V-E Day (5-8-45)

‘Frisco work being spurred by V-E Day

Conference may end within three weeks

SAN FRANCISCO, California (UP) – The end of the war in Europe spurred delegates at the United Nations Conference today to hasten the creation of a world organization strong enough to prevent another war.

The delegates wall “celebrate” the historic announcement of the end of the war with only a minute of silence. Then they will return to long hours of work designed to accomplish their task here within the next two or three weeks.

The end of the European war finds this conference in a favorable position.

Big powers in agreement

The big powers are in an amazing decree of unanimity on all fundamental issues pertaining to the new world peacekeeping organization.

It has been little short of a miracle that the unanimity has been attained. There have been side issues which, with less determination to succeed on the part of the leaders, could have bogged down the conference.

On the Polish issue especially, feeling on both sides has been bitter.

Leaders move ahead

But the leaders here succeeded in not letting it interfere with the task of building a charter for a world organization.

The atmosphere here augurs well for greater success at this conference than anticipated by even the most optimistic a month ago.

The United States, Great Britain, Russia and China are ready to turn the conference over to the little nations.

In effect, the “Little Nation” phase begins today after nearly two weeks of domination by the big ones. The others now will have a chance to be heard, but are expected generally to accept the broad outline of the plan on which the big powers agreed.

Objections met

Most of the issues raised by the little powers have been met by Big Four amendments. The major one left untouched is the voting procedure which gives the big powers a veto over virtually all decisions and actions of the Security Council.

The little nations will seek restrictions, but it is generally recognized that the formula must stand for the present. It was agreed to at Yalta and the prospects of any change in it here are nil.

Big Four unanimity on all major issues was claimed yesterday by Soviet Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov at a press conference. Some of his statements at first were interpreted as meaning that he was not supporting the revised amendment of Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-Michigan) – the so-called “treaty revision” amendment.

Clarified by Vandenberg

But Mr. Vandenberg himself clarified that quickly by announcing that he and M. Molotov were in agreement on post-war revision of treaties.

Mr. Vandenberg explained that both he and M. Molotov opposed giving the world organization itself actual authority to reviser treaties. But both, he said, felt it should have power to recommend revisions whenever it found a situation likely to impair the general welfare.

Japs prepared, Grew warns

WASHINGTON (UP) – Acting Secretary of State Joseph C. Grew warned in a Victory Day broadcast that Japan has prepared herself for a long time to carry on the war after Germany’s defeat.

Mr. Grew said:

Although Japan is fighting alone, she is strong, and she is still fighting with cunning and tenacity.

Let us not think that the defeat of her Nazi ally has caught her by surprise. Let us not think that she was not aware that one day she would have to bear the full brunt of our force alone.

Japan has been preparing herself for this for a long time – and most particularly since the successful Allied landings in Normandy last June showed that Germany was going to be crushed.

‘War in Europe over? So what?’

OKINAWA (UP) – “So the war in Europe is over. So what?”

This comment from a G.I., arriving from battle on the front line, sums up the feeling on this island about the end of the war in Europe.

The Japs are still fighting for this island, but there has never been any doubt that U.S. forces will take it. The Tenth Army has a powerful force ashore with plenty of supplies for the final drive to victory.

V-E Day found Okinawa swept by cold rain. It annoyed Doughfoots and Japs alike.

There is still a hard, long road ahead in the Pacific and there can be no pause for celebration.

MacArthur salutes victors in West

MANILA, Philippines (UP) – Gen. Douglas MacArthur said today his command saluted the comrades who were victors in the West and rededicated themselves to the task of crushing the Japs in the East.

Gen. MacArthur said he rejoiced that this theater will “now be reinforced by those vast and powerful resources of the war which heretofore have been employed on the battlefields of Europe.”

Doenitz offers to remain at head of Reich

Admiral says it’s up to Allies

LONDON, England (UP) – Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz, appointed by Adolf Hitler to succeed him as Fuehrer of Germany, offered today to remain at the helm of the government during Allied occupation of the Reich.

He told the German people in a broadcast over the Flensburg radio:

When Germany is occupied, control will be in the hands of the occupying powers.

It rests with them whether or not I and the Reich government appointed by me can be in office. Should I be able to be of use and assistance to my fatherland by continuing in office there, I shall remain in office.

