Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

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Gorque
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 22 May 2012 14:00

Hi Egor:

I highlighted the sentence to emphasize the confusion that I'm sure was prevalent at the time. The island garrison was supposed to surrender to the 21st Army group and was awaiting a contingent from the British Army to arrive in order for it to surrender. The Brits arrived in Copenhagen and informed the Danes that Bornholm was not within within their sphere of control. SHAEF was uncertain and sought clarification, even offered to send a delegation to the island to effect its surrender, yet received no reply from the Soviets. The Germans, more likely than not, were employing strict legalities to the surrender document in order to prevent the surrender to the Soviets for as long as feasibly possible. The Soviets demand the garrison surrender to them and when it does not, bombs the island killing Danish residents and destroying/damaging Danish buildings long after the outcome of the war was decided. Small wonder they're still upset.

I think the term, "What we have here is a failure to communicate" best sums this up.

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Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 22 May 2012 20:22

Erhh, I see it somewhat differently.
It was not a pure miscommunication issue. "Miscommunication" for me is linked to unplanned confusion, not deliberate misinformation.

Germans:
Clearly did everything, as you say, to avoid surrender to the RKKA. So they deliberately breached the agreement by sending the order contradicting the terms of surrender down the chain of command. So no "miscommunication" here, but misinformation.

SHAEF:
According to my sources, during Yalta conference when the Allies planned the fate of European contries after the victory, Danmark appeared as an unclear case. So that it was not concluded by the Allies very clearly.
Though they Agreed that operational zone of RKKA will be up to Lubeck. So this descision inderectly separated Bornholm from the rest of Denmark. So this the closest we get, but it is rather "uncertainty" than "miscommunication".

USSR:
The soviets considered Bornholm as part of they operational zone. From their point of view Montgomery's surrender also covered Bornholm. And IMO they were right. No miscomunication here either.

Denmark:
They can be be pissed as much as they want, but the targets that were bombed were legitimate. True that it was not very precise, but as I see it the towns were not targeted as such. The other Danish argument is that these bombardment was military pointless. Here they make a mistake because they judge on the event only from they local point of view.
The purpose of the bombing should be viewed in the context. Enforcing surrender was only part of objective. Bombing failed to do it in time (though it may have played some role in effect on Germans on 9th of May).
The other important objective was to prevent/stop German evacuation where Bornholm played very important role.
So completely military meaningless these bombing was not.
And on top of that Danes were indeed expecting that Bornholm is covered by the surrender, which I think they were right. So no miscommunication here either.

All in all no miscommunication and one big disinformation.
Best regards
Igor

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 May 2012 03:45

Egorka wrote: Germans:
Clearly did everything, as you say, to avoid surrender to the RKKA. So they deliberately breached the agreement by sending the order contradicting the terms of surrender down the chain of command. So no "miscommunication" here, but misinformation.
I suspect if you dig a bit there are many other examples of this point. I lack refrences, but take look at the actions of German commanders in the Austrian region when the surrender announcement came. Either a army or Army Group commander is suposed to have contacted a US commander (7th Army perhaps) and requested logistics support so his corps could continue resisting the RKKA. Then there is the question of German resistance to the RKKA in Bohemia after the surrender announcement.

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 23 May 2012 13:41

Egorka wrote:Erhh, I see it somewhat differently.
It was not a pure miscommunication issue. "Miscommunication" for me is linked to unplanned confusion, not deliberate misinformation.

