Québec Conference 1943 (QUADRANT)

Note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 14 August 1943.

CCS 306

Rome an open city

Press reports have been received that Rome has been declared an open city by the Italian Government. General Eisenhower has indicated that he may make an attack against Rome tomorrow, 15 August.

Pending clarification of the situation, it is suggested that the following FAN message might be sent to General Eisenhower:

Press reports this date indicate Italian Government has declared Rome an open city. Pending clarification and further instructions it is desired that you make no further attacks on Rome nor make any statements from your headquarters regarding the attitude of the United Nations with respect to the action taken by the Italian Government.


Combined Secretariat

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Luncheon, 1:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom Canada
Admiral Leahy Mrs. Churchill Lieutenant General Stuart
General Brooke
Lieutenant General Ismay
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The Pittsburgh Press (August 14, 1943)

Staff chiefs reach Québec

Roosevelt is expected to follow for conference
By John A. Reichmann, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
The arrival here of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff was accepted today as indicating that President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill would soon follow for the sixth meeting.

Reliable sources in London said Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was “likely” to come here to attend the Roosevelt-Churchill conferences. They thought the President and Prime Minister might take “special measures” to increase Anglo-American collaboration with Russia but were not certain whether Mr. Eden would later go to Moscow.

The time of arrival of the principals was a closely-guarded secret.

Leahy heads staff

Adm. William D. Leahy, who has officers in the White House and is in constant communication with Mr. Roosevelt on all military matters as chief of staff to the Commander-in-Chief, headed the U.S. military personages arriving for the conference.

The others were U.S. Army Gen. George C. Marshall (Chief of Staff), Adm. Ernest J. King (Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet), Gen. H. H. Arnold (commanding the Army Air Forces) and Gen. Brehon B. Somervell (Chief of Service of Supplies).

The announcement of their arrival said Brig. Gen. John F. Dean, Secretary to the U.S. Army Chiefs of Staff, and Capt. Forrest Royal (USN), Deputy Secretary, are also here.

It was assumed that the chiefs of staff would at once settle down to working out the master military strategy with the British experts who arrived with Mr. Churchill which it is hoped, may knock the European Axis out of the war this year.

They were also expected to study plans whereby the war may be carried to Japan, while not relenting the offensive on the European front.

Won’t neglect politics

While the arrival of the officers brought home to many correspondents the fact that the Roosevelt-Churchill discussion will be primarily of a military nature – rather than on political subjects and post-war planning – it was also made clear that the latter factor will not be neglected entirely.

This is because political subjects may of themselves be of the utmost importance in winning the war. This has been made clear in the North African campaign, where lack of a clearly-defined political policy at times, at least, threatened the military venture. It also happened in Italy when the resignation of Benito Mussolini caught the Allies unprepared.

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U.S. State Department (August 14, 1943)

Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 4:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Arnold Field Marshal Dill
Lieutenant General Somervell Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Vice Admiral Willson Lieutenant General Ismay
Rear Admiral Cooke General Riddell-Webster
Rear Admiral Badger Admiral Noble
Major General Handy Lieutenant General Macready
Major General Fairchild Air Marshal Welsh
Brigadier General Kuter Captain Lambe
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Brigadier Porter
Commander Freseman Air Commodore Elliot
Commander Long Brigadier Macleod
Brigadier General Deane Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal Commander Coleridge
Colonel Cornwall-Jones

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 14, 1943, 4:30 p.m.


The War Against Japan

Admiral King said the principal operations against Japan at present taking place were those directed on Rabaul. These were being delayed by lack of means. Tie had said at Casablanca, and he must now repeat, that lack of means was in his opinion caused by failure to consider the war against all three Axis Powers as a whole. If some 15 per cent of resources of the United Nations were now deployed against Japan, then an increase of only five per cent would increase by one-third the resources available whereas a decrease of five per cent of the forces deployed against the Axis in Europe would only mean a reduction of six per cent. Air power was lacking, and at present all naval air forces not required for the U-boat campaign were being sent to the Pacific. Consequent on the TRIDENT decisions, operations against the Mandates had been planned and would begin on 15 November against the Gilberts. This particular line of advance had certain disadvantages, but had been necessary, firstly, since it would protect Samoa, the weak spot on the line of communications to Australia; secondly, there were air facilities available in the Ellice Islands; and, thirdly, the relative proximity of this line of advance toward the operations in Rabaul would enable forces to be shifted from one to the other. The United States Chiefs of Staff memorandum set out their proposals for the war against Japan in the relatively near future. In general, these envisaged an advance headed on Luzon by two routes, one from New Guinea, and the other through the Mandates. This plan would have the advantage of obviating the necessity for fighting for the Dutch East Indies which, if the Philippines were captured, would automatically fall to us.

In the North Pacific the attack on Kiska was planned for tomorrow. There were indications that at least a partial evacuation might already have taken place there, but the operation had been planned on the supposition that the original scale of defense still existed. There was a third possible line of approach which was through the Kuriles via Paramushiru.

It was, in his opinion, most important to plan how best the preponderance of forces now employed against the Axis in Europe could be transferred and brought to bear against Japan. It would appear that the air power which would be available could not be fully used in an advance through the Islands and therefore the use of China as a base for air action against Japan became very important.

Admiral Leahy stressed that the campaigns in Alaska, against Rabaul, in the Central Pacific, and in Burma all formed part of the complete campaign against Japan. The defeat of Japan must be accomplished at the earliest possible date by the use of the maximum possible effort. The requirements for the plan, the forces which could be made available, both immediately and on the defeat of Germany, and the method by which those forces now employed against Germany could be diverted to Japan must all be studied. Every effort was now being made with the insufficient forces available to wear down Japanese resources, and her resistance was becoming less effective, but an immediate assessment of the availability of resources as soon as Germany had collapsed must be made.

General Marshall said it was important to decide on the bases required to exploit our available means. In the Pacific, adequate shipping had proved a bottleneck since heavy demands were made on account of the necessity for transferring troops to recuperate after long service in difficult and unhealthy country. Every effort was being made to render bases, particularly air bases, more healthy. The same problem of transferring troops, owing to bad climate, existed in the Aleutians.

An interesting factor in the present campaign against Japan was the heavy air losses which she was sustaining, not only in the air but in cargo and troop-carrying vessels. All operations in the Pacific were related to those in Burma. There were two matters on which differences of opinion existed – firstly, the importance of China as a base, and, secondly, the possibilities with regard to the use of Chinese manpower. General Stilwell’s view, which he shared, was that properly led, the Chinese troops were an important military factor.

General Marshall then read out a telegram he had received from General Stilwell, giving the details of the equipment and efficiency of the Chinese troops now in Ramgarh and Yunnan and outlining possible employment for these forces. General Stilwell stressed the importance of an early campaign to reopen the Burma Road.

There was an alternative route to China via Sumatra, Singapore and Camranh Bay, though this would entail a heavy shipping commitment. There was a project, which will be further explained by General Somervell, to lay a pipeline for gasoline from Calcutta into China. There seemed to be four issues which must be decided. Firstly, what was the value of Chinese troops; secondly, could we afford to take so little action with regard to China that the present government would fall; thirdly, if we employed only air forces from China, would not the Japanese reactions be so strong as to cut the line of communication to them, and, fourthly, in an operation through China was it essential to capture a port for heavy build-up of supplies and thus link up with the naval operations across the Pacific.

He regretted immensely that there was no air communication between Australia and Ceylon. The interests of the two commands were mutual, and the psychological factor of a gap of 10,000 miles, which was not bridged, was serious. In his view it was important to find the speediest method of bringing pressure to bear on Japan itself and it might well be that operations through China would produce the result faster than fighting our way through the Islands.

It was essential to link Pacific and European strategy. Movements of ships from the Mediterranean must take place in the next few days if operations from India were not to be delayed, and a decision must be taken. It was important that no time should be lost in agreeing on a general plan for the defeat of Japan since the collapse of Germany would impose the problem of partial demobilization and a growing impatience would ensue throughout the United States for the rapid defeat of Japan.

General Arnold said that in the early days of the war with Japan a holding policy had been adopted. Now superiority was being achieved. In the air, over the last six months, the Japanese known losses had been four times the combat and operational losses of the U.S. Air Forces opposed to them.

In the Pacific, airfields would not be available in which to base the air forces which would be released after the defeat of Germany. Only China provided the necessary facilities. At present the number of units which could be deployed depended directly on the capacity of the air-route. This route had achieved 4,000 tons in July and this would, he felt sure, increase, but a 4,000-ton capacity was sufficient only to enable General Chennault’s 223 aircraft to undertake 10 operations each per month. The heavy bomber group now operating in China against Hanoi, Hong Kong and Shanghai was forced to do three trips into Assam for every one operational sortie. In order to release tonnage on the air route a plan had been worked out to run a pipeline capable of taking six million gallons per month (approximately 20,000 tons) into China. Even this amount would only enable five hundred heavy bombers to undertake 10 missions per month, and an additional one thousand tons of gasoline would be required to provide for the necessary fighter protection.