Cites duty

Doenitz said he was willing to continue “if the will of the German people is to have a head of the state or if the occupying powers regard the continuation of the office as necessary.”

He said:

I shall not remain for an hour longer than, without regard to my own person, this can be reconciled with the dignity I owe the Reich whose supreme representative I am.

If duty demands that I should remain in Office, I will try to help you as far as lies in my power. If duty demands that I should go, this step shall also be a service to the nation and the Reich.

Recalls promise

He recalled that he had promised he would try “in the coming times of distress” to provide tolerable living conditions for German men, women and children, but added: “I don’t know whether I shall be able to help you in these hard days.”

Doenitz told the Germans they must face the fact that the foundations on which Hitler’s Third Reich were built had collapsed.

“Unity of the state and [Nazi] Party no longer exists,” he said. “The Party has left the scene of its activities.”

Explains surrender

Doenitz said he ordered the German High Command to surrender unconditionally all German fighting forces in all theaters of war in order to “save the lives of the German people.”

He said:

On May 8 at 11 p.m. [5 p.m. ET], hostilities will cease.

Soldiers of the German Armed Forces who proved their mettle in countless battles will set out on the bitter road to captivity, thus making a last sacrifice for the lives of women and children and for the future of our nation.

We bow in reverence before the thousand-fold proven gallantry and sacrifice of our dead and prisoners.

The Allies will probably treat Doenitz as a defeated commander-in-chief.

Lewis: Nazi pleads for generosity for Germans

Appeal follows surrender signing
By Boyd D. Lewis, United Press staff writer

Here is an eyewitness account of Sunday’s surrender at Reims by one of the seven American news and radio reporters who saw it take place. This story was filed at 8 a.m. Monday (2 a.m. ET) with censorship at Supreme Allied Headquarters in Paris for transmission as soon as the official embargo was lifted.

REIMS, France (May 7, delayed) – Representatives of our Allied powers and vanquished Germany scrawled their names on a sheet of foolscap in a map-lined 30-by-30-foot room at 2:41 a.m. CET today (8:41 p.m. Sunday ET) and ended World War II in Europe.

I witnessed this historic scene.

In a ceremony exactly 20 minutes long, Col. Gen. Gustav Jodl, chief of staff of Adm. Doenitz’s government and long-time close friend of Adolf Hitler, surrendered all German armed forces on land, sea and in the ar.

Effective tonight

The surrender is effective one minute after midnight Wednesday, British Double Summer Time (6:01
p.m. ET).

A high officer said almost all firing had ceased on the remaining fronts.

The actual signing took five minutes. There are four copies of the surrender document, and in addition the naval disarmament order, which was signed by Adm. Sir Harold Burroughs, Allied naval chief.

Immediately after signing the last document with a bold “Jodl,” the Nazi arose, bowed and in a broken voice pleaded for generosity “for the German people, the German armed forces,” who he said “both have achieved and suffered more perhaps than any other people in the world.”

Eisenhower smiles

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, smiling, confident and restrained, sat with his deputy, Britain’s Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, beside him. In a three-minute statement later for newsreels, Gen. Eisenhower hailed the German surrender as the conclusion of the plan reached by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill at Casablanca in 1942 – unconditional surrender.

“We have defeated Germany on land, sea and in the air,” Gen. Eisenhower said. He added that the peace was fittingly signed in France, a country which suffered so much at the hands of Germany and whose liberation started on D-Day, just 11 months ago yesterday (Sunday). Gen. Eisenhower did not attend the actual signing. That was carried out by generals of America, Russia, England and France on his behalf.

After signing the last sheet, Jodl arose and Gen. Adm. Hans Georg Friedeburg and Jodl’s aide. Maj. Wilhelm Oxinius, jumped up with him.

Speaks in German

Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, who signed for Anglo-American forces as SHEAF chief of staff, asked Jodl to meet him at 10 a.m. Monday to arrange for German liaison officers to carry out the surrender and disarmament orders,

‘Suffered more’

Jodl stood with eyes half shut, leaning slightly forward, and said in English. “I want to say a few words.” Then he spoke rapidly in German in a voice which seemed on the point or cracking once or twice:

General, with this signature the German people and the German armed forces are for the better or worse delivered into the victors’ hands.

In this war which has lasted more than five years, both have achieved more and suffered more perhaps than any other people in the world.

