Timeline for the End of the War in the Far East

27 July 1945: The Foreign Ministry of Japan received the Potsdam Proclamation from the Allies, which arrived in Tokyo at 6.00am. It instructed the Japanese to surrender unconditionally or face the consequences. The document also contained specific details that guaranteed the continuing existence of Japan as a nation, and the Allied forces’ withdrawal from Japan once order had been restored and all Japan war-making capabilities destroyed.

6 Aug 1945: At 8:15am, Japanese time, the first atomic bomb, code-named “Little Boy”, struck Hiroshima. It was dropped from an American B-29 bomber piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets. The bomb destroyed almost all building structures and killed more than 100,000 people.

8–9 Aug 1945: Russia delivered a declaration of war on Japan to Japanese Ambassador Sato in Moscow at midnight.

9 Aug 1945: At 11.02am, Japanese time, the second atomic bomb, code-named “Fat Boy”, was dropped on Nagasaki, from another American B-29 bomber, 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.

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 fighting. 

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 9.00am (Japanese time), the Instrument of Surrender was signed on board the American battleship, Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, officially ending the Second World War.

4 Sep 1945: General Itagaki and Vice Admiral Fukudome signed surrender terms on board HMS Sussex at Keppel Harbour, handing Singapore to the Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia’s naval and military representatives.

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.

* Although this is the official version, we know that British army personnel were sent to Sumatra at the end of 1945 to root out pockets of Japanese resistance, as Ernest Gamble (who lived much of his life in Syston) was sent there. As Sumatra was under Dutch government at that time, he and his compatriots were paid in Dutch Guilders and did not return home until well into 1946.