Document Source: Supreme Allied Headquarters Archival Document, Original Communiques of the Supreme Commander, European Theater of Operations

Communique Number 388 – 1 May 1945

Allied forces captured Leer, on the right bank of the Ems River and advanced to the east. In the Oldenburg area we occupied Hüde. North of Zeven we reached the outskirts of Bremervörde. West of Hamburg we are fighting in Horneburg. We expanded our bridgehead over the Elbe River at Lauenburg and ten miles upstream made a second crossing in the vicinity of Bleckede. An enemy airfield at Banzkow, southeast of schwerin and road transport in the area of Schwerin and Parchim were attacked by fighter bombers. Twenty enemy aircraft were shot down near the airfield and others were destroyed on the ground. Another linkup was made by our units with Russian forces in the town of Apollensdorf west of Wittenberg. Northeast of Cham, our forces crossed the Czechoslovakian border in the vicinity of Všeruby and farther south, in Germany, reached the vicinity of Eckersberg. Our armor entered Wegscheid, one mile from the Austrian border, and entered Griesbach in the area southeast of Deggendorf.

Farther west, armored elements crossed the Isar River and reached a point two miles south of Plattling. Southeast of Plattling, our infantry entered Kleegarten. Northeast of Landshut our units reached the Isar River in the vicinity of Altheim and other elements entered Ergoldsbach. We entered Landshut and reached the vicinity of Oberglaim, Edenland and Bruckberg. In the area northeast of München, our infantry cleared Freising and reached the vicinity of Berglern. It is estimated that 110.000 allied prisoners of war were liberated at Moosberg by our forces. Earlier estimates placed the figure at 27.000. Organized resistance in all of München west of the Isar River has ceased. This is more than three-fourths of the city. Snipers are being cleared. South of Augsburg an airfield with six jet propelled planes and other aircraft was taken intact. Several pilots were in the cockpits preparing to take off when captured.

In the approaches to the Bavarian Alps, armored spearheads driving south made contact with others advancing east in the vicinity of Oberau. From this area we pushed southeast of Mittenwald on the German-Austrian border. Other advances to the west expanded our hold in Austria to a width of 20 miles and an average depth of five miles. From the Iller River westward to Wangen we advanced up to ten miles southward. In a 15-mile drive through Wangen we pushed about one mile across the Austrian border near the southeastern tip of Bodensee. Lindau was captured. Farther west, Friedrichshafen was occupied. Allied forces in the west captured 59.739 prisoners on Apr 29. On the French Atlantic Coast our forces have launched an attack to clear the Germans from the Oleron Island. We captured Saint Trojan les Bains on the southeastern tip of the island and took an number of prisoners. Allied naval and air units support the attack. Rail and road transport in the area east and southeast of München, and from Salzburg to Praha and near Plzen, and an airfield east of Plzen were attacked by fighter bombers. Yesterday afternoon heavy bombers dropped some 1250 tons of food supplies for the Dutch population in enemy occupied Holland.

Communique Number 389 – 2 May 1945

Allied forces advanced seven miles beyond Leer to Hesel. We are two miles from the outskirts of Oldenburg. West of Hamburg we occupied Horneburg and Stade meeting no resistance. The Elbe bridgehead, east of Hamburg, is now 30 miles in length and armor has broken out to the north. We captured Geesthacht and Boizenburg and crossed the Hamburg-Berlin autobahn. Two airfields in the Lübeck area and road transport around Lübeck and Schwerin were bombed by our medium and fighter bombers. Northeast of Grafenau, our forces crossed the Czechoslovakian border at two points. Farther south, our armor crossed the Austrian border in the vicinity of Oberkappel and entered Öpping northwest of Linz. We reached the vicinity of Kollersberg, northeast of Passau, and an armored column advanced into Austria to reach a point 23 miles southeast of Passau. West of Passau we entered Kriestorf and reached the vicinity of Pörndorf south of Deggendorf. Advancing rapidly against light resistance, our armor reached the Inn River in the vicinity of Braunau. Other armored elements captured Eggenfelden and entered Kösslarn northeast of Braunau. We captured Oberhöcking, south of Landau, and pushed 12 miles to the southwest. Our units cleared Landshut and repulsed and enemy counterattack of 200 infantry southwest of the town.

