Sir: I possess a copy of General Eisenhower's message that ended the war. It has been among my souvenirs these 50 years. It orders all "active operations" to cease at 23:01 hours Central European time, 8 May 1945.
Even if the difference between Central European time and British Summer time was three hours, then the proposed silence ought to start at 20:01 hours (8:01pm). Where does 8:38pm come from?
I phoned the Imperial War Museum, where an official there suggested, tongue in cheek, that perhaps there was a televised football match on and that nothing could interfere with that!