America at war! (1941–) – Part 3

Ferguson: Competition

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Millett: Women on wartime jobs would appreciate praise

Paycheck without a compliment now and then leaves the, just about ready to quit
By Ruth Millett

Ernie Pyle V Norman

Roving Reporter

By Ernie Pyle

Ernie Pyle is describing his impressions of the home front in a short series of columns before shoving off again on assignment to the battlefronts.

Albuquerque, New Mexico –
I know another provost marshal story (or are you tired?). Just after Sicily was all over, we correspondents straggled back into Palermo. On the first night there, correspondent Chris Cunningham and photographer Chuck Corte parked their jeep on the street against regulations, and the MPs impounded it.

They spent all next day trying to get it back. They made innumerable phone calls, but the Military Police would have none of them. The only thing left to do was go plead with the provost marshal himself.

Several officers told them:

You’re just wasting your time. The colonel is a tough egg. You won’t get your jeep back, and he’ll probably throw you out of the office besides.

But they had to be have the jeep, so they decided to brave the colonel in his den. They asked if I would go along, just to bolster up their courage.

So, we marched around to the provost’s office. A long line of Army culprits was standing before the colonel’s desk, and it took about an hour for us to work up to him.

For once I had plenty of courage, as I wasn’t involved in any way, and was merely a spectator, you might say. But Chuck and Chris were having the shakes.

Finally, the colonel looked up at us, as if to say “Well, what, you swine?” And then he got up, came around the desk, and headed straight for me, with his hand out and a big smile on his face. He said:

Hello. Haven’t seen you since we met at Dakar last spring.

We shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. “What trouble are you in?” he asked. I said:

Oh, I’m personally innocent of all things, but I’ve taken up associating with criminals.

I introduced the other boys and they explained their mess.

“What’s the number of your keep?” he asked. They told him.

The colonel said:

Sergeant, get this jeep out of the lot and bring it around.

And that was that. The provost in question was Claude O. Burch from Petersburg, Indiana, and it turned out he knew a Petersburg boy I used to go to school with named “Leaky” Harris. He’s been in the Army for 27 years, and he’s a nice guy despite the warnings we had. We all sat down on his desk and talked for 15 minutes.

Still wears G.I. socks

Most of the time here at home I have kept on wearing my heavy gray G.I. socks, because I’ve got used to them and they are comfortable. But they aren’t any bargain to look at.

Which takes us back to a remark a passenger made on the Clipper coming home a couple of months ago. My socks are always tumbled halfway down to my ankles, because they are too high and heavy to wear garters with, so I just let them sprawl.

A naval lieutenant had been sitting for three days across the aisle from me, where he couldn’t help but stare at my socks. Finally, on the third afternoon, when we’d all had time to get friendly and fresh with each other, he said:

You know, I’ve spent the whole trip trying to figure it out. Are those G.I. socks going up, or long underwear coming down?

A friend in the 1st Infantry Division has written to me of a post-war reunion plan that he and some of his fellow officers have. A code has been worked out, so they’ll all know when and where to meet.

Membership in the reunion group will be open only to men who have been officers in the 1st Quartermaster Company of the 1st Infantry Division at any time between March 17, 1942, and the end of the war.

The reunion is to be held on the first 17th of March after the war ends. It is to be at 1700 hours (5:00 p.m.) on the 17th floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, and headquarters will be in Room 1717.

Maj. Harlan W. Hendrick wrote me about it. A few people who have associated with the 1st Division have been invited as guests. I think the best plan would be for me to go up to Room 1717 right now, and just wait for them.

Maj. de Seversky: Overzealous airpower advocates put European bomber strategy out of limb

By Maj. Alexander P. de Seversky

Landis bars Cox as Major League official

Phil owner banned for gambling; betting on games prompts ruling
By Robert Meyer, United Press staff writer

Because the Polish nationalist claimed the multilingual Commenwelth as Polish:


Völkischer Beobachter (November 24, 1943)

Neuer Schlag für die USA bei den Gilbertinseln –
Flugzeugträger und ein Zerstörer versenkt

dnb. Tokio, 23. November –
Auch bei der Landung starker nordamerikanischer Marineeinheiten auf den Gilbertinseln Makin und Tarawa, die – wie wir bereits berichtet haben – das Kaiserliche Hauptquartier am Montag bekanntgab, konnte die japanische Marineluftwaffe dem Feind empfindliche Schläge versetzen. Bei diesem Unternehmen sind bis jetzt ein mittelgroßer Flugzeugträger und ein Zerstörer versenkt worden. Weiter wurden zwei große Flugzeugträger beschädigt, einer davon so schwer, daß anzunehmen ist, daß er inzwischen gesunken ist. Ein mittelgroßer Flugzeugträger wurde gleichfalls schwer beschädigt, so daß mit seinem Untergang gerechnet werden kann. Ein Schlachtschiff oder schwerer Kreuzer und ein Transporter wurden beschädigt und in Brand geworfen.

