Cairo Conferences (SEXTANT)

Roosevelt-Churchill luncheon meeting, 1:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Mrs. Oliver
Commander Thompson
Mr. Martin

The Prime Minister’s private secretary to the President’s special assistant

Cairo, November 23, 1943

Mr. Hopkins. (Private)
Colonel Warden asked me to send you this telegram to see. Could you please let me have it back.



The British Minister in Saudi Arabia to the British Foreign Office

Jedda, 15 November 1943

War Cabinet Distribution – Repeated to Minister of State Cairo.
475. My telegram No. 455.

Ibn Saud has sent me a message from Mecca to the effect that United States representative in Jedda asked him the following questions on November 13.

(1) Has Saudi Arabian Government asked His Majesty’s Government for arms?
(2) If so when did they make their request to His Majesty’s Government?
(3) What arms did Saudi Arabian Government ask for?
(4) Has anything been promised by His Majesty’s Government?
(5) What has arrived?
(6) Are arms being supplied by His Majesty’s Government as a gift or against payment?
(7) Did His Majesty’s Government offer to supply arms or did the question arise out of a demand from Saudi Arabian Government?

  1. Ibn Saud informed my United States colleague that His Majesty’s Government had promised to supply 50 light reconnaissance cars but that none had arrived to date. He did not know if payment was expected or whether they were being supplied under Lease Lend in accordance with the list of Saudi Arabian arms requirements submitted to His Majesty’s Government by Saudi Arabian representative in London for supply under Lease Lend.

  2. I feel my United States colleague’s action in putting these questions to Ibn Saud is unfortunate as it would appear to show 1) a lack of collaboration between His Majesty’s Government and United States on this question and 2) United States distrust of any information given them by His Majesty’s Government.

  3. I venture to suggest that we should come to some agreement with United States over the quantities of war material to be supplied to Saudi Arabian Government as soon as possible and inform Ibn Saud accordingly.

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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
Lieutenant General Stilwell Lieutenant General Ismay
Lieutenant General Somervell Admiral Mountbatten
Vice Admiral Willson General Riddell-Webster
Rear Admiral Cooke Lieutenant General Carton de Wiart
Rear Admiral Bieri Captain Lambe
Rear Admiral Badger Brigadier Sugden
Major General Stratemeyer Air Commodore Elliot
Major General Wheeler Brigadier Cobb
Major General Handy Brigadier Head
Major General Fairchild Brigadier McNair
Major General Wedemeyer
Brigadier General Kuter
Brigadier General Hansell
Brigadier General Tansey
Captain Doyle
Colonel Roberts
Colonel O’Donnell
Captain Freseman
Commander Long
Present for the Last Item Only
General Shang
Lieutenant General Lin
Vice Admiral Yang
Lieutenant General Chou
Major General Chu
Major General Tsai
Major General Chennault
Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal
Colonel McFarland
Commander Coleridge

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

November 23, 1943, 2:30 p.m.

Conclusions of the 127th Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 127th Meeting. The detailed record of the Meeting was also accepted subject to minor amendments.

The role of China in the defeat of Japan (CCS 405)

General Stilwell informed the Combined Chiefs of Staff that he had received a message from Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek stating that he did not wish any proposals for Chinese action laid before the Combined Chiefs of Staff until he had had a further consultation with the President and General Marshall.

Sir Alan Brooke said that it appeared that the operations set out in subparagraphs 2a, b, c, and d of CCS 405 were acceptable. The remaining proposals appeared unrealistic, particularly in view of the logistic difficulties which General Marshall had mentioned at a previous meeting. He could not see how Formosa could he attacked from the mainland of China without any landing craft.

Admiral Leahy said that he agreed with Sir Alan Brooke’s views. Subparagraphs 2a, b, c, and d were acceptable to the United States Chiefs of Staff; the remaining proposals were matters for the future, requiring detailed examination, particularly in view of the serious logistic implications. He suggested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should so inform the Chinese representatives.

