Casablanca Conference

Churchill-Eaker luncheon meeting

United States United Kingdom
Major General Eaker Prime Minister Churchill
Wednesday, 20 January

Lt. General Somervell arrived at Villa Dar es Saada at eight o’clock this morning to breakfast with Mr. Hopkins, and departed one hour later. Major General Spaatz called at ten o’clock to keep an appointment with the President and departed at 11:30. Mr. Robert Murphy also spent an hour at the President’s villa this morning conferring with the President and Mr. Hopkins.

At 11:35, General Marshall, Lt. General Arnold, Lt. General Somervell, and Admiral E. J. King arrived for a conference with the President, and following this conference they were photographed on the terrace with the President, together with Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Harriman. After the photographs had been taken, the aforementioned Army and Navy officers departed, about 12:30.

Shortly after 1:00 p.m. the Prime Minister, Mr. Harriman, and Mr. Murphy and Mr. Macmillan called to have lunch with the President, Mr. Hopkins, and Lt. Col. Elliot Roosevelt, and departed just before 3:00 p.m.

At 5:00 p.m., the Prime Minister returned in company with General Giraud, and the General’s Civilian Aide, M. Poniatowski, and went into conference with the President, Mr. Hopkins, and Mr. Murphy until 5:55, when they took their departure.

At 7:45, the President left Villa Dar es Saada to dine as the guest of the Prime Minister at “Mirador.” Also dining with the President and the Prime Minister this evening were:

  • General H. R. L. G. Alexander
  • Sir Charles Wilson
  • Mr. T. L. Rowan (Private Secretary to the P.M.)
  • Mr. J. M. Martin (Private Secretary to the P.M.)
  • Mr. Harry Hopkins
  • Mr. Averell Harriman
  • Lt. Colonel Elliott Roosevelt
  • Commander Thompson (Aide to the Prime Minister)
  • Captain Randolph Churchill
  • Sergeant Robert Hopkins

The President returned to his villa about 11:15 p.m. and retired shortly thereafter.

U.S. State Department (January 21, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 10 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral King General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Rear Admiral Cooke Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Lieutenant General Ismay
Colonel Smart Major General Kennedy
Commander Libby Air Vice Marshal Slessor
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 21, 1943, 10 a.m.

  1. The U-Boat War
    (C.C.S. 160)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a report by the Combined Staff Planners on minimum escort requirements to maintain the sea communications of the United Nations (C.C.S. 160).

Sir Dudley Pound said that most of the points in the body of the paper had been touched on in the course of previous discussions, but he drew particular attention to paragraph 14 emphasizing the need for adequate air cover if the number of escorts was to be kept to a minimum Schedule V on the last page of the paper showed the large number of escorts required for this purpose. The table in Enclosure “C” showed the small numbers of escort vessels which would be coining out of production during the first half of 1943.

Sir Charles Portal explained that the categories of aircraft in this Schedule were as follows:

  • VLR – Aircraft with a range over 2,000 miles, such as Liberators, and specially prepared Halifaxes with a range of about 2,100 miles which were temporarily assigned to antisubmarine work.
  • LR – Aircraft with a range between 1,200 and 2,000 miles.
  • MR – Aircraft with a range between 600 and 1,200 miles.

He inquired whether it could be taken that the requirements of Section 2 in Schedule V (North Atlantic, East Coast U.S. and Canada) involved no commitments for the United Kingdom.

Admiral King said that he had not the exact figures, but he had no reason to doubt that this commitment would be fulfilled by the U.S. and Canada entirely. The Caribbean and the East Coast of South America were also, of course, entirely U.S. commitments. The full details of the U.S. figures were not available at the present time, but he suggested that the report should be accepted as a working basis.

Admiral King said that the report of the Combined Staff Planners on the U-boat war, which had been ordered by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at a recent meeting in Washington, should be ready very shortly. This would contain the full U.S. figures.

Sir Dudley Pound pointed out that in their agreed policy for the conduct of the war in 1943 (C.C.S. 155/1), the Combined Chiefs of Staff had said that the defeat of the U-boat must remain the first charge on the resources of the United Nations. Nevertheless, it had been decided that the Rabaul and Husky operations were to be carried out, and these would inevitably detract from the anti-submarine effort. He felt that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should clearly record their reasons for thus diverging from the anti-submarine effort as a first objective. He passed around draft conclusions on the Combined Staff Planners’ report, which he had discussed with Admiral King, but suggested that since the first two of these were bound up with the directive for the bomber offensive from the U.K., which was to be discussed next, these should be taken up after that item.

After an adjournment,

The Committee:
a) Took note of C.C.S. 160.
b) Agreed that:

  1. Intensified bombing of U-boat operating bases should be carried out.

  2. Intensified bombing of U-boat constructional yards should be carried out.

  3. U.S. and British Naval Staffs should:
    a. Scrutinize the dispositions of all existing destroyers and escort craft;
    b. Allocate as much new construction, or vessels released by new construction, as possible to convoy protection. The above with a view to each nation providing, to the greatest extent possible, half of the present deficiency of sixty-five escorts for the protection of Atlantic convoys.

  4. U.S. and British Naval Staffs should provide auxiliary escort carriers for working with Atlantic convoys at the earliest practicable moment.

  5. Long distance shore-based air cover should be provided over the following convoy routes as a matter of urgency:
    a. North Atlantic convoys (U.S.-U.K.) – from both sides of the Atlantic.
    b. DWI oil convoys from the West Indies and the U.K.
    c. Torch oil convoys from the West Indies and Gibraltar.
    d. U.K.-Freetown convoys from Northwest and West Africa.

  6. Greenland airdromes should be developed for use by LR or VLR aircraft.

  7. Non-ocean-going escorts should be used for Husky to the maximum possible extent.

  1. The Bomber Offensive from the United Kingdom
    (C.C.S. 166)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a draft directive for the bomber offensive from the United Kingdom submitted by the British Chiefs of Staff (C.C.S. 166).

Sir Charles Portal, in answer to a question by General Marshall on the precise implications of paragraph 6, said that political considerations often override military expediency in the case of objectives in the occupied countries. The British Government, on representations from one of the exiled Governments, sometimes placed a political embargo on some excellent military target. In such cases decisions had often to be taken very quickly, and it would not be practicable to deal with the matter through the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington.

General Marshall suggested, and the Committee agreed, that the words “for political reasons” should be inserted in paragraph 6 in order to make this clear.

In discussion it was also agreed that the word “synthetic” should be deleted from paragraph 2 (d).

Sir Charles Portal referred to the difficulty which always arose in such directives over the precise interpretation of placing the German submarine bases and construction yards first in order of priority. This might be held to preclude attacks on any other targets. At the present time the U.S. 8th Bomber Command had U-boat targets at the top of their list and attacked them on every possible occasion with good results. There had been, however, considerable criticism in the U.K. because they never attacked targets in Germany. If too literal an interpretation of the order of priority were taken and the entire weight of our bomber effort were placed on the German submarine bases, to the exclusion of targets in Germany, there would be very serious criticism indeed. His own view was that other targets besides the submarine bases and yards should not be excluded and that paragraph 2 of the paper required some redrafting to make it clear that there was no intention to concentrate on what were strategically defensive operations to the exclusion of the offensive.

General Marshall said that he fully appreciated this difficulty.

Sir Dudley Pound pointed out that the acceptance of large-scale amphibious operations for 1943 must inevitably detract from the antisubmarine effort and every endeavor should, therefore, be made to offset this by a higher concentration of the air effort against U-boat targets. He believed that if we put the maximum effort onto the Biscay bases now, and destroyed all the facilities and accommodations in the towns, we should vitally affect German capacity to carry on the U–boat campaign. It was no good making sporadic attacks, the pressure had to be continued for a considerable period. If the Germans had gone on bombing Plymouth, Liverpool and Glasgow instead of stopping when they did, we should have been placed in a very difficult position indeed.

He could not see that there was any real difference between so-called offensive and defensive bombing. Both were directed against the power of the enemy to carry on the war.

Admiral King agreed that the bombing of the U-boat bases should be sustained. His impression was that the bombing of anti-submarine targets had so far been sporadic. For example, it appeared that Berlin had had in two raids twice the weight of bombs dropped on Lorient recently.

Sir Charles Portal agreed that it would be a sound move to destroy completely the four Biscay bases if experience showed this was possible. Attacks would be continued on Lorient, but so far we had no information of the result of the recent concentrated bombardments. It had had a greater weight of bombs dropped on it than Plymouth. In comparing this with the weight on Berlin, regard must be paid to the comparative size of these two targets. Weight in relation to area was much greater at Lorient than Berlin.

Sir Alan Brooke did not think that we could win by defeating the U-boat alone. We should be careful, therefore, not to allot more effort than was absolutely necessary for this purpose. The bombing of Germany contributed directly to the destruction of German power, whereas the bombing of U-boat targets was only an indirect contribution.

General Marshall recalled that in the bombing directive for the Mediterranean the emphasis had been laid on preparations for Husky. He asked what would be done from the United Kingdom to support an invasion of Europe.

Sir Charles Portal said that this point was covered by paragraph 5 of the draft directive. Targets would be selected in accordance with the plan of the Commander-in-Chief, so as to give the best possible support to the operations of the Army. Whenever operations were immediately in prospect, attacks on what might be called the long-term targets, such as industry, had to give way to immediate operational needs.

General Arnold said that no one was keener to go for targets in Germany than the U.S. Air Commanders in the United Kingdom. They had been directed on to U-boat targets by General Eisenhower as a direct means of supporting Torch. About half the U.S. bomber force in the U.K. had already been withdrawn from the United Kingdom to North Africa, but large increases in its strength were now in prospect. We should soon be able to think in terms of hundreds of bombers where we were now thinking in tens.

General Marshall said that the control of bomber operations by the U.S. Air Forces in the United Kingdom would be in the hands of the British. It would be a matter of command rather than of agreement with the U.S. Commanders. It would be the responsibility of the U.S. Commanders to decide the technique and method to be employed.

After an adjournment,

The Committee:
Approved, subject to minor amendments, a revised draft directive prepared by the British Chiefs of Staff (circulated subsequently as C.C.S. 166/1/D).

  1. Draft Telegram to M. Stalin
    (C.C.S. 165)

Sir Alan Brooke suggested that paragraph 5 of the draft telegram prepared for the President and Prime Minister to send to Premier Stalin be amended by changing the first sentence to read, “We have taken the decision to launch wide scale amphibious operations at the earliest possible moment” and to amend the second sentence to read, “the preparations for these operations are now underway and will involve a considerable concentration of forces, particularly landing craft and shipping in North African ports.”

These changes were acceptable to the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Sir John Dill suggested that in paragraph 5 the 5th sentence be terminated with the word “subjected” and that the remainder of the sentence be deleted.

Sir Charles Portal suggested that paragraph 8 should be strengthened in view of the much greater Allied bomber offensive which will be undertaken against Germany as the result of the increased bomber strength which is in view. The British will increase their heavy bomber strength from 600 to 1,000 and the United States’ increase will be from 200 to 900. This will enable the intensity of the bombing attack against Germany to be at least doubled, a fact that M. Stalin should be glad to learn.

Admiral King suggested that the last two sentences of paragraph 5 be deleted from that paragraph and amalgamated with the redraft of paragraph 8, suggested above by Sir Charles Portal.

It was agreed that the last two sentences of paragraph 5, paragraph 7, and a more positive statement of paragraph 8 be amalgamated into one paragraph.

The Committee:
Directed that representatives of the Combined Staffs be directed to revise the draft telegram to M. Stalin in the light of the discussion given above.

  1. Anakim
    (C.C.S. 164)

General Marshall suggested that in the remarks [paragraph 3, c concerning the availability of air forces, the last two words, “Middle East,” be deleted, and the words, “Mediterranean area” be substituted therefor.

This change was agreed to by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Sir Alan Brooke stated that he believed the target date of November 1943, given as an assumption in paragraph 2, was probably too early for actual accomplishment, but that it should do no harm to let it stand as a target date to be aimed at.

The Committee:
(a) Took note of C.C.S. 164 as amended and agreed:

  1. To approve November 15, 1943, as the provisional date for the Anakim assault.
  2. To approve the provisional schedule of forces laid out in paragraph 3 of C.C.S. 164, recognizing that the actual provision of naval forces, assault shipping, landing craft, and shipping must depend on the situation in the late summer of 1943.
  3. To confirm in July 1943 the decision to undertake or to postpone Operation Anakim.
  1. Bolero Buildup

The Combined Chiefs of Staff were informed that a paper on the subject, being prepared by the British Joint Planning Staff, was not ready for consideration.

General Marshall suggested that there be some general discussion regarding Bolero prior to receipt of the British paper. He stated that it had already been decided to keep plans for a cross-channel operation up to date on a month-by-month basis in order to be ready at any time to initiate such operations.

Sir Alan Brooke agreed with this statement.

General Marshall then said he wished to discuss the question of organization. He asked what is to be done in England and also how the plans regarding Bolero are to crystallize.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British can absorb American troops at the rate of 120,000 per month. In this connection, General Somervell said that the number to arrive would be somewhat less than 120,000 per month up to July but considerably more thereafter.

Sir Alan Brooke said that one of the greatest difficulties regarding the reception of American troops in England is the lack of sufficient receiving depots for equipment. It would be necessary to construct additional depots. The British have stopped such construction because of the manpower situation and because they have only been committed to receive five additional American divisions, or a total of 427,000 troops. The construction which must be undertaken and the operating force required for new reception depots will require personnel from the United States. These should be included in the earliest possible troop convoys to the U.K.

An area has been reserved in southwestern England for the United States troops which will be next to the area reserved for British troops in southeastern England. These areas will face France. The area to be occupied by the United States troops is being cleared of British forces. Their accommodations, except for some which cannot be moved, such as schools, will be available to the American forces.

He said that the immediate necessity was the appointment of a Commanding General and staff. The British are now engaged in reorganizing their forces from defensive organizations, supplied from fixed bases, to offensive organizations which include their own mobile service elements. It is expected that 12 divisions will be so organized by July and 15 by October. The new offensive organizations will be divorced entirely from the defensive organizations of the British Isles. Each will be under a separate commander. The British offensive forces, together with those being built up by the United States, including air forces, should come under a supreme commander who should be appointed in the near future.

General Marshall stated that General Andrews is now going to England to replace General Hartle and undertake the same duties that General Eisenhower performed prior to Operation Torch. He will have the responsibility of receiving American divisions in England; and, as soon as these divisions are ready, General Andrews will turn them over to the Supreme Commander for assignment to the cross-channel task force. He assumed that although the British contemplated setting up a separate Home Defense force, the cross-channel task force would also have to be on an alert status and considered as available to participate in the defense of the British Isles.

Sir Alan Brooke said that there were two types of planning involved with regard to the cross-channel operations; one was for a limited offensive operation which might be expected in 1943, and the other was for the larger task of an all-out invasion of the Continent. In the latter case, the decision must be made as to the direction of the attack once the landing was effected. It must be decided whether such an attack would be aimed at Germany or at occupied France. Plans might well be made to meet both contingencies.

He said that plans must envisage making the maximum use of SOE activities and that these activities must be carefully coordinated with the military operations proposed. This has not always been done in the past.

Admiral King said he considered that the appointment of a supreme commander was urgent.

General Somervell said that he had understood Sir Alan Brooke to say that the British could absorb 120,000 troops per month without assistance from the United States. This is contrary to an opinion which General Somervell attributed to Lord Leathers, that assistance would be required from the United States if the flow of troops to England exceeded 70,000 per month. General Somervell said it would be necessary to determine at once which estimate is correct. He also said that he understood it would be necessary for the United States to furnish some locomotives and rolling stock to the British in order to assist in the increased traffic resulting from troop movements.

He pointed out that the speed of sending troops to the U.K. would depend largely upon the success attained in combating the submarine menace. He urged that the United Nations concentrate their efforts in this respect.

General Somervell said that the location of United States troops in England must be made with an eye to training facilities. The troops will need amphibious training for which few facilities are available in southern England. He concluded that, from a supply point of view, an early decision was necessary as to the size of the buildup of United States forces contemplated and the type of operations in which they would be engaged. These decisions are particularly necessary with respect to the allocation of tonnage.

Sir Alan Brooke said that any operation in 1943 will of necessity be limited since an all-out offensive across the Channel can hardly be undertaken until 1944. With regard to the rolling stock for the railroads, he pointed out that when an invasion of the Continent is undertaken, the Germans will make every effort to deny our use of their rolling stock. For this reason, the United Nations must be prepared to follow the initial assault with such equipment.

He stated that the British now send their troops from southern England to Scotland or Northern Ireland by brigade groups for amphibious training. He suggested the possibility of United States troops stopping off in Ireland or Scotland for such training on their way to the final assembling area in southwestern England. The greatest difficulty is in the training of armored units, and that as far as possible it would be better if the United States forces could have this training prior to their departure from the United States.

