Ԫ HyperWar: German Surrender Documents

NATIONAL ARCHIVES PUBLICATION

 

NO. 46-4

 

United States Government Printing Office, Washington, 1945

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office,

Washington 25, D.C. Price 30 cents


GERMANY SURRENDERS

UNCONDITIONALLY

 

FACSIMILES OF THE DOCUMENTS

 

The National Archives

 

The Exhibition Hall of the National Archives
The Exhibition Hall of the National Archives

TABLE OF CONTENTS

        Page
Germany surrenders unconditionally 1
Radio script of the ceremonies opening the exhibit of the surrender documents 2
Fascimiles of the documents 5
    Instrument of surrender of all German forces in Holland, northwest Germany, and Denmark, signed at Lüneburg on May 4, 1945 7
  Reichspresident Donitz's authorization to Colonel General Jodl to conclude a general surrender 8
  Instrument of surrender of all German forces, signed at Reims on May 7, 1945 9
  Orders relating to the surrender of the German Army and Air Forces 11
  Orders relating to the surrender of the German Naval Forces 12
  Agreement to execute a formal ratification of the unconditional surrender, signed by Jodl at Reims 30
  Reichspresident Dönitz's authorization to German representatives to execute ratification 31
  Instrument of surrender signed at Berlin on May 8, 1945 32
  Instrument of surrender signed at Berlin (in Russian) 35
  Instrument of surrender signed at Berlin (in German) 38
  President Truman's VE-day proclamation 40


Germany Surrenders Unconditionally

BEFORE the might of Allied arms, vaunted Festung Europa, Fortress Europe, crumbled into final ruin in the spring of 1945 and its Nazi masters died ignominiously or slunk into hiding like the criminals they are, leaving substitute fuehrers to yield in unconditional surrender. Thus the Nazi revolution against the morals of modern civilization came to an end. It came so close to succeeding, however, that the testimony of its failure, the surrender documents signed at Lüneburg, Reims, and Berlin, will remain forever among the most significant records of our times.

Squirming under the heels of the victorious Allied Expeditionary Force and the conquering Red Army, the Germans, in the vain hope of obtaining a softer peace, sought to surrender only to the AEF. At Lüneburg, Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery sternly rejected the bid for a surrender of the German armies in Holland, northwest Germany, and Denmark to the AEF alone. Trapped, General Admiral Hans Georg von Friedeburg, who had become head of the German Navy when Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz succeeded Hitler as Reichspresident, consequently yielded those armies to all the Allies when he surrendered to Montgomery on Liineburg Heath on May 4, 1945, 3 days before the general surrender at Reims. Kinzel, G. Wagner, Poleck, and Friedel also signed this document.

On May 5, General Admiral von Friedeburg arrived at General Dwight D. Eisenhower's AEF Headquarters at Reims. Final capitulation was expected at once, but again the Admiral tried to avoid surrendering to the Soviet High Command. He claimed he had no authority to do so. Lieutenant General Walter Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff to General Eisenhower, for whom he acted, refused to consider such a partial surrender, and finally Von Friedeburg asked Reichspresident Dönitz to authorize him to accept the Allied terms or to send someone who could. Colonel General Alfred Jodl was so authorized and flew to Reims.

It was nearly 3 a. m., 0241 hours, on May 7 when the unconditional surrender of "all forces on land, sea, and in the air" under German control was signed by Jodl for the German High Command, by Smith for the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and by General Ivan Sousloparov for the Soviet High Command. General François Sevez of the French Army witnessed the signing. Military operations were to cease, the document provided, on May 8 at 2301 hours, central European time. Orders were issued at Reims for the carrying out of the surrender of the German Army and Air Forces on the Western Front, in Norway, and in the Channel Islands, and, in a document signed by Admiral Sir Harold M. Burrough, the surrender of the German Naval Forces, including the U-Boat Fleet, was provided for. Besides the general surrender document, Jodl signed an agreement that representatives of the German High Command would meet later to execute a formal ratification of the surrender. For this purpose Dönitz designated General Field Marshal Keitel, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces High Command and Commander in Chief of the Army, General Admiral von Friedeburg, Commander in Chief of the Navy, and Colonel General Hans Jürgen Stumpff, representative of the Commander in Chief of the Air Forces.

The ratification meeting took place on May 8 in Berlin. There another instrument of surrender, which except for one or two additions repeated the Reims document, was signed by the German officers named by the Reichspresident, by Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder for the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and by Marshal Georgi Zhukov for the Supreme High Command of the Red Army. Carl Spaatz, Commanding General of the United States Strategic Air Forces, and F. de Lattre-Tassigny, Commanding General of the First

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French Army, were witness. The Berlin surrender was drawn up in English, Russian, and German, but it was specified that only the English and Russian texts were "authentic."

Victory in Europe became official in the United States on May 8, 1945. On that day President Truman issued a proclamation proclaiming the end of the war in Europe and designating Sunday, May 13, as a day of prayer and thanksgiving.

Shortly after VE-day, the Archivist of the United States discussed with President Truman the desirability of exhibiting the VE-day proclamation and the German surrender documents as a symbol of what a democratic people, allied with other nations believing in freedom, can accomplish. The President approved and the Combined Chiefs of Staff made the surrender papers available to the National Archives. The proclamation was in the files of the Division of the Federal Register of the National Archives.

The documents were placed on public view for the first time on June 6, the first anniversary of D-day, when they were added to an exhibit on "President Roosevelt and International Cooperation for War and Peace" already on display in the Exhibition Hall of the National Archives. Except for President Truman's proclamation, these momentous documents, which are reproduced herein in facsimile, are not in the least impressive in appearance. They are not beribboned nor do they bear the seals associated with important state papers. Yet, in spite of their ordinary appearance, they mark the end of an evil tyranny that threatened to dominate the world.

