America at war! (1941--) -- Part 2

Call La Guardia as a witness on Flynn merits

Five other New Yorkers ‘invited’ to testify at Washington hearings

Long distance telephone rates to be slashed

Expect the action will save public $34,700,000 a year

Food output seem imperiled by machine lack

Senate committee says farm equipment need is urgent problem

Supreme Court Justices pander as they hoof it

Editorial: Party’s ban on Marcantonio should end ties with Reds

The surprising thing about the unsuccessful effort of the New Deal leaders in the House to give Rep. Vito Marcantonio, notorious New York radical, the assignment he had sought on the powerful Committee on the Judiciary is not so much the fact that the move was defeated in caucus as that the Democratic Congressional organization attempted to put it over in the first place.

Apparently, the lesson of the sweeping Republican gains last fall had been completely lost. For one of the chief Democratic weaknesses with which the voters registered their dissatisfaction was the association of some of the party’s leaders with American communists, which Marcantonio typified. Another was his record on behalf of special groups.

The theory of giving Marcantonio this prize assignment was that his American Labor Party had been of such great help to the Democrats in the recent election. Actually, that is a false assumption. The only two Democrats elected because of ALP help were Rep. Fay in the 16th District, Manhattan, and Rep.-at-large Merritt.

It is Marcantonio’s record on the war which has been most shocking. As long as Russia and Germany were allies, he opposed any policy which might prove harmful to the Nazis. He opposed every defense measure designed to protect America from any possible hostile attack. He opposed the draft. He opposed aid to Britain. Indeed, he was the only House dissenter on some votes for defense appropriations.

The moment that Germany attacked Russia in June 1941, Marcantonio did a political somersault. Suddenly he seemed to realize the dangers of Hitlerism. He quickly urged our entry into the war and supported all defense measures of the type he had previously opposed.

Of course, the perils of the United States were no greater. It was the same old Hitler, the same old fascism.

There was just one big difference: Soviet Russia was no longer an ally of the Nazis.

Is it any wonder that thinking Americans came to the conclusion that it was Russia’s interests rather than those of the United States that had inspired Marcantonio’s sudden change of view?

Why the administration should feel compelled to play ball with a radical politician of Marcantonio’s stripe is one of the mysteries of Washington. It is to be hoped that the rebuke administered to him and his supporters will lead to a break with other irresponsible left-wing elements still hanging around Washington which are an increasing drag on the Democratic Party.

Casablanca starts 9th Hollywood Theater week

Casablanca, Warner Bros.’ record-breaking drama of French Morocco, is being held for a ninth week at the Hollywood Theater, starting today. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid are starred in the headline film story of intrigue in the North African country recently occupied by U.S. forces. Included in the large supporting cast are Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Conrad Veidt, S. Z. Sakall, Madeleine LeBeau and Dooley Wilson.

WAACs get MGM booth for Times Square recruiting

Impressive ceremonies marked the transferal of the Loews Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer information booth at Times Square and 46th St. to the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps yesterday.

The booth was accepted by an officer of the WAACs. The booth, which has been maintained by the motion picture company for several years for the dissemination of information to visitors in the city, will be known as the “Times Square WAACs Recruiting Station.” However, the company will continue to have a representative on duty during the evening hours to provide city, state and national information for servicemen.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 21, 1943)

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

A forward airdrome in French North Africa – (Jan. 20)
Everything is temporary around thus airdrome near the front. It is in violent contrast to the fine airports at home and to the permanent stations we have in England.

Gone are the luxurious English lounges, billiard rooms and bar, and the twice daily custom of tea, which are part of every RAF station. Here there is no bar, no tea, no billiards. A few of the troops throw footballs around in the evening for relaxation.

There is no place for the officers to sit down together during their off hours unless they sit on the ground or on empty gasoline cans. The commanding officer’s desk is merely a board laid across four empty wooden crosses.

