Operation Sunrise (World War II)

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During World War II, Operation Sunrise (sometimes called Operation Crossword) was a series of secret negotiations conducted in March 1945 in Switzerland between representatives of Nazi Germany and the Western Allies to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy. One of the most notable parts of the operation was secret negotiations between Waffen-SS General Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles on 8 March 1945 in Luzern. Wolff offered the following plan: Army Group C goes into Germany, while Allied Forces Commander Harold Alexander advances in the direction of the Southern Alps. Subsequently, on 15 and 19 March, Wolff conducted further secret negotiations on the surrender with American general Lyman Lemnitzer and British general Terence Airey.

On 12 March the U.S. ambassador in the USSR, W. Averell Harriman, notified Vyacheslav Molotov of the possibility of Wolff's arrival in Lugano to conduct negotiations on the German Forces surrender in Italy. On the same day, Molotov replied that the Soviet government would not object to negotiations between American and British officers and Wolff, provided that representatives of Soviet Military Command could also take part in them. However, on 16 March the Soviet side was informed that its representatives would not be allowed to take part in negotiations with Wolff in any case.

On 22 March Molotov, in his letter to the American ambassador, wrote that "for two weeks, in Bern, behind the back of the Soviet Union, negotiations between representatives of the German Military Command on one side and representatives of American and British Command on the other side are conducted. The Soviet government considers this absolutely inadmissible." This led to Roosevelt's letter to Stalin on 25 March and Stalin's reply on 29 March. The actual surrender in Italy was signed on 29 April 1945 agreeing to a cessation of hostilities on 2 May.

Victory in Europe Day occurred five days later, on 7 May.

Operation Sunrise was depicted in the Soviet TV series Seventeen Moments of Spring, where it was called "Operation Sunrise Crossword".

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