Radio Script of the Ceremonies Opening the Exhibit of the Surrender Documents

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, from the Exhibition Hall of the National Archives Building in our Nation's Capital is brought to you a special ceremony in celebration of the first anniversary of D-day, during which the original German surrender documents will be placed on public display.

This is indeed a beautiful setting. The hall is semicircular in shape and its ceiling is a half dome 75 feet above the floor. On the north side of the room facing the entrance is a marble shrine in which hangs the American flag that was raised above Rome on the day of its capture. In front of this is a large center case containing the German surrender documents, which the Combined Chiefs of Staff have turned over to the National Archives for public exhibition. Around the walls on each side of this case are smaller display cases. Above them to the right and left are two large murals by Barry Faulkner, one depicting a scene in connection with the Declaration of Independence and the other showing the submission of the draft of the Constitution to the Convention.

During the ceremony the German surrender documents signed at Lüneburg, at Reims, and at Berlin will be made available for public inspection. The case holding them will be unveiled by Major General Anthony C. McAuliffe, a resident of Washington, and the documents will be accepted for public exhibition by Dr. Solon J. Buck, Archivist of the United States. Senator Edwin C. Johnson, of Colorado, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Military Affairs Committee, will be the master of ceremonies.

And now, the next voice you will hear will be that of Dr. Solon J. Buck, Archivist of the United States.

THE ARCHIVIST: Ladies and gentlemen, it affords me genuine pleasure to welcome you to the National Archives on this significant occasion. I am happy to have the honor and the privilege of introducing to you Senator Edwin C. Johnson, of Colorado, representing the Senate Military Affairs Committee, who will serve as master of ceremonies.

SENATOR JOHNSON: On June 6, 1944, one of the most difficult and amazing military feats in the history of warfare was successfully carried out. One year ago today our troops and those of our allies landed on the fire-raked

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beaches of Normandy. All of us are familiar with the story of that operation. None of us has forgotten, or is likely to forget, the thrill that came to all America with the news of that invasion. Eleven months thereafter those fighting men, under the inspired leadership of that American military genius, General Eisenhower, with the assistance of the valiant Red Army, had beaten Germany into unconditional surrender. It is extremely fitting, therefore, on this, the first anniversary of D-day, that the documentary evidence of that unconditional surrender that brought to a disastrous end Hitler's dream of world conquest and rid the world of the evils of nazism should be placed on public display.

It is very appropriate, too, that they should be displayed in the Exhibition Hall of the National Archives to supplement the exhibit of material already on display relating to the efforts of our late beloved leader, President Roosevelt, to bring the war to a successful conclusion and to win lasting world peace. These surrender documents, signed at Lüneburg, Reims, and Berlin, constitute tangible evidence of the consummation of one of President Roosevelt's primary objectives--the complete defeat of Germany--and it is altogether fitting that they should be made a part of this exhibit that reflects so vividly the high ideals and noble efforts of President Roosevelt to make the world a better place in which to live.

This is indeed a significant occasion, and I commend the Combined Chiefs of Staff for making these documents available and the National Archives for placing them on public display.

We are honored to have with us a number of distinguished representatives of the War and Navy Departments. Rear Admiral J. L. McCrea, who served as naval aide to the late President Roosevelt, and Rear Admiral M. B. Gardner, who has just returned from the command of a submarine force in the Pacific, are present to represent the Navy Department.

And now it is my privilege to present to you a distinguished military leader, just back from Europe, who will speak for the War Department and unveil the case in which are displayed the German surrender documents. All of you are familiar with the heroic saga of Bastogne and with the successful stand made there by a mere handful of brave fighting men. I am indeed honored to introduce to you the intrepid commander of our embattled garrison at Bastogne, who, in response to a German demand to surrender, sent the now famous reply, "Nuts!" Ladies and gentlemen, Major General Anthony C. McAuliffe.

MAJOR GENERAL McAULIFFE: Senator Johnson, Dr. Buck, ladies and gentlemen. I am indeed honored, as representative of the Secretary of War, to assist in officially unveiling the German unconditional surrender documents. These documents are testimony, now and forever, that the American soldier, bound to a just cause, and backed up by the labor and industry of America, can and will overcome any evil force on earth no matter how strong, or how long in power. These documents also are a promise of the future, the unhappy future that lies ahead for our bitter enemy, Japan. On this first anniversary of D-day, I know I speak from the heart of every American soldier when I say we are proud of the part we played to help bring these documents here. And I know, too, I speak for them when I say we cannot rest until the military might of that enemy in the Pacific is destroyed and peace is once more restored to this earth.

SENATOR JOHNSON: Thank you, General McAuliffe. The American people are indeed fortunate that our armed forces, of whom we are so proud, are under the command of men like you, who provide such undaunted leadership. And now it is my privilege to present to you the Archivist of the United States, who will accept these historic documents for public display and who will read a message from the President of the United States. Ladies and gentlemen, the Archivist of the United States, Dr. Solon J. Buck.

THE ARCHIVIST: Senator Johnson, General McAuliffe, ladies and gentlemen. It is with deep gratitude, General McAuliffe, that the National Archives receives from you, as a representative of the American armed forces, these tokens of Germany's unconditional surrender. Here in a few sheets of paper is recorded history's greatest triumph over the forces of evil. Here is recorded the end, at last, of a tyranny that, having enslaved the peoples of Germany and of Europe, reached out to enslave the world. We shall remember, as we read these documents, what was sacrificed to win the victory

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they symbolize. We shall remember the bloody roads that stretched from Stalingrad and Salerno and Normandy to Berlin. We shall remember what price our sons and allies paid in suffering and lives to wring this admission of utter defeat from the leaders of nazidom.

