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Happy Victory in Europe Day!

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New York, Times Square, USA

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London, Trafalgar Square, England

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Paris, France

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Toronto, Canada

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Moscow, Soviet Union

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Boston, USA

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Melbourne, Australia

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Philadelphia, USA

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101st Airborne, Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s vacation home “The Eagles Nest”

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May 08, 2014, 3:00pm / 1198

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US Marines pay respects to those who fell on Gavutu Island during the Solomons campaign/February 1943

US Marines pay respects to those who fell on Gavutu Island during the Solomons campaign/February 1943

Source / May 08, 2014 / 39

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The first wave of assault on Saipan by US Marines and the US Army/16 June 1944

The first wave of assault on Saipan by US Marines and the US Army/16 June 1944

Source / May 08, 2014 / 105

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On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark—the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.

The main concern of many German soldiers was to elude the grasp of Soviet forces, to keep from being taken prisoner. About 1 million Germans attempted a mass exodus to the West when the fighting in Czechoslovakia ended, but were stopped by the Russians and taken captive. The Russians took approximately 2 million prisoners in the period just before and after the German surrender.

Meanwhile, more than 13,000 British POWs were released and sent back to Great Britain.

Pockets of German-Soviet confrontation would continue into the next day. On May 9, the Soviets would lose 600 more soldiers in Silesia before the Germans finally surrendered. Consequently, V-E Day was not celebrated until the ninth in Moscow, with a radio broadcast salute from Stalin himself: “The age-long struggle of the Slav nations… has ended in victory. Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over.”

Despite this victory, the war in the Pacific was still raging and one of the largest battles fought by the US Marines—Okinawa—wasn’t even finished.

May 08, 2014, 12:00pm / 436

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Lagos, Nigeria - 1941Nigerians raising aid money for England to buy weapons in WWII. People who donated were given Kill Hitler certificates.Source: The Bee Newspaper, Oct 1941

Lagos, Nigeria - 1941

Nigerians raising aid money for England to buy weapons in WWII. People who donated were given Kill Hitler certificates.

Source: The Bee Newspaper, Oct 1941

/ May 08, 2014 / 50

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B-17 Flying Fortress of the 8th AAF hiting a vital CAM ball-bearing plant and nearby Hispano Suiza aircraft engine repair depot in Paris, 31 December 1943

B-17 Flying Fortress of the 8th AAF hiting a vital CAM ball-bearing plant and nearby Hispano Suiza aircraft engine repair depot in Paris, 31 December 1943

Source / May 06, 2014 / 107

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Sgt. Carl Weinke and Pfc. Ernest Marjoram, Signal Corps cameramen, wading through stream while following infantry troops in forward area during invasion at a beach in New Guinea.

Sgt. Carl Weinke and Pfc. Ernest Marjoram, Signal Corps cameramen, wading through stream while following infantry troops in forward area during invasion at a beach in New Guinea.

Source / May 06, 2014 / 82

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The destruction surrounding the Pegnitz River, which was taken by the Allies in April 1945, cutting off Nuremberg

The destruction surrounding the Pegnitz River, which was taken by the Allies in April 1945, cutting off Nuremberg

Source / May 06, 2014 / 510

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David Birnbaum

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