By Mrs. Walter Ferguson
Coal association and UMW combine to combat line to feed field that has plenty of fuel
By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent
Gen. Henry H. Arnold, commander of the Army Air Forces, has returned to Washington from London, the War Department announced today.
By Ernie Pyle
Ernie Pyle has arrived in the United States for a well-earned rest after 14 months in Europe and Africa. This column and others to follow were written by Ernie and wirelessed home before he left Sicily.
Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (by wireless)
It was an hour after daylight when I returned to the German-blown highway crater which our 3rd Division engineers had been working on all night.
It really didn’t look as though they’d accomplished much, but an engineer’s eye would have seen that the groundwork was all laid. They had drilled and blasted two holes far down the jagged slope. These were to set upright timbers into so they wouldn’t slide downhill when weight was applied.
The far side of the crater had been blasted out and leveled off so it formed a road across about one-third of the hole. Small ledges had been jackhammered at each end of the crater and timbers bolted into them, forming abutments. Steel hooks had been embedded deep into the rock to hold wire cables.
At about 10 a.m., the huge uprights were slid down the bank, caught by a group of men clinging to the steep slope below, and their ends worked into the blasted holes. Similar heavy timbers were slowly and cautiously worked out from the bank until their tops rested on the uprights.
A half-naked soldier, doing practically a wire-walking act, edged out over the timber and bored a long hole down through two timbers with an air-driven bit. Then he hammered a steel rod into it, tying them together.
Then they slung steel cable from one end of the crater to the other, wrapped it around the upright stanchions and drew it tight with a winch mounted on a truck.
Now came the coolie scene as 20 shirtless, sweating soldiers to each of the long, spliced timbers carried and slid them out across the chasm, resting them on the two wooden spans just erected. They sagged in the middle, but still the cable beneath took most of the strain. Big stringers were bolted down, heavy flooring was carried on and nailed to the stringers.
First, Maj. Gen. Truscott arrived again and sat on a log talking with the engineering officers, waiting patiently. Around dusk of the day before, the engineers had told me they’d have jeeps across the crater by noon of the next day.
High noon on the nose
But even they will have had to admit it was pure coincidence that the first jeep rolled cautiously across the miracle bridge at high noon, to the very second.
In that first jeep was Gen. Truscott and his driver, facing a 200-foot tumble into the sea if the bridge gave way. The engineers had insisted they send a test jeep across first. But when he saw it was ready, the general just got in and went. It wasn’t done dramatically but it was a sort of dramatic thing. It showed that the “Old Man” had complete faith in his engineers.
Jeeps snaked across the rickety bridge behind the general while the engineers kept stations beneath the bridge to watch and measure the sag under each load. The bridge squeaked and bent as the jeeps crept over. But it held, and nothing else matters. When the vital spearhead of the division got across, traffic was halted again and the engineers were given three hours to strengthen the bridge for heavier traffic by inserting a third heavy upright in the middle.
They had built a jerry bridge, a comical bridge, a proud bridge, but above all the kind of bridge that wins wars. The general was mighty pleased.
Some 1,200 Americans are war prisoners while 15,000 civilians are also held
Ace war reporter and Morgenthau are guests
By Si Steinhauser
U.S. State Department (September 9, 1943)
740.00119 European War 1939/1692: Telegram
Algiers, September 9, 1943 — 9 p.m. [Received September 10 — 12:14 p.m.] 1565.
From Murphy. Refer Agwar telegrams J. 9411. Macmillan and I called on Massigli at 5:30 p.m., September 8, to inform him of impending announcement General Eisenhower of a military armistice with Italy. Communicated to him text of General Eisenhower’s announcement. Massigli’s satisfaction that Italy would cease hostilities against Allies was overshadowed by his indignation and regret that French Committee of National Liberation had not been consulted and kept informed of negotiations leading up to armistice.
