May 7, 2009

Celebrating the Surrender of Germany

NARA's Document of the Day celebrates the 44th anniversary of the surrender of Germany from WWII on May 7, 1945.

WWII Germany Surrender Celebration
"Jubilant American soldier hugs motherly English woman and victory smiles light the faces of happy service men and civilians at Piccadilly Circus, London, celebrating Germany's unconditional surrender. England, May 7, 1945." (ARC Identifier: 531280); Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity, 1754 - 1954; Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1982; Record Group 111; National Archives.

The unconditional surrender of the German Third Reich was signed in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 1945 at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) at Reims in northeastern France. Present were representatives of the four Allied Powers—France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States—and the three Germany officers delegated by German President Karl Doenitz—Gen. Alfred Jodl, who had alone been authorized to sign the surrender document; Maj. Wilhelm Oxenius, an aide to Jodl; and Adm. Hans-Georg von Friedeburg, one of the German chief negotiators. Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, SHAEF chief of staff, led the Allied delegation as the representative of General Eisenhower, who had refused to meet with the Germans until the surrender had been accomplished.

This image got me poking around the World War II Army Air Force Photos on Footnote. Here are a couple of interesting ones.

Voting on a Downed Nazi Plane
US Serviceman reviewing a ballot while sitting on the tail wing of a downed German plane.

Queen Elizabeth meets with US Airmen of the 379th Bomb Group, 6 July 1944
Britain's Queen Elizabeth meets with US Servicemen.

Occasionally, when looking through these photos we come across some color ones. Today after looking through a few of them I decided to create a Footnote Page where I could collect them.

I'll keep adding to the page, and if you find any, you are welcome to add them too.

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