Written by Norman Cramp, Director of Darwin Military Museum.
The ‘Naval Message – News Communique 15/8/45’, presented below is a copy of the original telegraphed communication sheet that effectively ordered, and announced, the end of the Second World War.
The war in Europe had ended on 8th May 1945 when German forces surrendered to the Allies following the fall of Berlin and the death of Adolf Hitler. The 8th May is commemorated as ‘Victory in Europe Day’ and the end of WW2, however, the war dragged on for another 3 months before Japan capitulated and the war had completely come to an end.
By war’s end, Australia’s contribution to the victories amounted to;
- 993,000 served
- 27,073 were killed in action
- 23477 were wounded
- 30,560 were taken prisoner of war
Even though the fighting was over, the pain, suffering and heartbreak for many would continue well into the future as the men and women and their loved ones tried to return to their ‘normal’ lives.
Lest We Forget