On this day during WW2

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by spidge, May 31, 2006.

  1. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    The Arts Master at my grammar school claimed to have been the MP sergeant responsible for checking who entered the tent
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  2. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    The end in Europe is near. 5th Queens Own Cameron Highlanders war diary:
    Glinde, Germany, May 4th 1945.
    "The Divisional Commander Major General MacMillian visited the Battalion.
    1800 hrs. News of Capitulation of the German forces in Holland, N. Germany and Denmark, received. Great rejoicing, much firing of tracer and Verey lights. Lt. L.J. Eastwood posted to Battalion".
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  3. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    May 5th, 1945

    Hotel De Wereld at Wageningen on May 5th, 1945, was the scene of a meeting between General Foulkes (1st Cdn Corps) and representatives of the encircled German troops in Holland (Festung Holland under General Blaskowitz). Here the regulations of the Instrument of Surrender, signed the previous evening at the Lüneburg Heath, were set out to the Germans.

    The meeting room now is called "Capitulation Room".

    To Canuck and DYRCH this is familiar ground! We had a beer in the Capitulation Room to round off our 2016 BFT to Holland.

    See also: Tour of Northeast Holland
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  4. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Went there myself a few years ago. Important place in the Dutch calender.
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  5. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    VE-DAY 75 years ago, May 8th or 9th (?)

    Today the formal capitulation of Germany should have become operative after the signing of the Act of Surrender at Reims which had been signed by General Jodl on 7 May at Eisenhower's SHEAF HQ. At first, General Jodl hoped to limit the terms of German surrender to only those forces still fighting the Western Allies. But Eisenhower demanded complete surrender of all German forces, those fighting in the East as well as in the West. If this demand was not met, Eisenhower was prepared to seal off the Western front, preventing Germans from fleeing to the West in order to surrender, thereby leaving them in the hands of the enveloping Soviet forces. Jodl radioed Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Hitler’s successor, with Eisenhower's terms. Doenitz ordered him to sign. So with Russian General Ivan Susloparov and French General Francois Sevez signing as witnesses, and General Walter Bedell Smith, Ike’s chief of staff, signing for the Allied Expeditionary Force, Germany was-at least on paper-defeated. Fighting would still go on in the East for almost another day. But the war in the West was over.

    General Susloparov did not have explicit permission from Soviet Premier Stalin to sign the surrender papers, even as a witness. He afterwards was quickly hustled back East and into the hands of the Soviet secret police. Because of Russian dissatisfaction with the Reims document - they wanted a more prominent role and the document was not signed by the highest German commander - all parties decided that a second document should be signed. Another surrender ceremony therefore was held on the 8th of May in Berlin. It took place in the district of Berlin-Karlshorst, where the Soviet army had its headquarters after the fall of Berlin. The surrender was repeated in Berlin on the night of May 8-9. Just after midnight, in the name of the German High Command, the surrender was signed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff and Admiral Hans Georg von Friedeburg. Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov signed the document in the name of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Union. British Air Force officer Arthur W. Tedder signed as a delegate to the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF).

    The Berlin Act of Surrender would become the definite document. It held an informal 12-hour grace period to enable the German Army to inform all units and Victory in Europe was to be celebrated in West and East on May 9th.

    Eisenhowers HQ in Reims 7 May 1945

    The Reims signing ceremony had been attended by considerable numbers of reporters, all of whom were bound by a 36-hour embargo against reporting the capitulation. As it became clear that there would need to be a definitive second signing before the Act of Surrender could become operative, Eisenhower agreed that the news blackout should remain, so that all Allied powers could celebrate Victory in Europe together on 9 May 1945. However, Edward Kennedy of the Associated Press news agency in Paris broke the embargo on 7 May, with the consequence that the German surrender was headline news in the western media on 8 May. Realizing that it had become politically impossible to keep to the original timetable, it was eventually agreed that the Western Allies would celebrate Victory in Europe Day on 8 May, but that western leaders would not make their formal proclamations of Victory until that evening (when the Berlin signing ceremony should be imminent). The Soviet government made no public acknowledgement of the Reims signing, which they did not recognize; and so, maintaining the original dates, celebrated Victory Day on 9 May 1945.