In that connection it should be said that in complying with Department’s 1583, August 28, 6 p.m., instructing me to inform French of outline of complete armistice terms, I carefully refrained from any statement regarding active negotiations. Macmillan however in a probably overzealous desire to quiet French apprehensions in this respect had told French at the time that no negotiations were in progress. Massigli said he could not advise us strongly enough that French be consulted a priori before conclusion of complete armistice terms with Italy. He said that after all we must recognize that France has a greater interest in Italy than some other countries such as China and Brazil. In his opinion French people would never understand or forgive us if we disregard French interests in our longer-term dealings with Italians.
As General Giraud is absent on an inspection trip in Morocco, Macmillan and I in agreement with Chief of Staff also called on de Gaulle a few minutes before broadcast of General Eisenhower’s declaration and conveyed foregoing information to him. His reaction was milder than we had expected but tinged with bitterness. He congratulated Allies on having obliged Italy to take this decision but said that insofar as French were concerned their position vis-à-vis Italy was unchanged. He failed to understand why French had not been consulted because of obvious interests in it which they possess. We emphasized that present arrangement is of a military character but he was quick to point out that according to Eisenhower’s declaration the Governments of USA, Great Britain and Soviet Union had approved [?] therefore political considerations were involved and it was obvious France had been ignored and slighted. (De Gaulle was visibly impressed by the news that approval of Soviet Union had been given). De Gaulle also asserted that decision to accept Italian military cooperation involved very definite political consideration on which French authorities were entitled to have been consulted. We informed de Gaulle that as our Governments regard armistice strictly as a military instrument signed by soldiers and as French Commander-in-Chief has been kept generally informed of steps leading to the armistice we considered that his objections are not well founded. He shrugged his shoulders saying he did not understand this reference to French Commander-in-Chief.
Department might also be interested to know that when we emphasized that de Gaulle as a soldier would be the first to understand military necessities involved and appreciate that present action so advantageous to French people had many features of a ruse de guerre he promptly replied he was not a soldier but he represented France’s political interests. At the time he spoke he was wearing gun uniform of a Brigadier General in French Army which is his regular costume.
Thus far general sentiment on part of North African population is mixed. On the one hand there is pleasure and satisfaction over Italian capitulation and on the other a feeling that French interests have not been sufficiently stressed.
After Committee meeting today Massigli called on me to state suspicion is rife among membership that notwithstanding our declarations a political deal possibly involving Tunisia is involved and that Allies intend to exclude French from consultation regarding complete armistice terms and development of post armistice stages, work of armistice commission, etc. I reassured Massigli referring to our yesterday’s conversation when he was informed that present armistice text of which was communicated informally by AHQ [to] Giraud is limited to military considerations. He also indicated that his personal situation by reason of his failure to keep Committee informed of this development is adversely affected.
Massigli urges that Washington and London issue promptly a declaration to effect that the French Committee of National Liberation will be associated in stages which follow present Italian armistice on ground that Committee has responsibility of defending very important French interests which armistice must safeguard. In making that request Massigli emphasized French interest in it by its close geographic and political relationship and fact that French have been actively participating in war against Italians (I had mentioned that Greece and Yugoslavia had not been consulted for some [same?] reasons though they also had special interests in Italy).
Macmillan is telegraphing this suggestion to London. We both feel if some comforting, if innocuous, communication could be made it would calm present tempest in a tea cup. [Murphy.]
|United States||United Kingdom|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill|
|Admiral Leahy||Admiral of the Fleet Pound|
|General Marshall||Field Marshal Dill|
|Admiral King||Admiral Noble|
|General Arnold||Lieutenant General Ismay|
|Rear Admiral Land||Lieutenant General Macready|
|Rear Admiral Badger||Air Marshal Welsh|
|Rear Admiral McCain||Mr. Bernal|
|Rear Admiral Brown||Lieutenant Commander Grant|
|Minister of Information Bracken|
|Brigadier General Deane||Brigadier Redman|
September 9, 1943, 5 p.m. Secret
The President and Prime Minister considered first certain telegrams which had been received which seemed to indicate that there were considerable odds in favor of the acquisition of the Italian Fleet.
