1942 1943 1944 – 1945 – 1946 1947 1948
| Decades: |
1910s 1920s 1930s – 1940s – 1950s 1960s 1970s
| Centuries: |
19th century – 20th century – 21st century
Lists of leaders:
1945 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar).
Table of contents
- January 5 – The Soviet Union recognizes the new pro-Soviet government of Poland.
- January 7 – British General Bernard Montgomery holds a press conference in which he claims credit for victory in the Battle of the Bulge.
- January 12 – World War II: The Soviets begin a very large offensive in Eastern Europe against the Nazis.
- January 13 – Soviet patrol arrests Raoul Wallenberg in Hungary.
- January 16 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker
- January 17 – World War II: Soviets occupy Warsaw
- January 17 – Holocaust: Nazis begin to evacuate from Auschwitz concentration camp
- January 20 – Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to an unprecedented fourth term as
- January 20 – Hungary drops out of the Second World War, agreeing to an armistice with the Allies.
- January 24 – First successful launch of A4b-Rocket
- January 27 – The Red Army arrives at Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland and find the Nazi concentration camp where 1.1–1.5 million people were murdered.
- January 28 – World War II: Supplies begin to reach China over the newly reopened Burma Road.
- January 30 – The Wilhelm Gustloff with about 10,000 Nazi troops and refugees from Gotenhafen in the Gdansk Bay sunk with three torpedoes from the Soviet submarine S-13. More 9,300 drowned in the Baltic Sea.
- January 31 – Eddie Slovik is executed, the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion
- February 2 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill leave to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference.
- February 3 – World War II: Russia agrees to enter the Pacific Theatre conflict against Japan.
- February 4 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin begin the Yalta Conference (ends February 11)
- February 7 – World War II: General Douglas MacArthur returns to Manila
- February 9 – Walter Ulbricht becomes the leader of German communists in Moscow
- February 10 – World War II: The SS General von Steuben sunk by the Soviet submarine S-13.
- February 13 – World War II: Soviet Union forces capture Budapest, Hungary from the Nazis.
- February 13 – World War II: The British Air Force bombs Dresden, Germany.
- February 14 – Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru join the United Nations.
- February 16 – World War II: American forces land on Corregidor island in the Philippines.
- February 16 – American forces recapture the Bataan Peninsula
- February 19 – World War II: Battle of Iwo Jima – about 30,000 United States Marines landed on Iwo Jima starting the battle.
- February 21 – Last launch of an A4-rocket at Peenemünde
- February 23 – World War II: Following the American victory at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines reach the top of Mount Surabachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo will later win a Pulitzer Prize.
- February 23 – World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by American forces.
- February 23 – World War II: Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań, city is liberated by Red Army and Polish forces.
- February 24 – Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree.
- March 1 – Jesse Holman Jones starts his term of office as U.S. Secretary of Commerce, serving under President Franklin D. Roosevelt
- March 2 – Launch of the Natter from Stetten am kalten Markt. The Natter was the first manned rocket and developed as anti-aircraft weapon. The launch failed and the pilot died.
- March 3 – World War II: Previously neutral Finland declares war on the Axis powers.
- March 3 – A possible experimental atomic test blast occurs at the Nazis' Ohrdruf military testing area .
- March 6 – Communist-led government formed in Romania
- March 7 – World War II: American troops seize the bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany and begin to cross.
- March 8 – Josip Broz Tito forms a government in Yugoslavia
- March 9 – March 10 – World War II: American B-29 bombers attack Japan with incendiary bombs. Tokyo is fire-bombed killing 100,000 citizens.
- March 16 – World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ends but small pockets of Japanese resistance persist.
- March 17 – World War II: Japanese city of Kobe is fire-bombed by 331 B-29 bombers, killing over 8,000.
- March 18 – World War II: 1,250 American bombers attack Berlin.
- March 19 – World War II: Adolf Hitler orders that all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany be destroyed.
- March 19 – Off the coast of Japan, bombers hit the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, killing 800 of her crew and crippling the ship.
- March 21 – World War II: British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma
- March 22 – The Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.
- March 30 – World War II: Soviet Union forces invade Austria and take Vienna.
- April 1 – World War II: United States troops land on Okinawa in the last campaign of the war. The Battle of Okinawa starts.
