||Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey dies in
plane crash near Paris and becomes the fourth prominent allied
leader to die like this.
||The U.S. First Army counter-attacks
on the northern side of the Ardennes salient.
||The U.S. Third Army counter-attacks
towards Houffalize, on the southern side of the Ardennes salient.
||British troops capture Laroche, 20
miles Northwest of Bastogne.
||The German 'Nordwind' offensive is
stopped 13 miles from Strasbourg. British and U.S. forces link
up in the Laroche area.
||The U.S. First Army attack the Germans
between Stavelot and Malmady.
|| The British Second Army attacks the
Germans East of Maas, as the U.S. First and Third Armies meet
at Houffalize. The German offensive in the Ardennes is on its
||Hitler orders that all divisional
sized and larger attacks, or retreats must have his approval.
||The French First Army under de Lattre
attacks against the Colmar Pocket in Alsace.
||The Ardennes salient is finally eradicated.
||The allied thrust into
Rhineland continues with the capture of Oberhausen, 10 miles
Northeast of Duisberg. Vidkun Quisling meets Hitler in Berlin for
the last time.
||The U.S. First Army takes
Remscheid, 20 miles to the East of Düsseldorf. The U.S.
Seventh Army reaches Moder and Siegfried Line.
||French troops occupy Colmar.
||The U.S. First Army takes the first
of seven Ruhr dams. Belgium is now reported as completely free
of German troops.
||The Germans blow up the floodgates
in the Ruhr, flooding the area West of Cologne and preventing
the use of assault floating bridges by Allies.
||50,000 British and Canadians troops
with 500 tanks and 1,034 guns launch a new offensive into the
Reichswald, to the Southeast of Nijmegen.
||British and Canadians troops smash
the first of the main Siegfried Line defence zones. The last
Rhine bridge is blown in the Colmar Pocket. Half the German
Nineteenth Army were evacuated, but General De Lattre's forces
have taken 22,000 German prisoners since the 20th January.
||The U.S. First Army captures the seventh
and most important Ruhr dam.
||British and Canadians troops advancing
from Southeast Holland take Cleve in western Germany.
||Canadian and British troops reach
the Rhine, 40 miles Northwest of Duisberg.
||The U.S. Third Army launches a new
offensive into Germany, having pierced the Siegfried Line on
a 11-mile front.
||The US Ninth Army begins an offensive
from its bridgeheads on the Roer river leading to the bloody
battle of the Hürtgen Forest.
||A haggard and aged-looking Hitler
addresses his Gauleiters and Reichsleiters for what proves
to be the last time in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin on the
occasion of the 25th anniversary of the proclamation of the
Nazi Party program. Perhaps sensitive to the likelihood of
public scepticism and derision, he refuses to allow the speech
to be broadcast or even reported to the public at large.
||The attacks by the US Ninth Army into
the Hürtgen Forest make little progress.
||SHAEF reports that spectacular gains
by the U.S. First and Ninth Armies on the Cologne Plain have
||The US Ninth Army achieves a breakthrough
near Erkelenz 30 miles to the West of Cologne, but loses 100
tanks in the process.
||The US Ninth Army captures
München-Gladbach and Rheydt west of the Rhine.
||Armoured spearheads of the US Ninth
Army reach the Rhine near Neuss. The U.S. Third Army captures
Trier on the Moselle.
||Units of the Canadian First Army capture
Xanten on the lower Rhine in the battle of the Reichswald.