I express hope the victor will treat them with generosity.

Ten minutes later he was presented before the supreme commander. Gen Eisenhower stood very grim at his desk in his cubbyhole office and asked if Jodl understood the terms he would carry out.

Jodl muttered “yes.”

The Germans’ heels clicked and they strode out, Jodl tripping on a camera floodlight cable.

60 see surrender

The war was ended at a black-topped table 20 by six feet, bathed in floodlights which heated the tiny “war room” almost insufferably.

Some 60 spectators, including 16 correspondents, gathered shortly before 2 a.m.

The presiding general, Smith, entered the room at 2:29.

At 2:39, the three Germans entered.

Jodl clicked his heels to Smith. There was no saluting. The three Germans sat down, facing these Allied officers:

Lt. Gen. Sir Frederick E. Morgan (deputy chief of staff), Gen. Francois Sevez (representing the French Chief of Staff, Gen. Alphonse-Pierre Juin), Adm. Sir Harold M. Burroughs (Allied naval chief), Gen. Smith (presiding), Gen. Susloparov, Gen. Carl Spaatz (commanding the U.S. Strategic Air Force), Air Marshal Sir J. M. Robb (chief of the air staff of SHAEF), Maj. Gen. H. R. Bull (assistant chief of staff, G-3, SHAEF), and Col. Zenkovitch (aide to Gen. Susloparov).

Embraces Ike

Gen. Susloparov smiled frequently during the ceremony. Afterward, in Gen. Eisenhower’s office, he and Ike laughed and embraced and congratulated one another.

Gen. Smith signed for the British and Americans, passing the surrender from the Frenchman on his right to the Russian on his left. Jodl was the last to sign.

The scene of the surrender was a classroom of Reims’ Ecole Professionelle, co-educational technical school. The Germans had used it as supreme headquarters during their occupation and Gen. Eisenhower made it his SHAEF forward post since moving from Versailles several months ago.

Started Wednesday

Negotiations began last Wednesday evening when Friedeburg, who succeeded Doenitz as commander-in-chief of the German Navy when Doenitz became Fuehrer, surrendered the northern armies, exclusive of Norway, to Field Marshal Sir Bernard L. Montgomery.

Friedeburg and the other German representatives were brought to Reims Saturday.

Friedeburg, who complained he had had little sleep during the past 10 days and who had slept most of the way in the plane and limousine, asked for a chance to wash up.

The Admiral hummed softly while washing up but his aide, Col. Fritz Poleck, appeared nervous.

Meet at 5:20

The first meeting took place at 5:20 o’clock Saturday.

Present, in addition to Gen. Eisenhower were Maj. K. W. D. Strong (G-2 Supreme Headquarters), Gen. Spaatz, Adm. Burroughs, Maj. Gen. H. R. Bull (assistant chief of staff), Marshal Robb, Capt. Harry C. Butcher (naval aide to Gen. Eisenhower), Col, R. G. S. Philmore (who drafted the surrender terms), and Maj. Ruth M. Briggs of the WAC (secretary chief of staff).

That meeting lasted 20 minutes – long enough to reveal that Friedeburg did not have authority to lay surrender on the line.

Gen. Smith demanded his credentials to commit Doenitz. Friedeburg was willing, but he did not have the proper credentials.

Gen. Smith therefore gave the Admiral the written terms.

Tries to compromise

Friedeburg tried to compromise; he complained many German soldiers might be killed by the Russians unless allowed to surrender directly to the Allies in the west.

Gen. Smith gave the suggestion no consideration. He declared the Allies were not prepared to discuss anything but simultaneous surrender to the Allies of the east and west.

Friedeburg asked about the German civilian population which he said might suffer hardships. Gen. Smith replied that the German people were enemies of the Allies until surrender; after that, he said, we would be guided by the dictates of humanity.

Friedeburg and an aide then took the terms to an office and mulled them over while washing down sandwiches with whisky. Washington, Moscow and London were given code dispatches by Gen. Eisenhower on the progress of the negotiations.

Guarded by MPs

Three teams of MPs guarded them. They included Frederick Stone of Pittsburgh.

Prime Minister Churchill telephoned several times for information during the evening and Gen. Smith conferred with Gen. Eisenhower.

Saturday night, Friedeburg sent a message to Doenitz via the British Second Army.

