Two Americans take on 67 Jap planes in dogfights in New Georgia
By Frank Hewlett, United Press staff writer
Two Americans take on 67 Jap planes in dogfights in New Georgia
By Frank Hewlett, United Press staff writer
Rises from floor of plane twice to trade licks with Jerries over Ruhr
By Ernie Pyle
Somewhere in Sicily, Italy – (by wireless)
It was flabbergasting to lie among a tentful or wounded soldiers recently and hear them cuss and beg to be sent right back into the fight.
Of course, not all of them do. It depends on the severity of their wounds, and on their individual personalities, just as it would in peacetime. But I will say that at least a third of the moderately wounded men ask if they can’t be returned to duty immediately.
When I took sick, I was with the 45th Division, made up largely of men from Oklahoma and West Texas. You don’t realize how different certain parts of our country are from others until you see their men set off in a frame, as it were, in some strange, faraway place like this.
The men of Oklahoma are drawling and soft-spoken. They are not smart-alecks. Something of the purity of the soil seems to be in them. Even their cussing is simpler and more profound than the torrential obscenities of Eastern city men. An Oklahoman of the plains is straight and direct. He is slow to criticize and hard to anger, but once he is convinced of the wrong of something, brother, watch out.
They’re real fighters too
These wounded me of Oklahoma have got madder about the war than anybody I have seen on this side of the ocean. They weren’t so mad before they got into action, but now!
And these men of the 45th, the newest division over here, have already fought so well they have drawn the high praise of the commanding general of the corps of which the division is a part.
It was these quiet men from the farms, ranches and small towns of Oklahoma who poured through my tent with their wounds. I lay there and listened for what each one would say first.
One fellow, seeing a friend, called out:
I think I’m gonna make her.
Meaning he was going to pull through.
Have they got beds in the hospital? Lord, how I want to go to bed.
I’m hungry, but I can’t eat anything. I keep getting sick at my stomach.
Another said, as he winced from their probing for a deeply buried piece of shrapnel in his leg:
Go ahead, you’re the doc. I can stand it.
I’ll have to write the old lady tonight and tell her she missed out on that $10,000 again.
Another, who was put down beside me, said:
Hi, pop, how you getting along? I call you pop because you’re gray-headed. You don’t mind, do you?
I told him I didn’t care what he called me. He was friendly, but you could tell from his forward attitude that he was not from Oklahoma. When I asked him, it turned out he was from New Jersey.
One big blond Oklahoman had slight flesh wounds in the face and the back of his neck. He had a patch on his upper lip which prevented his moving it, and made him talk in a grave, straight-faced manner that was comical. I’ve never seen anybody so mad in my life. He went from one doctor to another trying to get somebody to sign his card returning him to duty.
Dying men brought in
The doctors explained patiently that if he returned to the front his wounds would get infected and he would be a burden to his company instead of a help. They tried to entice him by telling him there would be nurses back in the hospital. But he said:
To hell with the nurses, I want to get back to fightin’.
Dying men were brought into our tent, men whose death rattle silenced the conversation and made all the rest of us grave.
When a man was almost gone, the surgeons would put a piece of gauze over his face. He could breathe through it but we couldn’t see his face well.
Twice within five minutes chaplains came running. One of these occasions haunted me for hours.
The man was still semi-conscious. The chaplain knelt down beside him and two ward-boys squatted nearby. The chaplain said:
John, I’m going to say a prayer for you.
Somehow this stark announcement hit me like a hammer. He didn’t say, “I’m going to pray for you to get well,” he just said he was going to say a prayer, and it was obvious to me that he meant the final prayer. It was as though he had said:
Brother, you may not know it, but your goose is cooked.
Then he died all alone
He said a short prayer, and the weak, gasping man tried in vain to repeat the words after him. When he had finished, the chaplain added:
John, you’re doing fine, you’re doing fine.
Then he rose and dashed off on some other business, and the ward-boys went about their duties.
The dying man was left utterly alone, just lying there on his litter on the ground, lying in an aisle, because the tent was full. Of course, it couldn’t be otherwise, but the awful aloneness of that man as he went through the last few minutes of his life was what tormented me. I felt like going over and at least holding his hand while he died, but it would have been out of order and I didn’t do it. I wish now I had.
Survey shows that limit is held down to 45, WMC warns
By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent
‘City’ covers 650 acres and consists of 703 apartment buildings, 17 multiple-dwelling structures
By William H. Stoneman
London, England –
Last night’s Moscow radio announcement that the Soviet government had not been invited to be represented at the Québec Conference does not mean that the Soviet government was in any way cold-shouldered by Washington or London, or that Soviet representatives would not have been welcomed if the Russians had evinced any desire to participate.
It had been hoped earlier in the summer to have leaders of the United States, England and Russia meet personally and it was only because Joseph V. Stalin insisted upon his inability to leave Russia for such a meeting that it did not occur.
In the meantime, so many questions for discussion have developed between the two great Western powers that it is probably desirable to discuss and settle them before moving on to the higher plane of a three-power pow-wow.
The most obvious feature of the relationship between Russia, the United States and Britain is that the latter two cannot possibly hope to reach full agreement with Russia unless they understand one another completely and are able to present their position on various matters to Stalin clearly and convincingly.
It would be futile, for example, to try to talk grand strategy to Stalin unless American and British leaders have agreed between themselves on their time-schedule for operations in Europe and the degree of attention and power to be devoted during the next six months to the Oriental theater.
In the absence of a Russian representative at the Québec talks, the Russians can content themselves with the knowledge that their own position is being given paramount consideration at every turn of the discussions.
Völkischer Beobachter (August 14, 1943)
Von unserer Stockholmer Schriftleitung
dnb. Aus dem Führer-Hauptquartier, 13. August –
Das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt:
Während am Kubanbrückenkopf der Feind seine von Panzern und Schlachtfliegern unterstützten Angriffe westlich Krymskaja ohne Erfolg erneuerte, kam es am Mius und am mittleren Donez nur zu geringer örtlicher Kampftätigkeit.