The US First Army captures Krefeld.
||Advance patrols of the U.S. First
Army reach Cologne. Germany is now conscripting 15 and 16-year-olds
into the regular army.
||The U.S. Third Army reaches the Rhine
Northwest of Koblenz, as Cologne falls to U.S. First Army.
||The U.S. 9th Armoured Division makes
a surprise dash across the undestroyed Rhine bridge at Remagen,
establishing a crucial bridgehead on the East bank.
||British and Canadian troops involved
in Operation 'Blockbuster' enter Xanten on the Rhine after
several days of heavy fighting further to the South U.S. troops
||The U.S. First Army widens the Remagen
bridgehead. The US Third Army captures Andernach on the Rhine.
||Field Marshal Kesselring replaces
Field Marshal von Rundstedt as C-in-C of German forces in the
West. German troops evacuate Wesel on the lower Rhine. The
US Third Army captures Bonn.
||The US third Army captures Kochem
on the lower Moselle river.
||The U.S. Third Army crosses the Moselle,
Southwest of Koblenz.
||Attacks by troops of the US First
Army to expand the Remagen bridgehead further, meet with little
||The U.S. Third Army takes Koblenz.
The Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, seized by US troops on the
7th March, suddenly collapses, killing dozens of US Army engineers
working to reinforce it.
||The US Third Army captures Boppard
on the Rhine.
||The U.S. Seventh Army take Worms,
60 miles to the Southeast of Koblenz. Hitler orders the demolition
of all German industrial, utility and transport facilities
in danger of falling into enemy hands; this order (Verbrannte
Erde Scorched Earth) is sabotaged by armaments minister Speer
and most local commanders.
||The U.S. Seventh Army takes Saarbrücken.
||Units of the U.S. First Army advances
from the Remagen bridgehead toward Siegburg.
||The U.S. First Army's bridgehead at
Remagen is now 30 miles long. Units of the US Third Army cross
the Rhine at Oppenheim south of Mainz against minimal German
||The U.S. Third Army crosses the Rhine
North of Worms, as the British Second and Canadian First Armies
begin their assault across the Rhine above the Ruhr.
||Montgomery's 21st Army Group attacks
across the Rhine, 15 miles North of Duisberg in the Wesel area,
after 3,500-gun barrage. 16,870 paratroops land across the
river Rhine in Operation 'Plunder' and succeed in linking up
with advancing British troops and establishing four bridgeheads.
The US Third Army captures Speyer and Ludwigshafen on the upper
||The U.S. First Army breaks out of
the Remagen bridgehead. The British Second Army captures Wesel
which has been nearly 100% destroyed by Allied bombing.
||The U.S. Third Army reaches Main and
establishes contact with U.S. Seventh Army on the East side
of Rhine, near Worms. The US Third Army captures Darmstadt.
||The allied bridgehead north of Ruhr
is now 700 square miles. 16,257 POW's are taken for 6,781 allied
casualties in four days. The U.S. Third Army captures Aschaffenburg.
|| The British Second Army begin its
drive towards the Elbe as the U.S. First Army captures Marburg,
60 miles Northeast of Koblenz. The US Third Army captures Limburg
on the Lahn.
||The U.S. Seventh Army takes Mannheim
and the U.S. Third Army takes Wiesbaden and Frankfurt.
||The U.S. First Army begins a 3 day
battle for Paderborn.
||The Germans start pulling out of Holland.
The French First Army crosses the Rhine for first time since
Napoleon. The US Third Army reaches Siegen 20 miles East of
||The U.S. First and Ninth
Armies link up at Lippstadt cutting off a third of a million
German troops in the Ruhr area. The U.S. First Army enters
Hamm, 40 miles Northeast of Essen.
||The British 7th Armoured Division
enters Rhine on Dortmund-Ems canal, 60 miles Northeast of Essen.
||The British Second Army reaches Münster;
the U.S. Ninth Army captures Recklinghausen in the Ruhr, while
the US First Army takes Fulda and Kassel.
||The US Third Army advancing toward
Leipzig takes Suhl and Gotha and finally clears Kassel of German
resistance. The British Second Army captures Osnabrück.
