Steel orders increase at rapid rate
Most producers booked up for rest of year, Iron Age says
Colgate shows gain in profit
Earns $2,986,773 in first six months of year
Most producers booked up for rest of year, Iron Age says
Earns $2,986,773 in first six months of year
U.S. State Department (August 18, 1943)
|United States||United Kingdom|
|Admiral Leahy||General Brooke|
|General Marshall||Admiral of the Fleet Pound|
|Admiral King||Air Chief Marshal Portal|
|General Arnold||Field Marshal Dill|
|Lieutenant General Somervell||Vice Admiral Mountbatten|
|Vice Admiral Willson||Lieutenant General Ismay|
|Rear Admiral Cooke||General Riddell-Webster|
|Rear Admiral Badger||Admiral Noble|
|Major General Handy||Lieutenant General Macready|
|Major General Fairchild||Air Marshal Welsh|
|Brigadier General Kuter||Captain Lambe|
|Brigadier General Wedemeyer||Air Commodore Elliot|
|Commander Freseman||Brigadier McNair|
|Commander Long||Captain Tollemache|
|Brigadier General Deane||Brigadier Redman|
|Captain Royal||Commander Coleridge|
August 18, 1943, 3 p.m. Secret
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 110th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.
Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Representative at the Vatican had received a signed document from Marshal Badoglio informing him that General Castellano was authorized to speak on his behalf.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note of the above statement.
Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that it appeared from the memorandum (CCS 305/1) prepared by the special committee that from the figures available, the Ledo or Imphal advances might have to be abandoned as a result of the floods. A telegram had, however, been dispatched to the Commander-in-Chief, India, offering him certain assistance to improve the capacity of the line of communication. He proposed that further consideration of operations from India should be deferred pending a reply from the Commander-in-Chief, India.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note of the interim report of the ad hoc committee, set out in CCS 305/1.
Admiral King informed the Combined Chiefs of Staff that he was examining the possibility of increasing the production of landing craft by stopping production of 110-foot submarine-chasers and slowing up production of destroyer escorts. The steps he was examining might produce an increase of 25 percent in the landing craft program, but this must not, however, be taken as a firm figure.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note with interest of Admiral King’s statement.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff were in general agreement with the concepts laid down in Part I of CCS 308.
Sir Alan Brooke said that there were certain specific points which he would like to discuss with regard to Part II. It had been found difficult to cut the Southeast Asia Command from India, since the former was dependent on India as its main base. However, there were constitutional difficulties in linking the two. The logistic and administrative side of the command set up was most important and a new post of Chief Administrative Officer to the Commander-in-Chief, India had been set up in order that the Chief Administrative Officer of the Southeast Asia Command should have only one individual to deal with in logistic and administrative matters.
With regard to the Deputy Supreme Commander, the British Chiefs of Staff were distressed by the multitude of functions which this officer would have to carry out, necessitating his presence in many widely separated places.
In the course of discussion, the following points were made:
It would be difficult for one officer to combine the functions of Deputy Supreme Commander, Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo and Commander of the U.S. and Chinese forces in the area.
The Deputy Commander’s main task must be to insure that the Chinese forces play their part in operations into Burma. This would be no easy task and to insure it, it was essential that General Stilwell, who must control the Chinese forces, should have the standing of Deputy Commander.
The command arrangements might be expected to follow the same pattern as in the North African theater, i.e., there would be ground, air and naval commanders. If General Stilwell commanded the ground forces, difficulties would arise since it was essential that control of all ground forces should be centralized in one commander. Only thus could the various operations be effectively controlled and coordinated. On the other hand, it was highly unlikely that the Chinese forces could be under the direct control of a British officer, and it was, therefore, necessary that General Stilwell should, at least nominally, control these forces and that all orders to these forces should pass through him.
General Marshall said that he visualized this necessarily abnormal organization working on the following lines: General Stilwell’s function as Deputy Supreme Commander would be limited, since his other functions would occupy the majority of his time. It must be his major task, and that not an easy one, to insure not only that the Chinese forces played their part in the operations, but also that, to the maximum extent possible, the 14th Air Force should cooperate in operations in Burma. It must be remembered that politically, all U.S. forces in China, or in the Southeast Asia Command, were regarded as being there for the sole purpose of supporting China, and therefore a system must be evolved whereby, while retaining this political principle, the maximum support could be obtained for operations into Burma.
Sir Charles Portal said that he appreciated that while the 10th Air Force was regarded as a source of reinforcement to the 14th Air Force, it also had possibilities for offensive action in the Burma theater. Its operations in Burma must, however, be coordinated with those of the Royal Air Force by the Air Commander, Southeast Asia Command. It was therefore essential that these two commanders should occupy the same headquarters.
General Arnold pointed out a further complication in that the operation of the air ferry route into China was under a separate command. It was not controlled either by General Chennault, by the commander of the 10th Air Force, or by General Stilwell, though the latter decided what supplies were flown into China.
It would seem to be necessary, once operations were in progress, for General Stilwell or his representative to be situated at the Army Commander’s headquarters with United States officers attached to each Chinese force through whom he could issue instructions to the Chinese forces concerned, in accordance with the policy of the army commander.
Finally, it was pointed out that the proposals for the employment of Chinese forces and the command arrangements would still have to be negotiated with the Generalissimo.
General Arnold and Sir Charles Portal then presented draft proposals covering the command arrangements on the lines discussed. Certain amendments put forward by Admiral Leahy to paragraph 8 (b) were discussed and agreed to.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Directed the Combined Staff Planners to revise paragraph 8 (a) and paragraph 8 (b) of Part II of the paper, on the basis of the suggestions put forward during the course of the meeting.
Sir Alan Brooke said that CCS 284/3/D set up the machinery for deception planning for the war against Japan. It remained to prepare plans. The responsibility for the formulation, for the approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, of overall deception plans for the war against Japan had been accepted by the United States Chiefs of Staff.
Admiral Leahy said that the United States Staff was now engaged on this matter. They felt, however, that plans could not be finalized until the decisions taken at the present Conference were known. It was hoped that the plan would be ready for consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff by 15 September.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note that the U.S. Planners were engaged in preparation of an overall deception plan for the defeat of Japan but that it would have to be premised to some extent in the QUADRANT decisions and therefore would not be ready for submission to the Combined Chiefs of Staff prior to 15 September.
Sir Dudley Pound referred to a report by the Anti-Submarine Survey Board, putting forward certain recommendations with regard to the mobility of air units. He was in general agreement with the proposals of the United States Chiefs of Staff, though he would like to examine further the detailed proposals put forward in the report itself.
Admiral King gave a brief résumé of the present position with regard to the anti-submarine war. His latest information went to show that 429 U-boats were operating, of which 166, including 23 in far northern waters, were in the Atlantic. Of the original 12 refueling U-boats, 10 had been sunk and one or two were working up in the Baltic, but there were undoubtedly others under construction. The United States was now operating five auxiliary carriers. To meet new U-boat tactics of fighting it out on the surface, aircraft were being equipped with heavier forward mountings. The United States Army Air Corps had recently made a much-appreciated loan of B-25s fitted with 75-millimeter cannon. It might be found that the best weapon was the 37-millimeter cannon, which could carry more rounds. There were a very large number of anti-submarine weapons and projects in the course of experiment and development.
Sir Charles Portal mentioned the rocket weapon which could fire eight projectiles in one salvo, and which was particularly effective.
Sir Dudley Pound said that at present U-boats were operating largely in the Central Atlantic, off the Cape, and in the Indian Ocean. It was possible to divert escort vessels from the North Atlantic only as far as the Bay of Biscay since it was essential that any craft diverted should be capable of rapidly reinforcing the North Atlantic route should the Germans decide to concentrate in that area. He believed that the U-boats now in the Baltic were refitting with new antiaircraft weapons and radar equipment and that the Germans might, when these were ready, revert to pack attacks in the North Atlantic, having fought their way out of the Bay on the surface in groups, using their new and heavier antiaircraft weapons.
Sir Dudley Pound then outlined the steps which were being taken to reinforce the escorts in the Cape of Good Hope area.
In reply to a question by Sir Dudley Pound, Admiral King said that the proposals, to which he had earlier referred, with regard to increasing the output of landing craft would not have any material effect on the production of anti-submarine craft. It was not proposed to stop the building of any anti-submarine craft except for the 110-foot submarine-chasers. Destroyer escorts already laid down would be completed and only a proportion of new construction foregone to allow for stepping up the production of landing craft. Thus, no effect on important anti-submarine craft output would be felt for at least six months.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the recommendations of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff contained in CCS 272/1.
Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Chiefs of Staff had only received the United States Chiefs of Staff’s views as set out in CCS 270/6 after their arrival at QUADRANT. Negotiations undertaken by the Foreign Office in consultation as necessary with the British Chiefs of Staff were then almost reaching a conclusion. The British Cabinet had given a ruling that the facilities required must, if possible, be obtained on the basis of our treaty with Portugal (our oldest Ally) and not by force. Negotiations had been very protracted. Portugal’s main fear was an attack by Spain. They asked for assistance and guarantees for their defense against such an attack and had suggested that a Portuguese Staff should proceed to London to discuss these terms. This would obviously have taken too long. The Portuguese had felt strongly that our initial entry into the Islands in too great strength would produce reactions from the Spaniards and that it must therefore be on a small scale. It had been felt possible to give the guarantee required by the Portuguese since the risk of invasion of that country appeared to be remote. The Portuguese had now agreed to the entry of a small British force into the Azores on the 8th of October. The Prime Minister had informed him that the President had agreed to this arrangement. As soon as the British were in the Islands the policy would be to build up and arrange for the necessary facilities for United States forces.
General Arnold stressed the importance of the ferry route through the Azores, particularly during the coming winter months when weather conditions will greatly restrict ferrying operations over the northern route, forcing a transfer of these operations to the South Atlantic crossing – 5,400 miles longer to the U.K. than the Azores route would be. It was expected that by early 1944 some 1,800 aircraft per month would be ferried across the Atlantic. During 1944 it is estimated that air transport Atlantic crossings will reach 3,500 per month. The use of the Azores for these operations would effect a monthly saving of approximately 15,000,000 gallons of gasoline, and substantially expedite the movement of aircraft and air cargo to the European-Mediterranean, Middle East and Far Eastern areas. Grave inconvenience will be caused if this ferry route is not available by the winter. Negotiations by Pan-American Airways had almost achieved the desired result but had been discontinued when British negotiations got under way.