General Marshall reminded the Combined Chiefs of Staff that up till now the Generalissimo’s sole interest had been in the provision of a large United States Air Force in China and a large number of transport aircraft. He had taken each step in the direction of the formation of ground forces with reluctance. Months had passed before he would agree to the training of the Chinese troops at Ramgarrh [Ramgarh]. More months had passed before he agreed to an increase in their numbers. Negotiations with the Indian government had necessitated further delay. Yet another period had passed before the Generalissimo would agree to the habilitation of the Yunnan force. Now, for the first time, the Generalissimo had shown an active interest in and an admission of the importance of the formation and employment of Chinese ground forces. He (General Marshall) personally had confidence in the value of Chinese troops provided they were properly led. Their powers of endurance should prove immensely valuable in the type of warfare in which they were to be employed. He considered that the Generalissimo’s new proposals should be given the most careful and sympathetic consideration. These factors and the value of China once Germany had collapsed and the flow of supplies to the East had increased, should be borne most carefully in mind when considering the Generalissimo’s plan.

Admiral King pointed out that the Generalissimo’s proposals must be considered in relation to the overall plan for the defeat of Japan. He agreed with General Marshall as to the importance of the change of heart shown by the Generalissimo in his latest proposals, and felt that he should not be discouraged if it could possibly be avoided.

General Arnold mentioned the problem of the employment of some two thousand heavy bombers which would be available on the defeat of Germany. Available bases in the Aleutians, Maritime Provinces, and the Islands were all of limited capacity.

Sir Charles Portal suggested that this great force might be used against shipping.

General Arnold pointed out that the bases he had mentioned would in fact be used by heavy bombers employed against shipping. His point was that only by using them out of China could the heart of Japan itself be attacked. Attacks on Japanese oil resources and shipping, while valuable, would not produce the final result.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff then discussed Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s views with regard to the employment of naval forces in the Bay of Bengal.

General Stilwell said he believed that the Generalissimo would be satisfied if we could guarantee naval security in the Bay of Bengal.

Sir Andrew Cunningham said that it would be right to say that we should have general control of the Bay of Bengal but he could not absolutely guarantee its complete security. He believed that the Prime Minister intended in due course to inform the Generalissimo of the British naval forces to be employed in the Bay of Bengal but felt that this information should be imparted by the Prime Minister himself and not by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Admiral Mountbatten explained that in discussing amphibious operations with the Generalissimo in Chungking, he had pointed out that it was intended to launch an amphibious operation in the spring, probably to synchronize with the Burma land operations. From the air bases made available by the amphibious operation it was hoped to be able to interfere with seaborne supplies, both through Rangoon and Bangkok. He believed that the Generalissimo was in fact interested in this action rather than in the actual provision of naval forces in the Bay of Bengal.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed:
a. That the operations proposed in paragraph 2a to d inclusive, of CCS 405 are, in general, in consonance with the present concept of operations against Japan as expressed in CCS 397, Specific Operations for the Defeat of Japan, 1944.

b. That the operations proposed in paragraphs 2e to h inclusive, of CCS 405 go beyond the present concept of operations in China and require detailed examination and study with particular reference to logistic difficulties.

c. That the study indicated in b above, together with an examination of the employment for the defeat of Japan of the heavy bombers that would become available when Germany has been eliminated from the war, should be included in the general study of the overall plan for the defeat of Japan now being conducted by the Combined Staff Planners.

Estimate of enemy situation, 1944 – Pacific-Far East (CCS 300/2)

Sir Alan Brooke said that there appeared to be minor discrepancies with regard to the estimate of enemy forces available, which could be discussed by the Combined Intelligence Committee. In other respects, the paper could be accepted as an estimate of the situation.

Admiral Leahy agreed with this view.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted and noted for future information the estimate of the enemy situation, 1944 – Pacific-Far East, set out in CCS 300/2.