The French First Army enters Karlsruhe.
||Eighteen U.S. divisions begin the
clearance of Ruhr Pocket. The French First Army captures Karlsruhe
on the upper Rhine.
||The U.S. First Army takes Göttingen,
25 miles Northeast of Kassel. The US Ninth Army captures Hameln
||A British SAS Brigade paratroops into
eastern Holland, to clear the way for Canadians troops who
are moving North. The British Second Army reaches Hildesheim,
while the US Seventh Army captures Pforzheim near the upper
||The Canadian First Army continues
its push North into Holland, taking Deventer, 30 miles North
of Nijmegen. The British Second Army takes Wildenhausen, 20
miles Southwest of Bremen. The U.S. Ninth Army takes Hanover.
||The U.S. Third Army takes the historic
town of Weimar. The British Second Army takes Celle, 30 miles
Northeast of Hanover, cutting the road to Hamburg. The U.S.
Ninth Army capture Essen, Bochum and Goslar in the Harz Mountains.
The U.S. Seventh Army reaches Schweinfurt, 80 miles to the
East of Frankfurt.
||The U.S. Ninth Army crosses the Elbe,
taking Brunswick. The U.S. Third Army takes Erfurt. French
troops take Baden-Baden on the southern flank. The U.S. 6th
Armoured Division overruns Buchenwald concentration camp. The
British Second Army captures Celle 60 miles to the South of
||A local truce is declared near Celle
so that the British Second Army can take over the notorious
Belsen concentration camp. The U.S. Ninth Army clears the Duisberg
Pocket. The US Third Army captures Erfurt and Weimar.
||U.S. troops split the Ruhr Pocket
in two at Hagen. Glider troops capture the ex-German Chancellor
von Papen at a hunting-lodge near Stockhausen along with three
generals. The French launch a final assault on the trapped
German garrison at Bordeaux. The British Second Army reaches
the outskirts of Bremen, while the US Third Army captures Gera
and Bayreuth. The Canadian First Army assumes military control
of the Netherlands where German forces are now trapped in the
Atlantic wall fortifications along the coastline.
||The Canadian First Army reaches the
coast in northern Holland and captures Arnhem in the South.
The US First Army captures Leuna and Merseburg in Saxony, while
the French First Army captures Kehl and Offenburg on the upper
|| In northern Holland the Canadians
take Harlingen, 50 miles Northeast of Amsterdam and occupies
Leeuwarden and Groningen. The US First Army captures Solingen
||The Ruhr pocket is finally annihilated,
with 317,000 Germans being captured, including 29 generals.
The U.S. Ninth Army takes Magdeburg. The U.S. First Army enters
Düsseldorf. General De Lattre’s French troops link
up at Freudenstadt behind the Black Forest. The British Second
Army captures Ülzen and Lüneburg. The US Third Army
captures Nürnberg advancing units across the German/Czechoslovakian
||The British Second Army reaches the
Elbe and launches an attack on Bremen. The U.S. First Army
captures Leipzig and Halle, 50 miles South of Magdeburg. On
the eve of Hitler's 56th birthday, Dr. Goebbels exhorts the
nation and predicts that in spite of all misfortunes Germany
will yet prevail, that the "perverse coalition between
Bolshevism and Plutocracy" is about to break up, and that
it is Adolf Hitler ("Our Hitler!") who will still
turn back the tide and save Europe, as he has thus far, from
falling into the clutches of the Kremlin.
||The U.S. Seventh Army takes Nuremberg.
||The U.S. Ninth Army captures Blankenburg,
80 miles to the East of Kassel. The U.S. First Army take Dessau.