The opening of the Burma Road was, from the air point of view, essential, together, if possible, with a port on the east coast of China through which the air forces could be adequately supplied.

The northern air line of approach to Japan via the Kuriles was hampered by the worst weather in the world and lack of bases. At a maximum, only one or two groups could be employed from this area. Island facilities now available could only accommodate some 20 groups, whereas if Germany were defeated some 50 groups of heavy bombers would be released from the U.K. alone, in addition to those from the Mediterranean area. The situation, however, was hopeful. Japanese aircraft production was estimated at only 600 aircraft per month, He was convinced that heavy bombing of their homeland would defeat the Japanese, “who could not take it.”

At the request of General Arnold, General Somervell outlined the plan for the pipeline into China. It would lead from Calcutta to Ledo and between these places would be a six-inch line in order to take the load off the bad communications from Assam. From there on it would be a three-inch line running through Fort Hertz to Kunming. The building of the line was not dependent on further operations in Burma though this would probably be necessary to insure its security. The line could be completed in seven months and would require only 15,000 tons of supplies. The necessary piping and installations were already available in the United States and all the necessary plans had been prepared.

Sir Alan Brooke asked that a paper giving a brief outline of the plan might be submitted for study by the British Chiefs of Staff. He was in entire agreement as to the necessity for the earliest possible completion of a general plan for the war with Japan.

It was essential to decide on a policy for the employment of our forces and to allocate tasks to be undertaken either separately or jointly. The British were faced with the problem of partial demobilization after the defeat of Germany. Many of the British troops had been abroad for over seven years and a scheme was being worked out to insure that those troops who were best trained were retained, without inflicting unnecessary individual hardships. If major operations were to be undertaken from India, that country must be developed as a base. Its capabilities were at present small and its communications bad. Airfields, ports and communications must all be developed, and the extent of this development was dependent on the plan decided on.

The relative advantages of the opening of the original Burma Road or the seizure of a port in China must be examined, together with the time factor, in relation to the working of the Burma Road at its maximum capacity. Plans had been worked out for advances from Imphal, Ledo and Yunnan into Burma, together with landings on the Arakan Coast. The British Chiefs of Staff had considered proposals put forward by Brigadier Wingate for the increased employment of long-range penetration groups in conjunction with the main advances. These groups relied on the Japanese out-flanking tactics but whereas the Japanese outflanking movements consisted of four- or five-mile sweeps, Wingate’s method used 40- or 50-mile sweeps and used units of the size of a brigade group. These groups took pack transport and wireless and could, when necessary, be maintained from the air. They would reach far into the area of the Japanese lines of communication in conjunction with the main advances. A second brigade group was already being formed and it was hoped to form a third, one of which could operate with the Chinese forces from Yunnan by cutting Japanese communications with Mandalay. Another would operate between the Ledo and Imphal advances, and a third to the west of the Imphal Road. He felt that the United States Chiefs of Staff might wish to hear from Brigadier Wingate his views on the use of long-range penetration groups.

The British Chiefs of Staff had only recently learned, however, of the very serious results of the floods in Assam, which would have very serious effects on future operations in Burma, These results had not yet been assessed and he suggested that a small committee consisting of General Somervell, General Riddell-Webster and an officer from the Commander in Chief’s Staff in India should examine and report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff the effects of the floods in Assam on future operations in Burma.

In addition to the plans for Burma a study had been made of an alternative operation on the northern tip of Sumatra. This might either be an operation in itself, aimed at forming a base from which Japanese forces and lines of communication could be attacked, or it might be the first step to an attack on the Malaya Peninsula in the neighborhood of Penang with an advance on Singapore. In the former case some two to four divisions would be required, but in the latter case the forces required would render the operation impossible of achievement until after the defeat of Germany. If, however, only the tip of Sumatra was attacked, though it would result in the diversion of important Japanese forces in reaction to it, it would have the disadvantage of giving prior warning to the Japanese that an attack on Malaya was possible and they would therefore increase their defense in that area. Before, however, further examining the Sumatra plan he suggested that operations in Burma should be examined, possibly based on a later date than originally envisaged.

Sir Charles Portal said that he strongly endorsed the view that an early decision on the plan for the defeat of Japan must be taken. Air forces would be piling up as soon as Germany was defeated. British production of heavy bombers alone would amount to some five to six hundred a month, with four hundred crews. He was interested in the statement that adequate island bases could not be found in the Pacific to deploy large air forces since in Malta, which was a very small island, some 500 aircraft had been operating. After the defeat of Germany sufficient shipping should be available to maintain these island air bases.

General Arnold explained that most of the islands in the Mandated area were atolls, with very limited land area available and complicated topographical features.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed that a small committee should be formed which would include General Riddell-Webster, Major General Mallaby, General Somervell, and Admiral Badger, to examine and report on the effect of the recent floods in India on the projected Burma campaign.

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White House Press Release

Washington, August 14, 1943.

The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, after consultation with the British Admiralty, the United States Navy Department and the Canadian Department of National Defence for Naval Services, have issued the following monthly statement on the progress of the anti-U-Boat war:

During the month of July very poor results were obtained by the U-Boats from their widespread effort against the shipping of the Allies. The steady flow of trans-Atlantic supplies on the greatest scale has continued unmolested, and such sinkings as have taken place in distant areas have had but an insignificant effect on the conduct of the war by the Allies. In fact, July is probably our most successful month, because the imports have been high, shipping losses moderate and U-boat sinkings heavy.

Before the descent upon Sicily an armada of warships, troop transports, supply ships and landing craft proceeded through Atlantic and Mediterranean waters with scarcely any interference from U-boats. Large reinforcements have also been landed in that Island. Over 2,500 vessels were involved in these operations and the losses are only about 80,000 tons. On the other hand, the U-boats which attempted to interfere with these operations suffered severe losses.

Our offensive operations against Axis submarines continue to progress most favourably in all areas, and during May, June and July we have sunk at sea a total of over 90 U-boats, which represents an average loss of nearly one U-boat a day over the period.

The decline in the effectiveness of the U-boats is illustrated by the following figures:

In the first six months of 1943, the number of ships sunk per U-boat operating was only half that in the last six months of 1942 and only a quarter that in the first half of 1942.

The tonnage of shipping in the service of the United Nations continues to show a considerable net increase. During 1943 new ships completed by the Allies exceed all sinkings from all causes by upwards of three million tons.

In spite of this very favourable progress in the battle against the U-boat, it must be remembered that the enemy still has large U-boat reserves, completed and under construction. It is necessary, therefore, to prepare for intensification of the battle both at sea and in the shipyards and to use our shipping with utmost economy to strengthen and speed the general offensive of the United Nations. But we can expect continued success only if we do not relax our efforts in any way.


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Roosevelt-Churchill dinner meeting

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mrs. Roosevelt
Mr. Harriman
Mr. Gray
Mrs. Gray

From an informal memorandum dictated by Harriman at Québec:

Gray was telling the Prime Minister (in the presence of the President) all about Ireland and how it should be dealt with. The Prime Minister seemed unimpressed.

At dinner the Prime Minister sat on Mrs. Roosevelt’s right and I was on her left.

The Prime Minister described the kind of ‘fraternal relationship’ that he would like to see accomplished between the U.S. and the British after the war. This loose concept of ‘fraternal relationship’ he feels is much better than any attempt at more definite association or understanding as more definite arrangements are subject to misunderstandings whereas loose concepts become realities in the public mind and, if flexible enough, can be adjusted to historic developments.

Mrs. Roosevelt seemed fearful that this might be misunderstood by the other nations and weaken the United Nations concept, to which the Prime Minister did not agree as any hope of the United Nations would be in the leadership given by the intimacy of the United States and British in working out understandings with the Russians – and the Chinese too, he conceded, if they become a nation…

The President told me he wanted me to see that Lew Douglas was given information and fully consulted on all shipping matters as he considered that shipping was the key to strategic agreement.

He said that he wanted to have a quiet dinner on the night of his arrival, Tuesday, with Admiral Leahy, Harry and myself to get a report on where the discussions stood…


The Pittsburgh Press (August 15, 1943)

Ship losses to subs cut by one-half

Joint Roosevelt-Churchill statement indicates they have met
By H. O. Thompson, United Press staff writer

Washington – (Aug. 14)
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, in a joint statement suggesting that they may have met already, revealed tonight that the Allies sank more than 90 Axis submarines in May, June and July.

The statement – signed simply “Roosevelt, Churchill” – was issued by the White House as the two leaders were preparing for momentous conferences in Québec. It was released shortly after the President, observing the second anniversary of the signing of the Atlantic Charter, declared that the United Nations, “stand upon the threshold of major developments in this war.”

One a day sunk

The joint statement showed that:

  1. The Axis lost an average of one U-boat a day during the last three months.

  2. Recent sinkings by U-boats have had “but an insignificant effect on the conflict of the war by the Allies.”

  3. Although more than 2,500 vessels were used in the Sicilian campaign, Allied losses were only about 80,000 tons.

  4. During the first six months of 1943, the number of ships sunk per U-boat operating was only half that in the last six months of 1942 and only one-quarter that in the first half of 1942.