Im Raum südwestlich Bjelgorod griffen die Bolschewisten mit starken Infanterie- und Panzerverbänden auch gestern wieder an. In schweren Abwehrkämpfen, verbunden mit Gegenangriffen, wurden die ununterbrochenen Angriffe der Sowjets abgeschlagen, mehrere feindliche Kräftegruppen vernichtet und eine große Anzahl von Panzern zusammengeschossen.
Auch nordwestlich Orel und an der Front südlich und südwestlich Wjasma blieben sowjetische Angriffe erfolglos.
Südlich des Ladogasees nahm der Feind nach Heranführung neuer Kräfte seine Angriffe erneut auf.
Neben Schweren blutigen Verlusten verloren die Sowjets am gestrigen Tage an der Ostfront 380 Panzer.
Die Luftwaffe entlastete vor allem im Raum von Bjelgorod die kämpfenden Truppen durch vernichtende Schläge gegen sowjetische Panzerverbände, Infanterieansammlungen und Artilleriestellungen. In Luftkämpfen wurden gestern bei vier eigenen Verlusten 91 Sowjetflugzeuge abgeschossen.
Auf Sizilien kam es zu keinen größeren Kampfhandlungen. Deutsche Kampffliegerverbände griffen in der Nacht stark belegte Flugplätze des Feindes an und verursachten durch Spreng- und Brandbomben erhebliche Zerstörungen unter den abgestellten Flugzeugen und an den Flugplatzanlagen. Im Seegebiet bei Catania beschädigte die Luftwaffe am Tage durch Bombenwurf einen feindlichen Zerstörer. Bei der Abwehr von Luftangriffen auf das italienische Festland brachten gestern deutsche Jäger sieben Flugzeuge zum Absturz.
In den Vormittagsstunden des 12. August drangen feindliche Fliegerverbände unter dem Schutz der Wolken in das westliche Reichsgebiet ein und warfen an mehreren Orten, besonders über Bonn und Bochum, Spreng- und Brandbomben. Die Bevölkerung hatte Verluste. Luftverteidigungskräfte vernichteten 37 feindliche Flugzeuge, in der Masse viermotorige amerikanische Bomber.
In der vergangenen Nacht flogen einige feindliche Störflugzeuge in das Reichsgebiet ein und verursachten geringe Sachschäden. über den besetzten Westgebieten schossen Nachtjäger und Flakartillerie fünf britische Bomber ab.
In der Nacht zum 13. August griffen deutsche Flugzeuge Einzelziele in Südostengland mit Bomben an.
Deutsche Unterseeboote versenkten in harten Kämpfen im Atlantik und im Mittelmeer sechs Schiffe mit 33.000 BRT. und beschädigten ein weiteres durch Torpedotreffer.
dnb. Rom, 13. August –
Der italienische Wehrmachtbericht vom Freitag lautet:
Der mit starkem Einsatz von Panzereinheiten entwickelte und von Luftwaffenmassen unter Mitwirkung von Seestreitkräften durchgeführte feindliche Angriff zwang die italienischen und deutschen Truppen zu einer weiteren Rückverlegung östlich des Ätnamassivs.
Mailand und Turin wurden in der vergangenen Nacht von Abteilungen der britischen Luftwaffe angegriffen. Die Schäden sind besonders in der Stadtmitte beider Städte sehr groß. Die Bodenabwehr vernichtete vier Flugzeuge.
Verbände von Kampfflugzeugen führten heute erneut einen Angriff auf Rom und die am Stadtrand gelegenen Flugplätze durch. Die Schäden werden festgestellt.
Am 12. August wurden von italienischen und deutschen Jägern neun Flugzeuge über der Insel Ventotene und in der Umgebung von Neapel abgeschossen.
Papst Pius XII. begab sich, wie Stefani meldet, am Freitagmittag wenige Minuten nach der Entwarnung in die bei dem neuen Bombenangriff auf Rom schwer getroffenen Stadtviertel. In Begleitung des Papstes befand sich lediglich der Stellvertretende Staatssekretär des Vatikans, Montini.
tc. Zürich, 13. August –
Die Tessiner Zeitung Corriere del Ticino berichtet, daß bei dem während der letzten Nacht gegen die Stadt Mailand durchgeführten Luftangriff alle Stadtviertel betroffen, wertvolle Gebäude zerstört und in vielen Häusern Brände verursacht wurden. Der berühmte Palast Marino gegen-, über der Scala, der Sitz der städtischen Verwaltung, wurde ein Raub der Flammen. Auf dem Fontanaplatz traf eine Bombe einen künstlerisch wertvollen Brunnen aus der Barockzeit, der zerstört wurde.
dnb. Genf, 13. August –
Die immer häufiger werdenden blutigen Zusammenstöße zwischen Weißen und Negern in den USA., zuletzt in Beaumont, Texas, Detroit, Michigan und Harlem (Neuyork), zeigen, daß die Spannung sehr ernst geworden ist. Ein in normalen Zeiten harmloser Zwischenfall genügt schon, um brutale Mordinstinkte in diesem Rassenkampf auszulösen.
Die Negerzeitung Philadelphia-Afro-American teilt in einer einzigen Nummer eine ganze Reihe solcher Fälle mit: Der schwarze Kapitän des einzigen amerikanischen nur von Negern bemannten Handelsdampfers wurde bei seiner Rückkehr von einer längeren Fahrt von Reportern befragt, ob er in den Häfen der nordamerikanischen Küste gesehen hätte, daß die Negersoldaten der USA. schlechter behandelt würden. Sofort griff ein Beamter des Neger-Arbeiterausschusses ein und bat, auf diese Frage zu verzichten, die dem Kapitän nur Unannehmlichkeiten bringen würde.