Die feindliche Luftwaffe verlor in diesen Kämpfen 36 Maschinen, während von der japanischen Landarmee weitere 89 Feindflugzeuge abgeschossen wurden. Die japanischen Verluste belaufen sich auf 15 Flugzeuge.

Der Versuch der Amerikaner, durch die Landungen im Gebiet der Gilbertinseln den niederschmetternden Eindruck der fünf Niederlagen bei Bougainville zu verwischen, ist also nicht von Erfolg gewesen.

Wie diese japanische Sondermeldung zeigt, ist den Amerikanern auch ihre Landung auf den Gilbertinseln, die als strategischer und propagandistisch-politischer Ablenkungsversuch nach den schweren Niederlagen bei Bougainville unternommen wurde, teuer zu stehen gekommen. Wieder haben sie einen Flugzeugträger mittlerer Größe verloren und wahrscheinlich noch zwei weitere, darunter einen großen. Angesichts dieser neuen schweren Schiffs- und Flugzeugverluste wird sich für das amerikanische Oberkommando die Frage erheben, ob der Diversionsversuch mit diesem neuen Aderlaß für die amerikanischen Seestreitkräfte im Südpazifik nicht zu teuer bezahlt worden ist und der Versuch einer propagandistischen Ablenkung nicht im Gegenteil zu einer neuen Beunruhigung der amerikanischen Öffentlichkeit führen muß.

Die Gilbertinseln, deren größte, Tarawa und Makin, 40 beziehungsweise 30 Quadratkilometer umfassen, liegen am Weg von Hawai nach Australien. Für die Japaner bedeuten sie eine Flankensicherung ihrer Stellungen auf den Salomonen. Die Amerikaner hofften offenbar, durch diese Aktionen eine Zersplitterung der japanischen Streitkräfte zu erreichen, sie wurden dabei selber zersplittert und werden sich wohl keinen Illusionen darüber hingeben, welch hohen Preis sie für diese neue Art des „Inselspringens“ bezahlen müssen.

Eine Auswirkung der schweren Seeverluste der USA –
Samos hat kapituliert

Der letzte feindliche Stützpunkt in der Ägäis gefallen

Spekulanten, Preistreiber und andere Kriegshyänen –
Finanzjuden ‚arbeiten‘ an der Völkerausbeutung

U.S. Navy Department (November 24, 1943)

CINCPAC Communiqué No. 20

Central Pacific.
Betio Island, Tarawa Atoll, was captured shortly after noon, November 23 (West Longitude Date), following a desperate enemy counterattack which was crushed by troops of the 2nd Marine Division.

Remnants of the enemy are being hunted down on Apamama, Tarawa and Makin Atolls.

Seventh Army Air Force Liberators continued diversionary attacks in the Marshalls.

U.S. State Department (November 24, 1943)

The President to the Secretary of State

Cairo, November 24, 1943

The Lebanon matter looks better this morning but Prime Minister is being very firm and Eden arrives here tonight Wednesday.

The conferences are going well and we will finish matters with the Generalissimo in two or three days. He will then return home and we start on next leg of our trip.


The President to the Ambassador in Turkey

Cairo, 24 November 1943

From the President to Ambassador Steinhardt, Ankara, Turkey. Personal and secret.

Our next plans have been advanced. Hope to see you in Cairo in about a week, and in regard to your number one will advise you in a day or two.

Meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 9:30 a.m.

Admiral Leahy
General Marshall
Admiral King
General Arnold
Ambassador Harriman
Lieutenant General Somervell
Vice Admiral Willson
Rear Admiral Cooke
Rear Admiral Bieri
Rear Admiral Badger
Major General Handy
Major General Fairchild
Major General Deane
Brigadier General Kuter
Brigadier General Hansell
Brigadier General Tansey
Brigadier General Whitten
Captain Burrough
Captain Doyle
Colonel Bessell
Colonel Smith
Colonel Roberts
Captain Freseman
Commander Long
Major Chapman
Captain Royal
Colonel McFarland

Joint Chiefs of Staff Minutes

November 24, 1943, 9:30 p.m.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

At General Marshall’s request, Ambassador Harriman expressed his views of the present attitude of the Soviets and their possible reaction to the proposals recommended by the Joint Strategic Survey Committee. He said there was no indication that the Soviets will advance any specific strategical plan at the coming Conference. This, he thought, was due to their complete absorption in the war. The only proposals that they had put forward in the Moscow Conference were with reference to the entrance of Turkey and Sweden in the war and these had political as well as military implications.