- April 4 – World War II: American troops liberate Ohrdruf death camp in Germany.
- April 7 – World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato is sunk 200 miles north of Okinawa while in-route to a suicide mission.
- April 9 – Abwehr conspirators Wilhelm Canaris, Hans Oster, and Hans Dohanyi are hanged at Flossenberg concentration camp along with pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
- April 10 – The Allied Forces liberated their first Nazi concentration camp, Buchenwald.
- April 12 – United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945) dies in office; Vice President Harry S. Truman (1945-1953) takes the Oath of Office.
- April 15 – Bergen-Belsen concentration camp liberated.
- April 16 – World War II: The Goya sunk by the Soviet submarine L-3.
- April 25 – Founding negotiations of United Nations in San Francisco
- April 25 – World War II: Elbe Day, United States and Russian troops link up at the Elbe River, cutting Germany in two
- April 28 – Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are hanged upside down by Italian partisans as they attempt to flee the country.
- April 30 – Adolf Hitler and his wife of one day, Eva Braun, commit suicide as Red Army approaches Führerbunker in Berlin. Karl Dönitz succeeds Hitler as President of Germany. Joseph Goebbels succeeds Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.
- May 1 – Joseph Goebbels and his wife commit suicide after killing their 6 children. Karl Dönitz appoints Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk as the new Chancellor of Germany.
- May 2 – World War II: The Soviet Union announces the fall of Berlin. Soviet soldiers hoist the red flag over the Reichstag building.
- May 2 – World War II: Troops of Yugoslav 4th Army together with Slovene 9th Corpus NOV liberate Trieste.
- May 2 – The last postage stamp utilized by Manzhouguo is issued.
- May 3 – World War II: Sinkings of the floating-jails Cap Arcona, Thielbek and Deutschland by the RAF in the Lübeck Bay.
- May 3 – Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and 120 members of his team surrender to US forces. They later help start the US space program.
- May 4 – World War II: Liberation of the concentration camp Neuengamme near Hamburg by the British army.
- May 4 – World War II: Reddition of the North Germany army by Marshal Bernard Montgomery.
- May 5 – Ezra Pound, poet and author, is arrested by American soldiers in Italy for treason.
- May 5 – World War II: US armored unit liberates prisoners of Mauthausen concentration camp – including Simon Wiesenthal
- May 5 – World War II: Canadian soldiers liberate the city of Amsterdam from Nazi occupation.
- May 5 – World War II: Admiral Karl Dönitz orders all U-boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases.
- May 6 – World War II: Axis Sally delivers her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops (first was on December 11, 1941).
- May 7 – World War II: General Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms at Reims, France, ending Germany's participation in the war. The document will take effect the next day.
- May 8 – World War II: V-E Day (Victory in Europe, as Nazi Germany surrenders) commemorates the end of World War II in Europe.
- May 8 – World War II: British 8th Army together with Slovene partisan troops and motorized detachment of Yugoslav 4th Army arrives to Carinthia and Klagenfurt.
- May 8-29 – In Algeria, French troops and released Italian POWs defeat rebellion of Algerians
- May 9 – World War II: Hermann Göring is captured by the United States Army; Norway arrests Vidkun Quisling; Soviet Union marks V-E Day.
- May 9 – World War II: General Alexander Löhr Commander of German Army Group E near Topolšica, Slovenia, signs capitulation of German occupation troops.
- May 9 – World War II: Alderney, annex of the concentration camp Neuengamme liberated.
- May 15 – the last battle of WWII at Poljana near Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
- May 23 – President of Germany Karl Dönitz and Chancellor of Germany Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk are arrested by British forces at Flensburg. They would respectively be the last German Head of state and Head of government until 1949.
- May 23 – Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo, commits suicide in British custody.
- May 25 – In Atlantic, ships can finally keep their lights lit. Szilard begs Harry S. Truman not to use the bomb. 
- May 28 – William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw-Haw" is captured. He is later charged with high treason in London for his English-language wartime broadcasts on German radio. He is hanged in January of 1946.
- May 29 – Group of German communists, Ulbricht in the lead, arrive in Berlin
- May 30 – Iranian government demands that Soviet and British troops leave the country
- June 1 – British take over Lebanon and Syria
- June 5 – Allied Control Council, military occupation governing body of Germany, formally takes power.