  5. United Nations shipping continues to show a considerable net increase with new ships completed in 1943 exceeding all sinkings from all causes by upwards of 3 million tons.

  6. Continued success against the U-boats will come only with unrelaxed efforts.

May have met

The White House announcement said Mr. Roosevelt and the Prime Minister issued the statement after consultation with the British Admiralty, the U.S. Navy Department, and the Canadian Department of National Defense for Naval Services.

The joint nature of the statement started immediate speculation that the two leaders had been in consultation preliminary to the formal conferences on war strategy to be held in Québec. Mr. Churchill visited Niagara Falls, New York, earlier this week, and it was believed that any meeting must have been held in this country.

July results hailed

The statement said:

Our offensive operations against Axis submarines continue to progress most favorably in all areas, and during May, June and July we have sunk at sea a total of over 90 U-boats, which represents an average loss of nearly one U-boat a day over the period.

Describing July as “probably our most successful month because the imports have been high, shipping losses moderate and U-boat sinkings heavy,” the statement said a steady flow of transatlantic supplies has continued unmolested on the greatest scale ever attempted.

Has large reserves

The few sinkings which have occurred were in distant areas and had little effect on Allied conduct of the war, the two men said. Their statement added that a tremendous armada of warships, trop transports, supply ships, and landing craft proceeded through Atlantic and Mediterranean waters in preparation for the Sicilian campaign “with scarcely any interference from U-boats.” Submarines attempting to interfere with the Sicilian operations “suffered severe losses,” it said.

The statement said:

In spite of this very favorable progress in the battle against the U-boat, it must be remembered that the enemy still has large U-boat reserves, completed and under construction.

See bigger battle

It is necessary, therefore, to prepare for intensification of the battle both at sea and in the shipyards and to use our shipping with utmost economy to strengthen and speed the general offensive of the United Nations.

But we can expect continued success only if we do not relax our efforts in any way.

In his statement commemorating the birth of the Atlantic Charter at a meeting between himself and Mr. Churchill on a British warship off the Newfoundland coast. President Roosevelt asserted that the “forces of liberation” are already making “a living reality” of the Charter’s principle of self-determination of peoples.

All subscribe

The President emphasized that all the United Nations have subscribed to the charter. He stressed two of its eight objectives:

First – respect for the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live.

When the Atlantic Charter was first signed, there were those who said that this was impossible of achievement.

And yet, today, as the forces of liberation march on, the right of self-determination is becoming once more a living reality.

Collaboration needed

Second – worldwide collaboration with the object of security, for all; of improved labor standards, economic adjustment, and social security.

Mr. Roosevelt said the United Nations were determined to win total victory not only over Germany, Japan and Italy, but also over:

…all the forces of oppression, intolerance, insecurity, and injustice which have impeded the forward march of civilization.

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U.S. State Department (August 15, 1943)

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

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Arnold Field Marshal Dill
Lieutenant General Somervell Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Vice Admiral Willson Lieutenant General Ismay
Rear Admiral Cooke General Riddell-Webster
Rear Admiral Badger Admiral Noble
Major General Handy Lieutenant General Macready
Major General Fairchild Air Marshal Welsh
Major General Barker Captain Lambe
Brigadier General Kuter Brigadier Porter
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Air Commodore Elliot
Commander Freseman Brigadier Macleod
Commander Long Brigadier MacLean
Brigadier General Deane Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal Commander Coleridge

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 15, 1943, 2:30 p.m.


Conclusions of the Previous Meetings

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 106th and 107th meetings. The detailed record of the meetings was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.

Rome – An Open City (CCS 306)

Sir Alan Brooke referred to the FAN message which had been sent to General Eisenhower yesterday telling him to make no further attacks on Rome nor any statements from Allied Force Headquarters pending clarification and further instructions regarding the Press reports indicating that the Italian Government had declared Rome an open city. He felt it was now necessary for the Combined Chiefs of Staff to take a new decision in the matter.

Admiral Leahy said that he felt that it would be impossible to reach a decision until the matter had been discussed with the President and suggested that no action should be taken until his views had been obtained.

Sir Alan Brooke said that he felt it the duty of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to express the military point of view to the Chiefs of Government for them to make whatever decisions might be necessary politically.

Sir Charles Portal said that it appeared that Rome had unilaterally been declared an open city by the Italians. He felt that General Eisenhower should be allowed to retain his freedom of decision until the Combined Chiefs of Staff were restrained from this by political action. He said that the British Chiefs of Staff had advised their Government that acceptance of open city status for Rome was fraught with much difficulty for the Allies in the future. It might be preferable that we had Rome in our possession to use its communications and to risk German bombing.

Admiral Leahy suggested that no disadvantage would be suffered by refraining from bombing.

Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that it might be desirable from the military point of view to bomb and that a signal should be sent to General Eisenhower from the Combined Chiefs of Staff revoking yesterday’s decision and giving him a free hand.

Sir Charles Portal said that the only reports that he had received regarding the latest bombing effort on Rome were that it had achieved success against its targets and that there had been little or no damage caused to non-military targets.

Admiral King referred to the French declaration of Paris as an open city at the time of their collapse. Then the Germans moved into Paris and used it as a base. Did this establish a precedent for the Allies in relation to Rome?

Sir Alan Brooke drew attention to the danger of political pressure later if the Allies were to agree indeed to Rome being considered an open city.

Admiral King agreed that if we were in any way a party now to its being declared an open city our hands would be tied.

Sir Charles Portal said that he understood that the U.S. and British Governments had agreed to take no action regarding any request for Rome to be made an open city.

Admiral King suggested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should encourage the two Governments to make no reply and that this would leave us free to bomb. He also referred to the possibility of the danger of political capital being made regarding this whole question in the future.

General Marshall affirmed that the political complications in the U.S. would tend to be so serious that clearance from the President must be obtained before yesterday’s message was cancelled. He agreed that it should be reaffirmed that the Allies should in no way commit themselves to agreeing regarding the reported declaration of Rome as an open city and that an early recommendation to this effect should be made to the two Governments.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed that the President and Prime Minister should be informed at once:
a. Of yesterday’s “stand still” order regarding the bombing of Rome and that they should be advised that from the military point of view the recommendation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff was that the order should be revoked;

b. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff considered that the two Governments should in no way commit themselves on the subject of Rome being declared an open city.

Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe (CCS 303)

Sir Alan Brooke said that he would first like to say, on behalf of the British Chiefs of Staff, that after reading CCS 303 they believed that there was a great similarity of outlook between themselves and the U.S. Chiefs of Staff on the strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe. Such divergencies as there were did not appear to be fundamental. The British Chiefs of Staff were in entire agreement that Overlord should constitute the major offensive for 1944 and that Italian operations should be planned with this conception as a background.

The plan for OVERLORD was based on three main conditions being created in order to give it reasonable prospect of success. Firstly, reduction in German fighter strength; secondly, German strength in France and the Low Countries and her ability to reinforce during the first two months must be kept at specified limits; and thirdly, the problem of beach maintenance must be solved. He believed that the OVERLORD plan envisaged too rapid a rate of advance and too small a margin of superiority, bearing in mind our experience in fighting German forces. It was essential, therefore, to insure that the Germans had available to them the minimum possible number of divisions in France and that their rate of reinforcement should be as slow as possible.

Operations in Italy, therefore, must have as their main object the creation of a situation favorable to a successful OVERLORD. This could be achieved by holding German reserves and by reducing German fighter strength by bombing fighter factories in Southern Germany from Italian airdromes.

He considered, therefore, that the statement (CCS 303, para. 4b (3)) in the U.S. Chiefs of Staff memorandum that as between OVERLORD and operations in the Mediterranean, when there is a shortage of resources, OVERLORD will have an overriding priority, was too binding. Sufficient forces must be used in Italy in order to make OVERLORD a possibility.

There were two further points in the U.S. Chiefs of Staff paper which he would like elucidated. How far north was it proposed our forces in Italy should go, and what strength was it estimated would be required to hold that line? He understood that the line proposed was the “Apennine” line across the neck of Italy. He believed that this should be regarded as the first stage only, and that if possible, the northwestern plains should also be seized. Fighter factories in Southern Germany could be bombed from Central Italy but far greater results could be achieved by the use of those airdromes in the Milan-Turin area. Whether or not this area could be seized would depend on the amount of resistance met and could not be decided now, since the number of German divisions which would be deployed against us could not, at this stage, be assessed. Some 20 divisions might be required to hold the neck of Italy which might entail retaining three of the seven divisions earmarked for OVERLORD. If the Milan-Turin area were taken, then all seven might be required, but a decision should be deferred until it could be seen what forces were required to attain the desired result, i.e., the production of the situation requisite for a successful OVERLORD.

