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Answered 2008-04-02 02:10:37

There was no single pact signed to end the war. In Asia, the Japanese forces signed 'unconditional' surrender terms with MacArthur, recorded with that famous picture, aboard the battleship Missouri, in Tokyo harbor. That ended the formal fighting between American and Japanese forces but some incidental fighting continued for years. Additionally the USSR did not sign a treaty for many years after....I don't recall those details. The actual peace treaty between the U.S. and Japan was signed in 1951. In Europe it was more confusing. Germany collapsed economically and militarily in the spring of 1945. Hitler was dead. The government essentially non existent. There was a military occupation set up by the victors. Treaties ending the fighting were not signed for about ten years although all organized fighting ended almost immediately upon the surrender via Doenitz in May 1945, who, in theory, was the head of the rump German armed forces and government. Italy had surrended to the Allies in 1943 and then changed sides to fight Germany, taking many casualties in the process. The end of that formal combat situation was in 1945 also but when an actual treaty was signed, I do not know. Other Axis nations also changed sides when the end of Germany was in sight. Finland, her economy collapsing, withdrew from organized fighting in late 1944 and then declared war on Germany. So did Romania. Bulgaria never actually declared war on any Allied nation that I know of so there was never any treaty to sign. Hungary collapsed in 1945 along with Germany. Basically a formal state of war existed between Germany and the various Allied nations until about 1949 although obviously all combat operations had ended many years previously. By 1954, Stalin was dead, the German government reorganized (east and west), and the German economy stabilized and growing. POWs, both German and Japanese were just being released about this time in large numbers by the Soviets. Although I've never seen a full reckoning I suspect some nations never actually signed a treaty ending the war with Germany - for examples, perhaps Brazil or Costa Rica. Peace treaties with the minor Axis powers were signed in 1947. See the link below. [It's important not to confuse a ceasefire or surrender with a peace treaty. The one stops the fighting; the other sorts out things like the new frontiers.] A treaty between the (main) Allies and Germany was signed on 12 September 1990 just before the re-unification of Germany. This was essential in order to make Germany's new frontiers definitive. It was agreed between the four main Allies on the one hand and the two German states on the other, with the proviso that it wouldn't become fully effective unless ratified by the new, united Germany. This treaty is regarded by Germans as equivalent to a peace treaty. A comprehensive treaty would raise all kinds of problems in respect of countries that were British and French colonies in WW2 but are now independent. Already in 1947 the Allies issued a solemn statement to the effect that they were no longer at war with Germany. See link below.

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