Cairo Conferences (SEXTANT)

Chiang meeting with certain American generals, 11:30 a.m.

United States China
General Arnold Generalissimo Chiang
Lieutenant General Stilwell General Shang
Lieutenant General Somervell Lieutenant General Lin
Major General Stratemeyer Lieutenant General Chou
Major General Wheeler Major General Chu
Brigadier General Merrill Colonel Liu

Memorandum of conversation

Cairo, 26 November 1943

The Conference began with a demand from the Generalissimo to maintain a fixed tonnage of 10,000 tons per month over the hump regardless of any demands which might be made on the equipment to support necessary operations in the South East Asia Command. It was explained to the Generalissimo (1) that all C-46 airplanes are being assigned to this service, (2) that an increase in the efficiency of the service is expected, (3) that efforts are being made to secure 25 C-47 airplanes for Lord [Louis] Mountbatten, and that with these arrangements, the estimated tonnage over the hump would probably not only reach but exceed in due course the 10,000 tons target figure, (4) that the difference between the figure proposed by Lord Mountbatten for the next 7 months, 8,900 tons, and the figures estimated by the Generalissimo would be only 1,100 tons. It was explained that under these circumstances it was possible, even with the diversions asked by Lord Mountbatten, that there might still be 10,000 tons for delivery in China.

The Generalissimo stated that he felt that his requirements and those of Lord Mountbatten in the South East Asia Theater should be divorced and that they should be handled as separate items. It was explained that owing to the nature of the operation and the fact that the operations themselves were designed to push the Japanese back and thus provide for greater safety of the air route that this could not be done. It was also explained that all concerned had the increase in tonnage over the hump very much at heart and that though only 8,900 tons could be promised, that every effort would be made to increase this figure not only to 10,000 tons but to exceed 10,000 tons.

The Generalissimo concluded the conference by saying that he hoped that Lord Mountbatten and his demands could be separated but that he would accept the figures given to him with the understanding that the ATC would devote its best endeavors to securing the greatest possible increase in the tonnage.


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Meeting of American and British information officials, 11:30 a.m.

November 26, 1943, 11:30 a.m.
Present: Colonel McCarthy USA
Colonel McClenahan USA
Major Durno USA
Mr. Ryan MIME
Mr. Shea OWI
Colonel Maunsell SIME
and for part of the time
Mr. Sinclair MIME
Mr. Barnes OWI
Major Putman [Putnam?] P. R. USAFIME

The following conclusions were reached:

Still photographs
Each party would process their own material in Cairo under Security conditions, would exchange material and send material to London and Washington under the usual arrangements.

Moving pictures
The USA would send their material unprocessed to Washington (Public Relations Bureau, War Dept.). Copies of this material when treated would be sent back to Cairo for MIME.

British material would be processed under Security conditions in Cairo, and “lavenders” would be given to the USA authorities here.

The British material would subsequently be sent to London in the usual way.

Release for pictures
It was agreed that no pictures of any kind should be released until the time of the final release date.

Credit line
It was agreed, subject to confirmation on the one hand by Mr. Ryan and on the other by Col. McClenahan, that all pictures moving and still taken in connection with the Conference by any of the various official photographers or cinemen should be pooled for all parties concerned and should carry the credit line “United Nations Photographic Pool.”

Transmission by air of messages not yet releasable
It was agreed that messages now being written by correspondents could be conveyed periodically by the air courier service to London (for the British correspondents) and Washington (for the American correspondents) subject to
(1) Censorship here before despatch.

(2) Consignment to the appropriate official authority in the respective countries for holding until the time of release.

(3) Recensorship before release in the event of any new stops being imposed after the messages have left this country.

Arrangements for final release
Mr. Ryan explained the arrangements under consideration. These were:

(a) Release for publication to be at 23.30 hours GMT on “X” Day. This was the hour adopted as standard for important joint announcements London and Washington in the past. Mr. Ryan had been assured by the American correspondents that it was a suitable time for American release.

(b) It would be impossible for the cable service to carry a fraction of the correspondents’ messages within a reasonable time, (e.g. 24 hours) of the start of transmission. The volume of messages could only be handled within a period of 24 hours by wireless transmission and then only by making very special arrangements and suspending certain other normal transmission.

It was therefore proposed that release for transmission by wireless should be at 23.30 hours GMT on X minus 1 day.

It should be realized that this was the moment at which security stopped. Axis monitoring stations would be able to pick up messages sent by this form of transmission.

The present view was that this interval of 24 hours between release for transmission and release for publication would be long enough to get the correspondents’ messages off but short enough to prevent any reproduction in the press or radio of broadcasts sent out by Axis stations based on their pickup of transmissions from Cairo.

(c) It is of the utmost importance that correspondents should have a minimum of 12 hours warning, if at all possible, of the time of release for transmission.

(d) These arrangements to be confirmed by Mr. Ryan (who is in consultation with the Ministry of Information, London) and Col. McClenahan.

Issue of early communiqué
If an early communiqué was issued and it was desired that there should be no reference to the location of the Conference, transmission by wireless would be out of the question and the cable service would have to be used.

There would have to be an interval between the release for transmission by cable and release for publication. This would require further investigation and Mr. Ryan undertook to get into touch with the cable company (The Hon. Cecil Campbell.)

Mr. Ryan felt considerable misgivings as to whether it would prove practicable to issue a communiqué on this basis without in fact “breaking” the story.

27 November, 1943

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Final text of the communiqué

November 26, 1943

Press communiqué

President Roosevelt, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek and Prime Minister Churchill, together with their respective military and diplomatic advisers, have completed a conference in North Africa. The following general statement was issued:

The several military missions have agreed upon future military operations against Japan. The three great Allies expressed their resolve to bring unrelenting pressure against their brutal enemies by sea, land and air. This pressure is already rising.

The three great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent.

With these objects in view the three Allies, in harmony with those of the United Nations at war with Japan, will continue to persevere in the serious and prolonged operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan.