Friedeburg said he had two proposals from SHAEF, first, that he be empowered to surrender all theaters, and alternately Doenitz send his chief of staff and commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air forces with the necessary authority.

The Germans then were escorted to their billet.

The big day

Sunday morning dawned full of portent – just 11 months to the day after Normandy D-Day. Gen. Eisenhower had told the correspondents recently his original plans in England envisaged possibly reaching the German border by the end of the 12th month after D-Day.

The day passed in eager waiting for Doenitz to reply.

At precisely 5:08 p.m. Sunday, the reply arrived at Reims airport im an Allied military plane in the person of Gen. Gustav Jodl – the man with the credentials – the man with power to lay surrender on the line. He was accompanied by Maj. Oxinius.

The party of correspondents representing the news agencies and networks of the world arrived 10 minutes after Jodl. They waited in the main hall of the map-lined conference room.

Details told

Details of what had gone on were given the news representatives by two public relations department officers who had been the official reporters at the first negotiations.

“This will be your first uncensored story – when the surrender is completed censorship goes off,” Brig. Gen. Frank Allen Jr. of Cleveland, director of SHAEF press relations, said.

The correspondents enjoyed a laugh at the expense of British Col. George Warren and Lt. Col. Richard Merrick of Chicago, chief SHAEF censors who were present – without blue pencils.

Sunday set aside as day of prayer

WASHINGTON (UP) – The House today adopted a resolution congratulating the armed forces on their “magnificent accomplishment” in bringing Germany to unconditional surrender. The resolution set aside Sunday as a day of prayer.

It was offered by Democratic Leader John W. McCormack (D-Massachusetts) and passed as part of a ceremony by which the House commemorated V-E Day.

Speaker Sam Rayburn left the rostrum for one of his infrequent speeches from the floor. He offered “our grateful and unstinted thanks” to the armed forces of all the Allied nations and said they had done “a great job for you and me.”

He said:

But to me this should not only be a day of celebration for this great victory, but it should also be a day of dedication… by every human… to put his hand to the plow and not look back until our other enemy has surrendered unconditionally.

And today, as I am happy, I am also sad because I cannot help but think of those thousands of our brothers who are yet to die in the far-flung Pacific battlefields… that victory may come to our armies…

Trumans move to White House

WASHINGTON (UP) – The Harry S. Trumans of Missouri moved into the White House just in time for today’s historic events.

This will be the first full day at home in the nation’s executive mansion for President Truman, his wife and 21-year-old daughter Margaret. A small birthday dinner for the President – he’s 61 today – in the late afternoon will also be a thanksgiving – and a housewarming.

The Presidential moving from Blair House across the street yesterday would have reminded you of your own short-distance moves except for two big White House limousines, small trucks scooting back and forth across Pennsylvania Avenue and several housemen in white ties.

Most of the Trumans’ personal belongings were transported piecemeal. All the night before, fans had dried and aired the newly-painted White House interior.

Men go to war even on eve of V-E Day

Tuesday, May 8, 1945

It was the eve of V-E Day.

The scene, Baltimore and Ohio Station.

The train caller’s voice started to drone out the destination of the train, leaving at 9:30.

Fifty or more youths arose.

Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and sweethearts arose simultaneously. All were fighting to keep back tears.

A tow-headed boy followed his mother and sisters toward one boy who was leaving. But the tow-headed kid couldn’t hold back. His tears came quickly, stopped just as quickly as his sailor-brother put his hands on his shoulders, whispered into his ear.

Then all the boys were filing through the gate.

It wasn’t the eve of V-E Day to them.

It wasn’t the eve of V-E Day to those who stood and watched.

These boys were just going to war.

They were going to fight the Japs.


Simms: Europe faces rocky road to real peace

Seeds of future strife already sown
By William Philip Simms, Scripps-Howard foreign editor

SAN FRANCISCO, California – The end of the war in Europe starts one of the most difficult epochs in world history. That is the view of most conference delegates here.

For the next five to 10 years, they point out, Europe will face conditions bordering on chaos or worse. Revolt or civil war in certain areas is probable.

Millions of uprooted peoples will be on the move. Discontent, fed by misery, hunger and hate will spread as violent emotions suddenly are released.

Revolutionary minorities will find in this post-war chaos the opportunity of a lifetime and will try to make the best of it.