Sir Charles Portal said that the original decision of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to obtain the use of the Azores had been based on their value in the anti-submarine war. The air facilities available were limited and he believed that ‘anti-submarine requirements must take priority. He fully appreciated, however, the value of these Islands as a staging point in the air ferry route. A clause in the agreement allowed for further development and General Arnold could be assured that every effort would be made, and pressure put upon the Portuguese, to afford the use of all facilities to the United States as soon as possible.
Admiral Leahy said that he felt that once an entry had been effected, the required facilities for United States aircraft might be made available without reference to the Portuguese, but it was generally felt by the British Chiefs of Staff that some reference would be necessary.
After further discussion,
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note:
a. That the negotiations with the Portuguese regarding the use of the Azores had been brought to a successful conclusion as regards their use by the British, with effect from October 8.
b. That the President had agreed that the negotiations between the British and Portuguese Governments with regard to the use of facilities in the Azores should not be prejudiced by insisting that the facilities be made immediately available to the United States.
c. That the British Chiefs of Staff gave an assurance that everything would be done by the British as soon as possible after entry had been gained into the Azores, to make arrangements for their operational and transit use by U.S. aircraft.
|United States||United Kingdom|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill|
|Wing Commander Gibson|
The principal subject was presumably the attack led by Gibson which had destroyed the Möhne and Eder Dams.
|United States||United Kingdom|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill|
The principal subject was presumably the possibility of effective jungle warfare against Japan through the use of long-range penetration groups landed by air behind the enemy lines.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret CCS 301/1
At their 110th Meeting, 17 August 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff directed that a paragraph be drafted by the Secretaries for inclusion in paragraph 8 of CCS 301. A suggested paragraph follows:
Air Route into China
Present plans provide for the concentration of available resources, as first priority within the Assam-Burma Theater, on the building up and increasing of the air routes to China to a capacity of 10,000 tons a month by early Fall, and the development of air facilities in Assam with a view to:
- Intensifying air operations against the Japanese in Burma;
- Maintaining increased American Air Forces in China; and
- Maintaining the flow of airborne supplies to China.
J. R. DEANE
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret Enclosure to CCS 305/1
In accordance with the instructions of the Combined Chiefs of Staff we have examined the telegram from the Commander-in-Chief India contained in paper CCS 305, and submit this interim report.
From the information at our disposal, which is confined to the telegrams received from the Commander-in-Chief India, there is a shortfall of 600 tons per day foreshadowed on the Assam line of communications out of the estimated capacity of 3,400 tons per day. This shortfall is expected to continue up to 1st March 1944.
In respect of priority for allotment of capacity on this line of communication we consider that the air transport service to China should retain its present overriding priority.
We have examined the detailed allocation of tonnage as planned by the Commander-in-Chief India on the basis of 3,400 tons per day, and agree that this allows no margin if the operations are to take place as planned.
We assess that a saving of approximately 500 tons per day might be made by calling a halt to one of the offensives as planned either at Ledo or at Imphal.
It would therefore appear from the figures available that one of these projects should be cancelled if the other is to be carried out.
We have, however, addressed a cable to the Commander-in-Chief India offering him certain assistance which should begin to have an effect in improving capacity by late November or December 1943. This assistance, coupled with the postponement of the date of active operations till 15th February, 1944, may permit of both projects being continued though with some loss of preparedness.
Having regard to the above factors, we do not consider that the abandonment of either project should be definitely decided upon. The importance of continuing work on the Ledo Road is manifest, and with a lower target of road construction in the Imphal area, due to the later date of operations, the continuance of the Ledo Road may well be possible with little delay.
We make this forecast with some reserve, and we cannot definitely state what will be practicable until we receive a reply from the Commander-in-Chief India, to the cable which we have dispatched.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret Enclosure to CCS 312
|References:||a. CCS 107th Meeting|
|b. JCS Memo Directive, 14 August 1943|
Prepare a study on the construction of a pipeline from India to China via Calcutta, Ledo and Fort Hertz, to Kunming.
Description of Project: The project is divided into two parts which can be executed simultaneously:
a. The construction of a six-inch pipeline from Calcutta to Dibrugarh (Project C, attached map) to provide gasoline (1) for U.S. air transport operations in Assam, (2) for further transportation to Kunming, and (3) to supplement the supply of the Imphal Force. The Calcutta-Dibrugarh pipeline is 900 miles long and will have a capacity of 36,000 tons per month. The line is easily accessible from railroads for the entire length. Time required for construction is estimated at five months.
b. The construction of a four-inch pipeline from Dibrugarh via Fort Hertz to Kunming (Project A, attached map), to provide gasoline for air operations in China. This line is 1,000 miles long and will have a capacity of 18,000 tons per month. Approximately 400 miles of this line traverses territory accessible by road, the remainder is accessible only via foot trails or air. In order to speed construction by building several sections simultaneously, materials should be flown in to airfields along the route. Time required for construction is estimated at eight months.
a. U.S. air transport operations require 15,000 tons of gasoline per month in Assam.
b. The amount of aviation fuel available in the Kunming area will be a limiting factor which will restrict the size of the air force which can be supported from Chinese bases, for attacks against Japanese shipping, shore installations, naval forces and ground forces during the year 1944.
c. There are additional military requirements, other than gasoline, for the support of ground establishments and ground forces, which are essential to the securing of the airbase area in China. The delivery of gasoline to the Kunming area by pipeline will permit the devotion to these requirements of much of the capacity of the U.S. air transport facilities previously used for gasoline.
Requirements for Construction: The requirements for construction are as follows:
|900 miles six-inch pipeline and accessories||29,000 short tons|
|1,000 miles four-inch pipeline and accessories||18,000 short tons|
|Signal supplies||400 short tons|
|4,000 troops (15 Petr Dist Cos & misc dets)||2,600 short tons|
|50,000 short tons|
Capacity to Meet Requirements:
a. Cargo shipping is available for movement of equipment and supplies.
b. Equipment and supplies are available as required to implement this project.
c. Additional shipping for the transportation of 4,000 troops must be made available or an equal number of troops destined for the same theater must be deferred.
d. Troop units are available as required.
Difficulties to Be Overcome:
a. In order to execute the project in a minimum of time, it will be necessary to transport, over a period of several months, 15,000 tons of pipeline material by air to points along the pipeline east of Ledo.
b. It will be necessary to transport over the line of communications from Calcutta, over a period of several months, an aggregate of:
(i) 20,000 tons of four-inch pipeline material to Assam.
(ii) 30,000 tons of six-inch material along the route between Calcutta and Assam.
c. It will be necessary to provide adequate protection to prevent enemy action from interrupting the construction and operation of the pipeline.
a. The project is feasible from an engineering point of view.
b. The project can be initiated at once and promises considerable and early aid to China.
c. The air delivery of 15,000 tons of four-inch pipeline material invested in the Assam-Kunming pipeline project over a period of several months, will be returned in terms of tons of aviation gasoline delivered in Kunming in the first month of pipeline operation.
d. The distribution along the Calcutta-Assam line of communications of 30,000 tons of six-inch pipeline material over a period of several months will increase the capacity of that line of communication by 36,000 tons per month.
e. Without adequate ground protection, it is within the capabilities of the Japanese to interrupt the Assam-Kunming section of the pipeline project.
That the Combined Chiefs of Staff approve the proposed pipeline project.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret Enclosure to CCS 313
In their 90th Meeting on 20 May 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff:
…directed the Combined Staff Planners to initiate a study and prepare for consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff an appreciation leading up to an outline plan for the defeat of Japan, including an estimate of the forces required for its implementation.
In their 102nd Meeting on 16 July 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff directed the Combined Staff Planners to place an appreciation and plan for the war against Japan before the Combined Chiefs of Staff during QUADRANT.
Combined planning teams, working in London in June and in Washington in July, completed CPS 83 on 8 August with the exception of certain Tables of Forces which are under preparation and should be completed prior to the end of QUADRANT. A summary of CPS 83 is attached.
On the basis of the premises adopted, the Combined Staff Planners consider that the measures set forth as being necessary for the defeat of Japan, namely, the retention of China as an effective ally, the destruction of Japanese sea and air forces, the blockade of Japan, and the large-scale bombing of the Japanese homeland as a preliminary to the possible invasion of Japan, are sound.
The general lines of advance – through the Central and Southwest Pacific, and possibly in the Northwest Pacific by United States’ forces; and through the Straits of Malacca and China Sea by British forces, with the development of a line of supplies to China through Burma, are concurred in.
The dates on which operations are to be undertaken, with the consequent prolonged duration, envisages, as set forth by the Planning Team, the least favorable conditions to be anticipated. The Planning Teams state that conditions less unfavorable will permit the expediting of the contemplated operations.
Even on this conditional basis the Combined Staff Planners consider that the plan contemplates a war in the Pacific so prolonged as to be unacceptable to the United Nations. They feel that the situation existing at this time is that the Japanese have won the war and that operations which do not contemplate the complete nullification of Japanese gains before 1947 will produce the serious hazard that the war against Japan will not, in fact, be won by the United Nations.
The United Nations’ overall objective, as approved in CCS 242/6 during the TRIDENT Conference, states:
The overall objective of the United Nations is, in conjunction with Russia and other Allies, to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers.
The Combined Staff Planners feel that the conduct of the war to bring about the defeat of Japan must be in consonance with the overall objective, as well as with the over-all strategic concept for the prosecution of the war against Japan, which reads (CCS 242/6, Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3):
In cooperation with Russia and other allies to bring about by the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of the Axis in Europe.
Simultaneously, in cooperation with other Pacific Powers concerned to maintain and extend unremitting pressure against Japan with the purpose of continually reducing her military power and attaining positions from which her ultimate surrender can be forced. The effect of any such extension on the overall objective to be given consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff before action is taken.
Upon the defeat of the Axis in Europe, in cooperation with other Pacific Powers and, if possible, with Russia, to direct the full resources of the United States and Great Britain to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of Japan.