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Memorandum by the Minister in Egypt

Cairo, November 26, 1943


On this afternoon Mr. Harry Hopkins handed me a copy of the communiqué to be issued in regard to the Anglo-American-Chinese talks in Cairo and asked me to hold it pending the receipt of instructions from Tehran as to its release. Mr. Hopkins said that the matter of the release had not been decided upon and that I would be given 24 hours’ notice so that the release by the three interested countries might be simultaneous. Mr. Hopkins added that I should notify the Chinese when I got instructions from Tehran. At the conclusion of the conversation, I said that it seemed that all I was to do was to see that the U.S. correspondents in Cairo got the communiqué through OWI and Mr. Hopkins replied in the affirmative.


Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 2:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Air Chief Marshal Portal
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Cunningham
General Arnold Field Marshall Dill
General Eisenhower Lieutenant General Ismay
Lieutenant General Somervell General Riddell-Webster
Vice Admiral Willson Admiral Cunningham
Rear Admiral Cooke Air Chief Marshal Tedder
Rear Admiral Bieri General Wilson
Rear Admiral Badger Air Chief Marshal Douglas
Major General Sutherland Vice Admiral Willis
Major General Stratemeyer Major General Whiteley
Major General Wheeler Major General Lewis
Major General Handy Brigadier de Rhé-Philipe
Major General Fairchild Captain Power
Major General Wedemeyer Colonel Lascelles
Brigadier General Kuter Captain Lambe
Brigadier General Hansell Brigadier Sugden
Brigadier General Tansey Air Commodore Elliot
Captain Doyle Brigadier Head
Colonel Jenkins Brigadier McNair
Colonel O’Donnell
Colonel Roberts
Captain Freseman
Commander Long
Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal
Colonel McFarland
Commander Coleridge

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

November 26, 1943, 2:30 p.m.

Operations in the Southeast Asia Command (CCS 411 and 411/1)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the amendments to CCS 411 set out in CCS 411/1 and directed that the amended paper, subsequently published as CCS 411/2, should be forwarded to the Generalissimo via the Supreme Commander SEAC without delay.

Reports From Commanders-in-Chief

Report by Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ
Sir Alan Brooke asked General Eisenhower to give his views with particular reference, firstly, to the question of centralization of command in the Mediterranean, and secondly, to the best ways and means of prosecuting the war in the Mediterranean area.

General Eisenhower said that with regard to the first question, he regarded centralization of command as being absolutely essential. In practice, the air and naval commands were already centralized and he considered the whole command must similarly be coordinated and controlled from one headquarters. With regard to future operations in the Mediterranean, he considered that these had to be looked at under two different assumptions. Firstly, that there would be a full-out effort in the Mediterranean throughout the winter. On this assumption, taking into consideration the Russian advances and the effect of POINTBLANK, Italy was, in his view, the correct place in which to deploy our main forces and the objective should be the Valley of the Po. In no other area could we so well threaten the whole German structure including France, the Balkans and the Reich itself. Here also our air would be closer to vital objectives in Germany. The seven divisions for OVERLORD had all left his theater so that, to implement his suggested course of action, only additional landing craft were needed. It was necessary to keep all that he now had and certain others would be required for certain phases of his operations. His buildup must go on continuously. In addition, it was essential to have enough landing craft to insure that one amphibious division can be always ready to attack. With regard to the timing of operations, it would be quite impossible to reach the Po by 15 January, a date which he believed had been suggested. The fighting was particularly bitter and it was necessary to keep fresh infantry divisions in the front line. Amphibious operations, it must be remembered, depended on weather conditions and therefore the timing of the advances could not be exactly predicted. The next best method of harrying the enemy was to undertake operations in the Aegean. There are sufficient forces in the Mediterranean to take action in this area provided it is not done until after the Po line has been reached. It could then be undertaken while the forces in Italy were reorganizing for thrusts either to the east or west. When the Aegean operations were undertaken it would be necessary to bring Turkey into the war. The French High Command were most anxious to undertake operations into the south of France but these were ruled out since all available landing craft were required for the Italian campaign.

Turning to operations in the Mediterranean, based on the assumption that only limited means were available, General Eisenhower considered that only the line north of Rome could be achieved and that after that he would have to maintain a strategic defensive with strong local offensive action. Lack of landing craft would prevent him from amphibious turning movements designed to cut off enemy forces. The time to turn to the Aegean would be when the line north of Rome had been achieved. German reactions to our occupation of the islands had clearly proved how strongly they resented action on our part in this area. From here the Balkans could be kept aflame; Ploesti would be threatened and the Dardanelles might be opened. Sufficient forces should be used for operations in the Aegean and no unnecessary risks run. He considered that the earlier British occupation of the islands had been right and justified, but the position was now different and strong German reactions could be expected. In either of the two assumptions it was essential to bring Turkey into the war at the moment that the operations in the Aegean were undertaken.

Sir Alan Brooke explained that the date of 15 January had been suggested, not for the capture of the Po line but for that of the Pisa-Rimini line. He asked for General Eisenhower’s views with regard to action in Yugoslavia.

General Eisenhower said that on the assumption that he would advance to the Po line, he would propose action to establish small garrisons in the islands on the eastern coast of the Adriatic from which thrusts as far north as possible could be made into Yugoslavia and the Patriots furnished with arms and equipment. If only the Rome line was reached, it would not be possible to thrust as far up the Adriatic as he would have liked.

General Eisenhower then outlined the program for the buildup of his forces in Italy. He confirmed that the ground forces available to him should be sufficient to reach the Po line. His present strength was the maximum which the poor lines of communication could maintain. It must be remembered that there was no good port north of Naples until Leghorn was reached. With regard to his air force buildup, General Eisenhower said he would like it clearly understood that all of this was not for use in POINTBLANK but much of it took an active part in assisting the land battle. This air force, based in Italy, was twice as effective as if it had remained in Tunisia. Only the initial buildup of the air force was a costly business since, once established, six groups could be maintained for the same tonnage as two divisions.

General Eisenhower stressed the vital importance of continuing the maximum possible operations in an established theater since much time was invariably lost when the scene of action was changed, necessitating, as it did, the arduous task of building up a fresh base.

