Montgomery over oprichting Brits Leger aan de Rijn (25-08-1945)

Oorspronkelijke tekst


British Army of the Rhine


(To be read out to all troops)

1. On Saturday, 25 August 1945, the 21st Army Group will cease to exist and the British forces in north-west Europe will be known as ĎThe British Army of the Rhineí.

2. I cannot let this moment pass without a reference to the past achievements of 21 Army Group. This Group of Armies fought on the left or northern flank of the Allied Forces that invaded Normandy in June, 1944; these forces liberated France, Belgium, Holland, Luxemburg and Denmark; they invaded Germany, and fought their way to the centre of that country where they joined hands with our Russian allies: and thus ended the German war. The Army Group completed its active operations by gathering as captives on the northern flank, in the space of a few days, upwards of two million of the once renowned German Army. The fame of the Army Group will long shine in history and other generations, besides our own will honour its deeds.

3. Officers and men of the Army Group are now scattered throughout the world; many are serving in other theatres; many have returned to civil life. To all of you, wherever you may be, I send my best wishes and my grateful thanks for your loyal help and co-operation.

4. To those who still serve in Germany I would say that, though our name is changed, we still have the same task. As a result of this war much of Europe has been destroyed, and the whole economic framework of the continent lies in ruins. We have a job to do which will call for all our energy and purpose; we have got to help to rebuild a new Europe out of the ruins of the old. It is a gigantic task. But we must face up to it with that same spirit of service to the common cause of freedom which has so strengthened us during the stress and strain of war. Together we have achieved much in war; let us achieve even more in peace.

B. L. Montgomery
British Army of the Rhine

25 August, 1945

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Pieter Schlebaum
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