Friday, August 14, 2015

70th Anniversary of Victory over Japan Day

"This Day in History"

August 14, 1945

The United States President Truman, United Kingdom Prime Minister Churchill, and Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China Kai-shek issued the Potsdam Declaration in July of 1945.  This document outlined the terms of surrender for the Empire of Japan.  The end of the document stated that, "the alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction."

Since no action was taken by the Empire of Japan, the United States used the atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  The unconditional surrender was accepted by the Empire of Japan on August 14, 1945.  

"This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor.  This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would." -- President Harry S. Truman

Around noon on August 15, 1945, in Japan (10 p.m. on August 14, 1945, in Washington D.C.), Emperor Michinomiya Hirochito spoke over the radio to the Empire of Japan for the first time. Hirochito confessed that Japan's enemy "has begun to employ a most cruel bomb, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives."  He ended his broadcast with, "Cultivate the ways of rectitude, foster nobility of spirit, and work with resolution" so as to "keep pace with the progress of the world."

Aboard the submarine USS Razorback (SS-394), a radio man kept a diary during the war.  The following is an excerpt from his diary.

The formal surrender was set for September 2, 1945, but for those who had served in the war zones, August of 1945 was when the war was over.  

Leading up to the anniversary of the formal surrender there will be posts dedicated to each submarine that was present in Tokyo Bay for that formal surrender.  On September 2, 2015, look for a post dedicated to what occurred aboard USS Razorback 70 years ago.

Author: Allison Hiblong

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