With regard to supply of equipment to the Yugoslavian guerrillas, one officer had now been placed in charge of these operations and arms captured in North Africa and Sicily were being sent in. Italian equipment captured in Italy was at present being used to equip one Italian parachute division, which was believed to be of good fighting quality, and a further division would possibly also be equipped. He believed that all possible equipment should be sent to Tito since Mikhailovitch’s [Mihailović’s] forces were of relatively little value.

Sir John Cunningham agreed that everything in our power should be done to support Tito, who had some hundred thousand men under his control. The Germans would have great difficulties operating against the guerrillas since their lateral communications were immensely difficult and there was only one poor railway. They would have largely to supply their forces by sea. It would be impossible, therefore, for them to rapidly concentrate against Tito’s forces. He believed that by air and naval action, their seaborne lines of communication could be cut, and in fact, he hoped shortly to be operating destroyers in the Venice-Trieste-Pola area. He questioned whether it would be possible or right to continue to supply Italian equipment since this was rapidly running short.

Air Marshal Tedder said that the present system of air operations into the Balkans worked reasonably well. The tactical commander in Italy was given his targets from the Middle East. He agreed with Sir Charles Portal that when the joint staff under the officer responsible for operations in the Balkans had been set up, coordination of effort would be more satisfactory.

General Eisenhower said that he believed that given 50 percent good weather, he would, once his air forces were firmly established in Italy, be able to almost completely cut the seven German lines of communication into Italy and keep them cut.

Report by Commanders-in-Chief, Middle East
General Wilson, referring to operations in the Aegean, said that it was essential to cut the German iron ring which included Rhodes, Scarpanto, Crete, and Greece. Rhodes was the key to the situation and to capture this, additional equipment would be required from the western Mediterranean. Once Rhodes had fallen, these resources could be returned and the remainder of the operations in the Aegean carried out with the resources available in the Middle East. All of this was based on the assumption that Turkey had entered the war on our side. For Rhodes, one British division including two assault loaded brigades with previous amphibious experience would be required. These could be withdrawn after the capture of Rhodes. The additional forces required included one armored brigade and one parachute brigade, which were available from the Middle East. He considered that Turkey should be asked to take other islands of the Dodecanese. This he felt should be within their power with the possible exception of Lemnos, which the Germans were using as a base and had reinforced. The commitment to Turkey to protect them against air attack, i.e., Operation HARDIHOOD, could be met, with the exception of certain administrative units, without affecting Aegean operations.

Air Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas said that he would require some 17 to 20 squadrons and these could be provided with certain assistance which Air Marshal Tedder could provide. With this, Smyrna and Constantinople could be protected, Rhodes captured, and convoys to the Dardanelles given adequate cover. He considered that the capture of Rhodes was a prerequisite to running convoys since without it unacceptably heavy losses must be expected.

Most of the airports required in Turkey were already completed with the exception of two in the neighborhood of Rhodes, on which steel mats were now being laid. Negotiations were being undertaken with the Turks to enable us to put into Turkey the necessary equipment to provide RAF cover and operation rooms. Only one of the airfields was situated to the west of the Bosphorus, and he believed the Turkish forces, including the two divisions in the neighborhood of airdromes opposite Rhodes were adequate to protect them even against airborne attack.

General Wilson stressed the importance of action in support of the guerrillas as far north as possible in Yugoslavia. The islands on the eastern Adriatic would be a valuable stepping stone to the mainland and would assist in the maintenance of guerrillas. Operations in northern Yugoslavia would constitute a serious threat to the Germans’ rear.

In reply to a question by Admiral Leahy, General Wilson said that the Turks had not got the necessary resources for a full-scale amphibious attack but that he believed that with the assistance of air attack and seaborne bombardment and by using local craft and small landing craft, some of which might have to be provided from the western Mediterranean, the Turks could stage the short shore-to-shore assault required for the capture of certain of the islands.

With regard to Rumania, General Wilson said that he was in touch with resistance groups and that a wireless station had been established in Bucharest. The resistance groups, however, were fearful of the Germans and were taking little action. His knowledge of resistance in Bulgaria was small but he believed this resistance to be growing. He had discussed with General Donovan the possibility of further efforts being made to establish contact with this country.

In reply to a question by General Arnold, Air Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas said that the airfields in Turkey would be ample for the forces he was able to deploy, and consisted of about eight fighter airdromes and six bomber airdromes. Sites had been selected at a reasonable distance back from the coast and all were equipped with hard surfaces except those in the neighborhood of Rhodes, on which work was now in hand.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note with interest of the statements of the Commanders in Chief, North African and Middle East Theaters, and of the resulting discussion.

At this point General D. D. Eisenhower, Admiral Sir John Cunningham, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, General Sir H. Maitland Wilson, Air Chief Marshal Sir Sholto Douglas, Vice Admiral Sir A. U. Willis, Major General J. F. M. Whiteley, Major General R. H. [G.?] Lewis, Brigadier R. [A. T.] de Rhe Phillipe [de Rhé-Philipe], Captain M. L. Power, RN, Colonel J. H. Lascelles and Colonel R. E. Jenkins, USA, withdrew from the meeting.

Approval of decisions of CCS 130th Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 130th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted subject to minor amendments.

OVERLORD and the Mediterranean

Estimate of the Enemy Situation, 1944 – Europe (CCS 300/3)
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the “Estimate of the Enemy Situation, 1944 – Europe,” presented by the United States Chiefs of Staff in CCS 300/3 (SEXTANT).

OVERLORD and the Mediterranean (CCS 409, 410 and 387)
Admiral Leahy said that the United States Chiefs of Staff tentatively accepted the proposals for action in the Mediterranean contained in paragraph 6 of CCS 409 as a basis for discussion with the Soviet Staff.

It was the understanding of the United States Chiefs of Staff that the British proposals would include the opening of the Dardanelles and the capture of Rhodes for which the retention of landing craft in the Mediterranean was essential but that the retention of these landing craft would in no way interfere with the carrying out of Operation BUCCANEER.

