суббота, 7 мая 2011 г.

War chronicles: day-by-day. May 8

From an address by the Supreme Commander in Chief Joseph Stalin:

“In Berlin the representatives of the German High Command have signed the Instrument of Unconditional Surrender of the German armed forces. The Great Patriotic War, which the Soviet people have fought against the Nazi invaders, has been triumphantly won, and Germany has been routed. Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in action for the freedom and independence of our Motherland!”.

Troops of the First Ukrainian Front captured Dresden on May 8th. Soviet tankmen advancing from the west defeated a German tank unit in a head-on battle and forced their way into the western outskirts of Dresden. Other Soviet units captured the northern part of the city. The Nazis suffered heavy casualties in the fighting for Dresden. Up to 2,000 German officers and men were wiped out on the city’s western outskirt, and also 27 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were put out of action.

Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov recalled years later that…

“After signing the Instrument of Unconditional Surrender Keitel said that when driven in a car he was shocked by the destruction that he saw in the streets of Berlin. One of our officers retorted by asking: “Herr Feldmarschall, why weren’t you shocked when thousands of Soviet cities and villages were being wiped off the map on your orders, when millions of our people, including thousands upon thousands of children, died under the wreckage?” Keitel grew pale, nervously shrugged his shoulders but said nothing”.

On that day the US President Harry Truman wrote this in a letter to Joseph Stalin:

“You have shown the ability of a freedom-loving and a most courageous people to defeat the evil forces of barbarity, however powerful these were. On the occasion of our common victory we welcome the people and the armies of the Soviet Union, and their excellent leadership”.

Historical detail…

King George VI of the United Kingdom addressed the nation on the occasion of the Victory Day. He paid tribute to the memory of all men and women who served in the various armed forces and sacrificed their lives, and expressed his gratitude to those who had courageously carried arms, and also to the entire civilian population, which had staunchly and in all humility shouldered such an enormous burden.

Source:The Voice of Russia

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