America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 22 November 1943

CCS 404

Proposed agenda for SEXTANT

  1. Agreement as to conference procedure.

  2. Overall Objective; Overall Strategic Concept for the Prosecution of the War; Basic Undertakings in Support of Overall Strategic Concept.

  3. European-Mediterranean

a. Estimate of the enemy situation.

b. Report on the Combined Bomber Offensive.

c. Report on anti-U-boat operations.

d. Report on status of development of facilities in the Azores, air and naval.

e. Readiness report on OVERLORD, RANKIN, and JUPITER.

f. Report on Mediterranean operations, including the Middle East.

g. Plans for U.S.-British-USSR military collaboration.

h. Specific operations for the defeat of Germany and her Satellites, 1943-44.

i. Policies with respect to military considerations in dealing with neutral, liberated and occupied countries, including agreement as to division of responsibility between the United Nations.

  1. Japan

a. Estimate of the enemy situation, 1944, Japan (giving consideration to Russian and Chinese intentions).

b. Short-Term Plan for the defeat of Japan.

c. Report on the general situation in the Southeast Asia Command.

d. Report on operations in China.

e. Report on Pacific operations.

f. Transfer of United Nations efforts to the defeat of Japan upon the defeat of Germany.

g. Specific operations for the defeat of Japan, 1944, including amphibious operations in Southeast Asia.

  1. Relation of resources to plans.

  2. Final report to President and Prime Minister.

  3. Preparation and approval of any directives arising from conference decisions and of any reports to other Allies.

  4. Discussion as to the next conference.

Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 22 November 1943

CCS 404/1


  1. We have considered the Agenda for SEXTANT proposed by the United States Chiefs of Staff (CCS 404) and while we have no specific objections to the subjects set out in their memorandum, we suggest that a more simple agenda would meet the case.

  2. We, therefore, propose that the main subjects for discussion should be as follows:

I. Reaffirm Overall Objective, Overall Strategic Concept and Basic Undertakings (CCS 319/5, paragraphs 2-5 and paragraph 6, as subsequently amended by agreement between Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS 380/2))

II. Southeast Asia Operations

III. OVERLORD and the Mediterranean

IV. The War Against Japan

V. Progress Reports

  1. Discussion of the above main subjects would include the introduction of most, if not all, of the points put forward in the American agenda. The arrangements for dealing with the detailed subjects would, however, be made from day to day.

  2. It will be noted that Southeast Asia operations have been placed second on the list, in view of the intention to bring the Generalissimo and Admiral Mountbatten into the discussions at the earliest stage.

  3. It is thought that the Progress Reports should be left to the end of the Conference when the main items have been disposed of. This procedure will not, of course, preclude points being raised for discussion when the Progress Reports are taken.


Memorandum by the Generalissimo’s Chief of Staff

Cairo, 22 November 1943

CCS 405

Role of China in defeat of Japan

At QUADRANT an outline plan for operations against Japan was presented in Annex “I” to CCS 319/2. These operations culminated in an invasion of Japan sometime after 1947.

The question at hand which concerns the China Theater is “what operations can be mounted from China which will have the greatest effect on the course of the war in the Pacific?” This question can be answered as follows:

a. Assist SEAC in operations against North Burma – current.

b. Develop land route to China and improve internal communications – current.

c. Continue to train and improve combat effectiveness of Chinese Army – current.

d. Initiate intensive bombing of Japan by VLR bombers – early 1944.

e. Recapture Canton and Hong Kong – November 1944-May 1945.

f. Carry out intensive bombing of Formosa and PI, deny use of Straits of Formosa and South China Sea to Japan and furnish land-based air support to any U.S. Navy activities in these areas – October 1944

g. Attack Formosa if required – May 1945-November 1945.

h. Offensive operations towards Shanghai – November 1945.

The above operations are tactically and logistically feasible. The cost is low. There is no competition with other theaters for specialized equipment and there is no conflict with operations projected by other theaters. These operations will:
(1) Provide greatest aid possible to other theaters, and

(2) Out down QUADRANT timetable for final defeat of Japan by one to two years.

a. One U.S. Infantry Division in India by March 1944. Two additional divisions about a month apart thereafter (these to be definitely earmarked for China Theater).

b. Continuation of supply program from U.S. for equipping Chinese troops.

c. Setting up India as a base for both China and Southeast Asia Theaters. All U.S. troops now in India except those necessary for operation of the Communication Zone to be moved to China after recapture of North Burma.

