Today is the 75th Anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), which marked the end of World War II in Europe, on May 8, 1945. To celebrate, author Julie Lessman and I are teaming up with an amazing giveaway! Julie and I both have recent releases of novels set during World War II.
GRAND PRIZE: signed paperback copies of Julie Lessman’s A Wing and a Prayer and Sarah Sundin’s The Land Beneath Us (winner may also choose a CD audio version of my book or an early copy of my 2021 release), a $50 Amazon gift card, and memorabilia from the incredible National WWII Museum Store, including V-for-Victory earrings, Women of WWII sticky notes, and a Women of WWII zipper pouch!
SECOND PRIZE: A paperback copy of A Wing and a Prayer (or an e-copy of both A Wing and a Prayer and Julie’s award-winning Isle of Hope series in e-book) AND a paperback copy of The Land Beneath Us (winner may also choose a CD audio version of my book or an early copy of my 2021 release).
How to Enter:
To enter to win the GRAND PRIZE, read the posts on Julie’s blog and mine (see below) for clues to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the blog. Additional optional Rafflecopter points can be earned by following Julie and me on various social media sites (per the Rafflecopter options) and by watching our Facebook Live videos (links and times below). Note: both videos will be available for viewing at any time after they go live.
SARAH SUNDIN’S FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO
May 8, 2020 at 9 am Pacific Time/noon Eastern
JULIE LESSMAN’S FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO
May 8, 2020 at 8:30 am Pacific Time/11:30 am Eastern
To enter to win the SECOND PRIZE, go to the Facebook Live video links above and leave a comment on both Julie’s video AND mine.
Giveaway runs May 8-16, 2020. US mailing addresses only, please for the paperbacks and the grand prize – but international addresses are eligible for Julie’s e-book. Winners will be notified by email.
Victory in Europe
Since Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the free world had been longing for this day. On May 8, 1945, it came. Victory in Europe Day.
For years, the Allied forces had been pushing back Hitler’s armies. On April 29, German forces in Italy and Austria officially surrendered, effective May 2. On April 30, Hitler committed suicide. On May 4, German forces in northwest Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands surrendered, effective May 5. And finally on May 7, Germany officially surrendered, in Reims, France, effective May 8. The western Allies proclaimed May 8 to be V-E Day. The Soviets demanded a second surrender ceremony in Berlin on May 8 and celebrated V-E Day on May 9.
ColGen Alfred Jodl signing the documents of Germany’s surrender, Reims, France, 7 May 1945. (US Army Signal Corps photo)
For the Allies, V-E Day was a day of celebration. Spontaneous parties and conga lines and parades broke out in cities throughout Britain and France and Canada and the USA. People went to church and prayed. American Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and the new president, Harry Truman, addressed the nation. To read text from their speeches, please see this excellent post on V-E Day on the US Army Center of Military History website.
A jubilant American airman hugging an English woman at Piccadilly Circus, London, England, celebrating Germany’s unconditional surrender, 7 May 1945 (US National Archives: 111-SC-205398)
US Army personnel on top of l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France watching the celebration in the streets over the war in Europe coming to an end, 8 May 1945 (public domain via WW2 Database)
In London, the Royal Family and Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace before a jubilant crowd. Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, with permission from their parents, anonymously joined the rejoicing crowds in London, “swept along on a tide of happiness and relief.”
Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, King George VI, and Princess Margaret on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, London, 8 May 1945 (US Army photo)
But V-E Day was also a day of solemn remembrance. Tens of millions had been killed in battle. More tens of millions had been murdered and starved in concentration camps. And tens of thousands had perished as civilian casualties of bombing. Many of Europe’s great cities lay in heaps of rubble.
On Okinawa, men of the US 77th Infantry Division listen to the radio report of Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945. One minute after this photo was taken, they returned to their combat posts. US forces on Okinawa celebrated V-E Day by training every ship and shore battery on a Japanese target and firing one shell simultaneously and precisely at midnight. (US National Archives: FA 41224- FA)
And World War II was far from over. In the Pacific, Allied forces were still fighting the Japanese in the East Indies, in the Philippines, in China, and on Okinawa. US forces on Okinawa commemorated V-E Day by simultaneously firing artillery and naval shells at midnight. Then they got back to the battle. V-J Day (Victory in Japan Day) wouldn’t arrive for three more months, on August 15, 1945, with the official end of World War II on September 2, 1945, six years and one day after it had begun.
But for now, the free world rejoiced, and rightly so. Hitler and the Nazis had been defeated, and democracy would return to western Europe. They deserved to celebrate.
Ground crew on a RAF Bomber Command station in Britain return the ‘V for Victory’ sign to a neighboring searchlight crew. Silhouetted is the nose of a Lancaster bomber. (Imperial War Museum)
a Rafflecopter giveaway