Casablanca Conference

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

Wilbur-de Gaulle conversation, 4 p.m.

United States France
Brigadier General Wilbur General de Gaulle

Wilbur Notes

Casablanca, 23 January 1943.


I called on General de Gaulle at his villa this afternoon at four o’clock. As we were both in the same class at the École Supérieure de Guerre, we started on a friendly basis. He seemed inclined to unburden himself to me, and told me the entire situation.

He told me that before our arrival in Morocco, his forces were the only French Forces that had been fighting for the liberty of France; that they were the only elements that represented the true France; that without question the whole of the France that is willing to fight for its rights rested with people who were for him. He said that there had grown up the mystery of the Marshal and the mystery of La France Combattante, that these had become almost two religions. He said that the real Marshal Pétain had died in 1925, and that the present Marshal was weak, was vain, and had the spirit and attitude of a grandfather.

He said that when Darlan came into power he represented the collaborationists. De Gaulle and his people could have no traffic with him. Darlan in his opinion had remained too long.

General Giraud did not in his present position, and could not in his present position represent the government of France because he held a position by virtue of the vote of Noguès, Boisson, and Chatel, all of whom were representatives of the Vichy Government.

He said that he had offered General Giraud the command of the troops, but that General Giraud in his present position could not represent the true France. His thesis was that General Giraud should join the France Combattante, rather than that the Gaullists should join the present government.

He said that it was perfectly possible that the United States might make the decision that he should be deprived of supplies and equipment and that under such circumstances England and the others would have to agree to the United States’ decision and that he, de Gaulle, would have to fold up.

He said that even if General Giraud succeeded in reaching France at the present time, he would find that the people would rise against him and that communism would result. I told him that as a friend of France I deplored the present situation, that it was of great importance that the French compose their differences now before the invasion of the continent took place; that they must compose their differences before the peacetable was reached or that the French would find themselves in a very weak and poor position. I told him that I personally, and many Americans, were extremely sorry for the French that we felt that the French people must be under-going a very severe winter, that it was only by unity that we would reach them at the earliest possible date.

I stated that it seemed to me that General de Gaulle, who I knew had the real interest of France at heart, must be willing to withdraw from any position if no other way could be found to accomplish the union of those who wished to fight to liberate France. We discussed the situation of his adherents in Morocco. He is very anxious to have those individuals who wish to serve with his forces be permitted to join them. He asked for my address so that he could communicate with me further. I told him that many Gaullists had come to me with their stories. He asked me if any others came to see me, if I would tell them that I had seen him, that he had seen General Giraud, that they had not been able to compose their differences, but that he was sending a liaison officer to join Giraud.

I emphasized the necessity for calm and order in Morocco – and suggested that his adherents not only should not cause trouble but should also do everything they could to help the American effort. He agreed to do that.

Brig. Gen.

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with Roosevelt and Churchill, 5:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Admiral of the Fleet Pound
General Marshall Field Marshal Dill
Admiral King General Brooke
Lieutenant General Arnold Air Chief Marshal Portal
Lieutenant General Somervell Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Commander Libby Lieutenant General Ismay
Brigadier General Deane
Brigadier Jacob

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 23, 1943, 5:30 p.m.


The President suggested discussing the report submitted to him and the Prime Minister in C.C.S. 170/1, paragraph by paragraph.

Both the President and the Prime Minister, before starting the discussion, said that they wished to congratulate the Chiefs of Staff on the character of the work which had been done during the conferences. The Prime Minister said it was the first instance he knew of when military leaders had remained together so long, free from political considerations, and had devoted their full thought to the strategic aspects of the war.

The President agreed to this and recalled an incident in the last war when Marshal Foch, Field Marshal Haig and General Pershing had had a similar conference which lasted but 5 hours.

  1. Security of Sea Communications

In discussing the security of sea communications, the Prime Minister indicated that he wished German submarines to be referred to as “U-Boats” rather than dignifying them by calling them “submarines.”

  1. Assistance to Russia

A discussion regarding assistance to Russia in relation to other commitments then followed.

The President said that in March we will be faced with the necessity of arranging to extend the Russian Protocol. He thought the last sentence in paragraph 2 of C.C.S. 170/1 which provides that “supply to Russia will not be continued at prohibitive cost to the United Nations’ efforts” should stand and asked Mr. Hopkins for his view on the subject.

Mr. Hopkins said that the present Protocol has such a clause but that, of course, it cannot be exercised without raising violent objections from Premier Stalin.

