Explore the BBC
29 Aug 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Radio 4
Radio 4 History
BBC History

This Sceptred Isle


55 BC - 1087

1087 - 1327

1327 - 1547

1547 - 1660

1660 - 1702

1702 - 1760

1760 - 1792

1792 - 1837

1837 - 1861

1861 - 1901

1901 - 1919

1920 - 1939

1940 - 1959

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999


Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

This Sceptred Isle

The End of the War and a Labour Landslide
In 1945 the Germans surrendered. In August an atomic bomb obliterated Hiroshima. The Japanese surrendered and the Second World War was over. Churchill resigned as war time Prime Minister and formed a caretaker government to run the country until elections could be held. Those elections were held in July and Clement Attlee became Labour Prime Minister. On December 27th the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were created to help avoid another world depression.

Clement Atlee
Clement Atlee
Clement Richard Attlee (1883-1967)

  • Born in Putney, educated at Haileybury and Oxford and called to the Bar in 1905
  • A socialist and member of the Labour Party
  • Became an MP in 1922
  • Became Deputy Leader of the Opposition of 1931 and Leader of the Opposition in 1935
  • Became Deputy Prime Minister during the Second World War
  • Became Prime Minister in 1945 and stayed there for six years
  • Oversaw a nationalisation programme which included The Bank of England; road transport, railways, civil aviation, coal mines, steel and cable and wireless
  • Granted India independence
  • Introduced the National Health Service
  • Became First Earl Attlee
  • His autobiography, As It Happened was published in 1954

did you know?
Anne Frank died in Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945. Her diary was published in 1947 and she became a symbol of Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazis.

Extract From The Report Of William T Laurence Of The New York Chronicle On Hiroshima
"Observers in the tail . . . saw a giant ball of fire rise, as though the bowels of the earth, belching forth enormous white smoke rings. Next they saw a giant pillar of purple fire, 10,000ft high, shooting skyward with enormous speed. By the time our ship [aircraft] had made another turn in the direction of the atomic explosion the pillar of purple fire had reached the level of our altitude. Only about 45 seconds had passed. Awe-struck, we watched it shoot upward like a meteor coming from the earth instead of from outer space, becoming ever more alive as it climbed skyward through the white clouds. It was no longer smoke, or dust, or even a cloud of fire. It was a living thing, a new species of being, born right before our incredulous eyes . . . "

Select historical period

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.dat does not exist

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.html does not exist

1940Churchill becomes Prime Minister
Rationing is introduced
1941The Atlantic Charter is formed
Anglo-Soviet Treaty is signed
1942The Beveridge Report is published
1944Butler's Education Act
1945Attlee becomes Prime Minister
World War II ends
1946National Insurance Act is passed
National Health Act is passed
The United Nations is founded
1947India becomes independent
1948Gandhi is assassinated
1949NATO is formed
Republic of Ireland become independent
1950Korean War breaks out

War Diary 1945
January 17 Soviet troops take Warsaw
February 4 Yalta Conference
February 14 Destruction of Dresden
February 23 Iwo Jima
March 7 Allies cross Rhine
April 12 Roosevelt dies
April 20 Russians enter Berlin
April 28 Germans surrender in Italy
April 28 Mussolini shot by Italian partisans
April 30 Hitler commits suicide
May 3 British retake Rangoon
May 7 German surrender
May 8 VE Day
May 23 Himmler commits suicide
June 26 UN established
July 5 Labour win General Elecion
July 31 Potsdam Three Power Conference
August 6 Atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima
August 9 Atomic bomb dropped over Nagasaki
August 14 Japanese surrender

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy