SPY chiefs today reveal the last German army message intercepted before Hitler’s forces surrendered to mark VE Day’s 75th anniversary.
Eavesdroppers at GCHQ picked up the radio message, broadcast at 7.35am on May 7, 1945.
It was sent from a command post of one of the last units holding out against the Allied invasion.
The unit had been pushed back to the German coast, and was holding out in the northern port town of Cuxhaven.
The radio operator, a Lieutenant Kunkel, said: “British troops entered Cuxhaven at 1400 on 6 May – from now on all radio traffic will cease – wishing you all the best”.
CLOSING DOWN FOREVER
This was immediately followed by: “Closing down forever – all the best – goodbye”.
The Germany Army formally surrendered later on May 7.
But the declaration of Victory in Europe Day was pushed back 24 hours to satisfy a demand from Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin.
Codebreakers carried on monitoring German communications even after VE Day to ensure all Nazi units were obeying the surrender terms.
GCHQ wireless operators based at Bletchley Park collected thousands of hours of enemy communications throughout World War Two, broadcast over a network known as Brown.
GCHQ former intelligence officer and historian Tony Comer said: “These transcripts give us a small insight into the real people behind the machinery of war.
“While most of the UK was preparing to celebrate the war ending, and the last of the German military communicators surrendered, Bletchley staff – like today’s GCHQ workers – carried on working to help keep the country safe.”
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