May 1945 – The Canadian Scottish Regiment

Aurich, Germany  May 1945. Canadian Scottish mess dinner (Image courtesy of the Canadian Scottish Regiment)

Aurich, Germany May 1945. Canadian Scottish mess dinner
(Image courtesy of the Canadian Scottish Regiment)

Fallen Comrades and Common Dangers

With the dawn of May 1945 news from the BBC announced Adolph Hitler was dead. Two days later Berlin had fallen.

The Canadian Scottish remained vigilant, ready for the continuing fray preparing itself for an assault on Aurich, Germany to commence 4 May, 1945. However, news that day brought word…tremendous news over the BBC that Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery had met, at Lüneberg Heath, Germany,  with high-ranking German officers – Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeberg, Rear Admiral Gerhard Wagner General Eberhard Kinzel and Colonel Fritz Poleck.

Hostilities were in decline…German resistance had come to a conclusion and a ceasefire would be effected at 0800 HRS, 5 May 1945. Victory in Europe (VE Day) would be celebrated, 8 May 1945.

Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s Ultimatum to the German Forces

You must understand three things: Firstly, you must surrender to me unconditionally all the German forces in Holland, Friesen and the Frisian Islands and Heligoland and all other islands in Schleswig-Holstein and in Denmark. Secondly, when you have done that, I am prepared to discuss with you the implications of your surrender: how we will dispose of those surrendered troops, how we will occupy the surrendered territory, how we will deal with the civilians, and so forth. And my third point: If you do not agree to Point 1, the surrender, then I will go on with the war and I will be delighted to do so……….All your soldiers and civilians may be killed”.

Within the Canadian Scottish, there was no wild celebration within the battalion that evening or on the following days….talk centered on mostly fallen comrades and common dangers…

The German surrender to the Canadian Army occurred in the small town of Wageningen, Netherlands, 5 May 1945.

The German surrender to the Canadian Army occurred in the small town of Wageningen, Netherlands, 5 May 1945, in the Hotel De Wereld.
(P. Ferguson image September 2009)

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


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