The Pittsburgh Press (December 7, 1943)
Russo-British-U.S. drive on continent expected within 4 months
By Edward W. Beattie, United Press staff writer
London, England –
Military observers said today that the United States, Britain and Russia will probably hurl at least five million men against Europe within the next four months in the offensives promised by the Tehran Declaration “from the east, west and south.”
Weather conditions and the difficulty of bringing together the greatest concentration of shipping in history for the invasion of Western Europe will probably delay the climatic offensives until nearly the end of the first quarter of 1944, most observers believed.
To require 60 divisions
The successful invasion of Western Europe alone, as distinct from coordinated offensives in Southern and Eastern Europe, will probably require at least 60-70 divisions – 900,000 to 1,050,000 men – and up to six million tons of shipping to transport and supply them.
In addition, thousands of planes must be held in reserve to soften the enemy defenses and protect the attacking troops. It is likely, also, that new weapons never before used by the Allies will be unveiled in the assault.
Unless Germany suddenly cracks wide open, the invasion will involve casualties, comparable to some of the big offensives of the last war.
Have 25,000 planes
Behind the five million Anglo-American-Russian troops marked for participation in the three-way assault on Axis Europe and probably one million reserves, stand another 20 million Allied fighting men scattered around the world, but nevertheless acting as surely for the Tehran pledge to beat Germany to her knees.
The United States, Britain and Russia could also call upon something close to 25,000 first-line planes and on massed navies nearly four times as large as anything which could be brought against them.
Obviously, only a fraction of the war potential of the United States, Britain and Russia will ever be brought against Germany. Even the vast Russian front could not accommodate the whole Red Army, which might be anything up to 10 million men.
Germany probably still can muster about 300 divisions, many of which are badly undermanned and second-rate, but altogether equal to any army man for man. She has an air force estimated at 6,000 first-line planes but suffering from the wasting effects of four years of war and on the defensive on all fronts.