Problems only postponed

Problems presented by Eastern Europe and the Balkans have not been solved by the Big Three. They only have been postponed. Meanwhile, army discipline has kept down the cauldron lid. Now the lid will have to come off. Solutions for Europe’s impounded troubles will have to be found.

Therefore, foreign ministers in San Francisco warn, that this conference is the most crucial meeting ever held. It must create a peacekeeping organization which will work.

Germany, Italy and the Axis satellites have been defeated, but what to do with either the vanquished or the victims remains to be decided. The frontiers of Germany are still undetermined. Likewise, those of Poland and even of France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Yugoslavia and other countries.

What of Poles, Serbs and Jews?

Millions of workers, used by the Nazis as slave labor, will be released and repatriated. But many of them – such as the Poles and the Serbs – feel they have no country to return to; or are afraid to return. Then there are the millions of dispossessed Jews – all that remain of some six million who had their homes in Europe. What is to become of them?

Italy is to be turned into a democratic state by the introduction of representative government with freedom of speech, religion and the press. Today she is almost in anarchy.

Iran is to be “independent and sovereign.” Recently her government was overthrown by one of the Big Three because it wasn’t quick enough with an oil concession.

Greece was to have self-government, but the first cabinet set up there soon had to defend itself against a leftist revolution.

Yugoslavia was promised representative rule, put the regime now at Belgrade is a dictatorship imposed from without.

Seeds for future trouble

Poland was to have a new government, reorganized “on a broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from Poland itself” But when the “democratic leaders from Poland itself” – the 16 underground officials – showed up for a conference, the Russians put them under arrest. And so on.

The seeds for much future trouble have already been sown.

The war in Europe ends today, but the peace to follow will be only a truce unless the Big Three here and at the peace table return to the principles of the Atlantic Charter.

Allies may use U-boats against Japs

WASHINGTON (UP) – German U-boats may soon be sinking Jap ships.

Germany’s surrender should make available 200 to 300 submarines which the Allies could use in the war against Japan, a reliable source said today.

Editorial: Make V-E stick!

We and our Allies have won victory in Europe. Our job now is to make the victory stick – which we failed to do last time. That will not be easy.

But we owe it to those who have paid with their lives, and the millions who suffered, to win the peace for which they sacrificed. We also owe it to our children who will be the next victims, if we fail now.

German militarism and Nazism have been mowed down. They still must be uprooted, and the remaining seeds destroyed as far as possible. All the Allies are agreed on that.

The first step after unconditional surrender is already planned. An Allied control commission of four generals – American, British, French and Russian – with headquarters in Berlin will rule Germany as a military government.

Its difficult problems will be multiplied by the necessary division of the conquered country into four zones of occupation. That will require much closer c-operation between Russia and the Western Allies than was achieved during the war. For any one of the four to seek selfish advantage, or otherwise fail to cooperate, would undermine enforcement and invite Nazi revival.

How long military government must continue will depend on the Germans. All the evidence to date indicates that they are unrepentant. More disturbing than reports that the Nazis are going underground, is the almost unanimous testimony of Allied intelligence officers and correspondents that rank-and-file Germans have no sense of war guilt. Even the big industrialists, who aided Hitler, hope to evade responsibility.

Apart from some church leaders, who had the courage to defy Hitler and survived, there seems to be no considerable group of Germans capable of creating or maintaining decent government now. In that, at least, the Nazis succeeded; they destroyed Germen capacity for self-government for some time to come. Maybe an entire new generation, educated for peace instead of war. must grow up before Germany can be trusted fully.

Perhaps the greatest shock to Germans will be the discovery that their standard of living cannot be restored. They must be fed, or rather allowed to feed themselves, but it will be at a very low level. They must contribute first to reconstruction of neighboring lands they destroyed. That will take several years at best. Germans’ extreme suffering during the coming period was decreed by themselves when, as recently as two months ago, they chose to continue the war rather than surrender and prevent destruction of their factories and cities.

Beyond policing and demilitarizing Germany, and prompt trial and punishment of war criminals, are the larger problems of a peace settlement. These include not only reparations and territorial questions, but the whole range of political and economic conditions which will make for order or chaos, for peace or another war. Though the big powers should have a large voice in these decisions, a peace dictated by them cannot survive.

