Poll: Voters explain their shifting to Republicans
Many blame incompetent and dictatorial home front management
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion
Many blame incompetent and dictatorial home front management
By George Gallup, Director, American Institute of Public Opinion
Relief will ‘fulfill duty to suffering brethren,’ they tell Senate
Committee continually revising military program, Budget Director declares in announcing cut in deficit
Aim in next year will be to cut Japan off from empire
By Sandor S. Klein, United Press staff writer
Makin, Gilbert Islands – (Nov. 23, delayed)
Five Japanese officers disemboweled themselves with their samurai swords at a tank trap east of this shattered town today when their troops broke and fled before the tanks and bayonets of the Shamrock Battalion of New York’s Fighting 69th Regiment.
The “Fighting Irish” swept on past the abandoned tank trap and its dead defenders in pursuit of a beaten enemy, moving eastward through the tiny island at the rate of a mile an hour.
Jap snipers and suicide squads battled desperately from a maze of pillboxes and foxholes, but the suicide of the five officers showed that all organized resistance was ended.
Allies now only nibbling at the fringes of enemy territory
By A. T. Steele
Poison gas used again by enemy in battle for Changteh, Chungking communiqué says
Greatest era in industrial history possible, shipbuilder says
By Montgomery Wright, North American Newspaper Alliance
Gilberts battle provides Pacific War blueprint
By Henry Keys, London Daily Express writer
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (UP) – (Nov. 26)
The American seizure of the Gilbert Islands from the Japanese is a blueprint on the road to Tokyo. The battle for Tarawa, the fiercest, bloodiest and most ruthless I have seen in two years of the Pacific War, showed how long hard and costly that war will be.
As it was, we won by the narrowest of margins. During the heat of battle. RAdm. Harry Hill, who commanded the operations told me that if the enemy had been able to sink only one of our transports, we might well have suffered a most humiliating and galling defeat.
Colossal force massed
That this didn’t happen is solely because the United States massed such a colossal naval force that the Japanese Navy didn’t dare come out at the critical moment. Also, out air strength was so great – more than 1,000 planes – that we were able to pound and neutralize Japan’s air bases in the Marshalls only a few hundred miles away.
The greatest number of enemy aircraft to show up was six planes which in darkness on three mornings made sneak raids in which I saw them bomb their own troop positions.
The vastness of preparation for the fight was brought home to me in a dramatic talk with Adm. Hill and the Marine commander, Maj. Gen. Julian C. Smith, on the signal bridge of the flagship.
Adm. Hill said:
Victory here won’t be a matter of luck. The Japanese have made this the hardest nut any naval or military commander has ever been ordered to crack. We are going to win because we have the force. Back of that force we have brilliant men. I mean the American High Command and the big three out here in the Gilberts now – VAdm. Raymond A. Spruance, who helped him at Midway; RAdm. Richmond Kelly Turner, who directed most of the Solomons landings, and Maj. Gen. Holland Smith. The High Command has given us all they have,
Look at all those battleships, cruisers, destroyers and transports lying dead in the water waiting for those magnificent Marines with rifle and bayonet to clean up that island. Believe me, we couldn’t have done it if our Navy had not been out there in front of us.
Right now, we on this bridge are looking at the greatest and most terrible scrap America ever has been in and yet the real fight isn’t here at Tarawa. Right now, it’s spread over millions of square miles of the Pacific.
It’s a big picture, beautifully put together, success here isn’t due to the Navy, Army, Marines or their air forces. It’s due to the greatest thing America has ever achieved – unity of command.
I am running this particularly little bit of the whole show. Responsibility for everything is mine not because I am a Navy man but because the High Command considered this to be a job for an admiral and they picked me. Gen. smith, who is shortly leaving this ship to pitch in there with his Marines, has given me everything he’s got – loyalty, friendship and hard work and there’s been a hell of a lot of hard work put into this thing.
All the airpower you see operating here is doing what I want it to do and what the air people might think it should do, that airpower comes to me by cooperation because all the men who matter are fighting one enemy, the Japanese and not one another. Tell that to the people of the United States where there’s so much loose talk and cockeyed opinion about unity of command.
We have unity of command. Hammer that home and you’ll be doing a national service.
But book about Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce is one bound to interest the reader
By Maxine Garrison
President’s dog inspires a song warbled by the Duncan Sisters
By Jack Gaver
Middies show surprising power on ground to score second-half touchdowns
By Jack Cuddy, United Press staff writer
|Net yards gained rushing||220||75|
|Net yards gained passing||6||57|
|Net yards gained||226||132|
|Forward passes completed||1||7|
|Forward passes intercepted||2||1|
|Yards lost penalties||85||58|
West Point, New York – (Nov. 27)
Navy’s blue-helmeted football team exploded its power in the second half today to beat Army at its own land-marching game, 13–0, for the Middies’ fifth straight victory in the gridiron’s most colorful series.
A small crowd of 15,000 in Michie Stadium saw the Sailors achieve touchdowns on short line plunges in the third and fourth periods, making a successful visit for the Gobs who had not played on a West Point gridiron in 51 years.
The crowd, restricted to residents within a 10-mile radius of West Point and the 2,500 members of the Cadet corps, cheered in frenzy during the first half when Army’s hold-helmeted Cadets actually outplayed the invaders. It seemed then that nothing could prevent Army from breaking Navy’s victory string at four straight.
But Army’s defenses seemed to crumble in the second half as Sailor backs knifed and battered through the line for long gains that led to the two touchdowns.
Navy proved surprisingly strong in the second half, just as the Middies surprised the Cadet last year in Annapolis. Last year, Navy upset Army, 14–0, one point more than today’s victory in a contest where the two schools were apparently so evenly matched that they took the field with the betting at even money.
Navy outrushes Cadets
Navy, which had been regarded as far slower than the Army speed merchants, amazed the experts by outgaining the Cadets, 220 yards to 75 by rushing. And the Sailors, who were expected to take to the air, to match Army’s touted speed, attempted only 10 forwards and completed but one. Meanwhile, Army went into the air desperately in the second half and wound up with seven completions I 18 attempts for a gain of 57 yards.
Army looked formidable in the first half. The Cadets twice invaded Navy territory in the first period, advancing to the 33 and to the 46. In that initial session, Navy got into Army territory, but once, reaching the 37-yard line where the ball was lost on a fumble. And in the second period, the Gobs never moved onto Soldier turf, although the Cadets managed to reach Navy’s 33.
The Cadets’ excellent first half showing delighted that half of the Cadet corps which was permitted to cheer for the Army team. The other half of the corps – slightly more than 1,200 lads – had been “Lend-Leased” for the day to serve as a “Navy” cheering section. The pseudo-Navy yellers seemed a bit weak-lunged in the first half.
Navy’s backs, who had been expected to look slow against the Army backfield unless it rained, put on a grand show of power in the second half – on a dry field, under leaden skies that became gloomier than Army’s hopes as the contest drew to a close.
Hal Hamburg played a great game, as was expected although he resorted little to aerial tactics; but it was Fullback Hillis Hume of Alliance, Ohio, whom most of the crowd will remember. He tore through the Army forward wall like a juggernaut, shaking off tacklers or battering them back for yards. Joe “Red” Sullivan came into Navy’s backfield in the last period and also gave the fans an unexpected exhibition of yardage-eating on the ground.
Victory in today’s 44th meeting of the two service schools, gave the Sailors their 19th triumph of the series. Army has won 22 times; and they tied three games.
Today’s select crowd included the wives of two Army generals who have been prominent in the news – Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower and Mrs. George Patton.
Brig. Gen. W. C. Potter, a spectator, became ill during the game, and was taken to a nearby hospital.
U.S. State Department (November 28, 1943)
|United States||United Kingdom||Soviet Union|
|President Roosevelt||Prime Minister Churchill||Marshal Stalin|
|Mr. Hopkins||Foreign Secretary Eden||Foreign Commissar Molotov|
|Mr. Harriman||Sir Archibald Clark Kerr||Mr. Pavlov|
|Mr. Bohlen||Major Birse|
November 28, 1943, 8:30 p.m. Secret
During the first part of the dinner the conversation between the President and Marshal Stalin was general in character and dealt for the most part with a suitable place for the next meeting. Fairbanks seemed to be considered by both the most suitable spot.
Marshal Stalin then raised the question of the future of France. He described in considerable length the reasons why, in his opinion, France deserved no considerate treatment from the Allies and, above all, had no right to retain her former empire. He said that the entire French ruling class was rotten to the core and had delivered over France to the Germans and that, in fact, France was now actively helping our enemies. He therefore felt that it would be not only unjust but dangerous to leave in French hands any important strategic points after the war.
The President replied that he in part agreed with Marshal Stalin. That was why this afternoon he had said to Marshal Stalin that it was necessary to eliminate in the future government of France anybody over forty years old and particularly anybody who had formed part of the French Government. He mentioned specifically the question of New Caledonia and Dakar, the first of which he said represented a threat to Australia and New Zealand and, therefore, should be placed under the trusteeship of the United Nations. In regard to Dakar, the President said he was speaking for twenty-one American nations when he said that Dakar in unsure hands was a direct threat to the Americas.
Mr. Churchill at this point intervened to say that Great Britain did not desire and did not expect to acquire any additional territory out of this war, but since the 4 great victorious nations – the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and China – will be responsible for the future peace of the world, it was obviously necessary that certain strategic points throughout the world should be under the [their?] control.
Marshal Stalin again repeated and emphasized his view that France could not be trusted with any strategic possessions outside her own border in the post-war period. He described the ideology of the Vichy Ambassador to Moscow, Bergery, which he felt was characteristic of the majority of French politicians. This ideology definitely preferred an agreement with France’s former enemy, Germany, than with her former allies, Great Britain and the United States.
The conversation then turned to the question of the treatment to be accorded Nazi Germany.
The President said that, in his opinion, it was very important not to leave in the German mind the concept of the Reich and that the very word should be stricken from the language.
Marshal Stalin replied that it was not enough to eliminate the word, but the very Reich itself must be rendered impotent ever again to plunge the world into war. He said that unless the victorious Allies retained in their hands the strategic positions necessary to prevent any recrudescence of German militarism, they would have failed in their duty.
In the detailed discussion between the President, Marshal Stalin and Churchill that followed Marshal Stalin took the lead, constantly emphasizing that the measures for the control of Germany and her disarmament were insufficient to prevent the rebirth of German militarism and appeared to favor even stronger measures. He, however, did not specify what he actually had in mind except that he appeared to favor the dismemberment of Germany.
Marshal Stalin particularly mentioned that Poland should extend to the Oder and stated definitely that the Russians would help the Poles to obtain a frontier on the Oder.
The President then said he would be interested in the question of assuring the approaches to the Baltic Sea and had in mind some form of trusteeship with perhaps an international state in the vicinity of the Kiel Canal to insure free navigation in both directions through the approaches. Due to some error of the Soviet translator Marshal Stalin apparently thought that the President was referring to the question of the Baltic States. On the basis of this understanding, he replied categorically that the Baltic States had by an expression of the will of the people voted to join the Soviet Union and that this question was not therefore one for discussion. Following the clearing up of the misapprehension, he, however, expressed himself favorably in regard to the question of insuring free navigation to and from the Baltic Sea.
The President, returning to the question of certain outlying possessions, said he was interested in the possibility of a sovereignty fashioned in a collective body such as the United Nations; a concept which had never been developed in past history.
After dinner when the President had retired, the conversation continued between Marshal Stalin and Mr. Churchill. The subject was still the treatment to be accorded to Germany, and even more than during dinner Marshal Stalin appeared to favor the strongest possible measures against Germany.
Mr. Churchill said that he advocated that Germany be permitted no aviation of any character – neither military or civilian – and in addition that the German general staff system should be completely abolished. He proposed a number of other measures of control such as constant supervision over such industries as might be left to Germany and territorial dismemberment of the Reich.
Marshal Stalin to all of these considerations expressed doubt as to whether they would be effective. He said that any furniture factories could be transformed into airplane factories and any watch factories could make fuses for shells. He said, in his opinion, the Germans were very able and talented people and could easily revive within fifteen or twenty years and again become a threat to the world. He said that he had personally questioned German prisoners in the Soviet Union as to why they had burst into Russian homes, killed Russian women, etc., and that the only reply he had received was they had been ordered to do so.
Mr. Churchill said that he could not look more than fifty years ahead and that he felt that upon the three nations represented here at Teheran rested the grave responsibility of future measures of assuring in some manner or other that Germany would not again rise to plague the world during the [that?] period. He said that he felt it was largely the fault of the German leaders and that, while during war time no distinction could be made between the leaders and the people particularly in regard to Germany, nevertheless, with a generation of self-sacrificing, toil and education, something might be done with the German people.
Marshal Stalin expressed dissent with this and did not appear satisfied as to the efficacy of any of the measures proposed by Mr. Churchill.
Mr. Churchill then inquired whether it would be possible this evening to discuss the question of Poland. He said that Great Britain had gone to war with Germany because of the latter’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and that the British Government was committed to the reestablishment of a strong and independent Poland but not to any specific Polish frontiers. He added that if Marshal Stalin felt any desire to discuss the question of Poland, that he was prepared to do so and he was sure that the President was similarly disposed.
Marshal Stalin said that he had not yet felt the necessity nor the desirability of discussing the Polish question.
After an exchange of remarks on this subject from which it developed that the Marshal had in mind that nothing that the Prime Minister had said on the subject of Poland up to the present stimulated him to discuss the question, the conversation returned to the substance of the Polish question.
Mr. Churchill said that he personally had no attachment to any specific frontier between Poland and the Soviet Union; that he felt that the consideration of Soviet security on their western frontiers was a governing factor. He repeated, however, that the British Government considered themselves committed to the reestablishment of an independent and strong Poland which he felt a necessary instrument in the European orchestra.
Mr. Eden then inquired if he had understood the Marshal correctly at dinner when the latter said that the Soviet Union favored the Polish western frontier on the Oder.
Marshal Stalin replied emphatically that he did favor such a frontier for Poland and repeated that the Russians were prepared to help the Poles achieve it.
Mr. Churchill then remarked that it would be very valuable if here in Teheran the representatives of the three governments could work out some agreed understanding on the question of the Polish frontiers which could then be taken up with the Polish Government in London. He said that, as far as he was concerned, he would like to see Poland moved westward in the same manner as soldiers at drill execute the drill “left close” and illustrated his point with three matches representing the Soviet Union, Poland and Germany.
Marshal Stalin agreed that it would be a good idea to reach an understanding on this question but said it was necessary to look into the matter further.
The conversation broke up on this note.
November 28, 1943, 8:30 p.m. Secret
During dinner and afterwards Marshal Stalin kept returning to the following subjects:
Treatment to be accorded Germany
In regard to Germany, Marshal Stalin appeared to regard all measures proposed by either the President or Churchill for the subjugation and for the control of Germany as inadequate. He on various occasions sought to induce the President or the Prime Minister to go further in expressing their views as to the stringency of the measures which should be applied to Germany. He appeared to have no faith in the possibility of the reform of the German people and spoke bitterly of the attitude of the German workers in the war against the Soviet Union. As evidence of the fundamental German devotion to legality he cited the occasion in 1907 when he was in Leipzig when 200 German workers failed to appear at an important mass meeting because there was no controller at the station platform to punch their tickets which would permit them to leave the station. He seemed to think that this mentality of discipline and obedience could not be changed.
He said that Hitler was a very able man but not basically intelligent, lacking in culture and with a primitive approach to political and other problems. He did not share the view of the President that Hitler was mentally unbalanced and emphasized that only a very able man could accomplish what Hitler had done in solidifying the German people whatever we thought of the methods. Although he did not specifically say so, it was apparent from his remarks that he considered that Hitler through his stupidity in attacking the Soviet Union had thrown away all the fruits of his previous victories.
As a wartime measure Marshal Stalin questioned the advisability of the unconditional surrender principle with no definition of the exact terms which would be imposed upon Germany. He felt that to leave the principle of unconditional surrender unclarified merely served to unite the German people, whereas to draw up specific terms, no matter how harsh, and tell the German people that this was what they would have to accept, would, in his opinion, hasten the day of German capitulation.
France and the French Empire
Throughout the evening Marshal Stalin kept reverting to the thesis that the French nation, and in particular its leaders and ruling classes, were rotten and deserved to be punished for their criminal collaboration with Nazi Germany. In particular he reiterated that France should not be given back her Empire. He took issue with the Prime Minister when the latter stated that France had been a defeated nation and had suffered the horrors of occupation, and denied that France had been in effect defeated. On the contrary their leaders had surrendered the country and “opened the front” to the German armies. He cited as characteristic of French political thinking the views of Bergery, former Vichy Ambassador to Moscow. Bergery had felt that the future of France lay in close association with Nazi Germany and not in association with Great Britain and the United States. When the Prime Minister stated that he could not conceive of a civilized world without a flourishing and lively France, Marshal Stalin somewhat contemptuously replied that France could be a charming and pleasant country but could not be allowed to play any important role in the immediate post war world. He characterized de Gaulle as a representative of a symbolic and not a real France but one who nevertheless acted as though he was the head of a great power. He appeared to attach little importance to de Gaulle as a real factor in political or other matters.
Both in regard to German and French questions Stalin was obviously trying to stimulate discussion and to ascertain the exact views of the President and Prime Minister on these questions without, however, stating clearly what solutions he himself proposed. On all questions of future general security which arose in the discussion of the French and German questions he appeared desirous to ascertain exactly what form of security organization would be developed after the war and how far the United States and British governments were prepared to go in implementing the police power of such an organization.
By the President of the United States of America
For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary November 28, 1943
WHEREAS the Act of August 18, 1942, 56 Stat. 746, contains in part the following provisions:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all prizes captured during the present war on the high seas if said capture was made by authority of the United States or was adopted and ratified by the President of the United States and the prize was brought into the territorial waters of a cobelligerent or was taken or appropriated for the use of the United States on the high seas or in such territorial waters, including jurisdiction of all proceedings for the condemnation of such property taken as prize.