Future operation in the Southeast Asia Command (CCS 390/1)

Sir Alan Brooke said that he noted that the United States Chiefs of Staff were not able to provide the forces necessary for CULVERIN. With regard to BUCCANEER, he would like to defer consideration of this operation until the Conference was further advanced.

Admiral Mountbatten said that the Japanese forces in CULVERIN had increased from one to three divisions. He was, however, prepared to accept a risk and to undertake Operation CULVERIN with smaller forces if this should be considered necessary. His chief concern was to be in a position to cut the Japanese lines of communication into Burma and to obtain an air base from which he could attack the Malacca Straits, Rangoon, and Bangkok. BUCCANEER, though not providing so many airfields, was approximately the same distance from Bangkok as was CULVERIN, and so offered almost equal strategical advantages; it could be undertaken with the forces now available to him. He would propose to launch BUCCANEER probably some two to three days after the launching of the land campaign in North Burma. This would disperse the Japanese air effort. The Burma operations and BUCCANEER each had a considerable effect on the other and had been planned and considered together.

After further discussion, the Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved CCS 390/1 but agreed to suspend final decision regarding Operation BUCCANEER until later in the SEXTANT Conference in order to allow the operation to be considered in relation to the other operations to be undertaken.

Combined Chiefs of Staff – United Chiefs of Staff (CCS 406)

Sir Alan Brooke said that he would like further time to consider the proposals put forward by the United States Chiefs of Staff.

General Marshall explained that the United States Chiefs of Staff had given only very brief consideration to this matter but had felt that it would be valuable to outline a possible course of action before pressure was exerted from any quarter to widen the membership of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Admiral King said that, as he saw it, the United Chiefs of Staff would consist of one representative of the Chiefs of Staff of each nation who would act as spokesman. This proposal would reduce the difficulties to their simplest possible terms if the issue were to be forced upon the United States and British Chiefs of Staff.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to defer action on this paper.

The present situation in the Southeast Asia Command

The Combined Chiefs of Staff then entered into a general discussion of the situation in the Southeast Asia Command.

Admiral Mountbatten, in reply to a question, explained that the grounding of a vessel carrying spare aircraft engines would result in a deficit in air lift over the “hump” for December of some 2,100 tons. The backlog thus caused had not been included in his calculations and he suggested that the Combined Planners should look into this question. His plans were not made on wide margins of safety and did not make allowance for acts of God since he realized fully that too heavy demands from his theater would have direct repercussions on the operations in other theaters. In reply to a further question, Admiral Mountbatten said that his Royal Air Force transports were being used to the full. They were not being employed in China since there were insufficient numbers to train his parachute troops and long-range penetration groups. It had been necessary for United States aircraft to fly in supplies to the British units in Fort Hertz.

General Stratemeyer asked if it was possible for the Royal Air Force to provide old bombers which were not operationally fit, for use as transport aircraft.

Sir Charles Portal said that he did not feel that worn-out aircraft, even if available, could be used for this task. Manpower also was short and the production of British bombers was a direct measure of the weight of attack on Germany.

In further discussion of the possibility of interrupting Japanese communications, Sir Charles Portal pointed out that air bombing alone could not completely stop the use of enemy ports.

Admiral Mountbatten agreed with this view but explained that he had great hopes that heavy bombing of Japanese occupied ports would result in strikes of dock labor and a resulting slowing up in the flow of supplies.

General Arnold felt that our present calculations with regard to air transport possibilities had been wrongly based on a 100 percent figure of accomplishment. This figure was never achieved, and it would be safer to “lower our sights” with regard to target figures and accept as a bonus any increase on this lower figure.

In reply to a question by Sir Charles Portal, Admiral Mountbatten said that the airport at Blair in BUCCANEER had a 1,650-yard runway and was capable of operating three squadrons.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note of the above statements.