The Prime Minister hoped that the Italian Fleet would be treated with respect by the Allies wherever it might arrive; this was very important for the future.
The President suggested that a new slogan should be adopted: “Save the Pope.”
The Prime Minister then proceeded to read out a minute (attached as an annex to the minutes), which he had submitted that day to the President containing certain proposals regarding the action which should be taken on the assumption that the present battle for Naples and Rome would be successful and that the Germans would retreat to the line of the Apennines or the Po.
When the Prime Minister came to that part of paragraph 6 of his minute, which referred to the possible opening of ports on the Dalmatian Coast, he paused to consider briefly forces that might be available. He mentioned the Polish Army, a fine army, now well equipped, consisting of 75,000 to 80,000 men, burning to engage the enemy. Then there was the New Zealand Division, really a corps. In North Africa there were other divisions some of which would need reequipping as they had been robbed of equipment to make complete other divisions taking part in the present operations.
The time would soon come, he said, when we would want only garrison forces with a few of our mobile columns. We would be settling down to action in a friendly area. He thought that we probably had adequate forces available for all that we might need to do in the Mediterranean.
When he had read out that part of the minute dealing with the efforts to organize the attack upon the Germans throughout the Balkan Peninsula, the Prime Minister summed up as regards the operations necessary in Italy, that what was wanted was to establish a fortified line to seal off the north of Italy; a line prepared in depth which Italian divisions should help us to man and so strong that it would make it very costly for the Germans to do anything effective against us.
The Prime Minister concluded reading the minute which he had prepared and the President stated that he wished to emphasize one or two points: With regard to the use of the British Navy, the President wished the Chiefs of Staff to consider very carefully the important political implications of having British vessels in the Pacific. He said that in effect this tells Japan, “This is what is going to happen to you each time we can release additional means from the European Theater.” He suggested with the help of British naval vessels it might be possible to use all four routes to Japan: that from the Kuriles, the middle route by Hawaii, a third route by the Marshall Islands, and a fourth route northward from the Solomons. He appreciated, however, that logistical considerations might prevent full utilization of such vessels as the British Navy could make available.
Admiral King said that weather, as well as port facilities were limiting factors when adding to the naval strength in the Pacific. An additional complication was the lack of an adequate destroyer complement to give full protection to all the capital ships that would be involved. However, he said, the United States Navy was fully aware of the political value of having British vessels operating in the Pacific. In this connection he thought it was entirely feasible for that part of the British Navy released from the Mediterranean to proceed to its station in the Indian Ocean via the Panama Canal and the Pacific.
The Prime Minister thought that it would be possible to send out two 16-inch ships and three modernized QUEEN ELIZABETH type, all fast vessels. With them, a destroyer escort-could be sent, but not full complement required.
The President said with regard to the utilization of Italian naval vessels he was not convinced that would be wise. He thought it would be better if they were manned by either the U.S. or the U.K.
Admiral King pointed out that the difficulty in this regard was the fact that Italian naval vessels were all made on the metric system. However, he indicated that this would not be an unsurmountable difficulty, and paid tribute to the excellent quality of the LITTORIO battleships.
The President expressed a hope that ample quantities of ammunition would be available in Taranto and other Italian ports.
The Prime Minister mentioned the difficulty of shortness of range regarding the employment of these Italian vessels in the Pacific.
Admiral King said that an additional threat to the Mediterranean was the possible use that the Germans might make of the French vessels now in Toulon. This danger would be decreased considerably when air bases became available in Italy from which Toulon might be bombed. He suggested that British submarines now in the Mediterranean could be profitably used in the Java Sea.
The President agreed and said that this would be helpful because British submarines could be based at Colombo and Ceylon and thus cover areas beyond the reach of United States submarines based on Australia.
Admiral King added that an additional advantage of utilizing British submarines in the East Indies area was because of their small size.
The Prime Minister suggested that all the questions raised this far be studied by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
In reply Admiral King said that he had already sent word to all his Naval Commanders in the Pacific with regard to possible use that might be made of the British naval vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean. He expected their replies in the near future.