Sir Alan Brooke explained that BUCCANEER would not be interfered with provided the date for OVERLORD was put back. The British Chiefs of Staff had prepared a detailed examination of the relationship of OVERLORD, Mediterranean and Aegean operations, and BUCCANEER.

General Marshall explained that the United States Chiefs of Staff tentatively accepted the British proposals for negotiations with the Soviets. He understood that these proposals implied the capture of the Rimini-Pisa line, the capture of Rhodes and the retention of the 68 landing craft until its capture. He understood that Operation Buccaneer would not be interfered with and that further discussion would take place on these proposals when the Combined Chiefs of Staff returned to SEXTANT.

Sir Alan Brooke said that if the capture of Rhodes and Rome and Operation BUCCANEER were carried out, the date of OVERLORD must go back.

General Marshall said that he quite understood this point. He was of the opinion that it was essential to do Operation BUCCANEER, for the reasons that firstly, not only were the forces ready but the operation was acceptable to the Chinese; secondly, it was of vital importance to operations in the Pacific; and, thirdly, for political reasons it could not be interfered with.

In the course of a full discussion the following points were made:

a. Sir Alan Brooke said that it might be necessary to consider earnestly the possibility of putting off Operation BUCCANEER since by so doing the full weight of our resources could be brought to bear on Germany, thus bringing the war as a whole to an end at the earliest possible date. The matter should be looked at from a purely strategical aspect.

b. Sir Charles Portal felt that the Russians might well say that not only did they agree with the proposed course of action outlined by the British Chiefs of Staff and tentatively accepted by the United States Chiefs of Staff but also that they required Operation OVERLORD at the earliest possible date. In this case we must surely consider the possibility of putting off Operation BUCCANEER. He did not believe this operation essential to the land campaign in Burma.

c. Admiral King considered it unsound to bring back landing craft from BUCCANEER. In his view the land campaign in Burma was not complete without Operation BUCCANEER. Our object was to make use of China and her manpower and the delay of a year in achieving this object must most certainly delay the end of the war as a whole.

d. General Marshall stressed the U.S. contribution to the war in Europe. He believed that the suggestion that putting off the Operation BUCCANEER would shorten the war was an overstatement. The United States Chiefs of Staff were most anxious that BUCCANEER should be undertaken. They had gone far to meet the British Chiefs of Staff views but the postponement of BUCCANEER they could not accept.

e. Admiral Leahy said he wished it clearly understood that the United States Chiefs of Staff were not in a position to agree to the abandonment of Operation BUCCANEER. This could only be decided by the President and the Prime Minister.

At this point the Combined Chiefs of Staff continued the meeting in closed session.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed to the unification of command in the Mediterranean as outlined in CCS 387, and that this unification of command should be made effective forthwith.

b. Tentatively accepted paragraph 6b, c, d, e, and f (modified) of CCS 409 as a basis for discussion with the Soviets, subject to the following understandings and modifications:

(1) That these proposals necessitate a delay in the target date for OVERLORD.

(2) That paragraph 6e includes the capture of Rhodes and the retention of certain landing craft in the Mediterranean.

(3) That in paragraph 6f the words “do everything possible to” in the second line be deleted.

(4) That the United States Chiefs of Staff could not accept the abandonment of the BUCCANEER operation; also that if further discussion should show the postponement of BUCCANEER to be desirable, this would need to be taken up with the President and the Prime Minister.

c. Took note of the memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff on the effect of weather on Operation OVERLORD (CCS 410).

Collaboration with the USSR (CCS 407)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted CCS 407, with certain amendments as a basis for the agenda at the forthcoming conference with the USSR [The amended paper, in which are incorporated the conclusions on this subject reached at CCS 129th Meeting, has been published as CCS 407 (Revised)].

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Memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 26 November 1943

CCS 407 (revised)

Collaboration with the USSR

During the forthcoming conference with the Soviets, it is recommended that the following broad lines of action be adopted:

a. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff agree upon the U.S.-British strategy in Europe and seek the approval of the President and Prime Minister before meeting the Soviets.

b. That the Soviets be urged to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations offensive by effective coordination with OVERLORD.

c. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff should agree to consult together before making reply to proposals upon which there has been no previous agreement.

d. That, specifically, an agreed answer be obtained to any Soviet proposals which involve the undertaking of major operations through the Balkans or the Aegean.

e. That a common policy be adopted concerning Turkey, to include briefly the support of the Soviet proposal to force Turkey into the war but to stand firm on the principle that no diversion of forces or supplies for Turkey can be accepted to the prejudice of approved operations elsewhere.

Throughout the deliberation with the Soviets, it should be made clear that the United States and Great Britain are involved in military operations not only in the European Theater but also in the Pacific-Asiatic Theater, and that their heavy commitments of resources throughout the world compel them to decide on operations only after careful analysis of the overall situation.

At the Moscow Conference, the United States and British representatives were primarily engaged in explaining and defending their own position. In the future, the United States and Great Britain should make specific requests on the Soviets.

A proposed agenda is attached as an enclosure.


Memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Proposed agenda for U.S.-British-USSR Conference

  1. Coordination of military effort
    The coordination of Soviet operations with Anglo-American operations in Europe.

  2. Italy
    Discuss current and planned military operations in and from Italy.

  3. Turkey
    Turkish action on entry into the war.

  4. Supplies to Russia

  5. Strategic bombing
    Discussion of Soviet capabilities to initiate strategic bombing of targets in Germany or her satellites in extension of POINTBLANK. (Current intelligence indicates German fighter strength is extremely weak on the Russian front – 130 serviceable fighters.)

  6. Japan
    On the assumption that the USSR will bring up for discussion its entry into the war against Japan after the defeat of Germany, the following should be considered:

a. Request Soviets to furnish combat intelligence information concerning Japan; if agreed to we will present specific questions through the military mission at Moscow.

b. Request Soviets to indicate whether they consider it desirable at this time to set in hand arrangements to base Soviet submarine force in U.S. territory.

c. Request Soviets to indicate what direct or indirect assistance they will be able to give, if it is found possible to launch an attack on the Northern Kuriles.

d. Soviets to indicate what ports, if any, they could allow the Allies to use. Request Soviets to furnish data on ports through Military Mission in order that we may determine the size and type of Naval Task Forces we can employ.

e. Soviets to indicate what air bases, if any, they could allow our air forces to use for operations against Japan, and what facilities, including gasoline and bombs, could be supplied. What air routes to these bases could be provided?