Germany’s smaller neighbors and worst victims deserve a voice. They will be needed to make the settlement work. Therefore, the general peace conference should be called at the earliest possible moment.

Finally, to make V-E stick, there must be an international organization for security and peace, based on justice and law. The job of the San Francisco Conference is now more important than ever.

Success in that long-term job, as in military government of Germany and as in making a wise peace settlement, depends chiefly on Russia’s willingness to cooperate and keep her agreements.

Editorial: Happy birthday, Mr. Truman

And indeed it’s a happy day for all of us, who share the hope of the man in the White House that victory in Europe will be followed by peace throughout the world long before another May 8 rolls around.

Pope to speak

ROME, Italy – The Pope plans to broadcast a message to the world on the end of the war in Europe at 6 a.m. ET tomorrow.

Sweden severs relations with Reich

LONDON, England (UP) – The Stockholm radio said today that the Swedish Foreign Ministry had informed the former German Minister Hans Thomsen that with the capitulation of Germany, all diplomatic relations between Sweden and Germany have been severed.

Holiday in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – A holiday was declared in Argentina today to celebrate the United Nations’ victory in Europe.

Col. Palmer: And now what?

By Col. Frederick Palmer

WASHINGTON – No broadcast from the Pacific is necessary to inform our, soldier in his hour of victory in Europe that we have yet another war – and a tough one – to win. As an expert in making war, he feels that tact down to the marrow of his homesick bones.

He wonders in which direction he will be reversed with the reversal of the mighty war machine in which he is one of the atomic human cogs. Will it be back to the homeland now for him, or to the Pacific, or to serve as a policeman in the portion of the enemy country which our forces are to occupy and patrol?

How big is the task of reversing that immense machine of war can be realized only by one who has seen it at work in pressing the war in Europe to a finish. That machine stretches from the French ports and Antwerp to the Elbe River and down into Austria and Czechoslovakia. It was two years in building in Great Britain and a year in its enlargement and extension across France and beyond the Rhine.

After the end of World War I, we left most of our enormous accumulation of war material in France. The one war we had to win was over. Wasn’t it the “war to end war”? We would have no further use for war material on a large scale. So, we left it to the French along with an immense amount of supplies of value for civilian use. The French were to pay us for some of this, but, with all their financial troubles, never got around to it.

This time we are going to transport to our other war front all war material that inspection finds useful. Food stores will be left as a nucleus for the immense amount needed to feed the hungry peoples of Europe.

Turning to personnel, Gen. Marshall, Army chief of staff, said in a statement May 4, that Gen. Eisenhower “anticipated no reduction of replacement requirements for June” and that “Norway, Denmark and sections of Holland” were still occupied by “strong and fanatical forces of the enemy.”

The next day a War Department announcement looked toward the reduction of the Army from its present size of 8,300,000 men to 6,980,000 in a year and with the drafted men filling the gaps, two million men would be discharged in a year.

Gen. Marshall’s statement is subject to the cheering news that now all the German armies have surrendered. Gen. Eisenhower’s replacement requirements may be for men to fill the gaps left by men in the army of occupation who are chosen to go to the Pacific.

Selection of the soldiers who are to go is not like that of the expert selection of materials of all classes which are to be sent, but, in the long run, is a human matter, though done on the “point” system, which includes giving thought to a man’s age, his physical fitness, length and character of combat service, and the number of children he has at home. Otherwise, under what conditions and how are the examiners to settle the immediate fate of hundreds of thousands of men? How long will those who pass through the United States on their way our war in the Pacific be allowed to stay at home?

Othman: Dis is DE Day

By Fred Othman

WASHINGTON – This is the day to whoop-and-holler, not yesterday.

If you’ve already torn up your phone book and thrown the pieces out the window it serves you right and don’t go blaming President Truman. He did his best. All day yesterday his assistants emerged at intervals from the executive offices and said, “Uhh-uh–not yet.”

The morning started out beautifully. German surrender was in the air and the odor of freshly cut grass. The White House gardeners were cutting the lawn. The sun was shining. The movers were hauling in the new President’s belongings and depositing them in living quarters painted varying shades of raspberry pink, green and blue. Everything looked wonderful.

It still looked that way at 10 a.m. when Press Secretary Jonathan Daniels called in the correspondents.

“All I have this morning,” he said, “is proclamation–.”

The scribes unsheathed their pencils and the press association men got set for the fastest foot race yet to the telephones.