The Prime Minister remarked that we had come into a fortune and must use it to the best of our ability.
The President added that really we had come into two fortunes in a single day.
General Marshall asked if there was any practical possibility of Italian capital ships lightly armed, perhaps with only anti-aircraft protection, being used as transports in the Mediterranean.
Admiral King said that there were great possibilities in this suggestion and indicated that the Japanese are already using naval ships as troop transports to some extent.
General Marshall said his thought was that the ships could be completely denuded of their combat complements, thus making transport space available.
Admiral Leahy said that two to three thousand men could be transported on each ship without difficulty.
The President’s second comment on the Prime Minister’s minute was with regard to land operations in Italy.
He thought that we should proceed as far north as possible and then dig in in depth, using whatever Italians might be available for defensive operations.
He said that operations in the Balkans would be largely a matter of opportunity. However, he thought we should be prepared to take advantage of any opportunity that presented itself.
The Prime Minister suggested that initially it might be possible to furnish supplies to Balkan guerillas across the Adriatic. He pointed out how much they had been able to accomplish with the small amount of supplies that we had been able to drop by air in the past. He said that clearly we would not have the shipping for a large expedition but we might be able to get a couple of ports in the Adriatic.
The Prime Minister then said that these propositions should be examined by the Combined Staffs the next day, who should submit their conclusions to him in the form of a codicil. This he could take to the President at Hyde Park on Saturday.
Admiral King suggested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff might prepare an outline as a basis for detailed study to be made by the Combined Planners.
The Prime Minister concluded with the remark that we must be worthy of good luck as we have been of bad in the past.
The Prime Minister then turned the discussion to the subject of HABBAKUKs and asked what new developments had taken place since his last meeting with the Naval Staffs.
Admiral King said that it appeared to him at the present time that the most feasible plan was to use at least 8 or 10 escort carriers for air support in the initial stages of assault landings.
The Prime Minister thought if carriers were available floating airfields might not be needed. However, he was anxious to construct at least one and suggested that the subject be further discussed by the Naval Staffs the following day.
Admiral King said that by May the United States will have 50 escort carriers and Great Britain 30.
The President said that he would like to carry out at least two experiments in the construction of floating airfields with particular emphasis on their possible use in OVERLORD. He asked if the possibilities of using tank landing craft as a base for a floating airfield had been considered.
Admiral King said that there are actually 2 possibilities under consideration at the present time: one the construction of a floating air base on naval pontoons and the second the construction of an air base on floating drydocks. The President’s thought of utilizing landing craft as a base for an airfield would be considered as a third possibility. He suggested that the Prime Minister meet with the ad hoc committee who is studying this subject, on Friday afternoon.
The Prime Minister agreed to this suggestion.
The President said that in cross-channel operations it was particularly important that aircraft have some place where they might land on the return journey in case of fuel shortage or accident.
Admiral King said that he understood that the purpose of exploring the possibilities of developing floating airfields was to provide air bases in the initial stages of assault landings before landing strips could be built on shore.
General Arnold said that the Air Corps is somewhat worried over the distances involved in providing fighter support for the OVERLORD operation. Some types of aircraft cannot be used at all and others can only be used by adding belly tanks or by being staged to a landing area such as a floating airfield.
|United States||United Kingdom|
|Mr. Harriman||Prime Minister Churchill|
|Minister of Information Bracken|
Harriman recorded the conversation at this meeting as follows in an informal memorandum:
Played Bezique and talked with the Prime Minister, beginning around eleven PM and lasting till after two in the morning. Part of the time Brendan Bracken was present.
The Prime Minister was much elated by the Italian developments, saying that he had been convinced for some time that a situation could be developed in which the Italians would fight on our side (I know this to be true.)
The drama of the Italian fleet leaving Spezia to join us moved him deeply and he called in his secretary and dispatched a cable to Cunningham to consult with Eisenhower and give the ships a friendly and dignified reception.
