Québec Conference 1943 (QUADRANT)

Note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

CCS 301/1

Specific Operations in the Pacific and Far East, 1943-44

At their 110th Meeting, 17 August 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff directed that a paragraph be drafted by the Secretaries for inclusion in paragraph 8 of CCS 301. A suggested paragraph follows:

Air Route into China

Present plans provide for the concentration of available resources, as first priority within the Assam-Burma Theater, on the building up and increasing of the air routes to China to a capacity of 10,000 tons a month by early Fall, and the development of air facilities in Assam with a view to:

  1. Intensifying air operations against the Japanese in Burma;
  2. Maintaining increased American Air Forces in China; and
  3. Maintaining the flow of airborne supplies to China.


Combined Secretariat

Report by an Ad Hoc Committee of the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 305/1

Interim Report by the Committee Appointed to Examine CCS 305

  1. In accordance with the instructions of the Combined Chiefs of Staff we have examined the telegram from the Commander-in-Chief India contained in paper CCS 305, and submit this interim report.

  2. From the information at our disposal, which is confined to the telegrams received from the Commander-in-Chief India, there is a shortfall of 600 tons per day foreshadowed on the Assam line of communications out of the estimated capacity of 3,400 tons per day. This shortfall is expected to continue up to 1st March 1944.

  3. In respect of priority for allotment of capacity on this line of communication we consider that the air transport service to China should retain its present overriding priority.

  4. We have examined the detailed allocation of tonnage as planned by the Commander-in-Chief India on the basis of 3,400 tons per day, and agree that this allows no margin if the operations are to take place as planned.

  5. We assess that a saving of approximately 500 tons per day might be made by calling a halt to one of the offensives as planned either at Ledo or at Imphal.

  6. It would therefore appear from the figures available that one of these projects should be cancelled if the other is to be carried out.

  7. We have, however, addressed a cable to the Commander-in-Chief India offering him certain assistance which should begin to have an effect in improving capacity by late November or December 1943. This assistance, coupled with the postponement of the date of active operations till 15th February, 1944, may permit of both projects being continued though with some loss of preparedness.

  8. Having regard to the above factors, we do not consider that the abandonment of either project should be definitely decided upon. The importance of continuing work on the Ledo Road is manifest, and with a lower target of road construction in the Imphal area, due to the later date of operations, the continuance of the Ledo Road may well be possible with little delay.

  9. We make this forecast with some reserve, and we cannot definitely state what will be practicable until we receive a reply from the Commander-in-Chief India, to the cable which we have dispatched.

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Report by the U.S. Joint Administrative Committee

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 312
References: a. CCS 107th Meeting
b. JCS Memo Directive, 14 August 1943

Pipeline From India to China

The problem

Prepare a study on the construction of a pipeline from India to China via Calcutta, Ledo and Fort Hertz, to Kunming.

Facts bearing on the problem

Description of Project: The project is divided into two parts which can be executed simultaneously:
a. The construction of a six-inch pipeline from Calcutta to Dibrugarh (Project C, attached map) to provide gasoline (1) for U.S. air transport operations in Assam, (2) for further transportation to Kunming, and (3) to supplement the supply of the Imphal Force. The Calcutta-Dibrugarh pipeline is 900 miles long and will have a capacity of 36,000 tons per month. The line is easily accessible from railroads for the entire length. Time required for construction is estimated at five months.

b. The construction of a four-inch pipeline from Dibrugarh via Fort Hertz to Kunming (Project A, attached map), to provide gasoline for air operations in China. This line is 1,000 miles long and will have a capacity of 18,000 tons per month. Approximately 400 miles of this line traverses territory accessible by road, the remainder is accessible only via foot trails or air. In order to speed construction by building several sections simultaneously, materials should be flown in to airfields along the route. Time required for construction is estimated at eight months.

Military Necessity:
a. U.S. air transport operations require 15,000 tons of gasoline per month in Assam.

b. The amount of aviation fuel available in the Kunming area will be a limiting factor which will restrict the size of the air force which can be supported from Chinese bases, for attacks against Japanese shipping, shore installations, naval forces and ground forces during the year 1944.

c. There are additional military requirements, other than gasoline, for the support of ground establishments and ground forces, which are essential to the securing of the airbase area in China. The delivery of gasoline to the Kunming area by pipeline will permit the devotion to these requirements of much of the capacity of the U.S. air transport facilities previously used for gasoline.

Requirements for Construction: The requirements for construction are as follows:

900 miles six-inch pipeline and accessories 29,000 short tons
1,000 miles four-inch pipeline and accessories 18,000 short tons
Signal supplies 400 short tons
4,000 troops (15 Petr Dist Cos & misc dets) 2,600 short tons
50,000 short tons

Capacity to Meet Requirements:
a. Cargo shipping is available for movement of equipment and supplies.

b. Equipment and supplies are available as required to implement this project.

c. Additional shipping for the transportation of 4,000 troops must be made available or an equal number of troops destined for the same theater must be deferred.

d. Troop units are available as required.

Difficulties to Be Overcome:
a. In order to execute the project in a minimum of time, it will be necessary to transport, over a period of several months, 15,000 tons of pipeline material by air to points along the pipeline east of Ledo.

b. It will be necessary to transport over the line of communications from Calcutta, over a period of several months, an aggregate of:
(i) 20,000 tons of four-inch pipeline material to Assam.
(ii) 30,000 tons of six-inch material along the route between Calcutta and Assam.

c. It will be necessary to provide adequate protection to prevent enemy action from interrupting the construction and operation of the pipeline.


a. The project is feasible from an engineering point of view.

b. The project can be initiated at once and promises considerable and early aid to China.

c. The air delivery of 15,000 tons of four-inch pipeline material invested in the Assam-Kunming pipeline project over a period of several months, will be returned in terms of tons of aviation gasoline delivered in Kunming in the first month of pipeline operation.

d. The distribution along the Calcutta-Assam line of communications of 30,000 tons of six-inch pipeline material over a period of several months will increase the capacity of that line of communication by 36,000 tons per month.

e. Without adequate ground protection, it is within the capabilities of the Japanese to interrupt the Assam-Kunming section of the pipeline project.