The French First Army captures Stuttgart along with 28,000
prisoners and crosses the Danube. Field Marshal Model, commits
suicide. German troops keep up their resistance around Elbingerode
in the Harz Mountains.
||The U.S. First and Ninth Armies clear
all German resistance in the Harz Mountains, 40 miles Southwest
of Magdeburg. The U.S. Seventh Army captures a bridge across
the Danube. The British Second Army is fighting in the outskirts
of Bremen. The U.S. Third Army starts its drive down the Danube
valley as the French First Army reaches Lake Constance on the
Swiss/ German border. Hitler, ignoring the pleas of his entourage,
decides to stay in his bunker at Berlin to await the inevitable
||Dessau is reported as clear of German
troops. The British Second Army reaches Harburg across the
Elbe from Hamburg. Frankfurt is captured. Goring telegraphs
Hitler saying that he will take over command as Hitler’s
Deputy. Hitler says he must resign all his posts and orders
Goring’s arrest. Reichsführer-SS Himmler begins
secret negotiations for a separate peace in the West with Count
Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross.
||The British Second and Canadian First
Armies enter Bremen. The U.S. First Army liberates Dachau concentration
camp. The US Seventh Army crosses the Danube at Dillingen and
||The U.S. Third Army crosses the Danube,
70 miles Northeast of Munich. The RAF attacks the ‘Eagle’s
Nest’, Hitler’s chalet and the SS barracks at Berchtesgarten.
Troops of the U.S. Ninth Army and the Soviet 1st Ukrainian
Front meet on the Elbe at Torgau, 100 miles Southwest of Berlin.
||German troops at Bremen surrender
to the British and Canadians. Allied troops now line the Swiss
border from Basle to Lake Constance. The U.S. Third Army takes
Regensburg on the Danube. Goering’s fall from grace announced
in Germany, General Ritter von Greim is to replace him.
||The U.S. First Army captures Straubing
and Kempten in Bavaria.
||The Canadian First Army captures Emden
and Wilhelmshaven, while the U.S. Seventh Army takes Augsburg
and reaches the Austrian border to the South. Hitler marries
his mistress, Eva Braun, and dictates his political testament
in which he justifies the political and military actions of
his 12-year-rule, blaming the war on international Jewry and
exhorting the German people even after defeat to adhere to
the principles of National Socialism, especially its racial
laws. Grossadmiral Dönitz is appointed as his successor.
||The British Second Army crosses the
Elbe near Hamburg, less than 100 miles west of the Russian
forces in Mecklenburg. The U.S. Seventh Army reaches Munich.
The French First Army captures Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance.
||Hitler commits suicide with Eva Braun.
The U.S. Third Army liberates 110,000 POW's in the Moosburg
area, Northeast of Munich. The U.S. Seventh Army clears Munich
and the French takes Friedrichshafen and cross into Austria.
The U.S. First Army meet the Russians at Ellenburg, South of
Berlin. The British Second Army liberates 20,000 prisoners
(two third POW's and one third political prisoners) from Sandbostel
camp in northern Germany.
||Grossadmiral Dönitz, following
the death of Hitler, assumes his duties as the new German head
of state. The U.S. Ninth and British Second Armies link bridgeheads
over the Elbe. General Walther Wenck’s Twelfth Army falls
back to Elbe with wounded and refugees and try's to negotiate
with U.S. forces. The U.S. Third Army reaches the German/Austrian
border at Braunan, 70 miles East of Munich.
|| The British Second Army reaches Lübeck.
The first lorry convoys carrying relief supplies to occupied
Holland are allowed through German lines.
||German envoys meet Montgomery at his
HQ on Lüneburg Heath, South of Hamburg to discuss peace.
The envoys return to Donitz and recommend unconditional surrender
of all forces facing the 21st Army Group. The German defence
system in NW Germany is now in chaos as troops, civilians and
refugees pour west to escape the Russian advance. General Wolz
surrenders Hamburg to the British Second Army and declares
Hamburg an open city. The U.S. Ninth Army makes contact with
the Russians in the Wismar area. The U.S. Third Army crosses
the river Inn, while the U.S. Seventh Army captures Innsbruck
and reaches the Brenner Pass.
||Admiral von Friedeburg arrives at
Montgomery’s HQ on Lüneburg Heath with German plenipotentiaries.
At 8.15pm SHAEF announce that ‘Field Marshal Montgomery
has reported to the supreme allied command that all enemy forces
in Holland, Northwest Germany and Denmark, have surrendered.
