GERMANY CAPITULATES (1945) newsclip
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The WESTERN MAIL. V-E DAY Souvenir Issue.
LONDON, May 8. - Announcing that hostilities in Europe would cease officially one minute after midnight tonight and that in order to save lives the "cease fire" had already been sounded, the Prime Minister this afternoon said that early yesterday morning the representatives of the German High Command and Grand Admiral Doenitz had signed an Act of Unconditional Surrender to the Allied Expeditionary Force and the Soviet High Command.
This document was to be ratified and confirmed in Berlin, Mr Churchill added. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder and General de Lattre de Tassigny would sign on behalf of General Eisenhower and Marshal Zhukov for the Soviet High Command.
Mr Churchill said: "Yesterday morning at 2.51 o'clock at General Eisenhower's HQ General Jodi, representative of the German High Command and of Grand Admiral Doenitz, the designated head of the German State, signed an Act of unconditional surrender of the German land, sea and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command.
Lt-General Bedell-Smith, Chief of-Staff of General Eisenhower's staff, and General Sevez signed the document on behalf of the Supreme Command of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. General Suslapatov signed on behalf of the Russian Command.
Today this agreement will be ratified and confirmed at Berlin, where Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, Deputy. Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Boree, and General de Lattre Tassigny will sign on behalf of General Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov will sign on behalf of the Soviet High Command.
The German representatives will be Field Marshal Keitel and the Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, Navy and Air Forces. Hostilities will end one minute after midnight on Tuesday, May 8, but in the interests of saving lives the "cease fire" began yesterday to be sounded along the front and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today.
The Germans are still in places resisting the Russian troops but should they continue to do so after midnight they will of course deprive themselves of the protection of the laws of war and will be attacked from all quarters by Allied troops. It is not surprising that on such long fronts and in the existing disorder of the enemy that the commands of the German High Command should, not in every case, be obeyed immediately."
Two Days Celebration.
"This does not in our opinion, with the best military advice at our disposal, constitute any reason for withholding from the nation the facts communicated to us by General Eisenhower of the unconditional surrender already signed at Rheims nor should it prevent us from celebrating today and tomorrow at Victory in Europe Days.
Today perhaps we shall think mostly of ourselves. Tomorrow we shall, pay particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory.
The German war therefore is at an end. After years of intense preparation Germany hurled herself on Poland in the beginning of September, 1939, and in pursuance of our guarantee to Poland and in agreement with the French Republic Britain and the British Empire declared war against the foul aggression.
After gallant France had been struck down we from this island and from our united Empire maintained the struggle single-handed for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Russia and later by the overwhelming power and resources of America.
Finally almost the whole world was combined against the evildoers who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this island and throughout the British Empire."