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End of the War

Following the successful D-Day landings, the Allied forces had gradually forced the Germans to retreat from (leave) many of the countries which they had occupied in Europe.

The last big attack by the Germans was the Battle of the Bulge, fought at Ardennes, in Luxembourg, which ended of 28th January 1945 with their defeat. On 13th February 1945, the Allies then bombed the Germany city of Dresden in a huge campaign which left more than 50,000 German people dead. There was so little fuel and food left in Germany by now that millions of people were cold and starving.

The last German bomb fired against Britain was a V-1 rocket on 29th March 1945 and it was shot down in Kent.

German forces in Italy started surrendering to the Allies on 29th April 1945 and to avoid being captured alive, Adolf Hitler killed himself the day after. On 7th May 1945, Germany then surrendered unconditionally.

In Britain, Churchill named 8th May 1945 as Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Big celebrations took place with many communities holding street parties. Children joined in the fun by dancing, waving flags and making party hats. There were fireworks and bonfires too.

Bristol at War

On 14th August 1945 Japan stopped fighting and World Wart II ended. On the following day, people in Allied countries across the world celebrated Victory in Japan (VJ) day.

Many: soldiers, sailors and airmen were demobilised (released) from duty and by December a million of them had left the services to return to civilian life. All the children who had been evacuated returned home to their families too, often finding it strange getting to know their father again who'd been away for years. Those people whose homes had been destroyed in the Blitz moved into 'prefabs' - concrete bungalows built in factories for quick assembly.