South of Landshut we cleared Hubenstein and reached the vicinity of Dorfen. The capture of München was completed. Southeast of München our units reached the Mangfall River and south of the city we circled around the Starnberger See from north and south and continued five miles east of it. Our forces crossed the Austrian frontier north of Scharnitz, ten miles northwest of Innsbruck. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, north of the border to the west, was reached. Near the Plan See in Austria, we took a prison camp and liberated a number of high ranking French and Belgian civil and military officials including seven French Generals. Gains southward were made generally through difficult Alpine terrain in Austria.

South of Füssen we advanced ten miles along the Lech River to within 35 miles of the Italian border. West of the Iller River along a 20-mile front from Immenstadt to Bregenz, we gained up to eight miles southward. South of Bregenz we pushed five miles into Austria. From the München area to the Iller Canal 26.946 prisoners, includeing five German Generals, were taken during the 24 hours ending midnight Apr 30. Enemy resistance on the Oleron Island on the French Atlantic Coast has been eliminated. The enemy was overcome rapidly following the liberation of the capital, Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron]. The commandant of the German defenses on the island surrendered and numerous prisoners were taken. An ammunition plant near Stod, 16 miles southwest of Plzen was attacked by light bombers. During the day, 13 enemy aircraft were shot down, five of them in the Elbe bridgehead area. One of our fighters is missing. Food supplies for the Dutch population were dropped at the Hague and Rotterdam yesterday by approximately 400 heavy bombers.

Communique Number 390 – 3 May 1945

Allied forces, breaking out of their bridgehead over the Elbe River near Lauenburg, completely overcame enemy resistance and drove to the Baltic Coast and captured Wismar. Between the Elbe and Wismar we captured and number of towns including Ludwigslust, Hagenow, Schwerin and Möllin. Farther west we captured Lübeck. North of Bremen we occupied Bremervörde. East of Leer we captured Remels and Grosssander. In Holland we eliminated the pocket near Delfzijl, on the Ems Estuary. enemy road movement in the triangular area of Lübeck, Wismar, and Schwerin was repeatedly attacked by fighter bombers and rocket-firing fighters. More than 1500 road vehicles were destroyed or damaged. The communications center of Itzehoe was attacked by medium bombers. Last night light bombers attacked objectives at Kiel. During the day 32 enemy aircraft were shot down and others were destroyed or damaged on the ground. Four of our fighters are missing.

Our forces effected another juncture with the Russian forces along the Elbe River at a point five miles southeast of Wittenberge. Farther south our cavalry patrols reached the Czechoslovakian border at several points southeast of Cham. In Austria our forces crossed the Inn River in the area west of Baunau. Our units are clearing the area 12 miles east of München along a 20 mile front. Huge quantities of enemy materiel were taken in the München area. About 85 planes, including ten Jet-propelled aircraft, and more than 137.000 gas and smoke shells were captured. In this area a Hungarian Infantry Division surrendered intact. South of München armored spearheads advanced rapidly to the east to reach the Inn River at two points south of Rosenheim.

In the Austrian Alps our forces met increased resistance but advanced to a point eight miles west of Innsbruck and within 25 miles of the Italian border. Thirty miles to the west we advanced along the Lech River to within 20 miles of Austria’s southern border. East of the Bodensee, we pushed south from Bregenz to Dornbirn. FM von Rundstedt, Freiher von Weichs and von Sperrle and 18 German Generals were captured. Allied forces in the west captured 93.797 prisoners on Apr 30 and May 1. Approximately 900 heavy bombers dropped food supplies for the Dutch population in enemy occupied Holland. In the period Mar 30 to Apr 30 61.764 long tons of supplies were carried by air supply missions to our battle units. Meanwhile, 64.076 casualties and 104.739 repatriates were evacuated.