The exhibit to which these documents are added--"President Roosevelt and International Cooperation for War and Peace"--was planned while Franklin Roosevelt still lived, to record the long steps that had been taken, from the earliest days of lend-lease through the Conference at Yalta, to organize a world freed from tyranny and the threat of tyranny--a world in which nations could live together in peace and in which each tomorrow would bring for all people not fear but hope. Perhaps only in such a democracy as this could documents recording that hard-won progress be laid so promptly before the people who helped achieve it.

The surrender documents and President Truman's proclamation of victory in Europe complete one part of the story recorded in this room. But that story is not ended, nor will the task of any of us be done until the time when there can also he laid here before the people the tokens of the complete surrender of our enemies in the Pacific and the charter of a new union of the peace-loving nations of the world.

President Truman has asked me to express his regret that he could not be here today. He has sent a message, however, which he asked me to read in his behalf. This is his message:

"The placing on public view of the documents that mark the unconditional surrender of Germany is a significant occasion. It is fitting that it should take place on the first anniversary of D-day, the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. The people of the Nation--the peoples of the United Nations--are profoundly thankful that this anniversary sees the hostilities on that front at an end. These documents are a symbol of that victory, an eloquent tribute to the courageous men, living and dead, who made it possible.

"In our satisfaction over one goal won, however, we cannot forget that the world is not yet rid of the scourge of oppression and brutality. The triumph of Allied arms in Europe is being matched in the Pacific, but it is not for victory on the battlefields alone that we fight. Until liberty, justice, and an enduring peace are won, complete victory will not be ours."

 

In September the German surrender documents were transferred to the legal custody of the Archivist of the United States for permanent preservation.

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Facsimiles of the Documents

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 Instrument of Surrender

of

All German armed forces in HOLLAND, in

northwest Germany including all islands,

and in DENMARK.

  1. The German Command agrees to the surrender of all German armed forces in HOLLAND, in northwest GERMANY including the FRISIAN ISLANDS and HELIGOLAND and all other islands, in SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN, and in DENMARK, to the C.-in-C. 21 Army Group. This to include all naval ships in these areas. These forces to lay down their arms and to surrender unconditionally.

  2. All hostilities on land, on sea, or in the air by German forces in the above areas to cease at 0800 hrs. British Double Summer Time on Saturday 5 May 1945.

  3. The German command to carry out at once, and without argument or comment, all further orders that will be issued by the Allied Powers on any subject.

  4. Disobedience of orders, or failure to comply with them, will be regarded as a breach of these surrender terms and will be dealt with by the Allied Powers in accordance with the accepted laws and usages of war.

  5. This instrument of surrender is independent of, without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by or on behalf of the Allied Powers and applicable to Germany and the German armed forces as a whole.

  6. This instrument of surrender is written in English and in German. The English version is the authentic text.

  7. The decision of the Allied Powers will be final if any doubt or dispute arises as to the meaning or interpretation of the surrender terms.

/signed/ B. L. Montgomery Field Marshal

/signed/ Friedeburg

/signed/ Kinzel

/signed/ J. Wagner

/signed/ Friedel

/signed/ Poleck

7 May 1945 1830 hrs

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 Hauptquartier,den G. Mai 1945.

Ich bevollmächtige Generaloberst Jodl, Chef des Wehrmachtführungsstabes im Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, zum Abschluss eines Waffenstillstandsabkommens mit dem Hauptquartier des Generals Eisenhower.

Seal /signed/Dönitz
Großadmiral

 

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Only this text in English is authoritative

ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER

  1. We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command all forces on land, sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control.

  2. The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European time on 8 May and to remain in the positions occupied at that time. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment.

  3. The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commanders, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Soviet High Command.

  4. This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.

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  1. In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Soviet High Command will take such punitive or other action as they deem appropriate.

Signed at Rheims, France at 0241 on the 7th day of May, 1945.

On behalf of the German High Command.

/signed/ Jodl

IN THE PRESENCE OF

On behalf of the Supreme Commander,
Allied Expeditionary Force
.
On behalf of the Soviet
High Command.
/signed/ W.B.Smith /signed/ Sousloparov
 
/signed/ Sevez
Major General, French Army
(Witness)
 

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SUPREME HEADQUARTERS

ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

SERIAL 1

ORDERS BY THE SUPREME COMMANDER

ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE RELATING TO

ARMY AND AIR FORCES UNDER GERMAN CONTROL

  1.  Local commanders of Array and Air Forces under German control on the Western Front, in NORWAY and in the CHANNEL ISLANDS will hold themselves in readiness to receive detailed orders for the surrender of their forces from the Supreme Commander's subordinate commanders opposite their front.

  2. In the case of NORWAY the Supreme Commander's representatives will be the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Scottish Command and Air Officer Commanding 13 Group RAF.

  3. In the case of the CHANNEL ISLANDS the Supreme Commander's representatives will be the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Command and Air Officer Commanding 10 Group RAF.

Signed Walter B. Smith

For the Supreme Commander, AEF.

Dated 0241 7th May 1945.

Rheims France

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 SPECIAL ORDERS BY THE SUPREME COMMANDER, ALLIED

EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND

RELATING TO NAVAL FORCES

 

For the purpose of these orders the tens "Allied Representatives" shall be deemed to include the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, and any subordinate commander, staff officer or agent acting pursuant to his orders.

