Nurses’ week set to speed enrolling
McNutt urges all to volunteer for military service starting Feb. 7
WACs in Algiers practice barter
Candy and cosmetics bring shoeshines and mending – starch is rarity
McNutt urges all to volunteer for military service starting Feb. 7
Candy and cosmetics bring shoeshines and mending – starch is rarity
Chicago finds out about soup-fin shark, long relished in China – other fish tried
By Kathleen McLaughlin
U.S. State Department (November 26, 1943)
Presumably the principal subject of both conversations was the attitude of Chiang toward the proposed operations in the China-Burma-India Theater.
Moscow, 25 November 1943 Urgent
Personal and secret from the Peoples Commissar of Foreign Affairs V. M. Molotov to the American Ambassador Mr. Harriman.
I thank you for your message from Cairo. General Connolly may address himself through the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires in Teheran to General Arkadiev with respect to questions which interest him regarding coordination of measures. I hope to meet with you soon. Most cordial greetings.
Cairo, 26 November 1943 CCS 408/1 Secret
The British Chiefs of Staff have given careful consideration to the proposal put forward by the United States Chiefs of Staff in CCS 408 that “a Supreme Commander be designated at once to command all United Nations operations against Germany from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.” This proposal has immense political implications and is clearly a matter for the most earnest consideration of the U.S. and British Governments. Nevertheless, the British Chiefs of Staff must say at once that, from the military point of view, they profoundly disagree with the proposal. Their reasons are set out in the paragraphs that follow.
Total war is not an affair of military forces alone, using the word “military” in the widest sense of the term. There are political, economic, industrial, and domestic implications in almost every big war problem. Thus, it seems clear that the Supreme Commander for the war against Germany will have to consult both the U.S. and the British Governments on almost every important question. In fact, it boils down to this, that he will only be able to make a decision without reference to high authority on comparatively minor and strictly military questions, such as the transfer of one or two divisions, or a few squadrons of aircraft, or a few scores of landing craft, from one of his many fronts to another. He will thus be an extra and unnecessary link in the chain of command.
There is no real analogy between the position of Marshal Foch in the last war and the position now contemplated for the Supreme Commander against Germany. Marshal Foch was responsible only for the Western Front and the Italian Front. His authority did not extend to the Salonika Front, the Palestine Front, or the Mesopotamian Front. Under the arrangements now contemplated, the Supreme Commander will have not only OVERLORD and the Italian Front under his authority, but also the Balkan Front and the Turkish Front (if this is opened). There must be some limit to the responsibilities which Allied Governments can delegate to a single soldier and the sphere now proposed seems to exceed these limits considerably.
The United States Chiefs of Staff propose (see paragraph 8c) that the decisions of the Supreme Commander should “be subject to reversal by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.” If the main object of this new arrangement is to insure rapid decisions, it looks as though the above proviso will lead to deplorable consequences. Instances will occur in which the Supreme Commander has issued orders and the troops have marched in accordance with these orders, only to be followed by a reversal of the order by the Combined Chiefs of Staff and consequent confusion. Again, it may happen that the British Chiefs of Staff agree with a decision taken by the Supreme Commander, while the United States Chiefs of Staff totally disagree with it. What happens then? Or again, the Combined Chiefs of Staff may wholeheartedly support on military grounds a decision taken by the Supreme Commander, only to find that one or other of the Governments concerned is not prepared to ratify it. Then what happens?
If the Supreme Commander is going to exercise real control, he will need to assemble the whole paraphernalia of Intelligence, Planning and Administration on an unprecedented scale. This staff will merely be a great pad between the theater commanders and the Combined Chiefs of Staff.
Finally, it is not admitted either that the existing machinery for the higher direction of the war has failed, or that the situation which now confronts us is so inherently different as to demand a revolutionary change.
The conclusion to be drawn from the above arguments is that the Supreme Commander of the war against Germany will never have, under the system of government which now obtains in the USA and U.K., authority to deal with anything but strictly military, and comparatively minor, problems. He will be boosted by the Press and public opinion as a superman who is going to lead the two nations to victory. This is a mere delusion. His position will be a sham. In important matters, he will not be able to do anything more than is now done by the theater commanders.
If the well-tried machinery that has led us safely through the last two years has failed in the smaller problems, it would be better to examine that machinery and see how it could be speeded up and adjusted, rather than to embark upon an entirely novel experiment, which merely makes a cumbrous and unnecessary link in the chain of command, and which will surely lead to disillusionment and disappointment.
|United States||United Kingdom|
|Mr. Winant||Foreign Secretary Eden|
|Mr. McCloy||Mr. Jebb|
November 26, 1943 Secret
Mr. Winant started out by stating our concern, from the point of view of progressing with our planning, over the extent of the jurisdiction of the European Advisory Commission and the early introduction of the political aspect into the cessation of hostility planning. I then outlined to Eden the inadvisability, from the point of view of U.S. participation in the peace and the reconstruction of Europe, of concentrating too much post hostility planning and decision making in London or of removing the military aspect of such planning, at least while the war was going on. Mr. Eden asked whether it was our desire or intention to play down the Moscow Conference agreements in respect to the EAC. I told him that I thought too much had been referred to it as a practical matter for it to absorb at the start and the result might well be a serious lack of progress.
When I touched on the necessity of avoiding even the suggestion of moving all these decisions to London and spoke of the need for indulging American sensitivities on these matters if the U.S. was to be a real participant in the peace, he rather strongly reacted. It was clear that he considered the setting up of the London Commission as an achievement of some proportions; that it had Mr. Hull’s accord and thus the accord of the U. S. government; that whether for better or worse the entire kit and kiboodle had been referred and it would not do to indicate to the Soviets that any attempt was being made to derogate from the jurisdiction of the Commission now. I told him that the U.S., of course, intended to go ahead with the decisions made in Moscow and to bring the Soviets into our councils. This was recognized on all sides as desirable and necessary. The question was a matter of getting on with work that must be done. Already due to the attitude of some agencies in London, the British side of the CCAC, who in themselves were able and reasonable men if given some authority, were completely tongue-tied. The thing to do was to avoid playing up the EAC as the great decider of all post hostility questions; to have the EAC prior to submitting their proposed recommendations to the governments, obtain the comments of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. From there on the recommendations of the EAC can be transmitted to the governments for approval and thence to the Combined Chiefs of Staff as a basis for directives to the commanders in the field. Mr. Eden expressed agreement with this procedure and Mr. Jebb, who was with him, also seemed in favor of this arrangement but indicated to Mr. Eden that “London” would be much opposed, i.e., they wanted to shift the CCAC to London. Although no arrangements were confirmed, Mr. Eden indicated he favored this arrangement and would endeavor to carry it into effect. He also said that he thought it wise that no further pressure be exerted toward shifting the functions of the Combined Committee to London.