- June 6 – King Haakon VII of Norway returns to Norway
- June 11 – William Lyon Mackenzie King is reelected as Canadian prime minister. Franck Committee recommends against a surprise nuclear bombing of Japan. 
- June 21 – World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ends.
- June 24 – World War II: Victory parade in Red Square
- June 25 – Seán T. O'Kelly is elected the second President of Ireland.
- June 26 – United Nations charter signed.
- July 1 – World War II: Germany is divided between Allied occupation forces
- July 5 – World War II: Liberation of the Philippines declared.
- July 8 – World War II: Harry S. Truman informed that Japan will talk peace if she can keep the Emperor. 
- July 9 – A forest fire breaks out in the Tillamook Burn, the third fire in that area since 1933.
- July 16 – Nuclear testing: The Trinity Test, the first test of an atomic bomb, using 6 kilograms of plutonium, succeeds in detonating, unleashing an explosion equivalent to that of 19 kilotons of TNT.
- July 17 – World War II: Potsdam Conference – At Potsdam, the three main Allied leaders begin their final summit of the war. The meeting will end on August 2.
- July 21 – World War II: Harry S. Truman approves order for atomic bombs to be used. 
- July 23 – World War II: French marshall Philippe Pétain, who headed the Vichy government during World War II goes on trial, charged with treason.
- July 26 – Winston Churchill resigns as Britain's prime minister after his Conservative Party is soundly defeated by the Labour Party. Clement Attlee becomes the new prime minister. Potsdam Declaration demands Japan's unconditional surrender; Article 12 permitting Japan to retain the Emperor had been deleted by Truman. 
- July 28 – An Army Air Force B-25 bomber accidentally crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people.
- July 28 – World War II: Japan rejects Potsdam Declaration .
- July 29 – The BBC Light Programme radio station was launched, aimed at mainstream light entertainment and music.
- July 30 – World War II: The USS Indianapolis is hit and sunk by the Japanese submarine I 58. Some 900 survivors jump into the sea and are adrift for 4 days. Nearly 600 die before help arrives. Captain Charles Butler MacVey III is later court-martialed.
- July 31 – World War II: Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
- August 6 – World War II: The United States detonates an atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" on Hiroshima, Japan at 8:16 AM (local time).
- August 8 – The United Nations Charter is ratified by the United States, and that nation becomes the third to join the new international organization. Soviets declare war on Japan.
- August 9 – World War II: The United States detonates an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the city of Nagasaki, Japan at 11:02 AM (local time). World War II: The Soviet Union begins its offensive against Japan in the then Japanese controlled Chinese region of Manchuria. 
- August 10 – World War II: US drops warning leaflets on Nagasaki. 
- August 13 – Zionist World Congress approaches British government to talk about founding of Israel.
- August 15 – World War II: Imperial Japan surrenders, but retains the Emperor. The United States called this day V-J Day (Victory in Japan). This ends the period of Japanese expansionism and begins the period of Occupied Japan.
- August 15 – Korea gains independence following Japan's surrender
- August 17 – Indonesian nationalists Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta declare the independence of Republic of Indonesia, Sukarno as a president. Dutch colonial authorities do not approve
- August 19 – Vietnam War: Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.
- End of August – Chinese Civil War: Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek meet in Chongqing to discuss an end to hostilities between the Communists and the Nationalists.
- September 2 – World War II ends: The final official surrender of Japan was accepted by General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz from a delegation led by Mamoru Shigemitsu, aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. But in Japan August 14 is well recognized as the day the Pacific War ended.
- September 2 – Ho Chi Minh promulgates the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence, and unity from the north to the south.
- September 4 – World War II: Japanese forces surrender on Wake Island after hearing word of their nation's surrender.
- September 5 – Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose," is arrested in Yokohama.
- September 8 – US troops occupy southern Korea, Russians occupy the north. This arrangement proves to be the beginning of a divided Korea.
- September 8 – Hideki Tojo, Japanese prime minister during most of World War II, attempts suicide to avoid facing a war crimes tribunal.
- September 12 – Japanese army formally surrendered in Singapore.