At this point General Shang Chen, Lieutenant General Lin Wei, Vice Admiral Yang Hsuan Ch’eng, Lieutenant General Chou Chih Jou, Lieutenant [Major] General Chu Shih Ming, Major General Tsai Wen Chih and Major General Chennault entered the meeting.

Sir Alan Brooke, in welcoming the Chinese Representatives, said that the Combined Chiefs of Staff were very pleased to have this opportunity to meet with them and discuss around the table plans for future operations in China. These discussions should lead to definite conclusions. Admiral Mountbatten had that morning put forward his plans and he suggested that the Chinese Representatives should ask any further questions that they might wish and put forward their own suggestions with regard to these plans.

General Chu, on behalf of General Shang Chen, explained that the Chinese Representatives had not had sufficient time to study these plans and would prefer to discuss them on the following day.

Admiral Mountbatten suggested that the Chinese Representatives should give an outline of the state of readiness of the Yunnan Force and of the detailed plans for its employment. He pointed out that the success of our efforts to open the land route to China was dependent on the successful operation of the Yunnan Force in coordination with the British attacks.

General Stilwell then outlined in detail the Chinese Forces available and their state of readiness. There were, at present, certain shortages of personnel which were being rapidly made good. The ten assault divisions would first be brought up to strength and any deficiencies in pack transport would be compensated for by the use of manpower.

With the aid of a map General Stilwell outlined the three coordinated attacks which would be made by the Yunnan force. He believed that sufficient tactical air forces were available to support these operations.

General Chennault and General Stratemeyer explained the arrangements which had been made for the coordination of the air effort with that of the ground forces.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note with interest of the above statements.
b. Agreed to meet again with the Chinese Representatives at 1530 hours on 24 November.

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Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Cairo, 23 November 1943

CCS 406

Combined Chiefs of Staff – United Chiefs of Staff

Reference: CCS 127th Meeting, Item 4

  1. The discussion in the CCS 127th Meeting concerning the Chinese military representatives meeting with the Combined Chiefs of Staff was the first of a series of such problems which will arise, particularly as our cooperation with the Soviets and Chinese develops. It would seem highly desirable to find a solution which will permanently (a) maintain the exclusive American-British character of the Combined Chiefs of Staff while avoiding these embarrassing complications and (b) furnish adequate and satisfactory machinery for discussions by the principal Allies at the Chiefs of Staff level, as military problems arise or political considerations make such meetings desirable.

  2. As a solution it is suggested:
    a. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff be recognized as an exclusive American and British Body, and
    b. That a “United Chiefs of Staff” be set up at the Chiefs of Staff level to include the principal Allies – that is, for the present, the four “Moscow” powers.

  3. The United Chiefs of Staff would function only when necessity arose, and would provide for attendance either by all members or by only those concerned in the problems to be discussed. This arrangement would give an “out” to China or Russia as the case might be. The proposed United Chiefs of Staff should consist of a single representative of the Chiefs of Staff of each nation. This representative would not necessarily have to be the same official at all meetings. Our Allies could not complain of being left out of Combined Chiefs of Staff discussion, since in theory, at least, the Combined Chiefs of Staff would be the lesser of the two bodies.

  4. Such a “United Chiefs of Staff” should be considered as a flexible organization designed to meet situations as they develop, including possible inclusion of other Allies at a later date, on the same basis of participation when concerned.

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The President to the Director of War Mobilization

23 November 1943

Extremely important and urgent that I know at once whether the present schedules for production and completion of landing craft can be increased during January, February, March, April and May. On the assumption that landing craft takes precedence over all other munitions of war will you let me know how many additional landing craft by types can be delivered during the months of January, February, March, April and May? List each month separately. Call conference of all interested departments. Very urgent.


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The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, November 23, 1943

For the President from Secretary Hull:

As the Russian Army approaches the Polish frontier the Polish Government is showing its extreme anxiety over the future of Poland and I believe that I should send you a rather full summary of developments.