At the present time a great preponderance of the United Nations Forces is deployed against the Axis Powers in Europe. At the time of the defeat of Germany large forces will become available for redeployment against Japan. This redeployment will require a long period of time. During this period the will to prosecute the war to the defeat of Japan will suffer from the stultifying effect caused by long delays in the increase of offensive action in the Pacific and Far East.
The Combined Staff Planners feel, therefore, that, if we are to comply with the approved overall objective and strategic concept and are to ensure the complete defeat of Japan, we must contemplate the start of the reorientation of forces from four to six months in advance of the prospective date of the defeat of Germany, adjusting the tempo and scale of the reorientation to the progress of the war in Europe, as determined by the Combined Chiefs of Staff from time to time.
The U.S. Planners feel that our plans and preparations should contemplate the defeat of Japan not later than 12 months after the defeat of Germany. This timing should itself now be established as a more or less controlling objective with which our efforts, measures, and courses of action should conform. If, in the future, the measures set forth in the proposed plan do not prospectively provide for this desired rate of progress of the war, other measures should be sought – as, for instance, inducing Russia to enter the war. The British Planners, however, while fully conscious of the need to shorten the war against Japan and to take all possible measures so to shorten it, cannot accept such a target date. In their opinion such acceptance would necessitate an entirely new concept of operations involving an assault on the Japanese homeland without the preparatory bombing from bases in China and/or Formosa which they believe will be required. This course, though worthy of consideration nearer the time, is insufficiently certain to provide a basis for long term planning.
The chief value of an overall plan of this kind is the guidance of action now and in the immediate future. Operations now underway in the North, Central, South, and Southwest Pacific, as well as those Pacific operations set forth in CCS 301 – Specific Operations in the Pacific and Far East, 1943-1944 – are in conformity with the plan. Operations for the seizure of Burma are in conformity with the plan, but the date that they should be undertaken is in dispute.
The U.S. Planners consider that the Southwest Pacific operations, through New Guinea, and to the Northwest of New Guinea, provide for a line of advance which at this time must be considered concurrent and coordinated with the advance in the Central Pacific and in this respect do not agree with the plan that these operations should he considered subsidiary in character.
The British Planners however consider that operations in New Guinea will be slow and very expensive in resources. They therefore support the view set out in the summary that when we turn to our main Pacific effort, through the Marshalls and Carolines, operations in New Guinea should become subsidiary and should only be pursued in so far as they are necessary for the success of our main effort.
The U.S. Planners assume that the operations in North Burma, as approved at the TRIDENT Conference – advance from Ledo and Imphal, and increase of supplies by air to China, and the Akyab and Ramree operations – will be firmly carried out in 1943-1944. Beyond these operations the plan submitted by the British Members does not contemplate offensive operations from the West (other than further operations in North Burma) until March, 1945. In other words, during the period March, 1944, to March, 1945, the efforts from the West to “maintain and extend unremitting pressure against Japan with the purpose of continually reducing her military power and attaining positions from which her ultimate unconditional surrender can be forced” would be only those possible to the forces deployed in North Burma. The U.S. Planners feel that a more extensive contribution to the war effort is necessary along this line of advance during this period. They feel that the support rendered in 1944, even though smaller than could be afforded in 1945, will give better and more needed support to the Pacific Theater.
The U.S. Planners consider that Course B, the capture of South Burma, beginning in November, 1944, should be carried out. This operation is regarded as necessary not only for the improved line of supplies to China through Rangoon, but as a preliminary to the further movement of the advance from the West through the Strait of Malacca. In this they are in disagreement with the British Planners who concur with Course C, the attack against Singapore to bypass South Burma, and to be inaugurated in March, 1945.
The British Planners feel that the question of whether or not China remains in the war will not be decided by the choice between Course B (the prior capture of Burma) and Course C (the prior capture of Singapore) since China’s darkest hours will be in the early half of 1944, before Germany is defeated. Thereafter, the obvious weight of the United Nations offensive against Japan in general and the prospect of an early opening of the sea route in particular will do more to sustain morale than the arrival of limited additional material through Burma, always provided supply by the air route continues at the maximum.
The British Planners feel strongly that the recapture of Southern Burma and Rangoon would be a small strategic gain for the expenditure of great effort. At best it would:
a. Produce limited pressure on Japanese land and air forces for two dry seasons with little attrition during the intervening wet seasons.
b. Open the Burma Road. As this cannot in any case be in full operation before some time in 1946, whether we go for Rangoon or Singapore first, the results are long term. In the unlikely event of the Japanese in the meantime occupying Kunming, all our efforts in Burma would be nullified.
On the other hand, the British Planners feel that the recapture of Singapore before Rangoon is a full and correct application of sea and air power. It will electrify the Eastern world and have an immense psychological effect on the Japanese. It will threaten the Japanese communications to Thailand and so to Burma, enable direct attack to be brought to bear on the Dutch oilfields, and in fact flank and undermine the whole Japanese defense structure in Southeast Asia. It provides a base for the great naval and air forces available for deployment against Japan from the West. Above all, it provides for an advance complementary to that being undertaken by the USA from the East, and converging upon the same objectives, i.e., the capture of Hong Kong or Formosa and the control of the South China Sea. It thus accelerates the opening of a sea supply route to China. Operations against Singapore will, moreover, provoke intense Japanese reaction to preserve the material gains of the Japanese Empire in the West as opposed to its strategical position and gains in the East, thereby relieving Japanese pressure on China and stretching Japanese ability to resist the Eastern advance possibly to the limit.
To summarize, it is recommended that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should take the following action:
|Recommendations By U.S. Planners||Recommendations By British Planners|
|(a) Approve the general objectives and the general lines of advance set forth in the plan, as a basis for planning and preparation.||(a) Agreed.|
|(b) Disapprove, as unacceptable those aspects of the plan which contemplate a prolonged war lasting into 1947 or 1948.||(b) Agreed.|
|(c) Direct that plans and preparations for the defeat of Japan shall have as their objective the accomplishment of this defeat not later than 12 months after the defeat of Germany.||(c) Direct that intensified study of ways and means for shortening the war should be undertaken at every stage; and that theater commanders should be so instructed.|
|(d) Approve, in principle, the inauguration of reorientation of forces from the European Theater to the Pacific and Far East Theaters from four to six months in advance of the prospective date of the defeat of Germany, the scope and timing of reorientation to be adjusted to the requirements of the European Theater, as determined by the Combined Chiefs of Staff from time to time.||(d) Agreed.|
|(e) Recognize that the deployment of forces and the operations to be undertaken in the war against Japan must be in accord with the overall objective and strategic concept defined in CCS 242/6, Sections I and II.||(e) Agreed.|
|(f) Reaffirm the TRIDENT decision that approved operations in North Burma and against Akyab and Ramree will be executed during the coming dry season.||(f) The British Planners consider that the form of this decision must await the outcome of discussion on CCS 301.|
|(g) Reaffirm the TRIDENT decision to undertake such measures as may be necessary and practicable in order to aid the war effort of China as an effective ally and as a base for operations against Japan.||(g) Agreed.|
|(h) Direct the maximum possible expansion of the air supply route into China.||(h) Agreed.|
|(i) Approve the Pacific operations as accepted in the final version of CCS 301.||(i) Agreed.|
|(j) Make a decision at this time as to operations to be undertaken in the west (South Burma or toward Singapore) in 1944.||(j) Approve planning and preparations for the start of operations for the capture of Singapore with a target date of 1945, followed by the recapture or reoccupation of Southern Burma during the season 1945-46. This decision to be reviewed in the spring of 1944 in the light of the then existing German situation.|
|(k) Agree that the forces to carry out the operations from the East, including Southwest Pacific, will be provided by the U.S., Australia and New Zealand; operations to be carried out from the west to be with forces provided by Great Britain, except that special types not available to Great Britain will be added by the U.S.||(k) Agree that the forces to carry out the operations from the East, including Southwest Pacific, will be provided by U.S.[;] operations to be carried out from the west to be with forces provided by Great Britain, except that special types not available to Great Britain will be added by the U.S. The employment of Dominion forces will be a matter for discussion between all the Governments concerned.|
The following is a summary of CPS 83 (Appreciation and Plan for the Defeat of Japan). We have based the outline plan that follows on our best evaluation of what may have to be undertaken.
We have assumed that Japanese resistance will be continuously stubborn, and have taken no credit for a decline in the morale of the Japanese people or fighting services. Nevertheless, we do not believe that it will be necessary to carry out the whole program of operations in order to defeat them. Even if Japanese morale remains high, at some point the continuous process of weakening the enemy’s forces and reducing his war potential will cause a rapid decline in his ability to fight and a consequent acceleration of our advance. Since it is impossible to forecast the stage of the operations at which this critical point will be reached, we have throughout endeavored to make the plan sufficiently flexible to permit of considerable acceleration at any stage.
We summarize below the basic conclusions of our appreciation:
To achieve the ultimate defeat of Japan we must destroy her capacity to resist and this may well involve the invasion of Japan.
The security of the Japanese position in the Pacific depends primarily on the Japanese Fleet and Air Forces. We must therefore destroy them as soon as we can.
Heavy and sustained air bombardment of Japan proper should cripple the Japanese war industry and destroy her ability to continue her main war effort. It might cause the surrender we demand but we cannot rely on this. In any case, air bombardment of this nature is probably an essential prelude to bring about the defeat of Japan.
To bring about the sustained air offensive against Japan we shall almost certainly require the use of China and/or Formosa as the bases for our long-range bombardment. These two areas will also go a long way towards meeting our requirements for mounting invasion forces. We shall require Chinese assistance in seizing and holding the area in China required for our air bases.
To secure and develop airfields on the mainland of China, it will be necessary to acquire ports in China. So far as we can see, Hong Kong will be the most suitable port to open initially.
We therefore require a sea route to China and/or Formosa and the interruption of the enemy’s lines of communication thereto. This will entail control of the South Japan and South China Seas. The best route of advance from the East lies through the Mandated Islands, and then either through the Celebes and Sulu Seas or north of Luzon. The best route of advance from the West lies through the Straits of Malacca.
In reaching these conclusions we have been guided by certain principles, which in turn should be applied throughout the execution of the plan:
a. We should attack Japan along as many lines of advance as are profitable, in order to make use of our superior forces and to extend the enemy defense.
b. Every possible means of taking short cuts to our objectives should be adopted. The superior forces, particularly Air Forces, available to us and the opportunities for surprise should enable large and bold steps to be taken without unacceptable risk.
c. Shortage of bases will initially restrict our possible lines of advance. We should therefore take the first opportunity of securing additional bases from which to deploy our superior strength.
d. Our strength, particularly in the air, should be concentrated against Japan’s weaknesses, which lie in her shortage of aircraft, warships, shipping and oil.
