Atomic Bomb Time Line

events leading up to the Atomic Bomb dropping


Surrender Proposal

January 20, 1945

President Roosevelt received a 40-page written message from General Douglas MacArthur outlining five separate surrender proposals from high-level Japanese officials.This memo showed that the Japanese were offering surrender terms almost identical to the ones ultimately accepted by the Americans at the formal surrender ceremony on September 2. Japan proposed complete surrender of everything but the Emperor himself.

New Japanese Prime Minister

April 5, 1945

Realizing their defeat was inevitable, a new Japanese government took office headed by Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki. His goal was to end the war so his people could stop suffering and his country could start to rebuild itself and become functional once again.

Japan tries to surrender

May 8, 1945

Japanese diplomats had been trying to open surrender negotiations with the United States via the then neutral Soviet Union. These were offers the Truman administration knew about, but chose to ignore. (The Soviet Union was neutral from April 1941 to April 1945 before declaring war on Japan for breaching the rules of their neutrality contract.)

Japan helpless because of United States Blockade

June 1945

Japanese army, navy, and air force basically defeated, the factories were failing, food was scarce, and the transport system had collapsed because of the United States blockade.

US intercepts another surrender message

July 12, 1945

The Truman Administration intercepts a message that says Emperor Hirohito is ready to surrender unconditionally with the exception that he and his monarch will not be tried for war crimes and he can remain on the throne.

Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima

August 6,1945

It killed 140,000 people instantly and over 100,000 people who survived the explosion, had major health problems from the extreme levels of radiation exposure and died a slow and painful death.

Atomic Bomb dropped on Nagasaki

August 9, 1945

This one ws dropped three days later and destroyed 61% of all the biuldings in Nagasaki, Also 40,000 people were either killed or went missing because of the explosion.

United States

United States bombs Tokyo

March 9, 1945 - March 10, 1945

American bombers struck Tokyo with 1,700 tons of bombs, killing 100,000, burning 16 sq. miles, destroying ¼ million structures, left 1 million people homeless.

United States captures Iwo Jima

March 26, 1945

Things were turning Allie’s way and American forces captured the eight-square-mile strategic island of Iwo Jima.

United States bombs Toyko again

May 23, 1945

“Superfortress” bombers sent two waves of bombs on Tokyo, destroying 56 sq. miles of land.

United States captures Okinawa

June 22, 1945

They captured island of Okinawa, 300 miles away from a mainland Japan. At that moment, Germany collapsed in Europe, and allies dominated Pacific theater, pushing the Japanese Emperor toward surrender.

Potsdam Declaration

July 26, 1945

United States, Britain, and China issue the Potsdam Declaration which called for the unconditional surrender of Japan and the immediate discontinuation of its imperial system.

United States invasion of Japan

November 1, 1945

This would've been the earliest day the United States would've been able to invade the main land of Japan, had the atomic bomb not been dropped.