General Marshall said that this can easily be arranged. It must be remembered that the forces used in the Torch operation were hurriedly gathered together and that the training of the troops, prior to their departure from the United States, had been difficult. The buildup for Bolero can be accomplished more deliberately and will enable the armored units to participate in major maneuvers and complete their target practice prior to departure. Units will be frozen three months prior to leaving the United States, and this will facilitate their training. He pointed out that firing ranges have been made available for use by units in staging areas en route to ports of debarkation.

In reply to a question from Lord Louis Mountbatten, he stated that insofar as possible, all units would have had amphibious training prior to their departure from the United States.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the British had set up an amphibious training establishment at Appledore on the Bristol Channel. The northern part of this training area has been turned over to the Americans for amphibious training. Flat beaches, changes of tides, and all means of possible defense are available to insure the thoroughness of the training. Another amphibious training establishment will be available in the Clyde area in two months and, in addition, one in Northern Ireland which has been started by Admiral Bennett.

General Marshall said that he assumed that the American troops included in the assault waves of a cross-channel attack would have to be rehearsed in amphibious operations, but that the great bulk of American troops would not need such rehearsals.

Lord Louis Mountbatten then pointed out that it would be well to arrange to have American forces use landing craft manned by American crews, with which General Marshall agreed.

General Somervell stated that the movement of American forces to England must be considered in connection with the escort vessels available for convoys.

Admiral King agreed that the Bolero troop movements would constitute an additional requirement for escort vessels.

Sir Charles Portal said that air forces must be reorganized with Bolero in view. At present the RAF operates from static bases. Mobile air units must be organized to support cross-channel operations. He suggested that American fighter aircraft should be under the operational direction of the British in the same manner as had already been decided for heavy bombardment aircraft.

Sir Charles Portal called attention to the fact that a decision must be made as to whether to utilize troop-lift capacity from the United States to Great Britain for ground troops or for the ground echelons of the air force. He also stated that a decision might be forced on the Combined Chiefs of Staff with regard to utilizing some of the shipping engaged in the delivery of munitions to Russia in the buildup of a Bolero force.

General Somervell said that a paper was being prepared, designed to show how many troops can be transported from the United States to the U K. The paper had to be based on a great many assumptions and the figures which it would contain could not be considered as a reliable estimate until certain decisions have been arrived at with reference to other operations, notably Husky. Assuming that Husky is mounted in August and that an attack will be mounted from England on August 15th, it would be possible to bring in approximately 400,000 troops to England by July 1st. This would give them six weeks to settle down in order to be available for an attack August 15th. The 400,000 troops mentioned included those now in England. Of the total number, approximately 172,000 would be air corps troops and there would be five to six ground divisions. He said that, assuming 150 ship voyages could be made available from British imports, the number could be raised from seven to nine divisions.

Sir Alan Brooke stated that these figures bore out his previous estimates that there would be from 18 to 21 divisions available in England in the latter part of the summer.

General Somervell said that if the attack from England were not to be mounted until September 15th, four additional divisions could be transported from the United States, three in American, and one in British shipping. The rate of four divisions per month could be maintained thereafter inasmuch as most of the overhead personnel would be included in the earlier shipments.

Sir Alan Brooke asked what rate of flow could be expected from America monthly, assuming an attack from England in September. Would one division per month be the maximum?

General Somervell replied that the figure would greatly exceed this as far as shipping was concerned. However, if the troops were to be transported to France, the number would be limited by the port facilities available. For this reason, any plans made should envisage the capture of sufficient port facilities.

Admiral King agreed that this should be given careful consideration in planning the operation.

General Marshall suggested that once the operation is initiated, it would probably be necessary to conduct separate operations to gain additional port facilities.

Sir Alan Brooke said he thought it would be easier to establish a bridgehead and widen it out by overland operations in order to capture the ports that would be necessary. He said that at least two or three ports would be required before any attempt could be made to advance further inland. He thought that the ports from Calais to Bordeaux were the most desirable. When the British were in France, they operated from Lorient to Calais and that even with these ports, it required a long period of time to build up nine divisions.

General Marshall said that after the direct crossing had been accomplished, he thought it would be desirable to find some method of making a flank attack in order to shorten the operations. In this connection, he had considered the possibilities of Holland and Denmark.

Sir Alan Brooke said that before a sufficient force could be built up for a direct attack, the Germans, because of their superior communications, could concentrate against our forces in superior numbers. This will be true unless German divisions are forced to withdraw from France because the Russian “steam roller” had started rolling.

Sir Dudley Pound said that Denmark did not offer good opportunities for hostile landings because of the difficulties of air coverage and also because of the lack of ports on her western coast. Holland is undesirable because of her canal system which favors the defense in retarding forward movements.

Sir Alan Brooke said that it would be necessary to determine accurately what flow of reinforcements from the United States could be expected.

General Somervell stated that he would be prepared to present such data within from 8 to 10 hours after a decision concerning Operation Husky had been made.

Admiral King then suggested that limited operations proposed from England in 1943 be discussed.

The British Chiefs of Staff stated that they had a paper on this subject in the process of preparation and would be prepared to discuss it during the meeting of January 22nd.

Sir Alan Brooke brought up the question of what organizational set-up for Bolero would be.

Both the United States and British Chiefs of Staff agreed that they had not discussed this matter among themselves and had not come to a definite conclusion.

General Marshall said that there were two methods of organization that might be followed: either a Deputy Commander or a Chief of Staff could be set up with an appropriate staff; or a Commanding General could be selected at once and organize his own staff. In either case, the planning and training for these operations should be undertaken at once and carried out on a month-to-month basis, ready at any time to undertake a cross-channel operation if the opportunity was presented.

Sir Alan Brooke stated that there was a combined staff in London now which might be a nucleus around which the Bolero planning organization could be built.

Lord Louis Mountbatten pointed out that any operations undertaken this year would be very small.

Sir Alan Brooke considered that regardless of how small the operations might be, they should be tied in with the overall plan for the all-out invasion of the Continent and designed to further those operations in some way.

The Committee:
Agreed that representatives of the Combined Staffs should prepare and submit recommendations to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, to be ready not later than the afternoon of January 22 relative to the command, organization, planning and training set-up necessary for entry of Continental Europe from the U.K. in 1943 and 1944.

  1. Report to the President and the Prime Minister

Without discussion,

The Committee:
Directed the Secretariat to prepare a draft report of decisions reached subsequent to the submission of C.C.S. 153/1.

Roosevelt-Churchill conversation, 6:25 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill

Churchill arrived with news that de Gaulle had agreed to come to Casablanca.

Thursday, 21 January

The President arose early this morning, breakfasted, and left Casablanca by automobile at 9:20 for an inspection of the United States Army forces stationed in the vicinity of Rabat, some 85 miles to the northeast. He was accompanied by Major General G. S. Patton, Jr., Commanding General First Armored Corps, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Harriman, Mr. Robert D. Murphy, and Rear Admiral Ross T. McIntire. Captain McCrea had gone on ahead to Rabat by automobile, accompanied by Brigadier General W. H. Wilbur, to deliver in person a letter from the President to the Sultan of Morocco inviting the Sultan and his entourage to take dinner with the President at Casablanca on 22 January. Captain McCrea joined the President’s party upon arrival at a point about five miles north of Rabat, where the President was to begin his inspection.

[Here follows the account of the President’s inspection trip.]

The President reached his villa in Casablanca at 5:20 p.m. He had been gone eight hours on his tour of inspection, traveling approximately 200 miles by automobile.

Following the President’s return to his villa at Casablanca, the Prime Minister called and remained with the President for an hour, departing at 7:25 p.m. Dinner was a comparatively small affair, Admiral McIntire and Captain McCrea dining with the President, Mr. Hopkins, Sergeant Robert Hopkins, and the President’s son, Lt. Colonel Elliott Roosevelt. The President said that he had enjoyed himself immensely during this day in the open. He retired shortly after 9:30 for his longest night’s rest since arriving in North Africa.

U.S. State Department (January 22, 1943)

Hopkins-Churchill conversation, 9:45 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Hopkins Prime Minister Churchill

Hopkins, at Roosevelt’s request, informed Churchill that the press conference planned for noon of January 22 would be postponed. In the course of their discussion, Hopkins expressed dissatisfaction over the results of the Conference, and Churchill held forth the hope that de Gaulle’s arrival at the Conference might permit some progress to be made.

