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In January 1945 the Russians had reached the eastern frontier of Germany. In the west, the British and American armies were preparing for the final offensive whilst the Allied air forces continued their bombing campaign. In March, the American army crossed the Rhine and by the end of April had joined up with the Russians on the River Elbe. Russian troops entered Berlin on April 24th and captured the city after fierce street fighting. Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his underground fortress in Berlin on April 30th. In May, the German armies began surrendering and the war in Europe finally came to an end on May 8th.
'The Victory Number’ of May 12th 1945

(Appendix List No. 131) was the first of three Victory numbers. This issue covers surrender scenes; the fall of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg; full coverage of British, U.S., Soviet, Empire and foreign statesmen and naval, military and RAF leaders who had brought about the German defeat as well as a ‘Rogues’ Gallery’ of Italian and German enemy personalities. Full page photographs in colour or sepia are devoted to the General of the Army, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Field-Marshals Sir Bernard Montgomery and Sir H. Alexander and the British Prime Minister Mr. Winston Churchill.
The coloured cover by Cyrus Cuneo shows five central marching figures: a British sailor and airman and an infantry man carrying a Union Jack; a G.I. carrying the Stars and Stripes and a soldier of the Red Army carrying the Hammer and
Sickle. Behind these come representative Allied soldiers each carrying their national flag.
This is issue number 5534, vol. 206, pages 497-520, measuring 37 x 26 cm and priced at one shilling and sixpence.

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