- September 20 – Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru demand that British troops leave India
- October 1 to October 15 – Launch of three A4 rockets near Cuxhaven in order to show Allied forces the rocket with liquid fuel (Operation Backfire)
- October 10 – Russian code clerk Igor Gouzenko defects to Canada. He helps the West gain an understanding of Soviet spy rings in North America.
- October 15 – World War II: Former premier of Vichy France, Pierre Laval, is executed by firing squad for treason.
- October 17 – Colonel Juan Peron stages a coup d'état, becoming ruler of Argentina.
- October 18 – The first German war crimes trial begins in Nuremberg.
- October 21 – Women's suffrage: Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time.
- October 23 – Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Montreal Royals.
- October 24 – United Nations founded.
- October 24 – Execution of Vidkun Quisling, leader of Norwegian nazis
- October 27 – Indonesian separatists riot and fight Dutch and British security forces
- October 29 – Getulio Vargas, president of Brazil, resigns
- October 29 – At Gimbels Department Store in New York City the first ballpoint pens go on sale (price: $12.50 each).
- November 1 – John H. Johnson publishes the first issue of Ebony Magazine.
- November 13 – Charles de Gaulle is elected president of France.
- November 15 – Harry S. Truman, Clement Attlee, and Mackenzie King call for a UN Atomic Energy Commission.
- November 16 – Cold War: The United States controversially imports 88 German scientists to help in the production of rocket technology.
- November 20 – Nuremberg Trials begin: Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals of World War II start at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice.
- November 29 – The Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia is declared (this day was celebrated as Republic Day until 1990s). Marshal Tito is named president.
- November – Assembly of the world's first general purpose electronic computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator Analyzer and Computer (ENIAC), is completed. It covers 1800 feet of floor space. The first set of calculations is run on the computer.
- December 4 – By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approves United States participation in the United Nations (the UN was established on October 24, 1945).
- December 2 – General Eurico Gaspar Dutra elected president of Brazil
- December 20 – Gen. George S. Patton dies in a car accident at the age of 60.
- December 27 – Twenty-eight nations sign an agreement creating the World Bank.
- December 27 – Terror strikes against British military bases in Palestine.
- Foundation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
- Poland has two rival governments
- Discovery of Nag Hammadi scriptures
- Dutch painter Han van Meegeren is arrested for collaboration with Nazis but the paintings he had sold to Hermann Göring are found to be his fakes.
- Female suffrage in Guatemala and Japan
- Saskatchewan Government Insurance, the first state-owned automobile insurance company in North America, is created.
- Denmark recognizes independent Iceland
- US house of representatives calls for unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine in order to establish a Jewish commonwealth there
- Doctor Marcel Petiot kills 27 war refugees for their money
Year in topic
- 1945 in film
- The Lost Weekend. Winner of Academy Awards for Best Picture; Ray Milland, Best Actor; Billy Wilder, Best Director, Best Screenplay
- Mildred Pierce Winner of Academy Award for Joan Crawford, Best Actress.
- Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound, starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck
- With Rossellini's Roma, Città aperta, Italian neorealist cinema begins. The movie stars Anna Magnani.
- Paramount Studios releases theatrical short cartoon titled "The Friendly Ghost", featuring ghost named Casper
- Marcel Carné and Jacques Prévert's The Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) is released following the liberation of France
- 1945 in literature
- 1945 in music
- Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, makes his first record for Victor
- Hit songs of 1945:
- Bebop begins to emerge as popular style of jazz to contrast music of the big bands. Development of bebop is attributed in large part to trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and alto saxophonist Charlie Parker
- 1945 in rail transport
- 1945 in sports
- 1945 in television
Science and Technology
- Arthur C. Clarke puts forward idea of a communications satellite in a Wireless World magazine article
- At Mayo Clinic, streptomycin first used to treat tuberculosis
- Percy Spencer accidentally discovers that microwaves can heat food. Invention of microwave oven follows.
- Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Newburgh, New York become the first cities to add fluoride to drinking water
- The first nuclear reactor outside of the U.S. is built in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada.
