January 1, 1970

The crossing of the Rhine in March 1945 was followed by the final German collapse. On 3 May, more than half a million soldiers surrendered to Montgomery. Another million followed: on 4 May, Admiral von Friedeberg, with three other representatives of the German armed forces, met at Montgomery’s headquarters on Luneburg Heath, just south of Hamburg, to sign the surrender of all German forces in north-west Germany, Holland and Demark, signaling a ceasefire.

Over the next few days, it became clear that victory in Europe was inevitable. Excitement in Britain was growing but her people had to wait until 7 May – and then the formal announcement of unconditional surrender on 8 May, and VE Day – before they could celebrate in earnest.


copyright: British Pathé

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