The End of the Pacific War

As millions of people celebrated Victory-in-Europe (V-E) Day, the Allied leaders grimly prepared for the final struggle in the Pacific, where the full weight of the Allied Forces would now be applied against Japan.

Canada, too, prepared for the assault. Nearly 80,000 Canadians volunteered to join the Pacific forces and began concentrating at nine stations across Canada in July 1945. Canadian naval participation was also to have been impressive: 60 ships, manned by 13,500 men. However, the war was over before this help was needed. President Truman of the United States had made the fateful decision to use the atomic bomb.

On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, a city of over 100,000 people. The results were terrifying. A third of the city was obliterated; the rest lay in ruins. Three days later, a second and larger bomb totally destroyed the port of Nagasaki. The Japanese government sued for peace on the following day and, on August 14, 1945, Japan accepted the Allied terms of unconditional surrender. The Second World War was over.

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