That the Combined Chiefs of Staff approve the proposed pipeline project.

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The Combined Staff Planners to the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 313


Subject: Appreciation and Plan for the Defeat of Japan (CPS 83)

In their 90th Meeting on 20 May 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff:

…directed the Combined Staff Planners to initiate a study and prepare for consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff an appreciation leading up to an outline plan for the defeat of Japan, including an estimate of the forces required for its implementation.

In their 102nd Meeting on 16 July 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff directed the Combined Staff Planners to place an appreciation and plan for the war against Japan before the Combined Chiefs of Staff during QUADRANT.

Combined planning teams, working in London in June and in Washington in July, completed CPS 83 on 8 August with the exception of certain Tables of Forces which are under preparation and should be completed prior to the end of QUADRANT. A summary of CPS 83 is attached.

On the basis of the premises adopted, the Combined Staff Planners consider that the measures set forth as being necessary for the defeat of Japan, namely, the retention of China as an effective ally, the destruction of Japanese sea and air forces, the blockade of Japan, and the large-scale bombing of the Japanese homeland as a preliminary to the possible invasion of Japan, are sound.

The general lines of advance – through the Central and Southwest Pacific, and possibly in the Northwest Pacific by United States’ forces; and through the Straits of Malacca and China Sea by British forces, with the development of a line of supplies to China through Burma, are concurred in.

The dates on which operations are to be undertaken, with the consequent prolonged duration, envisages, as set forth by the Planning Team, the least favorable conditions to be anticipated. The Planning Teams state that conditions less unfavorable will permit the expediting of the contemplated operations.

Even on this conditional basis the Combined Staff Planners consider that the plan contemplates a war in the Pacific so prolonged as to be unacceptable to the United Nations. They feel that the situation existing at this time is that the Japanese have won the war and that operations which do not contemplate the complete nullification of Japanese gains before 1947 will produce the serious hazard that the war against Japan will not, in fact, be won by the United Nations.

The United Nations’ overall objective, as approved in CCS 242/6 during the TRIDENT Conference, states:

The overall objective of the United Nations is, in conjunction with Russia and other Allies, to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of the Axis Powers.

The Combined Staff Planners feel that the conduct of the war to bring about the defeat of Japan must be in consonance with the overall objective, as well as with the over-all strategic concept for the prosecution of the war against Japan, which reads (CCS 242/6, Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3):

  1. In cooperation with Russia and other allies to bring about by the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of the Axis in Europe.

  2. Simultaneously, in cooperation with other Pacific Powers concerned to maintain and extend unremitting pressure against Japan with the purpose of continually reducing her military power and attaining positions from which her ultimate surrender can be forced. The effect of any such extension on the overall objective to be given consideration by the Combined Chiefs of Staff before action is taken.

  3. Upon the defeat of the Axis in Europe, in cooperation with other Pacific Powers and, if possible, with Russia, to direct the full resources of the United States and Great Britain to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of Japan.

At the present time a great preponderance of the United Nations Forces is deployed against the Axis Powers in Europe. At the time of the defeat of Germany large forces will become available for redeployment against Japan. This redeployment will require a long period of time. During this period the will to prosecute the war to the defeat of Japan will suffer from the stultifying effect caused by long delays in the increase of offensive action in the Pacific and Far East.

The Combined Staff Planners feel, therefore, that, if we are to comply with the approved overall objective and strategic concept and are to ensure the complete defeat of Japan, we must contemplate the start of the reorientation of forces from four to six months in advance of the prospective date of the defeat of Germany, adjusting the tempo and scale of the reorientation to the progress of the war in Europe, as determined by the Combined Chiefs of Staff from time to time.

The U.S. Planners feel that our plans and preparations should contemplate the defeat of Japan not later than 12 months after the defeat of Germany. This timing should itself now be established as a more or less controlling objective with which our efforts, measures, and courses of action should conform. If, in the future, the measures set forth in the proposed plan do not prospectively provide for this desired rate of progress of the war, other measures should be sought – as, for instance, inducing Russia to enter the war. The British Planners, however, while fully conscious of the need to shorten the war against Japan and to take all possible measures so to shorten it, cannot accept such a target date. In their opinion such acceptance would necessitate an entirely new concept of operations involving an assault on the Japanese homeland without the preparatory bombing from bases in China and/or Formosa which they believe will be required. This course, though worthy of consideration nearer the time, is insufficiently certain to provide a basis for long term planning.

The chief value of an overall plan of this kind is the guidance of action now and in the immediate future. Operations now underway in the North, Central, South, and Southwest Pacific, as well as those Pacific operations set forth in CCS 301 – Specific Operations in the Pacific and Far East, 1943-1944 – are in conformity with the plan. Operations for the seizure of Burma are in conformity with the plan, but the date that they should be undertaken is in dispute.

The U.S. Planners consider that the Southwest Pacific operations, through New Guinea, and to the Northwest of New Guinea, provide for a line of advance which at this time must be considered concurrent and coordinated with the advance in the Central Pacific and in this respect do not agree with the plan that these operations should he considered subsidiary in character.

The British Planners however consider that operations in New Guinea will be slow and very expensive in resources. They therefore support the view set out in the summary that when we turn to our main Pacific effort, through the Marshalls and Carolines, operations in New Guinea should become subsidiary and should only be pursued in so far as they are necessary for the success of our main effort.

