• COUNTDOWN TO VE DAY 75: 7 MAY 1945

    Seventy-five years ago today, 7 May 1945, the war in Europe was over by the time people woke up. In the early hours of this morning in a room at the technical college of Reims in France that served as his headquarters, Eisenhower took the formal surrender of all remaining German forces in Europe. The German delegation had arrived late on 6 May with the hope of a signing before midnight but negotiations had taken longer than intended. The surrender was to come into effect at 23:01 Central European Time on 8 May 1945 (one minute past midnight on 9 May, given the daylight-saving then in effect – Britain was in the same time zone for the duration). The delay was to allow Russia, whose own army was pushing forward from the east and which was not properly represented at Reims, to be informed and a simultaneous announcement and so news of the agreement was embargoed as a result. Posing for the press immediately afterwards, Eisenhower made a ‘V for Victory’ sign with the pens used in the ceremony. One journalist leaked the story, however, and by this afternoon the secret was out in much of the West. In Britain the public were anxious for confirmation and eventually the government, in hasty consultation with those of the other Western Allies, had to announce that Churchill would speak to the nation at 3pm tomorrow, 8 May. Just a few hours after the signing at Reims, and still an hour before sunrise, the advance party of the RAF’s No.8401 Air Disarmament Wing embarked at Tilbury for the crossing to Ostend in Belgium, including my father. The Wing’s war diary notes that “lifebelts were issued together with a paper vomit bag”, although fortunately the crossing was calm.

    0 Comments

Click blog images to expand; pre-Sept 2011 posts here

L

Chris is one of more than a dozen specialists whose essays fill this fresh examination of the charms of Paris, which is edited by John Flower. Looking at the French capital's history, culture and districts, each item can be read in just half a minute and is beautifully illustrated with its own collage-style spread.

Ivy Press, 2018

ISBN 9781782405443

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.


Get Flash Player