He agreed, however, that trained “battle experienced” troops were required for OVERLORD and therefore it would be necessary to exchange those of the extra divisions required with others from the U.S. or the U.K.

Sir Alan Brooke then explained, with the aid of a map, the possible lines which might be held in Italy. He pointed out that the occupation of the northwestern part of Italy would afford a gateway into Southern France through which troops, possibly French, might attack in conjunction with the amphibious operations suggested by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. He asked finally that certain details of the Appendices might be revised by the Combined Staff Planners.

General Arnold pointed out that the desired targets in Germany could be reached by heavy bombers based in the Florence area, which would lie within the line across the neck of Italy. He felt that the advantage of having these northern fields was outweighed by the disadvantage of the additional forces required to gain and hold them.

Sir Charles Portal said that the advantages of the Turin-Milan area were considerable. There were many excellent airfields in the Turin-Milan area, capable of operating within a reasonably short period a thousand heavy and a thousand medium bombers, whereas fields in the south would have to be extended and improved and the rate of buildup would therefore be slower. Further, the Germans would make good use of the northern airfields and would not have the barrier of the Alps between them and our bases.

Admiral King said that as he understood it, the British Chiefs of Staff had serious doubts as to the possibility of accomplishing OVERLORD.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British view was that OVERLORD would be a success if the three conditions laid down in General Morgan’s paper were brought about, and it was essential to take the necessary steps to insure the achievement of these conditions.

Admiral King said he did not believe that the achievement of the necessary conditions was dependent solely on operations in Italy. The necessary conditions might be produced by many other factors, such as, operations in Russia, the result of those already taking place in Sicily, and the air offensive from the United Kingdom.

General Marshall said that it seemed to him that the essence of the problem was whether or not the required conditions for a successful Overlord could only be made possible by an increase in the strength in the Mediterranean. Only by giving an operation overriding priority could success be insured. TORCH was a perfect example of this concept. He agreed that if resistance was weak, we should seize as much of Italy as possible. It would be better if we, and not the Germans, held the northern airfields, though almost as much could be achieved from the Florence area. On the other hand, unless a decision were taken to remove the seven divisions from the Mediterranean, and unless overriding priority was given to OVERLORD, he believed that OVERLORD would become only a subsidiary operation. A delay in the decision would have serious repercussions on our ability to build up for OVERLORD and any exchange of troops, as had been suggested would absorb shipping and complicate logistic considerations of ‘supply as far back as the Mississippi River. Recently in North Africa an additional unexpected requirement for 60,000 service troops had arisen. This requirement had been met but with very serious results for planned expansion and movement to other theatres. Not only would the OVERLORD buildup be hampered, but operations in the Pacific would also suffer.

If OVERLORD was not given overriding priority, then in his opinion the operation was doomed and our whole strategic concept would have to be recast and the United States forces in Britain might well be reduced to the reinforced army corps necessary for an opportunist cross-Channel operation.

General Barker had submitted a paper with regard to the required conditions. This note (the main points of which General Marshall read to the Combined Chiefs of Staff) pointed out that in the view of the Combined COSSAC Staff, the required condition[s] concerning the German buildup did not imply that the operation became impracticable if the conditions were not achieved but rather that more extensive use would have to be made of available means to reduce the enemy’s ability to concentrate his forces.

To sum up, he felt that unless OVERLORD were given overriding priority it would become a minor operation, in which case we should be depending for the defeat of Germany on air bombing alone. This had achieved great results, but its final result was still speculative. We must make a plan and bring our strength against Germany in such a way as to force Germany to feel it. An “opportunist” operation would be cheaper in lives but was speculative. If we relied on this, we were opening a new concept which in his view weakened our chances of an early victory and rendered necessary a reexamination of our basic strategy, with a possible readjustment towards the Pacific.

In the course of discussion, the following points were made:
a. In the British view, successful operations in France necessitated a preponderance of force. It was essential to achieve this preponderance in order to avoid a catastrophe, which might seriously delay our ultimate victory. Success depended not on the absolute strength of the United [Allied?] forces available for OVERLORD, but on the relative strength of those forces vis-à-vis the Germans opposed to them. This relative strength could best be achieved by operations in Italy, aimed at containing the maximum German forces, and by air action from the best possible Italian bases to reduce the German fighter forces. By agreeing now to the withdrawal of seven divisions from the Mediterranean, risks might be run in that theatre which would not only prejudice the success of OVERLORD, but might make it impossible of successful achievement.

In the British view OVERLORD was the main operation and all operations in Italy must be aimed at assisting OVERLORD.

b. The U.S. Chiefs of Staff felt that unless overriding priority were given to OVERLORD the operation would never materialize. In every previous operation, requirements had arisen additional to those originally envisaged. These requirements might also arise in Italy and must not be met by unilateral action. The Combined Chiefs of Staff should now take a decision that Operation OVERLORD should have overriding priority and maintain this decision in order that the success of the operation could be insured. Any departure from this concept must entail a reconsideration of our basic strategy.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Agreed to give further consideration to CCS 303 at their next meeting;
b. Instructed the Combined Staff Planners to examine the Appendices and amend as necessary.

Operation OVERLORD – Outline Plan (CCS 304), “Synthetic” Harbors (CCS 307)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff discussed a note (CCS 304) by the British Chiefs of Staff on the outline plan for Operation OVERLORD.

In reply to a question by Admiral Leahy, Lord Louis Mountbatten outlined the various methods by which the problem of beach maintenance could be overcome.

General Barker and Brigadier MacLean of the COSSAC Staff explained the main features of the outline plan for Operation OVERLORD.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the outline plan of General Morgan for Operation OVERLORD, as set out in British Chiefs of Staff paper, COS (43) 416 (O), and endorsed the action taken by the British Chiefs of Staff in authorizing him to proceed with the detailed planning and with full preparations.

Air and Naval Command – Operation OVERLORD

Sir Charles Portal said that he would like to have an opportunity to discuss with General Arnold the question of an Air Commander for OVERLORD. At present Air Marshal Leigh-Mallory was giving the necessary decisions but the Air Commander should be selected as soon as possible.

Sir Dudley Pound said that consideration had been given to the problem of naval command for OVERLORD. The majority of the forces to be employed would be trained, organized and operate under the Commander in Chief, Portsmouth. He had been given a special Chief of Staff to assist him in this matter. The Commander in Chief, Portsmouth, could be given control over adjacent commands as might be necessary. He asked that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should endorse the appointment of the Commander in Chief, Portsmouth, as Naval Commander in Chief.

Admiral King said he would like to consider this suggestion.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note:
a. That the British Chief of the Air Staff and General Arnold would examine the question of the appointment of an Air Commander for OVERLORD and would put up their recommendations to the Combined Chiefs of Staff before the end of QUADRANT.

b. Of the proposals by the British Admiralty that the Commander in Chief, Portsmouth, should carry out the duties of Naval Commander for OVERLORD, with authority over the Naval Commanders, Plymouth and Dover, for this purpose; and deferred a decision on this matter.

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Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 15 August 1943.

Most secret
CCS 308

South-East Asia Command

Part I

  1. The vigorous and effective prosecution of large-scale operations against Japan in Southeast Asia, and the rapid development of the air route through Burma to China, necessitate the reorganization of the High Command in the Indian Theater. It has, therefore, been proposed that the Command in India should be divided from the operational Command in Southeast Asia as described below.

Command in India

  1. The administration of India as a base for the forces in Southeast Asia will remain under the control of the Commander in Chief, India. Coordination of movement and maintenance both of the operational forces based on India and of the internal garrison can best be carried out efficiently by one staff responsible in the last resort to one authority with power to decide priorities. This machinery exists today in the Government of India and in GHQ India. It is the only machinery which can carry out the dual tasks of meeting the internal requirements of India as well as the requirements of operations in the Southeast Asia Theater.

Command in Southeast Asia

  1. A Supreme Allied Command in Southeast Asia should be set up as follows:

a. The command and staff to be a combined British and American one on the lines of the North African Command.

b. The Supreme Allied Commander to be British, with an American deputy. He should have under him Naval, Army and Air Commanders in Chief, and also a Principal Administrative Officer to coordinate the administrative planning of all three services and of the Allied forces.

c. The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander and the Commanders of the three services mentioned above, acting under the orders of the Supreme Allied Commander, to control all operations and have under their command such Naval, Military and Air forces as may be assigned to the Southeast Asia Theater from time to time.

  1. The proposed boundaries of the Southeast Asia Command will be as follows:

a. Eastern Boundary
From the point where the frontier between China and Indo China reaches the Gulf of Tonkin, southwards along the coast of Indo China, Thailand and Malaya to Singapore; from Singapore south to the North Coast of Sumatra; thence round the East Coast of Sumatra (leaving the Sunda Strait to the eastward of the line) to a point on the coast of Sumatra at longitude 104 degrees East; thence South to latitude 08 degrees South; thence Southeasterly towards Onslow, Australia, and, on reaching longitude 110 degrees East, due South along that meridian.

b. Northern Frontier
From the point where the frontier between China and Indo China reaches the Gulf of Tonkin westwards along the Chinese frontier to its junction with the Indo-Burma border; thence along that border to the sea; thence round the Coast of India and Persia (all exclusive to the Southeast Asia Command) to meridian 60 degrees East.

c. Western Boundary
Southward along meridian 60 degrees East to Albatross Island, thence Southeastward to exclude Rodriguez Island and thence due southward.