The Prime Minister said that aid to Russia must be pushed, and no investment could pay a better military dividend. The United Nations cannot let Russia down. He said that the Chiefs of Staff had been considering whether or not 16 destroyers could be made available from the United States in order to reduce the length of the convoy turnaround from 40 to 27 days.

Admiral King said that the destroyers simply were not available. The escort vessel situation is so tight as to make it necessary to eliminate the Russian convoys starting about June 14th in order to take care of the needs of Operation Husky. He pointed out that there is already a shortage of 65 escorts to protect the convoys in the Atlantic service and that the Husky operation will make this shortage more acute.

Mr. Hopkins suggested the possibility of stopping the convoys entirely if we could give Russia something that she had not previously expected and suggested that this be airplanes.

The President asked what new escort construction would be available by June of 1943.

Admiral King replied that there would be 100 escort vessels completed but that, if the present loss rates continued, this number would represent only a small net gain.

Sir Dudley Pound said there is no substitute for destroyers in protecting convoys. At the present time we are utilizing 16 destroyers and 8 ships of other types with the convoys running on a 40-day cycle. If this were to be reduced to 27 days, it would be necessary to double this force in order to have two convoys in operation.

Mr. Hopkins asked whether the destroyers and escort vessels that are now with these convoys could not be released for use elsewhere if the convoys were eliminated entirely.

Sir Dudley Pound said the escort vessels would be released, except for the Home Fleet destroyers which must be kept available to watch for a break-out into the Atlantic of the German fleet.

Mr. Hopkins repeated that some consideration should be given by the Chiefs of Staff regarding the entire elimination of the Russian convoys via the northern route. He said that it might be possible to increase the delivery of munitions to Russia over the Persian route and via Alaska although the Russians object to handling some types of munitions over these routes. At the same time, we could increase the Protocol in certain types of munitions such as aircraft. If this were done, there would be a saving in the use of the 500,000 tons of shipping from the Russian convoys. The considerable losses of shipping connected with the northern convoys would be eliminated, as well as the cargoes which are lost when ships are sunk. He felt that the Chiefs of Staff have been inclined to consider aid to Russia as a political expedient and that actually the question should be viewed from the standpoint of military necessity.

The Prime Minister said it would be a great thing if we could continue the Russian convoys throughout the Husky Operation. He thought it better to continue them on a 40-day cycle rather than attempt the 27-day cycle prior to Husky and then stop the convoys while Husky was being undertaken. He said we have never made any promises that we would take supplies to Russia. We have merely committed ourselves to making munitions available to them at our ports.

General Somervell said that by July 1st we will be able to send 30 ships a month to the Persian Gulf ports, and this would offer good prospects for increasing the supply to Russia.

The President said that supplying Russia is a paying investment. Stopping the convoys in July and August would occur just at the time when the Russians would be engaged in their most severe fighting. He pointed out that it is difficult to say now just what the situation regarding shipping losses will be in July or August, or what the conditions will be along the route of the northern convoys. He said, for example, at the time of the last conference in June 1942, the United States was suffering great shipping losses along her eastern coast. This area has now been almost cleared of submarines, and the greatest losses are now occurring off the coast of South America.

Admiral King said that we are definitely committed to mounting Operation Husky and that everything must be done to insure its success, including the elimination of the Russian convoys if that be necessary.

General Marshall , in referring to Mr. Hopkins’ opinion of the Chiefs of Staff’s attitude towards aid to Russia, said that in the current conferences, it had been decided that the first charge against the United Nations was the defeat of the submarine menace and aid to Russia had to come next. He said that if we had to take the losses which had been suffered in the Murmansk convoys, they would hurt Russia as much as the U.S. and U.K. Such losses make it impossible for us to attack on other fronts and thus eliminate the possibility of forcing the Germans to withdraw ground and air troops from the Russian front. He said these losses last year came just at the time that we were laboring to build up Bolero. It must be made certain that we do not hazard the success of Operation Husky.

The Prime Minister agreed that if passage of convoys on the northern route were prohibitive in cost, they must be stopped. He thought it would be right to have in our minds the possibility of continuing convoys through the Husky period, but to make no promises to Stalin.

Sir Dudley Pound said this must be the case because if we were committed to continuing these convoys, the Royal Navy could not play its part in Operation Husky.

The Prime Minister said that the discussion should rest on the point that the discontinuance of these convoys will depend upon the losses that are suffered. He said we must tell Mr. Stalin the facts, that he must rely on a 40-day schedule. Also that we cannot promise the continuance of the convoys while Operation Husky is being undertaken. He said it should also be made clear to Mr. Stalin that the U.S. and U.K. are under no obligation to continue the convoys.