 

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SPECIAL ORDER BY THE SUPREME COMMANDER, ALLIED

EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND

RELATING TO NAVAL FORCES

 

PART I GENERAL

Definition of Naval Forces

  1. For the purpose of these orders all formations, units and personnel of the German Navy together with the Marine Kusten Polizei may be referred to as the German Naval Forces.

  2. Members of the Marine Kusten Polizei will immediately be planed under the command of the appropriate German Naval Commanders who will be responsible for their disarmament and discipline, as well as for their maintenance and supply where applicable, to the same extent and degree as for units of the German Navy. German Naval Representatives and information required immediately

  3. The German High Command will despatch within 48 hours after the surrender becomes effective, a responsible Flag Officer to the Allied Naval Commander, Expeditionary Force at his Headquarter. This Flag Officer will furnish the Allied Naval Commander, Expeditionary Force, with:-

    1. Corrected copies of charts showing all minefields in Western European waters, including the BALTIC as far as LUBECK (inclusive) which have been laid by German and German-controlled vessels or aircraft, positions of all wrecks, booms and other underwater obstructions in this area, details of the German convoy routes and searched channels and of all buoys, lights and other navigational aids in this area. The appropriate navigational publications are also required.

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    1. Details of the exact location of all departments and branches of the German Admiralty (OKM).

    2. All available information concerning the numbers and types of German minesweepers and sperrbrechers in German controlled Dutch ports and German NORTH SEA ports that can be obtained without delaying his departure. This German Flag Officer is to be accompanied by a Communications Officer who is familiar with the German Naval W/T organization and who is to bring with him the current naval communication Orders, including allocation of frequencies, list of W/T ant R/T call signs in force, and a list of all codes and cyphers in use, and intended to be brought into use.

    3. Location of all surface warships down to and including "Elbing" class Torpedo Boats, and of all submarines and 'E' Boats.

  1. The German High Command will also despatch within 48 hours after the surrender becomes effective a responsible officer, not below the rank of Captain, by coastal craft to report to the Admiral Commanding at DOVER for onward routing to Commander-in-Chief, THE NORE, with:-

    1. Corrected copies of charts showing all minefields in the NORTH SEA SOUTH of 54°30' NORTH and EAST of 1°30' EAST laid by German and German-controlled vessels or aircraft, positions of all wrecks, booms and all other underwater obstructions; details of all German Convoy routes and searched channels in this area, and of all buoys, lights are other navigational aids which are under German control. Appropriate navigational publications are also required.

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    1. All available information concerning the numbers and types of German minesweepers and sperrbrechers in German controlled Dutch ports and German NORTH SEA ports that can be obtained without delaying his departure.

  1. Another responsible German Naval Officer, with similar information is to be despatched by unescorted aircraft painted white to MANSTON Aerodrome position 51°20' NORTH, 01°20' EAST for onward routing to Commander-in-Chief, THE NORE.

  2. The German High Command will issue instructions to certain German naval commands as indicated below:-

    1. The Naval Commander-in-Chief, NORTH SEA will despatch by coastal craft within 48 hours after the surrender becomes effective a responsible officer, not below the rank of Captain, to the Admiral Commanding at DOVER for onward routing to Commander-in-Chief, THE NORE, with: -

        (1) details of minesweeping operations carried out in the German convoy route between the HOOK OF HOLLAND and HAMBURG and in approaches to harbours between these two ports during the previous 60 days;

        (2) numbers and positions of all British mines swept during these operations;

        (3) details of all controlled minefields in this area and information whether they have been rendered ineffective;

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        (4) details of all other mining ant types of mines employed in the harbours and harbour approaches of CUXHAVEN, EMDEN, TERSCHELLING, TEXEL, TEXEL IJMUIDEN, AMSTERDAM, SCHEVENINGEN, HOOK OF HOLLAND and ROTTERDAM;

        (5) berthing facilities in the harbours enumerated in paragraph 6a. (4) above and the numbers of auxiliary minesweepers which can be accommodated;

        (6) a list of all W/T and R/T call signs in use by the German Navy.

        Any of the above information which cannot be obtained without delaying the departure of this officer will be forwarded subsequently as soon as it is available.

    1. The Naval Commander-in-Chief, NORTH SEA, will also despatch as soon as possible by coastal craft to DOVER thirteen German Naval Officers who must be familiar with the German swept channels between the HOOK OF HOLLAND and CUXHAVEN. These officers will bring with them all the charts and books required for navigation in this area and will be accompanied by pilots (and interpreters if necessary).

    2. The Naval Commender-in-Chief, NORWAY, will despatch by sea within 48 hours after the surrender becomes effective, a responsible officer, not below the rank of Captain to the Commander-in-Chief, ROSYTH, with corrected copies of charts showing all German minefields in the NORTH SEA, NORTH of 56° NORTH, all wrecks, booms and other underwater obstructions, details of German convoy routes and searched channels in this area, of the approach channels to the principal Norwegian ports and of all buoys, lights and other navigational

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      aids in this area. This officer will also bring with him the disposition of all 'U' Boats and details of all orders affecting their future movements. He will be accompanied by six German Naval Officers with pilots (and interpreters if necessary) who are familiar with the coastal swept channels between OSLO and TROMSO. These officers will bring with them all the charts and books required for navigation in Norwegian waters, and a list of all W/T and R/T call signs in use by the German Navy.

    1. The Naval Commander-in-Chief, NORWAY, will despatch a duplicate party to the above with similar information by air in unescorted aircraft painted white to DREM Airfield 56° 02' NORTH 02° 48' WEST.

