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 March 8, 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 March 15 and March 19, Wolff conducted further secret negotiations on the surrender with American general Lyman Lemnitzer and British general Terence Airey.
On March 12, 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 March 16 the Soviet side was informed that its representatives would not be allowed to take part in negotiations with Wolff in any case.
On March 22 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 March 25 and Stalin's reply on March 29. The actual surrender in Italy was signed on April 29, 1945 agreeing to a cessation of hostilities on 2 May.
Operation Sunrise was depicted in the Soviet TV series Seventeen Moments of Spring, where it was called "Operation Sunrise Crossword".
- Bradley F. Smith and Elena Agarossi, Operation Sunrise: The Secret Surrender. New York, 1979
- "Analysis of the Name File of Guido Zimmer". Records of the Central Intelligence Agency - Records of the Directorate of Operations. http://www.archives.gov/iwg/declassified-records/rg-263-cia-records/rg-263-zimmer.html. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
- "Insidious Moments of the Victorious Spring" (in Russian). newspaper. Archived from the original on October 28, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061028154709/http://www.sovross.ru/2005/40/40_3_12.htm. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
- "They Are Honest and Modest People..." (in Russian). SVR. http://svr.gov.ru/smi/2000/trud20000415.htm. Retrieved September 10, 2006.
- Stephen P. Halbrook: Operation Sunrise Retrieved 2011-12-26
- CIA: OSS Secrete Intelligence Branch and Operation Sunrise Retrieved 2011-12-26
- Operation Sunrise chapter in "From Hitler's Doorstep - The Wartime Inettligens Reports of Allen Dulles 1942-1945" Retrieved 2011-12-26
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