FBI says microfilm process was used to transmit plans
Communists’ effort to join new council rolls anti-Red faction
The Pittsburgh Press (January 22, 1943)
By Ernie Pyle
A forward airdrome in French North Africa – (Jan. 21)
Our airmen over here have been dishing it out to the Germans; on the other hand, they have been taking it too. Our ratio of losses is vastly lower than that of the Germans, yet our boys have had to fly constantly against terrible opposition. It has made quick veterans out of them. They have gone through more here in Africa than they ever did on missions to Europe from English bases.
It is generally agreed among airmen that the bombing runup over Bizerte is one of the hottest spots in the world to fly through. It lasts less than a minute, but you have to fly straight and steady through an absolute cloudburst of noise and black smoke puffs – little black puffs of death everywhere you look – and after a few of those, something begins to jump inside you.
There is no lack of bravery among our bomber and fighter pilots. But also, they are human beings, and I doubt if there’s one among them who wouldn’t like to be sent home. The English have long had a system of resting aircrewmen after a certain number of missions over enemy territory. This consists of transferring such men to non-combatant flying for several months, after which they go back for another tour of combat duty. Rumors are rampant among our fliers that we will soon have such a system.
Many of our pilots have executed as many as 25 missions, and are certainly due for a rest of some kind soon. They rest all their hope in a belief that they would be transferred back to America. Wishfulness becomes almost fact, and you hear pilot gunners say:
I’ve got half enough trips now to go home.
I’ve got two-thirds enough.
The fact is that no permanent system of posting the men for leave or transfer has been worked out yet. But some crews are going home very soon. In fact, they may be there by the time you read this. They are going back for a much-deserved respite from combat, and to train and organize new crews. After several months they will probably return and start a second tour of combat missions. Many British pilots are now on their third tour of combat duty.
It is unlikely that our air crews will ever have a system whereby a certain number of missions will earn a one-way ticket home. It would be wonderful for them to know they could quit the front forever after 30 missions and spend the rest of the war working at home, but airmen will be needed too badly ever to permit that. It is more likely that some crews will be sent home just for a while and that others will take their rest periods over here.
There are discussions of rest camps in the mountains, and recreation centers staffed in such a way as to give the men some American female companionship – that being one of the most important lacks for soldiers on foreign soil. But whatever the system, and whatever the number of missions before posting, there’ll be a wild rush for the planes when the magic last mission comes up. If we are working our men hard, we can take comfort from the fact that the Germans are working theirs hard too.
New bombers and fighters arrive at this field several times a week, in little groups. We hear reports that absolute floods of planes are on the way, that planes are backed up all along the route clear to Miami. I talked to one crew that was ready to go into action here only six days after leaving Connecticut.
Also, specialists from Washington pop in on quick flying trips, stay a few days, and head back across the ocean to give firsthand information on war needs at the front. I am sure that what they see must have made their eyes pop out of their heads. Things are being done over here that just aren’t possible on paper.
U.S. State Department (January 22, 1943)
|United States||United Kingdom|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill|
|Major General Patton, Captain McCrea|
|Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt|
|Sultan Mohammed V||General Noguès|
|Grand Vizier Mohammed el Mokhri|
|Crown Prince Moulay Hassan|
The conversation ranged over the problems of Morocco’s post-war economic development, the possibilities of American participation in Moroccan development programs, and the colonial question as it applied to Morocco. The President expressed to the Sultan his sympathy with Morocco’s aspirations for independence and spoke of possible American-Moroccan economic cooperation after the war.
|Mr. Murphy||General de Gaulle|
Murphy and de Gaulle conversed for half an hour prior to the latter’s meeting with Roosevelt. Murphy attempted to explain Roosevelt’s policy toward France and to convince de Gaulle of the necessity of his reaching an understanding with Giraud. After hearing Murphy’s exposition, de Gaulle concluded the meeting by explaining that the French National Committee in London had not empowered him to make any “binding decisions” while attending the Conference.
|President Roosevelt||General de Gaulle|
Washington, 4 February 1943. Secret
The President met General de Gaulle with much cordiality and, after the exchange of pleasantries, proceeded to tell General de Gaulle the reason for his, the President’s and the Prime Minister’s visit to North Africa. The President stated that after the occupation of Morocco had become an accomplished fact, it seemed most necessary to him, late in 1942, that plans be made for the calendar year 1943. The President stated that it had originally been intended that Mr. Stalin attend the conference, but that due to the urgency of the Russian Campaign and the fact that Mr. Stalin occupied the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces, he had been compelled to decline the invitation to be present. In brief, the President remarked that the whole purpose of his meeting with Mr. Churchill was “to get on with the war,” and supply an answer to the question:
Where do we go from here?