Communique Number 391 – 4 May 1945

Oldenburg surrendered to allied forces after fighting had taken place in the outskirts of the town. Hamburg surrendered and we have occupied the city. In the Lübeck area we captured Bad Segeberg and Travemünde on the Baltic. Our units have effecuted their junctions with forces of the 2nd White Russian Army Group near Wismar and Grabow. Large and medium sized enemy vessels and smaller craft off Flensburg, Eckernförde, Kiel and Lübeck and in the Kiel Bay as well as the Lübeck Bay were attacked by rocket-firing fighters and fighter bombers. Nine ships were sunk and over 100 others were left in a damaged condition, some of them in flames. Enemy road transport heading towards Denmark between Flensburg, Kiel, Neumunster and Lübeck was hit by fighter bombers. Some 1200 vehicles were destroyed or damaged. Many enemy aircraft were destroyed or damaged on the ground in attacks on airfields by other fighter bombers.

Eleven enemy aircraft were shot down. Our forces crossed the Czechoslovakian border and reached a point one and one-half miles south of Domažlice. Southeast of Domažlice, other elements crossed the border and reached the area ten miles south of Wallern. Farther south, in Austria, we reached the vicinity of Haslach and our armor advanced to a point seven miles northwest of Linz. Our infantry elements captured Passau, in Germany, and to the east, in Austria, our armor crossed the Grosse Mühl River in the vicinity of Neufelden. Infantry, south of Passau, reached the Inn River in the vicinity of Schärding and Obernberg. Our armor captured Braunau and crossed the Inn River in that vicinity. Infantry elements crossed the Inn River at points northeast and east of Braunau. East of the Inn River we captured Hauserding and reached a point 15 miles east of Braunau. Farther west, we advanced to the vicinity of Neuötting and reached the Inn River southwest of Mühldorf.

Our infantry advanced rapidly to the southeast and captured Wasserburg, 26 miles east of München. Thirty-five miles east and southeast of München, our units were disposed along the Inn River over a front of 30 miles where crossings were effected at several points. From the vicinity of Rosenheim we drove eastward along the autobahn to reach a point south of the Chiemsee, 25 miles west of Salzburg and 28 miles northwest of Berchtesgaden. In the Austrian Alps, our forces approaching Innsbruck from the west met stubborn resistance after negotiations for the surrender of the city failed. Forty miles to the west of Innsbruck, our units were slowed in their southeastward drive along the Lech River by difficult terrain and snow up to four feet deep. Russian General Vishnievsky and General Tonkogonov were liberated. Allied forces in the west captured 85.283 prisoners on May 2. The large ammunition plant near Stod, southwest of Plzen, was attacked by strong formations of light bombers. Fighter bombers bombed road transport near the Chiemsee. From the day’s operations, ten of our fighters are missing. Approximately 800 heavy bombers dropped over 1500 long tons of food supplies for the Dutch population in enemy occupied Holland.

Communique Number 392 – 5 May 1945

All German armed forces in northwest Germany, Holland and Denmark, including the garrisons on Helgoland and the Frisian Islands, have surrendered unconditionally to allied forces. Hostilities ceased at 0800 hours British double summer time, today. Enemy shipping off Wangerooge and Flensburg, in Kiel ford and Eckernförde Bay and south of the Aero Island, was attacked yesterday by fighter bombers and rocket-firing fighters. Attacks were made on large and medium sized surface vessels as well as on smaller craft and barges, and also on submarines. Seven ships were sunk and more than 70 damaged. Airfields at Leck, Husum and Großenbrode were hit by fighter bombers which also attacked motor transport in the Schleswig Holstein area north of Bremen. In the Stendal area, the remnants of two German armies, the ninth and twelfth, surrendered to our units. North of Regen our forces reached Zelena Lhota in Czechoslovakia.

