V-E Day (5-8-45)

U-boat to surrender

LONDON, England – The first U-boat to surrender under Germany’s capitulation agreement will put into Weymouth Harbor on the English coast late today.

10 million Yanks to fight Japan

Shifting of forces already started

WASHINGTON (UP) – U.S. armed might, which helped doom Germany, now is turning to hurl its entire weight against the last Axis nation.

A total force of 10 million men is expected to be used in the final assault on the Jap empire.

Japan, already fighting a losing war, must now get set for blows far heavier than anything she has suffered thus far. Her military destruction, assured for some time, will now be accelerated.

Shift underway

She has the choice – stated yesterday by President Truman – of unconditional surrender or “utter destruction” of her war-making power.

The shifting of U.S. forces for the final assault upon the enemy in the Pacific is underway. It will take time and tremendous effort, this change from a two-front to one-front war. And the enemy is strong. Adm. William D. Leahy, the President’s chief of staff, has warned that Japan still has “perhaps seven million troops.”

But the process of arraying superior might against the eastern enemy has started, and its tempo will be increased until all of this country’s power is concentrated for the all-out blow.

Navy’s size cited

There are an estimated one million Army troops already in the Pacific. To them will be added most of the nation’s post-V-E Day Army, expected by the War Department to total 6,968,000 men.

Already dedicated primarily to victory in the east are the Navy’s 3,270,000 men and women, the Marine Corps’ 475,000, and the Coast Guard’s 172,000. This gigantic force will now give its undivided attention to Japan.

Thus, the nation will have a total of about 10,800,000 men and women in uniform between V-E and V-J Day. Most of them, except for European occupation forces, will be available for use in the war against Japan.

At the Navy’s disposal, exclusive of the power contributed by Japan’s other enemies, are 1,200 warships including 23 battleships, 91 aircraft carriers and swarms of cruisers, destroyers, submarines and lesser vessels.

U.S. won’t falter

The industrial production which first dismayed and then overwhelmed Nazidom will now flow in irresistible flood to the east.

If the Japs had hoped this country’s will would falter after defeat of their German partner, they must have derived nothing but despair from the statements of American leaders on V-E Day.

From the President down all responsible leaders emphasized that the war will not be over until Japan capitulates. War, Navy and production officials echoed Mr. Truman’s statement that “our victory is only half-won.” They adopted the theme of “work, work, work.”

No one knows what effect ultimately the example of Germany will have upon Japan. The assumption here, however, is that Japan’s warlords, like Nazidom’s, will fight to the last.

Japs ‘more ruthless’

Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, commander of the Army ground forces, said on the strength of long experience fighting Japs that they are “even more savage and ruthless” than the Germans.

Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew, who for years was U.S. Ambassador in Tokyo, said Japan “is strong, and she is still fighting with cunning and tenacity.”

But even the Jap militarists, Mr. Grew said, must know “that they will be crushed.”

The War Department disclosed that the piecemeal collapse of Germany made it possible to curtail troop and supply movements to Europe well before V-E Day and start redeployment of troops.

The mass movement from Europe “is just about to get underway,” the War Department said, and all transportation facilities, ships and planes, will be utilized to the utmost to complete it.

Allies feared Axis junction in Far East

That gave European war top priority

WASHINGTON (UP) – The reason America gave the European war top priority after Pearl Harbor was because it was imperative to prevent a German-Japanese junction in India.

Speaking in the Army’s V-E Day film, Two Down and One to Go, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George C. Marshall said the Axis had planned to meet in India and then destroy Britain, Russia and the United States one by one.

Any cost strategy

“Our strategy,” he said, “was to prevent at all costs the junction of Germany and Japan, and then push them back.”

It was imperative to send forces to Europe immediately because Germany had Britain and Russia “on the ropes,” he said. Had the U.S. concentrated first on Japan, he declared, Germany would have become almost impregnable.

Gen. Marshall said another reason for temporarily subordinating the Jap war was that it was a two-year job to build the shipping strength to transport troops and supplies across the Pacific.

Ended at El Alamein

The threat of a German-Japanese junction ended when the Germans were forced back from El Alamein in 1943 and the British smashed the Japs at Ceylon.

The film, shown privately to the press last night, will be distributed theaters for exhibition to the public. It was made last summer for distribution with the end of the European war.