The President said that the draft message to Mr. Stalin would require some revision. It must be remembered that the Russian General Staff are making plans on the assumption that the munitions called for in the Protocol will be available. In justice to them, they should know just what is intended. He asked how a 2.4% per month loss rate would relate to the 700,000 tons loss of shipping per year.

Admiral King said he thought the loss rate of 2.4% would reduce the losses in shipping to less than 700,000 tons. He recalled the Prime Minister’s having said before the House of Commons that if our losses could be reduced below 500,000 tons per year, the shipping situation would be satisfactory.

The President said that the shipping situation is bound to improve during the coming year as a result of nearly doubling the construction program and by reason of the more effective antisubmarine measures which are to be taken.

Admiral King agreed with this and said that the great losses on the eastern coast of the United States were possible in large measure because of a lack of effective means to combat the submarines. He said that great improvement has been made in this respect.

The Prime Minister suggested that it should be decided that if the shipping situation is better than we expect, we shall continue the 40-day convoy throughout Operation Husky, but that we should not commit ourselves either way. He said that, while it might be possible to continue the convoys, they must be stopped if the losses are too great.

Admiral King suggested that before deciding on discontinuing the convoys, the situation should be reviewed as of the first of May.

  1. Operations in the Mediterranean

The discussion then turned to Operation Husky.

The Prime Minister said he wished to set the target date as the period of the favorable June moon rather than that of July.

General Marshall said that the matter of training must be considered as well as other features in connection with the preparations for Operation Husky. He said that all training and preparations must be scheduled, and that if an impossible or improbable target date was set and then later changed to one that was practicable, all of the schedules would be out of adjustment. This might result in compromising ourselves with regard to every aspect of the operation. The subject of the target date had been quite exhaustively studied, and it is going to be difficult to mount Operation Husky with properly trained forces even in July.

The President asked if the fixing of the target date in July was made on the assumption that the Axis forces would be driven from Tunisia by the end of April. He asked what the effect would be if they were to be eliminated from Africa by the end of March.

General Marshall replied that success in Tunisia at the end of March would improve the situation somewhat but was not the limiting factor. The limiting factor was on the naval side with respect to organizing crews and assembling landing craft. After this has been accomplished, the naval crews and landing craft must be made available for the training of the troops. He said that the situation in Tunisia might result in delaying Operation Husky but that an earlier success there would not help in moving the target date forward.

Admiral King said it was a question as to whether the assault on Sicily should be made by partially or fully trained forces.

The President suggested that the operation might be easier than Operation Torch in view of the better weather found in the Mediterranean.

Lord Mountbatten said that the difficulty of the Husky Operation was not in the weather but the excellence that might be expected in the enemy’s defenses.

General Marshall pointed out some of the errors that had been made in the Torch operation through lack of adequate training. Some of the landing boats went to the wrong place. One Ranger unit had the mission of taking a shore battery and clearing a certain area. It actually landed 18 miles away from its objective.

The President said he thought this might have been the result of poor navigation rather than a lack of adequate training.

General Marshall replied that while we do have divisions with amphibious training, we do not have the landing craft or crews. The craft must be built and the crews must be trained.

The Prime Minister agreed that General Marshall’s point that the target date for Husky did not depend on the Tunisian operations but rather on the necessity of training was a good one.

He said, however, that the British are to send their overseas assault force which has a capacity of 7 brigade groups to participate in Operation Husky. He had been told that this could not leave England until March 14th and then must undergo some training in the eastern Mediterranean. He said he felt sure that the force could be sent earlier. In this connection, Lord Louis Mountbatten said that he had been informed that it could be sent by the end of February.

The Prime Minister said that this would be done. He then discussed the question of navigation. When operations of the importance of Husky are to be undertaken, no effort should be spared to obtain capable navigators. He suggested the possibility of combing the navy, particularly the “R” class battleships, with the purpose of setting up a special group of navigators.

Sir Dudley Pound said that skilled navigators could not be taken from the navy without serious effects and, in any event, they would have to be supplemented by inexperienced men and the training period could not therefore be shortened.

The Prime Minister said that he feared the gap of perhaps four months during the summer when no U.S. or British troops would be in contact with the Germans.