Winant spoke of the need for a good staff in London to help him out and Mr. Eden said this was most important. He urged that a good military man be sent over immediately (and a good State Department man). He said that if we would agree to treat the EAC seriously he would see that the tongues and minds of the British representatives on the CCAC would be loosened and that he thought that further pressure to set up a CCAC in London would be removed. We touched on many other related things which led up to this tentative conclusion. The discussion was animated at times, but frank.
In the evening Mr. Jebb came to dinner as did Major Morton who briefs the Prime Minister on these matters. Jebb, who was going farther north and east, said that after talking with Eden further and consulting Redman and others, the general view among them, again subject to “London” (whatever that means) was that an arrangement would be worked out whereby the tentative recommendations of the EAC would be submitted to the Combined Chiefs of Staff for their comment and suggestions before being submitted to the governments; that the Combined Chiefs of Staff could refer the matter to the CCAC for advice and the comments could then be returned to the EAC for final submission to the governments which by that time would have been for all practical purposes already in agreement. Thereafter the translation of the policy into the terms of a directive can be made by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. He urged that when the recommendations were submitted to the Combined Chiefs of Staff that we would not take them apart and start all over again. I assured him that we only wanted to make progress and that I could guarantee we would act expeditiously and reasonably.
I told him that though it might not be advisable to suggest to the Soviet member at the outset that certain matters be carved out of the jurisdiction of the Commission, I did feel as a matter of practice they would find that the Advisory Commission would have enough to do to concentrate on broad matters of policy rather than on details of planning which had better be done at COSSAC Headquarters than either in the EAC or Washington. He agreed. Finally, I told Mr. Jebb that I thought that unless we could make such an arrangement as that outlined we would reach a further impasse and nothing of any substance would result from the London Commission. I indicated to Mr. Eden that Mr. Hull had suggested a Combined Committee to deal with French matters and this immediately produced a favorable reaction. He asked that study be given to the question of how and where it should be set up.
The conference ended with the understanding that on the return of Jebb from the East we should work on an agreement on the respective functions of the EAC, the Combined Committee and COSSAC.
|General Arnold||Generalissimo Chiang|
|Lieutenant General Stilwell||General Shang|
|Lieutenant General Somervell||Lieutenant General Lin|
|Major General Stratemeyer||Lieutenant General Chou|
|Major General Wheeler||Major General Chu|
|Brigadier General Merrill||Colonel Liu|
Cairo, 26 November 1943 Secret
The Conference began with a demand from the Generalissimo to maintain a fixed tonnage of 10,000 tons per month over the hump regardless of any demands which might be made on the equipment to support necessary operations in the South East Asia Command. It was explained to the Generalissimo (1) that all C-46 airplanes are being assigned to this service, (2) that an increase in the efficiency of the service is expected, (3) that efforts are being made to secure 25 C-47 airplanes for Lord [Louis] Mountbatten, and that with these arrangements, the estimated tonnage over the hump would probably not only reach but exceed in due course the 10,000 tons target figure, (4) that the difference between the figure proposed by Lord Mountbatten for the next 7 months, 8,900 tons, and the figures estimated by the Generalissimo would be only 1,100 tons. It was explained that under these circumstances it was possible, even with the diversions asked by Lord Mountbatten, that there might still be 10,000 tons for delivery in China.
The Generalissimo stated that he felt that his requirements and those of Lord Mountbatten in the South East Asia Theater should be divorced and that they should be handled as separate items. It was explained that owing to the nature of the operation and the fact that the operations themselves were designed to push the Japanese back and thus provide for greater safety of the air route that this could not be done. It was also explained that all concerned had the increase in tonnage over the hump very much at heart and that though only 8,900 tons could be promised, that every effort would be made to increase this figure not only to 10,000 tons but to exceed 10,000 tons.
The Generalissimo concluded the conference by saying that he hoped that Lord Mountbatten and his demands could be separated but that he would accept the figures given to him with the understanding that the ATC would devote its best endeavors to securing the greatest possible increase in the tonnage.
H. H. ARNOLD
November 26, 1943, 11:30 a.m. Secret
|and for part of the time|
|Major Putman [Putnam?]||P. R. USAFIME|
The following conclusions were reached:
Each party would process their own material in Cairo under Security conditions, would exchange material and send material to London and Washington under the usual arrangements.
The USA would send their material unprocessed to Washington (Public Relations Bureau, War Dept.). Copies of this material when treated would be sent back to Cairo for MIME.
British material would be processed under Security conditions in Cairo, and “lavenders” would be given to the USA authorities here.
The British material would subsequently be sent to London in the usual way.
Release for pictures
It was agreed that no pictures of any kind should be released until the time of the final release date.
It was agreed, subject to confirmation on the one hand by Mr. Ryan and on the other by Col. McClenahan, that all pictures moving and still taken in connection with the Conference by any of the various official photographers or cinemen should be pooled for all parties concerned and should carry the credit line “United Nations Photographic Pool.”
Transmission by air of messages not yet releasable
It was agreed that messages now being written by correspondents could be conveyed periodically by the air courier service to London (for the British correspondents) and Washington (for the American correspondents) subject to
(1) Censorship here before despatch.
(2) Consignment to the appropriate official authority in the respective countries for holding until the time of release.
(3) Recensorship before release in the event of any new stops being imposed after the messages have left this country.
Arrangements for final release
Mr. Ryan explained the arrangements under consideration. These were:
(a) Release for publication to be at 23.30 hours GMT on “X” Day. This was the hour adopted as standard for important joint announcements London and Washington in the past. Mr. Ryan had been assured by the American correspondents that it was a suitable time for American release.
(b) It would be impossible for the cable service to carry a fraction of the correspondents’ messages within a reasonable time, (e.g. 24 hours) of the start of transmission. The volume of messages could only be handled within a period of 24 hours by wireless transmission and then only by making very special arrangements and suspending certain other normal transmission.
