Final Chapter (1944-1945) – Axis Road to Defeat
With defeats and loss of territory, and the arrival of Allied forces on their national frontiers, Axis Powers became increasingly desperate. Calamities and defeats became opportunities to expound on the nobility of a people’s continual sacrifice on the journey to achieving a greater good.
- 1 May 1945, Karl Doenitz (Hitler’s successor as leader of the Third Reich) announced in a radio broadcast that Adolf Hitler had died a ‘hero’s death in the capital of the German Reich’. No mention was made that he had committed suicide to prevent capture. He had died fighting ‘fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism’.
- 15 August 1945, Hirohito (Japanese Emperor) issued a speech advising the Japanese people of the surrender and end of the war – notwithstanding the ‘gallant fighting of the military and naval forces’ and ‘devoted service’ of the Japanese people, ‘the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage’. In short, the speech avoided actually stating that Japan had actually surrendered. Only that Japan had been forced to accept the provisions of the ‘Joint Declaration’ of the Allied Powers.
 Karl Doenitz, ‘Announcement of Hitler’s Death’, 1 May 1945. Transcript (English translation) http://historicalresources.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/karl-doenitz-announcement-of-hitler%E2%80%99s-death-may-1-1945/
 Hirohito, ‘Imperial Rescript on the Termination of the War’. Recorded speech, broadcast 15 August 1945. Transcript (English translation). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyokuon-h%C5%8Ds%C5%8D