The supply rooms for rations and plane parts are just little corrals built up of empty gasoline tins filled with sand and laid like bricks. I think the American Army would collapse all over the world without its empty gasoline tins. They’ve become a truer symbol of America than the eagle.

The briefing room for bomber crews is a large tent with maps of enemy territory tacked on a board that is nailed to two posts set in the ground. In front of the board is a little platform made of gasoline tins sprinkled with sand. The crews just stand there and listen to their instructions.

Somehow, it’s not quite the way we picture it from books and movies. In those picturizations, we see only the actual takeoffs – everything else is blotted out of our minds, and the whole field seems to be devoted solely to starting the bombers on their mission.

Actually, the greater portion of the men at this airdrome know nothing about a mission until they see the planes start forming up in the air above. All work goes on as usual. The start of a mission is only another cog in the immense job of the day.

A cover patrol of fighter planes hovers above just in case. When the mission is finally formed, the local fighter bunch comes in and a new batch takes off to go along with the bombers.

Work is routine while they are away, but everybody is watchful when the time means for them to start coming back. It is true that people watch and count as the planes start appearing on the horizon. But this is a useless pastime, for not half a dozen people on the field know exactly how many really are due back. With the air constantly full of planes, and so many circling and waiting and new ships arriving from other fields, it is almost impossible to count correctly the number of planes starting on a mission. Nevertheless, the ground crews try, and they start counting as the planes come home.

There are other things they look for just as intently when the planes return. They look for feathered propellers, and for planes sort of straggling and limping along. They look for returning fighters to peel off and do a victory roll across the field, showing that they’ve shot down a German. When this happens, you hear cheers all over the field.

If any planes fail to return, the news gets around the field by word of mouth in a few hours. People are sorry, but actual grief never shows.

There is never a moment during daylight when there are no planes in the air. The first patrols take off before dawn and the last ones land after dark. All day there is a ceaseless coming and going. New bunches of replacement planes arrive and depart in workhouse manner. Casuals drop in just a few days out of America, England or India. Actually, the air above seems much like Bolling Field at Washington.

It is hard to believe the whole thing was set up with one purpose only – destruction and death. It is just as hard to believe that destruction and death can likewise come to us out of the same blue sky. But as one officer said:

We’ve got to realize it, for, believe me, everything is for keeps now.

U.S. State Department (January 21, 1943)

Roosevelt-Churchill conversation, 6:25 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill

Churchill arrived with news that de Gaulle had agreed to come to Casablanca.

Thursday, 21 January

The President arose early this morning, breakfasted, and left Casablanca by automobile at 9:20 for an inspection of the United States Army forces stationed in the vicinity of Rabat, some 85 miles to the northeast. He was accompanied by Major General G. S. Patton, Jr., Commanding General First Armored Corps, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Harriman, Mr. Robert D. Murphy, and Rear Admiral Ross T. McIntire. Captain McCrea had gone on ahead to Rabat by automobile, accompanied by Brigadier General W. H. Wilbur, to deliver in person a letter from the President to the Sultan of Morocco inviting the Sultan and his entourage to take dinner with the President at Casablanca on 22 January. Captain McCrea joined the President’s party upon arrival at a point about five miles north of Rabat, where the President was to begin his inspection.

[Here follows the account of the President’s inspection trip.]

The President reached his villa in Casablanca at 5:20 p.m. He had been gone eight hours on his tour of inspection, traveling approximately 200 miles by automobile.

Following the President’s return to his villa at Casablanca, the Prime Minister called and remained with the President for an hour, departing at 7:25 p.m. Dinner was a comparatively small affair, Admiral McIntire and Captain McCrea dining with the President, Mr. Hopkins, Sergeant Robert Hopkins, and the President’s son, Lt. Colonel Elliott Roosevelt. The President said that he had enjoyed himself immensely during this day in the open. He retired shortly after 9:30 for his longest night’s rest since arriving in North Africa.

