Let the celebrations begin

reading-the-newspaper

Although most of Europe was liberated in September 1944 but the war was still raging in the pacific. The severe winter of 1944 in Europe also threw a spanner in the celebrations, since some parts were still occupied by the Germans.

It was only on VE Day in May and Japan’s surrender in August of 1945 before the celebrations could start.

Below are some impressions of those celebrations.

A double-decker bus slowly pushes its way through the huge crowds gathered in Whitehall, London to hear Winston Churchill’s victory speech and celebrate Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945.

crowds-of-people-surround-a-bus

A member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps seated on a courthouse lion celebrates the end of the war. August 1945.

woman-cheering

V-E Day celebration in Trondheim, Norway. May 8, 1945.

kids-holding-flags

American servicemen and women gather in front of the Rainbow Corner Red Cross Club in Paris to celebrate the unconditional surrender of the Japanese on August 15, 1945.

crowds-in-the-street

Residents of Oak Ridge, Tennessee fill Jackson Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945. Oak Ridge was one of the three main sites of the Manhattan Project and was responsible (though those working there did not know it) for refining uranium to be used in the first atomic bombs.

crowds-cheering

A sergeant interrupts his shave in a barber shop and holds up the latest copy of the Stars And Stripes newspaper announcing the surrender of Japan with the headline of “PEACE.” Paris, France. August 14, 1945

man-shaving-reading-newspaper

V-E Day celebrations on Bay Street, Toronto, Canada on May 8, 1945.

cheering-in-a-car

Four MPs take a break along a German road in May of 1945 to read about the Nazi surrender in the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

soldiers-read-newspaper

A French woman kisses an American soldier. France. Date unspecified

welcome-back-embrace

As World War II ended, women were able to obtain nylon stockings once again. Date unspecified

women-trying-on-stockings

 

Advertisements

THE HALIFAX VE-DAY RIOTS

 

9f2fb106-d475-4208-b2bb-4de6549dedf9_thumbnail_600_600On 7 and 8 May 1945, riots broke out after poorly coordinated Victory in Europe celebrations fell apart in Halifax and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Several thousand servicemen (predominantly naval), merchant seamen and civilians drank, vandalized and looted.

a346b78c-2c23-4b5b-b7b5-795cb1584347_thumbnail_600_600

Word of Germany’s surrender in World War II was met by celebrations across Canada, but in Halifax, Nova Scotia the VE-Day celebrations rapidly turned into riots. For two days, military personnel and civilians roamed the streets, drinking, smashing windows, looting businesses and setting fires.

400

A major North American port, Halifax had doubled its size during World War II, from about 70,000 people to 130,000.

The resulting overcrowding in Halifax, scarce food, and inadequate facilities had led to a buildup of tensions between military personnel and permanent residents of Halifax.

abb5bd9727d4c29281b5e3a3554af5ef

The planning for VE-Day in Halifax was poor. In meetings before VE-Day there had been an agreement that the navy, army and air force would look after their own personnel and the Halifax city police force would take care of civilians. In reality, the military and civilian police could not handle mobs of mixed military personnel and civilians, and nobody could control 25,000 servicemen on leave who wanted to celebrate, but had nothing to do, and nothing to drink.

81a04318-857f-48f9-86fd-3d1cca429587

When the news of the German surrender was announced on radio on Monday morning May 7, 1945, people in Halifax, as in many other Canadian cities, ran into the streets to celebrate.

Restaurants and liquor stores in Halifax were closed to let workers celebrate. There were no taverns in Halifax.

The navy wet canteens opened around noon and closed at 9 pm that evening. When the canteens closed, thousands of sailors streamed into the streets of Halifax, joining the throngs of civilians and other servicemen.

A group of sailors wrecked a tram car. When the police arrived, the sailors smashed the police van.

bd2fa613-245a-4693-b2ad-58a799dff603_thumbnail_600_600

By midnight the Halifax liquor stores were being hit by rioters.

On the second day, VE-Day, it started all over again at about noon.

Civilians and other servicemen joined the mob as vandalism and looting broke out and spread.

A mob broke through the police cordon at the brewery – some even carted beer out in trucks. When the city and army police arrived, the mob had grown to thousands of civilians and military personnel, and the looting of the brewery went on unchecked.

Admiral Leonard Murray marched a parade of servicemen downtown to set an example for the looters. The marchers were jeered and shoved, and many joined the rioters.

Systematic destruction and looting continued as restaurants were looted and burned and all the businesses in the Halifax downtown district were looted and smashed.

download

Admiral Murray and Halifax Mayor Butler drove through the downtown wreckage of Halifax using a loudspeaker to announce an 8 pm curfew.

By midnight it had begun to rain, and the riots faded.

Three people died – two of alcohol poisoning, and one a possible murder.

More than 500 businesses were damaged.Over 200 shops were looted.

Thousands of cases of beer, wine and liquor were looted.

Admiral Leonard Murray was forced to retire.

LeadersMurray

VE Day-Victory in Europe

Churchill_waves_to_crowds

Today marks the 71st anniversary of VE Day, Victory in Europe day. Of course if there is victory there is generally also someone who loses. It can be debated if Germany and its allies lost the war, because I think the majority of their citizens were also victims of the Fascist regime.

Many people in Europe forget that the war still continued until 2 September 1945 in the Pacific.

But to remember VE Day  I will do something similar as my post on the Dutch liberation day and post pictures of the day. Because a picture paints a thousand words.

 

POSTER

 

 

VE DAY GERMANY

VE DAY MEDIA COVERAGE

 

 

PAPER5

Happy VE Day!!!!