Be kind to Reich, Japs urge Allies

Hope expressed for Germany of future
By the United Press

Tokyo’s newspapers gave prominent display today to news of Germany’s surrender and expressed hope that Allied treatment of the fallen Nazis would be “as kind as that which Germany would have given if the Axis had been the victor.”

Most of the newspapers said the surrender had not been entirely “unanticipated” and reiterated that Japan’s determination to continue the war would be unaffected.

Press comments, reported in a Jap Domei broadcast, emphasized that Japan’s leaders should take advantage of lessons learned in Germany’s collapse to prepare Japan for “the very hard times that lie ahead.”

The newspaper Asahi was quoted as expressing hope that Germany eventually would rise to regain its position as a leader nation in Europe.

Jap cabinet decides to keep fighting

By the United Press

Japan announced today that it will keep fighting as hard as ever in spite of Germany’s surrender.

The announcement, broadcast by Tokyo radio, was made after a special meeting of the Jap Cabinet under Premier Kantaro Suzuki.

While it expressed “deep regret” over Germany’s surrender, the official statement said the “sudden change of the war situation in Europe will not bring the slightest change in the war objective of the imperial government of Japan.”

Editorial: Ernie Pyle and V-E Day

Ernie Pyle had some ideas about V-E Day.

His ideas, we think, are pretty much the ideas of most G.I.’s.

He wrote them long before V-E Day, which he never lived to see. He wrote them from his heart and out of the long months in which he trudged the bitter, tragic paths of war – war, which he once described as “a flat, black depression without highlights, a revulsion of the mind and an exhaustion of the spirit.”

As we mark the end of fighting in Europe and turn to the tedious, painful months of death and anguish still to come in the Pacific war, listen to Ernie’s words on V-E Day:

The end of the war will be a gigantic relief, but it cannot be a matter of hilarity for most of us. Somehow it would seem sacrilegious to sing and dance when the great day comes – there are so many who can never sing and dance again.

We have won this war because our men are brave, and because of many other things – because of Russia, and England, and the passage of time, and the gift of nature’s materials.

We did not win it because destiny created us greater than all other peoples. I hope that in victory we are more grateful than we are proud. I hope we can rejoice in victory – but humbly. The dead men would not want us to gloat.

And all of us together will have to learn how to reassemble our broken world into a pattern so firm and so fair that another great war cannot soon be possible.

These are the words of a gifted writer, a writer who knew not only the filth and dirt and numbing horror of war, but knew the innermost confidences and thoughts and hopes and fears and ideas of the men who fight wars, and die in them.

For the great numbers of us at home, who have been so jubilant over the news from Europe, those of us who have fought the war in petty inconveniences and shortages, in small and paltry sacrifices, these are good words for us to know.

Let’s keep them in our minds until V-J Day, and in our hearts forever.

Capitol lights on

WASHINGTON – Floodlights played on the U.S. Capitol dome and the Washington Monument from dusk last night until dawn today in celebration of Victory in Europe.

Othman: Ol’ Tanglefoot

By Fred Othman

WASHINGTON – V-E Day was a surprise to me. I was looking for dancing in the streets.

President Truman made the announcement. There was a whoop and a crash in the White House.

Then throughout the capital the biggest news of the generation had no more outward, superficial effect on the population than the rain that slithered down outside. Thankfulness, yes – and on with the job.

So it was at the Senate too.

For a solid hour I listened to the Senate War Investigating Committee investigate the carbon black situation. Carbon black is a kind of soot. Our current capacity is 1,104,000 tons of the stuff per year, or enough to make about all the auto tires we’ll need, the War Production Board hopes. The experts talked about carbon black and nobody jumped up or down or even mentioned the fact that there was no war in Europe.

I went over to the House (after stopping off for a porkchop lunch) and there was some oratory there under the floodlights. But it was no joyous celebration. Mostly they were talking about the hard job ahead in the Pacific. They were right, of course.

Widow Smith disappointed

Downtown the federal clerks were clerking as usual. There were a couple of streamers of sodden ticker tape hanging from a press building window. Three ladies stood in a second-floor beauty parlor around the corner and threw out torn-up bits of paper, but nobody paid them any attention.

By all outward signs it was just another May 8; a wet one at that. And it brought disappointment to the Widow Smith. Poor gal.

She’s the wife of Merriman Smith, White House correspondent of the United Press. Her husband spent so much time traveling with the late President Roosevelt that people began to call her a widow.