Could you elaborate in more detail on this as to what you mean by "deliberate misinformation"? :)
Egorka wrote:Germans:
Clearly did everything, as you say, to avoid surrender to the RKKA. So they deliberately breached the agreement by sending the order contradicting the terms of surrender down the chain of command. So no "miscommunication" here, but misinformation.
I believe that the surrender document stipulated a surrender of the forces mentioned to the British. From the link in the 1st post.:
The German Command agrees to the surrender of all German armed forces in Holland, in northwest Germany including the Frisian Islands and Heligoland and all other islands, in Schleswig-Holstein, and in Denmark, to the C.-in-C. 21 Army Group.
There doesn't appear to be, to me anyway, any misinformation in the above quote.
Egorka wrote:SHAEF:
According to my sources, during Yalta conference when the Allies planned the fate of European contries after the victory, Danmark appeared as an unclear case. So that it was not concluded by the Allies very clearly.
Though they Agreed that operational zone of RKKA will be up to Lubeck. So this descision inderectly separated Bornholm from the rest of Denmark. So this the closest we get, but it is rather "uncertainty" than "miscommunication".
Miscommunication and uncertainty are not mutually exclusive items. One can have both, either, or none. :) In the case of Bornhom, both were present.
Egorka wrote:USSR:
The soviets considered Bornholm as part of they operational zone. From their point of view Montgomery's surrender also covered Bornholm. And IMO they were right. No miscomunication here either.
Unfortunately, as provided above, that is not what the surrender documents state. And since the Soviets believed that the German forces were obliged to surrender to them, then that would indicate a miscommunication between one of the multiple parties involved.
Egorka wrote:Denmark:
They can be be pissed as much as they want, but the targets that were bombed were legitimate. True that it was not very precise, but as I see it the towns were not targeted as such. The other Danish argument is that these bombardment was military pointless. Here they make a mistake because they judge on the event only from they local point of view.
The purpose of the bombing should be viewed in the context. Enforcing surrender was only part of objective. Bombing failed to do it in time (though it may have played some role in effect on Germans on 9th of May).
The other important objective was to prevent/stop German evacuation where Bornholm played very important role.
So completely military meaningless these bombing was not.
And on top of that Danes were indeed expecting that Bornholm is covered by the surrender, which I think they were right. So no miscommunication here either.
The problem with your argument with the Danes is that the Soviets bombed Danish, not German, towns, inflicting damage to Danish, not German, property and caused Danish, not German, non-combatant injuries and fatalities. All the above could have been avoided had there been communications between all parties the involved. Especially since the conflict had already been decided and was winding down. So yes, the bombing of Bornhom, per the Danes, was pointless. And from what I can gather, it is with the local Danes that you are having difficulties with in coming around to your point-of-view, as well as me. :)
Egorka wrote:All in all no miscommunication and one big disinformation.
With which I respectfully disagree with your conclusion.

Best regards,

Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 23 May 2012 14:00

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
Egorka wrote: Germans:
Clearly did everything, as you say, to avoid surrender to the RKKA. So they deliberately breached the agreement by sending the order contradicting the terms of surrender down the chain of command. So no "miscommunication" here, but misinformation.
I suspect if you dig a bit there are many other examples of this point. I lack refrences, but take look at the actions of German commanders in the Austrian region when the surrender announcement came. Either a army or Army Group commander is suposed to have contacted a US commander (7th Army perhaps) and requested logistics support so his corps could continue resisting the RKKA. Then there is the question of German resistance to the RKKA in Bohemia after the surrender announcement.
Considering the fate that many Germans felt awaited them should they surrender to the Soviets, it wouldn't surprise me in the least, knowing full well that what comes around, goes around. William Shirer in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich quotes Eisenhower a recalling on May 6, 1945:
I told General Smith (he later recounted) to inform Jodl that unless they instantly ceased all pretense and delay I would close the entire Allied front and would, by force, prevent any more German refugees from entering our lines. I would brook no further delay.
(p. 1138 cited from Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe p. 426 )

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 23 May 2012 14:30

The Russian leaflet dropped on Bornholm on 07 May app. @18:00.
Link: http://www.befrielsen1945.dk/temaer/bef ... seddel.pdf
"to the commandant of Bornholm
In order to avoide unnessesary casualties, I propose you to immediately capitulate.
Send representatives for negotiating conditions of surrender to Kolberg 08/May at 10:00.
We garanty safety on the way.
The commander of the airforce unit
Lieutenant Colonel Slepenkov



The response of the G.v.Kamptz on 08 May ( i.e. after he was informed of the final capitulation signed 07 May @02:41).
Link: http://www.befrielsen1945.dk/temaer/bef ... kamptz.pdf
"From Bornholm commandant to the regional chief Jørgensen, 8 may 1945.
Replying to your letter from 7 May 1945, that there will be no answer to the dropped Russian leaflets.
The Wehrmacht forces on Bornholm are having orders to defend it from any invasion.
According to the armistice agreement, Bornholm lays in the British zone of interest.
I have orders to allow only English landing on the island.
G.v.Kamptz
"
Best regards
Igor

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 23 May 2012 15:01

Gorque wrote:
Egorka wrote:Erhh, I see it somewhat differently.
It was not a pure miscommunication issue. "Miscommunication" for me is linked to unplanned confusion, not deliberate misinformation.