It was therefore proposed that release for transmission by wireless should be at 23.30 hours GMT on X minus 1 day.
It should be realized that this was the moment at which security stopped. Axis monitoring stations would be able to pick up messages sent by this form of transmission.
The present view was that this interval of 24 hours between release for transmission and release for publication would be long enough to get the correspondents’ messages off but short enough to prevent any reproduction in the press or radio of broadcasts sent out by Axis stations based on their pickup of transmissions from Cairo.
(c) It is of the utmost importance that correspondents should have a minimum of 12 hours warning, if at all possible, of the time of release for transmission.
(d) These arrangements to be confirmed by Mr. Ryan (who is in consultation with the Ministry of Information, London) and Col. McClenahan.
Issue of early communiqué
If an early communiqué was issued and it was desired that there should be no reference to the location of the Conference, transmission by wireless would be out of the question and the cable service would have to be used.
There would have to be an interval between the release for transmission by cable and release for publication. This would require further investigation and Mr. Ryan undertook to get into touch with the cable company (The Hon. Cecil Campbell.)
Mr. Ryan felt considerable misgivings as to whether it would prove practicable to issue a communiqué on this basis without in fact “breaking” the story.
27 November, 1943
November 26, 1943
President Roosevelt, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and Prime Minister Churchill, together with their respective military and diplomatic advisers, have completed a conference in North Africa. The following general statement was issued:
The several military missions have agreed upon future military operations against Japan. The three great Allies expressed their resolve to bring unrelenting pressure against their brutal enemies by sea, land and air. This pressure is already rising.
The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent.
With these objects in view the three Allies, in harmony with those of the United Nations at war with Japan, will continue to persevere in the serious and prolonged operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan.
Cairo, November 26, 1943 Secret
On this afternoon Mr. Harry Hopkins handed me a copy of the communiqué to be issued in regard to the Anglo-American-Chinese talks in Cairo and asked me to hold it pending the receipt of instructions from Tehran as to its release. Mr. Hopkins said that the matter of the release had not been decided upon and that I would be given 24 hours’ notice so that the release by the three interested countries might be simultaneous. Mr. Hopkins added that I should notify the Chinese when I got instructions from Tehran. At the conclusion of the conversation, I said that it seemed that all I was to do was to see that the U.S. correspondents in Cairo got the communiqué through OWI and Mr. Hopkins replied in the affirmative.
|United States||United Kingdom|
|Admiral Leahy||General Brooke|
|General Marshall||Air Chief Marshal Portal|
|Admiral King||Admiral of the Fleet Cunningham|
|General Arnold||Field Marshall Dill|
|General Eisenhower||Lieutenant General Ismay|
|Lieutenant General Somervell||General Riddell-Webster|
|Vice Admiral Willson||Admiral Cunningham|
|Rear Admiral Cooke||Air Chief Marshal Tedder|
|Rear Admiral Bieri||General Wilson|
|Rear Admiral Badger||Air Chief Marshal Douglas|
|Major General Sutherland||Vice Admiral Willis|
|Major General Stratemeyer||Major General Whiteley|
|Major General Wheeler||Major General Lewis|
|Major General Handy||Brigadier de Rhé-Philipe|
|Major General Fairchild||Captain Power|
|Major General Wedemeyer||Colonel Lascelles|
|Brigadier General Kuter||Captain Lambe|
|Brigadier General Hansell||Brigadier Sugden|
|Brigadier General Tansey||Air Commodore Elliot|
|Captain Doyle||Brigadier Head|
|Colonel Jenkins||Brigadier McNair|
November 26, 1943, 2:30 p.m. Secret
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the amendments to CCS 411 set out in CCS 411/1 and directed that the amended paper, subsequently published as CCS 411/2, should be forwarded to the Generalissimo via the Supreme Commander SEAC without delay.
Report by Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ
Sir Alan Brooke asked General Eisenhower to give his views with particular reference, firstly, to the question of centralization of command in the Mediterranean, and secondly, to the best ways and means of prosecuting the war in the Mediterranean area.
General Eisenhower said that with regard to the first question, he regarded centralization of command as being absolutely essential. In practice, the air and naval commands were already centralized and he considered the whole command must similarly be coordinated and controlled from one headquarters. With regard to future operations in the Mediterranean, he considered that these had to be looked at under two different assumptions. Firstly, that there would be a full-out effort in the Mediterranean throughout the winter. On this assumption, taking into consideration the Russian advances and the effect of POINTBLANK, Italy was, in his view, the correct place in which to deploy our main forces and the objective should be the Valley of the Po. In no other area could we so well threaten the whole German structure including France, the Balkans and the Reich itself. Here also our air would be closer to vital objectives in Germany. The seven divisions for OVERLORD had all left his theater so that, to implement his suggested course of action, only additional landing craft were needed. It was necessary to keep all that he now had and certain others would be required for certain phases of his operations. His buildup must go on continuously. In addition, it was essential to have enough landing craft to insure that one amphibious division can be always ready to attack. With regard to the timing of operations, it would be quite impossible to reach the Po by 15 January, a date which he believed had been suggested. The fighting was particularly bitter and it was necessary to keep fresh infantry divisions in the front line. Amphibious operations, it must be remembered, depended on weather conditions and therefore the timing of the advances could not be exactly predicted. The next best method of harrying the enemy was to undertake operations in the Aegean. There are sufficient forces in the Mediterranean to take action in this area provided it is not done until after the Po line has been reached. It could then be undertaken while the forces in Italy were reorganizing for thrusts either to the east or west. When the Aegean operations were undertaken it would be necessary to bring Turkey into the war. The French High Command were most anxious to undertake operations into the south of France but these were ruled out since all available landing craft were required for the Italian campaign.
Turning to operations in the Mediterranean, based on the assumption that only limited means were available, General Eisenhower considered that only the line north of Rome could be achieved and that after that he would have to maintain a strategic defensive with strong local offensive action. Lack of landing craft would prevent him from amphibious turning movements designed to cut off enemy forces. The time to turn to the Aegean would be when the line north of Rome had been achieved. German reactions to our occupation of the islands had clearly proved how strongly they resented action on our part in this area. From here the Balkans could be kept aflame; Ploesti would be threatened and the Dardanelles might be opened. Sufficient forces should be used for operations in the Aegean and no unnecessary risks run. He considered that the earlier British occupation of the islands had been right and justified, but the position was now different and strong German reactions could be expected. In either of the two assumptions it was essential to bring Turkey into the war at the moment that the operations in the Aegean were undertaken.