When President Truman went into the White House, she thought perhaps she’d get to see her husband occasionally. It was not to be. Smith soon began spending a lot of his might hours in the executive offices, waiting for peace to be announced.

The widow then began pinning her wifely hopes on V-E Day. Surely, she said, the coming of peace would let her become acquainted again with her husband. That’s what she thought.

Breaks fast at barrier

Glance back at the second paragraph of this dispatch. You’ll note a reference to a whoop and a crash. That was Smith.

His job is to get the news and deliver it in a hurry. This involves a foot race from the executive office to the White House press room when there is hot news in a presidential press conference.

Smith got away from Mr. Truman’s desk in near-record time, but at the door hit a protruding ladder left there by a photographer and tripped to the floor. Picking himself up on the bounce he kept going and threw himself into his phone booth and began dictating the story you probably read about the presidential speech on peace. It was a good story.

When he’d finished dictating, doctors took over and discovered that he’d seriously dislocated his shoulder when he hit the floor. To the hospital went Smith.

He’s resting easily at this writing. Eventually he’ll get to go home – the widow hopes.

Eyewitness of surrender signing –
German war chief arrogant to the end

After signature, Keitel requests 24 hours’ grace, meets rebuff
By Joseph W. Grigg Jr., United Press staff writer

MARSHAL ZHUKOV’S HQ, Berlin (UP) – The final seal was set on the German Army’s defeat and humiliation before the world when Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, titular head of the once-proud German High Command, was brought to Marshal Gregory K. Zhukov’s headquarters in the devastated German capital early this morning and signed the formal ratification of Germany’s unconditional surrender.

As one of the first two American newspapermen officially permitted to go to Berlin since the Russian occupation, I witnessed the signature in the large whitewashed hall of an army technical school in the eastern residential suburb Karlshorst, now used by Marshal Zhukov as his headquarters.

The document was more or less identical terms as that signed at Reims on Monday morning, with certain additions requested by the Russians defining more closely the surrender of German troops and equipment.

On the Allied side, it was signed by Marshal Zhukov for the Russians, and by Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur W. Tedder on behalf of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was witnessed by Gen. Carl A. Spaatz and Gen. de Lattre de Tassigny. On the German side, Keitel, as chief of the German Army, signed together with Adm. Friedeburg, commander-in-chief of the German Navy, and Col. Gen. Paul Stumpff, commander-in-chief of the Nazi Air Force.

Bars German claim

With signatures of the heads of all the German Armed Forces appended, this historic document forestalls forever any future German claim that the German Army ended the war unbeaten.

Keitel, tall haughty gray-haired figure wearing the full-dress uniform and red striped pants of a German field marshal, maintained his Prussian arrogance to the bitter end.

After his signature already had been appended to the document and while the Allied chiefs were signing, Keitel made a last-minute attempt to play for time. He beckoned the Russian interpreter to him and began haranguing him bitterly protesting there was an insufficient time to notify the forces under his command of minor modifications in the capitulation text and asking for another 24 hours’ grace before it became effective.

He could be heard clearly saying to the interpreter: “I insist you go to the colonel general – I mean Marshal Zhukov – and tell him I must demand another 24 hours’ respite.”

The interpreter hesitated and appeared uncertain what to do and finally went and consulted members of Marshal Zhukov’s staff. As no reply was conveyed back to Keitel, it appeared that the Russians ignored the request.

Drove 1,000 miles

For Marshal Zhukov the ceremony was the triumphant climax to a bitter 1,000-mile battle from the ruins of Stalingrad into the heart of devastated Berlin.

Marshal Zhukov’s headquarters were established at Karlshorst as there is not a single building in the whole fantastic nightmare of devastation of Central Berlin that could house even a company headquarters, let alone that of a great army. Keitel, too, had the final supreme humiliation of being driven in a Russian staff car to meet Marshal Zhukov through the blasted shambles of Central Berlin, which witnessed the greatest triumph of his and Hitler’s armed forces a bare 3½ years ago.

Marshal Tedder, Gen. Spaatz and other members of the SHAEF delegation left Reims yesterday morning and touched down on the airstrip at Stendal near the Elbe at 11 a.m., where a rendezvous had been made with a Russian fighter escort and a plane bringing Keitel and Friedeburg from Flensburg.

Stumpff, who once commanded the Nazi Air Force group in Norway and Finland and later had an important Western Front command, rode with Marshal Tedder from Reims. A party of eight American, British and French newsmen and broadcasters flew with Marshal Tedder.