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 10:15 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall General Brooke
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Rear Admiral Cooke Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Brigadier General Hull Lieutenant General Ismay
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Major General Kennedy
Colonel Smart Air Vice Marshal Slessor
Commander Libby Air Vice Marshal Inglis
Lieutenant Colonel Hirsch
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob
Lieutenant Colonel Grove

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 22, 1943, 10:15 a.m.

  1. Draft of Telegram to Mr. Stalin
    (C.C.S. 165/1)

After several minor amendments had been agreed upon,

The Committee:
Directed that the draft telegram as amended be submitted to the President and the Prime Minister for their approval.

  1. Husky
    (C.C.S. 161/1)

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Planners had examined various permutations and combinations with reference to assembling and training the requisite forces for Operation Husky and concluded that it could be mounted by August 30th, with the possibility of putting the date forward to August 15th. The British Chiefs of Staff were in favor of Plan A described in C.C.S. 151/1, Enclosure “A”, paragraph 5. He said that August 22nd would be the best date because of the favorable state of the moon. The date could be set still earlier if the Tunisian ports were made available to the British for loading.

The British will require 5 divisions in all for the operation. These would probably be the 5th, 56th, 78th for the first assault; one division in from U.K. for the Catania assault on D+3; and the New Zealand division for the follow-up. It will be necessary to move the Overseas Assault Force from England to the eastern Mediterranean about March 15th. Once this had been accomplished, the British would be committed to Operation Husky to the exclusion of Brimstone.

General Marshall said that while the U.S. Planning Staff did not have complete data available at this time, the U.S. Chiefs of Staff are of the opinion that as far as the United States forces are concerned, Operation Husky could be mounted by August 1st or earlier. He referred to a statement made in paragraph 4 of the outline plan (Enclosure “A” to C.C.S. 165/1 [161/1]) that if the British forces used the Algerian and Tunisian ports in order to be ready by August 1st, the American share of the assault might be delayed beyond August 31st. The United States Chiefs of Staff were of the opinion that the British could utilize all the ports from Bizerte eastward and the United States forces could still be made ready by August 1st. The only use required by the American forces of Bizerte and ports to the eastward would be for refueling purposes. He stated that as far as landing craft is concerned, little difficulty would be encountered. The limiting factor would be the “degree of finished training” that would be necessary. One division to come from the United States is undergoing thorough amphibious training at this time. The remaining divisions to participate are now in North Africa. They have already participated in landing operations, and their further training presents no problem. The question of relieving these divisions which are now being held ready for any eventuality in Spanish Morocco will require careful planning.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Planners thought that it might be necessary for the British to have ports somewhat further west than Bizerte in order to meet a target date of August 1st.

Admiral Cooke said that the British could train at Bougie and do their loading in the Tunis area. He could see no reason why all the forces could not meet a target date of August 1st. He realized that the Germans might do considerable damage to the ports of Bizerte and Tunis, but he estimated that by blasting processes the ports could be cleared for use by the time the air forces were ready to operate.

Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that the British prognostications for the target date were based on an estimate that the Axis forces would be driven from Tunisia by April 30th. If this is accomplished sooner, the target date could be moved forward accordingly.

Admiral Cooke pointed out that there is still uncertainty regarding the character of the beaches in Sicily. They might not be suitable for the new types of landing craft, and this would involve a change of plans. He also indicated that Admiral Cunningham will be presented with some difficulties when landing craft and combat loaders are moved into the Mediterranean. It will be necessary to do this in time for them to be available for training. The American forces will require some of the new type LCA landing craft. These weigh 8 tons empty, 13 tons loaded, and carry 36 men. The davits on the U.S. combat loaders may have to be replaced or adjusted in order to be capable of handling such weight.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said the British are building 30 LCA type landing craft per month in England. The number needed by the American forces could either be sent to America from England or the blueprints could be sent to America and the craft could be constructed there. The design is comparatively simple, and he thought that they could easily be manufactured in the United States. If the craft were to be manufactured in England, it would be necessary for the United States to furnish the engines required. The shipping of some 60 LCA to the Mediterranean, however, would not be an easy problem.

Sir Alan Brooke said it was apparent that the Whole plan might require some changes; there might be some unforeseen and insurmountable difficulties which would necessitate the postponing of the target date too long. He thought that, in this case, we should be prepared with an alternative.

General Marshall stated that he understood the only possible alternative was Operation Brimstone and indicated that he would like to discuss frankly the desirability of undertaking that operation.

Sir Alan Brooke said that Operation Brimstone would afford a base for the bombing of the whole of Italy; it would be an easier operation to undertake; and it could be accomplished earlier. It does not assist in clearing the Mediterranean for shipping, and it would not be as great a blow to Italy. However, he felt it essential that consideration of Operation Brimstone, as a possibility, be not delayed so long as to leave us with no alternative for 1943 if it were found that Husky could not be accomplished.

General Marshall said it was the opinion of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff that while Operation Brimstone would produce an advantage as far as air attack against Italy is concerned, it would postpone Husky. Any operation in the Mediterranean would postpone the Bolero build-up. He considered Brimstone a minor operation which would result in many military restrictions. Either Husky or cross-channel operations will produce great results, whereas Brimstone merely gives an air advantage. At the same time, it jeopardizes the prospects of either Husky or cross-channel operations.

General Marshall pointed out that German resistance to Operation Brimstone could not be discounted. In estimating the capabilities of the United Nations, it must be assumed that the Germans are aware that Sardinia can be undertaken at an earlier date than Husky. They will undoubtedly make their dispositions accordingly. He added that the undertaking of Brimstone would destroy the cover for future operations unless the Germans conclude that we propose to by-pass Sicily entirely and attack southern France. He thought it hardly likely that the Germans would come to such a conclusion.

He said the United States Chiefs of Staff are more concerned with adding to the security of shipping through the Mediterranean and with the immediate effects of our operations on Germany’s strength against the Russians than they are with eliminating Italy from the war. He thought that to undertake Operation Brimstone would be to seek the softest spot before turning to the harder spot and in so doing we might make the harder spot harder.

Admiral King pointed out that the airfields in Sardinia have a relatively small capacity and that they would have to be developed. While the position of Sardinia does bring northern Italy and southern France within range of our fighter aircraft, it is, by the same token, within range of Axis aircraft based in those areas.

General Arnold said that in order to get fighter protection from Sardinia we must capture Corsica.

General Marshall said that the United States Chiefs of Staff are very much opposed to the Operation Brimstone.

Sir Alan Brooke said that he agreed with all of these arguments, and he felt that we must go all out for Sicily. At the same time, he felt that there should be an alternative upon which we could fall back in case of absolute necessity.

Admiral King said that the ideal would be to attack Sicily at the same time the Germans were evacuating Tunis. The longer the attack against Sicily is delayed beyond that date, the stronger will be the defenses of Sicily. He thought it important, therefore, that every effort be made to reduce this lapse of time to the minimum.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that in his opinion the ideal would be to take Sardinia during the time that Tunis was being evacuated by the Axis forces. He felt that the Axis powers would then be giving little attention to the defenses of Sardinia. He thought that the earlier date upon which the Operation Brimstone could be accomplished, the securing of air bases from which to attack northern Italy, and the possibility of conducting Commando raids all along the coast of Italy, combined to make Operation Brimstone very attractive.

General Marshall asked Lord Louis Mountbatten if the training difficulties would be reduced if we were able to attack Sicily at the same time that Tunis was being evacuated by the Axis forces.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said he did not think so inasmuch as the evacuation would have small effect on the fixed defenses of Sicily.

Sir Dudley Pound pointed out that if the operation were to be mounted before August 22nd, it should be moved forward to July 25th in order to take full advantage of the favorable stage of the moon.

Admiral King suggested that for purposes of surprise it might be well to mount the operation at a time other than when the moon was in its best stage.

Sir Charles Portal pointed out that to avoid undue risk of aerial torpedo attack the periods of the full moon should be avoided and that the assault should be made only when there was moonlight during the early morning hours. There was a period of from 5 to 6 days in each month which would be suitable.

Admiral King said he thought that July 25th should be set as the target date for planning purposes and that the attack should only be postponed to August if July proved to be impossible.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that a clear statement should be made by the naval forces as to when their training can be completed. He prophesied that naval training will be the bottleneck.