Sec. 3. The jurisdiction of prizes brought into the territorial waters of a cobelligerent shall not be exercised under authority of this Act, nor shall prizes be taken or appropriated within such territorial waters for the use of the United States, unless the government having jurisdiction over such territorial waters consents to the exercise of such Jurisdiction or to such taking or appropriation.
Sec. 7. A cobelligerent of the United States which consents to the exercise of the jurisdiction herein conferred with respect to prizes of the United States brought into its territorial waters and to the taking or appropriation of such prizes within its territorial waters for the use of the United States shall be accorded, upon proclamation by the President of the United States, like privileges with respect to prizes captured under authority of such cobelligerent and brought into the territorial waters of the United States or taken or appropriated in the territorial waters of the United States for the use of such cobelligerent. Reciprocal recognition and full faith and credit shall be given to the jurisdiction acquired by courts of a cobelligerent hereunder and to all proceedings had or judgments rendered In exercise of such jurisdiction.
WHEREAS the Government of India, a cobelligerent, has consented to the exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by the said act with respect to prizes of the United States brought into the territorial waters of India and to the taking or appropriation of such prizes within the territorial waters of India for the use of the United States:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, acting under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Act of August 18, 1942, do proclaim that the Government of India shall be accorded like privileges with respect to prizes captured under authority of the said Government and brought into the territorial waters of the United States or taken or appropriated in the territorial waters of the United States for the use of the said Government.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-eighth.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Secretary of State
U.S. State Department (November 29, 1943)
Cairo, November 29, 1943 Secret Urgent
With reference to my message of yesterday Chinese Chargé has just called to say that he has cabled text of document to Chungking with instructions to hold release pending flash from him.
I told him that I had been instructed to notify him when I received word from Tehran of date of release. As matters now stand therefore texts of document in question are in Foreign Offices in London and Chungking, but unless you have sent text direct there is none in Washington. Do you wish me to cable text in advance to State Department to be held pending instructions as to date of release or are you taking action in Tehran?
Tehran, 29 November 1943
Your instructions are as follows: Give text of communiqué to OWI with instructions that it is released for publication at 2330 hours Greenwich Meridian Time Wednesday December 1 under Cairo date line. News services will be given text of communiqué at 1700 hours Cairo Time Tuesday November 30 to facilitate transmission. Release terms must warn that all material is secret and confidential until the hour for published release and must not be discussed outside newspaper offices or speculated upon in any way. No pre-announcement will be made concerning tendency of important announcement and newspapers and radio stations are directed not to make advance statements of any kind whatsoever until exact hour of release. Background material at Cairo is subject to same release conditions. Stories released must include information all principals have left Cairo for unannounced destinations. Pictures are released same hour or whenever transmission is possible. These instructions are approved by the President. Notify Chinese Minister in detail. Also send immediately highest priority full copy these instructions with text communiqué to Steve Early, Secretary to the President, Washington, DC.
|United States||United Kingdom||Soviet Union|
|Admiral Leahy||General Brooke||Marshal Voroshilov|
|General Marshall||Air Chief Marshal Portal||Mr. Pavlov, Interpreter|
|Colonel McFarland, Secretary||Brigadier Redman, Secretary|
|Captain Ware, Interpreter||Captain Lunghi, Interpreter|
November 29, 1943, 10:30 a.m. Secret
General Sir Alan Brooke expressed his pleasure at being able to sit down at a table around which were gathered the military representatives of the U.S., the U.K., and the USSR. He said that he would run through a brief account of the war as seen by the British representatives at the present moment and then examine the relation of the OVERLORD operation to the other parts of the war effort.
He thought that one of the most important things at the present time was to keep the German divisions actively engaged. For this reason, the British were interested in stopping the movement to the Russian front of all the German divisions which it was possible to hold. OVERLORD would engage a large number of German divisions, but it could not possibly be mounted until 1 May at the very earliest date. Therefore, there would ensue, between the present time and the launching of OVERLORD, a period of some five or six months during which something must be done to keep the German divisions engaged. It was therefore desired to take full advantage of the forces now established in the Mediterranean area.
At this point General Brooke expressed the hope that General Marshall would interrupt his statement if anything was said with which General Marshall did not agree or on which he wished to offer any comment.
Continuing his account of the war, General Brooke said that for the reasons already stated, all the plans on which we have been working have been designed to deploy the maximum forces on all fronts. Pointing out on a map the present location of the Italian Front, he said that on that line we are assembling the forces in Italy necessary to drive the Germans to the north. There are some 23 German divisions now in Italy, part of them in the south and a part of them in the north. The present conception is to assemble sufficient forces to drive the Germans from their present line to a line north of Rome. To do this it would be necessary to employ amphibious forces around the German flanks (pointing to the west flank), and by these operations it was hoped to engage the 11 or 12 German divisions in the south, render them inoperative, and force the Germans to relieve them. By these means we should be able to contain the German divisions now present in Italy and to reduce their efficiency.
Turning to Yugoslavia, General Brooke said that since the withdrawal of Italian forces there, the Germans have found it difficult to maintain their communications in that country. Therefore, full advantage must be taken of all opportunities to increase the German difficulties in Yugoslavia by assisting the Partisans. It is desired to organize a system by which arms can be supplied to them and air assistance rendered as well.
General Brooke said that there were now some 21 German divisions deployed in Yugoslavia as far down as the Grecian border. Replying to an indication from Marshal Voroshilov that he did not quite agree with these figures, he stated that this was his information and that he would ask the British Intelligence to check the accuracy of his figures. He said that there were also 8 Bulgarian divisions in addition to the German divisions in the Yugoslav area.
With reference to Turkey, General Brooke said that, looking at Turkey from a military point of view and omitting all political considerations, we see a great military advantage in getting Turkey into the war. By this we shall have an opportunity of opening the sea communications through the Dardanelles. By doing this, the position of Bulgaria and Rumania will become more difficult and the chances of getting them out of the war will be greatly increased. There will also be opened up the possibility of establishing a supply line to Russia through the Dardanelles.
By establishing airdromes in Turkey, it will be possible to launch bombing attacks on German oil establishments in eastern Europe. The shortening of the sea route to Russia will save shipping and thereby assist greatly in the general shipping shortage. In order to open sea communications through the Dardanelles, it is considered that it will be necessary to capture some of the Dodecanese Islands, beginning with Rhodes. With airdromes established in Turkey and with Turkish help, it was not believed that this would be a difficult task nor that it would detract from other operations.