U.S. State Department (January 22, 1943)

Hopkins-Churchill conversation, 9:45 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Hopkins Prime Minister Churchill

Hopkins, at Roosevelt’s request, informed Churchill that the press conference planned for noon of January 22 would be postponed. In the course of their discussion, Hopkins expressed dissatisfaction over the results of the Conference, and Churchill held forth the hope that de Gaulle’s arrival at the Conference might permit some progress to be made.

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 10:15 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall General Brooke
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Rear Admiral Cooke Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Brigadier General Hull Lieutenant General Ismay
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Major General Kennedy
Colonel Smart Air Vice Marshal Slessor
Commander Libby Air Vice Marshal Inglis
Lieutenant Colonel Hirsch
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob
Lieutenant Colonel Grove

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 22, 1943, 10:15 a.m.

  1. Draft of Telegram to Mr. Stalin
    (C.C.S. 165/1)

After several minor amendments had been agreed upon,

The Committee:
Directed that the draft telegram as amended be submitted to the President and the Prime Minister for their approval.

  1. Husky
    (C.C.S. 161/1)

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Planners had examined various permutations and combinations with reference to assembling and training the requisite forces for Operation Husky and concluded that it could be mounted by August 30th, with the possibility of putting the date forward to August 15th. The British Chiefs of Staff were in favor of Plan A described in C.C.S. 151/1, Enclosure “A”, paragraph 5. He said that August 22nd would be the best date because of the favorable state of the moon. The date could be set still earlier if the Tunisian ports were made available to the British for loading.

The British will require 5 divisions in all for the operation. These would probably be the 5th, 56th, 78th for the first assault; one division in from U.K. for the Catania assault on D+3; and the New Zealand division for the follow-up. It will be necessary to move the Overseas Assault Force from England to the eastern Mediterranean about March 15th. Once this had been accomplished, the British would be committed to Operation Husky to the exclusion of Brimstone.

General Marshall said that while the U.S. Planning Staff did not have complete data available at this time, the U.S. Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that as far as the United States forces are concerned, Operation Husky could be mounted by August 1st or earlier. He referred to a statement made in paragraph 4 of the outline plan (Enclosure “A” to C.C.S. 165/1 [161/1]) that if the British forces used the Algerian and Tunisian ports in order to be ready by August 1st, the American share of the assault might be delayed beyond August 31st. The United States Chiefs of Staff were of the opinion that the British could utilize all the ports from Bizerte eastward and the United States forces could still be made ready by August 1st. The only use required by the American forces of Bizerte and ports to the eastward would be for refueling purposes. He stated that as far as landing craft is concerned, little difficulty would be encountered. The limiting factor would be the “degree of finished training” that would be necessary. One division to come from the United States is undergoing thorough amphibious training at this time. The remaining divisions to participate are now in North Africa. They have already participated in landing operations, and their further training presents no problem. The question of relieving these divisions which are now being held ready for any eventuality in Spanish Morocco will require careful planning.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Planners thought that it might be necessary for the British to have ports somewhat further west than Bizerte in order to meet a target date of August 1st.

Admiral Cooke said that the British could train at Bougie and do their loading in the Tunis area. He could see no reason why all the forces could not meet a target date of August 1st. He realized that the Germans might do considerable damage to the ports of Bizerte and Tunis, but he estimated that by blasting processes the ports could be cleared for use by the time the air forces were ready to operate.

Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that the British prognostications for the target date were based on an estimate that the Axis forces would be driven from Tunisia by April 30th. If this is accomplished sooner, the target date could be moved forward accordingly.