The President proceeded to discuss the political situation in North Africa, stating that he recognized that there existed many points of view, almost as many as there were people involved, and that accordingly, there were some conflicting thoughts. The President added, however, that so far as he was able to determine, there were no substantial differences which could not be readily reconciled.
The President stated that he supposed that the collaboration on the part of General Eisenhower with Admiral Darlan had been the source of some wonderment to General de Gaulle. Continuing, the President stated that he had felt from the outset that the problem of North Africa should be regarded as a military one and that the political situation should be entirely incident to the military situation. General Eisenhower had found that Admiral Darlan was very willing to collaborate with the end in view of bringing as much pressure as possible to bear on the enemy at the earliest possible moment. To this end General Eisenhower expressed his willingness to collaborate to the utmost with Admiral Darlan. The President stated that he thoroughly approved of General Eisenhower’s decision in this matter and that real progress was being made when the Admiral met his untimely death.
At this point General de Gaulle evidently made some remark to the President with reference to the sovereignty of French Morocco. The President continued, stating that the sovereignty of the occupied territory was not under consideration, that none of the contenders for power in North Africa had the right to say that he, and only he, represented the sovereignty of France. The President pointed out that the sovereignty of France, as in our country, rested with the people, but that unfortunately the people of France were not now in a position to exercise that sovereignty. It was, therefore, necessary for the military commander in the area to accept the political situation as he found it and to collaborate with those in authority in the country at the time that the occupation took place so long as those in authority chose to be of assistance to the military commander. The President stated that any other course of action would have been indefensive [indefensible].
The President again alluded to the lack of power on the part of the French people at this time to assert their sovereignty. The President pointed out that it was, therefore, necessary to resort to the legal analogy of “trusteeship” and that it was his view that the Allied Nations fighting in French territory at the moment were fighting for the liberation of France and that they should hold the political situation in “trusteeship” for the French people. In other words, the President stated that France is in the position of a little child unable to look out and fend for itself and that in such a case, a court would appoint a trustee to do the necessary. The President stated that he had been twice in consultation with General Giraud and that General Giraud was very definite on the one point that mattered; namely, “to get on with the war.” The President further remarked that General Giraud recognized fully the conflicting political situation, but stated that he would, under no circumstances, let it divert him from the immediate and urgent task of freeing French territory of the enemy.
The President stated that following the Civil War in our home country, there was conflict of political thought and that while many mistakes were made, nevertheless, the people realized that personal pride and personal prejudices must often be subordinated for the good of the country as a whole, and the contending French leaders could well follow such a program. The only course of action that would save France, said the President, was for all of her loyal sons to unite to defeat the enemy, and that when the war was ended, victorious France could once again assert the political sovereignty which was hers over her homeland and her empire. At such a time all political considerations would be laid before the sovereign people themselves and that by the use of the democratic processes inherent throughout France and its empire, political differences would be resolved.
After about 20 minutes of conversation, General de Gaulle, with some show of cordiality withdrew.
JOHN L. McCREA
Captain, U.S. Navy
|United States||United Kingdom|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill|
|Mr. Hopkins||Mr. Macmillan|
|Mr. Murphy||Mr. Mack|
Friday, 22 January
Mr. Hopkins was in conference with the Prime Minister from 9:45 until 11:55 a.m., returning just before noon in order to be present when the President and the Prime Minister were photographed with the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Several photographs were taken on the terrace of the President’s villa, and then the President bestowed the Congressional Medal of Honor on Brigadier General William H. Wilbur, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action during the landing at Fedala on November 8, 1942. Under heavy fire, General Wilbur had succeeded in passing through the French lines in order to deliver certain important letters to French generals some 16 miles to the rear, and later, while returning to his own troops, had personally led a group of tanks which destroyed a French artillery unit observed to be effectively shelling our positions. The President made the presentation in the presence of the Prime Minister, General Marshall, and General Patton, and upon the conclusion of the ceremony extended his personal congratulations to General Wilbur, as did the Prime Minister and Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.
The President and General Marshall lunched together at the President’s villa, no others being present. General Marshall departed at 2:30 p.m.
During the late afternoon, Mr. Harriman and Mr. Murphy conferred with the President, and Mr. Hopkins, separately and jointly.
The Sultan of Morocco had taken great pleasure in accepting the President’s dinner invitation which Captain McCrea had delivered at Rabat the day before. He arrived at the President’s villa at 7:40 together with his early ’teen age son, the Heir Apparent, the Grand Vizier, and his Chief of Protocol.