Sir Charles Portal agreed with Admiral King that July should be set as the target date in order that we might strive for the best. He added that we should also be prepared for the worst. He pointed out that the critical time on the Russian front is in August and September. If the target date for Husky had to be postponed beyond September, it would be of little value. He considered that the collapse of Italy would have the most favorable effect on the Russian front. Since this might be accomplished by Operation Brimstone, he thought that we should be prepared to undertake this operation if Husky had to be delayed too long. Brimstone in June would be better than Husky in September; but a decision to undertake Brimstone must be made by March 1st; otherwise, the landing craft would be at the wrong end of the Mediterranean.

General Marshall said he thought there should be no looseness in our determination to undertake Operation Husky. He recounted the difficulties regarding the changes and delays in Bolero in 1942.

Sir Alan Brooke and Sir Charles Portal agreed with this view.

General Marshall said that we must be determined to do the hard thing and proceed to do it. He did not agree with Sir Charles Portal that the elimination of Italy from the war was the most important thing that could be done. To accept this premise might make it absolutely necessary to turn to Operation Brimstone in order that Italy could be eliminated in time. He felt that this should be avoided because Operation Brimstone would neutralize the efforts of the United Nations for 1943. He said that in Brimstone we should be advancing into a salient with limited air support where we might be shot at from three directions. The supply of Sardinia entails an increase in our line of communications and adds a threat to our limited shipping.

Sir Dudley Pound said that if Operation Brimstone is undertaken, Husky would have to be delayed until the period of bad weather in October or later.

Sir Alan Brooke said that Operation Brimstone would not be an easy operation. Fighter support would be inadequate, and it would be necessary to fight our way northward through the entire island. He believed that we should go bald-headed for Sicily. He felt that the capture of Sicily would have more effect on the war. He added, however, that if by March 1st it develops that Operation Husky cannot be mounted until too late, it was important for us to have an alternative to turn to in order that we do not remain idle for the entire year.

The discussion then turned on the Command and Staff organization which would be required for the operation.

Admiral Cooke said that the Combined Staff Planners felt strongly that one man should be made responsible for the whole of the arrangements; otherwise, it was very unlikely that the necessary preparations could be completed within the short time available. A special staff would be required for the purpose.

In the discussion this need was fully accepted, and it was recognized that the Chief of Staff must be carefully selected.

The Committee:
a) Resolved to attack Sicily in 1943 with the favorable July moor as the target date.

b) Agreed to instruct General Eisenhower to report not later than March 1st: (1) whether any insurmountable difficulty as to resources and training will cause the date of the assault to be delayed beyond the favorable July moon; and, (2) in that event, to confirm that the date will not be later than the favorable August moon.

c) Agreed that the following should be the Command setup for the operation:

  1. General Eisenhower to be in Supreme Command with General Alexander as Deputy Commander-in-Chief, responsible for the detailed planning and preparation and for the execution of the actual operation when launched.

  2. Admiral Cunningham to be the Naval Commander, and Air Chief Marshal Tedder the Air Commander.

  1. Recommendations for the officers to be appointed Western and Eastern Task Force Commanders to be submitted in due course by General Eisenhower.

d) Agreed that General Eisenhower should be instructed to set up forthwith, after consultation with General Alexander, a special operational and administrative staff, with its own Chief of Staff, for planning and preparing the operation.

e) Instructed the Secretaries to draft for their approval the necessary directive to General Eisenhower conveying the above decisions.

Hopkins-Harriman-Mountbatten luncheon meeting

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Hopkins Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Mr. Harriman

Mountbatten explained his views in favor of an attack on Sardinia rather than Sicily and described current British experiments on special explosives and ships made of ice.

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

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall General Brooke
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Rear Admiral Cooke Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Brigadier General Hull Lieutenant General Ismay
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Major General Kennedy
Colonel Smart Air Vice Marshal Slessor
Commander Libby
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob
Lieutenant Colonel Grove

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 22, 1943, 2:30 p.m.

  1. Conduct of the War in the Pacific Theater in 1943
    (C.C.S. 168)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a memorandum by the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff which Admiral King explained with the aid of a map of the Pacific theater.

General Arnold , in reply to a question by Sir Charles Portal, said that the theoretical radius of action of the B-29 and B-32 was 1,600 miles. This would be sufficient for the bombardment of Tokyo from the Nanchang area. The best bases for the bombardment of Japan were in the Maritime Province where there were known to be twenty-five airfields. No details, however, were available regarding their condition.

The Committee:
Took note of the proposals of the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff for the conduct of the war in the Pacific theater in 1943, as set out in C.C.S. 168.

  1. Press Communiqué

(Previous reference C.C.S. 61st Meeting, Item 4)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff took note that the President and Prime Minister were themselves preparing the communiqué for issue to the press at the conclusion of the Conference, and that it would not, therefore, be necessary for them to submit a draft.

  1. Continental Operations in 1943
    (C.C.S. 167)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a report by the British Joint Planning Staff on Continental operations in 1943, C.C.S. 167.

Sir Alan Brooke said that paragraph 2 (c) was somewhat misleading in its present form since there could, in fact, be no half-way house between the limited operations described in (a) and (b) of the paragraph and return to the Continent in full. He proposed that subparagraph (c) should, therefore, be amended to read, “Return to the Continent to take advantage of German disintegration.”

The policy which the British Chiefs of Staff recommended was contained in paragraph 19 of the paper.

The provision of additional airborne forces from the U. S. would be essential since Husky would use up all British resources in this respect.

Lord Louis Mountbatten agreed and emphasized the need for airborne forces to turn the beach defenses. Without these and armored forces to follow up, the assault on the northern coast of France was, in his opinion, quite impracticable. He drew attention to the note at the end of paragraph 5 relating to armored landing craft.

The Committee:
Agreed to defer final acceptance of the proposals of the British Chiefs of Staff pending further study.

  1. Organization of Command, Control, Planning and Training for Cross-Channel Operations
    (C.C.S. 169)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a note by the Combined Staffs, C.C.S. 169.

Sir Alan Brooke thought that it would be premature to designate a Supreme Commander for large-scale operations on the Continent at present in view of the limited operations which could be carried out with available resources in 1943. A special staff was, however, necessary for cross-channel operations and should, he thought, be set up without delay.

General Marshall agreed that a Supreme Commander would make a top-heavy organization at present, but thought that it was desirable to put a special staff under a selected Chief of Staff of sufficient standing; such an officer would perhaps suffice for the command of limited operations during the summer. This special staff could work out their plans on the basis of certain forces being available, even though they were not in actual control of the troops themselves.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the staff which was at present working on cross-channel operations belonged to various Commanders in the United Kingdom. It would be necessary to take them away from their present Commanders and set them up independently.

The Committee:
a) Accepted the proposals contained in C.C.S. 169, except for the immediate appointment of a Supreme Commander.

b) Agreed that a Supreme Commander will ultimately be necessary for the reentry to the Continent, but that he should not be appointed at the present time.

c) Agreed that a British Chief of Staff, together with an independent U.S.-British staff should be appointed at once for the control, planning and training of cross-channel operations in 1943.

d) Invited the British Chiefs of Staff to prepare for their approval a draft directive to govern the planning and conduct of cross-channel operations in 1943 in accordance with the decisions to be reached on C.C.S. 167.

e) Agreed that the above directive should make provision for a return to the Continent with the forces that will be available for this purpose in the United Kingdom month by month.

  1. Landing Craft

Lord Louis Mountbatten gave an account of the British experiences in building up an Assault Fleet. He described how the LCI (L) had been produced and explained the dislocation which had been caused by Torch. For that operation it had been necessary to stop the entry and training of British crews so that U.S. combat teams could have the use of the training center at Inveraray. As a result, a situation had arisen in which the British were temporarily unable to man all the landing craft at their disposal. The position was now in hand, and there would be no difficulty in manning all the landing craft expected by next August.

He drew attention to the shortage of spare parts which had recently forced him to consider the cannibalization of 25% of the landing craft at his disposal. This position, according to Admiral Cooke, also was now improving; but he emphasized the very great importance of providing ample spares parallel with the production of craft.

He described the organization of the British Assault Fleets. Broadly speaking, there were local forces organized for operations in home waters, western and eastern Mediterranean, and India. Besides these local forces, there was an overseas Assault Force with a lift of 30,000 personnel, 3,300 vehicles and 200 tanks. The purpose of this Force was to reinforce the local Assault Fleet in whichever theater might be the center of active operations. This Force would be ready to sail for the Mediterranean by March 15th, to take part in Husky.