Sir Alan Brooke explained that the date of 15 January had been suggested, not for the capture of the Po line but for that of the Pisa-Rimini line. He asked for General Eisenhower’s views with regard to action in Yugoslavia.
General Eisenhower said that on the assumption that he would advance to the Po line, he would propose action to establish small garrisons in the islands on the eastern coast of the Adriatic from which thrusts as far north as possible could be made into Yugoslavia and the Patriots furnished with arms and equipment. If only the Rome line was reached, it would not be possible to thrust as far up the Adriatic as he would have liked.
General Eisenhower then outlined the program for the buildup of his forces in Italy. He confirmed that the ground forces available to him should be sufficient to reach the Po line. His present strength was the maximum which the poor lines of communication could maintain. It must be remembered that there was no good port north of Naples until Leghorn was reached. With regard to his air force buildup, General Eisenhower said he would like it clearly understood that all of this was not for use in POINTBLANK but much of it took an active part in assisting the land battle. This air force, based in Italy, was twice as effective as if it had remained in Tunisia. Only the initial buildup of the air force was a costly business since, once established, six groups could be maintained for the same tonnage as two divisions.
General Eisenhower stressed the vital importance of continuing the maximum possible operations in an established theater since much time was invariably lost when the scene of action was changed, necessitating, as it did, the arduous task of building up a fresh base.
With regard to supply of equipment to the Yugoslavian guerrillas, one officer had now been placed in charge of these operations and arms captured in North Africa and Sicily were being sent in. Italian equipment captured in Italy was at present being used to equip one Italian parachute division, which was believed to be of good fighting quality, and a further division would possibly also be equipped. He believed that all possible equipment should be sent to Tito since Mikhailovitch’s [Mihailović’s] forces were of relatively little value.
Sir John Cunningham agreed that everything in our power should be done to support Tito, who had some hundred thousand men under his control. The Germans would have great difficulties operating against the guerrillas since their lateral communications were immensely difficult and there was only one poor railway. They would have largely to supply their forces by sea. It would be impossible, therefore, for them to rapidly concentrate against Tito’s forces. He believed that by air and naval action, their seaborne lines of communication could be cut, and in fact, he hoped shortly to be operating destroyers in the Venice-Trieste-Pola area. He questioned whether it would be possible or right to continue to supply Italian equipment since this was rapidly running short.
Air Marshal Tedder said that the present system of air operations into the Balkans worked reasonably well. The tactical commander in Italy was given his targets from the Middle East. He agreed with Sir Charles Portal that when the joint staff under the officer responsible for operations in the Balkans had been set up, coordination of effort would be more satisfactory.
General Eisenhower said that he believed that given 50 percent good weather, he would, once his air forces were firmly established in Italy, be able to almost completely cut the seven German lines of communication into Italy and keep them cut.
Report by Commanders-in-Chief, Middle East
General Wilson, referring to operations in the Aegean, said that it was essential to cut the German iron ring which included Rhodes, Scarpanto, Crete, and Greece. Rhodes was the key to the situation and to capture this, additional equipment would be required from the western Mediterranean. Once Rhodes had fallen, these resources could be returned and the remainder of the operations in the Aegean carried out with the resources available in the Middle East. All of this was based on the assumption that Turkey had entered the war on our side. For Rhodes, one British division including two assault loaded brigades with previous amphibious experience would be required. These could be withdrawn after the capture of Rhodes. The additional forces required included one armored brigade and one parachute brigade, which were available from the Middle East. He considered that Turkey should be asked to take other islands of the Dodecanese. This he felt should be within their power with the possible exception of Lemnos, which the Germans were using as a base and had reinforced. The commitment to Turkey to protect them against air attack, i.e., Operation HARDIHOOD, could be met, with the exception of certain administrative units, without affecting Aegean operations.
Air Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas said that he would require some 17 to 20 squadrons and these could be provided with certain assistance which Air Marshal Tedder could provide. With this, Smyrna and Constantinople could be protected, Rhodes captured, and convoys to the Dardanelles given adequate cover. He considered that the capture of Rhodes was a prerequisite to running convoys since without it unacceptably heavy losses must be expected.
Most of the airports required in Turkey were already completed with the exception of two in the neighborhood of Rhodes, on which steel mats were now being laid. Negotiations were being undertaken with the Turks to enable us to put into Turkey the necessary equipment to provide RAF cover and operation rooms. Only one of the airfields was situated to the west of the Bosphorus, and he believed the Turkish forces, including the two divisions in the neighborhood of airdromes opposite Rhodes were adequate to protect them even against airborne attack.
General Wilson stressed the importance of action in support of the guerrillas as far north as possible in Yugoslavia. The islands on the eastern Adriatic would be a valuable stepping stone to the mainland and would assist in the maintenance of guerrillas. Operations in northern Yugoslavia would constitute a serious threat to the Germans’ rear.
In reply to a question by Admiral Leahy, General Wilson said that the Turks had not got the necessary resources for a full-scale amphibious attack but that he believed that with the assistance of air attack and seaborne bombardment and by using local craft and small landing craft, some of which might have to be provided from the western Mediterranean, the Turks could stage the short shore-to-shore assault required for the capture of certain of the islands.
With regard to Rumania, General Wilson said that he was in touch with resistance groups and that a wireless station had been established in Bucharest. The resistance groups, however, were fearful of the Germans and were taking little action. His knowledge of resistance in Bulgaria was small but he believed this resistance to be growing. He had discussed with General Donovan the possibility of further efforts being made to establish contact with this country.
In reply to a question by General Arnold, Air Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas said that the airfields in Turkey would be ample for the forces he was able to deploy, and consisted of about eight fighter airdromes and six bomber airdromes. Sites had been selected at a reasonable distance back from the coast and all were equipped with hard surfaces except those in the neighborhood of Rhodes, on which work was now in hand.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note with interest of the statements of the Commanders in Chief, North African and Middle East Theaters, and of the resulting discussion.
