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Towards the end of 1943 and during all of 1944 the war on all Fronts was relentlessly and violently building to a dangerous and complex climax Although the Allies had massively invaded Europe in the early summer of 1944, we didn't see German capitulation for almost a year and even then only after the Russians, renewed from their awful Battle of Stalingrad, were rolling west into the very heartland of Germany, taking Berlin block by block, building by building. With equal ferocity the Allies had rolled east. Eisenhower was poised fifty miles west at the Elbe River. April 30th, Hitler killed himself. Two days later Berlin capitulated. American losses in "Europe" totaled 170,000. The German end came fast. Although the World celebrated Victory in Europe on May 5th Germans had been surrendering in big numbers through late April and early May. By May 15th Allies had imprisoned five million German military personnel. Some of the best news I heard was the surrender of 153 German submarines. The foe in the Pacific would prove as implacable.In contrast to the land war in Europe, for us the war in the Pacific had always been a sea war with island invasions and battles taking place over great distances.
A few months after Pearl Harbor the author went to war in the Engineering Department of a shipyard in Los Angeles Harbor and enjoyed a brief but rigorous engineering apprenticeship.earning an "Industrial Deferment", which required draft board renewal every six months. In late summer of 1943 the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy accepted him but with a "string attached". Unlike the other three Federal academies, this Academy required a six-month "tour of duty" at sea, preceded by ninety days of "Basic Training", wartime or peacetime.