He described three important lessons of amphibious operations which had so far emerged:

a) For any amphibious campaign involving assaults on strongly defended coasts held by a determined enemy, it is essential that the landing ships and craft shall be organized well in advance into proper assault fleets. These must have a coherence and degree of permanence comparable to that of any first-line fighting formation. Discipline, training, and tactical flexibility are just as necessary for assault fleets as for naval, military and air combat formations. This was the overriding lesson of Dieppe.

b) No combined operation can be carried out with reasonable hope of success without adequate beach reconnaissance beforehand. He had now organized specially trained beach reconnaissance parties which had already done most valuable work.

c) Adequate fire support for the assault against a strongly defended coast was most essential. A scale of 100 guns (48 self-propelled in LCT and 52 in the new gun craft to be known as LCG) for each assault brigade had been recommended. He handed around drawings of a type of amphibious close support vessel which had been designed for this purpose. These special assault craft were primarily intended for Roundup, and none could be ready in time for Husky.

He then handed around a table showing the estimated availability of British and American built landing ships and craft. Referring to this table, he pointed out that the main British deficiencies by next August would be in LST and LCI (L). He urged most strongly that allocations to the British of both these types should be increased to make up these deficiencies. He confirmed that provisions had already been made for manning the full number of all types of craft which had been asked for by next August together with 50 percent spare crews.

General Somervell confirmed that, so far as could be foreseen, sufficient landing craft could be made available for both the U. S. and British portions of Husky as now planned.

Admiral King drew attention to the great diversity of types of British built ships and craft. He asked whether a greater degree of standardization would not be possible. In reply Lord Louis Mountbatten explained that different types had been developed independently by the two navies; improvements had been made as a result of experience. Some of those shown in the table were now out of date.

Admiral Cooke expressed the view that the production of landing craft would be at least as great as the ability of the U.S. and British Navies to man them. He explained the heavy demand for the Pacific where rate of wastage was high and maintenance facilities extremely limited. He confirmed the shortage of spare engines. Spares had been used to fit up new hulls which had come out of production in large numbers.

He explained that the original split of LST for Roundup, as between U.S. and British, had been in the proportion of 125 to be manned by the U.S. and 75 by the British. Allocations now proposed by the U.S. Navy Department gave a higher proportion to the British, half of the 168 proposed for the European Theater going to the British and half to the U.S.; 117 of these craft would be allocated to the Pacific. He then raised the question of LCA, of which the U.S. had none at all. He understood that 96 of these craft were required for the British portion of Husky, and he thought that a similar number would be required for the U.S. portion as well.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the provision of these craft would need careful examination. It might be found best to send the drawings to America so that they could be built in U.S. yards.

The Committee:
a) Agreed that the question should be reviewed by July 1, 1943, whether the number of LST (2) to be allocated to the British from the total U.S. production of 390 can be raised from the figure of 120 now proposed by the U.S. Navy Department to 150 which was the full British requirement.

b) Took note that the U.S. Navy Department would investigate whether the follow-up order for 44 LCI (L) can be restored and half of this production allocated to the British.

c) Took note that the greatest needs of the British Combined Operations Naval Command were for:

  1. LCM (3), of which 646 had been asked for by the British by August 1, 1943, but the detailed allocation of which was not yet available.

  2. Scripps-Ford conversion engines for LCA, of which a large additional number would be needed if LCA were built in the United Kingdom for the U.S.

  3. Spare parts, as a matter of great urgency, for landing craft in the United Kingdom, to be supplied in the first instance on the requisitions already submitted to the U.S. Navy Department by Comamphoreu.

  1. System of Command for Combined U.S. and British Operations
    (C.C.S. 75/3)

(Previous reference: C.C.S. 45th Meeting, Item 1)

General Marshall said that the intention of the paper under consideration was to lay down general principles for the organization of command where U.S. and British forces were engaged in combined operations under a Supreme Commander. The systems of command employed by the two nations for their own forces differed fundamentally. He recalled that when Field Marshal Wavell had been suddenly called upon to form a combined headquarters at short notice in the Southwest Pacific he had had considerable difficulties in arranging satisfactorily the general organization of his command. Similar cases might occur in the future, and it would be of great assistance to have guiding principles agreed beforehand.

Discussion followed on the precise channels for the communication of orders which would be used in the organization shown in the diagram attached to the paper.

Admiral King said that in considering the chain of command shown in the diagram, it must be remembered that all Subordinate Commanders act as the agents of the Supreme Commander. The authority of Task Force Commanders was complete in respect of their own task forces. It would not be necessary, however, for the Naval Commander always to transmit orders affecting naval forces through the Supreme Commander, and the Task Force Commander to the naval component of the task force. He would be an officer of experience and discretion and would avoid issuing orders which would encroach upon the authority of Task Force Commanders. The channels were not rigid. Taking the example of Husky, he explained that the Air Commander with General Eisenhower would have two main functions apart from advising the Supreme Commander. He would arrange for the air bombardment required to soften the defenses of the island, and command the air forces allotted to this task. He would also answer calls for assistance from the task forces. There would be no objection to such calls being passed direct from the Air Commanders in the task forces to the Air Commander at the main headquarters.

The Committee:
Accepted the basic system of unified command in combined U.S. British operations as set out in C.C.S. 75/3.

Roosevelt dinner party, 7:40 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins
Mr. Murphy
Major General Patton, Captain McCrea
Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt
Morocco France
Sultan Mohammed V General Noguès
Grand Vizier Mohammed el Mokhri
Crown Prince Moulay Hassan
Si Manneri

The conversation ranged over the problems of Morocco’s post-war economic development, the possibilities of American participation in Moroccan development programs, and the colonial question as it applied to Morocco. The President expressed to the Sultan his sympathy with Morocco’s aspirations for independence and spoke of possible American-Moroccan economic cooperation after the war.

Murphy-de Gaulle conversation, about 10 p.m.

United States France
Mr. Murphy General de Gaulle

Murphy and de Gaulle conversed for half an hour prior to the latter’s meeting with Roosevelt. Murphy attempted to explain Roosevelt’s policy toward France and to convince de Gaulle of the necessity of his reaching an understanding with Giraud. After hearing Murphy’s exposition, de Gaulle concluded the meeting by explaining that the French National Committee in London had not empowered him to make any “binding decisions” while attending the Conference.

Roosevelt-de Gaulle conversation, 10:20 p.m.

United States France
President Roosevelt General de Gaulle

McCrea Notes

Washington, 4 February 1943.


The President met General de Gaulle with much cordiality and, after the exchange of pleasantries, proceeded to tell General de Gaulle the reason for his, the President’s and the Prime Minister’s visit to North Africa. The President stated that after the occupation of Morocco had become an accomplished fact, it seemed most necessary to him, late in 1942, that plans be made for the calendar year 1943. The President stated that it had originally been intended that Mr. Stalin attend the conference, but that due to the urgency of the Russian Campaign and the fact that Mr. Stalin occupied the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Russian forces, he had been compelled to decline the invitation to be present. In brief, the President remarked that the whole purpose of his meeting with Mr. Churchill was “to get on with the war,” and supply an answer to the question:

Where do we go from here?

The President proceeded to discuss the political situation in North Africa, stating that he recognized that there existed many points of view, almost as many as there were people involved, and that accordingly, there were some conflicting thoughts. The President added, however, that so far as he was able to determine, there were no substantial differences which could not be readily reconciled.

The President stated that he supposed that the collaboration on the part of General Eisenhower with Admiral Darlan had been the source of some wonderment to General de Gaulle. Continuing, the President stated that he had felt from the outset that the problem of North Africa should be regarded as a military one and that the political situation should be entirely incident to the military situation. General Eisenhower had found that Admiral Darlan was very willing to collaborate with the end in view of bringing as much pressure as possible to bear on the enemy at the earliest possible moment. To this end General Eisenhower expressed his willingness to collaborate to the utmost with Admiral Darlan. The President stated that he thoroughly approved of General Eisenhower’s decision in this matter and that real progress was being made when the Admiral met his untimely death.

At this point General de Gaulle evidently made some remark to the President with reference to the sovereignty of French Morocco. The President continued, stating that the sovereignty of the occupied territory was not under consideration, that none of the contenders for power in North Africa had the right to say that he, and only he, represented the sovereignty of France. The President pointed out that the sovereignty of France, as in our country, rested with the people, but that unfortunately the people of France were not now in a position to exercise that sovereignty. It was, therefore, necessary for the military commander in the area to accept the political situation as he found it and to collaborate with those in authority in the country at the time that the occupation took place so long as those in authority chose to be of assistance to the military commander. The President stated that any other course of action would have been indefensive [indefensible].