General Brooke said that we have in the Mediterranean now a certain number of landing craft for special operations. These landing craft would be required for the operations he had outlined, and their retention for these operations would require the retarding of the date set for OVERLORD. The landing craft are being used to maintain and build up the forces now in Italy. By the operations he had outlined we should be able to hold and destroy the German forces now in the Mediterranean area while awaiting the date for OVERLORD.
He considered it also of great importance to establish airdromes to the north of Rome in order to bring bombing to bear on German installations. He said that this air operation in conjunction with the operations now being carried on from England would play a great part in the conduct of the whole war.
He pointed out that air attacks were now containing about a million men now held in Germany solely by reason of the bomber offensive. He said that if we adopt defensive operations in Italy now, as had been suggested at yesterday’s conference, we should still have to maintain strong forces in Italy in order to contain the German forces there. Therefore, there would be left over only very limited forces for the operation against the coast of Southern France. In addition, the landing craft available for that operation would be limited to a very small assault force.
General Brooke said that he agreed with Marshal Stalin’s pincer strategy of two cooperating forces whenever such a strategy was possible but he thought that this strategy was better when based on land instead of on long sea communications. In the latter case, the two forces are not sufficiently self-supporting. It is not easy to reinforce one from the other or to keep a reserve from which to reinforce either from a central point. The building up of land forces by sea is a lengthy business.
General Brooke said that if the attack against Southern France were launched two months prior to OVERLORD, that it was certain to be defeated before OVERLORD starts. He said that a more nearly simultaneous execution of these operations would be required and also that large numbers of landing craft would be necessary. However, it had been considered that during OVERLORD a small landing might be made in Southern France to draw German forces away from the larger operation.
He said that the difficulties and dangers for OVERLORD would develop during the building up of the forces. It was possible to assault the French coast only with some three or four divisions and the process of building up to 35 divisions would be long and difficult. During this period, it was imperative that the Germans should not be able to concentrate large forces against the operation.
General Brooke said that this concluded a rough outline of the projected land operations and that Air Marshal Sir Charles Portal would explain the air aspects of the operations.
Air Marshal Portal inquired as to whether he should, in his comments, cover the U.S. air operations or whether General Marshall would do this.
In reply, General Marshall requested Air Marshal Portal to cover the entire operations and said that he would elaborate as necessary.
In response to Marshal Voroshilov’s request that the U.S. representatives give their comments on the land operations before the taking up of the air aspects, Admiral Leahy requested General Marshall to state the U.S. views.
General Marshall said that he should first explain the purely American point of view of this stage of the war. He pointed out that the U.S. now has a going war on two fronts, the Pacific and the Atlantic, and this fact of two major operations at one time presents a dilemma. In contrast to the usual difficulties of war, there is no lack of troops and no lack of supplies. There are now more than fifty divisions in the United States which we wish to deploy as soon as possible in addition to those already overseas. The military problem, therefore, resolves itself almost entirely into a question of shipping and landing craft. While this is, of course, an exaggeration, it might almost be said that we have reached the point of having to ignore strategy in order to advance communications. Our great desire is to bring these troops into action as soon as possible.
When we speak of landing craft we mean, most of all, special craft for the transport of motor vehicles and tanks. As the Chief of the Imperial General Staff has already stated, our problem in the Mediterranean is largely one of landing craft, and of those landing crafty we are particularly concerned with the special craft for transporting motor vehicles.
General Marshall said that he wished to repeat and emphasize that there was no lack of troops or of supplies. He said we are deeply interested in the length of voyages, the length of time required in ports, and the overall time for the turnaround. Our air forces had been sent overseas just as soon as they had been trained and hence, the air battle was far more advanced than the situation on land. One of the delays in the buildup of land forces in Italy had been the getting in of air support and the necessary ground troops to maintain it.
General Marshall said that one reason for favoring OVERLORD from the start is that it is the shortest oversea transport route. After the initial success, transports will be sent directly from the United States to the French ports because there are about sixty divisions in the United States to be put into OVERLORD.
As to the Mediterranean factors in the situation, General Marshall said that no definite conclusions have been reached up to the present as to further operations, pending the results of this conference. The question now before us is: What do we do in the next three months, and then in the next six months? He pointed out that what was done in the second period would necessarily depend on the decisions made in the first period.
General Marshall said he would like to repeat the statement made by General Brooke that it is considered dangerous to launch an operation against the coast of Southern France a long time (that is, what we consider a long time) prior to OVERLORD. On the other hand, action in Southern France has been considered and planned on as very important for the support of the operation in Northwestern France. He said that at the present moment he and his U.S. colleagues feel that from two to three weeks should be the maximum limit for launching this operation in advance of OVERLORD.
General Marshall said he wished to point out, in addition to what General Brooke had said, that the destruction of ports imposes an initial and serious delay in getting heavy equipment and ammunition ashore, and it is necessary that we assume in our planning that the ports will be destroyed. Our engineers have accomplished marvels in restoring the damaged ports but despite this, a considerable period of dangerous delay inevitably follows the initial assault. He illustrated this by reference to the U.S. experience in Salerno, a comparatively small landing. In the first 18 days there had been landed over the beaches a total of 108,000 tons of supplies, 30,000 motor vehicles and 189,000 troops. He wished to emphasize that all of this had to be done over the beaches and that none of it came through a port. The U.S. was fortunate, of course, to have had during this period a very slight enemy air reaction.
General Marshall said that the difficulty in such an operation is to get sufficient fighter air cover. In almost every case it had been found, therefore, that an additional operation was necessary in order to get the airfields for this fighter cover.
In answer to a question from Marshal Voroshilov as to how long it had taken to land the men and material just enumerated, General Marshall said it had required 18 days; thereafter a port had been secured. Then, beginning with an initial entry of 2,000 tons of supplies, the intake through the port was increased more and more as the demolished equipment was rehabilitated until it was possible to take care of all requirements in this manner.