The President agreed and said that this gap might have a serious effect all over the world.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the Combined Chiefs of Staff had examined the timing of the operation most carefully. September was the first date that had been put forward and this they had rejected. Further study had brought the date back to the end of August. The Combined Chiefs of Staff had then put on the same kind of pressure that the President and the Prime Minister were now applying, with the result that July had been tentatively fixed, though August remained a more likely date. He was in agreement with General Marshall that to try and fix too early a date would prejudice the preparations. It was impossible to shorten the loading period, and thus the only process off which time might be lopped was training. If this were curtailed, the result might be disastrous.

The Prime Minister thought that by intense efforts the loading might be accelerated. Similarly if landing craft now employed in maintaining the 8th Army could be recovered forthwith, training might start earlier. All these points must be rigorously examined before the July date could be accepted.

General Marshall pointed out that if the date were to be made earlier, it would have to be by a complete four weeks unless the added risks of moonlight were acceptable.

The President said that the present proposals were based on a large number of factors which might well prove correct, but which were estimates. Another estimate which must be taken into account was the state of morale in Italy, which recent reports showed to be deteriorating. If this process continued, the Germans might be faced with an Italy in revolt, and it would then be essential for us to have our preparations far enough advanced to be able to act, not necessarily in Sicily but perhaps in Sardinia, or even in Italy. For this reason, he would like to set the date of the operation in June, it being understood that it might have to be carried out in July if the enemy’s strength remained as at present.

General Marshall pointed out that to bring back the date at the expense of adequate preparation would not make it any easier to stage an improvised operation during the intervening months. The troops would have been moved into place quite early in the preparatory period, so that they would be standing ready if required.

Sir Alan Brooke agreed and pointed out that we should probably get some advance indication of an Italian collapse which would enable us to speed up the launching of a smaller force. It would be quite wrong to risk a costly failure by unduly curtailing the period of preparation.

The Prime Minister said that General Marshall was pleading for the integrity of the operation, and the arguments which he had employed were most convincing. Nevertheless, he was not himself yet convinced that the integrity of the operation could not be maintained with a June date. Some quicker methods might be found of moving troops into place.

General Marshall said that this also had been examined. He pointed out that the period after the fall of Tunis would not be one of inactivity, as a growing air bombardment of Italy would be launched. We ought to place ourselves in a position to do the hard operation against Sicily while being ready to improvise if the enemy weakened. The initial landing in Sicily was on a larger scale than had been envisaged for Operation Roundup.

The President inquired whether any easement could be secured if the Spanish situation cleared still further during the Spring.

General Marshall said that in any case the troops standing ready to move into Spanish Morocco would be simultaneously training for Sicily.

Admiral King said that one of the innumerable items which had to be considered in this operation was the provision of armored landing craft, which he and Lord Louis Mountbatten agreed were essential. None of these was at present available for the U.S. forces. He agreed that the ideal method of launching the operation would be to follow in on the heels of the Germans fleeing from Tunis. He was convinced, however, that the closest we could come to this ideal was July. He would have liked June, but felt it impossible to promise such a date.

The President said that the important point was to retain a flexible mind in the matter so that advantage could be taken of every opportunity.

General Marshall said that he had felt embarrassed over the date of this operation remembering as he did the incentive which had existed for hastening Torch in view of the U.S. elections. In spite of that, it had not proved possible to advance the date.

The Prime Minister said there had been much admiration in England of the fact that the election had not been allowed to influence in the slightest the course of military events.

After some further discussion, it was agreed that:

a) Operations for the Capture of Sicily:

The July date should stand subject to an instruction that in the next three weeks, without prejudice to the July date, there should be an intense effort made to try and achieve the favorable June moon as the date of the operation. If at the end of this three weeks, the June date could be fixed, General Eisenhower’s instructions could be modified to conform.

b) Cover Plans:

The Prime Minister suggested that Norway should again play a part in the cover plans.

Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that it might be awkward for the Russian convoys if we gave the Germans cause for reinforcing Norway. He thought that much the best cover would be given by the active preparations going on all over the North African shore. These would not only disguise the objective, but would cause dispersion of enemy forces.

The President thought that the creation of General Giraud’s French army might also play a part in making the enemy think that the southern coast of France was our objective.

c) Command of the Mediterranean Theater:

The Prime Minister said that he thought the United States had been very generous and broad-minded in the command arrangements. He thought that the most natural method of procedure would be at the appropriate moment to announce that the 8th Army, on entering Tunisia, had passed under the command of General Eisenhower, and that General Alexander had been appointed as his deputy.

d) The Bomber Offensive from North Africa:

The Prime Minister thought that it would be advisable to maintain the threat of bombardment against Rome, but that it should not actually be carried out without further consultation.

