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World War II Surrender Documents
Document Start & Index    Return to Library

The Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri Hitler was already dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and his other top party hacks had either followed suit or disappeared. The German army in the main had surrendered to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery on May 4th. VE Day waited only for the Nazi High Command to surrender the rest of its forces -- almost a formality by this time given that the "Eastern Front" now wandered right through Berlin.

On May 7, General Alfred Jodl and Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel of the General Staff agreed to the final surrender of all German forces, and signed the document at SHAEF headquarters in Riems, France.Field Marshal Keitel signs for Germany

In the Pacific Theater things were still hot. Japan showed little sign of giving in, despite a pounding on Iwo Jima in February, and the ongoing assault on Okinawa. As in the case of Germany, it was expected that an invasion of the homeland would be necessary to bring finality, along with hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Fate (and science) interceded in the form of "Little Boy" and "Fat Boy", nuclear fire dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. A week later, VJ Day was declared without the feared invasion. The formal surrender was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, September 2.



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World War II Surrender Documents

The German Surrender

The Japanese Surrender

The German Surrender
May 8, 1945

C056077

Only this text in English is authoritative

ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER

1. We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command all forces on land, sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control.

2. The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European time on 8 May and to remain in the positions occupied at that time. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment.

3. The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commanders, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Soviet High Command.

4. This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.

C056078

5. In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Soviet High Command will take such punitive or other action as they deem appropriate.

Signed at Rheims at 0241 on the 7th day of May, 1945. France

On behalf of the German High Command.
Jodl

IN THE PRESENCE OF

On behalf of the Supreme Commander.
Allied Expeditionary Force.
W. B. Smith

F Sevez
Major General, French Army
(Witness)

On behalf of the Soviet High Command.
Sousloparov.





The Japanese Surrender
September 2, 1945

INSTRUMENT OF SURRENDER

WE, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, hereby accept the provisions set forth in the declaration issued by the heads of the Governments of the United States, China and Great Britain on 26 July 1945, at Potsdam, and subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which four powers are hereafter referred to as the Allied Powers.

We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.

We hereby command all Japanese forces wherever situated and the Japanese people to cease hostilities forthwith, to preserve and save from damage all ships, aircraft, and military and civil property and to comply with all requirements which may be imposed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by agencies of the Japanese Government at his direction.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters to issue at once orders to the Commanders of all Japanese forces and all forces under Japanese control wherever situated to surrender unconditionally themselves and all forces under their control.

We hereby command all civil, military and naval officials to obey and enforce all proclamations, orders and directives deemed by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers to be proper to effectuate this surrender and issued by him or under his authority and we direct all such officials to remain at their posts and to continue to perform their noncombatant duties unless specifically relieved by him or under his authority.

We hereby undertake for the Emperor, the Japanese Government and their successors to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration in good faith, and to issue whatever orders and take whatever action may be required by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers or by any other designated representative of the Allied Powers for the purpose of giving effect to that Declaration.

We hereby command the Japanese Imperial Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters at once to liberate all allied prisoners of war and civilian internees now under Japanese control and to provide for their protection, care, maintenance and immediate transportation to places as directed.

The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state shall be subject to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers who will take such steps as he deems proper to effectuate these terms of surrender.

Signed at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN at 0904, on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945.

Mamoru Shigemitsu
By Command and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Government.

Yoshijiro Umezu
By Command and in behalf of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters.

Accepted at TOKYO BAY, JAPAN, at 0908 I on the SECOND day of SEPTEMBER, 1945, for the United States, Republic of China, United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and in the interests of the other United Nations at war with Japan.

Douglas MacArthur
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.

C. W. Nimitz
United States Representative

Hsu Yang-Chiang
Republic of China Representative

Bruce Fraser
United Kingdom Representative

Kazma Direvyanko
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Representative

T A Blarney
Commonwealth of Australia Representative

L. Moore Cosgrave
Dominion of Canada Representative

Le Clerc
Provisional Government of the French Republic Representative

C. F. L. Helfrich
Kingdom of the Netherlands Representative

Leooard M Isitt
Dominion of New Zealand Representative

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