Keitel’s plane was late for the rendezvous and it was not until 12:20 that all five planes took off again. Almost immediately they were joined by an escort of six Russian Yaks, which flew circles around the slow transports all the way into Tempelhof Airport in Berlin.

City like skeleton

As the planes circled slowly over Berlin preparing to land, the city underneath looked like an incredible Wellsian setting. Mile after mile of gaunt, roofless shells of houses stood silent and skeleton-like. There was no traffic in the streets except Russian military vehicles. Over the whole dead capital there was a thick smoke haze. Columns of smoke from buildings still burning could be seen curling lazily into the still air over the city.

The SHAEF delegation was met at the airfield by a guard of honor of a Soviet guards’ regiment with flags of the Soviet Union, United States and Britain. The party was welcomed officially by Army Gen. Ivan Sokolobsky, representing Marshal Zhukov, and a Gen. Bersarin, the Red Army’s commandant for Berlin. During the official presentation, some 60 or more Red Army cameramen and newsreelmen swarmed around the delegation.

The day was warm and sunny. The band played the three national anthems and a guard of honor carrying long bayonets fixed on their rifles gave three hurrahs and staged a formal parade.

The planes landed at 2 p.m. Immediately after the ceremony the Allied delegation and the newsmen were whisked off in a cavalcade of cars through Berlin’s devastated East End to Marshal Zhukov’s headquarters. At 4:30 p.m., Marshal Tedder, Gen. Spaatz and their staff paid a formal call on Marshal Zhukov in his office, a small, simply-furnished room with a red flag and maps as the only decorations on the wall.

In a brief informal ceremony, Marshal Tedder presented Marshal Zhukov with a silken SHAEF banner sent as a personal gift by Gen. Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov replied with a brief speech of thanks.

Marshal Zhukov, medium-sized and stocky, with his hair close cropped and thinning on top, wore a full-dress uniform and was a dignified soldierly figure throughout. He spoke only Russian.

Confers with Tedder

Keitel and the other Germans, meanwhile, had been escorted to a nearby villa to await the capitulation document. Marshal Zhukov asked Marshal Tedder to stay behind and confer alone with him for a few minutes. The two remained closeted about a half hour while Marshal Tedder gave Marshal Zhukov the draft of the capitulation terms embodying certain changes which the Russians desired. At 5:30 p.m., they came out and Marshal Zhukov asked Marshal Tedder to give him until 8 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) to consider the exact wording.

A long wait then began. At 8 p.m. Marshal Zhukov and the SHAEF experts had not yet agreed on the terms.

Tedder was called away to confer again personally with Marshal Zhukov. It was not until shortly before midnight that the document was finally completed, typed and presented to the Germans.

At midnight, Marshal Zhukov gave word to the delegates to enter the hall for the signing.

The large whitewashed hall of the former Army Technical School was brilliantly lit with Klieg lights, spotlighting the Soviet, American, British and French flags immediately behind the chief Allied delegates. The long tables were arranged like a letter “E.” Marshal Zhukov, stern-faced, took the middle seat, with Marshal Tedder and Soviet Assistant Foreign Commissar Vyshinsky and Adm. Sir Harold Burrough, the Allied supreme naval commander, on his right, and Gen. Spaatz followed by Gen. de Tassigny, who had arrived independently, from the French First Army. Other members of the Allied delegation included American Maj. Gen. H. R. Bull, head of SHAEF G-3, and British Maj. Gen. K. W. D. Strong, head of SHAEF G-2. The newsmen were escorted by Capt. Harry Butcher, USNR; Brig. W. A. S. Turner and Col. Ernest Dupuy, of SHAEF public relations.

Calls Germans

The delegates spent several minutes posing for the Russian photographers who swarmed all over the hall. At 12:07, Marshal Zhukov rose and read the text of the capitulation document and then ordered the German delegation to be brought in.

At 12:25, Keitel walked in and was followed by Friedeburg and Stumpff. Keitel, haughty and self-possessed, his face slightly flushed, slammed his marshal’s baton down on the table and took a seat, looking straight ahead, ignoring the photographers. Once or twice, he fingered his collar and nervously wetted his lips. He was determined, however, to carry his old school Potsdam arrogance through to the bitter end.

The Germans sat at a separate table near the door with four uniformed aides and two Allied interpreters standing behind.