At this point General D. D. Eisenhower, Admiral Sir John Cunningham, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, General Sir H. Maitland Wilson, Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas, Vice Admiral Sir A. U. Willis, Major General J. F. M. Whiteley, Major General R. H. [G.?] Lewis, Brigadier R. [A. T.] de Rhe Phillipe [de Rhé-Philipe], Captain M. L. Power, RN, Colonel J. H. Lascelles and Colonel R. E. Jenkins, USA, withdrew from the meeting.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 130th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted subject to minor amendments.
Estimate of the Enemy Situation, 1944 – Europe (CCS 300/3)
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the “Estimate of the Enemy Situation, 1944 – Europe,” presented by the United States Chiefs of Staff in CCS 300/3 (SEXTANT).
OVERLORD and the Mediterranean (CCS 409, 410 and 387)
Admiral Leahy said that the United States Chiefs of Staff tentatively accepted the proposals for action in the Mediterranean contained in paragraph 6 of CCS 409 as a basis for discussion with the Soviet Staff.
It was the understanding of the United States Chiefs of Staff that the British proposals would include the opening of the Dardanelles and the capture of Rhodes for which the retention of landing craft in the Mediterranean was essential but that the retention of these landing craft would in no way interfere with the carrying out of Operation BUCCANEER.
Sir Alan Brooke explained that BUCCANEER would not be interfered with provided the date for OVERLORD was put back. The British Chiefs of Staff had prepared a detailed examination of the relationship of OVERLORD, Mediterranean and Aegean operations, and BUCCANEER.
General Marshall explained that the United States Chiefs of Staff tentatively accepted the British proposals for negotiations with the Soviets. He understood that these proposals implied the capture of the Rimini-Pisa line, the capture of Rhodes and the retention of the 68 landing craft until its capture. He understood that Operation Buccaneer would not be interfered with and that further discussion would take place on these proposals when the Combined Chiefs of Staff returned to SEXTANT.
Sir Alan Brooke said that if the capture of Rhodes and Rome and Operation BUCCANEER were carried out, the date of OVERLORD must go back.
General Marshall said that he quite understood this point. He was of the opinion that it was essential to do Operation BUCCANEER, for the reasons that firstly, not only were the forces ready but the operation was acceptable to the Chinese; secondly, it was of vital importance to operations in the Pacific; and, thirdly, for political reasons it could not be interfered with.
In the course of a full discussion the following points were made:
a. Sir Alan Brooke said that it might be necessary to consider earnestly the possibility of putting off Operation BUCCANEER since by so doing the full weight of our resources could be brought to bear on Germany, thus bringing the war as a whole to an end at the earliest possible date. The matter should be looked at from a purely strategical aspect.
b. Sir Charles Portal felt that the Russians might well say that not only did they agree with the proposed course of action outlined by the British Chiefs of Staff and tentatively accepted by the United States Chiefs of Staff but also that they required Operation OVERLORD at the earliest possible date. In this case we must surely consider the possibility of putting off Operation BUCCANEER. He did not believe this operation essential to the land campaign in Burma.
c. Admiral King considered it unsound to bring back landing craft from BUCCANEER. In his view the land campaign in Burma was not complete without Operation BUCCANEER. Our object was to make use of China and her manpower and the delay of a year in achieving this object must most certainly delay the end of the war as a whole.
d. General Marshall stressed the U.S. contribution to the war in Europe. He believed that the suggestion that putting off the Operation BUCCANEER would shorten the war was an overstatement. The United States Chiefs of Staff were most anxious that BUCCANEER should be undertaken. They had gone far to meet the British Chiefs of Staff views but the postponement of BUCCANEER they could not accept.
e. Admiral Leahy said he wished it clearly understood that the United States Chiefs of Staff were not in a position to agree to the abandonment of Operation BUCCANEER. This could only be decided by the President and the Prime Minister.
At this point the Combined Chiefs of Staff continued the meeting in closed session.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed to the unification of command in the Mediterranean as outlined in CCS 387, and that this unification of command should be made effective forthwith.
b. Tentatively accepted paragraph 6b, c, d, e, and f (modified) of CCS 409 as a basis for discussion with the Soviets, subject to the following understandings and modifications:
(1) That these proposals necessitate a delay in the target date for OVERLORD.
(2) That paragraph 6e includes the capture of Rhodes and the retention of certain landing craft in the Mediterranean.
(3) That in paragraph 6f the words “do everything possible to” in the second line be deleted.
(4) That the United States Chiefs of Staff could not accept the abandonment of the BUCCANEER operation; also that if further discussion should show the postponement of BUCCANEER to be desirable, this would need to be taken up with the President and the Prime Minister.
c. Took note of the memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff on the effect of weather on Operation OVERLORD (CCS 410).
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted CCS 407, with certain amendments as a basis for the agenda at the forthcoming conference with the USSR [The amended paper, in which are incorporated the conclusions on this subject reached at CCS 129th Meeting, has been published as CCS 407 (Revised)].
Cairo, 26 November 1943 CCS 407 (revised) Secret
During the forthcoming conference with the Soviets, it is recommended that the following broad lines of action be adopted:
a. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff agree upon the U.S.-British strategy in Europe and seek the approval of the President and Prime Minister before meeting the Soviets.
b. That the Soviets be urged to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations offensive by effective coordination with OVERLORD.
c. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff should agree to consult together before making reply to proposals upon which there has been no previous agreement.
d. That, specifically, an agreed answer be obtained to any Soviet proposals which involve the undertaking of major operations through the Balkans or the Aegean.
e. That a common policy be adopted concerning Turkey, to include briefly the support of the Soviet proposal to force Turkey into the war but to stand firm on the principle that no diversion of forces or supplies for Turkey can be accepted to the prejudice of approved operations elsewhere.
Throughout the deliberation with the Soviets, it should be made clear that the United States and Great Britain are involved in military operations not only in the European Theater but also in the Pacific-Asiatic Theater, and that their heavy commitments of resources throughout the world compel them to decide on operations only after careful analysis of the overall situation.
At the Moscow Conference, the United States and British representatives were primarily engaged in explaining and defending their own position. In the future, the United States and Great Britain should make specific requests on the Soviets.
A proposed agenda is attached as an enclosure.
Coordination of military effort
The coordination of Soviet operations with Anglo-American operations in Europe.
Discuss current and planned military operations in and from Italy.
