A Shadow of Doubt
The American zone consisted of Bavaria and Hesse in Southern Germany, and the northern portions of the present-day German state of Baden-Württemberg. The ports of Bremen (on the lower Weser River) and Bremerhaven (at the Weser estuary of the North Sea) were also placed under American control because of the American request to have certain toeholds in Northern Germany. The headquarters of the American military government was the former IG Farben Building in Frankfurt am Main.
Beginning in May 1945, many American combat troops in Germany were sent back to the United States based on their Advanced Service Rating Scores. Some of the experienced officers and non-commissioned officers were selected to be sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations, but most of those who had served the longest in combat were discharged from the U.S. Army upon their return home. Following the surrender (by acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration) of the Japanese Empire in mid-August 1945, a higher percentage of soldiers and airmen were granted their discharges.