Conversely extensive campaigns against Japanese land forces in difficult country, where we cannot use our own forces to the best advantage, should be avoided until they have been weakened by lack of supplies and support from the Japanese navy and air forces.
Whenever possible, we should, in fact, aim at leaving Japanese land forces in possession of outlying territory, in order that they may continue to be a liability to Japanese shipping, air and naval forces.
e. Wherever practicable, direct attacks on our objectives should be aided, and if possible preceded, by attack against Japanese communications leading to them. The extremely extended nature of their communications, together with the notorious inability of the Japanese to deal with the unexpected, are likely to render such methods very profitable.
f. Since shipping is unlikely to be a limiting factor after the defeat of Germany, our lines of advance need not necessarily be selected so as to take the shortest route from the U.S. or U.K. to our ultimate objective, but rather the one most easily established and protected.
g. We should devise every possible means of exploiting to the full, the vast technical and numerical air superiority which we shall enjoy over the Japanese after the defeat of Germany.
h. Whilst recognizing that every effort must be made to retain China in the war and to develop her bases and land forces, our plans should retain the necessary flexibility to enable our program against the Japanese to be continued if China should drop out of the war or prove less effective than we now hope.
i. Whilst being prepared to achieve our aims without Russian assistance, our plans should nevertheless retain the necessary flexibility to exploit the situation fully if Russia should join in the war at any stage.
j. We cannot forecast the date at which Germany will be defeated. To minimize the delay in turning the full weight of our offensive against Japan after the defeat of Germany, the bases from which our initial advances are to be launched should be developed as soon as possible and plans for reorganization and redeployment made without delay.
Applying these principles to the basic conclusions set out above, the general concept of the war which emerges is as follows:
In the East, our main effort should be through the Mandated Islands. Until we are ready to launch this main effort, we should maintain increasing pressure on the Japanese by means of offensive operations in the Solomons-New Guinea area and in the Aleutians. When we turn to our main effort these latter operations should become subsidiary, and should only be undertaken insofar as they are necessary for the success of our main effort.
Having completed our advance through the Mandated Islands, we should then proceed either to the South Philippines or to the north of them. Our choice should be made in the light of whichever course will most quickly achieve our object of reaching the China Coast and/or capturing Formosa.
In the West, we should maintain China and build up our air forces there by stepping up the air supply route from Assam and by operations to clear Northern Burma, thus permitting the opening of a land route to China.
Meanwhile we should make preparations in India for the launching of the major campaigns to recapture the whole of Burma and to break into the Japanese perimeter from the west by the recapture of Singapore.
Once that has been accomplished we should make our way through the South China Sea towards the coast of China and Formosa.
To integrate our advances from the West and the East, the timing of the various operations should, if possible, be so arranged that they afford one another the maximum amount of mutual assistance at each stage.
For our advance from the East, & very large fleet, but comparatively small land and shore-based air forces will be necessary, and therefore comparatively little shipping, until we have completed our advance through the Mandates, when our ground and land-based air forces may well be of a very large order.
Our advance from the West, on the other hand, will require large land and air forces and much shipping, but probably a considerably smaller fleet than in the case of our advance from the East.
Our advance from the East should provide opportunities for bringing the Japanese fleet to action in favorable circumstances. It will enable us to threaten and strike at Japan herself, and, in conjunction with air forces from China, to strike at the focal point of the Japanese sea communications in the Yellow Sea-Formosa areas. This will greatly assist our advances from the west by forcing the Japanese fleet and air forces on to the defensive in their home area and by enabling our forces in the east to strike at the Japanese communications leading to the objectives of our advance from the west.
In executing our advance from the west, and after completing the capture of North Burma (Course A), two courses of action remain open to us in the west.
Course B – (Recapture of South Burma followed by recapture of Singapore) probably offers the best chance of maintaining China in the war by insuring that the overland supply route is developed as early as possible and with the greatest reliability. On the other hand, the delay in the recapture of Singapore is likely to mean that our advance to open the sea route to China would have to be undertaken from the east alone, and would receive little aid from the west.
Course C – (Recapture of Singapore, followed by recapture of South Burma) would enable a much greater degree of coordination and mutual assistance to be achieved in the later stages of our two advances since we should expect to reach Singapore and advance therefrom a year earlier. It would stretch Japanese resources over a wide area and would enable the British Fleet to operate off the China coast. Our land and air forces could also be moved up the South China Sea along routes far removed from the main enemy naval strength in Japan.
On the other hand, we should run the risk of delaying the development of the overland routes to China, although there would be no appreciable delay if all operations go according to plan.
Irrespective of whether the advance from the east or the west approaches China first, it is unlikely that we shall be able to capture Shanghai direct. In conjunction with shore-based air support from China, and Chinese land forces, we might, however, be able to undertake a direct assault on Hong Kong, subsequently taking Formosa.
If the capture of Hong Kong is impracticable, we should endeavor to seize Formosa first, or, if this too is impracticable, Luzon.
If neither of these can be seized direct, we should assault Hainan and if possible one of the Ryukyus.
If the above are impracticable we should continue operations against the South Philippines and complete our control of the Celebes and Sulu Seas, subsequently carrying out our program to capture a port in China and/or Formosa.
This phase will involve overland and amphibious operations in China and direct air and naval action to weaken Japanese capacity to resist. It will probably culminate in the invasion of Japan.
If we are established in Hong Kong before Formosa has been captured, we shall be in a position to build up the necessary land forces in China, secure the air bases most accessible from Hong Kong, and start the bombing of Japan at long range.
If, on the other hand, we capture Formosa before Hong Kong, or find that the Chinese assistance on the mainland is disappointing, the bombing of Japan can start from Formosa.
It is possible that, with the assistance of sea-borne air forces, Japan may be sufficiently weakened to enable us to invade her when our bomber offensive has been developed from either Formosa, or the area most accessible from Hong Kong.
On the other hand, to bomb Japan effectively we may have to move further northwards from Hong Kong in order to use the area up to the line Wenchow-Nanchang-Changsha.
From the invasion point of view, we may possibly have to secure the Shanghai area, and if this is the case, we should be well placed from our positions in Hong Kong and Formosa to undertake such an advance both overland and coastwise.
If Chinese assistance proves to be effective, our main effort will probably be made overland. If, on the other hand, it is disappointing, our main effort would be concentrated in amphibious operations along the China coast as far northwards as necessary.
Meanwhile, subject to the requirements of our main advance, we should:
(i) undertake subsidiary operations along the Malay Barrier to bring increased pressure to bear on the Japanese;
(ii) prepare plans and bases for the capture of the Northern Kuriles and the reinforcement of Petropavlovsk, in order to secure a sea route to Russia in the event of her entering the war;
(iii) prepare plans and bases for the capture of Hokkaido should the opportunity arise for assisting our bombing or undertaking our invasion of Japan from this direction, possibly in conjunction with Russian action from the Maritime Provinces, Sakhalin or Petropavlovsk.
Based on our appreciation, we indicate below an outline plan for operations against Japan:
|Action in the West||Action in the East|
|Serial 1 – Up to November 1943|
|Development of air routes to China. Holding operations in North Burma and China.||Offensive operations against Solomons and New Guinea. Offensive operations against the Aleutians.|
|Serial 2 – November 1943 to May 1944|
|Offensive operations in Northern Burma and on Arakan coast. Developing Northern routes leading to China.||Offensive operations against Gilberts and Marshalls. Subsidiary operations in Solomons and New Guinea and air operations from the Aleutians.|
|Serial 3 – June 1944 to November 1944|
|Holding operations in Burma.||Offensive operations against Carolines. Subsidiary operations in New Guinea area.|
|Action in the West||Action in the East|
|Serial 4 – November 1944 to May 1945|
|Course B (favored by U.S.)||Course C (favored by British)|
|Offensive operations in North Burma and capture of Rangoon.||Offensive operations in North Burma. Offensive operations against Northern Sumatra and Malaya.||Offensive operations against the Pelews and possibly Marianas. Subsidiary operations in the New Guinea area. Commence offensive operations against South Philippines.*|
|Serial 5 – June 1945 to November 1945|
|Holding operations in Burma.||Holding operations in North Burma. Continue offensive operations in Malaya and against Japanese communications to Burma.||Continue offensive operations against the South Philippines. – or Offensive operations against Luzon, Formosa or Ryukyus.|
|Serial 6 – November 1945 to May 1946|
|Complete offensive operations to clear Burma. Offensive operations against N. Sumatra and Malaya.||Offensive operations against North Burma and Rangoon, subsequently clearing the whole of Burma. Offensive operations against Camranh Bay.†||Continue offensive operations [against the] South Philippines. – or Launch offensive operations against Hong Kong or Formosa (if not already captured).|
|Serial 7 – During the remainder of 1946|
|Complete capture of Malaya.||Launch offensive operations against Luzon, Formosa, Hong Kong, Hainan and/or Ryukyus from East and West. – or Establish the strategic bombing force in China and/or Formosa.|
Serial 8 – From 1947 onwards
Establish the strategic bombing force in China and/or Formosa.
*If conditions are favorable, it may prove possible to bypass this objective.
†If conditions are favorable, it may prove possible to bypass this objective.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Most secret Enclosure to CCS 314/1
It will be remembered that in April 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff agreed (CCS 105/4) that future allocations of additional landing craft from U.S. production to the United Kingdom, as could be made available and as would be needed for specific employment and specifically projected operations, be accomplished by arrangement between the United States and British Naval Staffs, and formally processed through the Munitions Assignments Committee, Navy, subject to the approval of the Munitions Assignments Board in Washington.
No specific operations for the War against Germany, after OVERLORD, have yet been decided upon. For the War against Japan, it is hoped that decisions will shortly be taken on the scope and extent of British participation. In order to prepare the British Assault Fleet and to estimate British manning commitments for 1944/45, the British Chiefs of Staff wish to formulate their programme without waiting for specific operational decisions.