The Sultan and his entourage were magnificently attired in white silk robes and came bearing several presents – a gold-mounted dagger for the President in a beautiful inlaid teakwood case, and two golden bracelets and a high golden tiara for Mrs. Roosevelt. The President presented the Sultan with a personally-inscribed photograph of himself, in a beautiful heavy silver frame, engraved at the top with the seal of the President of the United States.
No alcoholic beverages were served before, during, or after the dinner, and care had been taken that no pork or pork products were served since these items are forbidden to true Mohammedans.
The dinner list was composed of the following list:
The Sultan and his party left at 10:10 p.m. and were followed shortly thereafter by the Prime Minister, General Noguès, and General Patton.
General Charles de Gaulle had arrived in Casablanca from London at noon today, had lunched with General Giraud, and at 6:30 p.m. had kept an appointment with Prime Minister Churchill. These two conferred until the latter had to depart for dinner with the President and the Sultan of Morocco. General de Gaulle talked with the President from 10:20 until 10:55 p.m. Information as to the substance of the conversation between the President and General de Gaulle is contained in notes recorded separately by Captain McCrea.
Following the departure of General de Gaulle at 10:55, the Prime Minister and Mr. Macmillan, plus the latter’s secretary, Mr. Mack, called on the President at 11:15 and conferred with him, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Hopkins until 12:30 a.m.
The President retired a half hour after the Prime Minister, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Macmillan, and Mr. Mack departed.
U.S. State Department (January 23, 1943)
|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 Wedemeyer||Lieutenant General Ismay|
|Commander Libby||Major General Kennedy|
|Air Vice Marshal Slessor|
|Air Vice Marshal Inglis|
|Brigadier General Deane|
January 23, 1943, 10 a.m. Secret
General Somervell said that his paper had been prepared in collaboration with Lord Leathers, and the figures of U.S. troops to arrive in the United Kingdom in 1943 were dependent on certain assistance being provided by the British. A figure of 50,000 men per division had been taken as a basis of calculation, but this was very high owing to the inclusion of a large overhead in the first half year. The figures would be reduced to about 40,000 in the latter part of the year. In this event, the total number of divisions might rise from fifteen to nineteen by the end of the year. Every means would be used of increasing the number of troops shipped by additional loadings in personnel ships during the summer months and the fitting of more cargo ships for troop carrying.
Took note of paper C.C.S. 172.
(Previous reference C.C.S. 67th Meeting, Item 3)
General Marshall said that the proposals in the paper by the British Joint Planning Staff were acceptable to the U.S. Chiefs of Staff subject to the following comments:
It appeared that the availability of the British airborne division referred to in paragraph 4 was now doubtful in view of the demands of Husky. The dispatch of an American airborne division to the United Kingdom, possibly in June, was, therefore, being considered by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. The first airborne division which would be ready for overseas would be required for Husky. The chief difficulty lay in the provision of the necessary air transports, but these could be moved across to the U.K. more quickly than the personnel, who would have to go by sea.
The U.S. Chiefs of Staff considered it most desirable that any operation of the type mentioned in paragraph 2 (a) of the paper, e.g., against the Channel Islands, should be coordinated in time with Husky.
As regards the larger operation against the Cotentin Peninsula, for which the target date given in paragraph 19 (b) was August 1st, it must be made clear that the plan was only to be based on the U.S. resources available at that time in the United Kingdom. First priority was given to Husky, and the U.S. did not wish to accept any additional commitment for operation Hadrian beyond what was at present envisaged. It was highly improbable that any U.S. landing craft crews would be available for operations from the United Kingdom this summer.
Sir Alan Brooke said that, as a result of the decision on Husky, paragraph 4 was not now correct. There would only be 11 British divisions and a part of one British airborne division available.
Approved the proposals contained in C.C.S. 167 subject to the reservations of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff recorded above.
a) Approved the draft submitted by the Secretaries, subject to minor amendments agreed in the discussion, and the inclusion of a paragraph on the Bolero build-up based on C.C.S. 172.
b) Instructed the Secretaries to prepare and submit a final draft forthwith.
General Marshall proposed certain amendments to the text of the draft directive, which were accepted.
Approved the directive as amended and instructed the Secretaries to transmit it to General Eisenhower.
Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the Admiralty had been asked to complete another 160 LCA during the next four months to provide American requirements for Husky and training. He might have to send British LCA from Force J (the Channel Assault Force) for the U.S. share of Husky, but it was essential that these should be replaced in time to enable cross-channel operations to be undertaken this summer. All LCA engines come from America; and he would, therefore, require 400 Scripps-Ford conversion engines at the rate of 100 a month for the next four months. Each craft had two engines, and 25 percent spares were required. It was of great importance that the Channel Assault Force should be kept in being, even though temporarily short of LCA to make up U.S. requirements. Otherwise, there would be no force available for cross-channel operations. Once broken up, this force would be very difficult to reform again.