The following are the principal points of a confidential memorandum from the Polish Premier to you which has been handed to me by the Polish Ambassador:

The Prime Minister referred to the Polish Government’s memorandum of October 6 which among other things expressed the hope that normal Polish-Soviet diplomatic relations could be restored in order that the Polish and Soviet Governments could then endeavor to settle their mutual problems and asked for British-American guarantees of the independence and integrity of Polish territory as well as the security of its inhabitants. To assure this the October 6 memorandum made the impractical suggestion that American-British troops should be stationed in Poland to prevent friction and possible reprisals. That memorandum indicated that if the Soviet Government should openly attempt to communize Poland after its armies had occupied Polish territory this might cause the Polish population as an act of desperation to retaliate in self-defense.

The latest memorandum dated November 18 appeals to you:

…to intervene with Marshal Stalin with a view to restoring Polish-Soviet relations, safeguarding the interests of the Polish State and the life and property of its citizens after the Soviet troops have entered Poland.

The memorandum asserts that “the unwillingness of the Polish Government to enter into discussions on frontier questions is based on the following considerations:”

  1. Poland has never given up the fight against Germany since 1939 and is fully entitled to emerge from the war without reduction of territory.

  2. Soviet claims to Eastern Poland comprises half of total Polish territory and contain important centers of Polish national life.

The memorandum continues:

The Polish Government could not see their way to enter into a discussion on the subject of territorial concessions above all for the reason that such a discussion in the absence of effective guarantees of Poland’s independence and security on the part of the United States and Great Britain would be sure to lead to ever new demands. The attribution to Poland of East Prussia, Danzig, Opole, Silesia and the straightening and shortening of the Polish Western frontier are in any case dictated by the need to provide for the stability of future peace, the disarmament of Germany and the security of Poland and other countries of Central Europe. The transfer to Poland of these territories cannot therefore be fairly treated as an object of compensation for the cession to the USSR of Eastern Poland which for reasons adduced above does by no means represent to the USSR a value comparable to that which it has for Poland. The attempt made to prejudice the fate of Polish Eastern territories by means of a popular vote organized under Soviet occupation by the occupying authorities is without any value either political or legal. It would be equally impossible to obtain a genuine expression of the will of the population inhabiting these territories in view of the ruthless methods applied there today and those which have been applied in the past by consecutive occupants.

The memorandum then states that:

A rising in Poland against Germany is being planned to break out at a moment mutually agreed upon with our Allies either before or at the very moment of the entry of Soviet troops into Poland.

In accordance with the principles adopted in Quebec, the Polish Government is entitled to exert sovereign authority over Polish lands as they are liberated from the enemy. Consequently, in case the entry of Soviet troops into Poland takes place after the reestablishment of Polish-Soviet relations, the Polish Government would be anxious, as it has already informed the American Government, to return immediately to Poland together with the Commander-in-Chief, and to cooperate there in the further struggle against Germany.

The entry of Soviet troops on Polish territory without previous resumption of Polish-Soviet relations would force the Polish Government to undertake political action against the violation of Polish sovereignty while the Polish local administration and army in Poland would have to continue to work underground. In that case the Polish Government foresee the use of measures of self-defence wherever such measures are rendered indispensable by Soviet methods of terror and extermination of Polish citizens.

Asserting that the Moscow Conference did not bring the question of resumption of Polish-Soviet relations nearer to a satisfactory solution, the memorandum states that the Polish Government has reason “to fear that in present conditions the life and property of Polish citizens may be exposed to danger after the entry of Soviet troops into Poland and the imposing on the country of Soviet administration. In that case desperate reaction of the Polish community may be expected following the violation of the principle adopted in Quebec assuring to the United Nations their liberty and their own administration.”

The memorandum further indicates that the Polish Government does not believe that the principles applied to Italy as adopted at the Moscow Conference would be satisfactory for Poland which is not an enemy country but a member of the United Nations. Moreover, it is stated that the presence of a few American and British liaison officers in Poland would not assure proper safeguards in the administration of the territory occupied by the Red Army.

