- Title Pages
- List of Contributors
- List of Abbreviations
- How Fighting Ends: A History of Surrender
- 1 Surrender and Prisoners in Prehistoric and Tribal Societies
- 2 Surrender in Ancient Greece
- 3 Surrender in Ancient Rome
- 4 Surrender in Medieval Europe—An Indirect Approach*
- 5 Surrender and Capitulation in the Middle East in the Age of the Crusades
- 6 Basil II the Bulgar-slayer and the Blinding of 15,000 Bulgarians in 1014: Mutilation and Prisoners of War in the Middle Ages
- 7 How Fighting Ended in the Aztec Empire and its Surrender to the Europeans
- 8 Surrender in the Northeastern Borderlands of Native America
- 9 Surrender in the Thirty Years War
- 10 Surrender and the Laws of War in Western Europe, c. 1660–1783
- 11 Ritual Performance: Surrender during the American War of Independence
- 12 Going Down with Flying Colours?
- 13 ‘Civilized, Rational Behaviour’? The Concept and Practice of Surrender in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792–1815
- 14 Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Confederate Surrender
- 15 Surrender in Britain’s Small Colonial Wars of the Nineteenth Century
- 16 Surrender of Soldiers in World War I
- 17 By the book? Commanders Surrendering in World War I
- 18 The Breaking Point: Surrender 1918
- 19 French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians
- 20 The Issue of Surrender in the Malayan Campaign, 1941–2
- 21 ‘Neither Defeat nor Surrender’: Italy’s Change of Alliances in 1943
- 22 German Soldiers and Surrender, 1945
- 23 Kamikaze Warfare in Imperial Japan’s Existential Crisis, 1944–5
- 24 The German Surrender of 1945
- 25 Kosovo, the Serbian Surrender, and the Western Dilemma: Achieving Victories with Low Casualties
- 26 How Fighting Ends: Asymmetric Wars, Terrorism, and Suicide Bombing
- A ‘True Chameleon’?
The German Surrender of 1945
The German Surrender of 1945
- (p.395) 24 The German Surrender of 1945
- How Fighting Ends
- Oxford University Press
This chapter discusses how in 1945 Nazi Germany did not surrender when defeat became likely, or even when it became inevitable, but fought literally to the bitter end. Nazi ideology, allegiance to Hitler, guilt and fear of retribution, regime terror, and determination not to repeat what had happened in 1918 contributed to this hugely destructive outcome. However, surrender at local level did not occur uniformly: in some places there was dogged resistance to the end and the terror unleashed by the regime kept the population wedded to its strategy of self-destruction; in others German soldiers melted away, and German civilians hung out white sheets from their homes and tried to negotiate local surrenders when Allied soldiers approached. In the end, uncompromising Nazi ideology evaporated with the collapse of the Nazi regime, and the population finally embraced defeat and life after surrender.
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