The President again alluded to the lack of power on the part of the French people at this time to assert their sovereignty. The President pointed out that it was, therefore, necessary to resort to the legal analogy of “trusteeship” and that it was his view that the Allied Nations fighting in French territory at the moment were fighting for the liberation of France and that they should hold the political situation in “trusteeship” for the French people. In other words, the President stated that France is in the position of a little child unable to look out and fend for itself and that in such a case, a court would appoint a trustee to do the necessary. The President stated that he had been twice in consultation with General Giraud and that General Giraud was very definite on the one point that mattered; namely, “to get on with the war.” The President further remarked that General Giraud recognized fully the conflicting political situation, but stated that he would, under no circumstances, let it divert him from the immediate and urgent task of freeing French territory of the enemy.

The President stated that following the Civil War in our home country, there was conflict of political thought and that while many mistakes were made, nevertheless, the people realized that personal pride and personal prejudices must often be subordinated for the good of the country as a whole, and the contending French leaders could well follow such a program. The only course of action that would save France, said the President, was for all of her loyal sons to unite to defeat the enemy, and that when the war was ended, victorious France could once again assert the political sovereignty which was hers over her homeland and her empire. At such a time all political considerations would be laid before the sovereign people themselves and that by the use of the democratic processes inherent throughout France and its empire, political differences would be resolved.

After about 20 minutes of conversation, General de Gaulle, with some show of cordiality withdrew.

Captain, U.S. Navy

Roosevelt-Churchill conversation, 11:15 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Mr. Macmillan
Mr. Murphy Mr. Mack
Mr. Welles
Friday, 22 January

Mr. Hopkins was in conference with the Prime Minister from 9:45 until 11:55 a.m., returning just before noon in order to be present when the President and the Prime Minister were photographed with the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Several photographs were taken on the terrace of the President’s villa, and then the President bestowed the Congressional Medal of Honor on Brigadier General William H. Wilbur, U.S. Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action during the landing at Fedala on November 8, 1942. Under heavy fire, General Wilbur had succeeded in passing through the French lines in order to deliver certain important letters to French generals some 16 miles to the rear, and later, while returning to his own troops, had personally led a group of tanks which destroyed a French artillery unit observed to be effectively shelling our positions. The President made the presentation in the presence of the Prime Minister, General Marshall, and General Patton, and upon the conclusion of the ceremony extended his personal congratulations to General Wilbur, as did the Prime Minister and Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.

The President and General Marshall lunched together at the President’s villa, no others being present. General Marshall departed at 2:30 p.m.

During the late afternoon, Mr. Harriman and Mr. Murphy conferred with the President, and Mr. Hopkins, separately and jointly.

The Sultan of Morocco had taken great pleasure in accepting the President’s dinner invitation which Captain McCrea had delivered at Rabat the day before. He arrived at the President’s villa at 7:40 together with his early ’teen age son, the Heir Apparent, the Grand Vizier, and his Chief of Protocol.

The Sultan and his entourage were magnificently attired in white silk robes and came bearing several presents – a gold-mounted dagger for the President in a beautiful inlaid teakwood case, and two golden bracelets and a high golden tiara for Mrs. Roosevelt. The President presented the Sultan with a personally-inscribed photograph of himself, in a beautiful heavy silver frame, engraved at the top with the seal of the President of the United States.

No alcoholic beverages were served before, during, or after the dinner, and care had been taken that no pork or pork products were served since these items are forbidden to true Mohammedans.

The dinner list was composed of the following list:

  • The President
  • The Sultan of Morocco (on the President’s right)
  • The Prime Minister of Great Britain (to his left)
  • General Charles A. Noguès, Resident General
  • The Grand Vizier to the Sultan
  • Major General Patton
  • Mr. Robert Murphy
  • The Crown Prince of Morocco
  • The Chief of Protocol
  • Mr. Hopkins
  • Captain McCrea
  • Lt. Colonel Elliott Roosevelt

The Sultan and his party left at 10:10 p.m. and were followed shortly thereafter by the Prime Minister, General Noguès, and General Patton.

General Charles de Gaulle had arrived in Casablanca from London at noon today, had lunched with General Giraud, and at 6:30 p.m. had kept an appointment with Prime Minister Churchill. These two conferred until the latter had to depart for dinner with the President and the Sultan of Morocco. General de Gaulle talked with the President from 10:20 until 10:55 p.m. Information as to the substance of the conversation between the President and General de Gaulle is contained in notes recorded separately by Captain McCrea.

Following the departure of General de Gaulle at 10:55, the Prime Minister and Mr. Macmillan, plus the latter’s secretary, Mr. Mack, called on the President at 11:15 and conferred with him, Mr. Murphy, and Mr. Hopkins until 12:30 a.m.

The President retired a half hour after the Prime Minister, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Macmillan, and Mr. Mack departed.

U.S. State Department (January 23, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 10 a.m.

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall General Brooke
Admiral King Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Field Marshal Dill
Rear Admiral Cooke Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Lieutenant General Ismay
Commander Libby Major General Kennedy
Air Vice Marshal Slessor
Air Vice Marshal Inglis
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 23, 1943, 10 a.m.

  1. Bolero Buildup
    (C.C.S. 172)

General Somervell said that his paper had been prepared in collaboration with Lord Leathers, and the figures of U.S. troops to arrive in the United Kingdom in 1943 were dependent on certain assistance being provided by the British. A figure of 50,000 men per division had been taken as a basis of calculation, but this was very high owing to the inclusion of a large overhead in the first half year. The figures would be reduced to about 40,000 in the latter part of the year. In this event, the total number of divisions might rise from fifteen to nineteen by the end of the year. Every means would be used of increasing the number of troops shipped by additional loadings in personnel ships during the summer months and the fitting of more cargo ships for troop carrying.

The Committee:
Took note of paper C.C.S. 172.

  1. Continental Operations in 1943
    (C.C.S. 167)

(Previous reference C.C.S. 67th Meeting, Item 3)

General Marshall said that the proposals in the paper by the British Joint Planning Staff were acceptable to the U.S. Chiefs of Staff subject to the following comments:

It appeared that the availability of the British airborne division referred to in paragraph 4 was now doubtful in view of the demands of Husky. The dispatch of an American airborne division to the United Kingdom, possibly in June, was, therefore, being considered by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. The first airborne division which would be ready for overseas would be required for Husky. The chief difficulty lay in the provision of the necessary air transports, but these could be moved across to the U.K. more quickly than the personnel, who would have to go by sea.

The U.S. Chiefs of Staff considered it most desirable that any operation of the type mentioned in paragraph 2 (a) of the paper, e.g., against the Channel Islands, should be coordinated in time with Husky.

As regards the larger operation against the Cotentin Peninsula, for which the target date given in paragraph 19 (b) was August 1st, it must be made clear that the plan was only to be based on the U.S. resources available at that time in the United Kingdom. First priority was given to Husky, and the U.S. did not wish to accept any additional commitment for operation Hadrian beyond what was at present envisaged. It was highly improbable that any U.S. landing craft crews would be available for operations from the United Kingdom this summer.

Sir Alan Brooke said that, as a result of the decision on Husky, paragraph 4 was not now correct. There would only be 11 British divisions and a part of one British airborne division available.

The Committee:
Approved the proposals contained in C.C.S. 167 subject to the reservations of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff recorded above.

  1. Report to the President and Prime Minister
    (C.C.S. 170)

The Committee:
a) Approved the draft submitted by the Secretaries, subject to minor amendments agreed in the discussion, and the inclusion of a paragraph on the Bolero build-up based on C.C.S. 172.

b) Instructed the Secretaries to prepare and submit a final draft forthwith.

  1. Operation Husky – Directive to General Eisenhower
    (C.C.S. 171)

General Marshall proposed certain amendments to the text of the draft directive, which were accepted.

The Committee:
Approved the directive as amended and instructed the Secretaries to transmit it to General Eisenhower.

  1. Landing Craft

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the Admiralty had been asked to complete another 160 LCA during the next four months to provide American requirements for Husky and training. He might have to send British LCA from Force J (the Channel Assault Force) for the U.S. share of Husky, but it was essential that these should be replaced in time to enable cross-channel operations to be undertaken this summer. All LCA engines come from America; and he would, therefore, require 400 Scripps-Ford conversion engines at the rate of 100 a month for the next four months. Each craft had two engines, and 25 percent spares were required. It was of great importance that the Channel Assault Force should be kept in being, even though temporarily short of LCA to make up U.S. requirements. Otherwise, there would be no force available for cross-channel operations. Once broken up, this force would be very difficult to reform again.