    2. The Naval Commander-in-Chief, NORWAY, will report by W/T to the Commander-in-Chief, ROSYTH, within 48 hours after the surrender becomes effective, the following information:-

        (1) Berthing facilities at OSLO, CHRISTIANSAND, STAVANGER, BERGEN, TRONDHEIM, NARVIK and TROMSO.

        (2) The approximate quantities of furnace oil fuel, diesel oil fuel and coal at all the principal Norwegian ports between OSLO and TROMSO.

  1. The German Admiral SKAGGERAK will despatch by sea within 48 hours after the surrender becomes affective, a responsible officer not below the rank of Captain, to the Commander-in-Chief, ROSYTH, with corrected copies of charts showing all German minefields, wrecks, booms and other underwater obstructions, details of German convoy routes and searched channels, buoys, lights and other navigational aids in the

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    SKAGGERAK, KATTEGAT, THE BELTS AND SOUND, KIEL BAY and BALTIC WATERS WEST or 14° EAST. This officer will also bring with him the disposition of all 'U' boats in the above area and details of all orders affecting their future movements. He will be accompanied by three German Naval officers with pilots (and interpreters if necessary) who are familiar with the coastal swept channels, and channels in Swedish territorial waters, in the waters referred to above. These officers will bring with them all the charts and books required for navigation in these waters, and a list of all W/T and R/T call signs in use by the German Navy.

    The German Admiral SKAGGERAK will despatch a duplicate party to that specified above, with similar information, by air in unescorted aircraft painted white to DREM Airfield 50°02' NORTH 02°48' WEST.

  1. The German Naval Officers who will be despatched to DOVER and ROSYTH by sea will proceed to positions in latitude 51°15' NORTH longitude 1°43' EAST and latitude 56°47' NORTH longitude 1°13' WEST respectively, where they will be met by British warships and escorted to their destination. The ships or craft in which they travel are to fly a large white flag at the masthead by day and are to illuminate these white flags by night. These ships are to broadcast their positions hourly by W/T on 500 ks, (600 Metres) whilst on passage.

    Information required within fourteen days

  2. The German High Command will furnish the following information to the Allied Naval Commander, Expeditionary Force, at .... by .... within fourteen days of cessation of hostilities.

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    1. Locations of all warships, auxiliaries and armed coastal craft operating under the orders of the German Naval Command stating particulars of the operational unit to which they are attached, giving approximate totals of all naval personnel embarked in each vessel, including naval flak and merchant ship flak.

    2. A statement of the organisations of all naval shore Commands, giving location of all naval establishments, including establishments for experiment and research, names of all Commanding Officers and Principal Staff Officers of the rank of Commander and above, and approximate totals of the personnel located in each establishment.

    3. A statement of the strength and location of all naval land forces including naval infantry, naval flak, merchant ship flak and naval personnel manning naval coast artillery and full particulars of all Coastal and port defenses giving nature and locations.

    4. lists of stocks of furnace oil fuel, diesel oil fuel, petrol and coal of 500 tons and more at, or in the vicinity of, all ports between IJMUIDEN and HAMBURG inclusive.

    5. A statement of location of the principal naval armament depots with approximate overall stocks of each major item held.

    6. The following communications information.-

        (1) location and details concerning all V/S, W/T (including D/F) and radar stations in use by, and under construction for the German Navy, these details to include types and capabilities of all equipment fitted.

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        (2) details of the current naval W/T organization, lists of W/T and R/T sail signs in force, and allocation of all frequencies for communication and radar purposes.

        (3) location and details of all naval communications (including Infra-Red) and naval radar training and research establishments.

    1. Full details of all German minefields in the NORTH SEA, SKAGGERAK, KATTEGAT, BELTS and SOUND.

    2. Full details of the German naval minesweeping organization including the communications organization.

    1. Full details of the communications (including Infra-Red) and radar equipment fitted in all German minesweepers and sperrbrechers.

    2. Technical details of all types of minesweeping gear in use by the German Navy.

    3. Details of all mining and types of mines employed and of berthing facilities available for ships of 150 feet in length and 16 feet draught at:-

        BREMERHAVEN
        WILHELMSHAVEN
        SCHIERMONNIKOOG
        DELFZIJL

  1. The German high Command will also furnish the Allied Naval Commander, Expeditionary Force, with two copies of all coding and cyphering systems which have been, are being, or were to be used by the German Navy with the necessary instructions for their use and the dates between which they have been, or were to have been used.

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PART II - CONTROL AND DISARMAMENT

Orders to warships, auxiliaries, merchant ships and other craft

  1. The German high Command will forthwith direct all German and German-controlled warships, auxiliaries, merchant ships and other craft to comply with the following instructions:-

    1. All warships, auxiliaries, merchant ships and other craft in harbour are to remain in harbour pending further directions from the Allied Representatives.

    2. All warships, auxiliaries, merchant ships and other craft at sea are to report their positions in plain language immediately to the nearest British, US or Soviet Coast Wireless Telegraphy station on 500 kc/s (600 metres), and are to proceed to the nearest German or Allied port or such ports as the Allied Representatives may direct, and remain there pending further directions from the Allied Representatives. At night they are to show lights and to display searchlights with beams held vertically.

    3. All warships and merchant ships whether in port or at sea will immediately train all weapons fore and aft. All torpedo tubes will be unloaded and breech blocks will be removed from all guns.

    4. All warships and merchant ships in German or German-controlled harbours will immediately land and store in safety all ammunition, warheads and other explosives. They will land all portable weapons but, pending further instructions, warships will retain on board the fixed armament. Fire control and all other equipment will be maintained on board intact and fully efficient.

