21 Army Group
Personal Message from the C - in - C
(To be read to all Troops)
1. On this day of victory in Europe I would like to speak to all who have served and fought with me during the last few years. What I have to say is very simple and quite short.
2. I would ask you all to remember those of our comrades who fell in the struggle. They gave their lives that others might have freedom, and no man can do more than that. I believe that He would say to each of them:
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
3. And we who remain have seen the thing through to the end; we all have feelings of joy and great thankfulness that we have been preserved to see this day.
We must remember to give the praise and thankful where it is due:
"This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes."
4. In the early days of this war the British Empire stood alone against the combined might of the axis powers. And during those days we suffered some great disasters; but we stood firm; on the defensive, but striking blows where we could. Later we were joined by Russia and America; and from then onwards the end was in no doubt. Let us never forget what we owe to our Russian and American allies; this great allied team has achieved much in war; may it achieve even more in peace.
5. Without doubt, great problems lie ahead; the world will not recover quickly from the upheaval that has taken place; there is much work for each one of us.
I must say that we must face up to that work with the same fortitude that we faced up to the worst days of this war. It may be that some difficult times lie ahead for our country, and for each one of us personally. If it happens thus, then our discipline will put us through; but we must remember that the best discipline implies the subordination of self for the benefit of the community.
6. It has been a privilege and an honour to command this great British Empire team in western Europe. Few commanders can have had such loyal service as you have given me. I thank each one of you from the bottom of my heart.
7. And so let us embark on what lies ahead full of joy and optimism. We have won the German war. Let us now win the peace.
8. Good luck to you all, wherever you may be.
B. L. Montgomery
C - in - C
21 Army Group