Friday, May 8, 2015

Victory In Europe Day

Today represents the 70th Anniversary of the day that Germans officially surrendered to the Allies.  However, depending on which ally you are, you celebrate it on a different day.
 Since I like aircraft, I will use a couple of my World War II aircraft in this post.  First up is the Supermarine Spitfire.  The Spitfire and Hurricane were best known as the aircraft used by the British during the Battle of Britain.  The Spitfire was the more famous of the two aircraft but the Hurricane was more of the workhorse.
 The Battle of Britain probably marked a turning point in the war of sorts.  The British had been forced back to the Island and were standing in the way of complete German dominance.  Hitler was looking to invade but prior to that, he had to destroy the Royal Air Force.  Had the Germans continued on their initial strategy, it probably would have happened.  Instead, they decided to concentrate on London.  The rest is history as they say.
 The Spitfire of course continued through the rest of the war with upgrades all along.
 The Commonwealth nations celebrate VE Day on May 7 because that was the first day the Germans surrendered in Reims.
 The P-47 Thunderbolt was the less glamorous of the main US Fighters in Europe.  However, it was a very capable aircraft.  It was particularly effective in the ground attack role.  Nicknamed the Jug by its pilots.
On May 8th, the formal surrender was accepted in Berlin, Germany.  Thus, May 8th is the day we celebrate VE Day in the United States.
Because the Soviet Union was to the east of Berlin, it was May 9th when the formal surrender documents were signed.  Therefore, the Russians celebrate VE Day on the 9th.

I'm hoping to catch a real B-17 and B-25 later but I'm not going to hold my breathe on that.

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