Admiral Cooke pointed out that there is still uncertainty regarding the character of the beaches in Sicily. They might not be suitable for the new types of landing craft, and this would involve a change of plans. He also indicated that Admiral Cunningham will be presented with some difficulties when landing craft and combat loaders are moved into the Mediterranean. It will be necessary to do this in time for them to be available for training. The American forces will require some of the new type LCA landing craft. These weigh 8 tons empty, 13 tons loaded, and carry 36 men. The davits on the U.S. combat loaders may have to be replaced or adjusted in order to be capable of handling such weight.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said the British are building 30 LCA type landing craft per month in England. The number needed by the American forces could either be sent to America from England or the blueprints could be sent to America and the craft could be constructed there. The design is comparatively simple, and he thought that they could easily be manufactured in the United States. If the craft were to be manufactured in England, it would be necessary for the United States to furnish the engines required. The shipping of some 60 LCA to the Mediterranean, however, would not be an easy problem.

Sir Alan Brooke said it was apparent that the Whole plan might require some changes; there might be some unforeseen and insurmountable difficulties which would necessitate the postponing of the target date too long. He thought that, in this case, we should be prepared with an alternative.

General Marshall stated that he understood the only possible alternative was Operation Brimstone and indicated that he would like to discuss frankly the desirability of undertaking that operation.

Sir Alan Brooke said that Operation Brimstone would afford a base for the bombing of the whole of Italy; it would be an easier operation to undertake; and it could be accomplished earlier. It does not assist in clearing the Mediterranean for shipping, and it would not be as great a blow to Italy. However, he felt it essential that consideration of Operation Brimstone, as a possibility, be not delayed so long as to leave us with no alternative for 1943 if it were found that Husky could not be accomplished.

General Marshall said it was the opinion of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff that while Operation Brimstone would produce an advantage as far as air attack against Italy is concerned, it would postpone Husky. Any operation in the Mediterranean would postpone the Bolero build-up. He considered Brimstone a minor operation which would result in many military restrictions. Either Husky or cross-channel operations will produce great results, whereas Brimstone merely gives an air advantage. At the same time, it jeopardizes the prospects of either Husky or cross-channel operations.

General Marshall pointed out that German resistance to Operation Brimstone could not be discounted. In estimating the capabilities of the United Nations, it must be assumed that the Germans are aware that Sardinia can be undertaken at an earlier date than Husky. They will undoubtedly make their dispositions accordingly. He added that the undertaking of Brimstone would destroy the cover for future operations unless the Germans conclude that we propose to by-pass Sicily entirely and attack southern France. He thought it hardly likely that the Germans would come to such a conclusion.

He said the United States Chiefs of Staff are more concerned with adding to the security of shipping through the Mediterranean and with the immediate effects of our operations on Germany’s strength against the Russians than they are with eliminating Italy from the war. He thought that to undertake Operation Brimstone would be to seek the softest spot before turning to the harder spot and in so doing we might make the harder spot harder.

Admiral King pointed out that the airfields in Sardinia have a relatively small capacity and that they would have to be developed. While the position of Sardinia does bring northern Italy and southern France within range of our fighter aircraft, it is, by the same token, within range of Axis aircraft based in those areas.

General Arnold said that in order to get fighter protection from Sardinia we must capture Corsica.

General Marshall said that the United States Chiefs of Staff are very much opposed to the Operation Brimstone.

Sir Alan Brooke said that he agreed with all of these arguments, and he felt that we must go all out for Sicily. At the same time, he felt that there should be an alternative upon which we could fall back in case of absolute necessity.

Admiral King said that the ideal would be to attack Sicily at the same time the Germans were evacuating Tunis. The longer the attack against Sicily is delayed beyond that date, the stronger will be the defenses of Sicily. He thought it important, therefore, that every effort be made to reduce this lapse of time to the minimum.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that in his opinion the ideal would be to take Sardinia during the time that Tunis was being evacuated by the Axis forces. He felt that the Axis powers would then be giving little attention to the defenses of Sardinia. He thought that the earlier date upon which the Operation Brimstone could be accomplished, the securing of air bases from which to attack northern Italy, and the possibility of conducting Commando raids all along the coast of Italy, combined to make Operation Brimstone very attractive.