The U.S. Planners assume that the operations in North Burma, as approved at the TRIDENT Conference – advance from Ledo and Imphal, and increase of supplies by air to China, and the Akyab and Ramree operations – will be firmly carried out in 1943-1944. Beyond these operations the plan submitted by the British Members does not contemplate offensive operations from the West (other than further operations in North Burma) until March, 1945. In other words, during the period March, 1944, to March, 1945, the efforts from the West to “maintain and extend unremitting pressure against Japan with the purpose of continually reducing her military power and attaining positions from which her ultimate unconditional surrender can be forced” would be only those possible to the forces deployed in North Burma. The U.S. Planners feel that a more extensive contribution to the war effort is necessary along this line of advance during this period. They feel that the support rendered in 1944, even though smaller than could be afforded in 1945, will give better and more needed support to the Pacific Theater.

The U.S. Planners consider that Course B, the capture of South Burma, beginning in November, 1944, should be carried out. This operation is regarded as necessary not only for the improved line of supplies to China through Rangoon, but as a preliminary to the further movement of the advance from the West through the Strait of Malacca. In this they are in disagreement with the British Planners who concur with Course C, the attack against Singapore to bypass South Burma, and to be inaugurated in March, 1945.

The British Planners feel that the question of whether or not China remains in the war will not be decided by the choice between Course B (the prior capture of Burma) and Course C (the prior capture of Singapore) since China’s darkest hours will be in the early half of 1944, before Germany is defeated. Thereafter, the obvious weight of the United Nations offensive against Japan in general and the prospect of an early opening of the sea route in particular will do more to sustain morale than the arrival of limited additional material through Burma, always provided supply by the air route continues at the maximum.

The British Planners feel strongly that the recapture of Southern Burma and Rangoon would be a small strategic gain for the expenditure of great effort. At best it would:
a. Produce limited pressure on Japanese land and air forces for two dry seasons with little attrition during the intervening wet seasons.

b. Open the Burma Road. As this cannot in any case be in full operation before some time in 1946, whether we go for Rangoon or Singapore first, the results are long term. In the unlikely event of the Japanese in the meantime occupying Kunming, all our efforts in Burma would be nullified.

On the other hand, the British Planners feel that the recapture of Singapore before Rangoon is a full and correct application of sea and air power. It will electrify the Eastern world and have an immense psychological effect on the Japanese. It will threaten the Japanese communications to Thailand and so to Burma, enable direct attack to be brought to bear on the Dutch oilfields, and in fact flank and undermine the whole Japanese defense structure in Southeast Asia. It provides a base for the great naval and air forces available for deployment against Japan from the West. Above all, it provides for an advance complementary to that being undertaken by the USA from the East, and converging upon the same objectives, i.e., the capture of Hong Kong or Formosa and the control of the South China Sea. It thus accelerates the opening of a sea supply route to China. Operations against Singapore will, moreover, provoke intense Japanese reaction to preserve the material gains of the Japanese Empire in the West as opposed to its strategical position and gains in the East, thereby relieving Japanese pressure on China and stretching Japanese ability to resist the Eastern advance possibly to the limit.


To summarize, it is recommended that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should take the following action:

Recommendations By U.S. Planners Recommendations By British Planners
(a) Approve the general objectives and the general lines of advance set forth in the plan, as a basis for planning and preparation. (a) Agreed.
(b) Disapprove, as unacceptable those aspects of the plan which contemplate a prolonged war lasting into 1947 or 1948. (b) Agreed.
(c) Direct that plans and preparations for the defeat of Japan shall have as their objective the accomplishment of this defeat not later than 12 months after the defeat of Germany. (c) Direct that intensified study of ways and means for shortening the war should be undertaken at every stage; and that theater commanders should be so instructed.
(d) Approve, in principle, the inauguration of reorientation of forces from the European Theater to the Pacific and Far East Theaters from four to six months in advance of the prospective date of the defeat of Germany, the scope and timing of reorientation to be adjusted to the requirements of the European Theater, as determined by the Combined Chiefs of Staff from time to time. (d) Agreed.
(e) Recognize that the deployment of forces and the operations to be undertaken in the war against Japan must be in accord with the overall objective and strategic concept defined in CCS 242/6, Sections I and II. (e) Agreed.
(f) Reaffirm the TRIDENT decision that approved operations in North Burma and against Akyab and Ramree will be executed during the coming dry season. (f) The British Planners consider that the form of this decision must await the outcome of discussion on CCS 301.
(g) Reaffirm the TRIDENT decision to undertake such measures as may be necessary and practicable in order to aid the war effort of China as an effective ally and as a base for operations against Japan. (g) Agreed.
(h) Direct the maximum possible expansion of the air supply route into China. (h) Agreed.
(i) Approve the Pacific operations as accepted in the final version of CCS 301. (i) Agreed.
(j) Make a decision at this time as to operations to be undertaken in the west (South Burma or toward Singapore) in 1944. (j) Approve planning and preparations for the start of operations for the capture of Singapore with a target date of 1945, followed by the recapture or reoccupation of Southern Burma during the season 1945-46. This decision to be reviewed in the spring of 1944 in the light of the then existing German situation.
(k) Agree that the forces to carry out the operations from the East, including Southwest Pacific, will be provided by the U.S., Australia and New Zealand; operations to be carried out from the west to be with forces provided by Great Britain, except that special types not available to Great Britain will be added by the U.S. (k) Agree that the forces to carry out the operations from the East, including Southwest Pacific, will be provided by U.S.[;] operations to be carried out from the west to be with forces provided by Great Britain, except that special types not available to Great Britain will be added by the U.S. The employment of Dominion forces will be a matter for discussion between all the Governments concerned.

Summary of Appreciation and Outline Plan for the Defeat of Japan

The following is a summary of CPS 83 (Appreciation and Plan for the Defeat of Japan). We have based the outline plan that follows on our best evaluation of what may have to be undertaken.