When he was seated Marshal Tedder arose and asked in a cold voice in English: “I ask you: Have you read this document of unconditional surrender? Are you prepared to sign it?” After the translation, Keitel picked up a copy of the document off the table and replied in harsh Prussian accent in German, “Yes, I am ready.”

Marshal Zhukov then motioned him to come over to the table. Keitel picked up his cap, his marshal’s baton and gloves and slowly and carefully inserted his monocle in his right eye, walked over and sat down to sign in a long scrawling hand the single word “Keitel.” The first signature was appended at exactly 12:15 a.m. There was a total of nine copies to sign – three each in Russian, English and German, of which the Russian and English texts were official for the record.

Marches haughtily

After signing, Keitel returned to his seat and Friedeburg and Stumpff followed immediately afterward. Marshal Zhukov, Marshal Tedder and Gens. Spaatz and Tassigny then signed. It was while this was proceeding that the incident of Keitel demanding an extra 24 hours’ grace occurred.

As the signing was completed, Marshal Zhukov rose and said coldly in Russian, “I now request the German delegation to leave the room.”

Keitel rose, snapped together the folder in which he was carrying his copy and marched out haughtily, followed by the other Germans.

The Allied leaders then shook hands all around. Later, Marshal Zhukov gave a banquet to the Allied delegation which lasted till 6 a.m., during which no less than 25 toasts were drunk. In one toast to Gen. Eisenhower, Marshal Zhukov described him as “one of the greatest generals of present times,” adding, “I want him to know how much the Soviet Army and people appreciate his tremendous achievements.”

Keitel returned to Flensburg this morning and Marshal Tedder and Gen. Spaatz to SHAEF.

Großadmirals HQ (May 9, 1945)

Kommuniqué des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht

Broadcast audio (RRG):

20 Uhr und 3 Minuten. Reichssender Flensburg und die angeschlossenen Sender. Wir bringen heute den letzten Wehrmachtsbericht dieses Krieges.

In Ostpreußen haben deutsche Divisionen noch gestern die Weichselmündung und den Westteil der Frischen Nehrung bis zuletzt tapfer verteidigt, wobei sich die 7. Infanterie-Division besonders auszeichnete. Dem Oberbefehlshaber, General der Panzertruppe von Saucken, wurden in Anerkennung der vorbildlichen Haltung seiner Soldaten die Brillanten zum Eichenlaub mit Schwertern zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes verliehen.

Als vorgeschobenes Bollwerk fesselten unsere Armeen in Kurland unter dem bewährten Oberbefehl des Generaloberst Hilpert monatelang überlegene sowjetische Schützen- und Panzerverbände und erwarben sich in sechs großen Schlachten unvergänglichen Ruhm. Sie haben jede vorzeitige Übergabe abgelehnt. In voller Ordnung wurden mit den nach Westen noch ausfliegenden Flugzeugen nur Versehrte und Väter kinderreicher Familien abtransportiert. Die Stäbe und Offiziere verblieben bei ihren Truppen. Um Mitternacht wurde von deutscher Seite, entsprechend den unterzeichneten Bedingungen, der Kampf und jede Bewegung eingestellt.

Die Verteidiger von Breslau, die über zwei Monate lang den Angriffen der Sowjets standhielten, erlagen in letzter Stunde nach heldenhaftem Kampf der feindlichen Übermacht. Auch an der Südost- und Ostfront, von Fiume über Brünn bis an die Elbe bei Dresden, haben alle höheren Kommandobehörden den Befehl zur Einstellung des Kampfes erhalten. Eine tschechische Aufstandsbewegung in fast ganz Böhmen und Mähren kann die Durchführung der Kapitulationsbedingungen und die Nachrichtenverbindungen in diesem Raum gefährden. Meldungen über die Lage bei den Heeresgruppen Löhr, Rendulic und Schörner liegen beim Oberkommando der Wehrmacht zur Stunde noch nicht vor. Fern der Heimat haben die Verteidiger der Atlantikstützpunkte, unsere Truppen in Norwegen und die Besatzungen der Ägäischen Inseln in Gehorsam und Disziplin die Waffenehre des deutschen Soldaten gewahrt.