“–a proclamation,” continued Daniels, “about National Rehabilitation Week.”

“Try and get that one on the wires,” cried a disappointed writing wretch.

“Then put it in your pocket,” said Daniels.

Daniels’ girl almost mobbed

An hour passed. Daniels’ girl stuck her head out his door and nearly got mobbed. Daniels had some more news, she gasped.

He did, too. It was a letter to the governors of the 48 states inviting them to drop in at the White House whenever they came to town. The reporters went back to their red leather seats in the reception room, where they smoked too many off-brand cigarettes and bit their fingernails. Lunchtime came. A messenger shagged in some tuna fish sandwiches.

At 1:55 p.m. that girl (the brave one in the tan dress) came out again. More news, she said. Then she leaped out of the way. Daniels read a four-line statement by President Truman saying he’d talked to London and Moscow and didn’t intend to do any talking about peace until they did, too.

Jimmy Byrnes drops in

Until then (and he didn’t say when) there wasn’t anything he could say. Word filtered out that he’d dropped over to the mansion for a bite.

A couple more hours passed and in came Jimmy Byrnes, who used to be the assistant president. He spent an hour with the President and then walked into an impromptu press conference. He said:

  1. The weather in South Carolina has been so cold and rainy lately that he hasn’t caught any fish.
  2. He will be in Washington all day today. (Why, Mr. Byrnes?) To visit his dentist and have his choppers polished, he said.

Soon thereafter came the news that President Truman had signed the franking bill for Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. Now she doesn’t have to worry about running out of postage stamps, ever again.

The photographers ran outside to get pictures of President Truman’s piano being hoisted in the door. Another hour went by and at 6:10 p.m., Daniels himself came out (the girl must have lost her nerve) and said he had some news:

  1. Today is President Truman’s birthday.
  2. He will spend it for the first time in the refurnished White House.
  3. Today’s the day to whoop-and-holler. Nine a.m. is the hour.

With the Japs still to be licked –
Victory in Europe costs United States 800,000 casualties, $185 billion

Rehabilitation to raise expense

WASHINGTON (UP – The victory in Europe cost the United States about 800,000 casualties and more than $185 billion.

These are the best conservative estimate available now. It will be a long time before the final figures are worked out.

A survey showed today that this country’s share of the cost of crushing the Nazi bid for world domination will exceed by three or four times the cost of World War I and its aftermath – whether the measuring standard is casualties or dollars.

The cost in money will be increased in future years by many billions of dollars through interest on government borrowings and benefits to veterans. The cost in broken lives, too, will be paid over a long period.

Experts consulted

Most of the government experts consulted believed that at least two-thirds of the dollar outlay since defense preparations began in 1940 went directly or indirectly into the war against Germany and Italy.

This is based on the allocation of men to the two major spheres of combat. The best available information is that two U.S. fighting men were sent to Europe for each one sent to the Pacific.

The cost estimate includes not only guns, bullets, planes and tanks, plus the plants to make them, but also such items as Lend-Lease expenditures, training costs, merchant ships, transportation, subsistence and literally thousands of articles and services that never appeared on the field of battle but were vital to victory.

Results of survey

Here are the results of the survey:

COST IN MONEY: Defense and war expenditures total more than $277,600,000,000 since July 1, 1940. Assigning two-thirds of this to the European War gives a figure of $185,066,000.0U0. This compares with the $55,345,000,000 cost of the last war.

The figure for the last war includes continuing expenses for many years after the war and unpaid war debts. The figure for this war is just the cost up to now.

COST IN CASUALTIES: Approximately 800,000 men killed, wounded, missing and prisoners. This is a projected figure because the official casualty compilations are far behind.

Army casualties compiled here by theaters as of March 31 showed a total of 685,247 for the European, Mediterranean, Middle East and Caribbean theaters – all part of the European war. The figures included 133,284 killed, 431,965 wounded, 67,008 missing and 52,990 prisoners.

Reports lag

But these figures actually included only casualties suffered until early March. Much severe fighting was not covered by these reports, and it will be months before final casualty data of the war against Germany is available. Best estimates are that the European Theater alone will report a final casualty total exceeding 800,000.

The Navy has never broken down its casualties by war theaters so it is impossible to determine accurately now what part of Navy casualties were incurred against Germany.