740.0011 PW 1939/12–3143

Memorandum by Lt. Gen. Stilwell’s political adviser

Cairo, November 22(?), 1943

The China and South East Asia Theaters: Some political considerations

The mission of the South East Asia Command is to defeat the enemy in and presumably occupy former British and Dutch colonies and Thailand. French Indochina may later be included.

Insofar as we participate in SEAC operations, we become involved in the politically explosive colonial problems of the British, Dutch and possibly French. In so doing, we compromise ourselves not only with the colonial peoples of Asia but also the free peoples of Asia, including the Chinese. Domestically, our Government lays itself open to public criticism – “why should American boys die to recreate the colonial empires of the British and their Dutch and French satellites?” Finally, more Anglo-American misunderstanding and friction is likely to arise out of our participation in SEAC than out of any other theater.

By concentrating our Asiatic effort on operations in and from China, we keep to the minimum our involvement in colonial imperialism. We engage in a cause which is popular with Asiatics and the American public. We avoid the mutual mistrust and recrimination over the colonial question, potentially so inimical to harmonious Anglo-American relations.

General Stilwell has submitted a plan for increased American effort in the China theater. It envisages, among other things, the recapture of Canton, Hong Kong and Shanghai and a possible attack on Formosa. He proposes to use American and Chinese forces to accomplish this. The Chinese welcome this plan. It gives them something to fight for. They have slight interest in entering Burma, Thailand and French Indochina for only the territorial benefit of the British and the French. But their own territory and Formosa (which they claim) provide a real incentive.

The Chinese Army is great in size. But it is relatively untrained and generally corrupt. However much of the Generalissimo and his Army may in principle wish to assume the offensive, they cannot effectively do so excepting under firm American guidance. American leadership can concretely be exercised only as General Stilwell is given bargaining power, for the Chinese are sharp, practical traders. All aid and concessions to China must therefore be made in consultation with and through General Stilwell.

It is not proposed that with a concentration of effort on the China theater we should forthwith turn our backs on SEAC. In cooperation with SEAC we need to retake North Burma immediately and so reopen a land route to China. But after the recapture of North Burma, there comes a parting of the ways.

The British will wish to throw their main weight southward for the repossession of colonial empire. Our main interest in Asia will lie to the East from whence we can strike directly and in coordination with other American offensives at the center of Japan’s new Empire.

Note by the Secretaries of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 22 November 1943

JCS 606

Collaboration with the USSR

The following paragraph, from a radio from General Deane to General Marshall, is submitted by General Marshall to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their consideration:

I suggest that the Joint Chiefs of Staff put the Russians on the defensive at once by having some request to make of the Russians. I think it is important that we are not put in a position of doing all the explaining. You might include the following subjects: built [sic] bases; improved communications and interchange of weather; shuttle bomber bases, and coordination of timing reference OVERLORD.

Joint Secretariat

Meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill, Chiang, and Madame Chiang, afternoon

An entry in the Leahy Diary for the afternoon of November 22, 1943, reads as follows:

Had tea in Kirk Villa with the President, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, General Marshall and Mr. Hopkins.

Presumably the Churchill visit took place separately from that of the Chiangs. There are no indications that substantive problems were discussed during these visits, which appear to have been in the nature of courtesy calls.

The Pittsburgh Press (November 22, 1943)

Heavy fighting rages in Gilberts; warships, planes cover invasion

Marine, Army troops hit Makin and Tarawa before dawn
By William F. Tyree, United Press staff writer

New Pacific invasion by U.S. forces has penetrated the Jap belt of defenses in the Gilbert Islands. U.S. troops went ashore north of the equator on the Makin and Tarawa Atolls, shown by the heavy arrows.

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii –
U.S. invasion forces backed by a strong fleet and covered by a canopy of planes battled today to crush two Jap outposts in the Gilbert Islands in the first phase of a mid-Pacific offensive on the flank of the ocean road to Tokyo.

Hand-to-hand fighting with Jap defenders was believed raging on the narrow, sandy beachheads on Makin and Tarawa Atolls of the Gilberts, which lie astride the equator some 2,400 miles southwest of Honolulu.

A communiqué by Adm. Chester W. Nimitz’s headquarters announcing the landing made before dawn Saturday by battle-experienced Marines and soldiers said only that “moderate resistance” was met at Makin but reported “strong opposition” at Tarawa, major center on the coral island chain.