We have assumed that Japanese resistance will be continuously stubborn, and have taken no credit for a decline in the morale of the Japanese people or fighting services. Nevertheless, we do not believe that it will be necessary to carry out the whole program of operations in order to defeat them. Even if Japanese morale remains high, at some point the continuous process of weakening the enemy’s forces and reducing his war potential will cause a rapid decline in his ability to fight and a consequent acceleration of our advance. Since it is impossible to forecast the stage of the operations at which this critical point will be reached, we have throughout endeavored to make the plan sufficiently flexible to permit of considerable acceleration at any stage.

Basic conclusions

We summarize below the basic conclusions of our appreciation:

To achieve the ultimate defeat of Japan we must destroy her capacity to resist and this may well involve the invasion of Japan.

The security of the Japanese position in the Pacific depends primarily on the Japanese Fleet and Air Forces. We must therefore destroy them as soon as we can.

Heavy and sustained air bombardment of Japan proper should cripple the Japanese war industry and destroy her ability to continue her main war effort. It might cause the surrender we demand but we cannot rely on this. In any case, air bombardment of this nature is probably an essential prelude to bring about the defeat of Japan.

To bring about the sustained air offensive against Japan we shall almost certainly require the use of China and/or Formosa as the bases for our long-range bombardment. These two areas will also go a long way towards meeting our requirements for mounting invasion forces. We shall require Chinese assistance in seizing and holding the area in China required for our air bases.

To secure and develop airfields on the mainland of China, it will be necessary to acquire ports in China. So far as we can see, Hong Kong will be the most suitable port to open initially.

We therefore require a sea route to China and/or Formosa and the interruption of the enemy’s lines of communication thereto. This will entail control of the South Japan and South China Seas. The best route of advance from the East lies through the Mandated Islands, and then either through the Celebes and Sulu Seas or north of Luzon. The best route of advance from the West lies through the Straits of Malacca.

In reaching these conclusions we have been guided by certain principles, which in turn should be applied throughout the execution of the plan:
a. We should attack Japan along as many lines of advance as are profitable, in order to make use of our superior forces and to extend the enemy defense.

b. Every possible means of taking short cuts to our objectives should be adopted. The superior forces, particularly Air Forces, available to us and the opportunities for surprise should enable large and bold steps to be taken without unacceptable risk.

c. Shortage of bases will initially restrict our possible lines of advance. We should therefore take the first opportunity of securing additional bases from which to deploy our superior strength.

d. Our strength, particularly in the air, should be concentrated against Japan’s weaknesses, which lie in her shortage of aircraft, warships, shipping and oil.

Conversely extensive campaigns against Japanese land forces in difficult country, where we cannot use our own forces to the best advantage, should be avoided until they have been weakened by lack of supplies and support from the Japanese navy and air forces.

Whenever possible, we should, in fact, aim at leaving Japanese land forces in possession of outlying territory, in order that they may continue to be a liability to Japanese shipping, air and naval forces.

e. Wherever practicable, direct attacks on our objectives should be aided, and if possible preceded, by attack against Japanese communications leading to them. The extremely extended nature of their communications, together with the notorious inability of the Japanese to deal with the unexpected, are likely to render such methods very profitable.

f. Since shipping is unlikely to be a limiting factor after the defeat of Germany, our lines of advance need not necessarily be selected so as to take the shortest route from the U.S. or U.K. to our ultimate objective, but rather the one most easily established and protected.

g. We should devise every possible means of exploiting to the full, the vast technical and numerical air superiority which we shall enjoy over the Japanese after the defeat of Germany.

h. Whilst recognizing that every effort must be made to retain China in the war and to develop her bases and land forces, our plans should retain the necessary flexibility to enable our program against the Japanese to be continued if China should drop out of the war or prove less effective than we now hope.

i. Whilst being prepared to achieve our aims without Russian assistance, our plans should nevertheless retain the necessary flexibility to exploit the situation fully if Russia should join in the war at any stage.

j. We cannot forecast the date at which Germany will be defeated. To minimize the delay in turning the full weight of our offensive against Japan after the defeat of Germany, the bases from which our initial advances are to be launched should be developed as soon as possible and plans for reorganization and redeployment made without delay.

General concept of the war

Applying these principles to the basic conclusions set out above, the general concept of the war which emerges is as follows:

First phase – Action prior to capture of a port in China and/or Formosa

In the East, our main effort should be through the Mandated Islands. Until we are ready to launch this main effort, we should maintain increasing pressure on the Japanese by means of offensive operations in the Solomons-New Guinea area and in the Aleutians. When we turn to our main effort these latter operations should become subsidiary, and should only be undertaken insofar as they are necessary for the success of our main effort.

Having completed our advance through the Mandated Islands, we should then proceed either to the South Philippines or to the north of them. Our choice should be made in the light of whichever course will most quickly achieve our object of reaching the China Coast and/or capturing Formosa.

In the West, we should maintain China and build up our air forces there by stepping up the air supply route from Assam and by operations to clear Northern Burma, thus permitting the opening of a land route to China.

Meanwhile we should make preparations in India for the launching of the major campaigns to recapture the whole of Burma and to break into the Japanese perimeter from the west by the recapture of Singapore.

Once that has been accomplished we should make our way through the South China Sea towards the coast of China and Formosa.


To integrate our advances from the West and the East, the timing of the various operations should, if possible, be so arranged that they afford one another the maximum amount of mutual assistance at each stage.

For our advance from the East, & very large fleet, but comparatively small land and shore-based air forces will be necessary, and therefore comparatively little shipping, until we have completed our advance through the Mandates, when our ground and land-based air forces may well be of a very large order.

Our advance from the West, on the other hand, will require large land and air forces and much shipping, but probably a considerably smaller fleet than in the case of our advance from the East.

