"Later that day, commanders of three German military units offered to surrender unconditionally
to the division. These were the 2nd SS Panzer Corps, with 50,000 troops, the 8th German Army,
strength 100,000, the Russian Forces of Liberation, a a Nazi-sponsored Army, 100,000 strong. All were
told to remain in place."
Shortly after the 11th Armored Division met the Russians all of the XII Corps front-line units
make contact, "across roads choked with German personnel enroute to make a preferential surrender to
US forces," as a Corps After Action Summary put it.
"For the first time in the 4th Armored's history," characteristically says that division's draft
sequel to the ETOUSA I & E pamphlet, to be called From Bastogne to Bavaria, "German troops ran
toward the division instead of from it. At least 80,000 German troops attempted to surrender to the 4th
or filter through into Germany.
"The staff of the 17th German Army, which surrendered to CCA, was given the job of
organizing the mob of German soldiers. German generals, colonels and lieutenants walked the streets
with white armbands marked 'Liaison Officer With U.S. Army.' Field orders were issued in English and
German and signed by American and German commanding officers. German staff cars, trucks and
volkswagons mixed up in the traffic with American halftracks and peeps.
"Gathered into four huge bivouac areas the Germans were held with their vehicles until those
designated as Soviet prisoners could be turned over to the Russians. Our column of fleeing German
vehicles extended 35 miles, with the tail of the column in Prague and the head butting into the 4th
Armored. The German, with some distress, said that their rear end was being shot up.
"Then the Russians arrived. Columns of the Second Ukrainian Army came from the east, cutting
below the Germans from Prague. American six-by-six trucks and peeps sped into the 4th Armored's area
with Red flags snapping. GI's and Russians eyed each other with curiosity and examined each other's
arms and uniforms. Medals and parties were exchanged and Americans found the Russian representation
for stiff drinking no myth. "
The XII Corps Headquarters and personnel of the corps infantry divisions and cavalry group
were soon making the same discovery.
There was double reason to celebrate by 9 May 45. Two days previously all major units had
received a famous message from the Supreme Commander, AEF:
"A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND SIGNED THE
UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OF ALL GERMAN LAND, SEA, AND AIR FORCES IN
EUROPE TO THE ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE AND SIMULTANEOUSLY TO THE
SOVIET HIGH COMMAND AT 0141 HOURS CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME, 7 MAY UNDER
WHICH ALL FORCES WILL CEASE ACTIVE OPERATIONS AT 0001 B HOURS 9 MAY.
"EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY ALL OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS BY ALLIED
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE WILL CEASE AND TROOPS WILL REMAIN IN PRESENT
POSITIONS. MOVES INVOLVED IN OCCUPATIONAL DUTIES WILL CONTINUE. DUE TO
DIFFICULTIES OF COMMUNICATION THERE MAY BE SOME DELAY IN SIMILAR ORDERS
REACHING ENEMY TROOPS SO FULL DEFENSIVE PRECAUTIONS WILL BE TAKEN. "