We, therefore, recommend that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should agree:
a. To modify the policy previously accepted.
b. That the British should now work out and submit requests for a share of U.S. production in 1944-45.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Most secret Enclosure to CCS 315
We are impressed with the possibilities of constructing “floating airfields” as a type of aircraft carrier, and we are of the opinion that, research and design have now reached a stage when we should proceed with the production of certain types. A Technical Note is given in Annex I.
Three types of vessel have been designed on paper by naval architects:
A vessel made of wood was designed in the hope that it could be ready in 1944 and would not use much strategic material. This, we have learned is not the case, as there is a shortage of timber. Consequently, in view of the limited requirement for this type, it has been decided not to proceed with it.
This vessel could be made of steel but would require about 150,000 tons per vessel as well as a great deal of shipyard space and skilled labor. Alternatively, it could be made of pykrete (frozen pulp and water), but the feasibility of this depends on the completion of full-scale tests during the winter 1943-44. These experiments have been in progress in England and Canada since December 1942. The proposed design has a speed of about seven knots; is self-propelled; and has a length of 1,700-2,200 feet; the beam would be sufficient to operate and park medium bombers and transport aircraft and, if assisted take off could be employed, heavy bombers. If orders for the above full-scale tests are given immediately, and if these are successful, the first pykrete HABBAKUK might be operational by the middle of 1945, but there are a large number of constructional and operational problems to be overcome.
This would be a smaller and faster type made of steel; about 70,000 tons per vessel; speed 12 knots; self-propelled; length 1,000-1,200 feet; beam sufficient to operate fighters, naval aircraft and light twin engine bombers. If a definite order is given in the near future, and if the material can be made available, the first could be operational by the spring of 1945. The construction of this type would, however, conflict with other ship construction, e.g. escort carriers.
Arrester gear will be necessary on all types and the employment of assisted take-off methods would be of great value.
In the war against Japan, we see considerable possibilities in Types II and III, particularly the latter. They could not, of course, in any way fulfill the functions of an aircraft carrier operating with the fleet, but there are a number of other ways, details of which are described in Annex II in which we think they would be of great value. Indeed, we feel that after a certain number of escort carriers have been constructed, it would probably be better to build a few of these HABBAKUKS rather than devote all our efforts to further escort carriers. (See paragraphs 40 and 41 of Annex II.)
We suggest that we should now take steps as follows:
a. To construct at least two HABBAKUKS III, which is the more promising type for use both in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean;
b. To continue experiments and construct during the coming winter sections of pykrete for HABBAKUK IIs for experimental purposes. Subject to success in this, we should construct a number of HABBAKUK IIs in pykrete during the following winter for use in the Pacific.
We cannot undertake construction in the United Kingdom because neither labor nor the material can be made available. If, therefore, the Combined Chiefs of Staff agree in principle with our proposals, we suggest that they should invite the appropriate United States and Canadian authorities to set up a board forthwith to press on with this matter. We shall be glad to place British experts at the disposal of both.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Most secret CCS 286/3
The British request that the Americans man all the craft allocated to Assault Force “O,” the American Naval Assault Force for OVERLORD based in the Plymouth Command, was considered by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff who declined to undertake this commitment for the reasons given in CCS 286/2.
There has been an opportunity during Quadrant for this matter to be further investigated by the Combined Staffs. As a result, we now wish to put forward a modified proposal. We withdraw the request that the U.S. should man the shipborne types of landing craft, namely 16 LCS(M), 15 Hedgerow fitted LCA and 60 ordinary LCA, as these will be carried in British ships. However, in view of the fact that the remaining craft will be assigned to, and will train with, the American Naval Assault Force under a U.S. Naval Commander, we suggest that it would be reasonable that U.S. crews be provided. The craft involved are 12 LCT(R), 5 LCG(L), 11 LCF(L), 48 LCP(L) fitted for smoke-laying and not hoistable, and the personnel required amount to 135 officers and 1,511 men.
We ask the U.S. Chiefs of Staff to reconsider the decision conveyed in 286/2 to this extent.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Most secret CCS 314
We have been examining the landing craft position for Operation OVERLORD. It appears probable that there will be a shortage of vehicle lift of 870 vehicles, or 13 per cent of the total lift, compared with the calculations made at TRIDENT. This shortage is made up as follows:
The reasons for this shortage are as follows:
a. 164 LCG (M) which it was hoped to build in the United Kingdom, will not be ready in time. In order to compensate to some extent for this and in order to provide supporting fire for the U.S. assaults, it has been necessary to convert 43 LCT (3 and 4) to LCT(R) or LCG(L).
b. In the TRIDENT calculations it was assumed that the 44 LCT (4 and 5) employed in close mobile net protection duties with the Fleet at Scapa Flow, would all be available for OVERLORD. Recent developments in anti-ship weapons make it impossible to dispense with this type of protection. Every effort is being made to substitute other types of craft and 15 LCTs have been released. The Admiralty are going to try and release more, but at present they must retain 14 LCT (4) and 15 LCT (5).
Under the TRIDENT decisions, 18 LCTs were to be brought back from the Mediterranean for OVERLORD. It will be necessary for these to sail before bad weather starts in the Bay of Biscay. Admiral Cunningham has been asked whether these craft are taking part in AVALANCHE and when they can be released. The importance of ensuring their passage home has been emphasized. Owing to the casualties in HUSKY having been less than expected, we may get more back from this source, which would help us reduce the deficit. But we cannot count on this yet.
We have studied various methods by which the shortage in lift for OVERLORD could be wiped out. It seems that the only practicable method would be to arrange by some means an increase in the number of LCT(6) available for OVERLORD from American sources. The British Chiefs of Staff ask that the possibility of this should be explored.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret Enclosure to CCS 317
|References:||a. CCS 288; CCS 288/1; CCS 288/2.|
|b. CCS 104th Meeting, Item 3.|
To consider the requirements for materiel for equipping allies, liberated forces, and friendly neutrals, and the determination of basic policies which will govern the meeting of such requirements.
During the Casablanca Conference, the United States Government accepted the responsibility for equipping 11 French divisions (three armored and eight infantry). By 1 September 1943, the equipment for two armored and four infantry divisions, with supporting troops, will have been shipped.
General Eisenhower has recommended (radio BOSCO-IN-21, 13 Aug 1943) (Appendix “A”) that equipment for remaining French troops be accelerated in a manner that would provide for a total of four armored and seven infantry divisions. The Commanding General of the North African Theater of Operations advises that such a program would satisfy the requirements of the Casablanca Conference. The requisite equipment can be made available to meet such requirements without prejudice to currently directed operations, i.e., BOLERO/SICKLE, and operations in the Pacific It should be noted, however, that approximately 60% of the equipment required must be withheld from advance shipments to the United Kingdom, to be made up prior to departure of United Kingdom units concerned. This can be done.
During the first four to five months following an initial assault on the continent, all available port and beach capacity will be required for the buildup and maintenance of the United Nations forces. It is considered that a minimum of six to eight months will be required between the start of reorganization and reequipment of French Army units on the continent and their initial employment. Thus, it would appear that no continental French Army units could be employed for from ten to thirteen months after the initial assault.
Balkan forces are capable of mounting approximately six modified divisions and supporting troops (175,000) (Appendix “B”). They should be supplied with captured German and Italian equipment, if available, inasmuch as they are familiar therewith, and their strategic position does not further substantiate commitments from other sources.
It is assumed that Polish forces will continue to fight with the British and they need not be considered as sacrificed by non-support of the Polish “Secret Army” as an organized unit. Moreover, the formation of Polish divisions and brigades can only be accomplished after the fall of Germany, at which time existence of a formal Polish Army for the defeat of Germany would not be necessary (Appendix “C”).
In respect to equipping the Turkish forces, it is presumed that this program will not extend beyond that envisaged at TRIDENT. In view of the apparent inability of the Turkish forces to properly assimilate, maintain, and train with such equipment as has been provided to them, it is questionable as to whether the political benefits that would accrue from furnishing any further equipment would outweigh the advisability of retaining such equipment for other purposes.
The aggregate strengths of forces which might be available to the United Nations and which are now located in Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Holland totals about 150,000 men (Appendix “D”). Since potential forces in none of these countries constitutes a force which of itself could carry out extensive offensive operations, it is assumed that such forces would be available only for garrison and interior guard duty.
It is the opinion of the War Shipping Administration that cargo shipping captured should be operated for rehabilitation and support of the occupied country. This policy will reduce shipping load on United Nations and will save the time and expense of repair and rehabilitation of vessels in U.S. ports. Personnel vessels should be operated to assist U.S. troop lift regardless of decisions as to U.S. or British control.
It is recommended that:
a. The supplies and equipment necessary to carry out the program recommended by the Commanding General of the North African Theater of Operations (cable W7177-CM-IN-BOSCO 21, 13 Aug. 1943) be authorized for shipment during the period 1 September-31 December 1943.
b. Rearmament of French Army units be limited to the obligations of the Casablanca Conference, i.e., 11 divisions as modified by General Eisenhower’s radio of 13 August 1943.
c. Equipment for any French local forces to be organized on the Continent subsequent to invasion be limited to that required for garrison or guard duties and no attempt be made to organize assault forces. Equipment to be furnished through CG, ETO, for Northern France and through CG, NATO, for Southern France. All equipment to be furnished as far as practicable from captured German and Italian items.
d. In accordance with CCS 303/3, Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe (par. 6d and par. 8) equipment to be supplied to the Balkans will be limited to supply of Balkan guerrillas by air and sea transport and for planning purposes the forces to be so equipped will be limited to 175,000 men (six divisions and supporting troops).
e. No equipment be supplied the Polish forces in Poland, other than that which can be flown in to guerrilla and underground forces extant within the limits of Poland. (The limitations imposed by the requirement that all material must be flown in will limit the forces that can be equipped to an optimum figure of 50 modified infantry battalions). This is to be a British commitment.
f. The program of aid to Turkey be reviewed in the light of experience to date and with a view to possibly curtailing the furnishing of additional equipment.
g. Equipment for potential forces in Norway and the Low Countries be limited to basic individual equipment for a total force aggregating 150,000 men, together with certain categories of light infantry weapons and light motor vehicles. That measures be initiated to determine the exact forces to be equipped as soon as operations by the United Nations in Western Europe make such action practicable. Theater commanders concerned to equip liberated forces of Norway, Holland, and Belgium through CG, ETO. The Balkans to be equipped through CG, NATO.
h. That in implementing the recommendations appearing in subparagraphs c to g, inclusive, maximum use be made of captured war matériel.
i. That implementation (after maximum utilization of captured war matériel) of equipping the forces carried in subparagraphs a, b and d above, be considered to be a responsibility of the United States, and for subparagraphs c, e, f, and g to be considered as a responsibility of the United Kingdom.
j. Captured cargo shipping be used, insofar as practicable, to carry relief and rehabilitation supplies to the country from which captured. Captured personnel vessels be operated to assist U.S. troop lift regardless of decisions as to U.S. or British control.