Our advance from the East should provide opportunities for bringing the Japanese fleet to action in favorable circumstances. It will enable us to threaten and strike at Japan herself, and, in conjunction with air forces from China, to strike at the focal point of the Japanese sea communications in the Yellow Sea-Formosa areas. This will greatly assist our advances from the west by forcing the Japanese fleet and air forces on to the defensive in their home area and by enabling our forces in the east to strike at the Japanese communications leading to the objectives of our advance from the west.

In executing our advance from the west, and after completing the capture of North Burma (Course A), two courses of action remain open to us in the west.

Course B – (Recapture of South Burma followed by recapture of Singapore) probably offers the best chance of maintaining China in the war by insuring that the overland supply route is developed as early as possible and with the greatest reliability. On the other hand, the delay in the recapture of Singapore is likely to mean that our advance to open the sea route to China would have to be undertaken from the east alone, and would receive little aid from the west.

Course C – (Recapture of Singapore, followed by recapture of South Burma) would enable a much greater degree of coordination and mutual assistance to be achieved in the later stages of our two advances since we should expect to reach Singapore and advance therefrom a year earlier. It would stretch Japanese resources over a wide area and would enable the British Fleet to operate off the China coast. Our land and air forces could also be moved up the South China Sea along routes far removed from the main enemy naval strength in Japan.

On the other hand, we should run the risk of delaying the development of the overland routes to China, although there would be no appreciable delay if all operations go according to plan.

Irrespective of whether the advance from the east or the west approaches China first, it is unlikely that we shall be able to capture Shanghai direct. In conjunction with shore-based air support from China, and Chinese land forces, we might, however, be able to undertake a direct assault on Hong Kong, subsequently taking Formosa.

If the capture of Hong Kong is impracticable, we should endeavor to seize Formosa first, or, if this too is impracticable, Luzon.

If neither of these can be seized direct, we should assault Hainan and if possible one of the Ryukyus.

If the above are impracticable we should continue operations against the South Philippines and complete our control of the Celebes and Sulu Seas, subsequently carrying out our program to capture a port in China and/or Formosa.

Second phase – Action subsequent to the capture of a port in China and/or the capture of Formosa

This phase will involve overland and amphibious operations in China and direct air and naval action to weaken Japanese capacity to resist. It will probably culminate in the invasion of Japan.

If we are established in Hong Kong before Formosa has been captured, we shall be in a position to build up the necessary land forces in China, secure the air bases most accessible from Hong Kong, and start the bombing of Japan at long range.

If, on the other hand, we capture Formosa before Hong Kong, or find that the Chinese assistance on the mainland is disappointing, the bombing of Japan can start from Formosa.

It is possible that, with the assistance of sea-borne air forces, Japan may be sufficiently weakened to enable us to invade her when our bomber offensive has been developed from either Formosa, or the area most accessible from Hong Kong.

On the other hand, to bomb Japan effectively we may have to move further northwards from Hong Kong in order to use the area up to the line Wenchow-Nanchang-Changsha.

From the invasion point of view, we may possibly have to secure the Shanghai area, and if this is the case, we should be well placed from our positions in Hong Kong and Formosa to undertake such an advance both overland and coastwise.

If Chinese assistance proves to be effective, our main effort will probably be made overland. If, on the other hand, it is disappointing, our main effort would be concentrated in amphibious operations along the China coast as far northwards as necessary.

Subsidiary and alternative lines of advance

Meanwhile, subject to the requirements of our main advance, we should:
(i) undertake subsidiary operations along the Malay Barrier to bring increased pressure to bear on the Japanese;

(ii) prepare plans and bases for the capture of the Northern Kuriles and the reinforcement of Petropavlovsk, in order to secure a sea route to Russia in the event of her entering the war;

(iii) prepare plans and bases for the capture of Hokkaido should the opportunity arise for assisting our bombing or undertaking our invasion of Japan from this direction, possibly in conjunction with Russian action from the Maritime Provinces, Sakhalin or Petropavlovsk.

Outline plan

Based on our appreciation, we indicate below an outline plan for operations against Japan:

Action in the West Action in the East
Serial 1 – Up to November 1943
Development of air routes to China. Holding operations in North Burma and China. Offensive operations against Solomons and New Guinea. Offensive operations against the Aleutians.
Serial 2 – November 1943 to May 1944
Offensive operations in Northern Burma and on Arakan coast. Developing Northern routes leading to China. Offensive operations against Gilberts and Marshalls. Subsidiary operations in Solomons and New Guinea and air operations from the Aleutians.
Serial 3 – June 1944 to November 1944
Holding operations in Burma. Offensive operations against Carolines. Subsidiary operations in New Guinea area.
Action in the West Action in the East
Serial 4 – November 1944 to May 1945
Course B (favored by U.S.) Course C (favored by British)
Offensive operations in North Burma and capture of Rangoon. Offensive operations in North Burma. Offensive operations against Northern Sumatra and Malaya. Offensive operations against the Pelews and possibly Marianas. Subsidiary operations in the New Guinea area. Commence offensive operations against South Philippines.*
Serial 5 – June 1945 to November 1945
Holding operations in Burma. Holding operations in North Burma. Continue offensive operations in Malaya and against Japanese communications to Burma. Continue offensive operations against the South Philippines. – or Offensive operations against Luzon, Formosa or Ryukyus.
Serial 6 – November 1945 to May 1946
Complete offensive operations to clear Burma. Offensive operations against N. Sumatra and Malaya. Offensive operations against North Burma and Rangoon, subsequently clearing the whole of Burma. Offensive operations against Camranh Bay.† Continue offensive operations [against the] South Philippines. – or Launch offensive operations against Hong Kong or Formosa (if not already captured).
Serial 7 – During the remainder of 1946
Complete capture of Malaya. Launch offensive operations against Luzon, Formosa, Hong Kong, Hainan and/or Ryukyus from East and West. – or Establish the strategic bombing force in China and/or Formosa.

Serial 8 – From 1947 onwards
Establish the strategic bombing force in China and/or Formosa.