He discussed plans for disposition of the British ships freed by the Italian developments and has a program worked out for the number that might be dispatched to the Pacific to help us against the Japs. He is keen about this not only because of the war but as an indication to the American people of Britain’s good intent against Japan. He has prepared a memorandum to submit to our Chiefs of Staff on the details of this subject. This is an indication of the speed with which he always acts in taking advantage of changes in the war picture.
We talked a lot about Russia and the impending conference. He showed me his interchange of cables with Stalin and discussed them.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have not seen him in so enthusiastic a mood for a long time. (On account of Italy.) He expressed the view that Badoglio had lived up in letter and spirit to the armistice and that, although we could never allow the Italians to be full allies, we ought to give them opportunity to redress themselves and if they behaved properly they should be rewarded for it. He said it would be very important to the President with 9,000,000 Italians.
He started framing a speech which he would make on this subject to the House when the time came for applauding the Italians, the gist of it being to describe them as a people who had thrown off the oppressor’s yoke and freed themselves from the exploitation of the Nazis. He described in vivid detail how they had betrayed the Italians at every turn.
He was upset when later on a dispatch came in stating that one of the Italian battleships en route to our controlled ports had been bombed.
He thoroughly enjoyed Bezique as he evidently had been working under great pressure with the President (The President had left for Hyde Park just before I joined him.), and he enjoyed the relaxation although we talked about the war all through the game.
He expressed in detail and with great enthusiasm his opinion of General Marshall; that he and General Marshall saw things alike. General Marshall’s mind moved quickly and forcefully under changing conditions. He didn’t feel he understood King.
I had an opportunity to suggest to the Prime Minister that General Marshall be used in rather [a] broader way than was now being contemplated in London. He jumped at this idea and pressed me to give him something more in detail. I told him that this was entirely a matter for the President to develop if he wanted to.
As typical of the speed with which the Prime Minister acts, I mentioned to him the importance of getting the four Italian liners that were now engaged in repatriating Italian citizens under a previous agreement with us, ships like the SATURNIA and VULCANIA. I explained how important they were for troop lift. He immediately said he wanted to have a memorandum on this. I ran into Admiral King at the White House at noon the next day and found that the Prime Minister had talked to him about it, urging that everything be done to find out where they were and to have them available as quickly as possible, and had sent a memorandum to General Ismay about it. At every favorable turn he attempt[s] to take advantage of it by expanding his strategic plans.
Brendan left us and went to bed rather early.
Völkischer Beobachter (September 10, 1943)
U.S. Navy Department (September 10, 1943)
The following statement is issued by the Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information after consultation with the British Admiralty, United States Navy Department, and Canadian Department of National Defense for Naval Services:
August has been another successful month in U‑boat warfare. Owing perhaps to rearmament and other causes, there appear to have been fewer U‑boats at sea than in recent months, and shipping losses have continued to decrease.
It is significant that the enemy made virtually no attempt to attack North Atlantic shipping, and opportunities for attacking the U-boats have been relatively few. Nevertheless, U‑boats have been hunted relentlessly on all stations wherever they have appeared and a heavy toll has been taken of the enemy. In fact, more U‑boats have been sunk than merchant ships.
Surface and Air forces have both contributed to this satisfactory month’s work by the efficiency of their escorts, patrols and offensive operations. Shore‑based aircraft have often had to face powerful enemy. Air opposition, and carrier‑borne aircraft have played a most important part.
We are ready to attack the enemy with utmost vigor should be provide the opportunity by resuming a general attack on our shipping with the very large number of U‑boats at his disposal.
U.S. State Department (September 10, 1943)
|United States||United Kingdom|
|Admiral Leahy||Field Marshal Dill|
|General Marshall||Admiral Noble|
|Admiral King||Lieutenant General Macready|
|General Arnold||Air Marshal Welsh|
|Lieutenant General Embick||Lieutenant General Ismay|
|Lieutenant General McNarney||Commodore McCall|
|Vice Admiral Horne||Brigadier McNair|
|Vice Admiral Willson||Air Commodore Warburton|
|Vice Admiral McCain||Commander Gill|
|Rear Admiral Cooke|
|Rear Admiral Badger|
|Major General Fairchild|
|Brigadier General Kuter|
|Brigadier General Hull|
|Brigadier General Tansey|
|Brigadier General Heileman|
|Brigadier General Deane||Brigadier Redman|
|Captain Royal||Commander Coleridge|
September 10, 1943, 11 a.m. Secret
Report of discussion and conclusion reached on Item 1 is contained in Supplementary Minutes, issued with limited distribution.