- High-altitude west-to-east winds across Pacific, discovered by Japanese in 1942 and by Americans in 1944, are dubbed "jet stream"
- Salvador Edward Luria and Alfred Day Hershey independently recognize that viruses undergo mutations
- Herbicide 2,4-D is introduced. Later used as a component of Agent Orange
- Team led by Charles DuBois Coryell discovers element 61, the only one still missing between 1 and 96 on Periodic Table. New element is called promethium
- January 3 – Stephen Stills (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), singer, songwriter
- January 3 – Victoria Principal, actress
- January 10 – Rod Stewart, singer
- January 19 – Maria Jespen, theologian
- January 26 – Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist (d. 1987)
- January 27 – Nick Mason, musician of Pink Floyd
- January 28 – Marthe Keller, actress
- January 29 – Tom Selleck, actor (Magnum, P.I.)
- January 30 – Michael Dorris, author (d. 1997)
- February 3 – Bob Griese, Pro Football Hall of Famer
- February 5 – Charlotte Rampling, actress
- February 6 – Bob Marley, Jamaican roots rock reggae singer and musician (d. 1981)
- February 7 – Pete Postlethwaite, actor
- February 9 – Mia Farrow, actress
- February 14 – Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein
- February 17 – Brenda Fricker, actress
- February 24 – Barry Bostwick, actor
- February 28 – Bubba Smith, American football player, actor (Police Academy)
- March 1 – Dirk Benedict, movie and television actor (The A-Team)
- March 7 – John Heard, actor
- March 8 – Jim Chapman, American politician
- March 8 – Micky Dolenz, actor, director, musician ("The Monkees")
- March 8 – Anselm Kiefer, painter
- March 19 – Cem Karaca, Turkish rock musician
- March 22 – Paul Schockemöhle, equestrian
- March 29 – Walt Frazier, basketball player
- March 30 – Eric Clapton, blues guitarist
- April 2 – Linda Hunt, actress
- April 4 – Daniel Cohn-Bendit, political activist
- April 9 – Peter Gammons, baseball sportswriter, journalist
- April 13 – Bob Kalsu, American football player (d. 1970)
- April 13 – Tony Dow, Child actor
- April 25 – Björn Ulvaeus, songwriter, member of the group ABBA
- April 27 – August Wilson, playwright
- May 2 – Sarah Weddington, attorney in Roe v. Wade case
- May 4 – Narasinham Ram, journalist
- May 6 – Bob Seger, rock music singer
- May 6 – Jimmie Dale Gilmore, musician
- May 8 – Keith Jarrett, jazz musician
- May 13 – Magic Dick, musician (The J. Geils Band)
- May 15 – Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza presumptive heir to Portuguese crown
- May 17 – Tony Roche, Australian tennis player
- May 19 – Pete Townshend, guitarist, lyricist
- May 21 – Ernst Messerschmid, physicist and astronaut
- May 28 – John Fogerty, singer
- May 31 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, director
- June 1 – Frederica von Stade, American mezzo-soprano
- June 12 – Pat Jennings, football player
- June 15 – Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent
- June 17 – Art Bell – radio talk show host
- June 17 – Eddy Merckx, Belgian cycling champion
- June 17 – Anupam Kher, actor, India
- June 19 – Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar poet, politician and Nobel peace laureate
- June 25 – Carly Simon, singer, songwriter
- June 26 – Dwight York, musician, fashion consultant, cult leader, child molester
- July 7 – Michael Ancram (Michael Kerr, Earl of Ancram), British politician
- July 8 – Micheline Calmy-Rey, member of the Swiss Federal Council
- July 9 – Dean R. Koontz, fiction author
- July 15 – Jürgen Möllemann, German politician (d. 2003)
- July 24 – Azim Premji, Indian businessman
- July 28 – Jim Davis, cartoonist
- July 28 – Richard Wright, keyboard player with Pink Floyd
- August 7 – Alan Page, Pro Football Hall of Famer
- August 9 – Posy Simmonds, cartoonist
- August 14 – Steve Martin, actor and comedian
- August 15 – Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Hindu Guru
- August 31 – Van Morrison, musician
- August 31 – Itzhak Perlman, Israeli violinist
- September 3 – Aldo Moro, Italian politician
- September 8 – Jose Feliciano, singer
- September 15 – Jessye Norman, American soprano
- October 12 – Aurore Clément, French actress
- October 15 – Jim Palmer, Baseball Hall of Famer