    See the road to Berlin: German Instrument of Surrender - Wikipedia

    The signing of the Act of Surrender at Berlin on May 8, 1945:

    Whatever !!!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
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  6. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    My Grandfather Ernst Friedrich Wilhelm Zocher joined service in 1932 at the IR 65 and finished the war as highly decorated Captain (Iron Cross 1st class, German Cross in Gold, Infantry Assault Badge, Badge o.t. wounded in silver)
    After the war he cancelled the long-lasting family heritage of providing German armies with professional soldiers since 1761: „Each day I was a good soldier I defiled our name by prolonging the reign of thugs and the slaughter of innocent people!!
    Instead he became a showman and organized the fairgrounds in Berlin until his death. This is our family tradition for the 3rd Generation now...(with the exception of a certain black sheep)

    Celebrate the day, Gentlemen
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  7. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    You also have reason to celebrate! The German people were finally freed from the Nazi-yoke, which turned equally against its own people.

    I have seen an evil example of this in the psychiatric hospital in Bedburg-Hau, not far from Kleve, where the German patients were euthanized without mercy.
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  8. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    I remember well the tours of 2015 and 2016. Excellent dinner had by all in the Capitulation Room which is now a Michelin starred restaurant. Raising a pint....
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  9. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    I visited the museum in Reims where the surrender took place a few years ago with the family. We were told the English version of the info movie would start in 30 minutes. Just before the 30 minutes was up, and having patiently waited our turn, a Frenchmen spoke to the reception lady and managed to get the movie changed to French. As you can imagine, I wasn't happy and stormed out of the museum, Reims and France in a rage after shouting a number of expletives. My kids still remind me of this every year. Still, at least they will never forget when WWII in Europe ended!
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  10. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Letter home from BSM John Kemp 236/76th HAA Regt, 8 May 1945, San Benedetto Po, Italy

    "Well, since last I wrote you five days have elapsed. Five days which have been the most historic five days which for ever will remain ingrained in my memory. First on May 1st after I’d written we set to to celebrate our Wedding Anniversary. It started in a most sober frame of mind, and we ate two chickens I’d got. Then retired to my tent where we started off with a couple of bottles of Scotch. All went well till we finished the bottles of Scotch and embarked on the Cherry Brandy. It was silly really, but it was not long before one by one we began to retire, to awake next morning with a wicked hangover which lasted all day, and that day we had to move. It was only a short distance, but that really means little because there’s still all the work to be done in the organisation of the camp. In spite of the streams of wonderful news that poured in we were told that everything must be exactly as usual. For once it was easy. There were none of the remarks or obstructions usually to be met because everyone knew full well this was undoubtedly the last move we’d have into an operational site, though even the chances of it being exactly operational seemed so far remote, for first Jerry must negotiate the Alps, a task that did not seem warrantable from his point of view. Hourly the news improved until we learned that all enemy troops in Italy had unconditionally surrendered. This came as a climax to about a fortnight of gathering excitement with the hourly crowd cluttered round the radio listening to the news, and remarks of “Wonderful”. And so really when we heard “it was over” here, in spite of all my vows I’d be very boss eyed when I heard the news, was as sober as I’ve ever been, and experienced a feeling rather like a man who has run a long race. Jubilant yes, but, psychologically, somehow tired and peacefully grateful. And I have spent a lot of my time going for walks and going out. Really, this time I have no excuse for not now writing you, unless it was because I felt I must get away from camp, and the feeling of being able to do it and know there’d be no “call outs” or action was a great attraction and I just wanted to feel sort of “free”. I had to keep going for walks to think about it and how near I am to being with you again. After nearly six years it did not seem possible it was all over. And the more I thought the more excited I got, and I walked miles till my feet were sore, and got back when everyone had gone to bed, I’ve slept so well. No longer the thoughts of A.A. work, and no longer the interruption of sleep with a night’s barrage work, nor the whine and crump of enemy shells. After all this time you’d be surprised the effect it has had on everyone here. It’s probably the same at home. And the news has got better and better until today it seems it must end any minute. There have been streams of prisoners passing down the main road from up north night and day. It seems they will never cease, and yesterday I saw German trucks crammed with prisoners being driven by Germans and completely unescorted going down. In places they have put out their own traffic police. They have got to save as many as they can. They’ve got to have as many men as possible to go back to rebuild Germany. But the worst part is over in Europe from our point of view, thank God. I’m truly gratified to see these Jerry prisoners and see the look almost akin to anxiety on their faces. I hope they’re feeling what I have felt all this time away from home, the intense worry for those at home, or the worry that you might never get home to look after them.