  1. The Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia Command, should be formed in the first instance at Delhi, since it will take over elements of the present General Headquarters, India. The Supreme Allied Commander will submit his recommendations as to the ultimate location of his Headquarters as soon as he has had time to study the problem.

Division of Responsibility Between India and Southeast Asia

  1. Conflicts of opinion over priorities in connection with administration must be anticipated. It will, therefore, be necessary for someone on the spot to resolve these differences day by day as they occur. This authority should be the Viceroy, not in his statutory capacity as Governor-General, but acting on behalf of the British War Cabinet.

  2. The Supreme Commander will in any event have direct access to the British Chiefs of Staff on all matters, and if he is not satisfied with the ruling of the Viceroy on administrative matters, he will be able to exercise this right. The Commander in Chief, India, will continue to have the right of direct access to the British Chiefs of Staff.

Part II

  1. The above arrangements have been generally agreed between the President and Prime Minister, but the following points call for further discussion:

a. Deputy Supreme Allied Commander
It has been proposed that the responsibilities of General Stilwell as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander should be defined as follows:

The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, in addition to his duties as such, will command, under the Supreme Allied Commander, all ground and air forces at present under the United States Commander in the Southeast Asia Theater, and such additional United States and Chinese forces as may in the future be made available, and will continue to be responsible for the operation of the air route to China and for the defense of its India terminal. Furthermore the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander will continue to have the same direct responsibilities to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek as now lie with the United States Commander.

The British Chiefs of Staff are doubtful whether the above arrangements will work satisfactorily and would welcome discussion of them. They think it would be very difficult for General Stilwell to exercise executive command over a part of the land forces and a part of the operational air force.

b. Command Relationship
The British Chiefs of Staff consider that the relationship of the Supreme Commander, Southeast Asia, should follow as closely as possible, mutatis mutandis, the MacArthur model. Under this arrangement, the Combined Chiefs of Staff would exercise general jurisdiction over grand strategic policy for the Southeast Asia Theater, and over such relating factors as are necessary for implementing this policy, including the allocation of American and British resources of all kinds between the China Theater and the Southeast Asia Command. The British Chiefs of Staff would exercise jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to operational strategy, and would be the channel through which all instructions to the Supreme Commander are passed. It is understood that the United States Chiefs of Staff consider that the more appropriate Command relationship would be for the Supreme Commander to report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff following the Eisenhower model.

c. The Coordination of American Agencies such as OSS, OWI, FCB, etc., with Comparable British Organizations
It is proposed that all American agencies functioning in relation to the Southeast Asia Command, notably the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Office of War Information (OWI), the Federal Communication Board (FCB), and the Office of Economic Warfare (OEW), having been placed by the United States Chiefs of Staff under the control of the Deputy Supreme Commander, these agencies should operate in conformity with the requirements of the Supreme Commander. To this end, the activities of these agencies in the Southeast Asia Command Area, whether conducted from within the India Command or from within the Southeast Asia Command Area or from other locations in Asia, should be coordinated with those of similar British agencies, such as the Far Eastern Bureau (FEB), the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Special Operations Executive (SOE), and the Ministry of Economic Warfare (MEW)

The British Chiefs of Staff consider that this coordination can best be arranged by agreement between the Supreme Commander, the Commander in Chief, India, and the Deputy Supreme Commander, in consultation with the Viceroy. These authorities should also decide the degree and method of liaison which it is expedient to establish between the American and their corresponding British agencies.

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Memorandum by the Chief of the British Air Staff

Québec, 15 August 1943.

Most secret
Enclosure to CCS 309


I annex an appreciation by Air Intelligence of the trend of development and disposition of the German Fighter Force in relation to POINTBLANK.

The salient points are:
a. The German Fighter Force has increased by 22% since 1 January 1943.

b. Its strength on the Western Front has been doubled since the same date.

c. The increase on the Western Front has absorbed the entire expansion under [a.].

d. Fighter units and experienced fighter pilots have nevertheless had to be withdrawn from the Mediterranean and Russian Fronts as well, in spite of the critical situation on those fronts.

e. In spite of the present strain on the German night fighters they are being used by day to counter the deep daylight penetration of POINTBLANK into Germany.

The buildup of the Eighth Bomber Command as required in the POINTBLANK plan approved by the CCS at TRIDENT should have been 1068 aircraft on the 15th August. The comparable figure of the actual buildup achieved on that date was 921 (including 105 detached to North Africa).

The present strength of the GAF Fighter Force is 2260 aircraft in first line units compared with a strength of 2000 which it was hoped would not be exceeded if POINTBLANK could have been executed as planned. Thus, the GAF Fighter Force is 13% stronger than had been hoped, and this in spite of increased successes in Russia and the Mediterranean which were not taken into account in the POINTBLANK plan.

I do not set out the above information in order to make a criticism of an inability to have achieved complete fulfillment of POINTBLANK. My object is to bring out the fact that, in spite of some shortfall in the buildup, Germany is now faced with imminent disaster if only the pressure of POINTBLANK can be maintained and increased before the increase in the GAF Fighter Force has gone too far.

There is no need for us to speculate about the effect of POINTBLANK on Germany. The Germans themselves, when they weaken the Russian and Mediterranean fronts in the face of serious reverses there, tell us by their acts what importance to attach to it.

The daylight “Battle of Germany” is evidently regarded by the Germans as of critical importance and we have already made them throw into it most, if not all, of their available reserves.

If we do not now strain every nerve to bring enough force to bear to win this battle during the next two or three months but are content to see the 8th Bomber Command hampered by lack of reinforcements just as success is within its grasp, we may well miss the opportunity to win a decisive victory against the German Air Force which will have incalculable effects on all future operations and on the length of the war. And the opportunity, once lost, may not recur.

  1. I, therefore, urge most strongly that we should invite the USCS to take all practicable steps at the earliest possible date to increase the striking power of the 8th Bomber Command as much as possible during the next two months.

British Intelligence Appreciation

GAF Single-Engined Fighter Reinforcement of the Western Front, January-July, 1943

Strength and Disposition
The Initial Equipment (IE) of the GAF single-engined fighter force as a whole increased by 245 aircraft from 1,095 to 1,340 between 1 January and 1 August 1943. The disposition of this force in the main operational areas on the respective dates was as follows:

1-1-43 1-8-43 Difference
Western Front 305 600 +295
Mediterranean 320 295 -25
Russian Front 430 395 -35
Refitting 40 50 +10
Total 1,095 1,340 245

It will be seen that the fighter force on the Western Front has been doubled during the period under review and that this increase has in effect more than absorbed the entire expansion which has occurred; it has in addition entailed a weakening of both the Mediterranean and Russian Fronts notwithstanding the important military campaigns in those areas where the Axis forces have suffered serious reverses since the beginning of the year.

Sources of Increased Strength
The raising of SE fighter strength on the Western Front has been accomplished in two ways:

a. As a result of the defensive strategy forced on the GAF since the end of 1942 in face of growing Allied air power on the Western Front, in the Mediterranean and in Russia, Germany was forced to adopt the policy of achieving the maximum possible expansion of fighter production.

The outcome of this policy is clearly seen in the formation of new fighter units and of the expansion of others; in addition there has been a noticeable tendency to maintain the actual strength of many fighter units well in excess of IE, particularly on the Western Front.

b. By the withdrawal of units from the Mediterranean and Russia.

The reinforcement of the Western Front as a result of the above measures can be analyzed as follows:

Newly formed units 165
Expansion of existing units 165
Transferred from Russia 90
Transferred from Mediterranean 60
Gross Total 315
Loss [Less?]:
Fighter units transferred to fighter-bomber Category 20
Net Total Increase 295 aircraft

Redisposition on the Western Front
A most striking change in the disposition of the GAF fighter force on the Western Front has taken place since 1 January in order to secure the greatest possible defensive strength to cover the approaches to Germany. Prior to that date, the German fighter dispositions were mainly to cover the North coast of France, Belgium and the Low Countries against RAF fighter sweeps in these areas and against such daylight bombing of occupied territory as then took place.

The comparative dispositions are shown as follows:

Area IE at 1-8-43 IE at 1-1-43 Differences
France (West of the Seine) 95 95 0
France (East of the Seine and Belgium) 105 70 +35
Holland 150 40 +110
N.W. Germany 180 35 +145
Denmark and S. Norway 50 35 +15
Trondheim and N. Norway 20 30 -10
Total 600 305 +295

The salient points which emerge are:
a. The greatly increased defenses of Northwest Germany have absorbed 50% of the total increased fighter strength on the Western Front.

b. The balance of this increase has gone mainly to the Belgium-Holland area.