Negerinnen dürfen nicht in das Hilfskorps der USA.-Marine eintreten, obwohl sie bei der Armee zugelassen werden. Aber auch bei der Armee diskriminiert man sie und läßt sie als Waschfrauen arbeiten, während die weißen Mädchen in den Regimentsbüros und anderen guten Stellungen verwandt werden. In Port Dix (New Jersey) ist aus diesem Grunde eine starke Empörung unter den dort stationierten schwarzen Helfen nen und den schwarzen Soldaten entstanden.
Vincent Tubbs, der Afro-Kriegskorrespondent im Südpazifik, schreibt, die wahre Geschichte der dortigen Kämpfe sei noch nicht geschrieben worden. Die Leistungen der schwarzen Truppen habe man geflissentlich verschwiegen. Warum habe man nicht gesagt, daß schwarze Truppen an der Eroberung von Guadalcanal beteiligt waren? Schwarze Soldaten werden als Ordonnanzen, Stallburschen, Kellner und Krankenträger verwandt. Wenn ein Farbiger es wagt, für bessere Behandlung der Neger einzutreten, werde er vor ein Kriegsgericht gestellt, erklärte Frau Johnson in Augusta (Georgia) in einer Zuschrift an die Zeitung auf Grund einer Aussage des Negerfeldgeistlichen Luther Füller, der kürzlich aus diesem Grunde vom Südpazifik zurückgebracht und der Insubordination angeklagt wurde.
Monrovia, die Hauptstadt der Negerrepublik Liberia, ist verbotenes Gebiet für die farbigen USA.-Soldaten, die in Camp Roberts einige Meilen davon untergebracht sind. Farbige Soldaten, die in New Orleans stationiert sind, wurden von der Staatsverwaltung darauf hingewiesen, daß sie in Autobussen nur auf den für Farbige reservierten Sitzen Platz nehmen dürfen, widrigenfalls sie sich strafbar machen. Außerdem dürfen Negersoldaten keine Restaurants und Bars aufsuchen, wie Weiße.
Amerikanische Soldaten der farbigen Rasse, die zu der 369. Küstenflak in Hawai gehörten und nach Camp Stewart in Georgia überführt wurden, werden dort von weißen Offizieren beleidigt und geschlagen und müssen in Schmutz- und Pesthöhlen wohnen. Die Kost ist ungenießbar und die sanitären Verhältnisse spotten jeder Beschreibung.
Diese wenigen Auszüge aus einer einzigen Zeitung zeigen, welchen Zündstoff der Wut und des Hasses sich bei den Negern der USA. aufspeicherte, die den Nordamerikanern als Kanonenfutter dienen, aber nach wie vor rechtlos bleiben.
In der englischen Zeitschrift Time and Tide befaßt sich Rudolph Dunbar mit der Eingeborenenfrage und übt heftige Kritik an den Methoden des Londoner Kolonialministeriums.
Man müsse sich darüber klar sein, so schreibt er, daß das Haupthindernis in den Beziehungen zwischen Weißen und Schwarzen, die Einstellung der Weißen sei, für die die farbigen Völker nicht existieren, es sei denn, daß sie Europäern einen Gewinn einbrächten. Aus dieser Einstellung heraus glaubten die Engländer und Amerikaner für sich das Recht ableiten zu können, in die von den Eingeborenen bewohnten Gebiete einzudringen, sich in deren kulturelles Leben einzumischen und sie zu allen möglichen Arbeiten zu zwingen.
Die englischen und amerikanischen Kapitalisten zahlten den Eingeborenen niedrige Löhne, nähmen ihnen ihre billigen Rohstoffe einfach weg und schlügen daraus gewaltiges Kapital. Das Jahrhundert der kapitalistischen Ausbeutung sei eben, so schreibt Dunbar, für diese Leute noch nicht vorbei. Man wiederhole und verewige die Fehler aus den schlimmsten Tagen der ersten Kolonisierung. Solange das Londoner Kolonialministerium hiergegen nicht einschreite, könne England auf seine Demokratie keineswegs stolz sein. Denn bis jetzt baue England in den Kolonien auf die Armut, die Krankheit, die Furcht und die Sorge der Kolonialbevölkerung.
U.S. State Department (August 14, 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||Brigadier Porter|
|Commander Freseman||Air Commodore Elliot|
|Commander Long||Brigadier Macleod|
|Brigadier General Deane||Brigadier Redman|
|Captain Royal||Commander Coleridge|
August 14, 1943, 10:30 a.m. Secret
With reference to the Conduct of the Conference,
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed:
a. That the meetings should be daily at 1430.
b. That there should be morning meetings when necessary.
c. That the numbers attending should be limited to about 12 on each side. Closed sessions will be held as may be found desirable.
d. That it should be understood that attendance of the Planners is not mandatory as they would often have other work demanding their attention, in which case they might be represented by one of their members.
e. That in general the procedure should follow the lines of the TRIDENT Conference, with specific reference to recording of decisions, approval of minutes, reports to the President and Prime Minister and the form of the Final Report.
f. That they would meet tomorrow.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note:
That Sections I, II and III of CCS 242/6 (TRIDENT Conference Report to the President and Prime Minister) had been accepted for the QUADRANT Conference, it being understood that courses of action were not thereby excluded from consideration which might appear likely to facilitate or accelerate the attainment of the overall objectives. The Sections to be reaffirmed at the conclusion of the QUADRANT Conference.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the sequence put forth in the suggested agenda presented by the British Chiefs of Staff and directed the Secretaries to incorporate those items proposed by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff and to issue a revised agenda (subsequently published as CCS 288/3).
Sir Alan Brooke gave a résumé of the present situation in the European Theater. He proposed to start with the situation in Russia since it was on that front that the main land forces in Europe were concentrated. Earlier in the year German forces had massed for an attack on this front but had delayed the attack largely, he believed, due to the situation in the Mediterranean. They launched their offensive against Kursk with the object of straightening their line and possibly exploiting their success, as well as producing the required political results in Germany. The Russians had succeeded in holding them by defense in depth. Some 16 Panzer divisions had been used, in addition to infantry. The Russians had waited until they were sure they were holding this offensive and had then themselves attacked, not only pushing back the Germans on the Kursk salient and capturing Orel, but also threatening Briansk. The attack in the neighborhood of Kharkov seemed to be succeeding and it was to be hoped that the fate of that town was now sealed. Further offensives had now started in the Smolensk area.