Could you elaborate in more detail on this as to what you mean by "deliberate misinformation"? :)
The German command send to Bornholm commandant (G.v.Kamptz) direct orders, which went against surrender terms.
I believe that the surrender document stipulated a surrender of the forces mentioned to the British. From the link in the 1st post.:
"The German Command agrees to the surrender of all German armed forces in Holland, in northwest Germany including the Frisian Islands and Heligoland and all other islands, in Schleswig-Holstein, and in Denmark, to the C.-in-C. 21 Army Group."
There doesn't appear to be, to me anyway, any misinformation in the above quote.
Please note, that the surrender agreement contains 7 clauses, not just one.
Miscommunication and uncertainty are not mutually exclusive items. One can have both, either, or none. :) In the case of Bornhom, both were present.
Right, they are not mutually exclusive. But when you discuss a topic with someone and you together come to the conclusion that you do not take final decision on the subject, then it is not miscommunication, but uncertainty". SHAEF had to act with some uncertainty with respect to Bornholm.
Miscommunication played no role there since both parties (West and East) knew that no final decision was made.
Egorka wrote:USSR:
The soviets considered Bornholm as part of they operational zone. From their point of view Montgomery's surrender also covered Bornholm. And IMO they were right. No miscomunication here either.
Unfortunately, as provided above, that is not what the surrender documents state. And since the Soviets believed that the German forces were obliged to surrender to them, then that would indicate a miscommunication between one of the multiple parties involved.
As mentioned above, please read carefully ALL 7 clauses of the agreement.
In my opening post I tried briefly explain how I view the implications of clauses 2-7.
The problem with your argument with the Danes is that the Soviets bombed Danish, not German, towns, inflicting damage to Danish, not German, property and caused Danish, not German, non-combatant injuries and fatalities.
The problem is that you don't know who bombed what. :)
Soviets bombed 2 harbors on Bornholm inflicting unaccounted loos to Germans and sinking several transport ships.
There were 5 air raids. 3 on harbour in town Rønne. And 2 on harbour in town Nexø.
1 wave: 7 may; Attack on Nexø and Rønne harbours in the morning after Soviet recon plain was shot at from the German AA gun located in Nexø.
2 wave: 7 May; Attack on Nexø and Rønne harbours in the afternoon. Russians dropped leaflets addressing G.v.Kamptz asking him to capitulate (see my previous post).
3 wave: 8 May; Attack on Rønne harbour.
In both towns the harbour is immediately adjacent to the town. I have the map with every bomb hit and the maps don't loo k to me that the towns were the main target (though I have not made exact calculation yet).
All the above could have been avoided had there been communications between all parties the involved.
This could be avoided if Germans stopped transports, ceased fire and capitulated. But they had their own plans.
Especially since the conflict had already been decided and was winding down. So yes, the bombing of Bornhom, per the Danes, was pointless.
Of course. From Danes point of view the whole WW2 had no meaning what so ever.
But as I mentioned Soviets had other reason, apart from Surrender itself, to exert pressure on Germans right until the very end.
Even on the 9th of May @15:30 Germans on Bornholm tried not to capitulate to RKKA.
And from what I can gather, it is with the local Danes that you are having difficulties with in coming around to your point-of-view, as well as me. :)
The locals by large don't give rats ass for something so distant... But otherwise you are right.
Egorka wrote:All in all no miscommunication and one big disinformation.
With which I respectfully disagree with your conclusion.
Right, see all 7 clauses of the surrender terms. :)
Last edited by Egorka on 23 May 2012 15:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Igor

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 23 May 2012 15:05

Gorque wrote:Considering the fate that many Germans felt awaited them should they surrender to the Soviets, it wouldn't ...
Germans expectation or feelings on the matter at that time play no role in answering the question "did they breech the agreement or not".
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 23 May 2012 16:41

Egorka wrote:The Russian leaflet dropped on Bornholm on 07 May app. @18:00.
Link: http://www.befrielsen1945.dk/temaer/bef ... seddel.pdf
"to the commandant of Bornholm
In order to avoide unnessesary casualties, I propose you to immediately capitulate.
Send representatives for negotiating conditions of surrender to Kolberg 08/May at 10:00.
We garanty safety on the way.
The commander of the airforce unit
Lieutenant Colonel Slepenkov



The response of the G.v.Kamptz on 08 May ( i.e. after he was informed of the final capitulation signed 07 May @02:41).
Link: http://www.befrielsen1945.dk/temaer/bef ... kamptz.pdf
"From Bornholm commandant to the regional chief Jørgensen, 8 may 1945.
Replying to your letter from 7 May 1945, that there will be no answer to the dropped Russian leaflets.
The Wehrmacht forces on Bornholm are having orders to defend it from any invasion.
According to the armistice agreement, Bornholm lays in the British zone of interest.
I have orders to allow only English landing on the island.
G.v.Kamptz
"
Hi Egor:

The German response is just what one expect when considering the "Instrument of Surrender of all German Armed Forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark; May 4, 1945".