The President agreed.

  1. Operations in and From the United Kingdom

b) Bolero:

The Prime Minister thought that it was very disappointing that there would only be 4 U.S. divisions equipped in the U.K. by August 15th. He inquired whether by using the Queens, the number for September could not be achieved in August.

General Somervell said that the limiting factor in the first half of the year was cargo ships, and in the second half of the year it was personnel ships. To move more men over in the first half would only result in their arriving in England with no equipment, and thus their training would be interrupted. The Queens were all fully employed in various parts of the world.

General Marshall pointed out that the figures in the table were a minimum, and the 4 divisions shown for August 15th would probably be 19 rather than 15. Allowance had to be made in the early build-up for the Air Corps personnel.

The Prime Minister inquired whether the initial equipment of 8 tons per man, and the maintenance of 1.3 tons per man per month, could not be reduced; similarly, could not savings be made on reserves and on vehicles. For the type of operations which would be undertaken in France in 1943, a big advance was not likely. Fighting men for the beaches were the prime essential.

General Somervell said that the calculation of the rate of buildup had been made on the basis of one ton per man per month. The other factors mentioned by the Prime Minister had also been taken into account, and everything would be done to reduce any unnecessary volume to be transported. He pointed out that there was a 45-day interval between the arrival of a division and its availability for operations; thus, the divisions which were shown as being available on August 15th would have sailed by July 1st. If the British could lend additional cargo shipping in the early part of the year, the flow of troops could be increased.

The Prime Minister said that it was in the early part of the year that the British shipping shortage would be most acute. He suggested that it should be recorded that the figures shown in the report were a minimum and that every effort would be made to increase them.

c) Amphibious Operations in 1943 from the U.K.

The Prime Minister suggested that the word “vigorously” should be inserted before the word “exploiting” in subparagraph (2) of this section of the report. This was agreed to.

The President inquired whether an operation against the Brest Peninsula could not be staged instead of against Cherbourg. The advantages of the former were very much greater. He also inquired about the date proposed for the operations.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the date for the Channel Island operations had been chosen so as to fit in with Operation Husky. A difficulty had arisen in that the armored craft required by the Americans for Husky would have to come from the British Channel Assault Force. A telegram had been sent to the Admiralty asking that the output of these craft should be doubled so as to produce 160 more in the next four months. This might be done provided 400 additional Scripps Ford conversion engines were allocated to the U.K. from the U.S.A. He understood this point was under investigation.

The President inquired whether some Ford tank engines could not be produced and taken by air transport from the U.S.A. to the U.K. He understood that the engine was much the same.

General Somervell said that there was a difference in the engines, though the same facilities were required to produce both. He could not at present state the production possibilities.

The Prime Minister suggested that some reduction of tank engine output could be accepted if necessary.

Sir Alan Brooke agreed.

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that the landing craft resources would only permit of an initial assault by 2 brigade groups with an immediate follow-up of one brigade group and some armor. This could only be increased with U.S. help.

Admiral King said that all available U.S. resources would be devoted to Operation Husky.

On the question of command the President inquired whether sufficient drive would be applied if only a Chief of Staff were appointed. He hoped there would not be a long delay before a Supreme Commander was selected.

General Marshall said he understood it was a question of the availability of the right man.

Sir Alan Brooke thought that the Chief of Staff, if a man with the right qualities were chosen, could do what was necessary in the early stages.

The Prime Minister suggested that in any case an American Deputy to the Supreme Commander should be appointed.

Sir Alan Brooke and General Marshall agreed.

The President suggested that the last sentence of this section should be omitted. This was agreed to.

  1. Pacific and Far East Theater

The President said that he was disturbed to find that this section contained no reference to operations in or from China. Operations in Burma, though desirable, would not have the direct effect upon the Chinese which was necessary to sustain and increase their war effort. Similarly, an island-to-island advance across the Pacific would take too long to reduce the Japanese power. Some other method of striking at Japan must be found. The opportunity was presented by Japan’s shipping situation. She began the war with 6,000,000 tons. In the first year of the war 1,000,000 tons net had been sunk, leaving her with 5,000,000. When this was reduced to 4,000,000, Japan would be hard pressed to maintain her garrison in the chain of islands stretching all the way from Burma to New Guinea and would have to start pulling in her lines. The most effective weapon against shipping was the submarine, and the U.S. submarines were achieving notable results. There was another method of striking at the Japanese shipping, and that was by attacking the routes running close to the Asiatic shore from Korea down to Siam. This could be done by aircraft operating from China. He thought that 200 aircraft should be operating in China by April. They could spend most of their time in attacks on shipping, but occasionally they could make a special raid on Japan. There seemed to be two methods of achieving this object: either the planes could be based and maintained in China or else they could be based in India, moving to China each time for a mission, returning to their bases in India on completion. An indication of the shortage of Japanese shipping was the fact that they were buying up junks to replace coastal steamers, so that they could employ these on their maintenance routes.