Though the number of German divisions remained almost constant, it was believed that their strength, both in personnel and equipment, was only some 60 percent of their authorized strength. The manpower of Germany was now stretched to its limit. The Germans had been further weakened by the withdrawal of Italians and certain other satellite forces from the Eastern Front, and this tendency for the satellites to withdraw would increase with the present situation in Italy. Further, the Italians had some 30 divisions in the Balkans and five in Southern France. Some of the former had already made overtures with a view to surrender, and Germany would be faced with the necessity for replacing all these troops.
It seemed probable that while the Italians had wished the Germans to defend Southern Italy, the latter had refused and would concentrate on the defense of the northern plains where the vital airdromes threatening Southern Germany were situated and which provided doorways to the east and west. At present Germany had approximately five divisions in Italy though there were signs that she was reinforcing in the North.
In France there were signs of German divisions being moved to the South of France to replace Italians and to the Russian Front, though it was not known if these would be replaced by training divisions from Germany.
In the British view there was at present no German threat to Spain. The necessary forces were not available, nor could they be made available unless Germany shortened her line in the East. In this connection, there were two possible lines to which the German forces might withdraw, one to the East and one to the West of the Pripet marshes. It was estimated that withdrawal to these lines might save the Germans some 30 and 70 divisions, respectively. There was a further possibility that Germany might decide to withdraw from France to the Rhine-Siegfried line. Whether Germany would decide to withdraw in the East or the West was a matter for conjecture. A withdrawal from the East would bring Eastern Germany and the Rumanian oilfields within easy bombing range and a withdrawal from the West would help us to intensify our air attacks on Germany. Since if the U-boat campaign failed completely Germany would have no further use for French bases, and since the Germans were likely to fear a Russian land advance into the country more than one carried out by Anglo-American forces, it seemed probable that, on balance, Germany would be more likely to choose a withdrawal from the West.
Sir Charles Portal said that he had read the U.S. Chiefs of Staff appreciation of the war in Europe which, from the air point of view, accorded very largely with his own views.
The German air force was now completely on the defensive. Their bomber force had deteriorated greatly in the last year, largely from lack of training and a proper training organization. They had relied on a series of victorious land campaigns to be supported by the air and between which the air forces could rest and reorganize. The situation was now very different.
Their fighter forces, on the other hand, were growing fast and had achieved the remarkable increase of 22 percent during the year 1943. All this increase had been absorbed on the Western Front. In spite of this they still did not consider themselves strong enough to combat the daylight operations of the 8th Air Force and had withdrawn units both from the Russian and the Mediterranean Fronts, in spite of the defeats they were suffering in these areas.
The United Nations Air Forces, on the other hand, were everywhere on the strategic offensive. The shorter-range aircraft were being used for attacks on communications, transport centers, locomotives and airfields. The night offensive was steadily increasing. Radio aids to navigation had proved immensely effective. Certain steps were now being taken to baffle the defenses which had resulted in a decrease in casualties from five to six percent to only three percent.
Finally, the daylight bombing – the most important phase of all – was being extraordinarily effective. The first object of POINTBLANK was to knock out the fighter factories and to destroy fighter planes in the air in order to achieve complete mastery in the air over Germany. The forces available to the 8th Air Force had done remarkable work but the program was behind schedule for reasons, however, which were quite understandable. The targets were being hit, the enemy aircraft were being shot down and a high percentage of the aircraft were returning safely, but it was a great battle which hung in the balance and it was vitally important to sustain and give every support to our forces in order that they could achieve superiority over the enemy.
In the Mediterranean the mixed U.S. Army Air Force and RAF units were working as one team and were giving a wonderfully good account of themselves.
The key to the situation from the air point of view, would be the placing of strong offensive air forces in Northern Italy. From there all South Germany would be within comfortable range and above all two of the largest German aircraft factories which between them produced nearly 60 percent of the German fighters. The bombing of Ploești, in his opinion perhaps the most brilliant and outstanding single air operation of the war, had shown what could be achieved even at a range of 1,000 miles. This target could be attacked at much shorter range from the heel of Italy, but to get a decisive effect against the German Air Force it would be necessary to go to the North. If we could base a strong force of Heavy and Medium Bombers there in the near future, Germany would be faced with a problem that seemed insoluble. It was estimated that to protect their Southern Front against a similar scale of attack to that being made from the U.K. they would require half the fighter forces now on the Western Front. The Alps would render the German radio warning system relatively ineffective. He regarded the position of North Italy as the key to the situation.
On the Russian front some 2,000 German aircraft; were opposed to 4,000 Russians. The Russian training was, however, bad, and until recently the Germans had held their own. Now, however, the tide was turning and the withdrawal of German forces to the west and particularly the withdrawal of experienced leaders was making itself felt.
Sir Dudley Pound briefly discussed certain aspects of the war at sea. At Casablanca it had been agreed that Russian convoys should not be run if the loss was likely to be prohibitive. Since German forces were concentrated in the north of Norway, this route was still closed. There was no sign at present that the German surface forces intended to break out into the Atlantic, and he believed that this was now less likely, since it would probably only be considered worthwhile if by so doing the Germans could achieve the final coup de grâce terminating a successful U-boat campaign in the North Atlantic.
The battle of the convoys had been fought in May, and since then the U-boats had suffered heavy losses, whilst on the other hand there had been no sinkings in the North Atlantic. It was essential, however, to be ready for a return of the U-boat concentrations to that area, and our dispositions of escorting forces must be designed to meet this menace. Thus it was impossible to send additional escorts to the Azores or the Cape, though hunting groups were being used to reinforce the aerial bay offensive. The bay offensive, with additional United States help in the air, was proving very effective. Groups of submarines were now endeavoring to fight their way in and out of the bay on the surface, and it had become a battle of the U-boat versus the aircraft. Recently, fewer German submarines had come out of the Baltic, and this was believed to be because many of them were refitting with additional radar aids and anti-aircraft guns.