A point not clearly revealed by the above figures has been the movement eastwards of French based units and the bringing of others from Norway to Northwest Germany; there has therefore been a strong tendency to concentrate the maximum possible forces into the area between the Scheldt and the Elbe. Nevertheless, it is certain that the present fighter strength defending Northwest Germany and its approaches is still inadequate for its purpose; this is supported by the increasing use of night-fighters for daylight interception especially against deep penetration into Germany where the resources of the GAF are inadequate to maintain SE day fighter forces.

Reason for Increased Defenses
The doubling of the German SE fighter force on the Western Front and the allocation of virtually the whole of this increase to Belgium, Holland and Northwest Germany are attributable solely to the development of Allied day bombing of Germany. The defense of Germany against these attacks has in fact become the prime concern of the GAF and is being undertaken even at the expense of air support for military operations on other fronts. There is no reason to suppose that this will not continue to constitute the main commitment of the defensive fighter forces of the GAF: if anything, this commitment is likely to increase and the transfer of further units to the Western Front from other operational areas cannot be excluded.

Strain on Crews
Despite their strength and flexibility, the fighter defenses of Germany are liable to be subject to extreme strain over periods of sustained day and night attacks on Germany: this was particularly noticeable during the last week in July when day fighters were extensively employed as night fighters in addition to their day operations and conversely night fighters had to be employed for day interception. The effects of such continued activity on crews must inevitably have been severe and there is evidence that in the later raids during this period opposition was less determined and Allied losses noticeably reduced. There is no doubt that during this period the German fighter defenses were subjected to the most severe test they have yet experienced.

Transfer of Experienced Pilots to Western Front
The urgent necessity of the defense of Germany has not only deprived the Russian and Mediterranean Fronts of units, let alone reinforcements; it has also entailed a deterioration in quality of the fighter pilots employed in those fronts, notably Russia since there is strong evidence that the most experienced pilots are being transferred to the Western Front and replaced by others of inferior skill.

a. There can be no doubt that Germany regards the defense of the Reich against daylight air attack as of such supreme importance that adequate support for military operations in Russia and the Mediterranean has been rendered impossible. In Russia, the fighter force actually engaged on the entire front is now little more than half that on the Western Front; this fighter weakness has unquestionably been an important contributory factor to the German failure in Russia this year.

Similarly in the Mediterranean despite the wide areas exposed to Allied air attack from Sardinia to Crete and the need for support of Italy no reinforcement whatever has been forthcoming; consequently, Allied air operations have been carried out with the maximum of success and minimum loss against negligible opposition, thereby largely contributing to present conditions in Italy.

b. The Western Front with a fighter strength almost equal that of the Mediterranean and Russian Fronts combined constitutes the only source from which reinforcements needed elsewhere can be provided unless further new units are formed; this however appears unlikely in the immediate future. Consequently, in the event of South Germany becoming exposed to air attack by day, it seems inevitable that such fighter defenses as may be set up must be derived almost exclusively from the West; the defense of South Germany against air attack on a scale equivalent to that now existing on the Western Front would necessitate the reduction of the fighter force in that area by up to 50% dependent on the then existing commitments of the GAF in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

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

Québec, 15 August 1943


Standstill order issued by Combined Chiefs of Staff in their message of 14th August regarding bombing of Rome is revoked. For Eisenhower FREEDOM Algiers, FAN 194, from the Combined Chiefs of Staff. You are free to carry on these operations to the extent that you consider necessary or advisable subject to previous limitations regarding safety of Vatican.

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Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 15 August 1943.

CCS 310

Propaganda Committee

Recent events have indicated the necessity for establishing some machinery whereby propaganda policies to be followed by London, Washington, and Theater Headquarters may be coordinated, particularly in emergency cases.

The enclosure is presented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a possible solution to this problem. They consider it desirable that something along these lines be accomplished during the QUADRANT Conferences.

[Propaganda Committee]


To establish a central agency with power of decision regarding propaganda lines to be followed.

Facts bearing on the problem

The recent removal of Mussolini disclosed the fact that in emergencies there is no United Nations agency immediately available to coordinate and determine the propaganda policy that should be followed in order to derive the maximum benefit from the situation. As a result, there has been a divergence in the propaganda aims as between the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Theater Commander, which will be difficult to correct.

The time involved in obtaining agreed views from the Chief Executives of the two governments, the State Department, the Foreign Office, and the military and naval leaders of the two countries is too long to permit taking full advantage of a situation which requires immediate action.

Action recommended

That the Combined Chiefs of Staff recommend to the President and the Prime Minister:
a. That a Propaganda Committee be set up in Washington to include one high-level representative each from the U.S. State Department, British Foreign Office, U.S. Chiefs of Staff and the British Chiefs of Staff.

b. That this Committee be authorized to make decisions and issue broad directives on propaganda policies to be followed by the propaganda agencies of the two countries. These should be such as to insure the maximum benefit in furthering the military and political aims of the two governments. It should be understood that this committee ordinarily is free to seek guidance on the highest levels, but in emergencies to have the responsibility of taking immediate action without reference to higher authority.

c. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff be charged with the implementation of the above.

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Marshall-Churchill meeting, evening

United States United Kingdom
General Marshall Prime Minister Churchill

From the minutes of the 105th Meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held at 10 a.m., August 16:

General Marshall said that last night it was evident that the Prime Minister had been informed of the results of yesterday’s CCS Meeting. Mr. Churchill did not mention the subject at first. He talked about Burma and the COSSAC command and referred to the misunderstanding with General Eisenhower about a certain dispatch. Finally, the Prime Minister got around to the subject of OVERLORD and said he had changed his mind regarding OVERLORD and that we should use every opportunity to further that operation, General Marshall said he told the Prime Minister that the Combined Chiefs of Staff had had a difficult meeting yesterday afternoon and that there had been frank differences of opinion but that he believed such a situation was excellent at the start. He said there was discussion regarding the “right” and “left” method of approach and that he informed the Prime Minister that he could not agree to the logic of supporting the main effort by withdrawing strength therefrom in order to bolster up the force in Italy. The Prime Minister finally dropped the subject, saying “give us time.”

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The Pittsburgh Press (August 16, 1943)

Quick victory forecast laid to Churchill

Québec hears report of prediction end will come in 6 months
By John A. Reichmann, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
Prime Minister Winston Churchill was reported without official confirmation today to have predicted the end of the European war within the next six months.

The report was published in the influential French-language newspaper Catholic Action and was understood to have been made before the Québec Cabinet, presumably early last week before Mr. Churchill left for his three-day conference with President Roosevelt at Hyde Park, New York.

The newspaper published the report as a “rumor” but it had also been known confidentially by a number of persons for the last several days.

Heavy blows hinted

The report, if true, would be almost revolutionary for the conservative Mr. Churchill, who has consistently promised his people nothing but “blood, sweat and tears,” and would support previous predictions that tremendous blows are planned against Hitler’s European fortress within the next few weeks.

The newspaper said Mr. Churchill’s statement was made in French and was to the effect the war would be over “d’ici a une demi-douzaine de mois” – or, literally, from now to within six months.

The Prime Minister’s prediction was supposed to have dealt only with Germany and not the war against Japan.

The fate of Rome will be decided by Wednesday, it was believed in Québec Conference circles.

The Chiefs of Staff of the United States and Britain were understood to have decided not to accept the Italian declaration that Rome has been declared an open city, unless Marshal Pietro Badoglio accepts the Allies’ unconditional surrender demand.

May not occupy city

The Allies were said to be considering a decision not to occupy Rome and not to use it for any military purpose.

In such case, the Vatican, the International Red Cross, and possibly Swiss neutral representatives might be invited to form a commission which would guarantee Rome’s neutrality.

However, it was assumed that there will be no final decisions involving political policy for transmission to Badoglio until Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt have made their final review of Italian policy. This, it was assumed, will be one of their first acts when they hold their scheduled meeting here this week.

Plans completed

It was understood that the Anglo-American military plans for Southern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean have been completed and approved by the general staffs.

The conference, therefore, was expected to concern itself this week almost exclusively with plans for an attack from Britain along the shortest lines to Berlin.

The groups of specialists who have been working 16 hours a day in the Château Frontenac, are understood to have drawn up detailed reports outlining the basic military, naval and air needs for a series of attacks, a number of which would be diversionary sorties extending from the coastal area of Norway to the border between France and Spain.

May aim for Paris

The fundamental objective of the conference was to define where and how soon the greater part of Anglo-American strength now in England and Iceland can be landed across the continent.

There was reason here to believe that Paris will be among the first main objectives.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was working with his chiefs of staff.

Confer at Hyde Park

Mr. Churchill returned here yesterday and it was revealed by the White House in Washington that he and Mr. Roosevelt had been together for three days at the Roosevelt estate at Hyde Park, New York. Mr. Roosevelt was back in Washington.