General Arnold said that he was fully aware of the need for reinforcing the U.S. Air Force in China. One group of aircraft was just preparing to leave the U.S.A.; and he would examine, when he got to India, the best method of operating the aircraft. He hoped that effective operations would start before April. It should be remembered, however, that there were large demands for transport aircraft in other theaters, and these could not be neglected. Nevertheless, he hoped to have 135-150 transport planes operating on the India-China route by the end of the Fall.

General Marshall said that the provision of transport planes for India competed with urgent requirements for Husky, and for cross-channel operations. Nevertheless, he felt it was vital to step up the effort in China, and this would be done.

The Prime Minister expressed his agreement with the President’s proposals. He suggested that the document should now be reconsidered by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, and amendments arising out of the present discussion should be incorporated in a final edition. The document would then fittingly embody the results of a remarkable period of sustained work.

The President agreed with this proposal, and expressed his congratulations to the Combined Chiefs of Staff on the results which they had achieved.

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 9:30 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
Colonel Smart
Commander Libby
Brigadier Dykes
Brigadier General Deane

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

January 23, 1943, 9:30 p.m.

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

The Committee:
a) Agreed, after discussion, to a number of amendments to C.C.S. 170/1.

b) Instructed the Secretaries to incorporate these amendments in a final report to be submitted to the President and Prime Minister.

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

The Committee:
a) Agreed to an amendment to the directive to General Eisenhower (C.C.S. 171/1/D) consequent upon the amendments agreed to in C.C.S. 170/2.

b) Directed the Secretaries to transmit the amended directive to General Eisenhower.

  1. Assault Shipping

Sir Alan Brooke read a note by Lord Leathers expressing concern at the use of large passenger ships as assault shipping. (A copy of this note is attached as an Annex to these Minutes.)

Admiral King said that it was this consideration which had moved him to suggest that the assault in Operation Husky should be carried out as far as possible in the larger type of landing craft and not in assault shipping.

The Committee:
Took note:
a) Of the note by Lord Leathers.

b) That the British Chiefs of Staff would submit proposals for reducing to the minimum the use of large passenger ships as assault ships.

  1. Conclusion of the Conference

General Marshall, at the conclusion of the conference at Casablanca, expressed his appreciation of the readiness of the British Chiefs of Staff to understand the U.S. point of view and of the fine spirit of cooperation which they had shown during the discussions. He felt sure that the Combined Chiefs of Staff would greatly profit by their contacts with their colleagues and the mutual understanding of each other’s problems which had been insured. He paid a tribute to the work of the British 8th Army and expressed his admiration of their energetic prosecution of the operations in Tripolitania. He went on to thank Sir John Dill for accompanying the U.S. Chiefs of Staff to the conference and for paying a visit to India to continue his valuable work as a link between the U.S. and British Staffs.

Sir Alan Brooke thanked General Marshall for his words and said that he reciprocated most whole-heartedly General Marshall’s expression of the great benefit which had accrued from the conference. Mutual appreciation of each other’s problems was only possible through personal contacts. Sir John Dill was performing a great service as a link between the British and U.S. Chiefs of Staff. A great step forward had been taken in agreeing upon a basic strategy for the future prosecution of the war.

Sir Charles Portal said he was sure he was speaking on behalf of all the British Chiefs of Staff in expressing his appreciation of the great hospitality which had been given by the U.S. Forces and of the excellent arrangements for the conference which had been made by General Patton and the troops under his command.

Sir John Dill thanked the Combined Chiefs of Staff and emphasized the great value of the frank discussions which had been held.

Admiral King said he fully agreed with Sir Alan Brooke as to the great value of the basic strategic plan which had been worked out at the conference. In his view this was the biggest step forward to the winning of the war. Much has already been done to fill the details of this plan and more would be done in the future, but the discussions which had been held had enabled a true meeting of minds to take place between the British and U.S. Chiefs of Staff.

General Arnold said that he fully associated himself with these views.