The bombing of the Biscay submarine bases had proved disappointing since the Germans had taken very adequate steps to protect their submarines in these ports. It was now felt that continuous bombing of these ports did not justify a great diversion from the essential bombing offensive against German fighter factories. German submarines were at present disposed largely in the outer seas, where they were achieving some successes, but only in the North Atlantic could they find sufficient targets to render their campaign a real success.
In the Mediterranean the Commander in Chief was anxious to retain his six battleships until after the Italian fleet had been eliminated. Our ability to reinforce the Indian Ocean was dependent therefore on the collapse of Italy. The loan of the aircraft carrier RANGER to the Home Fleet was much appreciated, and enabled sufficient aircraft carriers to be provided for Mediterranean operations.
General Marshall asked for the views of the British Chiefs of Staff with regard to the occupation of Sardinia and Corsica.
Sir Alan Brooke said that he was in agreement with the United States paper on this point. It would not pay us to attack these islands at this stage. There were indications, as yet inconclusive, of German withdrawals from Sardinia, and he did not believe that if Italy collapsed Germany would continue to defend these islands which were largely garrisoned by Italian troops.
General Marshall pointed out that prior to the occupation of Sicily, it had been considered inadvisable to filter agents into the island. If, however, immediate attacks on Sardinia and Corsica were unlikely, it might be advisable to send agents to those islands.
In reply to a question from General Marshall as to the value of France as an air base in the event of the Germans withdrawing, Sir Charles Portal said that the basing of heavy bombers in France would prove a lengthy and difficult logistic problem. He therefore considered that while the heavy bombers should continue to operate from the United Kingdom, medium and light bombers as well as fighters would use advance bases in France. They would then be within easy range of the Ruhr and the Upper Rhine towns. In addition, the fighter cover which could be provided from advance bases in France would be of immense value to the daylight bombing operations.
General Arnold said that it was difficult to confine a discussion on the war in the air to Europe since available resources must be spread between all theaters. Early estimates, based on British experience, of the replacements of men and machines had proved too low in the case of the operations of the 8th Air Force. In addition, there was the problem of the “war-weary” crews. General Eaker at present had some 800 aircraft, but only 400 crews. No new units would be sent until September, but 200 aircraft would be sent in July and 239 in August. By January 1944 it was hoped to have 1,900 aircraft, with two crews for each aircraft. Finally, he questioned the possibility of obtaining the maximum use of heavy bombers in England during the winter months. In this connection North Italian bases would prove valuable.
Sir Charles Portal said that he appreciated the difficulty which General Arnold had mentioned in foreseeing exactly replacement requirements. He agreed with General Arnold’s view as to the importance of Northern Italy. Heavy bombers based in England could use Northern Italy, if the necessary ground crews and facilities were provided, as an alternative taking-off point during bad weather in the United Kingdom.
The battle against the German fighter forces was a vital battle. It must be watched, not only with hope and enthusiasm, but with the determination of providing reinforcements from wherever possible. If German fighter strength was not checked in the next three months, the battle might be lost, since it was impossible to judge the strength which the German fighter forces might attain by next spring if our attack was not pressed home.
Admiral King said that a possible German move to Spain would be aimed at cutting our vital lines of communication through the Straits of Gibraltar. The Germans might be held back until the United Nations were further committed in the Mediterranean and then they would flood the approaches to the Straits of Gibraltar with U-boats. The value of this line of communication was second only to the North Atlantic route and its value would increase as our commitments in the Mediterranean grew.
The naval situation must be considered globally, and any forces which could be spared from the European theater were urgently required in the war against Japan.
He was surprised to learn that the bombing of U-boat bases in France had been stopped or slowed down. He was convinced that a large number of U-boats were being refitted with a view to renewing the offensive and that the U-boat campaign had not yet been won, though it was now under control, as he had predicted.
Québec, 14 August 1943. Most secret
The enemy has realized that we can only maintain a large invasion force by using ports and he has, therefore, heavily defended the existing ports and their neighboring beaches from sea and land attack. He has also made arrangements to render them unserviceable if they should be captured.
It is, therefore, of vital importance that we should be able to improvise port facilities at an early date. Supplies could then be maintained during unfavorable weather conditions and before we have been able to capture and recondition ports. The British Chiefs of Staff have appointed a Committee to study the whole problem and to make recommendations as a matter of urgency.
The basic requirements for an improvised port are:
b. Unloading facilities.
a. Natural Topographical Features
The best use must be made of natural features such as promontories and shallow banks. A study of the area, however, shows that there is only one position where such natural facilities exist.
b. Ships Sunk To Form a Breakwater
Ships were used to make breakwaters in the last war, but only in nontidal waters. The objections to this method off the coast of France are:
i) The large range of tide precludes their use except in very shallow water.
ii) The scour effect of the strong tidal stream may cause the ships to become unstable.
iii) The large number which would be required.
c. New Scientific Devices
i) Bubble Breakwater. In principle this consists of a curtain of air bubbles rising from a submerged pipe. The constant upward flow of bubbles destroys the rotary movement of water particles which is associated with waves, thus damping out the waves. Air compressors are necessary to feed the pipe. This method has been used in Russia and full-scale experiment is shortly to be carried out in England by the Admiralty.
ii) Lilo Breakwater. It has been found that a quilted canvas bag, inflated by air at a low pressure and ballasted to float so that the greater portion is below the surface, damps out waves. A model breakwater constructed on these principles has been designed and has given promising results. It is hoped to overcome the practical difficulties of mooring, and full-scale trials are being progressed at high priority by the Admiralty.
a. Methods in Previous Use
The process of beaching LST and LCT and of drying out coasters and barges can be continued with additional safety within the breakwaters. To save wear and tear and to speed up discharge of cargoes, these methods must be supplemented by other facilities.