Appendix “A” Secret
During the Casablanca Conference, the United States Government accepted the responsibility for the equipping of 11 French divisions (three armored and eight infantry).
By 1 September 1943 the equipment for two armored and four infantry divisions, with supporting troops, will have been shipped.
a. By radiogram W7177 (BOSCO-IN-21, 13 August 1943), the Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, recommends that equipment for the remaining French troops be provided as follows:
|September, 1943||One infantry and one armored division (less certain units)|
|October, 1943||One infantry division|
|November, 1943||One infantry division|
|December, 1943||One armored division|
Equipment for supporting and service units to be provided on a proportionate basis for each month.
b. The proposal outlined in a above will provide for a total of four armored (on a slightly reduced scale) and seven infantry divisions. The Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, advises that this, considering also the Koenig Division, which was equipped by the British, will satisfy the requirements of the Casablanca Conference.
Equipment, allowing minor substitutions, can be made available to meet the requirements outlined in paragraph 3 above, provided that priority above that for pre-shipments to the United Kingdom is granted. About 60% of the equipment for French units would necessarily be withheld from pre-shipment to the United Kingdom. These shortages can be made up in time to equip U.K. units prior to departure. Provision of this equipment will not prejudice currently directed operations in the Pacific, BOLERO, or SICKLE. Any equipment left behind by U.S. divisions transferred from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom will be credited against this requirement. Shipping can be made available as requested by General Eisenhower (180,000 ship tons in September and 150,000 ship tons per month, October, November, and December).
The provision of equipment and supplies referred to in paragraph 5 [3?] above, will satisfy the United States obligation of the Casablanca Conference. There is no further known requirement for equipment for French units from United States sources. During the first four to five months following the initial assault on the Continent, all available port and beach capacity will be required for build-up of the combat forces. It is considered that a minimum of six to eight months would be required between the start of reorganization and re-equipment of French Army units on the Continent, and their initial employment. Thus, it would appear that no Continental French Army units could be employed for from ten to thirteen months after the assault.
Certain resistance groups in France are being equipped by air delivery with small arms. This is a British commitment. Any demands on the United States for weapons or equipment for this purpose will be negligible.
It may be necessary to clothe and equip local defense units organized in France after the invasion is well under way. Arms for such units would undoubtedly be limited to small arms and light weapons. It is believed that any such equipment should be provided from and limited to that available from captured enemy (Italian) supplies, and should not be set up as an obligation of the United States Government.
Appendix “B” Secret
The Balkan guerrilla forces are estimated to number around 175,000; however, some estimates have placed this figure as high as 300,000. The former figure is based on recent intelligence reports and is considered to be reliable. These forces are divided into several political groups, operating independently, the strongest of which is General Mihailovitch’s Chetniks. However, it is doubtful that even he can command the loyalty of more than 175,000 to 200,000 men.
In addition to these forces, recent radio report from the Mediterranean Theater quotes a Yugoslavian representative as being desirous of establishing a training corps, on the fall of Italy, in some Italian territory, preferably Sicily, to consist of 30,000 to 40,000 Yugoslavian prisoners of war now in Italy. The State Department is very emphatic in the opinion that a maximum of 6,500 Yugoslavian and 1,800 Greek prisoners of war will be liberated on the fall of Italy, and that any claims of the Yugoslav Government in Exile in excess of this figure would constitute an attempt to create a Free Yugoslav Army to lend national prestige in peace conference negotiations. The liberated prisoners of war available therefore appear to be relatively insignificant in comparison to the tangible guerrilla forces, and, moreover, the time that would be consumed in training such a force would render them valueless in the conquest of Germany.
In the past, supply of these forces has been effected by the British Middle East Command, in some 100 scattered sorties, dropping only the bare essentials of medical supplies, etc. Their principal needs are machine guns, light (horse) artillery and medical supplies.
The supply of equipment to the Balkans therefore devolves to a consideration of furnishing an equivalent of the requirements for a force commensurate with the 175,000 guerrillas.
Equipment to be supplied to the Balkans should be limited to supply of Balkan guerrillas by air and sea transport. The latter method must supplement the former before any substantial amount of equipment can be made available to a force aggregating 175,000 men.
Appendix “C” Secret
Polish forces in the U.K. consist of approximately 40,000 men, including one armored division, one parachute brigade, 13 air squadrons and some light naval vessels. In the Middle East, Polish forces contain about 73,000 men, including two infantry divisions, one tank brigade, and corps troops. In both of the above elements, the supply of materiel and equipment has been from British sources, including some lend-lease transactions, and the supply status of each is approximately 75% complete.
There is an additional Polish force of approximately 65,000 men, in the occupied territory, known as the “Secret Army.” Various estimates of this force have run as high as 300,000 men, however the former figure is based on U.S. Army Intelligence information and is considered to be reliable. In addition to supplying the Polish forces in the U.K. and Middle East, the British have occasionally dropped small quantities of explosives, and communications equipment, to this “Secret Army,” from the air.
Supply of the forces in the U.K. and Middle East having been undertaken by the British (these elements are now a part of British forces in the respective area), the equipping of Polish forces evolves to the requirements of the “Secret Army.” This requirement amounts to equipment for an equivalent of fifty infantry battalions which must be flown in, and would require an estimated 500 sorties initially. The Polish Genera] Staff estimates this force could fight in isolation for about 20 days and its continued existence would depend on a break through contact by other Allied Forces within that time.
The Polish plan further envisages the transporting of the U.K. and Middle East Forces into Poland by air after the break through contact with the “Secret Army” has been established. These, with other liberated Polish Forces, would be organized into 16 infantry divisions and six dismounted cavalry brigades. This latter phase is not considered as advantageous inasmuch as the effect of it cannot be realized until such time as it is no longer needed.
It is clear that sabotage and intelligence operations are desirable and the operation of 50 rifle battalions will considerably aid in this activity, as well as occupy the attention of considerable German forces. However, current intelligence digests indicate Russia will violently oppose any arming of the Poles in Poland due to the well-known Polish-Russian enmity.
To support this operation, including supply of initial equipment, would require some 2,000 sorties by heavy transport planes and this air lift cannot be spared without seriously affecting other operations.
Appendix “D” Secret
In giving consideration to the possible need for supplying equipment and matériel to the forces of free neutrals of nations at present occupied by Axis forces and which might come within the scope of possibly having to be rearmed by the United Nations, estimates have been confined to Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Holland. The table which follows indicates (on the basis of informal estimates furnished by a representative of the Joint Intelligence Committee) the strengths of the armed forces of each nation at or about the time each became involved in the war, as well as the indicated potential strengths of that portion of the manpower of each nation which might be available for reequipment, rearming, training and service in the event of a United Nations reoccupation:
|Country||Estimated Strength at Outbreak of War||Possible Strength To Be Equipped|
From the above table it is apparent that the aggregate strength of the forces which might be available for rearming in all of these countries totals 150,000 troops. Since potential forces in none of these countries constitute a force which of itself could carry out extended offensive operations, it is presumed that such forces would be supplied only to the extent of basic individual equipment, together with certain categories of small arms and light motor vehicles. Considering the reequipment of all of these nations as a complete total requirement, and assuming that such reequipment would not take place until, at the earliest, sometime after 1 January 1944 (the estimated date on which the rearming of the French forces as presently contemplated would be completed), it is not considered that any great problem of supply would be involved and that quantities of the requisite materiel could be made available without unduly affecting the equipment status of American forces.
Assuming (for conservative purposes) that the reequipment of all of these countries would be coincidental, which of course would not be the case, a total maximum shipping requirement of some six to eight ships might be required but this could be made available without any effect on the BOLERO/SICKLE operation or operations as presently contemplated and planned for the South and Southwest Pacific areas.
It is, of course, obvious that a determination must be made at the earliest practicable moment in the event any or all of these countries, or any contiguous countries, are to be reequipped and rearmed. Such plans must indicate the approximate date on which rearming and reequipping would be required and, in general, the type force that it would be considered advisable to rearm and reequip for each country with the forces available to it and the nature of operations in which it is contemplated such forces might become engaged, i.e., garrison and police duty, or actual components of an offensive fighting force. It is also essential that a determination be made at the earliest practicable date as to how much equipment would be supplied and the source of the equipment.
†For police purposes only.
*Estimated on basis of ability to form and train units upon liberation.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret Operational priority
Secret and personal to Marshal Stalin from Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt.
We have both arrived here with our staffs and will probably remain in conference for about ten days. We fully understand the strong reasons which lead you to remain on the battlefronts, where your presence has been so fruitful of victory. Nevertheless, we wish to emphasize once more the importance of a meeting between all three of us. We do not feel that either Archangel or Astrakhan are suitable but we are prepared ourselves, accompanied by suitable officers, to proceed to Fairbanks in order to survey the whole scene in common with you. The present seems to be a unique opportunity for a rendezvous and also a crucial point in the war. We earnestly hope that you will give this matter once more your consideration. Prime Minister will remain on this side of the Atlantic for as long as may be necessary.
Should it prove impossible to arrange the much-needed meeting of the three heads of governments, we agree with you that a meeting of the foreign office level should take place in the near future. This meeting would be exploratory in character as, of course, final decisions must be reserved to our respective governments.
Generals Eisenhower and Alexander have now completed the conquest of Sicily in thirty-eight days. It was defended by 315,000 Italians and 90,000 Germans, total 405,000 soldiers. These were attacked by thirteen British and United States Divisions and with a loss to us of about 18,000 killed and wounded, 23,000 German and 7,000 Italian dead and wounded were collected and 130,000 prisoners. Apart from those Italians who have dispersed in the countryside in plain clothes, it can be assumed that all Italian forces in the island have been destroyed. Masses of guns and munitions are lying scattered about all over the island. Over 1,000 enemy aircraft have been taken on the airfields. We are, as you know, about soon to attack the Italian mainland in heavy strength.