It was presumed that the two leaders had preliminary talks at Hyde Park but the presence of Mrs. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill’s daughter Mary suggested that the social angle had been at least one reason for their meeting there.

Mr. Roosevelt held a series of meetings with top advisers in Washington, in preparation for his conference with Mr. Churchill.

To cover wide field

Weekend developments made clear the wide fields to be covered by the conference. Among them was the definite disclosure that British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden would be here.

From this, it was concluded that the agenda will roughly be divided into three parts:

  1. Military considerations, which will come first and will be secret until they are transmitted into concrete action.

  2. Immediate political problems which will be encountered as the armies move into new enemy territory.

  3. Long-range political problems likely to be encountered as the Allies try to convert into action the objectives of the Atlantic Charter and related pledges.

Many observers believe that Mr. Eden, or even Mr. Churchill, will proceed to Moscow to discuss what has been done with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

After conferring with Mr. Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull said that neither he nor any State Department official planned, at this time, to participate in the Québec Conference.

Standing invitation to Stalin reported

London, England (UP) –
The Sunday Express diplomatic correspondent, commenting on the Russian TASS News Agency statement that Premier Stalin had not been invited to attend the Québec Conference, said President Roosevelt had earlier had invited the Russian war leader to a meeting at any place he might name.

Mr. Roosevelt, the correspondent said, sent Stalin a personal letter by former Ambassador Joseph E. Davis, inviting him to meet the British and American leaders “in the near future at any place Stalin named.”

The Soviet leader cordially and lengthily replied, thanking Mr. Roosevelt for the invitation and saying that while it was not impossible that circumstances might change before long, the military situation at the moment compelled all his attention and presence, the correspondent said.

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Decision awaits inspection –
Allied require proof by Rome

Roosevelt, Churchill may rule on open city
By Robert Dowson, United Press staff writer

London, England –
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill will probably issue a pronouncement from Québec in reply to the Italian government’s designation of Rome as an open city, diplomatic sources said today.

Allied action on the Italian declaration rests with them and their military advisers, these sources pointed out.

Bern dispatches said all telegraph and telephone communications from Switzerland to Italy were cut off today, but no official explanation was forthcoming immediately.

Proof needed

Meanwhile, qualified observers believed that Rome would continue to be regarded as a military target until the United Nations satisfy themselves, presumably through neutral inspection, that the city is no longer being used for any military purposes.

Even the Rome radio told the Italian people that the open city declaration was not binding on the Allies, and only a bilateral declaration based on proof satisfactory to the Allies that the city contained no military objectives would prevent further air attacks.

No official word of the Italian government’s decision had yet reached London.

Evacuation reported

A Rome dispatch published in Sweden today said the Italians are rushing evacuation of military material from Rome at a “feverish” pace in an attempt to make the capital an open city.

A Madrid dispatch said the Germans were exerting heavy pressure on the Badoglio government to delay designation of Rome as an open city until an estimated 60,000 German troops south of Rome were moved to northern Italy.

Nazis build defenses

German forces, reinforced by reserves streaming through the Brenner Pass, are frantically building hedgehog defenses along the Po River in northern Italy for a stand against any Allied attempt to invade Germany from the south, according to a Swiss report published in the Stockholm newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Reports reaching Madrid estimated that some 20,000 German troops have been evacuated from Sicily to San Giovanni and Reggio Calabria in southern Italy and another 40,000 are stationed around Rome.

Sought to end alliance

Another Stockholm newspaper, Dagerns Nyheter, asserted that Italy sought to dissolve its alliance with Germany during conferences in northern Italy a little more than 10 days ago, but reluctantly consented to continue fighting when German troops, supported by tanks and planes, surrounded Rome.

Seeking to avert any flood of refugees from other bomb-ravaged cities in Italy in the event the Allies accept Rome as an open city, the Prefect of Rome has issued orders imposing a ban on visitors.

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U.S. State Department (August 16, 1943)

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

United States United Kingdom
Admiral Leahy General Brooke
General Marshall Admiral of the Fleet Pound
Admiral King Air Chief Marshal Portal
General Arnold Field Marshal Dill
Lieutenant General Somervell Vice Admiral Mountbatten
Vice Admiral Willson General Riddell-Webster
Rear Admiral Cooke Admiral Noble
Rear Admiral Badger Lieutenant General Macready
Major General Fairchild Air Marshal Welsh
Brigadier General Kuter Captain Lambe
Brigadier General Wedemeyer Brigadier Porter
Commander Freseman Air Commodore Elliot
Commander Long
Brigadier General Deane Brigadier Redman
Captain Royal Commander Coleridge

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 16, 1943, 2:30 p.m.


Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe (CCS 303-303/l)

The Combined Chiefs of Staff discussed in closed session the strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to give further consideration to this subject at their next meeting.

Conclusions of 108th Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 108th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.

POINTBLANK (CCS 309 and CCS 252/2)

Sir Charles Portal gave certain figures with regard to the progress of the combined bomber offensive. Since the beginning of the war the Royal Air Force had dropped 136,000 tons of bombs on Germany, 73,000 tons of which had been dropped within the last seven months. In the first quarter of 1943 17,000 tons had been dropped by night and in the second quarter as much as 35,000 tons.

The damage caused by the air offensive was difficult to assess in precise terms, but he would like to draw attention to certain points in the report by the Joint Intelligence Committee which had been circulated to the U.S. Chiefs of Staff.

Only one-third of the German industry had been under heavy attack for three months. The effect of these attacks had fallen mainly on the basic industries in the Ruhr. Hence, the effect of the attack on the forces in the field was not immediate and results on these forces would increase as time went on. A further result of the attacks was the forcing on Germany of a defensive air strategy. In addition, they produced a serious drain on Germany’s manpower.

With regard to the submarine war, it was estimated that no less than 30 U-boats less than the planned program had been produced between June 1942 and June 1943. As a result of damage already inflicted an additional loss in U-boat construction would result, amounting to some 12 or 13 boats over the next six months.

Morale had also been seriously affected. Casualties were heavy and great destruction of industrial homes had occurred. It was estimated that some 422,000 workers had been rendered homeless and an additional 1,800,000 had suffered damage to their homes which was irreparable, since the necessary consumer goods to replace those destroyed were not available. The report stated that the bombing had affected the outlook of the population with regard to the regime, the war effort as a whole and willingness to hold out.

Damage to Krupps Works had decreased output from 50 to 75 percent and this was in addition to damage to other similar industries. The U.S. Air Force attack on the synthetic rubber plant had reduced the total rubber supply by 15 percent. Transportation was also dislocated and Germany’s plan for an expansion of locomotive production had been nullified by the destruction of locomotives and their manufacturing and repair facilities.

He had felt it right that he should put forward a memorandum on the air offensive in view of the task of coordination given him by the Combined Chiefs of Staff at Casablanca. Further, the day and night offensives were complementary and a heavy scale of daylight bombing rendered the task of the night bombers easier, since the Germans were being forced to use night fighters against daylight attacks.

The present situation had both good and bad features. On the one hand, German fighter strength was stretched almost to breaking point, and in spite of their precarious situation on the Russian and Mediterranean fronts, they had found it necessary to reinforce their fighter forces on the Western Front from these sources. On the other hand, the expansion of German fighter strength was continuing and had increased 13 percent during this year. It had been hoped that this expansion would by now have been stopped. The 8th Air Force, who were achieving a great task with their existing resources, believed that they could achieve even greater successes if their strength was increased.

He asked the Combined Chiefs of Staff to take action to make a victory in the battle of the air as certain as possible before the autumn. If this was not done, the Germans, by a conservation of their strength and by the development of new methods of defense, might be in an unassailable position by the spring. To achieve our object diversions from the 8th Air Force should be stopped, loans of aircraft from the 8th Air Force to other theaters must be returned, and the bomber command of the 8th Air Force must be built up and reinforced to the maximum possible. Such steps would, he was convinced, be amply justified.

With regard to the employment of the aircraft used for TIDAL WAVE, he considered that whether employed from the Mediterranean or from England, they should be under the command of the 8th Air Force and devoted to attacks on fighter factories. They should, in fact, revert to a part of the POINTBLANK forces and not be left under the control of General Eisenhower, whose air forces were already considerable.

Admiral Leahy said that the United States Chiefs of Staff had examined Sir Charles Portal’s paper, and that they were in full accord with the views expressed and wished to reaffirm that every resource within United States capabilities was being strained to provide the maximum reinforcement of POINTBLANK.

Admiral King referred to a directive to General Eisenhower (FAN 172), in which he was instructed that follow-up attacks on Ploești were to follow attacks on fighter factories. He was not clear as to how far the missions referred to in this telegram had been accomplished. It might now be necessary to modify the instructions with regard to follow-up attacks on Ploești.

Sir Charles Portal said he believed that at TRIDENT only one attack on Ploești had been decided on. A second attack would have serious results on POINTBLANK.

