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Victory over Japan Day (also known as V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end.
See the fact file below for more information on the V-J Day or alternatively, you can download our 24-page V-J Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
BEGINNING OF WAR
- Japan’s desire to overthrow Western rule in Asia Pacific, including American, Dutch and British rulers, fueled the War in the Pacific.
- Until 1941, Japan strategically chose to face a single enemy, rather than two or three simultaneously. Japan set its navy on destroying the United States’ Far Eastern fleet at the outset of hostilities, to occupy Luzon and Guam.
- Japan had gained experience and power from the protracted war in China, in which the main body of the Japanese navy’s land-based air force and a small portion of its surface force had also taken part in hostilities against the West.
- On April 10, 1941, the 1st Air Fleet was formed with four regular carriers. Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, commander in chief of the Combined Fleet from 1939, ordered to calculate the probability of a surprise attack by carrier-borne air forces on the U.S. fleet in Pearl Harbor.
- Following more Japanese atrocities the United States was provoked into freezing Japanese overseas assets and then imposing a total embargo on oil and oil product exports to Japan.
- Driving Japan into a corner strengthened their resolve to attack the U.S. and its allied countries – the Philippines, Malaya, Dutch East Indies, Wake Island, Guam and the Gilberts – all within a bigger plan to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
- The scale and scope of the war plan required the Japanese Navy to mobilize all available units: 10 battleships, 6 regular carriers, 4 auxiliary carriers, 18 heavy cruisers, 20 light cruisers, 112 destroyers, 65 submarines and 2,274 combat planes.
- The Pacific war was the major theatre of World War II that covered a large portion of the Pacific Ocean, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, with significant engagements occurring as far south as northern Australia and as far as the Aleutian Islands.
- Japan’s war against the Western Powers began on December 7, 1941, through the surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by about 360 aircraft from the carriers of Vice Adm. Nagumo Chuichi’s strike force.
- Eight U.S. battleships were hit, 5 sunk and 1 heavily damaged; 3 destroyers were sunk and 9 other ships sunk or severely damaged; 140 aircraft were destroyed and 80 more damaged. 2,330 military personnel were killed and 1,145 wounded, including about 100 civilian casualties.
- Japanese forces soon invaded the Philippines on December 10, 1941. The bulk of one division landed at Lingayen Gulf on December 22. General Douglas MacArthur was forced to leave for Australia.
- Japanese air strikes followed in southern Thailand and in northern Malaya on December 8. Burma, Australia and the rest of Southeast Asia remained engaged until the following year.
- In order to retain the remaining allied territories in the Pacific, the Allied Forces began their countermeasures. Beginning with an initial bombing of Tokyo, it was followed by a successful offensive battle at Midway and Japanese forces backed down.
- U.S.- and Australian-led armed forces soon began to free Japanese occupied islands, beginning in Guadalcanal and Papua New Guinea. The South Western Pacific was beginning to reclaim its territories as Japanese forces slowly pull out.
- In 1944, Allied Forces strengthened their offensives going North, with Gen. MacArthur who was determined to return to the Philippines and Guam. The attacks were successful.
BOMBING OF JAPAN
- On March 9, 1945, General Curtis LeMay ordered his men to adopt a complete change of tactics. They were to launch a low-level attack at night using napalm and other incendiary bombs on the highly-flammable buildings of Tokyo. 80,000 people were killed and 1 million left homeless. Air raids became regular.
- The Okinawa landings on April 1, 1945, set in motion direct Japanese home islands invasions by the Allied Forces.
- Throughout July, Allied carrier-based and land-based planes bombarded the Japanese home islands and the area from northern Hokkaido to Tokyo was subject to severe naval bombardment.
LITTLE BOY and FAT MAN
- The prolonged war in the Pacific had already cost billions of dollars and destroyed millions of lives. The Allied Forces eventually defeated Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, thus leaving Japan, the Final Axis power to be defeated.
- The Manhattan Project was developed back in the U.S., with an aim to develop nuclear weapons. Little did the world know that the facility’s atom bombs would eventually be used to end the war.
- The first atomic bomb test at Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, fueled the Allied Forces’ desire to use nuclear weapons against Japan.
- Upon the U.S. President’s go signal, nuclear bombs were assembled on Tinian Island in the Marianas and loaded into the bays of specially equipped B-29s. On the morning of August 6, 1945, a plane piloted by Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., dropped an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. It exploded at 8:15 AM.
- A second bomb was dropped at 11:02 AM on August 9, 1945, over Nagasaki, Japan. The effects were similar except for the fact that Nagasaki’s terrain, being more irregular, meant fire did not spread so easily.
JAPAN’S SURRENDER (V-J DAY) & THE END OF WORLD WAR II
- The devastating effects of the two atomic bombings and preceding air raids had pushed Japan to the brink of collapse. On August 8, 1945, the Soviet Union had declared war against Japan, hence on the 10th, the Japanese government issued a statement agreeing to accept the surrender terms of the Potsdam Declaration on the understanding that the emperor’s position as a sovereign ruler would not be prejudiced.
- However, on August 14, Japan agreed that the emperor would be subject to the directives of the supreme commander of the Allied Powers.
- Emperor Hirohito issued a proclamation to the Japanese people persuading them to accept the decision to surrender, and every effort was made to accept the defeat.
V-J Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about V-J Day across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use V-J Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Victory over Japan Day (also known as V-J Day, Victory in the Pacific Day, or V-P Day) which is the day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- V-J Day Facts
- Allied vs. Axis
- Men of the Hour
- Word Search
- Quick Quiz
- Victory Defined
- After V-J Day
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Link will appear as V-J Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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