As Ambassador Harriman saw it, immediate Soviet interest was focused on the reduction of the German forces by whom they were opposed. He did not believe that the Soviet Staff would be agreeable to any discussions until Marshal Stalin had met with the President and Prime Minister and some basic policies had been agreed upon. He thought it would be unfortunate if the Soviet Representatives were given the impression that the U.S. and British Chiefs of Staff were arriving at the Conference with anything approximating a cut and dried plan. He felt that the attitude of the Combined Chiefs of Staff should be characterized by perfect frankness and a willingness to weigh thoughtfully any proposals made by the Soviets. They do not like fait[s] accomplis and will appreciate being consulted in connection with the plans of the U.S. and the British. While the reasons therefor were not clear, he was convinced that the Soviets were under tremendous pressure to end the war quickly. They appeared confident that a second front would be established; Marshal Stalin had already communicated this to the Russian people and had indicated to them that it would not be long in coming.

Ambassador Harriman said that our strategy had never before been presented so clearly to the Soviets as it had been by General Deane and General Ismay at the Moscow Conference. This had had an extremely satisfactory effect. The Soviets had asked many questions but these questions were not critical. He pointed out that no promises had been made to the Soviets but they had been given the outline of the plans for OVERLORD and were being kept informed as to the progress of the buildup. It has been difficult for the Russians to understand why two nations of the strength of the United States and Great Britain have been unable to contain more German forces than they have. He suggested that in the coming Conference, the Chiefs of Staff adopt an attitude of patience and afford the Soviet Representatives ample opportunity to ask questions. Our experience with them has already proved that a frank and sympathetic explanation goes far towards removing suspicion.

Ambassador Harriman thought that the Soviets had every intention of joining the U.S. and the British in the war against Japan as soon as Germany had capitulated. They fear, however, a premature break with Japan and placed great value on the substantial amount of supplies which they are now receiving through Vladivostok. He reiterated that the pressure on the Soviet Government to end the war could not be overemphasized.

He thought, that the Chiefs of Staff, in their Conference with the Soviets, should place their sights high and should make unequivocal demands for what they wanted from them. He hoped that the question of Russian participation in the Japanese war would be raised either by the President or by the Chiefs of Staff and indicated that it would be well to point out and to emphasize any advantages which the Soviets would receive from such participation. One difficulty which he foresaw was the Soviet fear that information of the discussions might reach the Japanese and thus provoke a break with them before the Soviets are ready.

General Deane stated that his views accorded substantially with those expressed by Ambassador Harriman except perhaps with respect to the degree of emphasis placed on the Russian desire for a second front. He thought that the Soviets viewed the second front more in the nature of desirable insurance than as an immediate necessity. As he saw it, their particular interest at the moment is focused on the assistance necessary to relieve the immediate pressure on them rather than on the opening of a second front.

In reply to a question by General Arnold as to the Soviet attitude towards operations in the Aegean Sea, Ambassador Harriman said the Soviets had made no proposals as to what we should do. They stated only the results they desired and left the details to us. They were interested, however, in the reasons underlying our actions. He thought, therefore, that if there was to be an alternative to the cross-Channel operation, that it should be explained to the Soviets very frankly. If OVERLORD were to be abandoned, however, in his opinion, it would have to be replaced by an operation equally offensive in nature.

In reply to a question from Admiral Leahy he said that it was his impression that the Soviets were likely to demand immediate action to relieve the pressure on them.

General Deane agreed with this, but said that he did not believe the Russians would propose the specific action to be taken. He said that the Soviets were appreciating for the first time the real effect of the bomber offensive on their operations. Marshal Stalin had mentioned it twice to him and it had been mentioned by several others. The effects had been confirmed by reports from prisoners of war. However, he thought it would not be wise to overemphasize this as it had been exploited rather fully already.

Ambassador Harriman said that the Soviet Government was now telling the people that they have strong Allies who are fighting hard. In his opinion they were trying to impress them with the idea that the war has proceeded to a favorable point and progress is being made towards its successful completion. He said that the Soviets are blunt themselves and understand bluntness. He had no fear for any basic misunderstanding or any break with them as a result of the coming Conference. He was sure that we had their confidence.

Admiral Leahy expressed his appreciation and the appreciation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the very informative summary presented by Ambassador Harriman…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Memoranda by the Chinese Government

Cairo, November 24, 1943

Establishment of a Four-Power Council or a Council of the United Nations

I. Pending the formation of a Council of the United Nations, the United States, Great Britain, the USSR, and China should establish at the earliest practicable date a Four-Power Council for the discussion of questions connected with the Four-Power Declaration.

II. The Council shall maintain a Permanent Standing Committee in Washington. The Committee may, as occasion arises, hold meetings in London, Chungking, or Moscow.

III. The Council is charged with the duty of organizing a Council of the United Nations.

IV. As regards the organization of the Council of the United Nations, the Chinese Government endorses the proposed scheme of the Government of the United States: viz., Eleven of the United Nations shall form an executive body, with the United States, Great Britain, the USSR, and China acting as a Presidium.

International security during the period of transition

I. The United States, Great Britain, the USSR, and China should establish an Inter-Allied Military Technical Commission to consider all military questions concerning the organization and maintenance of international security.

