Second World War: 8 May 1945, end of the war in North West Europe

The war comes to an end...

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194298)

German children displaying surrender flag in Sogel, 10 April 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225375)

German troops entering barrack area from outskirts of a town in North West Europe to surrender, 2-5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3225376)

German troops entering barrack area from outskirts of town, 2-5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191679)

Surrender of German forces in the Netherlands, 1st Canadian Corps Headquarters. (Left to right): Gen. Reichilt 2nd, Gen. Charles Foulkes 4th, H. R.H. Prince Bernhardt 6th, 5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194862)

Lieutenant-General Foulkes and General Reichilt negotiating the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands, 5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3193142)

Lieutenant-General Charles Foulkes (left) faces General Reichilt (right) during a conference on the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands, 5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3942417)

Official delivery of Surrender Terms on 2nd Canadian Corps front at Bad Zwischenahn, located on the edge of Zwischenahn Lake, General Stroube and Capt. M. Tearhs of Toronto, 5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204056)

German General Reichilt departs the meeting with General Foulkes of the First Canadian Corps to carry the surrender message to his GOC, 5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3230904)

Canadian personnel with the German halftrack vehicle which transported them around Norderney, Germany, during surrender negotiations,  May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203852)

German soldiers being disarmed by troops of I Canadian Corps at a small arms dump, 11 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3224460)

A German sergeant, under guard, checks piles of automatic weapons, 18 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3623194)

German soldiers marching back to Germany, under the watchful eyes of a Canadian Armoured Car unit, 28 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3526041)

Captain W.D.C. Dewar, Lieutenant-Colonel A.L. Saunders, Major J.R. Crighton, Officers of the Eclipse Group, 2nd Canadian War Reconnaissance Team, inspecting stores in a surrendered Kreigsmarine barracks, Leer, Germany, 1 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3563558)

Major-General Stephan, the commander of Battle Group Stephan, is accompanied by Captain P. Fafard of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division into a surrender conference, Oldenburg, Germany, 7 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3208399)

Prince Bernhardt of the Netherlands and two Canadian officers outside building of peace surrender conference, 5 May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3211847)

Sergeant Karen M. Hermiston of the Canadian Army Film and Photo Unit during VJ-Day celebrations in Piccadilly Circus, London, England, 10 August 1945

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396873)

Personnel of the Canadian Army Occupation Force reading the news of the surrender of Japan, Westerstede, Germany, 16 August 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204143)

Victory Parade marchpast of massed pipe bands of the First Canadian Army, The Hague, Netherlands, 21 May 1945.

The Canadian Berlin Brigade

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524415)

Brigadier J.D.B. Smith inspecting the Canadian Berlin Brigade before the unit's departure for Berlin. Rijssen, Netherlands, 2 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3395634)

Personnel of the Canadian Berlin Battalion sitting on a dug-in German tank, Berlin, Germany, 14 July 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3191705)

Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany, 9 July 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233545)

Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s), and Fusiliers Mont-Royal soldiers of the Canadian Berlin Brigade, June 1945.

Before the war ended, three Infantry Battalions were chosen to represent the 1st Canadian Army in Berlin. Loyal Edmonton Regiment, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s), and theFusiliers Mont-Royal. The trio formed a new Brigade to be known as the “Canadian Berlin Brigade. A composite battalion was formed, with representation from the 1st, 2nd and 4th Canadian Divisions, the 3rd Division, having already been formed into the Canadian Army Occupation Force (CAOF).

The Canadian Berlin Battalion was constituted for the sole purpose of parading through that collapsed city while the white-hot rubble still smoldered. Some 2,141 days after the senior Dominion joined Britain in declaring war against Hitler’s Germany, Canadians marched alongside the British in a show of unity and victory under the literal and metaphoric shadow of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. Having fought their way from Normandy, up Italy and along the Scheldt estuary in Belgium, the troops of the Canadian Berlin Battalion represented 17,6822 fallen comrades killed during hostilities.

On the evening of 4 May 1945 General Montgomery, assisted by his Canadian aide-de camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Trumbell Warren, held a solemn surrender ceremony inside a tent on Lüneburg Heath, east of Hamburg. Admiral Friedeburg signed for Germany, thus signaling the surrender of all German armed forces in Holland, northwest Germany and Denmark.28 [A memo was sent that same evening to First Canadian Army saying, “…all offensive action will cease from receipt of this signal.” Two further surrender ceremonies, one in Reims on 7 May, and the other just outside Berlin on 9 May, well and truly marked the end of the war against Germany.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No.

Lieutenant General Guy Simonds inspecting a Guard of Honour, 10 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3262514)

Canadian soldiers boarding a tender going out to a troopship en route to Canada, Gourock, Scotland, 21 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3259921)

Canadian troops aboard a tender en route to HMT Aquitania for repatriation to Canada, Gourock, Scotland, 19-21 June 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4233507)

Arrival of HM Troop Ship Pasteur in Halifax, carrying returning Canadian Soldiers in 1945.

The SS Pasteur was a steam turbine ocean liner built for Compagnie de Navigation Sud-Atlantique. She later sailed as Bremen for Norddeutscher Lloyd. In the course of her career, she sailed for 41 years under four names and six countries' flags.  In 1940, she was commissioned to carry 200 tons of gold reserves from Brest, France to Halifax, Nova Scotia. After the fall of France to Germany, she was taken over by the Great Britain government and placed under Cunard-White Star management. She was used as a troop transport and military hospital ship between Canada, South Africa, Australia and South America, and transported around 300,000 soldiers. She was sometimes called HMTS Pasteur.  Due to her speed, Pasteur normally made her crossings alone and unescorted rather than as part of a convoy. She made one voyage from Glasgow to Halifax with a mixed complement of troops, including officers arranging the transport of 20,000 British troops across Canada and the Pacific to Singapore in October, 1941. She also carried almost 2,000 German prisoners to prisoner of war camps in North America. In addition, she transported prisoners from Suez, Egypt to South Africa. In 1943, she visited Freetown, Cape Town, Durban, Aden and Port Tewfik, and then back to the Clyde and Halifax. She carried 10,000 troops of the British 8th Army Corps and 5,000 US 1st Army Corps troops to the battle of Alamein. Altogether, she carried 220,000 troops, and 30,000 wounded, and traveled 370,669 miles during the war. After the war, Pasteur was used to repatriate US and Canadian troops then returned to her owners in October 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202025)

Dutch girls waiting to place flowers at a monument commemorating Canadian soldiers who were killed in action in the liberation of the Netherlands, Moerstraaten, Netherlands, 26 August 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3223829)

Canal scene in the Netherlands, 30 October 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3524822)

Surrendered German E-boats, taken from bridge of MTB-745m England, May 1945.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3203683)

U-889 surrenders to the RCN, 13 May 1945.  She would later become HMCS U-889.