V.E. Day

The Pictures above are from Barneville - Carteret and my own village Fierville Les Mines

In November 1942 President Roosevelt proposed that when the time came for the German Nazi party to surrender that there would be no repetition of the 1918 fiasco, which in many respects led to this war. The surrender would be unconditional with no strings attached. The negotiations that were to bring hostilities to an end began on May 2nd 1945, and on May 5th a truce was called on the western front. The signing of the surrender document was completed on May 7th, with Admiral Donitz signing for the Germans and Field Marshal Montgomery. This well known ceremony was not the only one, many more signing ceremonies took place across Europe as German Commanders surrendered their forces to the Allied Commanders. Some of the more significant events were held at Caserta (Italy) Luneburg (Germany) Innsbruck (Austria) Baldham (Germany) Reims (France) Dunkirk (France). One of the little known facts is that there were Germans in France after the liberation. The Germans still occupied the Channel Islands right up to the end of hostilities and the signing was held on a British warship, HMS Bulldog on May 8th. Even more interesting was the U Boat bases at Lorient and St Nazaire, these bases had remained in German control, even though they had be surrounded by American and French troops since the previous year. The had remained in German hands because of the difficulty in the liberation of Brest, the Allies had decided that to leave them until the time was right, and May 8th was the right time. The commander of Lorient signed on May 8th and St Nazaire followed suit on May 11th. The last German garrison to surrender. V.E. Day is a public holiday in France.

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