When the Ambassador handed me the above memorandum, he also delivered a personal message to you from the Polish Prime Minister stating that he is anxious to submit to you personally and verbally certain alternatives for the solution of existing difficulties and would be grateful for the opportunity of doing so. He added “I am ready to undertake the necessary journey at any time and in complete secrecy.”

In presenting the Polish Prime Minister’s request to see you the Ambassador indicated that Mikolajczyk wished to join you and Mr. Churchill to which I replied that I did not believe it would be possible to arrange this since you would be busily engaged in military matters of great urgency.

Subsequent to this Ambassador Biddle telegraphed on November 20 that Mikolajczyk and the Polish Foreign Minister had insisted that they should be consulted in advance concerning any decisions that might be taken involving Polish interests.

The Poles indicated that decisions taken without full consultation with the Polish Government upon which the underground in Poland stakes its hope would undoubtedly lead to a serious crisis in that quarter. Furthermore, it would create a crisis in Polish circles in England, the Middle East, and might have “serious repercussions among Americans of Polish origin.” Mikolajczyk interjected that even a man condemned to death was granted a last word before the court.

The Polish Foreign Minister referred to a formula which Mr. Eden, he said, is considering which envisaged dividing Poland into regions in which respectively the military administration of the “liberating forces” and the Polish Government might function. He added that it was logical that whatever formulae were advanced would meet with counter proposals and the Polish Government considered it of the utmost importance that its representatives be on hand during these discussions.

In pressing for arrangements so that he could meet you Mikolajczyk said that there were things he could present orally but could not put in writing at this time.

On the basis of the foregoing and the extremely agitated state of mind of the Polish Ambassador here it is apparent that the Polish Government feels that it is in a desperate position. This may well lead to unfortunate public outbursts. In an effort to calm the Ambassador I made it clear to him that I had emphasized at Moscow my friendly and earnest interest in his country and had urged Molotov to find a basis for reestablishing diplomatic relations with Poland; that once these relations were restored ways and means could be found to work out and adjust their differences. I told the Ambassador that as a friend of Poland I would continue to watch every opportunity to be of service to both Governments.

I also pointed out to the Ambassador that I regretted to find on my return Polish attacks on the Four-Nation Declaration when this Declaration means everything to the future of Poland. I also indicated my regret at shortsighted Polish agitation in this country of a thoroughly unfriendly nature which has manifested itself in other ways than condemning the Four-Nation Declaration.

We are making every effort here and through Biddle in London to convince the Poles, official and unofficial, that they must take a calmer outlook and not prejudice their case by undue public agitation regarding our policies.

With the approach of the Red Army to former Polish territory it would appear that every friendly opportunity should be taken to bring about a resumption of Polish-Soviet diplomatic relations. If this is not possible at the moment, I believe we should exert all our influence to persuade the Polish Government to give instructions to its underground army to launch at the opportune moment a full-fledged attack on the Germans behind their lines and to assist the Red Army in its battle. The Polish Government should realize that if this is achieved the British and ourselves will be in a better position to convince the Soviet Government of the Polish Government’s desire to make a material contribution to the shortening of the war, and to collaborate with the other United Nations after the war in working for the establishment of an organization of peace-loving nations for the maintenance of international peace and security.


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The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, November 23, 1943

For the President from Secretary Hull

Marshal Stalin, who is at the front, states that he will arrive not later than the 28th or 29th at the appointed place.

Roosevelt-Chiang dinner meeting, 8 p.m.

United States China
President Roosevelt Generalissimo Chiang
Mr. Hopkins Madame Chiang
Dr. Wang

The conversation touched on the following topics that are not mentioned in the Chinese summary record: The formation of a coalition government in China, British rights in Shanghai and Canton, the use of American rather than British warships in future operations based on Chinese ports, and the future status of the Malay States, Burma, and India.