In summarizing, General Marshall said that he wished to emphasize that shipping and landing craft, with the provision of fighter air cover, are the problems for which we have to find solutions in order to decide the question of Mediterranean operations. He added that over Salerno fighter aircraft had had only 15 or 20 minutes of actual combat flying time.
Marshal Voroshilov remarked that for OVERLORD this would be a very short time.
General Marshall replied that a total combat time of 30 minutes had been planned for OVERLORD.
In reply to Marshal Voroshilov’s statement that he did not think this was sufficient time, Air Marshal Portal explained that the 30 minutes was not measured from takeoff to landing but was the actual time in which the fighter planes were actually engaged over the battle area.
In reply to Marshal Voroshilov’s question as to what fighters were envisaged as being in this area, Air Marshal Portal said that these would be the high-performance fighters, like the British Spitfires and American P-51s and P-38s. He explained that the long-range fighters were not so suitable against the German defenses as the short-range.
General Marshall said that in the Mediterranean we face the problem of where to employ our available landing craft. If we undertake certain operations, OVERLORD will inevitably be delayed. If we confine ourselves to reduced operations in the Mediterranean for the next three or four months, this course entails the least interference with OVERLORD. He repeated that the problem is not a lack of troops or of equipment. He would like Marshal Voroshilov to understand that at the present time the U.S. has landing operations going on at five different places in the Pacific, all of which involve landing craft, and that four more similar operations were due to be launched in January.
Admiral Leahy said that he thought the best procedure now would fee to have Air Marshal Portal discuss the air aspects of operations and then to ask Marshal Voroshilov to present any comments or advice he may have.
Air Marshal Portal said that he would speak only of the air war in Europe other than on the battle fronts. He said that the air offensive against Germany was being waged on an ever-increasing scale from the U.K.; from the Mediterranean it was just beginning. As to the scale of attack, the British and Americans together were launching from 15,000 to 20,000 tons of bombs per month on German communications, installations, and battle industry. Our immediate objective is the destruction of the plants and factories on which German battle industry depends. If we can do this and inflict heavy casualties on German fighters, we hope to be able to range over all Germany and destroy one by one every important installation on which the German war effort depends.
The battle is heavy, with heavy losses on both sides. The Germans clearly realize their danger if our plans succeed. This is assured by the disposition of their forces in order to counter our attacks. For instance, for the defense of central and southern Germany the Germans now have deployed between 1,650 and 1,700 fighters. On all other fronts together they have only 750 fighters. These figures cover fighters only; bombers are not included. German sensitiveness to the bombing of their industrial area was recently illustrated when, in response to the comparatively light attacks made from the Mediterranean on this area, the Germans immediately transferred 200 fighters to the area.
Air Marshal Portal said that it was recognized that the bulk of the Soviet planes were now employed in support of the land battle, but when it became possible to spare air forces from the land battle, this would help enormously on all other fronts by causing the Germans to withdraw forces to protect the area threatened by the Soviets.
In response to a suggestion from Admiral Leahy, it was now agreed that it would be helpful if Marshal Voroshilov would express his opinion on the matters under discussion.
Marshal Voroshilov said that before making a statement, he would like to ask some questions. He said that he knew from the statements made by the British and American military representatives in Moscow that Overlord is being prepared for next spring, with a target date about 1 May. He had just heard that morning that fifty or sixty divisions would be available from the U.S. for this operation and that the only problem was one of shipping and landing craft. He hoped that it might be possible to have a report on what is being done now to solve the problem of shipping and landing craft and to launch Operation OVERLORD on time. This constituted his first question.
As to his second question, he said that he had attached great importance to the remarks made by General Marshall from which he understood that the U.S. considers Operation OVERLORD of the first importance. He wished to know if General Brooke also considered the operation of the first importance. He wished to ask both Allies whether they think that OVERLORD must be carried out or whether they consider that it may be possible to replace it by some other suitable operation when Turkey has entered the war.
General Marshall said that in answer to Marshal Voroshilov’s question as to progress from the U.S. side on the buildup for OVERLORD, all preparations are now under way and have been for some time, for a target date of 1 May 1944, and that the troops are now in motion. As an example, he pointed out that we now have in England, well ahead of the troops, a million tons of supplies and equipment, including munitions and heavy supplies of all kinds. It remains now only to bring the troops up to the supplies.
He pointed out that the U.S. had only one division in England in August. There are nine divisions there now with a constant flow of additional troops. There had been a tremendous flow of air personnel for the bomber offensive.
He said that in speaking of divisions, he was including the necessary corps and army troops as well as service troops. He reiterated that the problem is landing craft for OVERLORD. The question now is: Shall we take any landing craft from OVERLORD for other operations and thereby delay OVERLORD? The troops are in motion for OVERLORD. The air forces are already there and proceeding with their expansion. The problem is landing craft.
Marshal Voroshilov said that he had an additional question. He said that General Deane and General Ismay, in explaining the OVERLORD buildup at the Moscow Conference, had said that both in the U.S. and U.K. there were now being built special landing craft and special vessels for the construction of temporary harbors. He would like to know the present status of these construction programs.
General Marshall said that he would leave the answer as to the special port construction and as to part of the landing craft construction to General Brooke. He said that in the struggle with the landing craft problem, the object of the U.S. is to get more craft in order to be able to undertake some operations in the Mediterranean that could easily be done if more landing craft were available. He wished to make clear that the landing craft program for OVERLORD is well in hand. General Marshall repeated and emphasized this statement.
Marshal Voroshilov said that he understood that some shipbuilding yards both in England and America had been taken over for the building of landing craft. He wished to know whether the construction was actually under way or whether it was still only a program.
General Marshall said that General Brooke could answer for the U.K. There was no secret about the matter. He feared that he himself had misled Marshal Voroshilov in view of the fact that he was answering the Marshal’s question wholly with respect to landing craft for OVERLORD. For example, it had recently been decided to delay the movement from the Mediterranean to OVERLORD of sixty landing craft, capable of carrying 40 tanks each, in order to permit General Eisenhower not only to advance more rapidly in Italy but to force the Germans to reinforce their line from the Po Valley. In other words, the object was to absorb more German divisions in view of the fact that General Eisenhower was unable to conduct a turning movement through the mountains during the winter. For this reason, it had been decided to delay the movement of these landing craft from the Mediterranean to the U.K. but it was hoped that it would be possible to complete the operations for which they were being retained in the Mediterranean and still get them through on time for OVERLORD. In the meantime, a tremendous effort was being made both in the U.S. and U.K. to increase the output of landing craft so that OVERLORD might be made more powerful and more certain of success, and so that it might be possible to undertake the operations in the Mediterranean that additional landing craft would permit. He pointed out that the problem in the Mediterranean involves at present more troops than can be put into action.
