End of War

While researching material to write about the honey bee, I saw that Albert Einstein had an interest in bees and wrote about them. This certainly was a sideline for this great German physicist who won a Nobel Prize in 1921. He should be remembered as a great war hero.

Einstein had a friend by the name of Niels Bohr who was a Danish physicist and who also won a Nobel Prize in 1922. The two obviously maintained a friendship for many years to come.

Migrating to the U.S. in the late thirties, Einstein became a citizen in 1940 and then a professor at Princeton. In the early forties he received a letter from Bohr who reported a very grave matter was taking place in Norway. Here the Nazis were attempting to develop an atomic bomb. Bohr indicated that there seemed to be some success. With Hitler facing the Russians from the East and the Allies from the West, one can only imagine what he would do with a bomb.

Einstein immediately contacted Roosevelt, made an appointment and drove to Washington for a meeting. This was the spark that began the Manhattan Project. The making of the atomic bomb was rapid. Niels Bohr came over to aid.

The war in Europe ended in May, 1945. Our military leaders felt that the war with Japan should not linger but must end with a complete invasion of all Japanese islands. This invasion was to be accomplished by troops traveling several thousand miles and then transferring to landing crafts. No invasion of this magnitude had ever been done. Tremendous casualties were expected. In fact, they would pale those of D-Day. The date for the invasion was September, 1945.

As part of this plan three infantry divisions from the European Theatre were to lead the invasion. Of course this was not publicized.

I was in one of those divisions We were quickly sent home with a promised 30 day leave. Next we were at Camp Shelby in complete combat mode. We were told that the ship out date was September 2nd.

In the meantime. the atomic bomb had been made, so now the question was, “Do we use it?” We know the history and the complete surrender by the Japanese on August 18th.

General Robert Lawrence Eichelberger, head of the 8th Army in the Pacific, was to lead the invasion. He retired shortly after the end of the war and wrote a very detailed book on the proposed invasion. A map in the book showed my division spearheading the invasion of the largest island.

I barely lived through one war. I doubt that I could live through another one. Thank you to Mr. Einstein and Mr. Truman.

David T. Daniel
Southbury, CT © 2015

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