Admiral King said that no firm promise could be given that this large number of engines would be provided from the U.S. where production resources were already strained. He undertook to see what could be done.
a) Agreed that it was most desirable for the Channel Assault Force to be kept in being for cross-channel operations this summer.
b) Took note that the U.S. would endeavor to provide the necessary engines for any LCA hulls produced in Great Britain during the coming months.
|Mr. Murphy||General Giraud|
Casablanca, January 22 , 1943.
Dear Harry: Giraud had a long talk with Catroux this morning after which he told me that he had found Catroux’ attitude helpful and understanding. In essence Giraud told Catroux for the information of de Gaulle that what Giraud proposed is that Giraud remain Commander in Chief of all French armed forces as a member and titular head of a French War Committee. The Committee would include de Gaulle as a High Commissioner or Commission[er] who would have the direction of the affairs of the territories which he brings into the combination. The Committee would include a third person, possibly General George, as High Commissioner or Commissioner having supervision of North and West Africa. Catroux would be the Committee’s Director of Foreign Affairs, and General Valin – who is also with de Gaulle, would be in charge of Propaganda. Other de Gaulle people would be included one way or another in the setup. Giraud, de Gaulle and George would make their headquarters at Algiers. The military character of the organization would be emphasized – its primary purpose waging the war against the Axis – stressing political calm now during the military operation, and the fact that the French people must be left the decision of the eventual form of French Government.
Under the War Committee would be the Directory or Committee of Governors of the several territories. Under that eventually a consultative body of representative civilians from those territories to be called for example the Federal Council.
Giraud says that he looks at this matter as a matter of plain common sense – there cannot be two bosses in this area if we are to get on with the war. On the other hand, he wants to play ball with de Gaulle and to respect his sensibilities. When de Gaulle assumes to talk for France and of conditions in France, Giraud points out that he has lived there much more recently than de Gaulle where Giraud was in touch with the underground organizations. He feels that possibly de Gaulle may confuse his idea of his own popularity with the French people and the latter’s hatred of the Germans.
General George is still in France and will probably be smuggled out.
Giraud is lunching with de Gaulle and will have a long tete-a-tete after lunch.
|Mr. Hopkins||Grand Vizier el Mokhri|
|Brigadier General Wilbur||Si Mammeri|
January 23, 1943
The Grand Vizier made it clear that the matters to be discussed must be made known only to the President and that no power other than the U.S. should know of the interview. Unless the above could be agreed upon it were better not to discuss anything.
Mr. Hopkins assured the G.V. that his desires would be completely respected and that matters to be discussed would be for the President’s ear only.
The G.V. stated that there were four questions to be presented to the President for his consideration.
His Majesty the Sultan has heard of the conference between Gen. Giraud and Gen. de Gaulle now taking place. France itself is insecure and has turned first this way then that. Since Nov. 8 relations with the French have been troubled due to the existence of many factions. The Sultan has no complaint to make against Gen. Nogues. He is an able administrator and his relations with the Sultan, with the Sultan’s government and with the people have been excellent. But since Nov. 8, when Gen. Noguès has proposed some line of action, almost immediately some de Gaullist or Vichy group has opposed it.
Due to all of the above the Sultan is worried. He has welcomed the arrival of U.S. troops with joy; but will the joy continue? What are the intentions of the U.S. in regard to Morocco? What relations are to be established with the U.S.? In order to determine his future policy the Sultan would like to know the permanent policy of the U.S. in regard to Morocco.
The Jews have never been the predominant people in Morocco. In numbers and in influence they have always been definitely second. They have been well treated by the Moslems. When the German Armistice Commission arrived in Morocco they at first insisted that the Jews in Morocco should be treated the same as they are in Germany. This the Sultan steadfastly refused to do.
The existing situation has been the result of centuries of living together. The Moslems need the Jews and the Jews need the Moslems.
There is no Jewish question in Morocco and will be none if matters are left as they are now. Some Jews thought that the arrival of U.S. troops would mean the placing of Jews in positions of authority over the Moslems. This must not be.
Morocco is greatly in need of supplies of certain foods, clothing, machines, etc. The prestige of the U.S. has been drawn into this question somewhat as there have been statements to the effect that needed goods would arrive. It is hoped that the very evident needs of Morocco can be supplied at an early date.