The Jap news agency Dōmei, in the Tokyo broadcast, said “heavy fighting” was in progress, adding that the attacking forces included aircraft carriers and battleships and that Makin and Tarawa were “repeatedly bombed and shelled” from Friday morning on.

Backed by strong fleet

Carrying U.S. land operations north of the equator in the Central Pacific for the first time since the start of the war, the forces went ashore while a fleet, described by the communiqué as “powerful,” protected their invasion. Six straight days of bombing had softened the enemy’s hold or neutralized adjacent bases.

While long-range strategy remained undisclosed, it was apparent that the attack had two main objectives:

  1. A pincer on the strong Jap naval air base of Truk, in the Carolines 1,300 miles northwest, in cooperation with Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s forces moving up from the south.

  2. A thrust to open the chain of island bases protecting Japan’s long Pacific lines, eliminating enemy strongholds on the flank of the main route across the Pacific toward Tokyo.

Coordination close

Close coordination of the offensive by naval forces with the Army was indicated by a conference between Adm. Nimitz and Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson Jr., Army commander in the Central Pacific, after the invasion was announced yesterday.

Army Liberators started the pre-invasion blasting of the Gilberts and the adjacent Marshall Islands – both north of the American-held Ellice Islands – a week ago last Saturday. In the last stages of the softening-up process, the fleet joined, sending planes to dump 90 tons of bombs on Nauru, phosphate island to the west.

Runways wrecked

After raids Friday, a front dispatch said that on Tarawa, site of an airstrip, the runways were reduced and barracks ruined. Only two planes, both wrecked, were sighted on the ground. The only sign of life was a few Japs running from machine-gun fire.

Marine veterans of the Solomons were believed part of the invasion force.

As the troops waded ashore, Liberators ranged over the Marshalls to knock out any Jap attempt to send harassing planes southward from bases there.

Send strong force

The communiqué’s report that units of “all types” were included in the U.S. battle fleet indicated battleships, carriers, cruisers and destroyers took part and presumably pumped shells into the tiny island to loosen the enemy’s entrenchments on the coconut-tree-lined beaches.

Adm. Nimitz inferred some time ago in a speech that strong resistance was expected, announcing the Japs would be “dug out” of their island strongholds. It was safe to assume a strong force capable of taking and holding the islands went in.

The communiqué said the troops “have established beachheads,” presumably in the face of enemy machine-gun fire from pillboxes and log fortresses.

It was believed the troops concentrated on Betio Island in the 22-mile-long series of Tarawa islets which surround a lagoon with a good anchorage. At the Makin Atoll, which includes Little Makin (only 2.75 miles long) and Butaritari (11 miles long), the latter island was thought to be the prime objective.

Found four wharves

Col. Evans Carlson’s Raiders, who swept the Makin group on Aug. 17, 1942, reported Butaritari, which is less than 1,000 yards wide its entire length, and four wharves, a two-lane asphalt road, a seaplane landing and supply dumps.

Because of the exposed sea approaches and beaches, landing probably necessitated braving enemy fire out in the open on such small islands.

It was considered possible the invasion would expand, soon if not concurrently with the Gilberts attack, into the Marshalls, which would have to be reduced to protect the holdings. Makin is less than 200 miles from the Marshalls.

Other islands to the south in the Gilberts would be neutralized by the conquest od Makin and Tarawa. They are in the northern section, just above the equator, in the string of 16 main atolls which stretch 400 miles from four degrees north to three degrees south of the equator. Their total land area is 166 square miles. The islands were seized by the Japs from the British early in 1942. They were formerly a Crown colony with a population of about 26,000, mostly natives. The Jap population was not known.

The islands have been hit intermittently by naval or air forces since they were taken.

Most of the islands have eight feet or less of beach and are coral rock with a scanty topsoil in which coconut groves are planted.

They formed the mid-Pacific outer line of the Jap outposts now crushed in the Aleutians to the north, running southward through Wake Island – where positions may be neutralized by this attack – through the Marshalls, the Gilberts, the Solomons, New Guinea and on into the Indies.

British drive 4 miles into German line

Nazis prepare to abandon two bases; 8th Army battles in rain
By Harrison Salisbury, United Press staff writer

Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin meeting termed imminent

Washington also expects U.S. and British leaders to confer with Generalissimo Chiang
By Lyle C. Wilson, United Press staff writer

Washington –
Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek is expected by well-informed persons here to figure in international war conferences about which London dispatches have been hinting for a week and which now have some official confirmation in Washington.