Admiral Leahy suggested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should take note of this paper.
Sir John Dill accepted this suggestion, and pointed out that it appeared to be a fait accompli.
Admiral Noble said that he would like official confirmation at the same time of the loan of four British frigates to the French, a matter he had already discussed verbally with Admiral King. There were in addition certain amendments required to the various Combined Chiefs of Staff documents dealing with the allocation of warships to the French and he would propose to put forward a memorandum dealing with these.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note that the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet had, with the approval of the President, requested the Munitions Assignments Board to assign to the French Navy certain escort vessels, the details of which were set out in CCS 336.
b. Took note that Admiral Sir Percy Noble would submit to the Combined Chiefs of Staff a memorandum dealing with the loan to the French of four British Frigates and with certain corrections required to existing Combined Chiefs of Staff documents dealing with the allocation of naval vessels to the French.
Admiral Leahy said that the U.S. Chiefs of Staff suggested acceptance of the recommendations contained in paragraph 14 of the report.
Sir John Dill agreed that these recommendations should be accepted. He suggested, however, that they did not, perhaps, go far enough and that a strategic survey should be prepared so that the logistic details necessary to improve the mobility of the anti-submarine squadrons could be worked out. This report could bring out the most likely movements which might be required. The best way might be for the two naval staffs to prepare a guide for the Combined Staff Planners on which the strategical survey could be based. It was obviously undesirable, unless absolutely necessary, to mix forces.
Admiral King said he considered that the implementation of the recommendations contained in CCS 272/2 should be left to the two operating authorities concerned. Close touch between the naval staffs was, of course, inherent in the consideration of this problem.
Air Marshal Welsh pointed out the difficulty which a group commander would have in preparing plans until he knew where he was most likely to go. Difficulties arose, not only at the reception end, but also at the despatching end.
Admiral King pointed out that in the movement of U.S. air squadrons to the Bay offensive it had been found that the reception end was not fully ready to receive them. He believed it impossible to foretell with any degree of accuracy the future trend of enemy submarine warfare, and therefore of the air requirements to meet it.
Air Marshal Welsh said that he felt that some advance could be made in the preparation of reinforcing plans based on the probability of future events. In any event, he felt that a report of progress on the recommendations of the Anti-Submarine Survey Board was desirable.
Admiral Noble suggested that there should be close cooperation between the authorities concerned in implementing the recommendations.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the recommendations contained in paragraph 14 of the report by the Allied Anti-Submarine Survey Board contained in CCS 272/2 and took note that these recommendations would be implemented in close cooperation between the U.S. and British authorities concerned.
Admiral Leahy said the U.S. Chiefs of Staff recommended approval of the recommendations contained in paragraph 16 of the report, with the exception of that contained in paragraph 16e. In this connection the U.S. Chiefs of Staff felt that further efforts should be made to advance the dates of operational availability of British CVEs.
Sir John Dill said that these recommendations had been referred to the British Admiralty.
Admiral Noble said that he felt sure that all possible steps would be taken to obviate the present delays in making British CVEs operationally available.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed that the recommendations contained in paragraph 16a to 16d should be implemented as and when possible.
b. Agreed that all possible steps should be taken to obviate the present delay in making British manned CVEs operational.
c. Took note that these recommendations had been referred to the British Admiralty.
Admiral Leahy suggested that the draft reply to the Netherlands Staff Mission contained in CCS 331 should now be sent, with the substitution of the word “appreciation” for “interest.”