II. For the successful organization and maintenance of international security, a certain number of International Naval and Air Bases will be established. Such Bases should be located at strategic points all over the world, the selection of which should be based upon the opinion of experts and subject to the consent of the States wherein such Bases are to be situated.

European questions and the surrender of Germany

Any discussion on European questions among the United Nations should be communicated forthwith to the Chinese Government. China should be invited to participate in any decision concerning the surrender of Germany.

Questions relating to the Far East

I. Formation of a Far Eastern Committee
China, Great Britain, and the United States should set up a Far Eastern Committee to facilitate joint consultation on political problems arising from the progress of the war in the Far East. The participation of the USSR in this Committee is welcomed at any time.

II. Creation of a unified command
With a view to unifying the strategy and direction of the war of the United Nations against the enemy in the Far East, the existing Anglo-American Council of Chiefs-of-Staff in Washington should be enlarged to be a tripartite council, that is, a Council of Chiefs-of-Staff of China, the United States, and Great Britain; or in the alternative, a Sino-American Council of Chiefs-of-Staff should be established for the direction of the Chinese and American forces in the Far East.

III. Administration of enemy territory and enemy-held territories following Allied occupation
(A) On the occupation of the territory of the enemy, the army of occupation shall exercise the powers of military and civil administration. However, if the army of occupation should be neither Chinese nor British nor American, then all political problems concerning the said territory shall be settled by a specially created Joint Council, wherein China, Great Britain, and the United States, even though without an army in the said territory, shall fully participate for the control of the said territory.

(B) On the liberation of any part of the territory of China, Great Britain, or the United States, the powers of military administration shall be exercised by the army of occupation; and the powers of civil administration, by the State which rightfully has sovereignty over the territory in question. Matters touching on both the military and the civil administration shall be settled by consultation between the army of occupation and the civil administrative organ of the said State.

(C) On the liberation of any part of the territory of other United Nations, the powers of military administration shall be exercised by the army of occupation; and the powers of civil administration, by the State which rightfully has sovereignty over the territory in question, subject, however, to the control of the army of occupation. (In other words, China endorses the proposed scheme of Great Britain and the United States regarding the administration of liberated territories in Europe.)

IV. Settlement with Japan upon her defeat
(A) China, Great Britain, and the United States should agree upon certain guiding principles for the treatment of Japan after her defeat – principles similar to those adopted by the Tripartite Conference in Moscow regarding the treatment of defeated Italy.

(B) China, Great Britain, and the United States should agree upon a program for the punishment of the leaders in Japan responsible for the war and of the officers and men of the Japanese armed forces responsible for the atrocities perpetrated during the war – a program similar to the one adopted by the Tripartite Conference in Moscow for the punishment of Nazi war criminals.

(C) China, Great Britain, and the United States should agree to recognize the independence of Korea after the war. The adherence of the USSR to this agreement for the recognition of Korea’s independence is welcomed at any time.

(D) Japan shall restore to China all the territories she has taken from China since September 18, 1931. Japan shall also return Dairen and Port Arthur, and Formosa and the Pescadores Islands to China.

(E) For the settlement of questions relating to territories in the Pacific, China, Great Britain, and the United States should agree upon certain basic principles and also establish a Committee of Experts to make recommendations for the settlement of these questions. If such a Committee is not established, its work shall be undertaken by the projected Far Eastern Committee.

(F) All Japanese property in China, private as well as public, and the Japanese mercantile fleet shall be taken over by the Chinese Government as indemnification in part for the losses sustained by the Chinese Government and people in the war. For the maintenance of peace in the Far East after the war, Japan’s ammunition and war materials, her war vessels and her aircraft, which may still remain at the end of hostilities, shall be placed at the disposal of the Joint Council of Chiefs-of-Staff of China, the United States, and Great Britain, or in the alternative, of the projected Far Eastern Committee.

Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 24 November 1943

CCS 406/1

Combined Chiefs of Staff – United Chiefs of Staff

We have studied the question of the possible formation of a United Chiefs of Staff organization and, alternatively, of the possible representation on the Combined Chiefs of Staff of powers other than the U.S. and the British. We appreciate, moreover, the need for us all to have our minds made up on this subject, in view of the increasing pressure that is likely in the future. Our views are as follows:

a. The chief need is that the best possible coordination of our military effort with that of the Russians and of the Chinese should be ensured. We feel strongly that, whereas the integration of U.S. and British forces is complete and worldwide, this is in no way the case with regard to the Russians or the Chinese, whose outlook, indeed, is largely confined to their own particular main front. We feel, therefore, that no change whatever should be made in the present Combined Chiefs of Staff standing organization, and that it should remain essentially U S.-British.

b. We have considered whether there should be any other organization, such as a United Chiefs of Staff, and have come to the conclusion that it would not be desirable to establish any form of standing machinery. Relations of such a body to the Combined Chiefs of Staff would be very difficult. It might even claim to be the more representative body, and therefore to exercise jurisdiction over the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The representatives of such a body would not have the authority to make big decisions, and in consequence, such an organization could serve no useful purpose, excepting as a means of improving liaison. This could be done better by improving the arrangements already existing in Washington, London, Moscow and Chungking.

c. Our final conclusion, therefore, is that the best way of ensuring inter-Allied coordination and at the same time meeting the Russian and Chinese susceptibilities, is to ensure that whenever the Combined Chiefs of Staff meet for a big conference such as SEXTANT, they should be invited to attend to discuss the military problems with which they are concerned, as has been done on the present occasion.

Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 24 November 1943

CCS 308/7

Boundaries of the Southeast Asia Command

The Generalissimo has indicated his objection to the boundaries of the Southeast Asia Command proposed at QUADRANT and in lieu thereof, after conferences with Admiral Mountbatten and Lieutenant General Somervell, has indicated his views as follows:

The Generalissimo approves wholeheartedly unity of command under Mountbatten for the Burma campaign. Under existing circumstances, he feels that the inclusion of Thailand and Indochina in the Southeast Asia Theater would not be practicable and would deter rather than further the success of any project designed to defeat Japan. He cites as his reasons for this belief the effect which a change of boundary would have on the Chinese people, on Chinese troops, on the people of Thailand and Indochina and on the Japanese. The Chinese people and army are aware that those countries were included in the China Theater of War and that now to make the change would strike a blow at their morale which would affect the conduct of the coming operations and attitude of the people and troops towards the war. This is borne out by the effect of the announcement in the British press that such a change was contemplated. This caused repercussions involving necessity for the Chinese news agency to deny the statements. Japanese propaganda has been directed to convincing people of Indochina and Thailand that the British intended to hold those countries after the war. A change in boundaries at this time would tend to convince people that Japanese were correct and thus incur hostility to our cause and lastly the change would permit Japanese propaganda in China to be more successful in creating a breach in present happy British, American, and Chinese relations.

The China Theater comprises Thailand, Indochina, and the whole of China. As the war develops, the scope of operations of the United Nations’ Supreme Commander of the Southeast Asia Theater newly created, besides Burma and Malaya, may involve Thailand and Indochina. In order to enable the two theaters to cooperate closely and satisfactorily, the Generalissimo deems advisable to reach the following arrangements in advance:

a. When the time comes for two theaters to launch assaults upon the enemy in Thailand and Indochina, the Chinese troops will attack from the north, and the troops under the command of the Southeast Asia Theater, Mountbatten, are expected to make full use of facilities afforded by the ports and air bases under its control and attack from the south. If the troops are landed in those countries, the boundaries between the two theaters are to be decided at the time in accordance with the progress of advances the respective forces made.

b. All matters of political nature that arise during operations will be dealt with at a Chinese-British-American committee which is to be located in the headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the China Theater.

Admiral Mountbatten has accepted the suggestions of the Generalissimo insofar as the boundaries are concerned but objects to the political commission.

The United States Chiefs of Staff and the President have approved the proposal of the Generalissimo as it stands and recommend British acceptance of his proposals.

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with Roosevelt and Churchill, 11 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt (in the Chair) Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins General Brooke
Admiral Leahy Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Cunningham
Admiral King Field Marshall Dill
General Arnold Lieutenant General Ismay
Lieutenant General Somervell Major General Laycock
Brigadier Hollis
Captain Royal

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

November 24, 1943, 11 a.m.

Operations in Europe and the Mediterranean

The President said that at this meeting he hoped there would be a preliminary survey of operations in the European Theater, including the Mediterranean. Final decisions would depend on the way things went at the conference shortly to be held with Premier Stalin. There were some reports that Premier Stalin had no thoughts beyond OVERLORD, to which he attached the highest importance as being the only operation worth considering. In other quarters it was held that Premier Stalin was anxious that in addition to OVERLORD in 1944, the Germans should be given no respite throughout the winter, and that there should be no idle hands between now and OVERLORD. The logistic problem was whether we could retain OVERLORD in all its integrity and, at the same time, keep the Mediterranean ablaze. In his view, Premier Stalin would be almost certain to demand both the continuation of action in the Mediterranean, and OVERLORD. As regards the Eastern Mediterranean, the question arose “where will the Germans go from the Dodecanese.” The answer seemed to be “nowhere.” If the same question was applied to ourselves, the answer seemed to depend on the action of Turkey. The entry of Turkey into the war would put quite a different complexion on the matter. This would be another question for discussion at the meeting with Premier Stalin.

The Prime Minister said he was in accord with the President’s views. We had had a year of unbroken success in North Africa and the Mediterranean, in Russia, and in the Pacific. Alamein and TORCH had paved the way for the extermination of large German forces in Tunisia. This was followed by the highly successful Sicily operation, and subsequently by the daring amphibious landing at Salerno and the capture of Naples. Then came Mussolini’s fall, the collapse of Italy and the capitulation of the Italian Fleet. In the whole history of warfare there had never been such a long period of joint Allied success, nor such a high degree of cooperation and comradeship extending from the High Command down to the troops in the field between two Allies. We should, however, be unworthy of these accomplishments and of the tasks lying ahead if we did not test our organization to see whether improvements could be made. That was the purpose of these periodical meetings.