General Marshall asked Lord Louis Mountbatten if the training difficulties would be reduced if we were able to attack Sicily at the same time that Tunis was being evacuated by the Axis forces.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said he did not think so inasmuch as the evacuation would have small effect on the fixed defenses of Sicily.

Sir Dudley Pound pointed out that if the operation were to be mounted before August 22nd, it should be moved forward to July 25th in order to take full advantage of the favorable stage of the moon.

Admiral King suggested that for purposes of surprise it might be well to mount the operation at a time other than when the moon was in its best stage.

Sir Charles Portal pointed out that to avoid undue risk of aerial torpedo attack the periods of the full moon should be avoided and that the assault should be made only when there was moonlight during the early morning hours. There was a period of from 5 to 6 days in each month which would be suitable.

Admiral King said he thought that July 25th should be set as the target date for planning purposes and that the attack should only be postponed to August if July proved to be impossible.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that a clear statement should be made by the naval forces as to when their training can be completed. He prophesied that naval training will be the bottleneck.

Sir Charles Portal agreed with Admiral King that July should be set as the target date in order that we might strive for the best. He added that we should also be prepared for the worst. He pointed out that the critical time on the Russian front is in August and September. If the target date for Husky had to be postponed beyond September, it would be of little value. He considered that the collapse of Italy would have the most favorable effect on the Russian front. Since this might be accomplished by Operation Brimstone, he thought that we should be prepared to undertake this operation if Husky had to be delayed too long. Brimstone in June would be better than Husky in September; but a decision to undertake Brimstone must be made by March 1st; otherwise, the landing craft would be at the wrong end of the Mediterranean.

General Marshall said he thought there should be no looseness in our determination to undertake Operation Husky. He recounted the difficulties regarding the changes and delays in Bolero in 1942.

Sir Alan Brooke and Sir Charles Portal agreed with this view.

General Marshall said that we must be determined to do the hard thing and proceed to do it. He did not agree with Sir Charles Portal that the elimination of Italy from the war was the most important thing that could be done. To accept this premise might make it absolutely necessary to turn to Operation Brimstone in order that Italy could be eliminated in time. He felt that this should be avoided because Operation Brimstone would neutralize the efforts of the United Nations for 1943. He said that in Brimstone we should be advancing into a salient with limited air support where we might be shot at from three directions. The supply of Sardinia entails an increase in our line of communications and adds a threat to our limited shipping.

Sir Dudley Pound said that if Operation Brimstone is undertaken, Husky would have to be delayed until the period of bad weather in October or later.

Sir Alan Brooke said that Operation Brimstone would not be an easy operation. Fighter support would be inadequate, and it would be necessary to fight our way northward through the entire island. He believed that we should go bald-headed for Sicily. He felt that the capture of Sicily would have more effect on the war. He added, however, that if by March 1st it develops that Operation Husky cannot be mounted until too late, it was important for us to have an alternative to turn to in order that we do not remain idle for the entire year.

The discussion then turned on the Command and Staff organization which would be required for the operation.

Admiral Cooke said that the Combined Staff Planners felt strongly that one man should be made responsible for the whole of the arrangements; otherwise, it was very unlikely that the necessary preparations could be completed within the short time available. A special staff would be required for the purpose.

In the discussion this need was fully accepted, and it was recognized that the Chief of Staff must be carefully selected.

The Committee:
a) Resolved to attack Sicily in 1943 with the favorable July moor as the target date.

b) Agreed to instruct General Eisenhower to report not later than March 1st: (1) whether any insurmountable difficulty as to resources and training will cause the date of the assault to be delayed beyond the favorable July moon; and, (2) in that event, to confirm that the date will not be later than the favorable August moon.

c) Agreed that the following should be the Command setup for the operation:

  1. General Eisenhower to be in Supreme Command with General Alexander as Deputy Commander-in-Chief, responsible for the detailed planning and preparation and for the execution of the actual operation when launched.

