Return to Naval Historical Center home page. Return to Online Library listing

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- EVENTS -- World War II in the Pacific --
Japan Capitulates --

Reactions to Japan's Capitulation, August 1945
-- Getting the "Word"

August 1945's first two weeks witnessed forceful measures by the Allies to compel Japan to surrender, accompanied by tense anxieties as Japan's Government struggled with its internal conflicts. While much of this was invisible below the highest leadership levels, by 10 August enough information was getting out to produce premature reports of peace.

Four days later, on 14 August, Japan sent word that it would accept the Allies' terms. Many time zones to the east, that message reached President Truman in mid-afternoon and he told the public early that evening, proclaiming a two-day holiday. Explosive celebrations followed immediately as Americans and their Allies rejoiced that the horrible prospects of continued war appeared to be at an end.

At Noon, Tokyo time, 15 August, most Japanese heard their Emperor's voice for the first time as he announced the conclusion of hostilities and ordered cooperation with the prospective Allied occupation. Intensely patriotic, and kept generally ignorant of their nation's impossible circumstances, the Japanese people were emotionally crushed.

This page presents views of Americans and Japanese receiving the first announcements of peace on 14-15 August 1945, plus the abortive celebrations of 10 August, and provides links to views of the rejoicing that followed.

The following pages feature pictures of mid-August 1945 celebrations of Japan's capitulation and other closely related subjects:

For views of other aspects of Japan's surrender, see: Japan Capitulates, August - September 1945

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: 80-G-354253

Surrender of Japan, 1945


U.S. and Soviet sailors celebrating victory on 10 August 1945, after a premature report of Japan's surrender was received at their Alaskan base.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 87KB; 740 x 600 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-377102

Surrender of Japan, 1945


A soldier and his family read early newspaper reports of Japan's surrender, while walking in Washington, DC, on 14 August 1945, shortly before the official announcement.
Photographed by Chief Petty Officer Smith.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 66KB; 630 x 665 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-338463

Peace Celebrations at Naval Amphibious Base, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 15 August 1945


Men of the 22nd Special Naval Construction Battalion listen to a radio broadcast on the Japanese surrender.
Note typewriter at right.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 570 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-332968

Surrender of Japan, 1945


Sailors at Naval Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina, listen to a radio broadcast of news of Japan's surrender, 14 August 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 81KB; 740 x 545 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-338464

Peace Celebrations at Naval Amphibious Base, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 15 August 1945


Men of the 22nd Special Naval Construction Battalion listen as news of the Japanese surrender comes in on the radio.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 590 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-490313

Surrender of Japan, 1945


Japanese Prisoners of War listen to the Emperor's surrender broadcast, in a prison camp on Guam, 15 August 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 166KB; 740 x 620 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-490320

Surrender of Japan, 1945


Japanese Prisoners of War on Guam stand with heads bowed after listening to Emperor Hirohito announce Japan's acceptance of Allied surrender terms, 15 August 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 148KB; 740 x 615 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: 80-G-490317

Surrender of Japan, 1945


A Japanese Prisoner of War on Guam breaks down after hearing Emperor Hirohito's surrender broadcast, 15 August 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 63KB; 465 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the
National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 


The following pages feature pictures of mid-August 1945 celebrations of Japan's capitulation and other closely related subjects:

For views of other aspects of Japan's surrender, see: Japan Capitulates, August - September 1945



Return to Naval Historical Center home page.

14 February 1999