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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Berlin Victory Parade, 7 September 1945

Part of an online exhibition from Durham County Record Office commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe on 8 May 1945

Soldiers from B Company, 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry in Kangaroo armoured carrier, Germany, late March 1945 (D/DLI Acc: 10050)

Only one battalion of the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) was in action from the Normandy beaches in June 1944 to the final defeat of Nazi Germany in May 1945 - the 9th Battalion DLI. Arriving in Berlin by road from Hamburg on 30 July 1945, the battalion joined the British, French, Soviet and US forces occupying the ruined city. 

Before the Durham soldiers arrived, two Victory parades had already been held in Berlin. On 12 July, Field Marshal Montgomery joined Marshal Zhukov, commander of the victorious Soviet forces, on the saluting platform. Then, on 21 July, Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee took the salute at a parade of British forces.

Finally, on 7 September 1945, to celebrate the Victory over Japan, a parade of all the Allied forces in Berlin was held in the Tiergarten. Carrying their Colours (flags) flown over specially from the DLI's Depot at Brancepeth, the Durham soldiers marched past Marshal Zhukov, General Patton and other Allied generals.

Allied generals waiting to take the salute at the Berlin Victory Parade on 7 September 1945. Marshal Zhukov, centre, and General Patton on his left. Photograph from Alan Capstick’s collection (D/DLI Acc: 10050)
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Allied generals waiting to take the salute at the Berlin Victory Parade on 7 September 1945. 
Proudly displaying his medals, Marshal Zhukov is in the centre of the saluting platform. To his left, distinctive in his battle dress blouse, riding breeches and polished helmet, is General Patton. Field Marshal Montgomery did not attend this parade.
This photograph is from Alan Capstick's collection (D/DLI Acc: 10050).

Berlin Victory Parade, 9th Battalion DLI, 7 September 1945. Captain Roy Griffiths, back in his regulation British Army boots, is marching third from the right in the second row. Photograph is from Roy Griffiths’ album (D/DLI 7/273/15 (18))
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Berlin Victory Parade, 9th Battalion DLI, 7 September 1945. Captain Roy Griffiths, back in his regulation British Army boots, is marching third from the right in the second row.
This photograph is from Roy Griffiths' album (D/DLI 7/273/15(18)).

Berlin Victory Parade, Soviet ‘Stalin’ IS-3 heavy tank, 7 September 1945. Photograph is from Roy Griffiths’ album (D/DLI 7/273/15 (22))
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Berlin Victory Parade, Soviet 'Stalin' IS-3 heavy tank, 7 September 1945.
This photograph is from Roy Griffiths' album (D/DLI 7/273/15 (22)).

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