  2. Admiral Cunningham to be the Naval Commander, and Air Chief Marshal Tedder the Air Commander.

  1. Recommendations for the officers to be appointed Western and Eastern Task Force Commanders to be submitted in due course by General Eisenhower.

d) Agreed that General Eisenhower should be instructed to set up forthwith, after consultation with General Alexander, a special operational and administrative staff, with its own Chief of Staff, for planning and preparing the operation.

e) Instructed the Secretaries to draft for their approval the necessary directive to General Eisenhower conveying the above decisions.

Hopkins-Harriman-Mountbatten luncheon meeting

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Hopkins Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Mr. Harriman

Mountbatten explained his views in favor of an attack on Sardinia rather than Sicily and described current British experiments on special explosives and ships made of ice.

:laughing: fight for the right to :ghost: the Dodgers ?

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Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 2:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall General Brooke
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Rear Admiral Cooke Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Brigadier General Hull Lieutenant General Ismay
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Major General Kennedy
Colonel Smart Air Vice Marshal Slessor
Commander Libby
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob
Lieutenant Colonel Grove

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 22, 1943, 2:30 p.m.

  1. Conduct of the War in the Pacific Theater in 1943
    (C.C.S. 168)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a memorandum by the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff which Admiral King explained with the aid of a map of the Pacific theater.

General Arnold , in reply to a question by Sir Charles Portal, said that the theoretical radius of action of the B-29 and B-32 was 1,600 miles. This would be sufficient for the bombardment of Tokyo from the Nanchang area. The best bases for the bombardment of Japan were in the Maritime Province where there were known to be twenty-five airfields. No details, however, were available regarding their condition.

The Committee:
Took note of the proposals of the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff for the conduct of the war in the Pacific theater in 1943, as set out in C.C.S. 168.

  1. Press Communiqué

(Previous reference C.C.S. 61st Meeting, Item 4)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff took note that the President and Prime Minister were themselves preparing the communiqué for issue to the press at the conclusion of the Conference, and that it would not, therefore, be necessary for them to submit a draft.

  1. Continental Operations in 1943
    (C.C.S. 167)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a report by the British Joint Planning Staff on Continental operations in 1943, C.C.S. 167.

Sir Alan Brooke said that paragraph 2 (c) was somewhat misleading in its present form since there could, in fact, be no half-way house between the limited operations described in (a) and (b) of the paragraph and return to the Continent in full. He proposed that subparagraph (c) should, therefore, be amended to read, “Return to the Continent to take advantage of German disintegration.”

The policy which the British Chiefs of Staff recommended was contained in paragraph 19 of the paper.

The provision of additional airborne forces from the U. S. would be essential since Husky would use up all British resources in this respect.

Lord Louis Mountbatten agreed and emphasized the need for airborne forces to turn the beach defenses. Without these and armored forces to follow up, the assault on the northern coast of France was, in his opinion, quite impracticable. He drew attention to the note at the end of paragraph 5 relating to armored landing craft.

The Committee:
Agreed to defer final acceptance of the proposals of the British Chiefs of Staff pending further study.

  1. Organization of Command, Control, Planning and Training for Cross-Channel Operations
    (C.C.S. 169)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a note by the Combined Staffs, C.C.S. 169.

Sir Alan Brooke thought that it would be premature to designate a Supreme Commander for large-scale operations on the Continent at present in view of the limited operations which could be carried out with available resources in 1943. A special staff was, however, necessary for cross-channel operations and should, he thought, be set up without delay.

General Marshall agreed that a Supreme Commander would make a top-heavy organization at present, but thought that it was desirable to put a special staff under a selected Chief of Staff of sufficient standing; such an officer would perhaps suffice for the command of limited operations during the summer. This special staff could work out their plans on the basis of certain forces being available, even though they were not in actual control of the troops themselves.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the staff which was at present working on cross-channel operations belonged to various Commanders in the United Kingdom. It would be necessary to take them away from their present Commanders and set them up independently.