Sir John Dill said that he agreed with this suggestion. There was close touch in the United Kingdom with the Dutch Government regarding their armed forces and it would be desirable, when this new plan went forward, for this close touch to be maintained. Possibly assistance could be provided in the way of instructors from Dutchmen already serving in Great Britain.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Instructed the Secretaries to reply to the Netherlands Staff Mission on the behalf of the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the lines set out in CCS 331, as amended in the course of discussion.
Reports of discussion and conclusions reached on Items 6 and 7 are contained in Supplementary Minutes, issued with limited distribution.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the report by the Combined Intelligence Committee contained in CCS 127/3 and instructed the Secretaries to forward this report to the Canadian Joint Staff Mission.
Report of discussion and conclusions reached on Item 9 is contained in Supplementary Minutes, issued with limited distribution.
Sir John Dill said that he agreed with the proposals contained in the U.S. Chiefs of Staff memorandum that the question of code designators should be put on a proper basis.
After a brief discussion, the Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed that with regard to operations coming under the cognizance of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the code names tentatively selected for projected operations should be referred to the Secretariat of the Combined Chiefs of Staff for final approval.
b. Agreed that the U.S. Joint Security Control and the British Inter-Service Security Board, in cooperation, should prepare a new or revised code index containing groups of words particularly suitable for assignment as code names for projected operations.
Reports of discussion and conclusions reached on Items 11 and 12 are contained in Supplementary Minutes, issued with limited distribution.
September 10, 1943, 11 a.m. Secret
The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a memorandum by the Prime Minister and[to the] President, together with a draft of the conclusions regarding the action which should be taken on the proposals contained in CCS 341/1 prepared by the Combined Staff Planners.
Sir John Dill suggested that the paper presented by the Combined Staff Planners was perhaps too long and not in the form required for submission to the Prime Minister. He thought that it should be used as a basis for discussion but that a codicil was what the Prime Minister had asked for, based on the events which had taken place since QUADRANT. He thought that the codicil should indicate what action would have to be taken. Thus it would be necessary to examine the project for the despatch of a balanced British naval force to the Pacific, and the logistic problems involved; the Combined Intelligence Committee might be called upon to report on the German build-up possible in Northern Italy, a subject on which there was apparently some disagreement at present; then again, it would be necessary to examine the whole question of support to the guerillas in the Balkans; this, it would seem, should be proceeded with on the lines envisaged at QUADRANT as it was to be hoped that it would be possible for us to use Dalmatian Coast ports without the necessity of seizing them by amphibious operations.
Before leaving the subject of the support of guerilla activities in the Balkans, Sir John Dill said that in view of contacts already established it would seem best that the Commander in Chief, Middle East, should continue to be responsible but that the closest of cooperation would be necessary with General Eisenhower in this connection.
As regards the Italian forces, Sir John Dill thought that perhaps in the codicil the opinion should be expressed that Italian forces could not be expected to be of much fighting value in view of their demoralized condition but that they might be of value on the lines of communication.
Admiral Leahy and General Marshall said that they agreed, in general, with Sir John Dill’s comments.
After a brief discussion, the Combined Chiefs of Staff invited General Ismay to prepare a draft memorandum for submission to the Prime Minister and President.
After an interval in which other subjects were discussed, General Ismay presented a draft memorandum, prepared in the light of the above discussion. This memorandum was then examined and certain minor amendments were agreed to.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Instructed the Secretaries to forward the memorandum, as amended in the course of discussion, to the President and Prime Minister, after obtaining Admiral King’s concurrence to the terms of this document.
Sir John Dill suggested that the two memoranda were largely in agreement and that the necessary details regarding the composition of the HABBAKUK board and its draft directive should be worked out between the two naval staffs.
Admiral King suggested that the two drafts should be referred to the Combined Administrative Committee for report.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Instructed the Combined Administrative Committee to examine CCS 315/3 and 315/4 and to put forward to the Combined Chiefs of Staff a draft composition and terms of reference for the combined HABBAKUK board.
Admiral Leahy said that in his personal view it might be inadvisable at this time to ask the Russian Government to undertake this additional task when, in their opinion, they were already achieving so much. This might have an adverse effect on our relations with the Soviet Government.
