Following a firebombing campaign that destroyed many Japanese cities, the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of Japan. The war in Europe ended when Nazi Germany signed its instrument of surrender on May 8, 1945, but the Pacific War continued. Together with the United Kingdom and China, the United States called for the unconditional surrender of the Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945, threatening "prompt and utter destruction".
By August 1945, the Allied Manhattan Project had successfully tested an atomic device and had produced weapons based on two alternate designs. The 509th Composite Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces was equipped with a Silverplate Boeing B-29 Superfortress that could deliver them from Tinian in the Mariana Islands. A uranium gun-type atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed by a plutonium implosion-type bomb on the city of Nagasaki on August 9.
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