On This Day…
8th May 1945 Victory in Europe declared
Victory in Europe known as VE day marked the end of hostilities on the continent of Europe. The war was won largely because of the Allies’ ability to play a series of weak hands extremely well and because Hitler played some strong hands extremely badly. Hitler allowed 340,000 Allied troops to escape back to Britain from Dunkirk. He got the timing of his invasion of the Soviet Union wrong and he declared war on the USA following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, in December 1941, bringing America into the European war. Although they continued to suffer setbacks, the Allies won a series of major battles in the Battle of Britain, at Midway Island, El Alamein, Stalingrad, the Atlantic, Kohima and in Normandy, before Germany surrendered on 7th May 1945.
150000 strong Royal Corps of Signals by end of war
In 1939 The Royal Corps of Signals had consisted of 39,995 all ranks. By 1945 this had grown to more than 150,000 with over 4,000 losing their lives during the course of the war. In addition by 1945 there were 15,000 women serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) employed in a variety of signals duties including Teleprinter, Switchboard and Cipher operators some of whom were stationed overseas including Africa, Burma and India.
War continued in Far East
The war in Europe was over but it would be some months hence before the world war was over. Japan announced it intended to surrender on the 15th August 1945 with the documents signed at Tokyo Bay on the 2nd September 1945 finally bringing the war to an end. The war, which began on the 1st September 1939, lasted six years and one day.