London reports said announcement was expected soon of a meeting among President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin. Washington sources immediately confirmed that such an announcement was likely, at least with respect to another Roosevelt-Churchill meeting – their seventh since Pearl Harbor.

Desire well known

The desire of both men to meet with Marshal Stalin is well known. Furthermore, it was emphasized here even before Secretary of State Cordell Hull went to the Moscow meeting of British, Russian and U.S. foreign ministers that their conference was to be preliminary to a Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin meeting.

A Chinese representative participated in the Moscow foreign ministers conference. Mr. Roosevelt is not only anxious to meet Marshal Stalin but would also like to talk things over with Generalissimo Chiang. The best information is that if the Anglo-American leaders confer with Marshal Stalin, they will also confer with Generalissimo Chiang, but at some other time and place.

Courtesy to Stalin

Setting a Roosevelt-Churchill conference with Generalissimo Chiang for a place and time different from any meeting with Marshal Stalin would be out of courtesy to the Russian leader. Premier Stalin might prefer to avoid a full-dress conference with representatives of the three nations now fighting Japan, with whom the Soviet Union is in a state of more or less precarious peace. No one here wants to do anything that would disturb Japanese-Russian relations at a time when the Red Army has its hands full doing a brilliant job of killing Germans.

The expected Roosevelt-Churchill-Stalin meeting would be of greater military than political significance. It was remarked here at a public occasion earlier in the month that several of the highest-ranking U.S. Army and Navy officers were not in their accustomed places. The Vichy radio shortly afterward reported them to be en route to staff meetings preliminary to a conference among the Russian, British and U.S. heads of state.

May plan invasion

There were intimations at last August’s Québec Conference that Russian and Anglo-American military staffs probably would not be ready to talk until the three nations were ready for combined operations of some kind.

It is assumed, therefore, that any conference now would deal with development of the Anglo-American assault on the west shores of Europe and perhaps a pincer movement into the Balkans. The Red Army is now pressing toward the Balkan flank from the east while Anglo-American forces battle up the Italian boot on the western Balkan flank.

From the expected conference will presumably come the long-discounted announcement that Gen. George C. Marshall will command Anglo-American forces in the European Theater. There have been reports here that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commanding in the African and Mediterranean Theater, would come to the United States to sit in as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army during Gen. Marshall’s absence overseas.

Henry Steagall, veteran House member, dies at 70

Was chairman of powerful Banking and Currency Committee

Pennsylvania Congressman dies in plane

Navy officer, 7 Army fliers killed in crashes in state

Fourth Loan Drive will start Jan. 18

Washington (UP) –
A goal of $14 billion was announced today by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. for the Fourth War Loan Drive, which will start Jan. 18 and run until Feb. 15, 1944.

The goal is $1 billion less than the amount asked in the Third War Loan, but the amount sought from individuals was increased to $5.5 billion, or about $500 million more than they subscribed to the Third War Loan.

Economy group speaks –
U.S. payroll slash ordered

Fire 300,000 or a new law will, it says

They knit, and read, and primp –
Hoosier asks U.S. to fire its powder-room-patties

Congressman ‘Early-to-Bed’ Wilson says government girls aren’t given work to do

Bomber blasts Tarawa, lands with flat tire

Liberator sets large oil fire in pre-invasion Pacific raid
By William L. Worden, representing combined U.S. press

Indian Bureau an example –
U.S. publications roll off presses to get more cash

Some of billion copies a year serve useful purpose; others required by law to inform taxpayers
By Robert Taylor, Press Washington correspondent

Railroad board given control in union rows

Mediation authority not subject to review, Supreme Court rules

Man… Americans must be confused as to which Indians it refers.


Not really. :smile: Most of the time (and in this article) for us, the term refers to American Indians.


So you mean knowing which indians it refers to is “Super easy, barely an inconvenience”.


Gilberts blow may draw out Japanese Navy

Showdown, long sought by U.S. fleet, now possible
By Sandor S. Klein, United Press staff writer

Washington –
The U.S. invasion of the Gilbert Islands, the important outer link in Japan’s chain of Pacific defenses, was viewed by military experts today as the stroke that may finally force the Jap fleet out of hiding for a long-awaited showdown.

The weekend thrust at Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert group, marking the first direct American attempt to seize enemy bases in the Central Pacific, represented a serious potential threat to the Philippines, heart of the powerful ring of defenses guarding the Jap homeland.

