It’s easy to imagine that once World War II officially ended, the defeated Germans forces were so anxious to get home that they dropped their guns where they stood, stripped off their uniforms, and quickly surrendered from exhaustion, hunger, and stress.
Captured German battle Standards displayed on Red Square after the Surrender.As the Germans retreated, brief but fierce battles broke out on the Balkan and even on some occupied Greek Islands. As news of the Allied victory spread, men serving on the German U-Boat 234, loaded with half a ton of uranium intended to aid the Japanese, headed for America instead. Its captain, Johann-Henrich Fehler, was terrified of being caught by the British or Canadians and felt the U.S. would be less harsh in its treatment of his crew. Two Japanese men on board killed themselves, rather than face detention in a POW camp.
The bloodiest incident that took place after Germany’s defeat was a mutiny on the Dutch isle of Texel.
Germany had forced some Georgian citizens into service during the war, as part of its Atlantic Wall Defence Force. However, on April 5th, the Georgians launched a mutiny in an effort to shed themselves of Germany’s control. Resisters killed 800 German soldiers while they slept.
This infuriated the Germans, who sent 2,000 troops to the island to squash the rebellion. And squash it they did, at the cost of 565 Georgian men, 120 Dutch citizens, and 812 German soldiers. The long-awaited Allied invasion finally happened on May 20th.
Schaffer was given the unappealing assignment of steering his sub to Britain in a suicide mission designed to destroy all the British boats he could before he himself was destroyed. But when he got word that Germany was defeated, he headed instead for Argentina, where he hoped to find asylum. Unfortunately for him, the Argentine government immediately turned him over to the Americans, who kept the sub as a kind of macabre war memento.