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    1. All minesweeping vessels art to carry out the measures of disarmament prescribed in c. and d. above, (except that they will, however, retain on board such portable weapons and explosives es are required for minesweeping purposes) and are to be prepared immediately for minesweeping service under the direction of the Allied Representatives. They will complete with fuel where necessary.

    2. All German salvage vessels are to carry out the measures of disarmament prescribed in c. and d. above (except that they will retain on board such explosives as are requited for salvage purposes.) These vessels, together with all salvage equipment and personnel, are to be prepared for immediate salvage operations under the direction of the Allied Representatives, completing with fuel where necessary for this purpose.

    3. The movement of transport on the inland waterways of GERMANY may continue, subject to orders from the Allied Representatives. No vessels moving on inland waterways will proceed to neutral waters.

    Submarines

  1. The German High Command will transmit by W/T on appropriate frequencies the two messages in Annexures 'A' and 'B', which contain instructions to submarines at sea.

    Naval aircraft

  2. The German High Command will forthwith direct that:-

    1. German naval aircraft are not to leave the ground or water or ship pending directions from the Allied Representatives;

--21--


    1. naval aircraft in the air are to return immediately to their bases.

    Neutral shipping

  1. The German high Command will forthwith direct that all neutral merchant ships in German and German-controlled ports are to be detained pending further directions from the Allied Representatives.

    Orders relating to sabotage scuttling safety measures, pilotage and personnel

  2. The German High Command will forthwith issue categorical directions that:-

    1. No ship, vessel or aircraft of any description is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment.

    2. all harbour works and port facilities of whatever nature, including telecommunications and radar stations, are to be preserved and kept free from destruction or damage pending further directions from the Allied Representatives, and all necessary steps taken and all necessary orders issued to prohibit any act of scuttling, sabotage, or other wilful damage.

    3. all boom defenses at all ports and harbours are to be opened ant kept open at all times; where possible, they are to be removed.

    4. all controlled minefields at all ports and harbours are to be disconnected and rendered ineffective.

    5. all demolition charges in all ports and harbour works are to be removed or rendered ineffective and their presence indicated.

    6. the existing wartime system of navigational lighting is to be maintained, except that all dimmed lights are to be shown at full brilliancy, and

--22--


      lights only shown by special arrangement are to be exhibited continuously.

      In particular: -

        (1) HELIGOLAND light is to be burnt at full brilliancy.

        (2) The buoyage of the coastal convoy route from the HOOK OF HOLLAND to HAMBURG is to be commenced, mid-channel light buoys being laid six miles apart.

        (3) Two ships are to be anchored as mark vessels in the following positions:-

          54°20' N. 5°00' E.
          54°20' N, 6°30' E.

      These ships are to fly a large blank flag at the masthead by day and by night are to flash a searchlight vertically every 30 seconds.

    1. All pilotage services are to continue to operate and all pilots are to be held at their normal stations ready for service and equipped with charts.

    2. German Naval and other personnel concerned in the operation of ports and administrative services in ports are to remain at their stations and to continue to carry out their normal duties.

    Personnel

  1. The German High Command will forthwith direct that except as may be required for the purpose of giving effect to the above special orders:-

    1. all personnel in German warships, auxiliaries, merchant ships end other craft, are to remain on board their ships pending further directions from the Allied Representatives.

--23--


    1. all Naval personnel ashore are to remain in their establishments.

  1. The German High Command will be responsible for the immediate and total disarmament of all naval personnel on shore. The orders issued to the German High Command in respect of the disarmament and war material of land forces will apply also to naval personnel on shore.

Signed H.M. Burrough
For the Supreme Commander, AEF.

Dated 0241 7th May 1945
Rheims France

--24--


ANNEXURE 'A'

SURRENDER OF GERMAN 'U' BOAT FLEET

To all 'U' Boats at sea:

Carry out the following instructions forthwith which have been given by the Allied Representatives

(A) Surface immediately and remain surfaced.

(B) Report immediately in P/L your position in latitude and longitude and number of your 'U' Boat to nearest British, US, Canadian or Soviet coast W/T station on 500 kc/s (600 metres) and to call sign GZZ 10 on one of the following high frequencies: 16845 - 12685 or 5970 kc/s.

(G) Fly a large black or blue flag by day.

(D) Burn navigation lights by night.

(E) Jettison all ammunition, remove breechblocks from guns and render torpedoes safe by removing pistols. All mines are to be rendered safe.

(F) Make all signals in P/L.

(G) Follow strictly the instructions for proceeding to Allied ports from your present area given in immediately following message.

(H) Observe strictly the orders of Allied Representatives to refrain from scuttling or in any may damaging your 'U' Boat.

2. These instructions will be repeated at two-hour intervals until further notice.

--25--


ANNEXURE 'B'

To all 'U' Boats at sea. Observe strictly the instructions already given to remain fully surfaced. Report your position course and speed every 8 hours. Obey any instruction that may be given you by any Allied authority.

The following are the areas and routes for 'U' Boats surrendering:

(1) Area 'A'.

  1. Bound on West by meridian 026 degs West and South by parallel 043 degs North in Barents Sea by meridian 020 degs East in Baltic Approaches by line joining The Naze and Hantsholm but excludes Irish Sea between 051 degs thirty mins and 055 degs 00 mins North and English Channel between line of Lands End Scilly Islands Ushant and line of Dover-Calais.