The Committee:
a) Accepted the proposals contained in C.C.S. 169, except for the immediate appointment of a Supreme Commander.

b) Agreed that a Supreme Commander will ultimately be necessary for the reentry to the Continent, but that he should not be appointed at the present time.

c) Agreed that a British Chief of Staff, together with an independent U.S.-British staff should be appointed at once for the control, planning and training of cross-channel operations in 1943.

d) Invited the British Chiefs of Staff to prepare for their approval a draft directive to govern the planning and conduct of cross-channel operations in 1943 in accordance with the decisions to be reached on C.C.S. 167.

e) Agreed that the above directive should make provision for a return to the Continent with the forces that will be available for this purpose in the United Kingdom month by month.

  1. Landing Craft

Lord Louis Mountbatten gave an account of the British experiences in building up an Assault Fleet. He described how the LCI (L) had been produced and explained the dislocation which had been caused by Torch. For that operation it had been necessary to stop the entry and training of British crews so that U.S. combat teams could have the use of the training center at Inveraray. As a result, a situation had arisen in which the British were temporarily unable to man all the landing craft at their disposal. The position was now in hand, and there would be no difficulty in manning all the landing craft expected by next August.

He drew attention to the shortage of spare parts which had recently forced him to consider the cannibalization of 25% of the landing craft at his disposal. This position, according to Admiral Cooke, also was now improving; but he emphasized the very great importance of providing ample spares parallel with the production of craft.

He described the organization of the British Assault Fleets. Broadly speaking, there were local forces organized for operations in home waters, western and eastern Mediterranean, and India. Besides these local forces, there was an overseas Assault Force with a lift of 30,000 personnel, 3,300 vehicles and 200 tanks. The purpose of this Force was to reinforce the local Assault Fleet in whichever theater might be the center of active operations. This Force would be ready to sail for the Mediterranean by March 15th, to take part in Husky.

He described three important lessons of amphibious operations which had so far emerged:

a) For any amphibious campaign involving assaults on strongly defended coasts held by a determined enemy, it is essential that the landing ships and craft shall be organized well in advance into proper assault fleets. These must have a coherence and degree of permanence comparable to that of any first-line fighting formation. Discipline, training, and tactical flexibility are just as necessary for assault fleets as for naval, military and air combat formations. This was the overriding lesson of Dieppe.

b) No combined operation can be carried out with reasonable hope of success without adequate beach reconnaissance beforehand. He had now organized specially trained beach reconnaissance parties which had already done most valuable work.

c) Adequate fire support for the assault against a strongly defended coast was most essential. A scale of 100 guns (48 self-propelled in LCT and 52 in the new gun craft to be known as LCG) for each assault brigade had been recommended. He handed around drawings of a type of amphibious close support vessel which had been designed for this purpose. These special assault craft were primarily intended for Roundup, and none could be ready in time for Husky.

He then handed around a table showing the estimated availability of British and American built landing ships and craft. Referring to this table, he pointed out that the main British deficiencies by next August would be in LST and LCI (L). He urged most strongly that allocations to the British of both these types should be increased to make up these deficiencies. He confirmed that provisions had already been made for manning the full number of all types of craft which had been asked for by next August together with 50 percent spare crews.

General Somervell confirmed that, so far as could be foreseen, sufficient landing craft could be made available for both the U. S. and British portions of Husky as now planned.

Admiral King drew attention to the great diversity of types of British built ships and craft. He asked whether a greater degree of standardization would not be possible. In reply Lord Louis Mountbatten explained that different types had been developed independently by the two navies; improvements had been made as a result of experience. Some of those shown in the table were now out of date.

Admiral Cooke expressed the view that the production of landing craft would be at least as great as the ability of the U.S. and British Navies to man them. He explained the heavy demand for the Pacific where rate of wastage was high and maintenance facilities extremely limited. He confirmed the shortage of spare engines. Spares had been used to fit up new hulls which had come out of production in large numbers.