Piers and pierheads which are capable of being towed across the Channel have been designed and are being put into production. These piers are capable of being moored so that they will stand up to a strong wind, but unloading under all weather conditions will only be possible when they are placed inside breakwaters. These piers are being designed to enable LST and LCT to “beach” against semi-submerged pontoons which enable them to discharge over their ramps. Simultaneously the upper deck of LST can discharge their vehicles direct on to an “upper deck” built on the pierhead.
In the Annexure to Appendix “X” of the OVERLORD plan (COS (43) 416 (O)), COSSAC has suggested the construction of specially modified 500 feet pierships, which could be sunk in position and which could be connected to the shore by some form of pontoon equipment or two-way pier. He has also suggested the construction of some form of quay on rocks. These and other suggestions are being examined.
If beaches of slope 1 in 40 or steeper can be found within the breakwater, the construction of unloading hards similar to those used for loading in U.K. will simplify the unloading of LST.
Offices of the War Cabinet, SW1, 14 August, 1943. Most secret Enclosure to CCS 320
Recommendations for the Courses of Action to be followed in North-West Europe in the event of substantial weakening of German resistance, or withdrawal from Occupied Countries or unconditional surrender occurring between the 1st November, 1943, and the 1st May 1944.
In CASES A and B our object is to effect a lodgment on the Continent from which we can complete the defeat of Germany; our object in CASE C is to occupy as rapidly as possible appropriate areas from which we can take steps to enforce the terms of unconditional surrender laid down by the Allied Governments. Inherent in all cases will be the rehabilitation of liberated countries. The three cases are considered in succession below.
Excluding airborne troops and tank brigades, it is calculated that the number of Allied Divisions operationally and administratively ready on the 1st November, 1943, will be eight, on the 1st January, 1944, seventeen, and on the 1st March, 1944, twenty-three. The approximate Naval Assault Forces available on these dates will be respectively one, two-three, and five. The Metropolitan Air Force will be available for cover and support and one composite group of the Tactical Air Force should be available by the end of 1943. It is considered that with these resources the following operations would be practicable. During November and December 1943 an assault could only be undertaken on a narrow front against a weakly-held sector of the coastline, provided that there are clear indications that France and the Low Countries have been almost entirely denuded of reserves, and that German resistance is on the point of collapse. During January and February 1944 an assault could be undertaken against weak opposition to secure a strictly limited objective. From March 1944 onwards an assault with a more ambitious role might be undertaken, provided the strength and morale of the German troops and, in particular, of German reserves, are markedly below the maximum acceptable strength for Operation OVERLORD. Clearly in all three cases the overriding condition of adequate reduction in the present fighting value of the GAF on the Western front, and an inability of the German Command to bring up important reserves, must pertain.
As for the area of assault, the choice in Operation OVERLORD was narrowed down to the alternatives of the Pas de Calais and the Cotentin-Caen sectors. The Pas de Calais is the pivot of the whole German defensive system, and it may be expected that the defenses there will remain strong to the end; it is therefore concluded that the assault area in the present case should be the same as for OVERLORD, i.e., Cotentin-Caen. As maintenance over beaches and the construction of artificial ports would prove too hazardous in winter, it will be essential to capture the port of Cherbourg and as many minor ports as possible within 48 hours. The plan for OVERLORD would therefore have to be modified to meet this special requirement. There are obvious advantages in having the same area for either operation; for in the early months of 1944 our preparations for OVERLORD will be well advanced, and it would be difficult at that stage to change the area of assault to some different part of the coast.
The strategic recommendations for CASE A may accordingly be summarized as follows:
a. No assault against organized resistance will be feasible before the 1st January, 1944, unless there are clear indications that German resistance in the West is on the point of collapse, and measures are taken in time to make the Naval Assault Forces available for operations by recourse to special manning expedients.
b. Subsequent to that date, an assault elsewhere than in the area selected for OVERLORD is unlikely to be feasible or advisable.
c. If a sufficiently drastic reduction in the morale and strength of the German armed forces takes place, operations against organized opposition could be undertaken in January or February 1944 to capture the Cotentin Peninsula, or in March or April 1944 to put up a modified OVERLORD plan into effect. In either case the plan must provide for the capture of the port of Cherbourg within the first 48 hours.
d. As in the case of OVERLORD, diversionary operations in the Pas de Calais area, and from the Mediterranean against the South of France will probably be essential.
It is probable that if the enemy is obliged to make withdrawals from Western Europe, he will first withdraw his forces from his extremities, i.e., from Norway in the North and from South-Western and Western France in the South. If this occurs, we should require, for political as well as strategic reasons, to send some forces to occupy the areas so liberated; but it would be important that we should not tie up our main forces far from the eventual center of action.
In Norway, establishment of certain bases for Coastal Command Aircraft and Naval Forces is likely to be most desirable. It is probable that requirements can be limited to the establishment of bases in Northern Norway for aircraft of Coastal Command for the anti-submarine protection of shipping on passage round the North Cape; the development of Stavanger and Bergen as bases for aircraft of Coastal Command and light Naval Forces to blockade the entrance to the Baltic, and for the conduct of small offensive operations; and the establishment of surface warning sets (Radar) on the South coast of Norway. It is considered that forces of the order of one brigade group would be required for Northern Norway, and one division for Southern Norway, to secure the naval and air bases and support the Norwegian contingent in its task of rehabilitation.
In France, it is probable that the first point of withdrawal would be Bordeaux, followed in succession by the other ports on the Western coast; the Channel coast and in particular the Pas de Calais would remain the last areas to be uncovered. Once withdrawal begins it is likely that it will eventually continue as far as the Siegfried Line, owing to the difficulty of holding any intermediate position with an economical force.