Admiral King pointed out that General Eisenhower’s latest signal (CCS 252/2) requested the use of the B-24s against Italian targets after the completion of their attacks on the fighter factories. General Eisenhower visualized further attacks on Ploești being carried out after the aircraft were established in Italy

General Arnold outlined the losses suffered in the Ploești raid; of the 178 aircraft dispatched, 54, including 51 crews, had been lost. The results had been excellent, with eight out of nine targets hit and five of them almost totally destroyed. The casualties had, at least in part, been caused by the loss of the leader of the formation at the outset. This had necessitated reorganization and an attack which was not completely coordinated. It might be impossible to ask crews to sustain a loss of 33 percent in more than one operation.

With regard to POINTBLANK, General Arnold said that in the month of July 25 attacks had been made, with a loss rate of 7.4 percent per mission, as compared with an average loss rate throughout the period of their operations of 6.7 percent. 3,400 tons of bombs had been dropped in July.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note of CCS 309 and of the following comment submitted by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff:

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff are in full accord with the views of the British Chiefs of Staff that the maximum reinforcement of POINTBLANK, particularly over the period of intense combat with the German Fighter Air Force immediately ahead, is a subject of the most critical importance, and wish to reaffirm that every resource within U.S. capabilities is being strained to bring this about.

b. Agreed to defer action on CCS 252/2.

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Harriman-Churchill meeting, afternoon

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Harriman Prime Minister Churchill

From Harriman’s notes:

The Prime Minister seemed quite satisfied with his talk with General Marshall which had taken place at dinner the night before. He was quite apologetic for keeping him up so late but said he thought it was fruitful.

He talked about the Italian situation and was quite optimistic that ‘important results’ would occur.

He was elated over the Sicilian news.

He seemed satisfied that the differences between the Chiefs of Staff could be ironed out. He does not fully understand the suspicion that exists on the American side regarding the British determination to cross the Channel. On paper the differences don’t look very great. I believe, however, that this fear will be removed within the next day or two as I am convinced the British now see the opportunity equally favorably as do our Chiefs of Staff, which has not been the case up to now. The above would be based on acceptance of British Mediterranean proposals.

(Admiral Leahy told me that he was much impressed by the logic of General Brooke’s presentation.)

I told the Prime Minister I was quite satisfied from discussions that Leathers and Douglas had had that the troop lift and cargo ships could be found to back up the strategic proposals.

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Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 16 August 1943.

CCS 303/1

Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe

The discussion in the Combined Chiefs of Staff Meeting yesterday made more apparent than ever the necessity for decision now as to whether our main effort in the European Theater is to be in the Mediterranean or from the United Kingdom. The United States Chiefs of Staff believe that this is the critical question before the conference and that the effective conduct of the war in Europe makes this decision now a must.

We propose the following:
The Combined Chiefs of Staff reaffirm the decisions of the TRIDENT Conference as to the execution of OVERLORD including the definite allotment of forces thereto and assign to it an overriding priority over other operations in the European Theater.

The United States Chiefs of Staff believe that the acceptance of this decision must be without conditions and without mental reservation. They accept the fact that a grave emergency will always call for appropriate action to meet it. However, long-range decision for the conduct of the war must not be dominated by possible eventualities.

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Report by the Combined Intelligence Committee

Québec, 16 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 127/3

Scale of Attack on the East and West Coasts of North America

Statement of the problem

  1. The Combined Chiefs of Staff have directed the Combined Intelligence Committee to report on the probable scale of attack that might be expected on the east and west coasts of North America.


  1. The probable scale of attack on the east coast of North America is discussed in Enclosure “A;” that on the west coast in Enclosure “B.” In this paper, consideration is limited to the Atlantic Coast north of the Straits of Florida and to the Pacific Coast north of Mexico.


  1. East coast of North America. Submarine attacks on shipping and minelaying in the coastal zone are continuing possibilities. Sporadic bombardment of shore installations, or landing of commando raiders or saboteurs by submarines are also possible but only on a small scale. Similar attacks by surface raiders are possible, but highly improbable. Air attack, on a very small scale, is possible, but is even more improbable than surface attack.

  2. West coast of North America. Our conclusions are the same as those for the East coast, with two slight shifts of emphasis:

a. The maximum possible scale of submarine attack is less.

b. The possible scale of attack by ship-borne aircraft is greater. Such an attack, however, is very unlikely.

Enclosure “A”

Scale of Attack on the East Coast of North America

  1. Enemy capabilities are virtually limited to attacks by submarine or surface raider. Land-based air attack is impractical. Surface raiders might launch ship-borne aircraft. Both submarines and surface raiders might:
    a. Attack shipping off the coast,
    b. Mine coastal waters,
    c. Bombard shore installations (including attacks by ship-borne aircraft),
    d. Land commandos,
    e. Land trained saboteurs and materials for sabotage,

  2. Attacks by any type of aircraft are extremely improbable. Land-based air attack is physically possible, but because of range limitations would involve the sacrifice of the aircraft used and their crews and could not be carried out on a scale which could exert any material effect on the outcome of the war. An attack by ship-based aircraft would offer less physical difficulty, but would be very limited in its maximum scale. The one German aircraft carrier, GRAF ZEPPELIN, has been laid up and there is no indication that she will be available for service in the near future, if ever. Lacking an aircraft carrier, only catapulted planes or seaplanes could be used. The vessels transporting the planes would be subjected to a serious risk of loss. The possibility that Germany would accept these risks appears to be increasingly remote.

  3. Operations by surface raiders of any type against sea communications within the coastal zone or against shore objectives are extremely unlikely. A merchant ship raider would probably have a better chance than a warship of reaching undetected the shipping lanes in the coastal zone or a shore objective. The chances of reaching the shipping lanes in the coastal zone are better than those of penetrating within effective gun range of a shore objective. It is most unlikely that either type, if at large in the North Atlantic, would attempt operations against objectives within the North American coastal zone in preference to attack of shipping on the ocean routes. Any relaxation of patrol activities would probably be taken advantage of by submarines rather than by surface vessels.

  4. Attacks by submarines. Some 200 German and 40 Italian submarines are believed to be operational. At present, very few are operating immediately off the coast of North America. If, however, a reduction in anti-submarine activity in the coastal zone were perceptible, an increase in submarine activity against shipping in that zone would be likely to occur. Mining, bombardment, and the landing of raiders or saboteurs from submarines are continuing capabilities, but are possible only on a small scale.

Enclosure “B”

Scale of Attack on the West Coast of North America

  1. Enemy capabilities are limited to attacks by submarines and surface raiders, the latter ranging in scale up to hit and run operations by a carrier task force. Land-based air attack is impossible so long as Kiska remains effectively neutralized. Japan lacks both the naval strength and the shipping to conduct large scale naval or shipborne attacks against North America.

Both submarines and surface raiders might:
a. Attack shipping off the coast,
b. Mine coastal waters,
c. Launch aircraft,
d. Bombard shore installations,
e. Land commandos,
f. Land trained saboteurs and materials for sabotage.

  1. Carrier-borne air attack. Japan could form a suitable task force and, considering the vastness of the Pacific, could perhaps bring it undetected within effective range of a profitable target such as Los Angeles-San Diego, the Puget Sound–Vancouver area, or the San Francisco Bay area. The risks, however, would be enormous, and at this juncture Japan cannot afford to risk either carriers or other vessels for indecisive purposes. All such craft available to her are, moreover, required for other uses.

  2. Surface raiders. Japan’s shortage of suitable types of naval vessels makes it extremely unlikely that she would employ them as raiders. The shipping stringency would have the same effect as regards armed merchantmen.

  3. Submarines. About 60 Japanese submarines are believed to be operational. Some of these are capable of carrying up to 200 men. Japan has tended to use submarines in direct connection with military operations and has not employed them extensively in distant operations against shipping. Submarine attacks on shipping off the west coast of North America, mining, bombardment, and the landing of raiders or saboteurs from submarines are continuing capabilities, but are possible only on a small scale. An increase in the present low scale of submarine operations is possible but improbable. Increasing pressure on Japanese naval forces in the southwest and central Pacific would tend to occupy Japanese submarines in those waters and thus to decrease the probability of their use off North America.

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The Pittsburgh Press (August 17, 1943)

Push on France reported near

Invasion may result from Québec Conference
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

Québec, Canada –
An invasion of Western Europe by way of the English Channel may be one of the first tangible results of the sixth war conference between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, it was believed here today.

This city was marking time awaiting the President’s arrival. Meanwhile, the military staffs of Great Britain, Canada and the United States continued at work in the Château Frontenac, completely inaccessible to all outsiders.

The London Daily Mail printed a dispatch from its Québec correspondent that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander-in-Chief of Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theater, was expected to arrive in Québec soon.

It was believed that the military staffs had long since completed plans for the Mediterranean Theater and were now concerned exclusively with an offensive based upon Great Britain utilizing the British, Canadian and U.S. troops gathered there, which could include attacks on Norway as well as against France with Paris as the first objective.

As far back as January 1942, Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill considered throwing the Allied weight against Western Europe, it was said, but their military advisors told them the probable casualties made the cost prohibitive.

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