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World War II

© Beeldbank WO 2 – Oorlogs- en verzetscentrum Groningen

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The crossing of the Rhine: Operation Plunder and Operation Varsity

The final hurdle of the Rhineland Offensive was the Rhine itself. The crossing near Wesel (Operation Plunder) was one of several coordinated Rhine crossings. A million Allied soldiers participated. In support of the crossing, 14.000 paratroopers were dropped behind enemy lines (Operation Varsity). The operations were a complete success. Hitler’s days were numbered.

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The Liberation of the Channel Islands

The Channel Islands were left undefended by British forces throughout WWII and lived under German Occupation for five long years. On 9 May 1945, liberating Allied forces negotiated the surrender of the Islands. Landing in both Guernsey and Jersey, they were greeted by crowds of cheering Islanders, joyously celebrating their freedom.

Discover the Personal Stories

Alexander M. Patch

After driving the Japanese out of Guadalcanal in 1943, General Patch commanded US Seventh Army from the landings of Operation Dragoon in August 1944 to the surrender of German 19th Army on May 5, 1945. He liberated the Alsace region with French general De Lattre and the Dachau concentration camp near Munich.

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Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

Jean de Lattre de Tassigny commanded the French ‘Army B’, later the 1st Army, which took part in the liberation of France as the largest French formation. On May 8th 1945 he represented France during the signing of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany in Berlin-Karlshorst.