Marshal Voroshilov said that this answered his question.
General Brooke said, in answer to Marshal Voroshilov’s first question as to the importance in British eyes of operation OVERLORD, that the British had always considered the operation as an essential part of this war. However, they had stipulated that the operation must be mounted at a time when it would have the best chances of success. He pointed out that the fortifications in Northern France are of a very serious character, that the communications are excellent, and therefore the Germans would have an excellent opportunity of holding up the landings until they could bring their reserves into play. This is the reason for the British stipulations as to the conditions prerequisite for launching the operation. They consider that in 1944 these conditions will exist. They have reorganized all their forces for this purpose. These forces were originally organized for the defense of the U.K. but they are now organized as an expeditionary force for employment on the Continent. Amphibious divisions are now undergoing training for Operation OVERLORD. Four battle-tried divisions have been brought back from Italy to the U.K. for the operation and, in addition, there have been brought back some of the landing craft which will be required. All details and plans for the operation have been made as far as it has been possible to do so up to the present moment.
It followed, therefore, that the British attach the greatest importance to the execution of this operation in 1944 but, as General Marshall had said and as he (General Brooke) wished to say again, landing craft constituted our tactical necessity. In order to maintain the 1 May 1944 date for OVERLORD it will be necessary to withdraw landing craft from the Mediterranean now. If this were done, it would bring the Italian operations almost to a standstill. The British wished, during the preparations for OVERLORD, to keep fighting the Germans in the Mediterranean to the maximum degree possible. In their view, such operations are necessary not only to hold the Germans in Italy but to create the situation in Northern France which will make OVERLORD possible.
General Brooke said that Marshal Voroshilov had heard correctly as to the construction of landing craft in England at the present time. The Prime Minister has stopped certain ordinary construction in order to make additional landing craft possible. By, these means it was hoped to make sixty or seventy more craft available in time for OVERLORD. These are being built now and are in addition to the original program.
With reference to the provision for temporary harbors, he said that the necessary gear was being built for this purpose now. In this connection many experiments have been made, and while some of them had not been as successful as it had been hoped, others had offered considerable promise and it was hoped would give fruitful results. This was a matter of the greatest importance as the success or failure of the operation may depend on these ports. He hoped that these statements would provide a satisfactory answer to Marshal Voroshilov’s question.
Marshal Voroshilov said he wished to apologize for his failure to understand clearly but he was interested to know whether General Brooke, as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, considered OVERLORD as important an operation as General Marshall had indicated that he did. He would like General Brooke’s personal opinion.
General Brooke replied that as Chief of the Imperial General Staff he considered Operation OVERLORD as of vital importance, but there was one stipulation that he should like to make. He knew the defenses of Northern France and did not wish to see the operation fail. In his opinion, under certain circumstances it was bound to fail.
Marshal Voroshilov said that Marshal Stalin and the Soviet General Staff attach great importance to OVERLORD and felt that the other operations in the Mediterranean can be regarded only as auxiliary operations.
General Brooke said that that was exactly the way he looked at the matter but, unless the auxiliary operations are carried out, in his opinion OVERLORD cannot be successful.
Marshal Voroshilov said that he would now express his own point of view. He recalled that Marshal Stalin had said yesterday that he and the Soviet General Staff considered that OVERLORD was a very serious operation and would prove a difficult one. He said that the accomplishments of the U.S. and U.K. in the war to date, especially the brilliant operations of their air forces over Germany, served to indicate the might of these two nations and the superiority of the Allies in the Mediterranean area. If there is added to this the firm will and desire of the U.S. and British staffs, he (Marshal Voroshilov) felt sure that OVERLORD would be successful and that it would go down in history as one of our greatest victories. He repeated that this view was supported by what all have seen in the fighting in North Africa and the operations of the Allied air forces over Germany.
Marshal Voroshilov said that he had absolutely no doubt that the necessary shipping and landing craft for OVERLORD can be found either by construction of new craft or conversion from merchant craft. He was sure these problems can be solved successfully. He understood from the statements made by General Marshall that the U.S. now has nine divisions in the U.K. He pointed out that there are yet six months to 1 May 1944, the target date for OVERLORD. This will permit the U.S. forces in the U.K. to be doubled or tripled and, in addition, make possible the bringing over of tanks and other supplies.
General Marshall said that the nine divisions now in the U.K. consisted of seven infantry divisions and two armored divisions.
Marshal Voroshilov said that in his opinion this force can be doubled in the next six months, to which General Marshall replied that this is already scheduled.
Marshal Voroshilov said that he would now discuss the operation itself. He entirely agreed with General Brooke that some small operations in the Mediterranean are necessary as diversions in order to draw German troops away from the Eastern Front and from Northwestern France, but he thought as a military man, and as probably all other military men would think also, that OVERLORD is the most important operation and that all the other auxiliary operations, such as Rome, Rhodes and what not, must be planned to assist OVERLORD and certainly not to hinder it. He pointed out that it was possible now to plan additional operations that may hurt OVERLORD and emphasized that this must not be so. These operations must be planned so as to secure OVERLORD, which is the most important operation, and not to hurt it. The suggestion made yesterday by Marshal Stalin that simultaneous operations should be undertaken from Northern France and Southern France is based on the idea that the Mediterranean operations are secondary to OVERLORD. Germany cannot be attacked directly from Italy because of the Alps. However, Italy does offer the possibility of successful defense with a small number of troops. The troops saved by defensive operations in Italy would be available for launching an amphibious operation against Southern France. Marshal Stalin does not insist on this but does insist on the execution of OVERLORD on the date already planned.
