April 17, 1945 – Sprint To The Finish Line – Dawn Of The Truman Era
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News for this day in 1945 had much to do with the final push to Berlin; with Russia from the East, and the Allies from the West. The American 9th Army was poised to cross the Elbe River, the American 7th entered the city of Nuremberg, while the 3rd Army was at the Czech border. The Russians had advanced to within 23 miles of Berlin. In Italy, Allied armies were pushing towards Bologna. Allied planes had accounted for some 3,000 German planes destroyed during the month of April so far – effectively eliminating the Luftwaffe and turning the focus of the airforce to one of support for advancing Allied armies.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific – the Allies were landing on the islands surrounding Okinawa, while Allied bombers were busy attacking the Japanese island of Kyushu.
On the home front, President Truman delivered a broadcast address to service members in the United States Army and Navy, telling them that they shall carry a tradition of not faltering as done by his immediate predecessor and recalls his own service during World War I as having made him privy to both killing on the battlefield and the fighting man’s trials and tribulations.
As vice president, Truman had been uninformed about major initiatives relating to the war, including the top-secret Manhattan Project, which was about to test the world’s first atomic bomb. Although Truman was told briefly on the afternoon of April 12 that the Allies had a new, highly destructive weapon, it was not until April 25 that Secretary of War Henry Stimson told him the details of the atomic bomb, which was almost ready.
Contrary to the rumors around Capitol Hill, President Truman asked almost all of Roosevelt’s cabinet members to say on the job. It came in reply to speculation Truman would stage a wholesale house-cleaning of former FDR advisers and holders of key posts. Although some continued to speculate the turnover would take place within three months.
And so it went, this April 17th in 1945, as reported by NBC’s News Of The World.