BY SALLY MACDONALD
Seattle Times staff reporter
Japanese diplomats were discussing the possibility of
defeat in World War II even before the Germans surrendered in May
1945, bringing an end to the war in Europe.
But before the politicians could settle the matter, the
Americans brought the war to their doorstep with months of
conventional bombing of dozens of cities, followed by the dropping
of atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Aug. 6, 1945, and Nagasaki three
Here are some events in the summer of 1945 that
accompanied, if not hastened, the end of the war with Japan.
- June 21: The Battle of Okinawa, the last major island
campaign in the Pacific, ended after nearly three months of savage
fighting. About 175,000 people were killed, including 12,500
American servicemen, 120,000 Japanese forces and 42,000 Okinawa
- June-August: Repeated air raids, involving up to 500
B-29s at a time, continued to batter Japan's midsize cities with
conventional bombs. Earlier raids had devastated Tokyo, Nagoya,
Osaka and Kobe. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed,
including almost 100,000 who died when bombs touched off a
firestorm in Tokyo during one raid.
- July 16: The first test atomic bomb was exploded in
the New Mexico desert.
- July 17-26: American, British and Soviet leaders met
in the Berlin suburb of Potsdam and issued a statement threatening
utter destruction if Japan didn't surrender unconditionally.
President Truman told British Prime Minister Winston
Churchill the New Mexico bomb test was successful, and later he
casually mentioned to Soviet Premier Josef Stalin he had ``a new
weapon of unusual destructive force.''
- Aug. 6: The Enola Gay, a Boeing-built B-29, dropped an
atomic bomb nicknamed Little Boy on Hiroshima. It exploded with
the force of 20,000 tons of TNT and killed as many as 100,000 of
Hiroshima's 400,000 people immediately; another 100,000 would die
within five years of injuries or radiation poisoning.
- Aug. 9: Another B-29, Bock's Car, dropped a second
atomic bomb, Fat Man, over Nagasaki, eventually killing another
- Aug. 14: Japan announced surrender. (Aug. 15 in
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