    What a lot we have seen in the past six years of war. Those days when it looked so black when I had visions of the Wehrmacht strutting through our streets, ransacking our home, and causing destruction and devastation everywhere. I had misgivings about the end of it all. The air raids did not help, and there was always that black cloud hanging over everything. I saw awful nightmares of you in these raids and not until last month did that disappear. I feel you people at home have had as nerve wracking a time as has ever been asked of anyone.

    It’s easy now to trace the war. You can see what an enormous lot we owe to those who planned so patiently in the face of screamings for a second front. How we sacrificed ourselves to supply much needed equipment to Russia in order she might the longer pursue the struggle against the Hun, and so that we might build up for that day that we could completely and utterly crush every bone in the Nazi frame. There were the landings on the Continent. We never saw anything achieved from them save the apparent proof that the Continent was strongly fortified and we’d find it an almost impossibly impregnable fortress. Now we can see. It was at the time expensive, but we learned. And as we learned on the Continent, so we learned in Africa. We learned the difficulties of supply for a far distant front where comes the danger of overrunning the supply lines because things have gone better than expected. So we did in Sicily. The glider and parachute troops who in such great numbers passed over Sousse where we were, and who met so many sticky landings on that rocky impossible island. And the sea landings. That wonderful feat of timing when convoys from England, America, Africa, Malta, and Asia simultaneously reached the beaches. The weather nearly beat their stomachs. Then we had the Luftwaffe to contend with at Syracuse, Augusta, and Catania. Suicidal clusters of Focke-Wulfs who’d dive straight out of the sun through that intense curtain of Ack Ack, and go straight on into the sea. Day after day they came. Sometimes there were great billowing clouds of black smoke from the lurching hulks of limping ships as their bombs struck their mark. But we made the grade, and there was our initiation to field shooting at Catania under the shadow of Etna on that scorched shimmering fly infested plain. That plain which reeked of death and burning, and the road we took passed “smelly corner” where two dead trace horses lay stinking in the sun, and the corner with the Sherman tanks gutted by fire. It was my first experience of the smell of dead bodies, and one I shall not forget. It’s been so impressed into my nostrils and stomach.

    Then came Italy with the intense poverty of the south. The disease and filth. Bari with its harbour packed tight with ships and the air raid on 3rd Dec. I’m not ashamed of being there. It would have been difficult for a plane to miss the target area. Even so only two boats were hit. The ensuing fire caused the devastation and casualties which followed with ammunition ships blazing and exploding. It nearly upset things because those supplies were wanted, and wanted urgently. But the cause did not reflect on the Ack Ack as you might believe. It was the incredible lack of thought for the way the shipping had been crammed into that confined area. As they say, “I was there”.

    So as the front moved, so we moved. Cerignola near Foggia. There we were to give defence of the airfields and thousands of planes daily used to bomb deep into Italy and Germany from a front it had not been possible before.

    Later came our move to a concentration area which was the prelude to our arrival almost as the bridgehead we’d come to defend moved up north. And so to Rome for a brief and pleasant stay.

    After Rome we went to Piombino. An area of devastation if ever there was. What Jerry had not destroyed we had, and vice versa. A few days rest followed when we were able to bathe and take things easy. It was while we were there we heard of the new role we were to play, and that we were going on to field shooting. We were sceptical and anxious. But it was upon us before we knew it. It was at Collesalvetti I became B.S.M. of this Troop, and really, although I’ve had moments of having doubts about the end of it all, I’ve really been most happy. From there it’s been a continuous traipse after the Hun. With a terrific total of shells expended to our credit[1] and the achievement of great results. We started back in July, and have now just completed our job I suppose. We stayed in Viareggio for ages, and it seemed we’d never pass those mountains. But it came so suddenly, and in three weeks it was all over. One day I’ll tell you the story, but it’s a very long one, and I’m heartily glad it’s now in the last chapter. For now that’s all. That Day of Days is so much nearer when I'll be home.