Turkish action on entry into the war.
Supplies to Russia
Discussion of Soviet capabilities to initiate strategic bombing of targets in Germany or her satellites in extension of POINTBLANK. (Current intelligence indicates German fighter strength is extremely weak on the Russian front – 130 serviceable fighters.)
On the assumption that the USSR will bring up for discussion its entry into the war against Japan after the defeat of Germany, the following should be considered:
a. Request Soviets to furnish combat intelligence information concerning Japan; if agreed to we will present specific questions through the military mission at Moscow.
b. Request Soviets to indicate whether they consider it desirable at this time to set in hand arrangements to base Soviet submarine force in U.S. territory.
c. Request Soviets to indicate what direct or indirect assistance they will be able to give, if it is found possible to launch an attack on the Northern Kuriles.
d. Soviets to indicate what ports, if any, they could allow the Allies to use. Request Soviets to furnish data on ports through Military Mission in order that we may determine the size and type of Naval Task Forces we can employ.
e. Soviets to indicate what air bases, if any, they could allow our air forces to use for operations against Japan, and what facilities, including gasoline and bombs, could be supplied. What air routes to these bases could be provided?
Cairo, 26 November 1943 CCS 407/1 Secret
The Combined Chiefs of Staff at their 131st Meeting, Item 5, agreed that the following items, which are currently under discussion as a result of the Moscow Conference, should be discussed between the United States and British Military Missions in Moscow and the Soviet authorities concerned:
Shuttle bomber bases
(1) When will the USSR be prepared to designate air bases for our use? What are presently available locations, facilities, and capabilities? The United States tentatively desires 10 bases so distributed as to permit shuttle bombing from Italy and United Kingdom.
(2) When may we begin sending the required service personnel into the USSR to the designated bases?
(3) What is Soviet proposal for handling the close operational liaison required?
(4) What signal communications with the United Kingdom and Italy can be provided?
Air transport routes
Request establishment of U.S. Air Transport Service on a minimum frequency basis of one roundtrip weekly on three routes in the following order of priority:
In order that the U.S. may have a direct and independent air line of communications with the USSR
In order that the basic machinery may be set up and be in operation to provide a direct US-USSR aerial route of supply to support any future USSR military air operations.
Primarily to support shuttle bombing operations.
In order to transport munitions and spare parts required in connection with shuttle bombing operations and to connect Moscow with our Mediterranean and SE Asia fronts. This will provide an alternative during the winter months when the northern route (U.S.-U.K.) is not operating regularly.
(1) Request Soviet basic weather ciphers in order to interpret weather broadcasts. The U.S. will furnish weather ciphers desired by the USSR.
(2) Alternatively, if foregoing is not acceptable to the Soviets, U. S. desires weather data on specific areas, using special ciphers as follows:
(a) Shuttle bombing areas.
(b) Tehran transport route; data west of Long. 75°E.
(c) From 60°E. to 160°E (for operations in China).
(d) From 90°E to 180° (for the AlSib route).
(3) Request USSR to indicate the procedure they suggest in the mutual exchange of weather information. We propose exchange of meteorological liaison officers for coordination of technical details and arrangements for distribution of weather codes and ciphers.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff desire their respective missions to make periodic reports to the Combined Chiefs of Staff regarding progress made in the negotiations on the above subjects.
F. B. ROYAL
Cairo, November 26, 1943 CCS 411/2 Secret
Since the Combined Chiefs of Staff are unable to find the 535 additional transport aircraft which are required for the Mandalay plan, it is agreed that the plan presented by Admiral Mountbatten at the First Plenary Session shall be accepted.
The stipulation which the Generalissimo has made that an amphibious operation is to be carried out in March is noted, and will be taken into consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff when amphibious operations in all parts of the world are reviewed in about a week’s time. Meanwhile preparations are being pushed forward in the Southeast Asia Theater for an amphibious operation to meet this date, should approval be subsequently given.
A fleet of adequate strength to cover such an operation and to obtain command of the Bay of Bengal will be assembled by the beginning of March.
The Supreme Commander, Southeast Asia Command, will be authorized to divert not more than an average of 1,100 tons per month from tonnage over the “hump” to the requirements of the Burma campaign. Diversions in excess of this figure may be made by him only to meet sudden and critical emergencies of the battle or by permission of the highest authority. The Air Transport Command will use its utmost energy to raise the efficiency of its operation and increase the “hump” tonnage to a full 10,000 tons per month into China by the late winter and a further increase in the spring.
The Supreme Allied Commander is delegating his command over the Chinese-American Task Force starting from Ledo to Lieutenant General Slim commanding the 14th British Army, until the main body reaches Kamaing, when he will place the force under the command of Lieutenant General Stilwell.
It is the intention to resume the offensive in October 1944, when the monsoon stops; it is, however, too far ahead to decide the precise resources which will be available.
Cairo, 26 November 1943 CCS 400/1 Secret
In CCS 400 the United States Chiefs of Staff have proposed that the U.S. Strategic Air Forces operating from the United Kingdom and from Mediterranean bases, the 8th and 15th Air Forces respectively, should be placed under a single Command – the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe – with a Headquarters in the United Kingdom. The object of this proposal is to achieve the more effective exploitation of U.S. heavy bomber capabilities which, it is hoped, the new Headquarters will secure in two ways:
a. By organizing mutually supporting operations of the two Strategic Air Forces in order to obtain the maximum dispersal of enemy defenses;
b. By enabling advantage to be taken of changing weather and tactical conditions by switching heavy bomber forces quickly from one theater to another.
This proposal affects directly only U.S. heavy bomber forces, and we recognize the ultimate right of the United States Chiefs of Staff to decide the organization of U.S. forces in any theater of operations. We feel bound, however, to record our view that the adoption of this proposal would entail serious disadvantages far outweighing any advantages to be derived from it.
