V – Victory

A young couple kisses on V-E Day

8 May 1945 was the day the war in Europe was officially over. Americans and British were particularly ecstatic.  The hanging of the German officer Alfred Jodi, marked the unconditional surrender of the Germans.  More importantly, Hitler was dead too.  During the Battle of Berlin, it is presumed that Hitler committed suicide.  This day is also referred to as V-E Day (V for victory and E for Europe).  The official surrender was signed by Hitler’s sucessor, Karl Dönitz, on the same day as the unconditional surrender.

People held their hands in the air making V signs with their fingers (same thing as the peace sign).  People also shouted dot dot dot dah, which is morse code for V.

Victory in Japan

The spring victory in Europe foreshadowed what was to come during the summer in Japan.  Just a week after the atomic bombs were dropped, the Japanese unconditionally surrendered on 14 August 1945, which is referred to as V-J Day.  However, the war in Japan was not officially over until 2 September, when the official surrender document was signed in Tokyo Bay abord the USS Missouri.