Seit Mitternacht schweigen nun an allen Fronten die Waffen. Auf Befehl des Großadmirals hat die Wehrmacht den aussichtslos gewordenen Kampf eingestellt. Damit ist das fast sechsjährige heldenhafte Ringen zu Ende. Es hat uns große Siege, aber auch schwere Niederlagen gebracht. Die deutsche Wehrmacht ist am Ende einer gewaltigen Übermacht ehrenvoll unterlegen.

Der deutsche Soldat hat, getreu seinem Eid, im höchsten Einsatz für sein Volk für immer Unvergessliches geleistet. Die Heimat hat ihn bis zuletzt mit allen Kräften unter schwersten Opfern unterstützt. Die einmalige Leistung von Front und Heimat wird in einem späteren gerechten Urteil der Geschichte ihre endgültige Würdigung finden.

Den Leistungen und Opfern der deutschen Soldaten zu Wasser, zu Lande und in der Luft wird auch der Gegner die Achtung nicht versagen. Jeder Soldat kann deshalb die Waffen aufrecht und stolz aus der Hand legen und in den schwersten Stunden unserer Geschichte tapfer und zuversichtlich an die Arbeit gehen für das ewige Leben unseres Volkes.

Die Wehrmacht gedenkt in dieser schweren Stunde ihrer vor dem Feind gebliebenen Kameraden. Die Toten verpflichten zu bedingungsloser Treue, zu Gehorsam und Disziplin gegenüber dem aus zahllosen Wunden blutenden Vaterland.

Neues Österreich (May 10, 1945)

Der Verlauf der Konferenz

London, 9. Mai – Der Krieg in Europa endete offiziell heute eine Minute nach Mitternacht. Im verwüsteten der geschlagener; deutschen Wehrmacht die Ratifikationsurkunde der in Reims unterzeichneten Kapitulation.

Die Konferenz trat gegen Mitternacht in der Aula der Technischen Hochschule in Berlin zusammen. Zehn Minuten nach Mitternacht betraten die deutschen Bevollmächtigten, Generalfeldmarschall Keitel, Generaladmiral Friedeburg und Generaloberst Stumpf, den Saal. Sie nahmen die ihnen reservierten Sitze ein.

Marschall Schukow ergriff das Wort: Meine Herren, wir schreiten zur Unterfertigung der Vertragsurkunde der bedingungslosen Kapitulation Deutschlands. Zunächst möchte ich an die deutschen Bevollmächtigten drei Fragen richten: Sind Sie im Besitz einer Abschrift dieser Urkunde? Haben Sie sich mit dem Inhalt der Urkunde vertraut gemacht? Sind die Vertreter des deutschen Oberkommandos zur Unterschrift bereit?

Nach einer kurzen Pause erwiderte Generalfeldmarschall Keitel: „Jawohl, ich bin zur Unterschrift bereit.“

Hierauf legte er die Ermächtigungsurkunde vor, mit welcher Großadmiral Dönitz die Delegierten zur Unterzeichnung der Urkunde autorisierte. Die deutschen Bevollmächtigten traten dann einer nach dem anderen vor, um die Urkunde zu unterzeichnen. Um ¾1 Uhr war die Unterzeichnung beendet. Generalfeldmarschall Keitel wurde eine Abschrift des Dokuments in drei Sprachen überreicht.

Hierauf sagte Marschall Schukow: „Die deutsche Delegation kann sich jetzt entfernen.“

Vereinigung der Russen und Amerikaner bei Linz

London, 9. Mai – Die 3. amerikanische Armee vereinigte sich bei Linz mit der Roten Armee.

Die Rote Armee hat Hollabrunn und Stockerau erobert. Sie steht außerdem im Raum von Graz. Die britische 8. Armee setzt ihren Vormarsch in Österreich fort. Die 6. britische Panzerdivision ist in Klagenfurt eingezogen.

Russische Panzer in Prag

London, 9. Mai – Der Sender Prag meldete heute früh: Russische Panzer rollen in Prag ein. Prag ist jetzt völlig frei von deutschen Truppen. Die Rote Armee besetzte den Altstädter Ring und den Wenzelsplatz. Später kam es wieder zu kleineren Kämpfen mit SS-Verbänden. Kurz nach Mittag meldete der Prager Rundfunk, dass deutsche Flugzeuge erneut Prag angreifen.

Nach dem Einmarsch begab sich ein Stabsoffizier Marschall Koniews zum tschechischen Nationalrat, wo er erklärte: Unsere Truppen sind in Prag einmarschiert, um die tschechische Bevölkerung zu befreien. Wir beabsichtigen nicht, den Tschechen diese oder jene Verwaltung aufzuzwingen. Sie sind gute Patrioten und können ihr Land sehr gut allein verwalten.