  • Bomb Japan.
  • Invade Japan.

*If conditions are favorable, it may prove possible to bypass this objective.
If conditions are favorable, it may prove possible to bypass this objective.

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Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Most secret
Enclosure to CCS 314/1

Allocation of Landing Ships and Craft – American Production

It will be remembered that in April 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff agreed (CCS 105/4) that future allocations of additional landing craft from U.S. production to the United Kingdom, as could be made available and as would be needed for specific employment and specifically projected operations, be accomplished by arrangement between the United States and British Naval Staffs, and formally processed through the Munitions Assignments Committee, Navy, subject to the approval of the Munitions Assignments Board in Washington.

No specific operations for the War against Germany, after OVERLORD, have yet been decided upon. For the War against Japan, it is hoped that decisions will shortly be taken on the scope and extent of British participation. In order to prepare the British Assault Fleet and to estimate British manning commitments for 1944/45, the British Chiefs of Staff wish to formulate their programme without waiting for specific operational decisions.

We, therefore, recommend that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should agree:
a. To modify the policy previously accepted.
b. That the British should now work out and submit requests for a share of U.S. production in 1944-45.

Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Most secret
Enclosure to CCS 315


We are impressed with the possibilities of constructing “floating airfields” as a type of aircraft carrier, and we are of the opinion that, research and design have now reached a stage when we should proceed with the production of certain types. A Technical Note is given in Annex I.

Three types of vessel have been designed on paper by naval architects:


A vessel made of wood was designed in the hope that it could be ready in 1944 and would not use much strategic material. This, we have learned is not the case, as there is a shortage of timber. Consequently, in view of the limited requirement for this type, it has been decided not to proceed with it.


This vessel could be made of steel but would require about 150,000 tons per vessel as well as a great deal of shipyard space and skilled labor. Alternatively, it could be made of pykrete (frozen pulp and water), but the feasibility of this depends on the completion of full-scale tests during the winter 1943-44. These experiments have been in progress in England and Canada since December 1942. The proposed design has a speed of about seven knots; is self-propelled; and has a length of 1,700-2,200 feet; the beam would be sufficient to operate and park medium bombers and transport aircraft and, if assisted take off could be employed, heavy bombers. If orders for the above full-scale tests are given immediately, and if these are successful, the first pykrete HABBAKUK might be operational by the middle of 1945, but there are a large number of constructional and operational problems to be overcome.


This would be a smaller and faster type made of steel; about 70,000 tons per vessel; speed 12 knots; self-propelled; length 1,000-1,200 feet; beam sufficient to operate fighters, naval aircraft and light twin engine bombers. If a definite order is given in the near future, and if the material can be made available, the first could be operational by the spring of 1945. The construction of this type would, however, conflict with other ship construction, e.g. escort carriers.

Arrester gear will be necessary on all types and the employment of assisted take-off methods would be of great value.

In the war against Japan, we see considerable possibilities in Types II and III, particularly the latter. They could not, of course, in any way fulfill the functions of an aircraft carrier operating with the fleet, but there are a number of other ways, details of which are described in Annex II in which we think they would be of great value. Indeed, we feel that after a certain number of escort carriers have been constructed, it would probably be better to build a few of these HABBAKUKS rather than devote all our efforts to further escort carriers. (See paragraphs 40 and 41 of Annex II.)


We suggest that we should now take steps as follows:
a. To construct at least two HABBAKUKS III, which is the more promising type for use both in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean;

b. To continue experiments and construct during the coming winter sections of pykrete for HABBAKUK IIs for experimental purposes. Subject to success in this, we should construct a number of HABBAKUK IIs in pykrete during the following winter for use in the Pacific.

We cannot undertake construction in the United Kingdom because neither labor nor the material can be made available. If, therefore, the Combined Chiefs of Staff agree in principle with our proposals, we suggest that they should invite the appropriate United States and Canadian authorities to set up a board forthwith to press on with this matter. We shall be glad to place British experts at the disposal of both.

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Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Most secret
CCS 286/3

Formation of U.S. Assault Forces for Operation OVERLORD

The British request that the Americans man all the craft allocated to Assault Force “O,” the American Naval Assault Force for OVERLORD based in the Plymouth Command, was considered by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff who declined to undertake this commitment for the reasons given in CCS 286/2.

There has been an opportunity during Quadrant for this matter to be further investigated by the Combined Staffs. As a result, we now wish to put forward a modified proposal. We withdraw the request that the U.S. should man the shipborne types of landing craft, namely 16 LCS(M), 15 Hedgerow fitted LCA and 60 ordinary LCA, as these will be carried in British ships. However, in view of the fact that the remaining craft will be assigned to, and will train with, the American Naval Assault Force under a U.S. Naval Commander, we suggest that it would be reasonable that U.S. crews be provided. The craft involved are 12 LCT(R), 5 LCG(L), 11 LCF(L), 48 LCP(L) fitted for smoke-laying and not hoistable, and the personnel required amount to 135 officers and 1,511 men.

We ask the U.S. Chiefs of Staff to reconsider the decision conveyed in 286/2 to this extent.

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Memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Most secret
CCS 314

Allocation of Landing Craft (Operation OVERLORD – Vehicle Lift)

We have been examining the landing craft position for Operation OVERLORD. It appears probable that there will be a shortage of vehicle lift of 870 vehicles, or 13 per cent of the total lift, compared with the calculations made at TRIDENT. This shortage is made up as follows:

  • LCT (3 or 4) – 57
  • LCT (5) – 15

The reasons for this shortage are as follows:
a. 164 LCG (M) which it was hoped to build in the United Kingdom, will not be ready in time. In order to compensate to some extent for this and in order to provide supporting fire for the U.S. assaults, it has been necessary to convert 43 LCT (3 and 4) to LCT(R) or LCG(L).

b. In the TRIDENT calculations it was assumed that the 44 LCT (4 and 5) employed in close mobile net protection duties with the Fleet at Scapa Flow, would all be available for OVERLORD. Recent developments in anti-ship weapons make it impossible to dispense with this type of protection. Every effort is being made to substitute other types of craft and 15 LCTs have been released. The Admiralty are going to try and release more, but at present they must retain 14 LCT (4) and 15 LCT (5).