To deal first with the advantages which are expected from the present proposal:
a. Great operational benefit would undoubtedly result if an effective combination of operations in the two theaters could be achieved. The operation of a large force of heavy day bombers is however a considerable undertaking and a period of up to 24 hours is required for the preparation and loading of aircraft and the briefing of crews. Unfortunately, the weather in the European theater is so uncertain that the decision to dispatch heavy bomber forces can only be taken a few hours before the time of takeoff and it is then too late to make changes in targets and the timing of attacks. The conduct of operations in accordance with a settled policy in either theater is therefore a matter of great difficulty and frequently much effort is wasted, both in abortive operations and in standing by for operations which have to be canceled. A fortiori, the detailed coordination of attacks from two bases so far apart as the U.K. and Italy would be still more difficult and would in fact prove impossible. A commander set up to control the two forces would find in practice that he could do no more than insure that the subordinate commanders in each theater worked to a general plan and kept him and each other closely informed of the situation on their own front so that the general plan could be altered as necessary. Coordination of this type can be secured with the present organization without the introduction of a new headquarters.
b. The possibility of switching heavy bomber forces from one theater to another is at first sight an attractive one. In order to obtain full benefit from the plan, it would however be necessary to build up a margin of facilities in the two theaters involving the preparation of heavy bomber airfields, runways, and maintenance depots over and above what is required for the forces already based in the theater, and the locking up of additional maintenance personnel. If these additional facilities were not provided, the serviceability and effectiveness of the heavy bombers would fall considerably as soon as they were transferred and the operations carried out would be on a smaller scale and less effective than if the forces had to remain at their normal bases. The Air Ministry have, in the past, given very careful consideration to this plan but they have been forced to the conclusion that, except on rare occasions, the results would not justify the effort involved. Such occasional transfers of forces as are likely to be profitable can be secured by the present machinery.
c. The provision of the necessary margin of facilities which, if a large transfer of force is envisaged, may be considerable, must of necessity conflict in the U.K. with other service and governmental requirements. In Italy or other active theaters of war they can only be provided at the expense of other service requirements.
There is therefore a potential conflict of interest between the commander of the Strategic Air Force on the one hand and the U.K. Government and theater commanders on the other.
Our conclusion is that the setting up of a new higher headquarters would not achieve the advantages which are claimed from it and would not in fact be any improvement over the existing machinery. It would, moreover, entail certain disadvantages which we consider to be serious, namely the following:
a. The most serious disadvantage is that it would destroy the present arrangements for the close coordination of the 8th Air Force and the RAF including the 2nd Tactical Air Force. This depends for its effectiveness on the fact that general direction over their operations is exercised by the Chief of the Air Staff, RAF. The latter, with his headquarters in London, possesses not only a complete operational staff but is also served by the central Intelligence Staff of the three Services, the Ministry of Economic Warfare, and the Secret Intelligence Service, and is in the closest touch with the Admiralty, Foreign Office, Ministry of Home Security, and other Government departments. The Air Staff is also in constant touch with the Mediterranean Air Command on matters concerned with operations and Intelligence, and very close liaison arrangements have been made between the different commanders in the Mediterranean theater and in the United Kingdom.
The interposition of a new link in the chain of control would, we are convinced, cause a reduction in the efficiency of these arrangements, and the reduction would be even more serious if, as indicated in paragraph 3 of the directive proposed to [in?] CCS 400, the Commanding General of U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe is placed as an interim measure directly under the Combined Chiefs of Staff. This latter proposal would mean the termination of the arrangement agreed to at Casablanca whereby the CAS exercises general direction over the operations of the 8th Air Force in furtherance of the combined bomber offensive and would, in our opinion, be a retrograde step. It would in fact mean that the ultimate control required for the direction of the bomber offensive would have to be effected in Washington rather than as at present in London. Since all the Intelligence and administrative services which are essential for the efficiency of the bomber offensive are centralized in London, there could not fail to be a grave reduction in efficiency from this change.
The final arrangement proposed is that the new Commander should come directly under the Command of the Supreme Allied Commander for Operations in NW Europe. In our opinion, it would be fundamentally wrong in principle that the direction of a large part of the strategic bomber offensive which affects operations on all fronts in the European theater should be exercised by the Theater Commander of any single theater.
b. The new Commander would presumably require a large staff of all kinds in order to exercise operational and the necessary administrative control. We cannot help thinking that the provision of the large numbers of specialized and skilled staff officers needed must be a matter of considerable difficulty at the present time and, since the benefits expected from this proposal are in fact attainable under the present organization, that it would be highly wasteful in skilled manpower.
c. The proposal would also cause serious difficulties in the Mediterranean Air Command not only by a division of operational from administrative responsibility but also because it would mean that the night bomber component of the Mediterranean Strategical Air Force would be served by a different chain of information and would be under a different authority from the day bombing component though operated by the same headquarters staff in the Mediterranean theater. This could only make for confusion.
To summarize, we consider that the present proposal:
a. Would not secure any advantage over the present system of control;
b. Would mean breaking up the present highly integrated system of control, which has achieved considerable success, and the replacement of it by a less closely integrated and less effective system;
c. Would be wasteful in skilled staff.
We recognize however that there is much to be gained by having a single authority charged with the general direction of the heavy bomber offensive against Germany – someone who can interpret the Combined Chiefs of Staff directives by issuing detailed instructions from time to time according to the changing situation and who can exercise a general supervision over all bomber operations against Germany and the administrative support that they require, and over the provision of Intelligence and Tactical information so as to secure the most effective use of the heavy bomber forces engaged in the Combined Bomber Offensive. We do not see how such an authority can be on a lower level than a Chief of Staff since only on this level can the supervising authority keep in touch with all the strategical political and administrative factors which affect the bombing programme. Our conclusion is that the authority best able to exercise this general control is the Chief of the Air Staff. The latter, acting as the agent of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, is already charged with the coordination of the operations of the 8th Air Force and the RAF. This coordination has been of the closest and, in our opinion, has enabled the best possible use to be made of the available forces. It would not be difficult to extend this system to the 15th Air Force by giving the CAS authority to regulate, in conformity with the plans of the Commanders of RAF Bomber Command and the 8th Air Force in this country, the priority of objectives to be attacked by the 15th Air Force. The CAS would also be in a position, subject to the Theater Commander’s assessment of his administrative capacity, to transfer strategical forces from the United Kingdom to the Mediterranean and back if this seemed profitable.
The United States Chiefs of Staff may wish to consider this alternative arrangement to secure the advantages which they have in mind in putting forward their present proposal.
Algiers, 26 November 1943 Secret
An extract of a letter received today by the Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces, from General Giraud, is quoted for the information of the Allied Chiefs of Staff and such action as they desire to take:
The conversation which I had with you this morning has confirmed my conviction that the point of view of the French High Command should be explained at the Cairo Conference, before any decision determines definitely the conduct of operations in Western Europe.