Best regards,

Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 23 May 2012 16:45

Egorka wrote:
Gorque wrote:Considering the fate that many Germans felt awaited them should they surrender to the Soviets, it wouldn't ...
Germans expectation or feelings on the matter at that time play no role in answering the question "did they breech the agreement or not".

Hi Egor:

I was replying to Carl in a general vein regarding the German delaying tactics in surrendering to the Allies. This response has from little to nothing to do with the Bornholm garrison, who already were included in a previous surrender document "Instrument of Surrender of all German Armed Forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark; May 4, 1945" and were awaiting a contngent from the U.K. to surrender to.

Best regards,

Gorque.

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 23 May 2012 17:28

Hi Egor:
Egorka wrote:
Gorque wrote:
Egorka wrote:Erhh, I see it somewhat differently.
It was not a pure miscommunication issue. "Miscommunication" for me is linked to unplanned confusion, not deliberate misinformation.

Could you elaborate in more detail on this as to what you mean by "deliberate misinformation"? :)
The German command send to Bornholm commandant (G.v.Kamptz) direct orders, which went against surrender terms.

I disagree with you. The Germans were following 'Instrument of Surrender of all German Armed Forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark; May 4, 1945' to the letter.
Egorka wrote:
I believe that the surrender document stipulated a surrender of the forces mentioned to the British. From the link in the 1st post.:
"The German Command agrees to the surrender of all German armed forces in Holland, in northwest Germany including the Frisian Islands and Heligoland and all other islands, in Schleswig-Holstein, and in Denmark, to the C.-in-C. 21 Army Group."
There doesn't appear to be, to me anyway, any misinformation in the above quote.
Please note, that the surrender agreement contains 7 clauses, not just one.
None of the other 6 clauses mention the surrender of the German garrison on Bornholm to the RKKA, only to the the C.-in-C. 21 Army Group. Unless you provide documentary evidence to the contrary, I'm afraid there's nothing further to discuss as the German garrison was following the letter of the agreement.
Egorka wrote:
Miscommunication and uncertainty are not mutually exclusive items. One can have both, either, or none. :) In the case of Bornhom, both were present.
Right, they are not mutually exclusive. But when you discuss a topic with someone and you together come to the conclusion that you do not take final decision on the subject, then it is not miscommunication, but uncertainty". SHAEF had to act with some uncertainty with respect to Bornholm.
Miscommunication played no role there since both parties (West and East) knew that no final decision was made.

That's strange? I could have sworn you typed:
Egorka wrote:There are many reasons for this. British delegation arrived to Copenhagen on the evening 05th of May. And they informed Danish officials that they were not instructed to include Bornholm.
on post # 13 of this thread. They may have informed the Danish officials, but did they inform the Germans? Considering that the Germans didn't surrender, it appears, to me, that they did not.