Note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 26 November 1943

CCS 407/1

Collaboration with the USSR

The Combined Chiefs of Staff at their 131st Meeting, Item 5, agreed that the following items, which are currently under discussion as a result of the Moscow Conference, should be discussed between the United States and British Military Missions in Moscow and the Soviet authorities concerned:

Shuttle bomber bases
(1) When will the USSR be prepared to designate air bases for our use? What are presently available locations, facilities, and capabilities? The United States tentatively desires 10 bases so distributed as to permit shuttle bombing from Italy and United Kingdom.

(2) When may we begin sending the required service personnel into the USSR to the designated bases?

(3) What is Soviet proposal for handling the close operational liaison required?

(4) What signal communications with the United Kingdom and Italy can be provided?

Air transport routes
Request establishment of U.S. Air Transport Service on a minimum frequency basis of one roundtrip weekly on three routes in the following order of priority:

(1) AlSib
In order that the U.S. may have a direct and independent air line of communications with the USSR

In order that the basic machinery may be set up and be in operation to provide a direct US-USSR aerial route of supply to support any future USSR military air operations.

(2) U.S.-U.K.-Moscow
Primarily to support shuttle bombing operations.

(3) Tehran-Moscow
In order to transport munitions and spare parts required in connection with shuttle bombing operations and to connect Moscow with our Mediterranean and SE Asia fronts. This will provide an alternative during the winter months when the northern route (U.S.-U.K.) is not operating regularly.

Weather information
(1) Request Soviet basic weather ciphers in order to interpret weather broadcasts. The U.S. will furnish weather ciphers desired by the USSR.

(2) Alternatively, if foregoing is not acceptable to the Soviets, U. S. desires weather data on specific areas, using special ciphers as follows:
(a) Shuttle bombing areas.
(b) Tehran transport route; data west of Long. 75°E.
(c) From 60°E. to 160°E (for operations in China).
(d) From 90°E to 180° (for the AlSib route).

(3) Request USSR to indicate the procedure they suggest in the mutual exchange of weather information. We propose exchange of meteorological liaison officers for coordination of technical details and arrangements for distribution of weather codes and ciphers.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff desire their respective missions to make periodic reports to the Combined Chiefs of Staff regarding progress made in the negotiations on the above subjects.

Combined Secretariat

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Memorandum by the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, November 26, 1943

CCS 411/2

Points on which Generalissimo’s agreement should be obtained

Since the Combined Chiefs of Staff are unable to find the 535 additional transport aircraft which are required for the Mandalay plan, it is agreed that the plan presented by Admiral Mountbatten at the First Plenary Session shall be accepted.

The stipulation which the Generalissimo has made that an amphibious operation is to be carried out in March is noted, and will be taken into consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff when amphibious operations in all parts of the world are reviewed in about a week’s time. Meanwhile preparations are being pushed forward in the Southeast Asia Theater for an amphibious operation to meet this date, should approval be subsequently given.

A fleet of adequate strength to cover such an operation and to obtain command of the Bay of Bengal will be assembled by the beginning of March.

The Supreme Commander, Southeast Asia Command, will be authorized to divert not more than an average of 1,100 tons per month from tonnage over the “hump” to the requirements of the Burma campaign. Diversions in excess of this figure may be made by him only to meet sudden and critical emergencies of the battle or by permission of the highest authority. The Air Transport Command will use its utmost energy to raise the efficiency of its operation and increase the “hump” tonnage to a full 10,000 tons per month into China by the late winter and a further increase in the spring.

The Supreme Allied Commander is delegating his command over the Chinese-American Task Force starting from Ledo to Lieutenant General Slim commanding the 14th British Army, until the main body reaches Kamaing, when he will place the force under the command of Lieutenant General Stilwell.

It is the intention to resume the offensive in October 1944, when the monsoon stops; it is, however, too far ahead to decide the precise resources which will be available.

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Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 26 November 1943

CCS 400/1

Control of Strategic Air Forces in Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean

In CCS 400 the United States Chiefs of Staff have proposed that the U.S. Strategic Air Forces operating from the United Kingdom and from Mediterranean bases, the 8th and 15th Air Forces respectively, should be placed under a single Command – the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe – with a Headquarters in the United Kingdom. The object of this proposal is to achieve the more effective exploitation of U.S. heavy bomber capabilities which, it is hoped, the new Headquarters will secure in two ways:

a. By organizing mutually supporting operations of the two Strategic Air Forces in order to obtain the maximum dispersal of enemy defenses;

b. By enabling advantage to be taken of changing weather and tactical conditions by switching heavy bomber forces quickly from one theater to another.

This proposal affects directly only U.S. heavy bomber forces, and we recognize the ultimate right of the United States Chiefs of Staff to decide the organization of U.S. forces in any theater of operations. We feel bound, however, to record our view that the adoption of this proposal would entail serious disadvantages far outweighing any advantages to be derived from it.