    Forever yours,


    [1] The Regimental newssheet, the “Daily Round”, noted on 23 April that up to that date 112,819 shells had been fired by the Regiment, representing a requirement for 1,100 3 ton trucks to carry that quantity of ammunition. Each load necessitated a “round trip of rarely less than 50 miles”.

    8 May 1945

    Extract from "Ever your own, Johnnie, Sicily and Italy, 1943-45"
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  11. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    I do...albeit in profound humility
    Today our Bundespräsident IMHO did a remarkable quote:
    "You can only love this country with a broken heart. Those who cannot bear this, who call for a clean break, not only supplant the catastrophe of war and the Nazi dictatorship. It also devalues all the good we have achieved since then...."

    www.bundespraesident.de: Der Bundespräsident / Reden / 75. Jahrestag des Endes des Zweiten Weltkrieges
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  12. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Photo: Staff Sergeant Arthur Moore, who was wounded in Belgium with the 83rd Infantry Division, stands on 42nd Street near Grand Central Station, as New Yorkers celebrate news of victory over Nazi Germany.

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  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    On this day, 8 May 1945.

    The town of Delft was finally liberated by the Canucks. (My Mum's home town. She was still in Breda waiting for My Dad return and an impending marriage. She was not able to return to Delft, as all the bridges had been blown. It would be months before she did).

    Great Video attached, dropping food at Ypenburg during Operation Manna and the arrival of 48 Highlanders of Canada at Delft. The town went completely nuts.

    My thread about particular day.

    First allied troops in Delft

    The town also laid thousands of flowers in memory of the Dutch troops, which briefly stopped the German paras at Ypenburg in 1940. The town built a new memorial with names of those killed during the occupation.

    My Dad's Regiment's war was finally over (102 LAA Regiment).

    His Battery (336), along with Regimental HQ were already harboured at Sonsbeek Park at Arnhem and were still waiting to arrive on German soil for the first time. Their fight was across the River Maas at Wamel, which they left that night on 4 May, with the enemy having already surrendered on that day. They were awaiting the return of 337 and 338 Batteries. The two Rocket Batteries were returning their equipment from Leer, close to Wilhelmshaven and North of Bremen. They both arrived later that night at Tilburg to complete their task. Happy VE for them and busy one at that.
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    A section of SHAEF Paris. The lady with das ist alles is my Aunt
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  15. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    A well deserved Victory Parade:

    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  16. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Our Dutch news sender over the last few months daily broadcasted an update of the Liberation of Holland; though in Dutch I found it worthwhile to post them - the last fortnight of the war from the Dutch perspective:

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 27 April 1945


    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 28 April 1945

    Hoopvol nieuws voor hongerend Nederland | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 28 april 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 29 April 1945

    Voedseldroppingen boven West-Nederland | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 29 april 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 30 April 1945

    Adolf Hitler overleden | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 30 april 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 1 May 1945

    Russen veroveren Rijksdag in Berlijn | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 1 mei 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 2 May 1945

    Hitler dood en Berlijn gevallen, maar oorlog nog niet over | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 2 mei 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 3 May 1945

    Wilhelmina terug in Nederland, maar strijd nog niet gestreden | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 3 mei 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 4 May 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 5 May 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 6 May 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 7 May 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 8 May 1945

    Nederland op Waddeneilanden na bevrijd | Bevrijdingsjournaal | 8 mei 1945

    Dutch Bevrijdingsjournaal 9 May 1945

    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  17. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

  18. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

  19. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    76 years ago today would be Dominion Day for Canada. Soldiers of the Regina Rifle Regiment are dug in along the Caen-Bayeux highway, just north-west of Carpiquet Airfield.

    Project ‘44
  20. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Giving some love to the Dodgers

    September 17, 1943

    Infantrymen of the West Nova Scotia Regiment riding on a Sherman tank of the Calgary Regiment during the advance from Villapiano to Potenza, Italy. "Alberta was part of of ‘A’ Squadron, 14th Armoured Regiment (The Calgary Regiment).

    The War Diary of The West Nova Scotia Regiment describes; " the road from Anzi onward was studded with Tellermines.".
    The advance of "A" Squadron continued as the infantry and engineers combined their efforts to keep the drive going, and the West Novas once again mounted and let the Shermans lead the column.
    At 19:30hrs the lead vehicles were on high ground overlooking the Basento valley, with Potenza spread out over the hillside.

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