Where were you … May 8th 1945?

So many people take the freedoms that we have for a given thing but the reason that I ask where were you on May 8th, 1945. Now most people don’t realize that there was a lot of work done to make May 8th an important day to celebrate.

If we look back at this date we must go back to June 6th, 1944 and see what started to make this day so important. On June 6th, the Normandy invasion began. The Germans had made the Atlantic Wall to prevent the Allies from landing and they had fallen for what they thought would make the most common sense to them. The shortest way from England, which had become basically a huge military base to France was through the Port of Calais. Field Marshal Rommel had gone home to Germany to celebrate his wife’s birthday. The weather for that day was that it was to be too harsh to do a Channel crossing.

(Surface map 0700 GMT 06 June 1944) As we know they were wrong. When the German’s saw the ships on the Channel, they couldn’t believe that there were so many coming despite the weather and the seas being as bad as they were. Believe it or not, Hitler had chosen to sleep in that day and thought that the reports he was getting were a diversionary attack and wouldn’t release the troops that were needed to stop it.

After that the Allies had to fight their way to Germany. Their next major battle was known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans figured that if they could cut the Allied forces in two by punching a hole in the lines they could get the fuel that they would need to hold out a bit longer. Their plan was to go through the Ardennes forest and push the Allies out of Northern France. The Germans had a fight for them in Bastogne and when the weather cleared the Germans were out of fuel and open to air attacks and General Patton’s 3rd Army.

When May 8th came, the war in Europe was over. The German’s had surrendered to the allies and Europe was free of the terror that had been caused.

The next time you think that nothing special happened on a set day, check the history books you might be surprised at what you see. And when you see someone in uniform, remember that their willingness to put it on gives you the freedom to be free.


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