The governing condition of our return is that we must have ports, since maintenance over beaches in winter is not practicable. If the enemy withdraw from South-Western and Western France, it is proposed that we should send a brigade group each, together with minimum necessary covering air forces, to occupy Bordeaux, Nantes and Brest. The purpose of occupation of Bordeaux would be the rehabilitation of South-West France; the purpose of occupation of Brest and Nantes would also be partly the rehabilitation of France, but mainly the preparation, as a long-term policy, for the entry and maintenance of United States Forces direct from the United States. Demands to commit larger forces to these areas should be firmly resisted, and the first point of entry for our main forces should not be West of Cherbourg. The Northern extension of the German defensive position on the Siegfried Line would probably prevent our use of Antwerp, in which case the major ports available for our return would be Cherbourg, Havre and Rouen. It is impossible to forecast the turn that operations would take, since our advance would be dependent on the enemy’s withdrawal policy. It must be assumed that the enemy’s demolitions will be thorough, and, therefore, it cannot be expected that our rate of advance will be swift. Moreover, rapid airfield construction, as proposed in OVERLORD, is impracticable in winter, and a more permanent and lengthy type of construction will be required. The capture of existing airfields is, therefore, of increased importance. A likely course of events is that an initial landing might be made at Cherbourg, followed by later landings at Havre and Rouen, and not long afterwards by the introduction of reinforcements and stores through the Pas de Calais ports. Our general intention should be to press Eastwards as fast as possible, opening up additional ports as we go, with the further object of establishing airfields in the Pas de Calais and in Belgium, from which the Tactical Air Force can complete the destruction of the German Air Force and the strategic bomber force can intensify their attack on Germany at closer range when the advance Eastwards has gone sufficiently far to make this profitable. Under the condition of German withdrawal, deficiencies in the strength of the Tactical Air Force can be made good at the expense of the static fighter defense system of the United Kingdom. In this way enough squadrons could be made available to take full advantage of airfields prepared by the Army on the Continent, while additional air support could still be provided from bases in the United Kingdom.
The strategic recommendations for CASE B may accordingly be summarized as follows:
a. That the port of Cherbourg be the first place of entry for our main forces.
b. That as the German withdrawal proceeds, our main forces be based on Cherbourg, Havre and Rouen, supplemented as necessary by the smaller ports further East.
c. That the port of Bordeaux be occupied in the first instance by a small force only for the sole purpose of rehabilitation of South-West France.
d. That the ports of Brest and Nantes be similarly occupied by small forces only, partly to assist in the rehabilitation of France, but mainly to prepare, as a long-term policy, for the entry and maintenance of United States Forces direct from the United States.
e. That as large forces as possible from the Mediterranean be dispatched to occupy the ports of Marseilles and Toulon, and subsequently to move Northwards on Lyons and Vichy, and thereafter as required.
The object is to occupy, as rapidly as possible, appropriate areas from which we can take steps to enforce the terms of unconditional surrender imposed by the Allied Governments on Germany; and in addition to carry out the rehabilitation of the Occupied Countries.
A consideration of the areas of strategic importance leads to the conclusion that the best use of our limited land forces lies in the speedy occupation in adequate force of the Jutland Peninsula, the adjacent great ports of Bremen, Hamburg and Kiel, and the large towns in the valleys of the Ruhr and the Rhine. It is considered that the forces required for occupation of these areas would amount to seven divisions for Denmark and North-West Germany, six Divisions for the Ruhr, eleven Divisions for the valley of the Rhine; making a total in all of twenty-four Divisions.
In addition to the forces required for occupation of Germany, further forces will be required for rehabilitation of the Liberated Territories and to assist in the disarmament of Germany. It is considered that the following forces will be required in support of the contingents of the Nations concerned, or in the case of Denmark supplementary to the field force formations given in paragraph 12 above; one division and one brigade for Norway, one brigade for Denmark, two brigades for Holland, four brigades for Belgium; and in the case of France, two field force divisions for Paris and Northern France, two field force divisions for the Mediterranean ports and South France, and six brigades for the Atlantic and Channel ports. Except where it is explicitly stated that field force divisions will be required, full use should be made of non-field force formations in the above role.
Both in the case of Germany and in the case of liberated territories, it will be necessary for adequate air forces to form part of the occupying force. In Germany, their role will be to take immediate action to overcome any resistance to our terms, to take punitive action against local disorder and to be a reminder to the German people of the main strategic bomber force which will remain based in the United Kingdom. Adequate air forces for occupation of areas near key points in Germany and liberated territories are available in the United Kingdom and the whole resources of the Metropolitan. Air Force will be available for reinforcement.
The use of large forces in the dual task of rehabilitating the liberated territories and occupying strategic areas in Germany is a problem of such complexity that the greatest simplicity in plan is required if mistakes of far-reaching consequence are to be avoided. It is considered that the best plan will be to keep to the alignment proposed for OVERLORD, i.e., to dispose the American forces on the right of the front and the British forces on the left. It is thus contemplated that the American sphere of responsibility will extend from the Rhine at the Swiss Border to Düsseldorf, and will also include France and Belgium; while the British sphere of responsibility will include the Ruhr and North-West Germany, Holland, Denmark and Norway. In the liberated countries there should be representative forces of both nations.
It is clear that for both political and military reasons speed of entry will be of the first importance. It may be possible to use air transport to a limited extent, but the bulk of our forces will have to be carried by sea. In the case of reentry through Copenhagen, Bremen and Hamburg, minesweeping is likely to impose short delays. The most suitable port of entry for the formations to occupy the Ruhr appears to be Rotterdam, while that for the forces for the Rhine Valley will be Antwerp.
The comparison of requirements against availability of forces at different dates is as follows, providing the BOLERO program is maintained and the forces earmarked to return from the Mediterranean are received. The requirement is constant at 26 divisions and the availability of divisions shown excludes airborne troops and tank brigades:
a. March 1944.
|23 divisions||administratively ready for mobile operations|
|4 divisions||administratively incomplete|
b. January 1944.
|17 divisions||administratively ready for mobile operations|
|7 divisions||administratively incomplete|
c. November 1943.
|8 divisions||administratively ready for mobile operations|
|8 divisions||administratively incomplete|
In view of the non-operational and semi-mobile nature of the tasks, the total figure shown in each case may be taken as the availability. The deficits therefore are two divisions in January 1944, and ten divisions in November 1943. It is proposed that these deficits should be made good when emergency arises by the dispatch of Allied forces in the Mediterranean and of the United States divisions earmarked for Operation OVERLORD. Apart from these forces it is proposed that Allied forces in the Mediterranean should supply one United States and one British division to accompany the forces of the French Committee of National Liberation, for employment in Southern France.