Marschall Stalin gab gestern in einem Tagesbefehl die Einnahme von Dresden, Meißen und Freiberg bekannt sowie die Eroberung von Brux, Dux, Teplitz-Schönau, Olmütz und Znaim in der Tschechoslowakei.

Rundfunkansprache des Papstes

Rom, 9. Mai – Anlässlich der Beendigung des Krieges in Europa hielt Papst Pius XII. eine Rundfunkansprache, in der er ausführte:

Mit unserem Dank für das Ende des Krieges in Europa verbinden wir unser Gebet, dass auch der Kampf im Fernen Osten ein Ende finden möge, das der Gerechtigkeit entspricht. Die Gefallenen dieses Krieges warnen die Lebenden und rufen ihnen zu: Aus unseren Gräbern mögen Baumeister einer besser en Welt erstehen, die gegründet ist auf Gottesfurcht und der Achtung vor der Würde des Menschen. Wir wollen nun Herangehen an das Werk zum Neuaufbau der Welt. Dann kann sich die Welt wieder auf die Werke des Friedens beschränken, Aber nur in einer Atmosphäre der uneigennützigen Zusammenarbeit kann dieser Friede bestehen und nur bei gegenseitigem Vertrauen, nur wenn der Mensch den Menschen versteht.

König Georg an sein Volk

London, 9. Mai – König Georg hielt gestern Abend zum britischen Volk eine Rede über den Rundfunk:

Deutschland, das Europa in den Krieg stürzte, ist endgültig geschlagen. müssen wir aber den Kampf gegen Japan weiterführen. Zur Durchführung dieser Aufgabe werden wir uns mit äußerster Entschlossenheit und allen unseren Machtmitteln einsetzen.

Schwere Arbeit erwartet uns, Arbeit für den Wiederaufbau unseres eigenen Landes, Arbeit bei der Wiederaufrichtung von Friede und gerechter Ordnung in einer Welt, die in ihren Grundfesten erschüttert ist. Ein tiefer Trost liegt in dem Gedanken, dass die dunklen Jahre der Gefahr, in denen unsere Kinder aufwachsen mussten, für immer vorüber sind. Dafür sei Gott unser Dank.

Wir würden unsere Aufgabe aber nicht erfüllt haben und das Blut unserer Lieben wäre vergebens geflossen, wenn der Sieg, den sie errungen haben, nicht zu einem dauernden Frieden führen würde, einem Frieden, der sich auf Gerechtigkeit gründet und auf die Mitarbeit aller.

Послание вооруженным силам и народам Великобритании от народов Советского Союза

Приветствую лично Вас, доблестные британские вооруженные силы и весь британский народ и сердечно поздравляю с великой победой над нашим общим врагом – германским империализмом. Эта историческая победа завершила совместную борьбу советских, британских и американских армий за освобождение Европы.

Я выражаю уверенность в дальнейшем успешном и счастливом развитии в послевоенный период дружественных отношений, сложившихся между нашими странами в период войны.

Я поручил нашему послу в Лондоне передать всем вам мои поздравления с одержанной победой и мои наилучшие пожелания.

10 мая 1945 года

The Pittsburgh Press (May 10, 1945)

Victory cost U.S. 150,000 killed

Casualties at 972,654 – 70,000 Yanks freed

WASHINGTON (UP) – Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson said today that 70,000 to 80,000 U.S. prisoners of war have been liberated from German prison camps. Of these, 8,000 have been returned to this country, he said.

Mr. Stimson estimated that victory in Europe cost the Army around 800,000 casualties, including 150,000 killed.

He warned next of kin that it may still require several weeks to complete casualty notifications for Germany and Italy. He added that there should be only a limited number of additional casualties.

Casualties up 22,182

Total U.S. combat casualties in all theaters reached 972,634, an increase of 22,182 over a week ago. This total includes 867,709 Army and 104,945 Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard casualties.

In April, the last month of heavy fighting in Germany, the Army suffered 34,598 casualties, not counting Air Force losses. The month’s toll included 5,324 killed, 25,407 wounded and 3,867 missing.

From D-Day last June 6 through April, Mr. Stimson said, the Army in Europe, exclusive of the Air Forces, suffered 512,113 casualties. In this total were 88,225 killed, 365,320 wounded, and 58,568 missing and captured.

