March 1945: Berlin falls to the Soviet Union after five months of encirclement and aerial bombardment.
April 1945: Germany surrenders to the Allies. Soviet occupation begins.
June 1945: Stalin suffers a mild stroke. A short power struggle occurs with the Soviet military led by Zhukov pushing for reform. Stalin manages to cling to top office, but forced to strike a deal with Zhukov, leading to new constitution being drawn up, and de-stalinisation even while Stalin is still alive and in power.
August 1945: The Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the final nail in Japans coffin, after the last pocket of Japanese troops in southeastern Korea fall to the Soviets.
August 1947: The Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb, sending massive shock waves through the US government, because it was believed that the Soviets could only have the atomic bomb by the the 1950's at the earliest. Cold War really begins.