May 8 marks the day of victory for Allies in World War II
On Mar. 7, 1945, the Western Allies—whose chief commanders in the field were Omar N. Bradley and Bernard Law Montgomery—crossed the Rhine after having smashed through the strongly fortified Siegfried Line and overran West Germany. German collapse came after the meeting (Apr. 25) of the Western and Russian armies at Torgau in Saxony, and after Hitler's death amid the ruins of Berlin, which was falling to the Russians under marshals Zhukov and Konev. The unconditional surrender of Germany was signed at Rheims on May 7 and ratified at Berlin on May 8.