536,029 recovered

Of the 536,029 soldiers thus far reported wounded, Mr. Stimson said 283,472 have returned to duty.

The table of officially announced casualties:

Army Navy TOTAL
Killed 175,168 41,458 216,626
Wounded 536,029 48,858 584,887
Missing 74,304 10,382 84,686
Prisoners 82,208 4,247 86,455
TOTAL 867,709 104,945 972,654

Holiday in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – The Haitian government has decreed Saturday a holiday for celebrating the Allied victory in Europe.



By Florence Fisher Parry

NEW YORK – Maybe it was the same other places; all I know is what happened here. You may have seen the pictures, but they don’t tell the story. You’d have had to be here to see.

I tried to write, yesterday, how it was here the first delirious hours on Monday. But I got the column off before the celebration had bogged down – that came later, around three o’clock. And it wasn’t pretty to be in on. No.

To see the picture clear, you must remember that it had been raining here steadily for a solid week – and then on Monday the sun broke wide open, like the brass section of a mighty orchestra, and everybody poured out of doors!

The news came, remember, at about 9:35 in the morning? By 10 o’clock the thing had broken loose. It wasn’t pandemonium. It was different, it was deeper, it was a shining, grand thing to see! The faces of the people, the way the people crowded toward Times Square as though moved by some inner compulsion that hadn’t anything to do with celebrating – just a deep fixed habit of years…

To meet there TOGETHER, to gather in a great out-of-door mass-meeting and move and sway there in the wide oblong rendezvous… the way they’d always done here when a tremendous event struck the bell of history…

Gypped again?

Then, after a few hours, the great uneasiness began to set in… You could see it on the faces, you could hear it in the lessening noise of the crowds. Why wasn’t the word said at Washington? Why didn’t anything happen? Where was the guarantee? Were they being gypped again? Again?

A few went on drinking in a dogged, heavy way. But not many. The slow-coming flush in the faces of the throngs was not from drinking this time. It was the flush of resentment. Of being stood up again. The crowds began to disperse. The little flag-and-horn vendors stood numb and bewildered at their corners. The newshawks stacked their papers beside them and stood stonily by.

Presently the sun shrank behind a heavy gray tent-top. By dusk Broadway was a sullen soggy street with stragglers, looking a little foolish, moving sluggishly.

By the time the theaters emptied at 11, the crowds had swollen a little, moving slowly and dispiritedly along the course of what had been meant to be the greatest Mardi Gras of celebration in human history… Empty taxis picked up stragglers. Few bothered to watch the news coursing around the Times Building. For by this time, they knew it by heart.

Peace, they had been told, had come, but its corroboration was still held back; it had not been authentic; the President would not make the formal announcement until next day.

Now we know what happened. We read today the shameful news that a breach of confidence by one correspondent broke the news prematurely – and, on the word of Gen. Eisenhower, imperiled the surrender negotiations between Germans and Russians.


Nothing is more sacred to an experienced and qualified newspaperman than respect for off-the-record information. It is given him with the understanding that he will respect it.

This man’s fellow reporters understood their responsibility and lived up to their off-the-record pledges. Even after he disregarded the rules and told the world that capitulation had occurred – as far as the Western Allies and Germany were concerned – they resisted all the terrific pressure from their own employer-newspapers for confirmation.

Taunted by the claim that this correspondent had scored the greatest “scoop” in history, they still respected the agreement.

And so one man botched the great proclamation. And, outside, it was raining on Tuesday; is still raining. The rain falls tiresomely, coldly, all day long. The streets are sodden. Broadway is dull and empty. The little flag-and-horn vendors stand drenched and forlorn, their wares unnoted.

The heart of New York spent itself too soon. The botch of V-E Day is complete and utter.

Message from Soviet Marshal Stalin to President Truman
May 11, 1945

Сердечно благодарю Вас за дружественные поздравления по случаю безоговорочной капитуляции гитлеровской Германии. Народы Советского Союза высоко ценят участие дружественного американского народа в нынешней освободительной войне. Совместная борьба советских, американских и британских армий против немецких захватчиков, завершившаяся их полным разгромом и поражением, войдёт в историю как образец боевого содружества наших народов.

От имени советского народа и Советского правительства прошу передать американскому народу и доблестной американской армии горячий привет и поздравления с великой победой.

11 мая 1945