- October 25 – David Schramm, astrophysicist
- October 27 – Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazilian President
- October 30 – Henry Winkler, actor (Happy Days)
- November 5 – Jacques Lanctôt, FLQ terrorist
- November 12 – Neil Young, (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young), singer, songwriter
- November 15 – Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Norwegian singer, member of the group ABBA
- November 26 – Daniel Davis, actor (The Nanny)
- November 26 – John McVie, musician
- December 24 – Lemmy Kilmister, British bass player, singer(Motörhead)
- January 3 – Edgar Cayce, American psychic (b. 1877)
- January 22 – Else Lasker-Schuler, German poet (b. 1869)
- January 31 – Eddie Slovik, American soldier (b. 1920)
- February 5 – Lilian Rolfe, SOE agent executed by the Nazis (b. 1914)
- February 5 – Violette Szabo, SOE agent executed by the Nazis (b. 1921)
- February 5 – Denise Bloch, SOE agent executed by the Nazis (b. 1915)
- February 11 – Al Dubin, Swiss songwriter (b. 1891)
- February 11 – J. S. H. Lokerman, Dutch resistance fighter
- February 17 – Gabrielle Weidner, Belgian heroine of World War II (b. 1914)
- February 21 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner (b. 1902)
- March – Anne Frank, at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp of typhus (b. 1929)
- March 1 – Umenosuke Bessho, Japanese writer (b. 1871)
- March 2 – Emily Carr, Canadian artist (b. 1871)
- March 16 – Börries von Münchhausen, German poet (b. 1874
- March 18 – William Grover-Williams, Grand Prix motor racing driver/war hero (b. 1903)
- March 19 – Friedrich Fromm, Nazi official
- March 23 – Elisabeth de Rothschild, executed by the Nazis (b. 1902)
- March 26 – David Lloyd George, Welsh Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1863)
- March 30 – Elise Rivet, French nun and war heroine (b. 1890)
- April 9 – Wilhelm Canaris, head of the German Abwehr (hanged for treason) (b. 1887)
- April 9 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian in Nazi Germany (hanged) (b. 1906)
- April 12 – United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (massive stroke) (b. 1882)
- April 18 – Ernie Pyle, American journalist (sniper fire) (b. 1900)
- April 28 – Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator (hanged) (b. 1883)
- April 30 – Adolf Hitler, German dictator and Nazi party leader (suicide) (b. 1889)
- May 1 – Cecily Lefort SOE agent, WW II heroine (executed by the Nazis) (b. 1900)
- May 1 – Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propagandist (suicide) (b. 1897)
- May 14 – Heber J. Grant, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (b. 1856)
- May 15 – Charles Williams, British author (b. 1886)
- May 23 – Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi Gestapo (suicide) (b. 1900)
- June 15 – Nikola Avramov, Bulgarian painter (b. 1897)
- July 5 – John Curtin, fourteenth Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1885)
- July 20 – Paul Valéry, French poet (b. 1871)
- August 2 – Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer (b. 1863)
- August 9 – Harry Hillman, American athlete (b. 1881)
- August 10 – Robert Goddard, American rocket scientist (b. 1882)
- August 31 – Stefan Banach, Polish mathematician (b. 1892)
- September 15 – Anton Webern, Austrian composer (b. 1883)
- September 24 – Johannes Hans Geiger, inventor of the Geiger counter (b. 1882)
- September 26 – Béla Bartók, Hungarian composer (b. 1881)
- October 13 – Milton Hershey, American chocolate tycoon (b. 1857)
- October 15 – Pierre Laval, Vichy French premier (firing squad) (b. 1883)
- October 19 – N.C. Wyeth, American illustrator (b. 1882)
- October 24 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian politician, traitor (executed) (b. 1887)
- November 8 – August von Mackensen, German Field Marshal (b. 1849)
- November 11 – Jerome Kern, American composer (b. 1885)
- November 21 – Robert Benchley, The New Yorker, humorist, theater critic, actor (b. 1889)
- December 4 – Thomas Hunt Morgan, American biologist (b. 1866)
- December 20 – American General George S. Patton (car accident) (b. 1885)
- December 28 – Theodore Dreiser, American author (b. 1871)
- Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1864)