He explained that the original split of LST for Roundup, as between U.S. and British, had been in the proportion of 125 to be manned by the U.S. and 75 by the British. Allocations now proposed by the U.S. Navy Department gave a higher proportion to the British, half of the 168 proposed for the European Theater going to the British and half to the U.S.; 117 of these craft would be allocated to the Pacific. He then raised the question of LCA, of which the U.S. had none at all. He understood that 96 of these craft were required for the British portion of Husky, and he thought that a similar number would be required for the U.S. portion as well.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the provision of these craft would need careful examination. It might be found best to send the drawings to America so that they could be built in U.S. yards.

The Committee:
a) Agreed that the question should be reviewed by July 1, 1943, whether the number of LST (2) to be allocated to the British from the total U.S. production of 390 can be raised from the figure of 120 now proposed by the U.S. Navy Department to 150 which was the full British requirement.

b) Took note that the U.S. Navy Department would investigate whether the follow-up order for 44 LCI (L) can be restored and half of this production allocated to the British.

c) Took note that the greatest needs of the British Combined Operations Naval Command were for:

  1. LCM (3), of which 646 had been asked for by the British by August 1, 1943, but the detailed allocation of which was not yet available.

  2. Scripps-Ford conversion engines for LCA, of which a large additional number would be needed if LCA were built in the United Kingdom for the U.S.

  3. Spare parts, as a matter of great urgency, for landing craft in the United Kingdom, to be supplied in the first instance on the requisitions already submitted to the U.S. Navy Department by Comamphoreu.

  1. System of Command for Combined U.S. and British Operations
    (C.C.S. 75/3)

(Previous reference: C.C.S. 45th Meeting, Item 1)

General Marshall said that the intention of the paper under consideration was to lay down general principles for the organization of command where U.S. and British forces were engaged in combined operations under a Supreme Commander. The systems of command employed by the two nations for their own forces differed fundamentally. He recalled that when Field Marshal Wavell had been suddenly called upon to form a combined headquarters at short notice in the Southwest Pacific he had had considerable difficulties in arranging satisfactorily the general organization of his command. Similar cases might occur in the future, and it would be of great assistance to have guiding principles agreed beforehand.

Discussion followed on the precise channels for the communication of orders which would be used in the organization shown in the diagram attached to the paper.

Admiral King said that in considering the chain of command shown in the diagram, it must be remembered that all Subordinate Commanders act as the agents of the Supreme Commander. The authority of Task Force Commanders was complete in respect of their own task forces. It would not be necessary, however, for the Naval Commander always to transmit orders affecting naval forces through the Supreme Commander, and the Task Force Commander to the naval component of the task force. He would be an officer of experience and discretion and would avoid issuing orders which would encroach upon the authority of Task Force Commanders. The channels were not rigid. Taking the example of Husky, he explained that the Air Commander with General Eisenhower would have two main functions apart from advising the Supreme Commander. He would arrange for the air bombardment required to soften the defenses of the island, and command the air forces allotted to this task. He would also answer calls for assistance from the task forces. There would be no objection to such calls being passed direct from the Air Commanders in the task forces to the Air Commander at the main headquarters.

The Committee:
Accepted the basic system of unified command in combined U.S. British operations as set out in C.C.S. 75/3.

U.S. Navy Department (January 22, 1943)

Communiqué No. 258

South Pacific.
During the night of January 20-21, U.S. aircraft carried out several harassing attacks on enemy installations on Ballale Island off the northeast coast of Shortland Island. Results were not observed.

On January 21:

  1. A Japanese plane dropped several bombs on Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides group. There were no casualties to personnel and our installations were not damaged.

  2. During the night of January 21-22, single enemy planes dropped bombs in the vicinity of the airfield at Guadalcanal. Minor damage to installations has been reported and three men were killed and one wounded. Anti-aircraft fire shot down one enemy plane.

U.S. ground forces on Guadalcanal continued mopping up pockets of enemy resistance and made small advances in some sectors.

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