THE END OF HOSTILITIES
In the evening of Monday May 7, an O-U (Most Immediate) message from the Admiralty was addressed and broadcast to All Ships and Authorities Home and Abroad on 155 kc. The text read:
"The German High Command has surrendered, unconditionally, all German land, sea and air forces in Europe effective from 0001B hours repetition 0001B hours ninth (9th) May repetition (9th) May. From which hour all offensive operations will cease. Due to difficulties of communications, there may be some delay in these orders reaching enemy forces. Accordingly, danger of attack by independent enemy surface craft, U-boat and aircraft may persist for some time to come. The fleet in all respects, is to remain on war footing and in a state of constant vigilance for the moment. The surrender procedure for U boats will be promulgated separately. No repetition, no release is to be made to the press pending an announcement by the heads of governments. "
On May 8 a plain text message # BN665 was received and it read:
"All instructions for the safety and control of merchant shipping remain in force until further orders. Convoys and independent merchant ships now at sea to continue their voyages as previously ordered. 08151B."Following that message, an Immediate message (BN667-081410Z) was received from NSHQ (Naval Service Headquarters Ottawa) addressed to AIG 138 (All Canadian ships and Authorities). It joyously said:
"Tuesday eighth May 1945 has been officially proclaimed a national holiday. All ships are to splice the mainbrace on that day vide Naval Order 3315 paragraph 4."(This message meant an extra tot of rum all around).
On Wednesday May 9, a message was sent by the Commander in Chief Western
Approaches addressed to AIG 32 (All ships and authorities in Western Approaches
Command). The message read:
Whenever we were successful in establishing contact, we gave instructions
to turn on all running lights, fly a black or blue flag and steer
on a certain course. I remember talking to a U-boat in the Indian Ocean
who could not be heard by the RN station in Kandy, so I relayed sailing
instructions to arrange a "meet". I cannot remember how many U-boats I
talked to during that period. The two of us worked four hours on and four
off until June 8, 1945".
FROM THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA.
I SEND TO YOU AND TO THE FORCES UNDER YOUR COMMAND THE HEARTFELT
CONGRATULATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF CANADA UPON THE FINAL DEFEAT OF THE MILITARY MIGHT OF NAZI GERMANY TO WHICH DEFEAT THE ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES CONTRIBUTED SO DECISIVELY. WE ARE INDEED PROUD THAT CANADIANS HAD SO WORTHY A PLACE IN THE GREAT COMPANY OF THE FORCES OF LIBERATION WHICH UNDER YOUR SUPREME COMMAND HAVE ACHIEVED SO COMPLETE A VICTORY.
FROM HER MAJESTY QUEEN OF THE NETHERLANDS.
PLEASE ACCEPT MY MOST SINCERE CONGRATULATIONS ON THE GREAT AND
DECISIVE VICTORIES WHICH HAVE CAUSED THE FINAL DOWNFALL OF A POWERFUL AND RUTHLESS ENEMY. TOGETHER WITH ME AND MY PEOPLES. GRATEFUL THANKS TO YOU AND ALL THE ARMIES UNDER YOUR SUPREME COMMAND. WHO BY THERE UNFLAGGING BRAVERY AND SACRIFICE HAVE BROUGHT ABOUT THE TRIUMPH OF OUR COMMON CAUSE AND THE LIBERATION OF THE NETHERLANDS.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. HARRY S. TRUMAN
IN RECOGNITION OF THE UNCONDITIONAL AND ABJECT SURRENDER OF THE NAZI BARBARIANS, PLEASE ACCEPT THE FERVENT CONGRATULATIONS AND APPRECIATION OF MYSELF AND OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR THE HEROIC ACHIEVEMENTS OF YOUR ALLIED ARMY, NAVY AND AIR FORCE. BY THEIR SACRIFICES, SKILL AND COURAGE, THEY HAVE SAVED AND EXALTED THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. ALL OF US OWE TO YOU AND TO YOUR MEN OF MANY NATIONS A DEBT BEYOND APPRAISAL FOR THEIR HIGH CONTRIBUTION TO THE CONQUEST OF NAZISM.
I ALSO SEND MY PERSONAL APPRECIATION OF THE SUPERB LEADERSHIP SHOWN BY YOU AND YOUR COMMANDERS IN DIRECTING THE VALIANT LEGIONS OF OUR OWN COUNTRY AND OF OUR ALLIES TO THIS HISTORIC VICTORY. PLEASE TRANSMIT THIS MESSAGE TO THE APPROPRIATE OFFICERS . PUBLISH IT TO ALL ALLIED FORCES IN YOUR THEATRES OF OPERATION.
[Via www.lionantiques.com web page]
GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
FROM SHAEF REF NO FWD DASH TWO XERO EIGHT XERO ONE CITE SHGCT
PARA ONE PD A RPT ABLE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND SIGNED THE UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OF ALL GERMAN LAND CMA SEA CMA AND AIR FORCES IN EUROPE TO THE ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE AND SIMULTANEOUSLY TO THE SOVIET HIGH COMMAND AT XERO ONE FOUR ONE HOURS CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME CMA SEVEN MAY UNDER WHICH ALL FORCES WILL CEASE ACTIVE OPERATIONS AT XERO XERO XERO ONE BAKER HOURS NINE MAY PD PARA TWO PD EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY ALL OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS BY ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE WILL CEASE AND TROOPS WILL REMAIN IN PRESENT POSITIONS PD MOVES INVOLVED IN OCCUPATIONAL DUTIES WILL CONTINUE PD DUE TO DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION THERE MAY BE SOME DELAY IN SIMILAR ORDERS REACHING ENEMY TROOPS SO FULL DEFENSIVE PRECAUTIONS WILL BE TAKEN PD PARA THREE PD ALL INFORMED DOWN TO AND INCLUDING DIVISION CMA TACTICAL AIR COMMAND AND GROUPS CMA BASE SECTIONS CMA AND EQUIVALENT PD NO REPEAT NO RELEASE WILL BE MADE TO THRE [sic] PRESS PENDING AN ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HEADS OF THE THREE GOVERNMENTS
At the bottom of the message, it was indicated that it came in early morning on 7 May 1945 and decoded by T/3 Michael J. Maiorano, US 28th Signal Corps. This message was provided by Mike Valentine <mike-valentine(at)comcast.net> grandson of Michael J. Maiorano.
The late Fred Ware also reflects on the period nearing the end of the war. "There was great rivalry between the Canadian and British ships of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla around 1944. The Canadian crews of HAIDA and HURON had adopted one of the British ships as a chummy ship - this was HMS ASHANTI. The crews of both ships got along really well and spent much time in port together. When HAIDA and HURON were leaving Plymouth late in 1944 to come to Canada, HAIDA's crew hoisted their piano over to ASHANTI as a gift and Huron's crew gave all the spare donations that they could muster. Unfortunately, other British ships were ignored by the Canadians and the crew of ASHANTI ignored other Canadian ships as well". At peak strength, during World War II, the Royal Canadian Navy had 400 ships in commission. In comparison, there are 12 MCDV's, 12 Halifax class frigates, 3 Iroquois 280 class destroyers and 2 transport ships in commission with the RCN in 2004.