  2. Join one of following routes at nearest point and proceed along it to Loch Eriboll (058 degs 33 minutes North 004 degs 37 mins West)

    Blue route: All positions North and West unless otherwise indicated

    049 degs 00 mins   009 degs 00 mins   053 degs 00 mins

    012 degs 00 mins   058 degs 0O mins   011 degs 00 mins

    059 degs 00 mins   005 degs 30 mins thence to Loch Eriboll.

    Red route: 053 degs 45 mins North 003 degs 00 mins East

    059 degs 45 mins  001 degs 00 mins  059 degs 45 mins.

    003 degs 00 mins thence to Loch Eriboll.

  3. Arrive at Loch Eriboll between sunrise and 3 hours before sunset.

(2) Area 'B'.

  1. The Irish Sea between parallel of 051 degs 30 mins and 055 degs 00 mins North.

--26--


  1. Proceed Beaumaris Bay (053 degs 19 mins North 003 degs 58 mins West) to arrive between sunrise and 3 hours before sunset.

(3) Area 'C'

  1. The English Channel between line of Lands End - Scilly Isles - Ushant and line of Dover - Calais.

  2. 'U' Boats in area 'C' are to join one of following routes at nearest point: Green route, position 'A' 049 degs 10 mins North 005 degs 40 mins West position 'B' 050 degs 00 mins North 003 degs 00 mins West thence escorted to Weymouth. Orange route: position 'X' 050 degs 30 mins North 000 deg. 50 mins East position 'Y' 050 degs 10 mins North 001 degs 50 mins West thence escorted to Weymouth.

  3. Arrive at either 'B' or 'Y' between sunrise and 3 hours before sunsets.

(4) Area. 'D'

  1. Bound on West by lines joining The Naze and Hantsholm and on East by lines joining Lubeck and Trelleborg.

  2. Proceed to Kiel.

(5) Area 'E'

  1. Mediterranean Approaches bound on North by 043 degs North on South by 026 degs North and on West by 026 degs West.

  2. Proceed to a rendezvous in position 'A' 036 degs 00 mins North 011 degs 00 mins West and await escort reporting expected time of arrival in plain language to Admiral Gibraltar on 500 kc/s.

  3. Arrive in position 'A' between sunrise and noon

--27--


(6) Area 'F'

  1. The North and South Atlantic West of 026 degs West.

  2. Proceed to nearest of one of following points arriving between sunrise and 3 hours before sunset: W 043 degs 30 mins North 070 degs 00 mins West approach from a point 15 miles due East X 038 degs 20 mins North 074 degs 25 mins West approach from a point 15 miles due East Y 047 degs 18 mins North 052 degs 30 mins West approach from point 047 degs 18 mins North 051 degs 30 mins West on a course 270 degs Z 043 degs 31 mins North 065 degs 05 mins West approach from point 042 degs 59 mins North 064 degs 28 mins West on a course 320 degs.

--28--


UNDERTAKING

GIVEN BY CERTAIN GERMAN EMISSARIES

TO  THE ALLIED HIGH COMMANDS

 

It is agreed by the German emissaries undersigned that the following German officers will arrive at a place and time designated by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, and the Soviet High Command prepared, with plenary powers, to execute a formal ratification on behalf of the German High Command of this act of Unconditional Surrender of the German armed forces.

    Chief of the High Command

    Commander-in-Chief of the Army

    Commander-in-Chief of the Navy

    Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces.

SIGNED

Jodl

Representing the German High Command.

Dated 0241 7th May 1945

Rheims France

--29--


 A b s c h r i f t.

Der Oberste Befehlshaber
der Wehrmacht
Hauptquartier, den 7.5.45.

/Bittein der Antwort vorstehendes
Geschüftszeichen, das Datum und
kurzen Inhalt anzugeben./

 

ICH BEVOLLMÄCHTIGE

GENERALFELDMARSCHALL KEITEL ALS CHEF DES OBERKOMMANDOS DER WEHRMACHT UND ZUGLEICH ALS OBERBEFEHLSHABER DES HEERES,

GENERALADMIRAL VON FRIEDEBURG

ALS OBERBEFEHLSHABERR DER KRIEGSMARINE,

GENERALOBERST STUMPF

ALS VERTRETER DES OBERBEFEHLSHABERS DER LUFTWAFFE

 

SUR RATIFIZIERUNG DER BEDINGUNGSLOSEN KAPITULATION DER DEUTSCHEN STREITKRÄFTE GEGENUBER DEM OBERBEFEHLSHABER DEH ALLIIERTEN EXPEDITIONSSTREITKRÄFTE UND DEM SOWYET--OBERKOMMANDO.

DÖNITZ

GROßADMIRAL.

Siegel.

[undecipherable handwriting]

--30--


ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER

  1. We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Supreme High Command of the Red Army all forces on land, at sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control.

  2. The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European time on 8th May 1945, to remain in the positions occupied at that time and to disarm completely, handing over their weapons earl equipment to the local allied commanders or officers designated by Representatives of the Allied Supreme Commands. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment, and also to machines of all kinds, armament, apparatus, and all the technical means of prosecution of war in general.

--31--


  1. The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commanders, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Supreme High Command of the Red Army.

  2. This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.

  3. In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Supreme High Command of the Red Army will take such punitive or otter action as they deem appropriate.

--32--


  1. This Act is drawn up in the English, Russian and German languages. The English and Russian are the only authentic texts.