Indeed, if France is to be the theater of new operations, you will understand, I am sure, how anxious I am to contribute to the studying of these operations with all the competence which a thorough knowledge of our territory has given me, and also to take my share of responsibility in the operation where the use of underground forces and resistance groups share[s] the preponderant role.
If it is not considered necessary that I go personally to this Conference, though I do hold myself at the disposal of President Roosevelt and of the British Prime Minister, I would consider it most useful to have one officer of my staff present to explain my views before the Allied Chiefs of Staff.
In the event where such a solution would not be possible, I do rely upon you to defend the interests of France and the French Army with the friendship and understanding which you have always shown us.
Cairo, November 26, 1943
Dear Harry: Herewith is a memorandum that Averill asked me to prepare for you this morning.
I am grateful to you for your kindnesses to me this morning and for the opportunity that it gave me to put a few of the significant issues that we face in this area.
You know that at any time I am at yours and the Boss’s beck and call for anything.
JAMES M. LANDIS
Of course, it is impossible to obtain absolutely accurate figures in view of the lack of statistical information in Iran, but these figures I think represent the situation fairly accurately on consumer goods.
As of January 1, 1943, the total quantity of all consumer goods, not including cereals and other, bulk foodstuffs, in all Persian warehouses at the beginning of the year was 80,000 tons. Recent information indicates that between 15,000 to 18,000 tons are still at Persian Gulf ports alone. In an attached memorandum, I am breaking down the 80,000 tons of the various different categories. I can give you an even more detailed breakdown but I do not believe that this is necessary for your purposes.
The difficulty in Iran lies in the existence of an adequate distribution system and not in the absence of consumer goods. If you have time, go down to the central bazaars in Tehran and not only look at the goods that are available there in the shops but go in behind to the warehouses that are in the rear of these shops and see the masses of goods that are piled up there. Of course, the prices are quite beyond reach. Some economic theorists believe that it might be advisable to throw consumer goods into Iran in order to break these black-market prices. But the answer to that is that we have neither the tonnage nor the goods to create surpluses of such a size that black market prices would be permanently broken.
I might add a little about the truck situation. I think it is true that there are perhaps less trucks in Iran than there were in 1938, but not very many less. We are just compiling figures on this now. But the trucks that are in Iran are neither kept at jobs that are essential nor are they kept in repair. Of some 400 Lend-Lease trucks in Tehran I saw 83 of them in one yard alone that were laid up because of lack of repair facilities. Here again the trouble is not spare parts but the want of efficient management.
Attached herewith are data for specific items of consumer goods – the important ones being sugar, tea, drugs and cotton piece goods.
The following data is given for specific items:
(a) Sugar (October 30)
|UKCC Stocks||6500 tons|
|Government Stocks||24000 tons|
MESC has now programmed for Iran during 1944, 5000 tons per month.
(b) Tea (October 30)
Government Stocks 800 tons.
An additional 2,000 tons are to be imported during November and December, with a total 1944 program of 6,800 tons. This latter figure represents 90% of pre-war consumption.
(c) Coffee: Stocks unknown, but believed to be extremely small. The 1944 program is set for a total of 300 tons.
(d) Cocoa: None heretofore furnished by MESC. 1944 program includes 100 tons which is now available in Palestine for shipment at any time.
(e) Whiskey and gin: Stocks negligible since there was no quota for 1942-43. Present recommendations are for 1944 quota of 6,600 cases subject to approval by London and Washington.
(f) Drugs and pharmaceuticals: Lend-Lease Representative MacDonald estimates sufficient supply for one year, not including items now under procurement. In addition to stocks held by the Government, 85 tons of drugs and instruments have been held in ports for over a year.
(g) Cigarettes and tobacco: There are no imports of cigarettes since Iran is self-sufficient. At present they have on hand a nine months’ stock of unmanufactured cigarette tobacco, and a seven months’ stock of unmanufactured pipe tobacco.
(h) Cotton piecegoods: Estimated stocks on hand September 7: 21,263 bales exclusive of very considerable stocks held by private merchants, and the products of Iranian Government textile factories (which have held back from the distribution authorities more than 4,500 bales during the past eight months).
Estimated stocks of cotton piecegoods as at January 1, 1943 is 5,000 tons, of which 80% is probably Government.
(i) Woolen piecegoods: Iran is self-sufficient generally, but a quota of 80 tons has been assigned for 1944 in order to provide cheap clothing for low-paid Government servants. This, however, is subject to non-interference with minimum demands of other territories.
(j) Toothbrushes: Stocks believed to be extremely low.
(k) Bicycles: 500 were recently imported but are believed to have been sold to users, making a total of 22,616 in operation with no unsold stocks.
(l) Glassware and crockery: Reports indicate that “two warehouses are full” of glassware. Iran is self-sufficient in crockery and in fact has offered to export to other countries at high prices.
Washington, November 26, 1943
Cablegram for the President:
Increased landing craft program submitted Wednesday possible only if we immediately issue directive giving priority over all programs any kind. Please wire whether I shall have Nelson issue directive.
|United States||United Kingdom||China|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill||Generalissimo Chiang|
|Ambassador Harriman||Foreign Secretary Eden||Madame Chiang|
|Sir Alexander Cadogan|
Cairo, 26 November 1943 Secret Op priority
Thank you much for your message of November 23 informing me of your intention to reach Teheran on the 28th or 29th. I expect to reach there on the 27th. It will be good to see you.
Cairo, 26 November 1943
In reply to your message transmitted as White 38, I am convinced that this is not the time to make any final decisions or plans relating to Civil Affairs for France. The whole situation in North Africa is complicated but the general attitude of the Committee and especially de Gaulle is shown in the Lebanon affair. De Gaulle is now claiming the right to speak for all of France and is talking openly about how he intends to set up his government in France as soon as the Allies get in there.
I am increasingly inclined to the thought that the occupation when it takes place should be a wholly military occupation.
I see no need for any further discussion at this time, though I may discuss it informally when I see the Russians.
I saw Vishinsky four days ago and I don’t believe the Russians will press for any immediate action. I am showing this to Churchill and I hope we can hold up the whole matter until we can see the picture more clearly.