Other elements advanced to a point 22 miles northeast of Regen and ten miles inside the Czechoslovakian border. Farther south, our units crossed the Czechoslovakian border and reached a point 25 miles northeast of Passau. In Austria, we are along the west bank of the Mühl River in the area 20 miles northwest of Linz. North of Linz our armor cleared Zwettl, Reichenau and Gramastetten and reached Altenberg, three miles northeast of Linz. Our infantry elements crossed the Inn River at a point eight miles south of Passau and cleared Waizenkirchen, 22 miles to the southeast. Other infantry units advanced rapidly to clear Sulzbach, 18 miles southwest of Linz.

West of Linz we cleared ried and Aichkirchen. Fourteen miles northeast of Salzburg our units made rapid advances to clear Straßwalchen. Salzburg surrendered to our mechanized cavalry forces. We captured Berchtesgaden. To the southwest in Austria, our forces took Innsbruck, and drove through the Brenner Pass to link up at Vipiteno, Italy, with fifth army units pushing northward. Other forces fanning out from Innsbruck advanced 18 miles northeast along the Inn River. Following our juncture in Italy practically all organized resistance collapsed along a 70 mile front extending from 30 miles east of Austria’s western border with Germany to 15 miles east of Innsbruck. We took 48.100 prisoners between Salzburg and the Iller River and 1500 from the Iller River to the Lichtenstein. Prisoners included 14 generals. Allied forces in the west captured 412.493 prisoners on May 3.

Airfields, rail yards and rail and motor transport in southwestern Czechoslovakia and northern Austria, and motor transport between Salzburg and Innsbruck were attacked by fighter bombers. In the attacks on airfields a number of aircraft were destroyed on the ground and others were damaged. One enemy aircraft was shot down. Five of our fighter bombers are missing. Heavy bombers dropped over 400 long tons of food for the Dutch population in enemy occupied Holland.

Communique Number 393 – 6 May 1945

Allied forces in Czechoslovakia reached the vicinity of Dürnbach northwest of Plzen, and Armschlag, 25 miles southwest of Plzen. South of Klatovy, we entered Brünst and reached a point 32 miles east of Regen. In Austria, armored and infantry elements entered the cities of Urfahr and Linz on the Danube River. We captured a bridge intact across the river. North of the river, to the east of Linz, our units reached the vicinity of Wartberg and Ried. South of the Danube River, our infantry advanced rapidly to capture Steyr and Wartberg southeast of Linz. We captured bridges intact across the Krems River and the Enns River. West of Linz, we occupied Eferding and reached Hörsching. Southwest of Linz, along the Ager River, we captured Vöcklabruck and Lambach. The German Army Group G, composed of two armies which were spread over and area of some 9500 square miles from the Rhine east to about 20 miles beyond Salzburg and south of our lines to the Italian and Swiss borders, surrendered. The capitulation is effective at noon May 6, but immediate announcements made to troops of both sides, ordered all combat to cease at once. One army within the group surrendered effective 1800 hours May 5. The unconditional surrender terms included the provision that all troops were to stand fast in place with their arms and equipment.

A secret prison camp deep in the Alps was captured and several world famous prisoners of nazis were liberated. They included Edouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, former premiers of France, and General Gamelin and General Weygand. Kurt Schuschnigg, former chancellor of Austria, and Leon Blum, former socialist premier of France, had been imprisoned there but were hurried away a few hours before the camp was captured. Col Wilhelm Buchner, former aide to Hitler, and Reichminister Frank, former Gauleiter of Poland have been captured. Allied forces in the west captured over 176.000 prisoners on May 4. During the first four days of may more than 3800 long tons of supplies were carried by air supply missions to our battle units and more than 3700 casualties and over 11.300 repatriates were evacuated. Yesterday heavy bombers dropped 1100 long tons of food supplies for the Dutch population in enemy occupied holland.