The U.S. Ninth Army breaks up the German Ninth and Twelfth
Armies. The U.S. Seventh Army takes Innsbruck, Salzburg and
Berchtesgarten, which is still smoking after an RAF raid. Field-Marshal
von Kleist gives himself up to the U.S. Third Army near Straubing.
||Admiral von Friedeburg arrives at
General Eisenhower’s HQ in Rheims. General Blaskowitz,
the German C-in-C of the Netherlands, surrenders at a ceremony
in the small Dutch town of Wagenungen in the presence of Prince
Bernhard. The first British victory salvo of war is fired at
3pm from Montgomery’s HQ. Amsterdam is liberated. Eisenhower
announces the capitulation of German Army Group ‘C’,
which was covering the front from Linz to Swiss frontier. The
U.S. Third Army takes Pilsen, Karlsbad and prepares to drive
||The German Chief-of-Staff, General
Jodl, signs Germany's unconditional surrender to the western
allies and Russia at 2:41am. Operations are to cease at 1 minute
after midnight (GMT) on the 8th May. British troops enter Utrecht
to a tumultuous reception.
||VE-Day (Victory-in-Europe Day).
||The German garrisons at Lorient, St
Nazaire and La Rochelle on the French Atlantic Coast finally
surrender. Reich Marshal Goring and his wife, children and
staff, surrender to Brigadier General Stack, of the U.S. 36th
Division, near Salzburg. Field Marshal Kesselring, C-in-C West,
is captured by U.S. troops at the village of Saalfelden, in
||The German garrison at Dunkirk surrenders
to Czech troops.
||Vienna radio announces the re-establishment
of the Austrian Republic. The Anschluss with Germany is declared
null and void. British troops occupy the German island of Heligoland
in the North Sea.
||The British Second Army arrest Himmler
(in disguise) at Bremervorde.
||Montgomery is appointed as C-in-C
of the British force of occupation in Germany and a British
member of the allied control commission.
||British troops arrest the Donitz government
and the remnants of the German High Command at Flensburg. Himmler
commits suicide at the British Second Army HQ on Lüneburg
||SHAEF in Paris says that
there are an estimated 4.25 million displaced persons in the
Anglo-American zone, of which only 1.39 million have so far
been repatriated, most of these to Western Europe.
||The four allied powers
sign a declaration on the defeat of Germany, which divides
the country into four zones.
||The Anniversary of D-Day, sees Eisenhower
order a holiday for troops in Europe. Allied casualties from
D-Day to VE-Day were 776,967 of which 141,590 killed.
||SHAEF reveal the details of the German
plans to exterminate all Jews in Europe by the summer 1946.
||The allies announce the division of
Austria into four administrative zones. British Second Army
in Germany is to be disbanded and sent back to Britain.
||SHAEF says of the 5.8m
displaced persons (found in the Anglo-American Zone, 3.26m
have been repatriated and 2.53m, mostly Eastern Europeans)
still remain in repatriation camps.
||The first Bastille Day for five years
is celebrated enthusiastically by the French.
||The French collaboration trials have
so far resulted in 1,629 death sentences, 757 hard labour for
life, 5,328 other hard labour, 1,136 solitary confinement,
11,073 prison sentences, 22,137 to suffer national degradation
and 3,564 acquitted.
||The Belgians announce
that 2,117 collaborators have been sentenced to death, out
of 16,000 found guilty.
||The Nazi party is officially
declared illegal in Germany.
||General Patton is removed from command
for remarks that were allegedly sympathetic to former Nazis.
||The U-boat pens in Hamburg
are blown up by British Engineers using German explosives.
||The institute of France
awards Churchill a gold medal.
||General de Gaulle is elected head
of the provisional French government.
||76 German industrialists
who helped Hitler are arrested.
||General Patton is seriously injured
in car crash in Germany.
||General Patton dies from his injuries.