Prologue Magazine

Mission Fulfilled

Eisenhower’s message for the end of the war in Europe

Summer 2015, Vol. 47, No. 2 | Pieces of History


Refer to Caption (Dwight D. Eisenhower Library)

After more than five years of fighting, the Allied forces had finally defeated Nazi Germany. British and American forces had pushed the German army from the west, while the Red Army had pushed from the east. A few days after Hitler's April 30 suicide, his successor, Adm. Karl Dönitz, sent Gen. Alfred Jodl to the Western Allies headquarters in Reims, France, to surrender their troops in the west.

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force, made it clear that any surrender was to be a full capitulation to all Allies on both fronts. On May 7, at the Reims headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force, Jodl signed the unconditional surrender of the German armed forces.

Once the documents were signed, and Eisenhower recorded a short message for the newsreels and radio, it was time to send official word to Combined Chiefs of Staff, the joint British and American command directing the war in the west. The officers around Eisenhower tried out several grand statements, hoping to come up with words worthy of the momentous occasion. The final message came from the Supreme Commander himself—in typical concise, straightforward style: "The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945."

Long, weary years of war were over; their job was done.

Articles published in Prologue do not necessarily represent the views of NARA or of any other agency of the United States Government.


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