Victory

The Lead up to VE Day

With the net tightening around Germany, on 4 February 1945 the Allied Leaders, Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt, met in Yalta, on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea, to clarify their plans for the final offensive, the occupation policy for Germany and the establishment of the United Nations and its Security Council.

A month later, in March 1945, the Germans were in retreat. The Allies were on the west bank of the Rhine, the traditional border of Germany that no foreign army had crossed in 140 years (since Napoleon in 1805). On 22-24 March, the Allies crossed the Rhine and entered enemy territory. On 30 April, Adolf Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin.

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VE Day The end of WWII

Victory in Europe (VE) Day, on 8 May 1945, officially celebrated the end of the WWII in Europe.

Following Hitler’s suicide on 30 April 1945, Admiral Dönitz, who’d been President of the Third Reich for only a week, authorised General Jodl to sign the unconditional surrender of German forces to the Allies on 7 May 1945, in the presence of senior officers from Britain, America, Soviet Russia and France. (The Soviets insisted on a second ceremony in Berlin on 8 May, which is why Russia still celebrates VE Day on 9 May).

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