As a contrast to the almost unbroken successes of the past year, the last two months had produced a series of disappointments. In Italy the campaign had flagged. We did not have a sufficient margin of superiority to give us the power to force the enemy back. The weather had been bad. The departure from the Mediterranean of certain units and landing craft had had, it seemed, a rather depressing effect on the soldiers remaining to fight the battle. The buildup of strategic air forces may also have contributed to the slow progress. The main objective was Rome, for “whoever holds Rome holds the title deeds of Italy.” With Rome in our possession, the Italian Government would hold up its head. Moreover, we should then be in a position to seize the landing grounds to the northward.

He, the Prime Minister, had agreed, but with a heavy heart, to the return of seven divisions from the Mediterranean Theater. The 50th and 51st British Divisions, which were first-class troops, had had their equipment removed in preparation for embarkation. In the meanwhile, the 3rd U.S. Division had been no less than 49 days in constant contact with the enemy, and other U.S. and British units had been fighting without rest for long periods.

Passing across the Adriatic to Yugoslavia, more trouble had brewed up. It was a lamentable fact that virtually no supplies had been conveyed by sea to the 222,000 followers of Tito. These stalwarts were holding as many Germans in Yugoslavia as the combined Anglo-American forces were holding in Italy south of Rome. The Germans had been thrown into some confusion after the collapse of Italy and the Patriots had gained control of large stretches of the coast. We had not, however, seized our opportunity. The Germans had recovered and were driving the Partisans out bit by bit. The main reason for this was the artificial line of responsibility which ran through the Balkans. On the one hand, the responsibility for operations here lay with the Middle East Command but they had not the forces. On the other hand, General Eisenhower had the forces but not the responsibility. Considering that the Partisans and Patriots had given us such a generous measure of assistance at almost no cost to ourselves, it was of high importance to insure that their resistance was maintained and not allowed to flag.

Moving further east to the Aegean, the picture was equally black. When Italy fell, cheap prizes were open to us, and General Wilson had been ordered to “improvise and dare.” Although we had not been able to seize Rhodes we had occupied Kos, Leros, Samos and others of the smaller islands. It had been hoped to capture Rhodes in October, but when the time came only one Indian division was available for the task, and this was considered an insufficient force to eject the 8,000 Germans in the island. The enemy had reacted strongly to our initial moves. He had ejected us one by one from the islands, ending up with the recapture of Leros where we had lost 5,000 first-class troops, with four cruisers and seven destroyers either sunk or damaged. Nevertheless, taking into account the German soldiers drowned and those killed by air attack and in the battle, neither side could claim any large superiority in battle casualties. The Germans, however, were now reestablished in the Aegean.

As stated by the President, the attitude of Turkey would have a profound effect on future events in this area. With Rhodes once more in our possession and the Turkish airfields at our disposal, the other islands would become untenable for the enemy.

It was to be hoped that the Russians would share our view of the importance of bringing Turkey into the war. They should see that great possibilities would accrue and a chance to join hands with them by means of sending supplies through the Dardanelles. The effect on Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria would be profound. All this might be done at quite a small cost, say, two divisions and a few landing craft. It might well be that a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister could be arranged on the way back from meeting Premier Stalin.

Passing now to the Southeast Asia Theater, it was now clear that FIRST CULVERIN would require many more ships and craft than the British alone could supply. If it was thought by the United States Chiefs of Staff that CULVERIN was the best contribution to the Pacific war, then our resources would have to be made up by help from America. If, on the other hand, CULVERIN was thought to be too costly, it might be better to bring back from the Southeast Asia Theater to the Mediterranean sufficient landing craft for an attack on Rhodes. Thus the sequence would be, first Rome then Rhodes. He, the Prime Minister, wished to make it clear that the British had no idea of advancing into the Valley of the Po. Their idea was that the campaign in Italy should have the strictly limited objective of the Pisa-Rimini line. No regular formations were to be sent to Yugoslavia. All that was needed there was a generous packet of supplies, air support and, possibly, a few Commandos. This stepping-up of our help to the Patriots would not involve us in a large additional commitment. Finally, when we had reached our objectives in Italy, the time would come to take the decision whether we should move to the left or to the right.

Turning now to the knockout blow, OVERLORD, the Prime Minister emphasized that he had in no way relaxed his zeal for this operation. We had profited very considerably in our experiences of amphibious operations and our landing appliances had improved out of all knowledge. There would be an anxious period during the buildup, when the Germans might be able to concentrate more quickly than we could. Nevertheless, the 16 British divisions would be ready when called upon. It seemed to him that the timing of the operation depended more on the state of the enemy than on the set perfection of our preparations. He agreed with the view that if the Germans did not throw in the sponge by February, we should have to expect heavy fighting throughout the summer. In this event, it would have to be realized that the 16 British divisions were the limit of our contribution. The British could not meet any further calls on our manpower, which was now fully deployed on war service.