Marshal Voroshilov said, with respect to the action of the air forces and Air Marshal Portal’s suggestion of the bombing of eastern Germany by the Russian Air Force, that it must be known to the U.S. and the U.K. staffs that the Germans are still strong on the Russian front. He wished to repeat that, as Marshal Stalin had said yesterday, there are now 210 German divisions on this front and 50 satellite divisions, making a total of 260 in all. The Soviets will, of course, utilize every opportunity of attacking eastern Germany by air, but these opportunities are not very frequent. No such possibility exists at present because all air forces are employed in support of the land battle.
With respect to the difficulties of the cross-Channel operation, he said that it was understood, of course, that crossing the Channel was more difficult than crossing a large river. He pointed out, however, that during the recent Soviet advances to the west they had crossed several large rivers, the most recent of which was the Dnieper. In the latter case the ordinary difficulties of a river crossing were greatly increased by the high, steep western bank and the low eastern bank, but with the help of machine gun, mortar and artillery fire and the employment of mine throwers it had been found possible to lay down a fire so intense that the Germans could not endure it. It was so in the vicinity of Kiev, Gomel, and other points. He believed, therefore, that with similar aids it will be possible for the Allies to land in Northern France.
General Brooke said that he would like to point out that the question as to whether or not Operation OVERLORD is to be executed in 1944 has not been under discussion. It has been definitely decided to carry out the operation, and it is recognized that the Mediterranean operations are definitely of a secondary nature. There are certain forces, however, now deployed in the Mediterranean from whose employment a direct benefit can and should be derived. In addition, all operations planned in the Mediterranean area are coordinated in the overall plan for the war and are projected with a view to their eventual influence on the Eastern Front and on OVERLORD. He said that he had been studying the Soviet river crossings with the greatest of interest. In his opinion the Soviets had been accomplishing technical marvels.
Marshal Voroshilov said that the crossings were the result of the efforts of all of their people. They had the will to do it.
General Brooke said that the Channel crossing was a technical matter, the minutest details of which had been under study for several years. It must not be forgotten that the fire support for the operation must come from the sea. With reference to Marshal Voroshilov’s remarks as to artillery and mortar support, he said that the British have equipped landing craft with mortars and have studied every detail of the fire support of the cross-Channel operation from air and sea. He wished to point out the special difficulties existing in connection with this coast because of the long shelving beaches, where the tide goes out a long way. On many parts of the coast this characteristic makes landing operations very difficult and in some places, as at Calais, where the situation most favors air support, the beaches are the worst. He said the British are still engaged in experiments as to the best means of forcing a landing and are adding to the results of these experiments the best experience of the U.S. and British forces in the war to date.
Marshal Voroshilov referred to newspaper accounts which he had read with reference to large maneuvers held in England and wished to know if these had resulted in any new developments.
General Brooke replied that these maneuvers have been carried out mainly for the purpose of bringing about battles in the air. He said that they had carried out all preparations for the cross-Channel operation as a matter of training, and this had proved of great value to the staffs. The landing craft had been launched toward the French coast in the hope that the German air forces would be induced thereby to come out and fight. The German response had not been in keeping with the British hopes. The maneuvers referred to did not include an exercise in the actual landings. These exercises, however, are continually being carried out in certain areas on the English coasts from which the population has been cleared in order to permit the necessary supporting fire.
Marshal Voroshilov said he wished to inquire of Air Marshal Portal what his opinion was as to the sufficiency of the air forces available for OVERLORD.
Air Marshal Portal replied that there were enough air forces available to insure the success of the landing itself. The Allies would probably be superior to the Germans in the air by five or six to one. It was not, however, in the assault period that the air need would be the greatest, but during the buildup of the invading forces across the beaches. This would constitute the critical period, and it was during this period that the Germans would try to bring to bear their maximum available air power. At the same time a considerable portion of the Allied air forces would have to be used in order to interrupt communications leading from the interior of France to the front.
Marshal Voroshilov said he considered an air superiority of five or six to one as satisfactory.
Air Marshal Portal pointed out that all these figures must be judged in the light of distance. He said that the Germans have many airfields located close to the front on their side.
Marshal Voroshilov said that these German airfields must be destroyed before the operation is launched. In his opinion it was impossible to begin it without air superiority.
Air Marshal Portal replied that this initial destruction of German airfields was a part of the OVERLORD plan.
General Marshall said that he wished to offer one comment. The difference between a river crossing, however wide, and a landing from the ocean is that the failure of a river crossing is a reverse while the failure of a landing operation from the sea is a catastrophe, because failure in the latter case means the almost utter destruction of the landing craft and personnel involved.
Marshal Voroshilov said that he appreciated the frankness of these statements.
General Marshall went on to say that his military education had been based on roads, rivers, and railroads and that his war experience in France had been concerned with the same. During the last two years, however, he had been acquiring an education based on oceans and he had had to learn all over again.
General Marshall said that prior to the present war he had never heard of any landing craft except a rubber boat. Now he thinks about little else.
Marshal Voroshilov replied, “If you think about it, you will do it.”
To this General Marshall replied, “That is a very good reply. I understand thoroughly.”
Marshal Voroshilov said that he wished to emphasize that if in Operation OVERLORD our forces were launched against the hostile coast without previously destroying the enemy positions, there could, of course, be no success. He thought that the procedure must be similar to that followed on land. First the enemy positions must be destroyed with artillery fire and bombing from the air; then light forces, including reconnaissance groups, would land and take the first ground; when this had been done, the large forces would come in later. Therefore, if the advance forces were unable to land and were destroyed in the attempt, the larger forces would not be destroyed also. He felt that if the operation were conducted in this way, it would prove to be a brilliant success and not result in catastrophe.
General Marshall emphasized that no catastrophe was expected, but that everyone was planning for success.
Admiral Leahy suggested, in view of the lateness of the hour, that the meeting adjourn and reconvene later.
General Brooke suggested the possibility of convening again Tuesday morning at 1030. He said that he had some questions he would like to ask Marshal Voroshilov.
Marshal Voroshilov thought it desirable to reach some conclusions as a result of the discussion.
General Brooke suggested that the conclusions would properly follow the second meeting, to which Marshal Voroshilov agreed.
The meeting accordingly adjourned, to reconvene at the Russian Legation [Embassy], Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday, 30 November at 1030.