Signed at Berlin on the 8 day of May, 1945

/signed/ Friedeburg, Keitel, Stumpff

On behalf of the German High Command

------------------------------------

IN THE PRESENCE OF:

/signed/ A. W. Tedder
On behalf of the
    Supreme Commander
    Allied Expeditionary Force
On behalf of the
    Supreme High Command of the
    Red Army
/signed/ G. Zhukow
 
At the signing were also present as witnesses:
 
/signed/ J. de Lattre-Tassigny
General Commanding in Chief
    First French Army
/signed/ Carl Spaatz
General, Commanding
    United States Strategic Air Force

--33--


Russian text

--34--


Russian text

--35--


Russian text

--36--


 KAPITULATIO SERKLAERUNG

  1. Wir, die hier Unterzeichneten, handelnd in Vollmacht fuer und im Namen des Oberkommandos der Deutschen Wehrmacht, erklaeren hiermit die bedingungslose Eapitulation aller am gegenwaertigen Zeitpunkt unter deutschem Befehl stehenden oder von Deutschland beherrschten Streitkraefte auf dem Lande, auf der See and in der Luft gleichzeitig gegenueber dem Obersten Befehlshaber der Alliierten Expeditions Streitkraefte mid dem Oberkommando der Roten Armee.

  2. Das Oberkommando der Deutschen Wehrmacht wird unverzueglich allen Behoerden der deutschen Land-, See- and Luftstreitkraefte und allen von Deutschland beherrschten Streitkraeften den Befehl geben, die Kampfhandlungen um 2301 Uhr Mitteleuropaeischer Zeit am 8 Mai einzustellen and in den Stellungen zu verbleiben, die sie an diesem Zeitpunkt innehaben und sich vollstaendig zu entwaffnen, indem sie Waffen and Geraete an die oertlichen Alliierten Befehlshaber beziehungsweise an die von den Alliierten Vertretern zu bestimmenden Offiziere abliefern, Kein Schiff, Boot oder Flugzeug irgendeiner Art darf versenkt werden, nosh duerfen Schiffsruempfe, maschinelle Einrichtungen, Ausruestungsgegenstaende, Maschinen irgendwelcher Art, Waffen, Apparaturen, technische Gegenstaende, die Kriegszwecken im Allgemeinen dienlich sein koennen, beschaedigt werden.

  3. Das Oberkommando der Deutschen Wehrmacht wird unverzueglich den zustaendigen Befehlshabern alle von dem Obersten Befehlshaber der Alliierten Expeditions Streitkraefte and dem Oberkommando der Roten Armee erlassenen zusaetzlichen Befehle weitergeben und deren Durchfuehrung sicherstellen.

  4. Diese Kapitulationserklaerung ist ohne Praejudiz fuer irgendwelche an ihre Stelle tretenden allgemeinen Kapitulationsbestimmungen, die durch die Vereinten Nationen und in deren Damen Deutschland und der Deutschen Wehrmacht auferlegt werden moegen.

  5. Falls das Oberkommando der Deutschen Wehrmacht oder irgendwelche ihm unterstehende oder von ihm beherrschte Streitkraefte es versaeumen sollten, sick gemaess den Bestimmungen dieser Kapitulations-Erklaerung zu verthalten,

--37--


    werden der Oberste Befehlshaber der Alliierten Expeditions Streitkraefte und das Oberkommando der Roten Armee alle diejenigen Straf- und anderen Massnahmen ergreifen, die sie als zweckmaessig erachten.

  1. Diese Erklaerung ist in englischer, russischer and deutscher Spreche abgefasst. Allein massgebend sind die englische and die russische Fassung.

Unterzeichnet zu Berlin am 8 Mai 1945

/signed/ Friedeburg, Keitel, Stumpff

Fuer das Oberkommando der Deutschen Wehrmacht.


In Gegenwart von:

/signed/ A. W. Tedder
Fuehr der Obersten Befehlshaber
der Alliierten Expeditions-
Streitkraefte.
Fuer das Oberkommando
der Roten Armee
/signed/ G.Zhukov
 
Bei der Unterzeichnung waren als Zeugen
auch zugegen:
 
/signed/ J. de Lattre-Tassigny
General, Oberstkommandierender
der Ersten Franzoesischen Armee
/signed/ Carl Spaatz
Kommandierender General
der Strategischen
Luftstreitkraefte der
Vereinigten Staaten

--38--


BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God's help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender. The western world has been freed of the evil forces which for five years and longer have imprisoned the bodies and broken the lives of millions upon millions of free-born men. They have violated their churches, destroyed their homes, corrupted their children, and murdered their loved ones. Our Armies of Liberation have restored freedom to these suffering peoples, whose spirit and will the oppressors could never enslave.

Much remains to be done. The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. United, the peace-loving nations have demonstrated in the West that their arms are stronger by far than the might of dictators or the tyranny of military cliques that once called us soft and weak. The power of our peoples to defend themselves against all enemies will be proved in the Pacific war as it has been proved in Europe.

For the triumph of spirit and of arms which we have won, and for its promise to peoples everywhere who join us in the love of freedom, it is fitting that we, as a nation, give thanks to Almighty God, who has strengthened us and given as the victory.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY S. TRUMAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby appoint Sunday, May 13, 1945, to be a day of prayer.

I call upon the people of the United States, whatever their faith, to unite in offering joyful thanks to God for the victory we

--39--


have won and to pray that He will support us to the end of our present struggle and guide us into the way of peace.

I also call upon my countrymen to dedicate this day of prayer to the memory of those who have given their lives to make possible our victory.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seas of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-five and sixty-ninth and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-ninth.

By the President: /signed/ Harry Truman

/signed/ James F. Byrnes
Acting Secretary of State

--40--


 

Compiled and formatted by Szymon Dabrowski for the HyperWar Foundation