Under the TRIDENT decisions, 18 LCTs were to be brought back from the Mediterranean for OVERLORD. It will be necessary for these to sail before bad weather starts in the Bay of Biscay. Admiral Cunningham has been asked whether these craft are taking part in AVALANCHE and when they can be released. The importance of ensuring their passage home has been emphasized. Owing to the casualties in HUSKY having been less than expected, we may get more back from this source, which would help us reduce the deficit. But we cannot count on this yet.

We have studied various methods by which the shortage in lift for OVERLORD could be wiped out. It seems that the only practicable method would be to arrange by some means an increase in the number of LCT(6) available for OVERLORD from American sources. The British Chiefs of Staff ask that the possibility of this should be explored.

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Memorandum by the Joint Staff Planners

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 317
References: a. CCS 288; CCS 288/1; CCS 288/2.
b. CCS 104th Meeting, Item 3.

Equipping Allies, Liberated Forces and Friendly Neutrals

The problem

To consider the requirements for materiel for equipping allies, liberated forces, and friendly neutrals, and the determination of basic policies which will govern the meeting of such requirements.


During the Casablanca Conference, the United States Government accepted the responsibility for equipping 11 French divisions (three armored and eight infantry). By 1 September 1943, the equipment for two armored and four infantry divisions, with supporting troops, will have been shipped.

General Eisenhower has recommended (radio BOSCO-IN-21, 13 Aug 1943) (Appendix “A”) that equipment for remaining French troops be accelerated in a manner that would provide for a total of four armored and seven infantry divisions. The Commanding General of the North African Theater of Operations advises that such a program would satisfy the requirements of the Casablanca Conference. The requisite equipment can be made available to meet such requirements without prejudice to currently directed operations, i.e., BOLERO/SICKLE, and operations in the Pacific It should be noted, however, that approximately 60% of the equipment required must be withheld from advance shipments to the United Kingdom, to be made up prior to departure of United Kingdom units concerned. This can be done.

During the first four to five months following an initial assault on the continent, all available port and beach capacity will be required for the buildup and maintenance of the United Nations forces. It is considered that a minimum of six to eight months will be required between the start of reorganization and reequipment of French Army units on the continent and their initial employment. Thus, it would appear that no continental French Army units could be employed for from ten to thirteen months after the initial assault.

Balkan forces are capable of mounting approximately six modified divisions and supporting troops (175,000) (Appendix “B”). They should be supplied with captured German and Italian equipment, if available, inasmuch as they are familiar therewith, and their strategic position does not further substantiate commitments from other sources.

It is assumed that Polish forces will continue to fight with the British and they need not be considered as sacrificed by non-support of the Polish “Secret Army” as an organized unit. Moreover, the formation of Polish divisions and brigades can only be accomplished after the fall of Germany, at which time existence of a formal Polish Army for the defeat of Germany would not be necessary (Appendix “C”).

In respect to equipping the Turkish forces, it is presumed that this program will not extend beyond that envisaged at TRIDENT. In view of the apparent inability of the Turkish forces to properly assimilate, maintain, and train with such equipment as has been provided to them, it is questionable as to whether the political benefits that would accrue from furnishing any further equipment would outweigh the advisability of retaining such equipment for other purposes.

The aggregate strengths of forces which might be available to the United Nations and which are now located in Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Holland totals about 150,000 men (Appendix “D”). Since potential forces in none of these countries constitutes a force which of itself could carry out extensive offensive operations, it is assumed that such forces would be available only for garrison and interior guard duty.

It is the opinion of the War Shipping Administration that cargo shipping captured should be operated for rehabilitation and support of the occupied country. This policy will reduce shipping load on United Nations and will save the time and expense of repair and rehabilitation of vessels in U.S. ports. Personnel vessels should be operated to assist U.S. troop lift regardless of decisions as to U.S. or British control.


It is recommended that:
a. The supplies and equipment necessary to carry out the program recommended by the Commanding General of the North African Theater of Operations (cable W7177-CM-IN-BOSCO 21, 13 Aug. 1943) be authorized for shipment during the period 1 September-31 December 1943.

b. Rearmament of French Army units be limited to the obligations of the Casablanca Conference, i.e., 11 divisions as modified by General Eisenhower’s radio of 13 August 1943.

c. Equipment for any French local forces to be organized on the Continent subsequent to invasion be limited to that required for garrison or guard duties and no attempt be made to organize assault forces. Equipment to be furnished through CG, ETO, for Northern France and through CG, NATO, for Southern France. All equipment to be furnished as far as practicable from captured German and Italian items.

d. In accordance with CCS 303/3, Strategic Concept for the Defeat of the Axis in Europe (par. 6d and par. 8) equipment to be supplied to the Balkans will be limited to supply of Balkan guerrillas by air and sea transport and for planning purposes the forces to be so equipped will be limited to 175,000 men (six divisions and supporting troops).

e. No equipment be supplied the Polish forces in Poland, other than that which can be flown in to guerrilla and underground forces extant within the limits of Poland. (The limitations imposed by the requirement that all material must be flown in will limit the forces that can be equipped to an optimum figure of 50 modified infantry battalions). This is to be a British commitment.

f. The program of aid to Turkey be reviewed in the light of experience to date and with a view to possibly curtailing the furnishing of additional equipment.

g. Equipment for potential forces in Norway and the Low Countries be limited to basic individual equipment for a total force aggregating 150,000 men, together with certain categories of light infantry weapons and light motor vehicles. That measures be initiated to determine the exact forces to be equipped as soon as operations by the United Nations in Western Europe make such action practicable. Theater commanders concerned to equip liberated forces of Norway, Holland, and Belgium through CG, ETO. The Balkans to be equipped through CG, NATO.

h. That in implementing the recommendations appearing in subparagraphs c to g, inclusive, maximum use be made of captured war matériel.

i. That implementation (after maximum utilization of captured war matériel) of equipping the forces carried in subparagraphs a, b and d above, be considered to be a responsibility of the United States, and for subparagraphs c, e, f, and g to be considered as a responsibility of the United Kingdom.

j. Captured cargo shipping be used, insofar as practicable, to carry relief and rehabilitation supplies to the country from which captured. Captured personnel vessels be operated to assist U.S. troop lift regardless of decisions as to U.S. or British control.