Communique Number 394 – 7 May 1945

Our forces liberated Plzen, reached the vicinity of Vysoka and entered Wesenau, northwest of Plzen. To the west and south, our units reached Cernosin and Horsovsky Tyn and freed Stribro and Klatovy. Our infantry reached Kunkovice and Dobra Voda. Other elements reached to Otava River in the area 20 miles northeast of Regen. Southeast of Plzen, we occupied Winterberg and crossed the Vltava River to reach Záton. In the area 22 miles north of Linz our units advanced to the Vltava River. South and east of Linz we reached Leonding and Enns. Other elements advanced to Waldneukirchen, southeast of Linz. In the vicinity of Roitham 2000 hungarians surrendered to our forces. An order by SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler on Apr 14 that no prisoners in notorious Dachau concentration camp ‘shall be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy alive’ has come into allied possession. He had ordered the camp evacuated ‘immediately’. Distinguished allied prisoners released by Nazis included Lt the Viscount Lascelles, nephew of King George VI; Capt John A. Elphinstone, nephew of Queen Elizabeth; 1/Lt John G. Winant, Jr., Son of the American Ambassador to Great Britain, and General Bor-Komorowski who commanded the uprising in Warsaw. All had been released under Swiss diplomatic protection.

Prisoners taken in Austria included former German Ambassador von Mackensen, ex foreign minister von Neurath and General Beck. Our forces in accordance with the terms of the German surrender in Holland, northwest Germany and Denmark are proceeding with the occupation of enemy held territory. Allied forces in the west captured 398.630 prisoners on May 5. More than 350 heavy bombers dropped food for the Dutch population yesterday.

Top Secret Top Secret SHAEF forward Staff Message Control
outgoing message top secret urgent to : AGWAR for combined chiefs of staff AMSSO for british chiefs of staff from: SHAEF forward, signed Eisenhower ref no: fwd-20798 too: 070325b scaf 355 the mission of this allied force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, may 7th, 1945. Eisenhower. Originator: Supreme Commander authentication: J. B. Moore, Lt Col information: to all General and Special Staff Divisions fs out 3674 7 may 1945 0324b job/jg ref no: [fnd – 20798] too: 070325b copy no top secret the making of an exact copy of this message is forbidden.

Shaef message form call circuit no.
nr priority transmission instructions spaces within heavy lines for signals use only from
(a) shaef forward originator
prd, communique section date-time of origin
081505b may to for action
(1) agwar

(2) navy department to (w) for information (info)
(3) tac hq 12 army gp
(4) main 12 army gp
(5) air staff main
(6) ancxf
(7) exfor main
(8) exfor rear
(9) defensor, ottawa
(10) canadian c/s, ottawa
(11) war office
(12) admiralty
(13) air ministry
(14) united kingdom base
(15) sacsea
(16) cmhq (pass to rcaf & rcn)
(17) com zone
(18) shaef rear
(19) shaef main
(20) hq sixth army gp
(21) woia for owi washington for release to combined u.s. & canadian press at 0900 hours gmt
(22) ahfq, rome for pwb. Message instructions gr (ref no.)
none (classification) in the clear special communique no. 8 unclassified: all German Land, Sea and Air forces in Europe were unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command, at 0141 hours Central European Time, May 7. The surrender terms, which will become effective at 2301 Central European Time, May 8, were signed by an officer of the German High Command. Allied Expeditionary Forces have been ordered to cease offensive operations, but will maintain their present positions until the surrender becomes effective. Distribution: communique distribution coordinated with: G-2, G-3 to c/s this message must be sent in cypher if liable to interception ________ initials this message may be sent in clear by any means
/s/
________ initials precedence ‘op’ – agwar & woia ‘p’ – others originating division prd, communique section name and rank typed. Tel. No. 4655 D.R. Jordan Lt Col FA authenticating signature /s/ thi or tor time cleared opr.

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