Québec, 18 August 1943. Secret Urgent
With the approval of the President and the Prime Minister the Combined Chiefs of Staff direct that you immediately send 2 staff officers, 1 U.S. and 1 British, to Lisbon to report upon arrival to the British Ambassador. For Eisenhower, FREEDOM Algiers, FAN 196, from the Combined Chiefs of Staff. They should take with them the Armistice terms already agreed and previously sent to you. The British Ambassador in Lisbon has been directed to arrange a meeting with General “C” at which your staff officers will be present.
At this meeting a communication to General “C” will be made on the following lines:
a. The unconditional surrender of Italy is accepted on the terms stated in the document to be handed to him. (He should then be given the Armistice Terms for Italy already agreed and previously sent to you. He should be told that these do not include political, economic or financial terms which will be communicated later by other means.)
b. These terms do not visualize the active assistance of Italy in fighting the Germans. The extent to which the terms will be modified in favor of Italy will depend on how far the Italian Government and people do, in fact, aid the United Nations against Germany during the remainder of the war. The United Nations, however, state without reservation that wherever Italian forces or Italians fight Germans, or destroy German property, or hamper German movement, they will be given all possible support of the forces of the United Nations. Meanwhile, provided information about the enemy is immediately and regularly supplied, allied bombing will so far as possible be directed upon targets which affect the movement and operations of German forces.
c. The cessation of hostilities between the United Nations and Italy will take effect from a date and hour to be notified by General Eisenhower. (NOTE: General Eisenhower should make this notification a few hours before Allied Forces land in Italy in strength.)
d. Italian Government must undertake to proclaim the Armistice immediately it is announced by General Eisenhower, and to order their forces and people from that hour to collaborate with the allies and to resist the Germans. (NOTE: As will be seen from 2c above, the Italian Government will be given a few hours’ notice.)
e. The Italian Government must, at the hour of the Armistice, order that all United Nations prisoners in danger of capture by the Germans shall be immediately released.
f. The Italian Government must, at the hour of the Armistice, order the Italian Fleet and as much of their merchant shipping as possible to put to sea for allied ports. As many military aircraft as possible shall fly to allied bases. Any ships or aircraft in danger of capture by the Germans must be destroyed.
General “Charlie” should be told that meanwhile there is a good deal that Badoglio can do without the Germans becoming aware of what is afoot. The precise character and extent of his action must be left to his judgment; but the following are the general lines which should be suggested to him:
a. General passive resistance throughout the country if this order can be conveyed to local authorities without the Germans knowing.
b. Minor sabotage throughout the country, particularly of communications and airfields used by the Germans.
c. Safeguard of allied Prisoners of War. If German pressure to hand them over becomes too great, they should be released.
d. No Italian Warships to be allowed to fall into German hands. Arrangements to be made to insure that all these ships can sail to ports designated by General Eisenhower immediately he gives the order. Italian submarines should not be withdrawn from patrol as this would reveal our common purpose to the enemy.
e. No merchant shipping to be allowed to fall into German hands. Merchant shipping in northern ports should, if possible, be sailed to ports South of the line Venice-Leghorn. In the last resort they should be scuttled. All ships must be ready to sail for ports designated by General Eisenhower.
f. Germans must not be allowed to take over Italian Coast Defenses.
g. Make arrangements to be put in force at the proper time for Italian formations in the Balkans to march to the coast, with a view to their being taken off to Italy by United Nations.
General Eisenhower’s representatives must arrange with General “Charlie” a secure channel of communication between Italian Headquarters and General Eisenhower.
|United States||United Kingdom||Canada|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill||Prime Minister Mackenzie King|
The dinner party at the Citadel broke up at midnight, after which Roosevelt, Churchill, and Mackenzie King “sat together for quite a little time.” Roosevelt and Churchill held discussions after dinner “until another late retiring.”
Völkischer Beobachter (August 19, 1943)
Ernüchterung angesichts des Scheiterns der Sowjetoffensive
dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 18. August –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:
Im Kampfgebiet von Isjum setzte der Feind seine Angriffe mit starken Infanterie- und Panzerkräften fort. In harten Kämpfen wurden seine Durchbruchsversuche unter Abschuß zahlreicher Panzer zum Scheitern gebracht.
Auch im Raum südlich und südwestlich Bjelgorod brachen alle sowjetischen Angriffe blutig zusammen. 92 Sowjetpanzer wurden vernichtet. Bei den Angriffs- und Abwehrkämpfen in diesem Raum hat sich die SS-Panzergrenadierdivision „Totenkopf“ besonders ausgezeichnet.
Auch südlich und südwestlich Wjasma, südwestlich Belyj und südwestlich des Ladogasees scheiterten alle Durchbruchsversuche der Sowjets in erbitterten Kämpfen.
Die Verluste des Feindes in den Kämpfen an der Ostfront waren gestern besonders hoch. Insgesamt wurden 317 Panzer vernichtet.
Bei der Bekämpfung von Schiffszielen vor der algerischen Küste versenkten deutsche Kampfflieger einen feindlichen Transporter mittlerer Größe und beschädigten ein weiteres Handelsschiff.
Feindliche Fliegerverbände, die am gestrigen Tage nach Süddeutschland einflogen, verloren schon nach den bisherigen Feststellungen durch Jagd- und Flakabwehr 51 viermotorige Bomber und fünf Jagdflugzeuge. In zwei süddeutschen Städten hatte die Bevölkerung Verluste. Über den besetzten französischen Gebieten sowie in Südfrankreich wurden fünf weitere feindliche Flugzeuge zum Absturz gebracht. Ein eigenes Jagdflugzeug ging verloren.
In der vergangenen Nacht warf der Feind eine große Anzahl von Spreng- und Brandbomben auf Orte im norddeutschen Küstengebiet. Es entstanden Personenverluste. Nachtjäger und Flakartillerie der Luftwaffe schossen aus den britischen Bomberverbänden mindestens 37 Flugzeuge ab.
Deutsche Kampfflugzeuge stießen in der Nacht zum 18. August nach Südost- und Mittelengland vor und belegten unter anderem die Industriestadt Lincoln wirksam mit Bomben aller Kaliber.
In den Kämpfen auf Sizilien haben sich die Panzerdivision „Hermann Göring,“ die 15. Panzer- und die 29. Panzergrenadierdivision, die 1. Fallschirmjägerdivision und die 22. Flakbrigade ruhmvollst bewährt.
Von unserer Stockholmer Schriftleitung
Stockholm, 18. August –
Aus allen Berichten der englischen und amerikanischen Kriegsberichterstatter geht die Enttäuschung darüber hervor, daß die englisch-amerikanischen Streitkräfte eine verlustlose Evakuierung Siziliens nicht verhindern konnten. Und peinlich überrascht muß man nun im Hauptquartier Eisenhowers feststellen, daß es leider nicht geglückt sei, „den Deutschen ein Dünkirchen zu bereiten.“
Es in dem enttäuschten Bericht eines amerikanischen Kriegskorrespondenten heißt:
Den Deutschen scheint es gelungen zu sein, einen ganzen Teil ihrer Truppen zu evakuieren.
Der Daily Express schreibt in einem ersten Kommentar zu der neu entstandenen Lage:
Alle Hoffnungen sind nicht erfüllt worden. Es wird sich wahrscheinlich zeigen, daß die deutschen Hauptstreitkräfte entkommen sind. RAF-Piloten haben es erzählt, daß der Flakschirm, den die Deutschen über die Straße von Messina spannen konnten, das erstaunlichste war, was sie in ihrer gesamten Praxis erlebt hatten.
Der Daily Express schreibt weiter:
Es seien ‚geradezu Feuertunnels‘ von den deutschen Geschützen gebildet worden und die englisch-amerikanischen Flugzeugführer hätten ihnen voller Respekt den Namen „Flakalleen“ gegeben. Aus diesem Grunde unterscheide sich die deutsche Evakuierung auf Sizilien bedeutend von dem „eigenen ethischen Rückzug der Engländer aus Dünkirchen.
‚Hoch härterer Stahl‘
Auch der Star bedauert lebhaft, daß die Operationen auf Sizilien nicht mit einem Dünkirchen endeten:
Es war kein Spaziergang für die Engländer und die Amerikaner, sondern es forderte viel Material und große Anstrengungen – daran muß man bei den Spekulationen über kommende alliierte Großunternehmungen denken.
Evening News warnt gleichfalls davor, die künftigen Kämpfe zu leicht zu nehmen. „Ein Angriff gegen die Festung Hitlers wird auf noch härteren Stahl stoßen,“ stellt das Londoner Blatt fest.
Widerwillige Eingeständnisse dieser Art finden sich in der gesamten englischen Presse. Obwohl es den Engländern nur schlecht in den Kram paßt, müssen sie sich wohl oder übel zu einem Lob über die Tüchtigkeit der deutschen Soldaten bereit finden und sie verbinden es mit dem von oben her gewünschten „Feldzug gegen den Überoptimismus,“ der das englische Volk aus seinen verfrühten Siegesträumereien herausreißen soll.
Daß es mit einer überwältigenden Luftüberlegenheit allein nicht getan ist, haben die Kämpfe auf Sizilien gleichfalls erwiesen. Der Londoner Vertreter von Svenska Dagbladet spricht von „einer Überraschung negativer Art“ für die Engländer und schreibt, daß die Hoffnungen vieler Sachverständiger enttäuscht wurden:
In London hat man sich an vielen Stellen vorgestellt, daß die alliierte Luftüberlegenheit Sizilien zu einer Kapitulation im Stil Pantellerias zwingen würde. Obwohl diese Überlegenheit in runden Ziffern 10:1 war, konnte diese Art der Entscheidung nicht erreicht werden.
Man habe darum in London eingesehen, daß eine moderne Landungsoperation dieses Umfanges ein schwere Opfer forderndes Unternehmen werde, wenn „die Verteidiger Beweise der gleichen Zähigkeit geben, wie die Deutschen es getan haben.“ Die alliierte Kriegführung müsse darum bereit sein, für alle neuen und wichtigeren Operationen einen noch weitaus höheren Preis zu bezahlen.