After reviewing all the various theaters of operations, the relationships seemed to work out as follows.

OVERLORD remained top of the bill, but this operation should not be such a tyrant as to rule out every other activity in the Mediterranean; for example, a little flexibility in the employment of landing craft ought to be conceded. Seventy additional LCTs had been ordered to be built in British shipyards. We must see if we can do even better than this.

General Alexander had asked that the date of the return of the landing craft for OVERLORD should be deferred from mid-December to mid-January. The resources which were at issue between the American and British Staffs would probably be found to amount to no more than 10 percent of the whole, excluding those in the Pacific Surely some degree of elasticity could be arranged. Nevertheless, he wished to remove any idea that we had weakened, cooled, or were trying to get out of OVERLORD. We were in it up to the hilt.

To sum up, the program he advocated was Rome in January, Rhodes in February, supplies to the Yugoslavs, a settlement of the Command arrangements and the opening of the Aegean, subject to the outcome of an approach to Turkey; all preparations for OVERLORD to go ahead full steam within the framework of the foregoing policy for the Mediterranean.

The President said that we could not tell what the state of German military capabilities would be from month to month. The Russian advance, if it continued at its present rate, would bring our ally in a few weeks to the boundaries of Rumania. At the forthcoming conference, the Russians might ask what we intended to do in this event. They might suggest a junction of our right with their left. We should be ready to answer this question.

The Russians might suggest that we stage an operation at the top of the Adriatic with a view to assisting Tito.

Turning to manpower, the President read out the figures for the U.S. and British air and land forces at present disposed overseas and in the respective home countries.

The Prime Minister said that the staffs had been giving much thought to how we should beat Japan when Hitler was finished. He was determined to solve this problem and the British Fleet would be disposed wherever it could make the best contribution towards this end. The air force buildup would also be studied.

The President said that he shared the views expressed by Mr. Molotov that the defeat of Japan would follow that of Germany and more rapidly than at present was generally thought possible. It seemed that the Generalissimo had been well satisfied with the discussion held the previous day. There was no doubt that China had wide aspirations which included the reoccupation of Manchuria and Korea.

The President then referred to the question of Command, remarking that he still received requests for the transfer of shipping and of air forces from one theater to another for a limited period of operations. In his view our strategic air forces from London to Ankara should be under one command. He cited the example of the command which Marshal Foch exercised in 1918.

The Prime Minister said that once we were across the Channel a united command would be established in the area of operations. He considered that the Combined Chiefs of Staff system had worked reasonably satisfactorily in taking the decision referred to by the President.

The Prime Minister paid a tribute to the accuracy and effectiveness of the U.S. daylight bombers operating from the United Kingdom.

The President and Prime Minister invited the staffs to study the problems as to the scope and dates of the operations to be carried out in the European and Mediterranean Theaters in 1944, with a view to arriving at an agreed view, if possible, before the coming meeting with the Russians.

The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, November 24, 1943

For the President from Secretary Hull

You will recall that just prior to my departure for Moscow you approved a paper entitled “Civil Affairs for France” which outlined the basic principles under which the Supreme Allied Commander would operate with regard to civil administration of liberated French territory on the mainland during the period of hostilities. This paper had likewise received the approval of our War Department and subsequently was approved by the British Government. It was submitted to the Moscow Conference and by agreement with the British and Russian Delegations was referred to the European Commission. In view of the urgency of the matter and possible delay in setting up the Commission we suggested informally to the British that the Foreign Office might wish to take immediate steps to clear it in London through the American and Soviet Embassies.

The British Foreign Office has, however, now come back with suggestions for an entirely different approach communicated in a memorandum left with the Department by the British Embassy.

The British memorandum sets out that the British Government feels:

…that in view of recent changes at Algiers and in particular of the fact that the French resistance movements, whose role will be of such importance when Allied landings take place, are now strongly represented on the Committee, the collaboration of the French Committee and of the French military authorities may be impossible to obtain unless the matter is cleared on the Governmental level with the French Committee before the Allied military authorities get into touch with the French military authorities in the matter. And French cooperation in the planning, and later in the actual work of civil administration, is essential to its success.

The memorandum also states that the British Government anticipates that since the Russian Delegates raised the matter at Moscow the Russians will again revert to the question of “the status and role of the French Committee” as soon as discussion is resumed with them. Consequently the British feel, the memorandum continues, that “since this question raises an important aspect of a combined Anglo-American operation, it would be desirable that Anglo-American agreement should be reached before discussions are opened with the Soviet Government” and that for these reasons the British Government sees “no practical alternative to an early discussion of the whole problem with the French Committee, and feels that this ought to be done very soon if events are not to overtake action.”

