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V-E Day

Posted By: Best Brains May-07, 2016

Victory in Europe Day is generally recognized as V-E Day, VE Day or V Day. This day is  celebrated on May 8, 1945, a public holiday (7 May in Commonwealth realms) to mark the official acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unqualified surrender of its armed forces. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe. 

The term V-E Day exist as early as September 1944, in expectation of victory on April 30, 1945, when the great Nazi leader Adolf Hitler committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin. The Germany's surrender and therefore it was authorized by Fuehrer’s heir Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz. The management headed by Dönitz was recognized as the Flensburg Government. The act of military surrender was actually signed on May 7 in Reims, and on May 8 in France and Germany. After regaining independence from the Soviet Union, the Baltic countries honor the end of World War II on May 8, the Victory in Europe Day.

Celebrations in Both the Nations

On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Apart from cities of both nations, the formerly occupied cities in Western Europe also celebrate by putting out flags, banners, and rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine. Celebrations erupted throughout the world from Moscow to Los Angeles.

In the United Kingdom, we can see millions people celebrate in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds mass from Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

In the United States, the triumph happened on President Harry Truman's 61st birthday, when he dedicated the victory to the memory of his antecedent, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died less than a month earlier on April 12. Flags remained at half-staff for the rest of the 30-day grief period. Massive celebrations also take place in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami and especially in New York's Times Square.

This Day in History: May 08

On this day, the German troops all through Europe laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists. More than 8,000 soldiers died, and many were surrendered themselves in Copenhagen and Oslo near Berlin, and in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark, later surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. At that time, more surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany. But, the main concern of many German soldiers was to escape from the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken as prisoners.

About one million Germans attempted a mass departure to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia broken, but many were stopped by the Russians and taken to prison. This number was close to two million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.

Soviet Victory Day

The German-Soviet argument would continue into the next day as the Soviet representative in Reims had no authority to sign the German instrument of surrender. Through this argument, the Soviet leadership planned to consider Reims surrender as a "preliminary" act. The surrender ceremony was repeated on May 8 in Berlin, where the instrument of surrender was duly signed by supreme German military commander Wilhelm Bodewin Keitel, Georgy Zhukov, and Allied representatives. It was on May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Thus, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth may in Moscow, when the German military surrender became effective, which is why Russia and the other Soviet republics honor Victory Day on May 9 instead of May 8.