Sir John Dill pointed out that Great Britain and America also considered that their own armed forces were taking all possible action. The Russians were frequently asking us to undertake certain tasks and he could see no reason why some demands should not be made of them. He realized that long range strategic bombing was not generally undertaken by the Red Air Force, but he considered that on military grounds there could be no objection to the Combined Chiefs of Staff suggesting to the President and Prime Minister that an approach be made to the Russian Government. The political aspect of the matter would be taken into consideration by the President and Prime Minister in making their decision.
General Arnold said that the distance over which the Russian Air Force would have to operate was not as great as that undertaken by the U.S. Air Force in their raid on Ploești. The Russians possessed long range bombers but we had no knowledge of how many of them existed. A request to undertake this raid might elucidate the strength of the Russian long range bomber force.
General Arnold then presented a draft memorandum to the President and Prime Minister containing the text of a suggested telegram to be sent to Marshal Stalin.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to put forward to the President and Prime Minister the draft memorandum, as amended in the course of discussion,
Sir John Dill said that the memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff had been referred to the British Chiefs of Staff but that no answer had yet been received.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed to defer consideration of CCS 270/7.
b. Took note that this paper had been referred to the British Chiefs of Staff.
Admiral Leahy pointed out that it would appear from paragraph 4a of the memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff that it was proposed that General Eisenhower should designate a U.S. Officer who would serve not only as Deputy President of the Control Commission but also as Military Governor of Unoccupied Italy. It might be considered that this officer would be in a position to remove the Italian King and Government. Such action might obviously be highly undesirable.
General Macready pointed out that this was certainly not the intention. The Military Governor referred to would be Military Governor only of Occupied Italy. The Combined Civil Affairs Committee were still studying this problem and certain views had that morning been received from the Foreign Secretary in a telegram to the Prime Minister. London considered that the Deputy to General Eisenhower on the Control Commission should be a civilian rather than a soldier.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to defer consideration of CCS 339.
Admiral Leahy pointed out that the President had obviously not appreciated that the Combined Chiefs of Staff had already arranged for representatives of OWI and PWE to sit on the proposed committees.
General Marshall said that he felt that the machinery proposed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff was badly needed. A line of news or propaganda once started was difficult to stop or alter. He instanced various occasions where very rapid decisions on this subject had been required.
Sir John Dill presented a draft memorandum from the Combined Chiefs of Staff to the Prime Minister and President, expressing the view that machinery on the lines suggested was militarily very necessary.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Instructed the Secretaries to submit to the Prime Minister and President the draft memorandum referred to above.
Washington, 10 September 1943. Secret
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN ATTACK AGAINST PLOEȘTI
The Combined Chiefs of Staff recommend that you send the following message to Marshal Stalin, suggesting to him the possibility of using Russian air forces to follow up our attack against Ploești from Russian bases:
Following the recent successful attack by U.S. bombers on the Rumanian oil refineries at Ploești, further attacks by United Nations bombers are highly desirable to insure complete destruction and preclude repair of the damage to this vital objective. We suggest that when the situation permits you consider the possibility of sending Red Air Force bombers from Soviet bases to attack this objective. If you should consider this operation favorably, we shall be glad to advance detailed intelligence material relating to the targets.
For the Combined Chiefs of Staff:
J. G. DILL FM
Head of the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington
WILLIAM D LEAHY
Admiral, U.S. Navy
Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy
Moscow, September 10, 1943 Secret
Personal and secret message from Premier I. V. Stalin to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and to Premier Minister Churchill.
I have received your message of September 10. I congratulate you with new successes and especially with landing at Naples. There is no doubt that the successful landing at Naples and break between Italy and Germany will deal one more blow upon Hitlerite Germany and will considerably facilitate the actions of the Soviet armies at the Soviet-German front.
For the time being the offensive of the Soviet troops is successfully developing. I think that we shall be in a position to achieve more successes within the next two-three weeks. It is possible that we shall have recaptured Novorossisk within the next few days.