Dinner party of the British Chiefs of Staff, evening

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Arnold Admiral of the Fleet Cunningham
Field Marshal Dill

Churchill-Marshall dinner meeting, evening

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall Prime Minister Churchill

There was discussion of operations in the Dodecanese, the capture of Rhodes, the deployment of landing craft, the progress of the Italian campaign, aid to the guerrillas in the Balkans, the relation of operations in the Mediterranean to the date of OVERLORD, and coordination of the command of strategic air operations.

The Secretary of State to the President

Washington, November 23, 1943

For the President from Secretary Hull:

Lisbon reports that an interview with Salazar regarding Azores facilities has been fixed for November 23, 1943, 5:00 p.m. The British Ambassador has received instructions to support approach to Portuguese. The Chargé plans to ask Salazar to confirm that Portuguese Government does not object to use by American forces of Horta and Terceira facilities or to participation by United States engineering units in improvement of these facilities. The Chargé intends at the same interview, informally to sound out Salazar regarding desire United States Army and Navy for the further facilities required.


President Roosevelt’s log of the trip

Tuesday, November 23 (at Cairo)

During the forenoon the following persons called on the President: Mr. A. Y. Vyshinsky, First Assistant Commissar for Foreign Affairs, USSR. Mr. Vyshinsky was accompanied by Mr. Charles E. Bohlen of our State Department; Admiral Mountbatten; General Wheeler; General Wedemeyer; The Prime Minister and his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Oliver; the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek; Generals Shang Chen, Ling [Lin] Wei and Chu Shih Ming. Ambassadors Kirk and Harriman called at the President’s villa during the forenoon.
11:00 a.m. First plenary meeting of the President, the Prime Minister and the Generalissimo with their respective military and naval staffs and other delegates. Those present for this meeting were the same as for the preliminary meeting held at 9:00 p.m., Monday, November 22.
1:30 p.m. The President lunched at his villa with the Prime Minister, Mrs. Oliver, Mr. Hopkins, Commander C. R. Thompson, EH [N. (The Prime Minister’s Naval Aide), and Mr. J. F. [M] Martin (The Prime Minister’s Secretary).
3:15 p.m. The President, together with Lieutenant (jg.) Rigdon, worked on his mail from 3:15 until 4:10 p.m., signing the following Congressional bills: HE No. 244, 273, 400, 560, 800, 1049, 1144, 1202, 1206, 1435, 1498, 1555, 1622, 1666, 1769, 1887, 1889, 1918, 1920, 2182, 2244, 2600, 2675, 2824, 2905, 2915, and 3331.
4:15 p.m. With the Prime Minister acting as host, the President, the Prime Minister, Mrs. Oliver, Admiral Brown, Admiral McIntire and General Watson left the President’s villa for an automobile trip to the nearby Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. At the Pyramids one of the native guides, who was found by chance at that late hour, was called in to give details of the history of the Pyramids that some members of the party were not familiar with. The visit to the Pyramids was made just at sunset, so that the party had the experience of seeing the sun dip behind the Pyramids, the afterglow, and the dust [dusk?] succeeding the sun.
5:15 p.m. The President, the Prime Minister and members of their party returned to the President’s villa at 5:15 p.m. Colonel Elliott Roosevelt arrived in Cairo this afternoon from his headquarters at Tunis. He was quartered in the President’s villa while in Cairo.
8:00 p.m. Dinner at the President’s villa. The dinner list included the President, the Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, Mr. Hopkins and Colonel Elliott Roosevelt. The Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek remained after dinner until 11:00 p.m. conversing with the President and Mr. Hopkins.
A radiogram was received quite late this evening from Moscow informing the President that Marshal Stalin would be at Tehran on November 28 or the 29th. As this was a bit sooner than had been expected, immediate steps were taken to complete the details of our journey to Tehran.
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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.

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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…

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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?

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