To deal first with the advantages which are expected from the present proposal:

a. Great operational benefit would undoubtedly result if an effective combination of operations in the two theaters could be achieved. The operation of a large force of heavy day bombers is however a considerable undertaking and a period of up to 24 hours is required for the preparation and loading of aircraft and the briefing of crews. Unfortunately, the weather in the European theater is so uncertain that the decision to dispatch heavy bomber forces can only be taken a few hours before the time of takeoff and it is then too late to make changes in targets and the timing of attacks. The conduct of operations in accordance with a settled policy in either theater is therefore a matter of great difficulty and frequently much effort is wasted, both in abortive operations and in standing by for operations which have to be canceled. A fortiori, the detailed coordination of attacks from two bases so far apart as the U.K. and Italy would be still more difficult and would in fact prove impossible. A commander set up to control the two forces would find in practice that he could do no more than insure that the subordinate commanders in each theater worked to a general plan and kept him and each other closely informed of the situation on their own front so that the general plan could be altered as necessary. Coordination of this type can be secured with the present organization without the introduction of a new headquarters.

b. The possibility of switching heavy bomber forces from one theater to another is at first sight an attractive one. In order to obtain full benefit from the plan, it would however be necessary to build up a margin of facilities in the two theaters involving the preparation of heavy bomber airfields, runways, and maintenance depots over and above what is required for the forces already based in the theater, and the locking up of additional maintenance personnel. If these additional facilities were not provided, the serviceability and effectiveness of the heavy bombers would fall considerably as soon as they were transferred and the operations carried out would be on a smaller scale and less effective than if the forces had to remain at their normal bases. The Air Ministry have, in the past, given very careful consideration to this plan but they have been forced to the conclusion that, except on rare occasions, the results would not justify the effort involved. Such occasional transfers of forces as are likely to be profitable can be secured by the present machinery.

c. The provision of the necessary margin of facilities which, if a large transfer of force is envisaged, may be considerable, must of necessity conflict in the U.K. with other service and governmental requirements. In Italy or other active theaters of war they can only be provided at the expense of other service requirements.

There is therefore a potential conflict of interest between the commander of the Strategic Air Force on the one hand and the U.K. Government and theater commanders on the other.

Our conclusion is that the setting up of a new higher headquarters would not achieve the advantages which are claimed from it and would not in fact be any improvement over the existing machinery. It would, moreover, entail certain disadvantages which we consider to be serious, namely the following:

a. The most serious disadvantage is that it would destroy the present arrangements for the close coordination of the 8th Air Force and the RAF including the 2nd Tactical Air Force. This depends for its effectiveness on the fact that general direction over their operations is exercised by the Chief of the Air Staff, RAF. The latter, with his headquarters in London, possesses not only a complete operational staff but is also served by the central Intelligence Staff of the three Services, the Ministry of Economic Warfare, and the Secret Intelligence Service, and is in the closest touch with the Admiralty, Foreign Office, Ministry of Home Security, and other Government departments. The Air Staff is also in constant touch with the Mediterranean Air Command on matters concerned with operations and Intelligence, and very close liaison arrangements have been made between the different commanders in the Mediterranean theater and in the United Kingdom.

The interposition of a new link in the chain of control would, we are convinced, cause a reduction in the efficiency of these arrangements, and the reduction would be even more serious if, as indicated in paragraph 3 of the directive proposed to [in?] CCS 400, the Commanding General of U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe is placed as an interim measure directly under the Combined Chiefs of Staff. This latter proposal would mean the termination of the arrangement agreed to at Casablanca whereby the CAS exercises general direction over the operations of the 8th Air Force in furtherance of the combined bomber offensive and would, in our opinion, be a retrograde step. It would in fact mean that the ultimate control required for the direction of the bomber offensive would have to be effected in Washington rather than as at present in London. Since all the Intelligence and administrative services which are essential for the efficiency of the bomber offensive are centralized in London, there could not fail to be a grave reduction in efficiency from this change.

The final arrangement proposed is that the new Commander should come directly under the Command of the Supreme Allied Commander for Operations in NW Europe. In our opinion, it would be fundamentally wrong in principle that the direction of a large part of the strategic bomber offensive which affects operations on all fronts in the European theater should be exercised by the Theater Commander of any single theater.

b. The new Commander would presumably require a large staff of all kinds in order to exercise operational and the necessary administrative control. We cannot help thinking that the provision of the large numbers of specialized and skilled staff officers needed must be a matter of considerable difficulty at the present time and, since the benefits expected from this proposal are in fact attainable under the present organization, that it would be highly wasteful in skilled manpower.

c. The proposal would also cause serious difficulties in the Mediterranean Air Command not only by a division of operational from administrative responsibility but also because it would mean that the night bomber component of the Mediterranean Strategical Air Force would be served by a different chain of information and would be under a different authority from the day bombing component though operated by the same headquarters staff in the Mediterranean theater. This could only make for confusion.

To summarize, we consider that the present proposal:
a. Would not secure any advantage over the present system of control;

b. Would mean breaking up the present highly integrated system of control, which has achieved considerable success, and the replacement of it by a less closely integrated and less effective system;

c. Would be wasteful in skilled staff.

We recognize however that there is much to be gained by having a single authority charged with the general direction of the heavy bomber offensive against Germany – someone who can interpret the Combined Chiefs of Staff directives by issuing detailed instructions from time to time according to the changing situation and who can exercise a general supervision over all bomber operations against Germany and the administrative support that they require, and over the provision of Intelligence and Tactical information so as to secure the most effective use of the heavy bomber forces engaged in the Combined Bomber Offensive. We do not see how such an authority can be on a lower level than a Chief of Staff since only on this level can the supervising authority keep in touch with all the strategical political and administrative factors which affect the bombing programme. Our conclusion is that the authority best able to exercise this general control is the Chief of the Air Staff. The latter, acting as the agent of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, is already charged with the coordination of the operations of the 8th Air Force and the RAF. This coordination has been of the closest and, in our opinion, has enabled the best possible use to be made of the available forces. It would not be difficult to extend this system to the 15th Air Force by giving the CAS authority to regulate, in conformity with the plans of the Commanders of RAF Bomber Command and the 8th Air Force in this country, the priority of objectives to be attacked by the 15th Air Force. The CAS would also be in a position, subject to the Theater Commander’s assessment of his administrative capacity, to transfer strategical forces from the United Kingdom to the Mediterranean and back if this seemed profitable.

The United States Chiefs of Staff may wish to consider this alternative arrangement to secure the advantages which they have in mind in putting forward their present proposal.

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The Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ to the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Algiers, 26 November 1943

French participation in Cairo Conference

An extract of a letter received today by the Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces, from General Giraud, is quoted for the information of the Allied Chiefs of Staff and such action as they desire to take:

The conversation which I had with you this morning has confirmed my conviction that the point of view of the French High Command should be explained at the Cairo Conference, before any decision determines definitely the conduct of operations in Western Europe.

