The final Nazi message decoded by Britain at the end of World War II was revealed for the first time Friday to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.
The message released by the United Kingdom's intelligence and security organization Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) shows the final words broadcast by a German lieutenant just before surrendering to British forces.
"These transcripts give us a small insight into the real people behind the machinery of war," GCHQ historian Tony Comer said in a statement released Friday.
To mark #VEDay75 our Historian Tony Comer tells an untold tale from our archives.— GCHQ (@GCHQ) May 8, 2020
For the first time he reveals the final messages intercepted by GCHQ from a German communications network in the days leading up to #VEDay ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/K7hLcN9c1J
A lieutenant identified as Kunkel sent colleagues a final farewell message on May 7, 1945 at 7:35 a.m before their communication network was closed "forever."
"British troops entered Cuxhaven at 14:00 on 6 May -- from now on all radio traffic will cease -- wishing you all the best. Lt Kunkel," the message read. "Closing down for ever -- all the best -- goodbye."
One less consequential message intercepted on May 4 came from a soldier based on the Danish coast who asked if anyone at radio control had spare cigarettes.
"No cigarettes here," one soldier replied.
The release of the messages comes on the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, usually a celebratory day in the U.K., which is currently under lockdown over the coronavirus.