Angst um die zweite Front
Der von Moskau mit viel Nachdruck gestartete „Zweite-Front-Feldzug“ ist jetzt von der englischen Presse aufgegriffen worden, nicht so sehr aus der bekannten Servilität allen bolschewistischen Wünschen gegenüber, sondern aus der unverhüllt gezeigten Furcht, daß die Sowjetunion vielleicht eines Tages zur Defensive übergehen könnte. Abgesehen von der kommunistischen Zeitung Daily Worker, deren „Pflicht“ es ja ist, sich für die baldige Errichtung einer zweiten Front einzusetzen, haben sich darum gleich zwei einflußreiche Zeitungen auf einmal, der Daily Express und das News Chronicle, für den neuen Feldzug zur Verfügung gestellt.
News Chronicle zeichnet sich dabei durch eine besonders scharfe Tonart aus. Das liberale Blatt unterstreicht die militärische Notwendigkeit für England und die USA., so schnell wie möglich eine zweite Front zu eröffnen und sagt, „falls sie diese Gelegenheit verpassen,“ die düstersten Folgen voraus.
Ist es nicht denkbar, daß die Sowjets nach zwei Jahren kolossaler Verluste beschließen könnten, ihre Armee künftig eine defensive Rolle spielen zu lassen, während sie die restlichen offensiven Kämpfe und Verluste den Engländern und Amerikanern überlassen würden?
Ein derartiger sowjetrussischer Beschluß würde eine große Anzahl deutscher Divisionen und Luftgeschwader für den Westen frei machen. Der Krieg würde dadurch um viele Monate oder um Jahre verlängert werden und es sei darum notwendig, in den Sowjets den offensiven Geist zu erhalten, das aber gehe allein durch die Schaffung einer zweiten Front.
Morrison ist ungemütlich
Innenminister Herbert Morrison sprach zum zweiten Jahrestag der Gründung des nationalen Feuerwehrdienstes und gab einen Tagesbefehl an alle Mitglieder des Feuerwehrdienstes in England und Wales heraus. Morrison warnte darin vor einem Nachlassen der Anstrengungen, der Feind könne wilde Schläge austeilen. Trotz allem, was getan worden sei, bestehe noch immer die Notwendigkeit, sich weiter auszubilden. Man dürfe nicht selbstzufrieden werden. Es sei notwendig, daß der Feuerwehrdienst immer bereit sei.
dnb. Rom, 18. August –
Die harte Schlacht in Sizilien, in der die italienisch-deutschen Truppen 40 Tage lang erbittert gegen die starke Übermacht der englisch-amerikanischen Luft-, See- und Landstreitkräfte kämpften, fand, wie der Italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Mittwoch meldet, gestern ihren Abschluß. Die letzten Nachhutverbände verließen die nordöstlichste Spitze der Insel und erreichten die Küste Kalabriens.
Die italienisch-deutsche Luftwaffe war sehr aktiv, griff wirksam feindliche im Hafen von Biserta vor Anker liegende Schiffe an und verursachte im Hafen von Syrakus einen starken Brand. Ein Tanker wurde bei der Insel Cani von einem unserer Bomber getroffen und in Brand gesetzt. Torpedoflugzeuge trafen einen feindlichen Kreuzer in der Nähe von Cap Passero, versenkten ein Handelsschiff nördlich von Bone und beschädigten einen weiteren Dampfer des gleichen Geleitzuges schwer. Zwei feindliche Flugzeuge wurden von Jägern abgeschossen.
Feindliche Flugzeuge warfen Bomben auf Castrovillari, das Gebiet von Salerno und einige Ortschaften der Umgebung von Neapel. Es entsland einiger Schaden. Ein Verband viermotoriger Flugzeuge verlor in Norditalien drei Flugzeuge, die von der Flak abgeschossen wurden, ein viertes Flugzeug stürzte, von unserer Bodenabwehr getroffen, bei Hyeres ab.
Von Kriegsberichter Lutz Koch
dnb. …, 18. August, pk. –
Wenn heute die tapferen deutschen Divisionen, die mehr als fünf Wochen auf Sizilien der vielfachen Überzahl an Soldaten, Waffen und Material der 8. englischen und 7. amerikanischen Armee mit einem beispiellosen Heldentum standgehalten haben, sich auf europäischem Festland befinden, um mit den dort schon stehenden anderen deutschen Divisionen den Kontinent selbst gegen anglo-amerikanische Landungsabsichten verteidigen zu können, so ist das nicht zuletzt das große Verdienst des Kommandierenden Generals der deutschen Truppen auf Sizilien, General der Panzertruppe Hans Hube. Schon in dem Augenblick, als ihm die oberste militärische Führung zur Verteidigung Siziliens nach dem Süden berief, war es neben der Organisierung des beispielhaften Widerstands an allen sizilianischen Fronten, der Tag für Tag schwerere Lücken in die englisch-nordamerikanische Angriffsfront riß und zu einem waren Aderlaß der von den Achsenmächten schon auf tunesischem Boden erprobten Feindarmeen wurde, damals schon seine Aufgabe, eine mögliche Aufgabe des Inselraums zu planen und ihr eine Durchführung zu geben, die ordnungsgemäße Rückführung der Einheiten, vor allem auch der wertvollen schweren Waffen und der Fahrzeuge, so sicherzustellen, daß auf dem Festland sofort wieder schlagartig einsatzbereite. Verbände vorhanden waren.
Wenn man weiß, wie das Angreifen, das Durchboxen um jeden Preis zu der besonderen Charakteristik dieses Panzergenerals gehört, der trotz eines schon im Weltkrieg verlorenen Armes der soldatischen Berufung seiner Familie treu blieb und im Ablauf von 17 Monaten das Ritterkreuz, das Eichenlaub und zuletzt am 21. Dezember 1942 das Eichenlaub mit Schwertern zum Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes für außerordentliche Führungs- und Tapferkeitstaten vom Führer verliehen bekam, kann man sich auch vorstellen, wie stark gerade diesen sich immer im Angriff verzehrenden General diese besondere Aufgabe zunächst seelisch belastet haben mag.
Zwei Ziele mußten erfüllt werden: Zerschlagung der gegnerischen Angriffe unter Einsatz aller Machtmittel und damit Gewinnung von Zeit, um das zweite, die planvolle Rückverlegung der Fronten, das langsame Heranschieben der Einheiten an die Straße von Messina und schließlich die allmähliche Rückführung von Menschen und Material bewerkstelligen zu können. Nichts ist dem mutig Kämpfenden verhaßter als das ständige Schielen nach einer Rückendeckung oder das Bewußtsein, daß die im Augenblick behauptete Stellung schon in Tagen oder Stunden aufgegeben wird.
Allzu leicht – wie oft haben wir das bei unseren Feinden erlebt – wird eine solche theoretische Planung zu einer hemmungslosen Flucht. Nur einer Truppe wie den deutschen Sizilien-Divisionen konnte die höhere Führung in vollem Vertrauen den Befehl geben, zu kämpfen und dennoch in einem bestimmten Zeitpunkt das Feld zu räumen, weil ein höherer Zweck das Zurückgehen notwendig machte.
Die kämpferischen Qualitäten des Panzergenerals Hube, der einst im August 1941 das Ritterkreuz erhielt, weil der damalige Generalmajor an der Spitze seiner Panzerdivision in kühner, unaufhaltsamer Verfolgung des sowjetischen Gegners im südlichen Abschnitt der Ostfront maßgeblich zu den entscheidenden Erfolgen einer deutschen Armee beigetragen ha mußten sich nun in dieser Organisierung des ständigen harten Zupackens nach vorne und des allmählichen Herauslösens entbehrlicher Teile in doppeltem Sinne bewähren.
General Hube zwang in den letzten Wochen des Sizilien-Feldzuges, als sich für alle schon das Zurückgehen klar abzeichnete, seinen sich heldenmütig kämpfenden Einheiten ebenso seinen Willen zum Durchhalten und allzeit zu jedem Gegenschlag bereiten Zurückgehen auf die immer sich verengende Dreieckstellung mit der Spitze Messina auf, wie er es einst bei der großen Kesselschlacht von Kiew getan hatte, wo er, meist bei den vordersten Angriffstruppen führend, den ungestümen Drang nach vorwärts auf den letzten Soldaten seiner Division übertrug, so entscheidende Erfolge durch seine persönliche Tapferkeit miterringen half und dafür schon im Jänner 1942 das Eichenlaub zum Ritterkreuz erhielt.
Als 62. Soldat der deutschen Wehrmacht hat er diese hohe Auszeichnung aus der Hand des Führers empfangen, und, noch nicht ein Jahr später, wird ihm als 22. Offizier der deutschen Wehrmacht das Eichenlaub mit Schwertern als „einem in zahlreichen Kämpfen zweier Kriege und jetzt in verantwortungsvoller Stellung auf das höchste bewährten Offizier“ verliehen.
Der Kommandeur auf der letzten Fähre
Noch als von den Divisionen nur noch Bataillone und schließlich nur noch Kompanien auf der Insel waren, fand die kämpfende Front ihren „Kommandierenden“ mitten unter sich, genau so wie die anderen deutschen Generale mit den letzten Teilen ihrer Divisionen sich übersetzen ließen.
Der aufrecht auf der letzten Fähre die Insel bei Messina, das in Rauch und Flammen untergeht, verlassende General Hube, der kämpfende Soldat unter seinen Männern, die sich fünf Wochen wie die Löwen geschlagen haben, wird in der letzten Stunde des Sizilien-Kampfes noch einmal zum Symbol des Widerstandes. Er hat seine Divisionen zu manchem Abwehrsieg auf der Insel geführt, und – das ist sein einmaliges und großes Verdienst – er hat sie mit ihren Waffen zurückgebracht, um sie in die europäische Abwehrfront dort einbauen zu können, wo er angesichts der Straße von Messina und der nahen sizilianischen Insel in jeder Minute die blutvolle Erinnerung des sizilianischen Heldenkampfes unserer Soldaten und schwerster, vernichtender Verluste des Gegners vor Augen hat.
Sizilien und Messina wurden zu keinem deutschen Dünkirchen, und General Hube ist es, der von der aufgegebenen Insel das wehende Banner des Widerstandes über die Straße von Messina, die nach dem Willen des Gegners unser Grab hätte sein sollen, nach der Festung Europa herüberbrachte.