Indeed, if France is to be the theater of new operations, you will understand, I am sure, how anxious I am to contribute to the studying of these operations with all the competence which a thorough knowledge of our territory has given me, and also to take my share of responsibility in the operation where the use of underground forces and resistance groups share[s] the preponderant role.

If it is not considered necessary that I go personally to this Conference, though I do hold myself at the disposal of President Roosevelt and of the British Prime Minister, I would consider it most useful to have one officer of my staff present to explain my views before the Allied Chiefs of Staff.

In the event where such a solution would not be possible, I do rely upon you to defend the interests of France and the French Army with the friendship and understanding which you have always shown us.

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The Director of Economic Operations in the Middle East to the President’s special assistant

Cairo, November 26, 1943

Dear Harry: Herewith is a memorandum that Averill asked me to prepare for you this morning.

I am grateful to you for your kindnesses to me this morning and for the opportunity that it gave me to put a few of the significant issues that we face in this area.

You know that at any time I am at yours and the Boss’s beck and call for anything.

Sincerely yours,


Memorandum by the Director of Economic Operations in the Middle East

Memorandum on consumer goods in Iran

Of course, it is impossible to obtain absolutely accurate figures in view of the lack of statistical information in Iran, but these figures I think represent the situation fairly accurately on consumer goods.

As of January 1, 1943, the total quantity of all consumer goods, not including cereals and other, bulk foodstuffs, in all Persian warehouses at the beginning of the year was 80,000 tons. Recent information indicates that between 15,000 to 18,000 tons are still at Persian Gulf ports alone. In an attached memorandum, I am breaking down the 80,000 tons of the various different categories. I can give you an even more detailed breakdown but I do not believe that this is necessary for your purposes.

The difficulty in Iran lies in the existence of an adequate distribution system and not in the absence of consumer goods. If you have time, go down to the central bazaars in Tehran and not only look at the goods that are available there in the shops but go in behind to the warehouses that are in the rear of these shops and see the masses of goods that are piled up there. Of course, the prices are quite beyond reach. Some economic theorists believe that it might be advisable to throw consumer goods into Iran in order to break these black-market prices. But the answer to that is that we have neither the tonnage nor the goods to create surpluses of such a size that black market prices would be permanently broken.

I might add a little about the truck situation. I think it is true that there are perhaps less trucks in Iran than there were in 1938, but not very many less. We are just compiling figures on this now. But the trucks that are in Iran are neither kept at jobs that are essential nor are they kept in repair. Of some 400 Lend-Lease trucks in Tehran I saw 83 of them in one yard alone that were laid up because of lack of repair facilities. Here again the trouble is not spare parts but the want of efficient management.

Attached herewith are data for specific items of consumer goods – the important ones being sugar, tea, drugs and cotton piece goods.

The following data is given for specific items:

(a) Sugar (October 30)

UKCC Stocks 6500 tons
Government Stocks 24000 tons
Total 30500

MESC has now programmed for Iran during 1944, 5000 tons per month.

(b) Tea (October 30)
Government Stocks 800 tons.

An additional 2,000 tons are to be imported during November and December, with a total 1944 program of 6,800 tons. This latter figure represents 90% of pre-war consumption.

(c) Coffee: Stocks unknown, but believed to be extremely small. The 1944 program is set for a total of 300 tons.

(d) Cocoa: None heretofore furnished by MESC. 1944 program includes 100 tons which is now available in Palestine for shipment at any time.

(e) Whiskey and gin: Stocks negligible since there was no quota for 1942-43. Present recommendations are for 1944 quota of 6,600 cases subject to approval by London and Washington.

(f) Drugs and pharmaceuticals: Lend-Lease Representative MacDonald estimates sufficient supply for one year, not including items now under procurement. In addition to stocks held by the Government, 85 tons of drugs and instruments have been held in ports for over a year.

(g) Cigarettes and tobacco: There are no imports of cigarettes since Iran is self-sufficient. At present they have on hand a nine months’ stock of unmanufactured cigarette tobacco, and a seven months’ stock of unmanufactured pipe tobacco.

(h) Cotton piecegoods: Estimated stocks on hand September 7: 21,263 bales exclusive of very considerable stocks held by private merchants, and the products of Iranian Government textile factories (which have held back from the distribution authorities more than 4,500 bales during the past eight months).

Estimated stocks of cotton piecegoods as at January 1, 1943 is 5,000 tons, of which 80% is probably Government.

(i) Woolen piecegoods: Iran is self-sufficient generally, but a quota of 80 tons has been assigned for 1944 in order to provide cheap clothing for low-paid Government servants. This, however, is subject to non-interference with minimum demands of other territories.

(j) Toothbrushes: Stocks believed to be extremely low.

(k) Bicycles: 500 were recently imported but are believed to have been sold to users, making a total of 22,616 in operation with no unsold stocks.

(l) Glassware and crockery: Reports indicate that “two warehouses are full” of glassware. Iran is self-sufficient in crockery and in fact has offered to export to other countries at high prices.

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The Director of War Mobilization to the President

Washington, November 26, 1943

Cablegram for the President:

Increased landing craft program submitted Wednesday possible only if we immediately issue directive giving priority over all programs any kind. Please wire whether I shall have Nelson issue directive.


Roosevelt-Churchill-Chiang meeting, 4:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom China
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Generalissimo Chiang
Ambassador Harriman Foreign Secretary Eden Madame Chiang
Sir Alexander Cadogan

President Roosevelt to Marshal Stalin

Cairo, 26 November 1943

Op priority

Thank you much for your message of November 23 informing me of your intention to reach Teheran on the 28th or 29th. I expect to reach there on the 27th. It will be good to see you.


The President to the Secretary of State

Cairo, 26 November 1943

In reply to your message transmitted as White 38, I am convinced that this is not the time to make any final decisions or plans relating to Civil Affairs for France. The whole situation in North Africa is complicated but the general attitude of the Committee and especially de Gaulle is shown in the Lebanon affair. De Gaulle is now claiming the right to speak for all of France and is talking openly about how he intends to set up his government in France as soon as the Allies get in there.

