Rus Articles Journal

Why the Act of unconditional surrender of Germany was signed twice?

So developed historically that signed the Act of unconditional surrender of Germany twice. The first time the ceremony of signing of the act took place on May 7 in a rate of the American command in Reims in the presence of the commander of forwarding forces of allies in Europe general D. Eisenhower. The second time the act was signed next day, on May 8, in the suburb of Berlin in the presence of high representatives of command of all countries of the anti-Hitlerite coalition. But about everything one after another.

From the German side the offer on signing of the act officially was heard on May 6, 1945 when to a rate of the general Eisenhower there arrived the general Alfred Yodl who was at the final stage of war by the chief of a staff of operational management of the Supreme command of Wehrmacht. According to him, it was directed to negotiations by the admiral Dyonits who formally headed Germany after Hitler`s suicide.

On behalf of Dyonitsa Yodl suggested allies to accept capitulation of Germany and to organize signing of the relevant act on May 10. According to him, the delay in four days was required for specification of an arrangement of connections and parts of the German army and finishing to them information on capitulation. Eisenhower refused even to discuss so long delay and gave to Yodl half an hour on making decision on immediate signing of the act, having threatened that otherwise allies will continue drawing massive attacks to the German troops.

Choice the German representatives did not have, and after coordination with Dyonits Yodl agreed to sign the act. From command of forwarding forces of allies in Europe the general Beddel Smith had to testify the act. Eisenhower suggested to testify from the Soviet party the act the general - to the major I. A. Susloparov who was the representative Stavki of VGK to command of allies.

Ivan Alekseevich Susloparov, as soon as learned about preparation of the act for signing, reported about it to Moscow and transferred the text of the prepared document, having requested the instruction about an operations procedure. By the time of the beginning of signing of the act of capitulation (previously it was appointed to 2 hours 30 minutes) the answer from Moscow did not arrive. The situation developed so that on the act in general there could not be no signatures of the Soviet representative therefore Susloparov achieved inclusion in it of the note on an opportunity upon the demand of one of the states - allies of carrying out new signing of the act if for this purpose there are objective reasons. Only after that he agreed to put the signature under the act, though understood that he extremely risks.

The act of capitulation of Germany was signed on May 7 at 2 hours 40 minutes on Central European time. The act provided that unconditional surrender comes into force from 23 o`clock on May 8. After it the late ban to Susloparov came from Moscow to participate in signing of the act. The Soviet party insisted on signing of the act in Berlin at substantial increase of level of persons who will sign the act and to testify it the signatures.

Stalin charged to organize new signing of the act to the marshal Zhukov. Fortunately for Susloparov, the note which was included according to its requirement in the signed document allowed to make it. Sometimes the second signing of the act is called ratification of the fact that it was signed a day earlier. For this purpose there is legal basis as on May 7 G. K. Zhukov received the official instruction from Moscow: “The rate of General headquarters authorizes you to ratify the protocol on unconditional surrender of the German armed forces“.

Stalin who addressed Churchill and Truman was connected to the solution of a question of new signing of the act, but at higher level: “The contract signed in Reims cannot be repealed, but it is impossible and to recognize it. Capitulation has to be made as the major historical act and is accepted not in the territory of winners, and there from where fascist aggression came, - in Berlin, and not unilaterally, and obligatory by the Supreme command of all countries of the anti-Hitlerite coalition“.

As a result of the USA and England agreed to carry out new signing of the act, and the document signed in Reims, to consider as “The preliminary protocol on capitulation of Germany“. At the same time Churchill and Truman refused to postpone the announcement of signing of the act for days as that was asked by Stalin, motivating that on sovetsko - the German front everything is that there are heavy fights, and it is necessary to wait to the introduction of capitulation in force, i.e. till 23 o`clock on May 8. In England and the USA signing of the act and capitulation of Germany before the western allies it was officially declared on May 8, Churchill and Truman personally made it, having broadcasted to the people. In the USSR the text of their addresses was published in newspapers, but for good reason only on May 10.

It is curious that Churchill, knowing that in the USSR it will be declared the end of war after signing of the new act, told in the broadcast appeal: “Today we will probably think mainly about to ourselves. Tomorrow we will render special praise to our Russian companions whose valor in the battlefield was one of great deposits to a general victory“.

New signing of the Act of unconditional surrender of Germany took place on May 8 in Karlshorst, suburb of Berlin where the hall in the building voyenno - engineering school was specially prepared. In the hall hung out flags of the countries of the anti-Hitlerite coalition. Official representatives of allied powers accommodated at a big table, there were generals and officers of allied armies, journalists.

Opening a ceremony, the marshal Zhukov who declared addressed the audience: “We, representatives of General headquarters of the Soviet Armed Forces and the Supreme command of allied troops … are authorized by the governments of the anti-Hitlerite coalition to accept unconditional surrender of Germany from the German military command“. After that the representatives of the German command who showed the document on powers signed by Dyonits entered the hall.

From Germany the Act of unconditional surrender which is drawn up in 9 copies was signed the general - the field marshal Wilhelm Keitel (the chief of a staff of General headquarters armed forces of Germany), the general - the colonel of aircraft Hans - Juergen Stumpf (this day it was appointed the chief of a staff of Luftwaffe) and the admiral of fleet Hans - Georg von Frideburg (the commander-in-chief of Naval Forces).

The signatures the act was testified: from the Soviet command Marshall of the Soviet Union G. K. Zhukov, from command of forwarding forces of allies in Europe the British chief marshal of aircraft A. Tedder (Eisenhower`s deputy). As witnesses the act was signed: from armed forces of the USA the general K. Spaats, from the French armed forces de Tassinii general Zh. de Lattr.

Signing of the act came to the end at 22 hours 43 minutes on the Central European time. In Moscow was already on May 9 (0 hours 43 minutes). Soon from radio receivers over all country the solemn voice of Yury Levitan began to sound: “on May 8, 1945 in Berlin representatives of the German Supreme command signed the act of unconditional surrender of the German armed forces. The Great Patriotic War which was conducted by the Soviet people against German - fascist aggressors is victoriously complete. Germany is completely crushed.

Companions Red Army men, krasnoflotets, sergeants, foremen, officers of army and fleet, generals, admirals and marshals, I congratulate you on victorious end of the Great Patriotic War. Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in fights for freedom and independence of our Homeland!“.