A similar approach has been made by Peake of the Foreign Office to Phillips in London and COSSAC requests an early reply. Phillips telegraphs in part as follows:

(3) The proposed basic scheme envisages a French director of civil affairs. Manifestly his authority and responsibility would not extend to appropriate parts of the zone of operations until military conditions therein permit. However, under RANKIN “c” conditions, which envisage a Nazi collapse and the cessation of organized resistance by the German forces, on or before D-Day, there would arise an almost immediate need for the establishment of a provisional French administration for virtually all France. It would appear that the only available organization capable of handling such a situation in the large areas outside the corridors through which our forces will pass, is the French National Committee which now has the support of the resistance groups. The foregoing refers only to RANKIN “c.”

(4) In the case of OVERLORD, this situation would probably not arise until very extensive areas of France have been liberated. Until this situation arises, the French director’s responsibility would be necessarily limited to providing civil administration in areas to the rear of the fighting zone and then only as the military situation permits a progressive transfer of civil responsibility to him.

(5) Therefore, the immediate and pressing problem now before us is related [to planning for the cooperation of RANKIN “c.”

As you will observe, giving the changes in the French Committee as their reasons, the British have now advanced a basic contention that we should agree to negotiations with the French Committee relative to the basic civil affairs formula on a governmental level rather than the previous arrangement of dealing with French military authorities on a combined military operational level.

I should appreciate receiving your instructions as to the nature of the reply you wish made to this British suggestion as well as to the proposal that the French Committee be permitted to assume control of “virtually all France” under RANKIN “c” conditions.


The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, November 24, 1943

For the President from Secretary Hull:

Mr. Kennan conversed with Dr. Salazar for two hours yesterday afternoon and presented the President’s personal letter. The letter clearly made a profound impression on the Prime Minister.

The conversation was cordial and friendly throughout. Dr. Salazar said he could not answer authoritatively offhand.

Dr. Salazar had expected us to use naval facilities granted the British as occasion required, without requesting permission.

He was not unsympathetic about facilities in Terceira and was ready to seek a formula to reconcile our use of the airport with the terms of the British agreement. He wondered whether we could not consider aircraft being delivered by ferry command to England as having British status from departure in this country until after passage through Portuguese territory, and said in this case he would not be interested in nationality of crews or ground forces serving such aircraft. Answering a specific question from Kennan he said this would apply to construction and engineering personnel.

As for facilities beyond those granted the British, his primary reaction was that this was tantamount to proposing Portugal’s entry into the war. He dwelt at length on his efforts to preserve Portuguese neutrality, and said the British alliance had afforded the pretext for giving the British their facilities while continuing to claim neutrality. He recognized the need for closer collaboration with Atlantic nations. Should he enter the war he would extend us all facilities, but he questioned the advantage of Portuguese belligerency.

Kennan stressed the importance of obtaining our facilities promptly and asked Dr. Salazar to bear this in mind.

Kennan considers Dr. Salazar’s reaction encouraging and hopes indications of British support, which will be conveyed by the British Minister [Ambassador] today, will further improve our position. He is sure that Dr. Salazar, after reading the President’s letter and observing recent events, is not unreceptive to our use of the Islands but is seeking a formula to reconcile his action with neutrality.


Chiang-Marshall luncheon meeting, afternoon

United States China
General Marshall Generalissimo Chiang
Lieutenant General Stilwell Madame Chiang

The Director of War Mobilization to the President

Washington, November 24, 1943

Reference yours of 23 November.

Based on Bureau of Shipping predictions, program “C” can be increased in

January 0
February 2 to total of 447,
March 5 to total of 477,
April 15 to total of 517,
May 28 to total of 770;
LCIL increased in
January 0
February 3 to total of 508,
March 10 to total of 547,
April 20 to total of 597,
May 38 to total of 665;
LCT-7, no increases in months specified;
LCT-5 and 6, increased in
January 0
February 10 to total of 724,
March 21 to total of 785,
April 35 to total of 860,
May 50 to total of 950;
LCM-3 increased in
January 0
February 300 to total of 6,079,
March 300 to total of 6,829,
April 300 to total of 7,629,
May 300 to total of 8,469;
LCVP, increased in
January 0
February 200 to total of 9,646,
March 200 to total of 10,596,
April 200 to total of 11,546,
May 200 to total of 12,496;
LCC, increased in
January and February 0
March 15 to total of 69,
April 15 to total of 84,
May 15 to total of 99;

LVT, no increases considered feasible before June; any increases in LCPL and LCSS would be at the expense in equivalent reduction of LCVP. Headquarters ships AGC can be increased:

1 April delivery
2 May

Above figures result of conference of all interested agencies based on assumption that landing craft takes precedence over all other munitions including Russian protocol. Dates represent delivery tidewater ports United States. Will affect Army truck, Naval construction and to some extent high octane. Deliveries depend upon promptly directing priorities. Shall I proceed?