I am increasingly inclined to the thought that the occupation when it takes place should be a wholly military occupation.

I see no need for any further discussion at this time, though I may discuss it informally when I see the Russians.

I saw Vishinsky four days ago and I don’t believe the Russians will press for any immediate action. I am showing this to Churchill and I hope we can hold up the whole matter until we can see the picture more clearly.

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The President’s personal representative to the President

Tehran, November 26, 1943

This morning I informed Russian Chargé d’Affaires that you would reside at your own Legation. I told him that this decision in my opinion was final and was made before any invitation had been received by you from Russia. All this was satisfactory at that time. At three o’clock this afternoon, the Russian Chargé d’Affaires called on me to say that the Russian Government cordially invites you to be its guest at its Embassy while here. I told him I would convey to you this generous invitation but inasmuch as you had already decided to reside at your own Legation and all preparations had been made accordingly, I thought that perhaps it would be too late to make another change, although I knew that you and Stalin would spend a great deal of time together while here. In the meantime, DARKY is inspecting suggested quarters, Russian Embassy, so that if you should decide to accept the invitation, all details regarding quarters will be in hand.

The President’s personal representative to the President

Tehran, November 26, 1943

Since wiring you I accompanied General Connolly and Rowley together with the Russian Charge d’Affaires and other Russian security officers for an inspection of quarters which the Russians propose to give to you as their guest. For Reilly’s information the quarters are in the same building inside the Russian Embassy compound which he inspected and consist of six rooms to the left of the entrance to the building. The suite contains one large reception or assembly room, four smaller rooms that could be used as bedrooms and one large bedroom with adjoining bath. For the other four rooms there is but one bath, making two baths and toilet facilities for the entire suite which is the same number as in the American Legation. In the suite there is also a large dining room and below the main bedroom a kitchen which can be used by your staff for you. The building is steam heated. The suite they are offering you is on the same floor with and adjoins the large conference room. No one else is living in this building but two other rooms are being used as a Russian communications office. There is also a private entrance to the suite. The only work needed to be done on the suite is to reinstall bathtubs and toilets which have been removed but can be replaced quickly. List of necessary furnishings being given Russians by DARKY. From the standpoint of your convenience and comfort, from the standpoint of conference communications and security, these quarters are far more desirable than your own Legation. As I told you in my earlier wire, I have advised the Russians that you have definitely decided to use your own Legation. The Russians still most cordially solicit your acceptance of their invitation.


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The President to the Minister in Egypt

Cairo, November 26, 1943

Memorandum for: Ambassador Kirk

Please have Wadsworth, Consul General at Beirut, come down here when I get back here – I think about Thursday or Friday.


President Roosevelt to the Chinese Minister of Finance

Cairo, November 26, 1943

My Dear Dr. Kung. It was good of you to think of me and I am delighted to have that delicious Chinese tea – especially because I am more and more substituting tea for coffee.

Our visit here in Cairo with the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang has been not only very delightful but it has been a true success. It is the beginning of many such conferences, I hope. They have spoken to me in regard to the inflation problem and when they get back to Chungking, they will speak with you in regard to a suggestion which I have made. I have not, of course, had a chance to talk with the Secretary of the Treasury about it but I will do so just as soon as I get home.

I do hope that I shall have the pleasure of seeing you one of these days very soon.

My warm regards, Sincerely yours,

Hopkins-Chiang conversation, evening

United States China
Mr. Hopkins Generalissimo Chiang
Madame Chiang

The Chiangs raised the question of the return of Outer Mongolia.

Madame Chiang to President Roosevelt

Cairo, 26 November 1943

My Dear Mr. President: You will, I hope, forgive me for this uncertain handwriting, for I am still Cyclops, and the letters all run together very unneatly. But the Generalissimo wishes me to tell you again how much he appreciates what you have done and are doing for China. When we said goodbye to you this afternoon, he could not find words adequately expressive to convey his emotions and feelings, nor to thank you sufficiently for your friendship. He felt too the wistfulness of saying farewell, although he feels that only a short while will elapse before his next meeting with you. Meanwhile he hopes that you will consider him as a friend whom you can trust. He on his part finds joy and comfort in the thought that as time goes on, the bonds of affection and similarity of motives between you and him will be strengthened.

Will you please overlook this very inadequate interpretation of his views, for I have had a full day, and my brain simply cannot encompass what he conveyed to me to pass on to you.

On my own behalf, Mr. President, please remember that as I write this, my heart overflows with affection and gratitude for what you have done, and for what you are.


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President Roosevelt’s log of the trip

Friday, November 26 (at Cairo)

During the forenoon the President conferred with Mr. James Landis, Ambassador Harriman, Admiral Mountbatten, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Admiral Leahy and Ambassador Winant.
2:30 p.m. Generals Marshall and Eisenhower called on the President. The President bestowed the Legion of Merit on General Eisenhower in recognition of his outstanding work in the cause of our country. A copy of the citation is appended, marked “A.”
4:30 p.m. The Prime Minister, Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Ambassador Harriman, Sir [Mr.] Anthony Eden and Sir Alexander Cadogan conferred with the President. A press communiqué announcing the completion of the first phase of the Cairo Conference was agreed upon. A copy is appended hereto, marked “B.” For reasons of security, it was also agreed that this communiqué would not be released to the press until after the completion of the forthcoming conference at Tehran.
6:00 p.m. The President summoned Lieutenant (jg.) Rigdon and worked on official mail that had arrived in Cairo today from Washington. There was no Congressional matter contained in this particular pouch. The President worked until 7:00 p.m. with this mail.
7:30 p.m. The President dined at his villa with Admiral Leahy, Admiral Brown, Admiral McIntire and General Watson.
10:00 p.m. The President turned in, in anticipation of an early rising and departure (5:00 a.m.) on Saturday for Tehran, Iran.
The weather at Cairo during our first five days there was most pleasant; the days were comparatively warm, but the nights were always cool enough for excellent sleeping.
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What does she mean that she is Cyclops?