It is emphasized that the forces given in paragraph 12 above are the minimum land forces which will be required initially to obtain control in the Rhine Valley, the Ruhr, the entrance to the Baltic and in North-Western Germany. The ultimate size of forces of occupation will depend on the requirements and terms of occupation laid down by the Allied Governments.
The strategic recommendations for CASE C may accordingly be summarized as follows:
a. That the sphere of the Supreme Allied Commander include the whole of France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway and such portion of enemy territory as the Allied Governments may decide. It is assumed that this will include at least the Rhine Valley, the Ruhr and North-West Germany.
b. That, as soon as the situation permits at the time of German unconditional surrender, Allied Forces based in the United Kingdom be dispatched:
i) To occupy and control the Valley of the Rhine from the Swiss to the Dutch frontiers, together with the area of the Ruhr, and insure disarmament of German armed forces returning from occupied territory.
ii) To occupy and control Denmark, Schleswig, Holstein, the Kiel Canal, and the cities of Hamburg and Bremen, and insure disarmament of German armed forces in those areas.
iii) To open selected ports in the West coast of France and the Low Countries to establish control in the capitals of those countries, to institute measures of rehabilitation, and to assist as may be required in the disarmament of German armed forces.
iv) To establish control in Norway, to rehabilitate the country, and insure disarmament of German armed forces.
c. That, simultaneously, Allied contingents from the forces based in the Mediterranean be dispatched to open selected ports on the Mediterranean coast of France, to establish control at Vichy, to institute measures for the rehabilitation of Southern France, and to assist as may be required in the disarmament of German armed forces. These Allied forces to come under operational control of the Supreme Allied Commander on arrival in France.
d. That, under the general direction of the Supreme Allied Commander, France, Belgium and the Rhine Valley from the Swiss frontier to inclusive Düsseldorf be regarded as a sphere under the control of the United States forces, with British representation in the liberated countries.
e. That, under the general direction of the Supreme Allied Commander, Holland, Denmark, Norway and North-West Germany from inclusive the Ruhr Valley to Lübeck be regarded as a sphere under the control of British forces, with United States representation in the liberated countries.
a. The forces allotted for OVERLORD should be considered as equally available for RANKIN, if the occasion should arise.
b. The appointment of the Allied Air Commander-in-Chief and Staff, and the provision in the United Kingdom of the Commanding General, Staff and headquarters of the United States Army Group are of urgent importance and should be undertaken forthwith.
c. If the strategic recommendations in this paper are accepted in principle, the British and United States Governments should be invited, as a matter of urgency, to lay down a policy to govern the conduct of the Civil Affairs Staff in the establishment of military governments in enemy territory to be occupied by our troops, and a policy to govern the establishment of indigenous administrations in the liberated Allied territories.
d. That no time be lost in setting up nucleus combined American/British Civil Affairs Staffs in London for Germany and for each Allied country and friendly country, and such other countries as may be decided to lie within the sphere of the Supreme Allied Commander, to study in detail the problems involved and to make, without delay, detailed plans for the organization of civil administration therein.
e. That plans be made forthwith, complete in every detail, for the rapid recruitment in reserve units on a paramilitary basis of British civil resources in technical personnel, labor and equipment for employment on the Continent, especially for airfield construction. In order to avoid any interference with the progress of current vital work, such as the BOLERO and airfield construction programs, these plans only to be put into effect when the emergency arises.
f. It will be desirable to undertake a campaign of propaganda among our own people to bring to their notice the necessity for widespread participation in the campaign in prospect. Our Service resources will be stretched to the uttermost, and will need every sort of civilian administrative support if they are to develop their full force at the decisive point or points. Provision of this support may well entail sacrifices on the part of all classes of the community.
g. Close attention should be devoted to the question of collaboration with the USSR.
Québec, 14 August 1943. Secret CCS 306
Press reports have been received that Rome has been declared an open city by the Italian Government. General Eisenhower has indicated that he may make an attack against Rome tomorrow, 15 August.
Pending clarification of the situation, it is suggested that the following FAN message might be sent to General Eisenhower:
Press reports this date indicate Italian Government has declared Rome an open city. Pending clarification and further instructions it is desired that you make no further attacks on Rome nor make any statements from your headquarters regarding the attitude of the United Nations with respect to the action taken by the Italian Government.
J. R. DEANE
Today, on the second anniversary of the signing of the Atlantic Charter, I would cite particularly two of its purposes and principles on which we base our “hopes for a better future for the world.”
First – respect for the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live. When the Atlantic Charter was first signed, there were those who said that this was impossible of achievement. And yet, today, as the forces of liberation march on, the right of self-determination is becoming once more a living reality.
Second – worldwide collaboration with the object of security, for all; of improved labor standards, economic adjustment, and social security.
It happens that today is also the anniversary of the day, in 1935, when our own American Social Security Act became law.
That humanitarian law made a real beginning toward the abolition of want in this country. More than 60 million workers with their own contributions are building security for their old age and for their families in case of death. Several million are already enjoying benefits. However, in all fairness, and in all equity, we should extend these benefits to farmers, farm laborers, small businessmen, and others working for themselves or in occupations specifically excluded by law. We should extend social security to provide protection against the serious economic hazard of ill health.
We are now fighting a great war. We fight on the side of the United Nations, each and every one of whom has subscribed to the purposes and principles of the Atlantic Charter.
Today, we stand upon the threshold of major developments in this war. We are determined that we shall gain total victory over our enemies, and we recognize the fact that our enemies are not only Germany, Italy, and Japan: they are all the forces of oppression, intolerance, insecurity, and injustice which have impeded the forward march of civilization.