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    • Victory In Europe Day


      On May 8th, 1945, at 21:20 local time at Karlshorst, Berlin, the German Instrument of Surrender, also known as Germany's Unconditional Surrender, was signed. This event finished World War II in Europe, putting closure to 5 years and 8 months of conflict.

      The representatives of the document signing were as follows:

      • Marshal Georgy Zhukov on behalf of the Supreme High Command of the Red Army;

      • Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur William Tedder, as Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force;

      • General Carl Spaatz, Commanding United States Strategic Air Forces, as a witness;

      • General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, Commanding First French Army, also as a witness;

      • Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel as the Chief of the General Staff of the German Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) and as representative of the German Army;

      • General-Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy and

      • Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff as the representative of the German Air Force.

      The instrument of surrender was written in German, English, and Russian, with the latter two being the authoritative versions:



      1. We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Supreme High Command of the Red Army all forces on land, at sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control.

      2. The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 23.01 hours Central European time on 8 May 1945, to remain in all positions occupied at that time and to disarm completely, handing over their weapons and equipment to the local allied commanders or officers designated by Representatives of the Allied Supreme Commands. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment, and also to machines of all kinds, armament, apparatus, and all the technical means of prosecution of war in general.

      3. The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commanders, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Supreme Command of the Red Army.

      4. This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.

      5. In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Supreme High Command of the Red Army will take such punitive or other action as they deem appropriate.


      English version of the  German Instrument of Surrender


      The end of the conflict in Europe was celebrated worldwide, including in the United States, despite still engaging in combat against Japan in the Pacific theater of war, which would only achieve victory 100 days later, on August 15th of that same year.

      The date is remembered in Europe as a public holiday in several countries, known as Victory Day, Liberation Day, Victory in Europe Day, and Victory Over Fascism Day. In some former Soviet Bloc nations, Russia, and Isreal, Germany's surrender is celebrated on May 9th.

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