Admiral King said that no firm promise could be given that this large number of engines would be provided from the U.S. where production resources were already strained. He undertook to see what could be done.

The Committee:
a) Agreed that it was most desirable for the Channel Assault Force to be kept in being for cross-channel operations this summer.

b) Took note that the U.S. would endeavor to provide the necessary engines for any LCA hulls produced in Great Britain during the coming months.

Murphy-Giraud conversation

United States France
Mr. Murphy General Giraud

Memorandum by the President’s Personal Representative to the Presidents Special Assistant

Casablanca, January 22 [23], 1943.

Mr. Hopkins:

Dear Harry: Giraud had a long talk with Catroux this morning after which he told me that he had found Catroux’ attitude helpful and understanding. In essence Giraud told Catroux for the information of de Gaulle that what Giraud proposed is that Giraud remain Commander in Chief of all French armed forces as a member and titular head of a French War Committee. The Committee would include de Gaulle as a High Commissioner or Commission[er] who would have the direction of the affairs of the territories which he brings into the combination. The Committee would include a third person, possibly General George, as High Commissioner or Commissioner having supervision of North and West Africa. Catroux would be the Committee’s Director of Foreign Affairs, and General Valin – who is also with de Gaulle, would be in charge of Propaganda. Other de Gaulle people would be included one way or another in the setup. Giraud, de Gaulle and George would make their headquarters at Algiers. The military character of the organization would be emphasized – its primary purpose waging the war against the Axis – stressing political calm now during the military operation, and the fact that the French people must be left the decision of the eventual form of French Government.

Under the War Committee would be the Directory or Committee of Governors of the several territories. Under that eventually a consultative body of representative civilians from those territories to be called for example the Federal Council.

Giraud says that he looks at this matter as a matter of plain common sense – there cannot be two bosses in this area if we are to get on with the war. On the other hand, he wants to play ball with de Gaulle and to respect his sensibilities. When de Gaulle assumes to talk for France and of conditions in France, Giraud points out that he has lived there much more recently than de Gaulle where Giraud was in touch with the underground organizations. He feels that possibly de Gaulle may confuse his idea of his own popularity with the French people and the latter’s hatred of the Germans.

General George is still in France and will probably be smuggled out.

Giraud is lunching with de Gaulle and will have a long tete-a-tete after lunch.


Hopkins-el Mokhri conversation

United States Morocco
Mr. Hopkins Grand Vizier el Mokhri
Brigadier General Wilbur Si Mammeri

Wilbur Notes

January 23, 1943

The Grand Vizier made it clear that the matters to be discussed must be made known only to the President and that no power other than the U.S. should know of the interview. Unless the above could be agreed upon it were better not to discuss anything.

Mr. Hopkins assured the G.V. that his desires would be completely respected and that matters to be discussed would be for the President’s ear only.

The G.V. stated that there were four questions to be presented to the President for his consideration.

1st Question
His Majesty the Sultan has heard of the conference between Gen. Giraud and Gen. de Gaulle now taking place. France itself is insecure and has turned first this way then that. Since Nov. 8 relations with the French have been troubled due to the existence of many factions. The Sultan has no complaint to make against Gen. Nogues. He is an able administrator and his relations with the Sultan, with the Sultan’s government and with the people have been excellent. But since Nov. 8, when Gen. Noguès has proposed some line of action, almost immediately some de Gaullist or Vichy group has opposed it.

Due to all of the above the Sultan is worried. He has welcomed the arrival of U.S. troops with joy; but will the joy continue? What are the intentions of the U.S. in regard to Morocco? What relations are to be established with the U.S.? In order to determine his future policy the Sultan would like to know the permanent policy of the U.S. in regard to Morocco.

2nd Question
The Jews have never been the predominant people in Morocco. In numbers and in influence they have always been definitely second. They have been well treated by the Moslems. When the German Armistice Commission arrived in Morocco they at first insisted that the Jews in Morocco should be treated the same as they are in Germany. This the Sultan steadfastly refused to do.

The existing situation has been the result of centuries of living together. The Moslems need the Jews and the Jews need the Moslems.

There is no Jewish question in Morocco and will be none if matters are left as they are now. Some Jews thought that the arrival of U.S. troops would mean the placing of Jews in positions of authority over the Moslems. This must not be.

3rd Question
Morocco is greatly in need of supplies of certain foods, clothing, machines, etc. The prestige of the U.S. has been drawn into this question somewhat as there have been statements to the effect that needed goods would arrive. It is hoped that the very evident needs of Morocco can be supplied at an early date.

4th Question
The Sultan is certain that the war will end in a victory for the U.S. This victory will be followed by a treaty of peace. When the time arrives to discuss the conditions of the peace it is the Sultan’s intention to throw himself in the arms of Mr. Roosevelt. Provided Mr. Roosevelt will accept him and his country.

If Mr. Roosevelt accepts the Sultan proposes to hold a plebiscite of his people. The Sultan is certain that all his people both in French and Spanish Morocco will be in agreement and wish to place their future in Mr. Roosevelt’s hands.

The Grand Vizier stated that this last subject was one concerning which he requested that absolute secrecy be maintained, that he desired that it be presented only to Mr. Roosevelt. Mr. Hopkins stated that it would be for Mr. Roosevelt’s ears alone.

Mr. Hopkins stated that he could make a general reply now as he is thoroughly familiar with Mr. Roosevelt’s views.

General Reply
Mr. Roosevelt believes that this war is a life and death struggle. For the present all efforts must be devoted to beating Germany, Italy, and Japan.

We believe that we will succeed and that complete victory will be gained.

Indicated by plane production.

Gave figures.

The war will be pursued until Germany Italy and Japan agree to unconditional surrender.

The President is aware of the difficulties now confronting Morocco. He realizes the situation the Sultan was in when the German Armistice Commission attempted to force him to comply with their demands. The Sultan proved himself to be a man of character and force and the President honors him for it and knows him to be a great man.

In the past armies have come into countries and after peace was restored have remained under one pretext or another. The American army will not remain in Morocco.

Powerful countries have exploited smaller countries; wealth and resources have been siphoned out for the benefit of the powerful country. Mr. Hopkins wished the G.V. to assure the Sultan that it is not the intention of the U.S. to exploit Morocco. It is hoped that closer economic relations can be established as airplanes and improved sea transport will bring the two countries closer together.

The President feels that many peoples of the world have not had their rightful share of the good things of the world. He feels that they can and will have them after the victory has been gained.

The President feels that there is no reason to change the present government of Morocco and has no intention of forcing other changes on any people.

Casablanca was selected for the conference somewhat by chance. It should prove beneficial to Morocco for it has enabled the President to see Morocco and meet the Sultan. The President has been profoundly impressed, and his visit will be of great benefit for he has become a warm friend of the Sultan and his country.

Mr. Hopkins stated that he could not give a final answer to all the questions; that with reference to supplies for the civilian population, they will be sent but military needs must come first.

The President knows that the people of Morocco are concerned. They should not be unduly so. The final outcome can be awaited with certainty.

Mr. Hopkins thanked the Grand Vizier for his frankness and stated that he would give the President a full and exact report of the discussion.

Brig. Gen.

Murphy-de Gaulle conversation, afternoon

United States France
Mr. Murphy General de Gaulle

This meeting was concerned with the effort to resolve the conflict between de Gaulle and Giraud. De Gaulle says that he informed Murphy that it had not been possible to reach an agreement with Giraud regarding the unity of French liberation forces. De Gaulle also states that Murphy informed him at this time that Roosevelt and Giraud “had just signed an agreement” providing for deliveries of weapons and supplies to Giraud’s forces in North Africa and the recognition of Giraud as military and civil commander in Africa.

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

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins
Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt

According to Elliott Roosevelt, it was in the course of this luncheon that the phrase “unconditional surrender” was “born”. Elliott Roosevelt recalls that it was the President, rather than the Prime Minister, who first used the term. It was strongly approved by Hopkins and accepted by the Prime Minister. The President appeared to be especially impressed with the beneficial effect the phrase would have on the Russians. It is probable that the original “unconditional surrender” discussion between the President and the Prime Minister which Elliott Roosevelt recalls as occurring on January 23 actually had taken place some days earlier. On January 18 the Prime Minister had already suggested the preparation of a statement to the press using the phrase “unconditional surrender.”

Informal American-British conversations, 3:50-5:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Mr. Macmillan
Mr. Murphy