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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II

438 — The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the acting Prime Minister of New Zealand1

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the acting Prime Minister of New Zealand1

30 April 1945
Field-Marshal Alexander has today reported that representatives of General von Vietinghoff,2 German Commander-in-Chief, South-West, and SS General Wolff,3 Supreme Commander of SS and Police and Plenipotentiary General of German Wehrmacht in Italy respectively, signed terms of surrender at 12 noon, GMT, 29 April. The command affected includes all Italy (except the portion of Venezia

1 This telegram was repeated to the United Kingdom Delegation at San Francisco.

2 Colonel-General Heinrich von Vietinghoff; commanded 10th Army in Italy, 1943; German Commander-in-Chief South-West.

3 General Karl Wolff; German Commander-in-Chief North Italy, 1945.

page 404 Giulia east of the Isonzo River), Vorarlberg, Tyrol, and Salzburg provinces and part of Carinthia. The importance of this great portion of Austria which is now surrendered to our military commander should not be underrated. It is impossible yet to estimate the bag but I should expect it to prove a record haul of prisoners.

Hostilities are to cease at 12 noon, GMT, 2 May. President Truman1 has suggested that the announcement of surrender be made first by Field-Marshal Alexander, and instructions have been sent to the latter accordingly. It is important that no publicity whatsoever is permitted until the terms become effective.

1 On the death of President Roosevelt on 12 Apr 1945 Mr. H. S. Truman (Vice-President since 7 Nov 1944) became President of the United States.