Events occurring on Tuesday, May 8, 1945  
  The Surrender of Germany  
  The German surrender was ratified at a second signing in Berlin. Signing for Germany was Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Commander in Chief of the Navy Generaladmiral Hans-Georg von Friedeberg, and Colonel General Hans-Jürgen Stumpff representing the Luftwaffe. Signing for the Allies were Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, SHAEF Air Chief Marshal Arthur W. Tedder and Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov, French General F. de Lattre-Tassigny, and General Carl Spaatz of the U. S. Strategic Air Force. Hostilities were to officially end at one minute past midnight on May 9, 1945. This surrender was considered the official end of the war with Germany by the Soviets.  
  In Prague, Czechoslovakia the German forces officially surrendered. Some Waffen SS units continued to resist.  
  German forces continued to resist in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavian partisan army, under Marshal Josip Broz Tito, liberated Zagreb.  
  Crown Prince Olaf landed in Oslo with British and Norwegian troops and proclaimed surrender of all German forces in Norway.  
  In Copenhagen, the heavy cruiser SMS Prinz Eugen, one of only two major German warship still afloat, surrendered.  
  Victory in Europe Day  
  The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill officially announced the end of the war with Germany. In a message broadcast to the nation from the Cabinet room at Number 10, he said the ceasefire had been signed yesterday at the American advance headquarters in Rheims. Listen to the speech.  
  Huge crowds, many dressed in red, white and blue, gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London and were cheered as the King, Queen and two Princesses came out onto the balcony. In a speech by the King he said that “Winston Churchill made a broadcast to the nation, and in his wonderful and dramatic way told us that war was over.”  
  VE-Day was celebrated in Paris with fireworks and extra rations of wine.  
  U.S. President Harry S. Truman announced VE-Day to the American public in a radio broadcast. Truman, who turned 61 that day, dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier, on 12 April. Truman also warned that “Our victory is but half-won. The West is free, but the East is still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese.” Listen to the speech or read the transcript.  
  In Halifax, Canada riots marred VE-Day. The city was overcrowded and filled with navy and army personnel. For months there had been tension - many in the armed forces resented what they considered an indifferent or hostile attitude from the permanent civilian residents in the city. The restaurants and liquor stores in both Halifax and Dartmouth were closed, but once the celebrations began some people began breaking into the liquor stores. What began as small incidents then became widespread vandalism and looting. In the end, three people were dead, 207 shops were looted, a total of 554 businesses damaged and many arrested.  
  In Moscow, the Soviet Union proclaimed that “Victory Day” would begin at midnight, May 9, 1945.  
  The Western Pacific Theater  
  Mines sank the Japanese merchant cargo ship Shuncho Maru south of Futaoi Jima, and damaged the minesweeper W.39, southeast of Futaoi Light. The transport Kotobuki Maru was damaged by a mine off southern Korea.  
  Japanese merchant vessel No.6 Kosho Maru is sunk by aircraft off Hainan Island, China.  
  Allied Submarine Warfare in the Pacific  
  The submarine USS Bowfin (SS 287), commanded by Commander Alexander K. Tyree, torpedoed and sank the Japanese fishing vessel Daito Maru No.3 east-southeast of Todogasaki, Honshu, Japan.  
  The submarine USS Bream (SS 243), commanded by Lt. Commander James L. McCallum, laid mines off Puolo Obi, French Indochina, in the last U.S. Navy submarine mine plant of World War 2.  
  War Criminals  
  Josef Terboven, Reichskommissar during the German military occupation of Norway, committed suicide by detonating 50 kilograms of dynamite in a bunker on the Skaugum estate compound.  
  May 1945 Calendar  
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The objective of is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

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