the news at a press conference at the White House at 7 pm on 14 August. Later at midnight, Britain's new prime minister Clement Atlee confirmed it, saying: "The last of our enemies is laid low." The following day, Japan's Emperor Hirohito was heard on the radio for the first time ever when he announced the surrender. That meant 15 August 1945 was officially named as Victory over Japan day and World War Two war was finally over.

What happened in the lead up to VJ Day?

The fighting in Europe ended in May 1945, but many soldiers, sailors and airmen from the Allies - which included the UK, USA and USSR - were still fighting against Japan in east Asia. An estimated 71,000 soldiers from Britain and the Commonwealth died in the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity. Japan treated prisoners of war very badly, including American and British soldiers who had surrendered. Following the end of the fighting in Europe, the Allies had told Japan to surrender on 26 July 1945, but the deadline passed without them doing this.

So the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, which it hoped would put a stop to the conflict once and for all. The Japanese city of Hiroshima was bombed on 6 August and the city of Nagasaki was targeted three days later, on 9 August. Around 214,000 people were killed in the blasts and Japan was forced to admit defeat. Japan's emperor Hirohito described the atomic bombs as, "a new and most cruel bomb".

How was VJ Day celebrated?

Britain's Prime Minister, Clement Atlee, announced two days of national holiday to celebrate VJ Day on 15 and 16 August. Millions of people from the allied countries took part in parades and street parties. In London, soldiers climbed traffic lights and waved newspapers in the air, while office workers threw lots of paper out of windows, like confetti. The official surrender documents weren't signed until 2nd September aboard the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Bay. This is why some people also celebrated this day as VJ Day and it is still remembered as a significant moment in the aftermath of World War Two.

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