The Sultan is certain that the war will end in a victory for the U.S. This victory will be followed by a treaty of peace. When the time arrives to discuss the conditions of the peace it is the Sultan’s intention to throw himself in the arms of Mr. Roosevelt. Provided Mr. Roosevelt will accept him and his country.
If Mr. Roosevelt accepts the Sultan proposes to hold a plebiscite of his people. The Sultan is certain that all his people both in French and Spanish Morocco will be in agreement and wish to place their future in Mr. Roosevelt’s hands.
The Grand Vizier stated that this last subject was one concerning which he requested that absolute secrecy be maintained, that he desired that it be presented only to Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Hopkins stated that it would be for Mr. Roosevelt’s ears alone.
Mr. Hopkins stated that he could make a general reply now as he is thoroughly familiar with Mr. Roosevelt’s views.
Mr. Roosevelt believes that this war is a life and death struggle. For the present all efforts must be devoted to beating Germany, Italy, and Japan.
We believe that we will succeed and that complete victory will be gained.
Indicated by plane production.
The war will be pursued until Germany Italy and Japan agree to unconditional surrender.
The President is aware of the difficulties now confronting Morocco. He realizes the situation the Sultan was in when the German Armistice Commission attempted to force him to comply with their demands. The Sultan proved himself to be a man of character and force and the President honors him for it and knows him to be a great man.
In the past armies have come into countries and after peace was restored have remained under one pretext or another. The American army will not remain in Morocco.
Powerful countries have exploited smaller countries; wealth and resources have been siphoned out for the benefit of the powerful country. Mr. Hopkins wished the G.V. to assure the Sultan that it is not the intention of the U.S. to exploit Morocco. It is hoped that closer economic relations can be established as airplanes and improved sea transport will bring the two countries closer together.
The President feels that many peoples of the world have not had their rightful share of the good things of the world. He feels that they can and will have them after the victory has been gained.
The President feels that there is no reason to change the present government of Morocco and has no intention of forcing other changes on any people.
Casablanca was selected for the conference somewhat by chance. It should prove beneficial to Morocco for it has enabled the President to see Morocco and meet the Sultan. The President has been profoundly impressed, and his visit will be of great benefit for he has become a warm friend of the Sultan and his country.
Mr. Hopkins stated that he could not give a final answer to all the questions; that with reference to supplies for the civilian population, they will be sent but military needs must come first.
The President knows that the people of Morocco are concerned. They should not be unduly so. The final outcome can be awaited with certainty.
Mr. Hopkins thanked the Grand Vizier for his frankness and stated that he would give the President a full and exact report of the discussion.
W. H. WILBUR
|Mr. Murphy||General de Gaulle|
This meeting was concerned with the effort to resolve the conflict between de Gaulle and Giraud. De Gaulle says that he informed Murphy that it had not been possible to reach an agreement with Giraud regarding the unity of French liberation forces. De Gaulle also states that Murphy informed him at this time that Roosevelt and Giraud “had just signed an agreement” providing for deliveries of weapons and supplies to Giraud’s forces in North Africa and the recognition of Giraud as military and civil commander in Africa.
|United States||United Kingdom|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill|
|Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt|
According to Elliott Roosevelt, it was in the course of this luncheon that the phrase “unconditional surrender” was “born”. Elliott Roosevelt recalls that it was the President, rather than the Prime Minister, who first used the term. It was strongly approved by Hopkins and accepted by the Prime Minister. The President appeared to be especially impressed with the beneficial effect the phrase would have on the Russians. It is probable that the original “unconditional surrender” discussion between the President and the Prime Minister which Elliott Roosevelt recalls as occurring on January 23 actually had taken place some days earlier. On January 18 the Prime Minister had already suggested the preparation of a statement to the press using the phrase “unconditional surrender.”
U.S. Navy Department (January 23, 1943)
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter NATSEK (WYP-170) has been overdue in the North Atlantic for several weeks and must be presumed to be lost. The next of kin of personnel in the NATSEK have been notified.
U.S. forces on Guadalcanal Island continue mopping up and patrol operations.
The U.S. Coast Guard cutter NATSEK was built by the Snow Shipbuilding Corporation, Rockland, Maine, in 1941 and was placed in commission in June 1942. The cutter, which bore the Eskimo name for Fjord Seal, was 116.9 feet in length with a beam of 23.16 feet, and a draft of 11.8 feet. Her gross tonnage was 225 tons, and her net tonnage was 134.
Brooklyn Eagle (January 23, 1943)
Yanks, French halt Germans’ Tunisian drive
Only handful of hungry, tattered foes left of original 15,000