73 Years since victory in Europe

Victory in Europe
Victory in Europe Day celebrations in London 1945 © IWM

TODAY is the 73rd anniversary of Victory in Europe Day when we are encouraged to remember the Australian service men and women who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres of the Second World War, Minister for Veterans Affairs, Darren Chester said.

Victory in Europe Day, 8 May 1945, ended five years and eight months of hostilities in Europe and the Mediterranean as Germany’s unconditional surrender took effect on all fronts.

“Australian men and women served in the European and Mediterranean theatres from the beginning of hostilities in September 1939. Some 10,000 lost their lives in the war against Germany and her European allies, almost 10,000 more were wounded and some 8,000 became prisoners of war,” Mr Chester said.

“Victory in Europe Day was a cause for great celebration in Allied nations and meant that thousands of Australians, including recently released prisoners of war, could return home.

“In Australia, news of Germany’s surrender was tempered with the knowledge that the war in the Pacific continued with no end yet in sight.

“We must never forget the significance of the Allied victory in Europe, or the men and women whose service and sacrifice helped bring about Germany’s defeat.”