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King hails war effort as Germany surrenders

By SPP Reporter

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UNYIELDING: A bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime Prime Minister.
UNYIELDING: A bronze statue of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime Prime Minister.

Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, the capitulation being signed by a German emissary at Reims early on Monday, May 7, and Tuesday was observed as VE Day.

After signing the instrument of surrender, General Jodl said: “With this signature the German people and the German armed forces are, for better or worse, delivered into the victors’ hands.”

The King, congratulating General Eisenhower, said: “Eleven months ago, you led the Allied Expeditionary Force across the English Channel, carrying with you the hopes and prayers of millions of men and women of many nations.

“To it was entrusted the task of annihilating the German armies in Western Europe, and of thus liberating the peoples whom they had enslaved.

“All the world now knows that, after fierce and continuous warfare, this force has accomplished its mission with a finality achieved by no other such expedition in history.”

VICTORY! Shout it from the housetops and across the fields and over the seas. Let it resound from end to end of the earth.

Let it echo down the arches of the years. Cry it jubilantly in your hearts and whisper it humbly in your prayers.

This is a victory greater than all the victories of history, greater than all the triumphs of Alexander and Julius Caesar, of Saladin and Genghis Khan, of Napoleon and Wellington.

No battle honours inscribed on our centuries-old colours can compare with this. We have fought the enemy wherever he was to be found. We fought him in the Middle East and North Africa. We fought him in Italy and Greece.

We fought him through France and across the Low Countries until we ran him to earth in his own land, on the soil in which Germany’s dream of world domination lies buried for ever.

EXTRACT from Winston Churchill’s speech confirming the surrender . . .

“ . . almost the whole world was combined against the evil-doers, who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this Island and throughout the British Empire.

“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued.”

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