Thursday, April 16, 2015

A 70-year Memory: On the Homefront and the Battlefront

From my grandmother's diary in 1945:

April 12: Ruth (her daughter) called at 6 o’clock and said that President Roosevelt had died at 4:30. It was an awful shock
April 14: Listened to train bringing FDR to Washington

Sunday, April 15: Roosevelt was buried in Hyde Park, NY.

Meanwhile in the war during those four days:

April 14: The Allies march through the center of encircled German troops in the Ruhr Pocket, taking prisoners and splitting the German ranks.

The Allies launch Operation Teardrop in an effort to locate German U-boats in the North Atlantic rumored to be carrying V-2 rockets to be used against New York City.

April 14-15: Japanese imperial loyalists crush an attempted coup by hard-line military officers who, convinced that Emperor Hirohito was on the brink of surrender, had decided to seize control.

April 15: The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, with a survivor population of 40,000, is liberated by the British Army.

April 16: Adolf Hitler announces that he expects his officers to fight to the death. He orders summary execution for any officer who orders a retreat.

The Allied air force announces that future operations over Germany will focus on cleanup rather than strategic targets, effectively ending the air war.

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