May push on Philippines

Military men here believed the Gilbert operations were preliminary moves toward eventual reconquest of the Philippines by a direct move across the Central Pacific. Thus, they declared, the Jap fleet may well find it time to ride out for the showdown which the U.S. Pacific Fleet has been seeking to provoke for months.

The move into the Gilberts also represented another important step in the general strategic pattern unfolding against Japan – the initial blow in the forging of a northern arm of an Allied pincer slowly closing in on Truk, Japan’s “Pearl Harbor.” Lying some 1,300 miles west of the Gilberts, Truk is also the ultimate objective of a southern arm being extended by Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s forces towards Rabaul in New Britain.

Seek air bases

In the short-range view, the immediate aim of the present Gilbert operations appeared to be acquisition of air bases from which to attack the adjacent Marshall Islands. The Marshalls, under Jap mandate for more than two decades, are heavily fortified, but they must be seized before any drive on the Philippines can be undertaken.

A corollary of the Gilberts action was expected to be an attempt to retake Wake Island, which the Japs captured from the small U.S. Marine garrison in the first few weeks of the war.

A bold attempt to retake the Philippines would shorten the war in the Pacific considerably because from those islands, the main enemy supply arteries to Burma, French Indochina and the Southwest Pacific could be cut. Japan herself could be brought within the scope of long-range bombers.

Strategy emphasized

High-ranking American officials, including President Roosevelt and Secretary of the Navy Knox, have emphasized that an island-by-island drive toward Japan was not contemplated. Until U.S. forces moved into the Gilberts, the campaign had generally appeared to be based on an island-hopping strategy.

Military experts warned, however, that success in the Central Pacific did not mean an immediate or even early move on the Philippines. They explained the High Command would be faced with an exceedingly difficult supply problem. Only after the war is won in Europe will enough shipping for a major invasion in the Pacific be available.

Radio report that Patton was rebuked for mistreating soldier denied by Army

Lt. Gen. George S. Patton

Allied HQ, Algiers, Algeria (UP) –
Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. is commanding the U.S. 7th Army and has command it since it was activated, an official announcement said today.

The statement said textually:

Gen. Patton is commanding the 7th Army, has commanded it since it was activated, and is continuing to command it.

No report has ever reached this headquarters of any soldier refusing to obey an order by Gen. Patton. Gen. Patton has never been reprimanded at any time by Gen. Eisenhower or by anybody else in this theater.

Hit Yank in hospital, commentator says

Washington (UP) –
Radio commentator Drew Pearson said last night in his broadcast that Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, commander of the U.S. 7th Army in the Sicilian campaign, had been “severely reprimanded” by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower for mistreating an American soldier suffering from shock, or a nervous ailment, in a hospital in Sicily.

The War Department said it had “no information and no comment.” Mr. Pearson said, “I don’t think he [Gen. Patton] will be used in combat anymore.”

Mr. Pearson said:

Here is a story which I don’t like to tell, but in wartime we have to let the chips fall where they may. The lowly private who gets punishment for a mistake is not spared by his superior officers and so the general who makes a mistake should not be spared either.

A great mystery has surrounded the whereabouts of Gen. “Blood and Guts” Patton. His pearl-handled revolver, his picturesque language, made headlines in the Tunisian campaign but he has not been heard of since. Here is the reason.

Gen. Patton was going through a hospital in Sicily and inquired what was the matter with a fatigue patient. A fatigue patient is one suffering from shell shock or nerves. Gen. Patton apparently used his own judgment as to the soldier’s illness, ordered him up out of bed, and when he didn’t get up right away, pulled him up and struck him, knocking him down.

By this time, the doctor rushed up, told Gen. Patton that while the general was in command of his troops in the field, he, the doctor, was in command of his hospital. He ordered Patton not to interfere.

Patton started to draw his pearl-handled revolver but was disarmed. Gen. Eisenhower severely reprimanded Gen. Patton, I don’t think he will be used in combat anymore.

Gen. Patton has long been known as one of the most colorful and aggressive generals in the Army. His name has not figured in dispatches since the conclusion of the Sicilian campaign.

As a major general, he commanded the Western Task Force which was assigned to take Casablanca, Morocco, during the U.S. landings in Africa last year. He was promoted to lieutenant general for his success in that operation.

‘Poor man’s John Barrymore’ is what they call Carradine