But an informed source said that through last July, a period which included the toughest phase of the Battle of the Atlantic as well as the landing operations in North Africa, Italy and Normandy, slightly less than 25 percent of Navy casualties were suffered in the war against Germany.

At the end of last July, the Navy had suffered 52,000 war casualties throughout the world. It may be estimated that naval casualties in the war on Germany totaled between 13,000 and 14,000. No breakdown of this figure into killed, wounded and missing is available now.

World War I figures

In World War I, the final casualty total for all the armed services was 259,735. This included 53,878 killed, 201,377 wounded and 4,480 prisoners.

Relatively speaking, the Merchant Marine suffered the highest death ratio of any of the services engaged in the war against Germany. Although its casualties by theaters are not available, an estimated 5,000 out of more than 6,000 casualties to date occurred in the Atlantic and adjacent waters. A large portion of these are dead or missing, mostly as a result of the German U-boat campaign in the first 18 months of the war.

MEN INVOLVED: Probably between 3,500,000 and 4,000,000 out of the Army’s 5,200,000 men overseas have been involved in the war on Germany and its satellites.

The Army has not announced allocation of its men by theaters, but some 70 divisions have been identified in the war against Germany. These divisions would total roughly 1,250,000 men, but to them must be added the tremendous U.S. Air Force and the great numbers of supply and maintenance men behind the lines.

Naval forces

It is estimated that not more than 235,000 men in the naval services were engaged in the war on Germany. All told, the Navy has a total of 2,352,275 sailors, marines and coast guardsmen now serving outside the continental limits. The Navy estimated that approximately 80 percent of this total are under Adm. Chester W. Nimitz’s command in the Pacific. The rest of them are scattered throughout the world with possibly less than 10 percent in the Atlantic. It was recalled that about 124,000 naval officers and men took part directly or indirectly in the invasion of Normandy.

These were in addition to the many thousands engaged in escorting convoys across the Atlantic and in protecting the supply lines.

COST IN WARSHIPS: A total of 96 naval vessels and naval craft were sunk in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and European theaters.

The figure includes landing craft destroyers, some PT-boats, and transports. The largest vessel lost was the escort carrier USS Block Island. Many merchant ships were also lost.

V-E Day puts okay on All-Star Game

Tuesday, May 8, 1945

Now that V-E Day has been officially proclaimed baseball’s World Series will be played.

It is also probable that the All-Star Game which was eliminated in the spring, will be reinstated. Commissioner A. B. “Happy” Chandler has indicated he will try to arrange a date for this affair.

The World Series was not cancelled but was left depending upon the status of the war at a winter meeting in Washington of Presidents Ford Frick and Will Harridge of the major leagues and ODT chiefs.

Horseracing enthusiasts also expect modification of the ban on that sport.

Miners take ‘holiday’ – war plants hum

Almost 100 pits unable to operate
Tuesday, May 8, 1945

War plant ‘patriots’ hear Truman, go home

President Truman had just finished his address proclaiming victory and urging all Americans to remain on their jobs.

At the Allenport plant of the Pittsburgh Steel Company, more than a thousand had listened in silence.

As he finished, one worker remarked: “Let’s go home.”

They all did.

Victory in Europe set back coal production in Western Pennsylvania.

Thirty-three thousand miners “celebrated” by taking the day off. But workers in virtually all district war plants remained at their posts.

The Solid Fuels Administration announced that almost 100 mines are closed, causing a production loss of 180,000 tons.

Mines open, close

Most pits failed to open when miners failed to show up. At two mines of the Pittsburgh Coal Company, the Midland and Somers, workers stayed in the pits only a few hours. Miners began emerging as President Truman proclaimed victory. When he finished reading his proclamation, they went home.

Today’s estimates raised the production loss in Western Pennsylvania coal fields to 2,140,000 tons since January 1, due to numerous strikes and “holidays” taken by the miners, and high absenteeism.

Absenteeism low

But in war plants workers were busy turning out weapons for continuance of the war against Japan.

At most plants, workers heard the President on plant PA systems.

Jones & Laughlin Steel Company, the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company and Curtiss-Wright at Beaver all reported absenteeism lower than average. A 20-minute program was held for Curtiss-Wright workers.

Carnegie-Illinois, the National Tube Company and the American Bridge Company all reported conditions normal.