Egorka wrote:
Egorka wrote:USSR:
The soviets considered Bornholm as part of they operational zone. From their point of view Montgomery's surrender also covered Bornholm. And IMO they were right. No miscomunication here either.
Unfortunately, as provided above, that is not what the surrender documents state. And since the Soviets believed that the German forces were obliged to surrender to them, then that would indicate a miscommunication between one of the multiple parties involved.
As mentioned above, please read carefully ALL 7 clauses of the agreement.
In my opening post I tried briefly explain how I view the implications of clauses 2-7.
I did. Clauses 2-7 do not contradict clause 1, nor do they mention a surrender to the RKKA. The German garrison was strictly complying with the surrender terms of May 4, 1945.
Egorka wrote:
The problem with your argument with the Danes is that the Soviets bombed Danish, not German, towns, inflicting damage to Danish, not German, property and caused Danish, not German, non-combatant injuries and fatalities.
The problem is that you don't know who bombed what. :)
Soviets bombed 2 harbors on Bornholm inflicting unaccounted loos to Germans and sinking several transport ships.
There were 5 air raids. 3 on harbour in town Rønne. And 2 on harbour in town Nexø.
1 wave: 7 may; Attack on Nexø and Rønne harbours in the morning after Soviet recon plain was shot at from the German AA gun located in Nexø.
2 wave: 7 May; Attack on Nexø and Rønne harbours in the afternoon. Russians dropped leaflets addressing G.v.Kamptz asking him to capitulate (see my previous post).
3 wave: 8 May; Attack on Rønne harbour.
In both towns the harbour is immediately adjacent to the town. I have the map with every bomb hit and the maps don't loo k to me that the towns were the main target (though I have not made exact calculation yet).
Thanks for the additional information. :) Unfortunately, innocent lives were lost so near to the cessation of hostilities. I agree with you in that I don't think the Soviets were targeting civilians, but while that will help your cause in ameliorating Danish animosity to the raids, much of the bloodshed and destruction could have been avoided, IMHO, through communications of all parties involved.
Egorka wrote:
All the above could have been avoided had there been communications between all parties the involved.
This could be avoided if Germans stopped transports, ceased fire and capitulated. But they had their own plans.
The same could be said for the Soviets as they knew that the Germans had signed the surrender agreement at 2:41 a.m on May 7, 1945 agreeing that all hostilities were to cease by midnight of May 8th-9th. After-all it was also signed by General Ivan Susloparov. Besides, the Germans were still waiting for the British to accept their surrender.
Egorka wrote:
Especially since the conflict had already been decided and was winding down. So yes, the bombing of Bornhom, per the Danes, was pointless.
Of course. From Danes point of view the whole WW2 had no meaning what so ever.
But as I mentioned Soviets had other reason, apart from Surrender itself, to exert pressure on Germans right until the very end.
Even on the 9th of May @15:30 Germans on Bornholm tried not to capitulate to RKKA.
More miscommunications perhaps? Afterall Dönitz didn't ensconce himself in Flensburg, I believe until May 6th or 7th and I would presume that his communications may have been spotty, but that's just a guess.
Egorka wrote:
Egorka wrote:All in all no miscommunication and one big disinformation.
With which I respectfully disagree with your conclusion.
Right, see all 7 clauses of the surrender terms. :)
As noted above, I already have. I guess we'll just have to agree on disagreeing regarding whether the Bornholm bombing being caused by miscommunications or disinformation. That is unless you have something new to share. All in all, it's been an enjoyable discourse and I hope was the same for you. :)

Best regards,

Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 23 May 2012 17:32

Gorque wrote:The German response is just what one expect when considering the "Instrument of Surrender of all German Armed Forces in Holland, in Northwest Germany Including all Islands, and in Denmark; May 4, 1945".
Yes, that is what one could expects of Germans at the time (see your mention of German desire to avoide Soviet captivity).
But it does not change the fact that the clauses 2 and 3 were breeched.
This in its turn envokes and brings to power the clauses 4 and 7.
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 23 May 2012 17:56

This Is reply on your last long port, Gorque.

The clauses 1 and 2-7 in no way contradict eachother and I never implied otherwise.
Whereas clause mention only CiC 21st, all other clauses speak of The Allies and therefore include RKKA.
German failure to comply with clauses 2 and 3 (by mentaining hostilities and failure to comply with Allied orders on Bornholm) constituted breach of the agreement.
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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Gorque » 24 May 2012 13:39

Hi Igor:

I just noticed in your signature that you spell your name 'Igor' and I've been using 'Egor'. My apologies on the erroneous term of address. :)

I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree and move forward. :)

I can fathom the reasoning for your and the RKKA's position, but then again, I can also understand the German position regarding their surrender only to British troops as per clause 1. However, I'm quite certain that the desire to surrender to the Western Allies played a large part in the German insistence to adhering doggedly to that clause.

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Gorque

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Re: Question on German surrender to Montgomery on 4 May 1945

Post by Egorka » 24 May 2012 17:52

Gorque wrote:Hi Igor:

I just noticed in your signature that you spell your name 'Igor' and I've been using 'Egor'. My apologies on the erroneous term of address. :)
No problemos!
I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree and move forward. :)
I can fathom the reasoning for your and the RKKA's position, but then again, ...
It is not just my or RKKA position. Danish population in May 1945 as well as historians today agree that Bornholm was falling under the agreement.
I can also understand the German position regarding their surrender only to British troops as per clause 1. However, I'm quite certain that the desire to surrender to the Western Allies played a large part in the German insistence to adhering doggedly to that clause.
Exactly, the Germans keept doing what they found usefull fro them until the very end.
But may be they had bad lawyers with them when they signed the surrender to Montgomery.
Best regards
Igor

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