Appendix “A”

Rearmament of the French

During the Casablanca Conference, the United States Government accepted the responsibility for the equipping of 11 French divisions (three armored and eight infantry).

By 1 September 1943 the equipment for two armored and four infantry divisions, with supporting troops, will have been shipped.

a. By radiogram W7177 (BOSCO-IN-21, 13 August 1943), the Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, recommends that equipment for the remaining French troops be provided as follows:

September, 1943 One infantry and one armored division (less certain units)
October, 1943 One infantry division
November, 1943 One infantry division
December, 1943 One armored division

Equipment for supporting and service units to be provided on a proportionate basis for each month.

b. The proposal outlined in a above will provide for a total of four armored (on a slightly reduced scale) and seven infantry divisions. The Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, advises that this, considering also the Koenig Division, which was equipped by the British, will satisfy the requirements of the Casablanca Conference.

Equipment, allowing minor substitutions, can be made available to meet the requirements outlined in paragraph 3 above, provided that priority above that for pre-shipments to the United Kingdom is granted. About 60% of the equipment for French units would necessarily be withheld from pre-shipment to the United Kingdom. These shortages can be made up in time to equip U.K. units prior to departure. Provision of this equipment will not prejudice currently directed operations in the Pacific, BOLERO, or SICKLE. Any equipment left behind by U.S. divisions transferred from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom will be credited against this requirement. Shipping can be made available as requested by General Eisenhower (180,000 ship tons in September and 150,000 ship tons per month, October, November, and December).

The provision of equipment and supplies referred to in paragraph 5 [3?] above, will satisfy the United States obligation of the Casablanca Conference. There is no further known requirement for equipment for French units from United States sources. During the first four to five months following the initial assault on the Continent, all available port and beach capacity will be required for build-up of the combat forces. It is considered that a minimum of six to eight months would be required between the start of reorganization and re-equipment of French Army units on the Continent, and their initial employment. Thus, it would appear that no Continental French Army units could be employed for from ten to thirteen months after the assault.

Certain resistance groups in France are being equipped by air delivery with small arms. This is a British commitment. Any demands on the United States for weapons or equipment for this purpose will be negligible.

It may be necessary to clothe and equip local defense units organized in France after the invasion is well under way. Arms for such units would undoubtedly be limited to small arms and light weapons. It is believed that any such equipment should be provided from and limited to that available from captured enemy (Italian) supplies, and should not be set up as an obligation of the United States Government.

Appendix “B”


The Balkan guerrilla forces are estimated to number around 175,000; however, some estimates have placed this figure as high as 300,000. The former figure is based on recent intelligence reports and is considered to be reliable. These forces are divided into several political groups, operating independently, the strongest of which is General Mihailovitch’s Chetniks. However, it is doubtful that even he can command the loyalty of more than 175,000 to 200,000 men.

In addition to these forces, recent radio report from the Mediterranean Theater quotes a Yugoslavian representative as being desirous of establishing a training corps, on the fall of Italy, in some Italian territory, preferably Sicily, to consist of 30,000 to 40,000 Yugoslavian prisoners of war now in Italy. The State Department is very emphatic in the opinion that a maximum of 6,500 Yugoslavian and 1,800 Greek prisoners of war will be liberated on the fall of Italy, and that any claims of the Yugoslav Government in Exile in excess of this figure would constitute an attempt to create a Free Yugoslav Army to lend national prestige in peace conference negotiations. The liberated prisoners of war available therefore appear to be relatively insignificant in comparison to the tangible guerrilla forces, and, moreover, the time that would be consumed in training such a force would render them valueless in the conquest of Germany.

In the past, supply of these forces has been effected by the British Middle East Command, in some 100 scattered sorties, dropping only the bare essentials of medical supplies, etc. Their principal needs are machine guns, light (horse) artillery and medical supplies.

The supply of equipment to the Balkans therefore devolves to a consideration of furnishing an equivalent of the requirements for a force commensurate with the 175,000 guerrillas.

Equipment to be supplied to the Balkans should be limited to supply of Balkan guerrillas by air and sea transport. The latter method must supplement the former before any substantial amount of equipment can be made available to a force aggregating 175,000 men.

Appendix “C”

Polish Forces

Polish forces in the U.K. consist of approximately 40,000 men, including one armored division, one parachute brigade, 13 air squadrons and some light naval vessels. In the Middle East, Polish forces contain about 73,000 men, including two infantry divisions, one tank brigade, and corps troops. In both of the above elements, the supply of materiel and equipment has been from British sources, including some lend-lease transactions, and the supply status of each is approximately 75% complete.

There is an additional Polish force of approximately 65,000 men, in the occupied territory, known as the “Secret Army.” Various estimates of this force have run as high as 300,000 men, however the former figure is based on U.S. Army Intelligence information and is considered to be reliable. In addition to supplying the Polish forces in the U.K. and Middle East, the British have occasionally dropped small quantities of explosives, and communications equipment, to this “Secret Army,” from the air.

Supply of the forces in the U.K. and Middle East having been undertaken by the British (these elements are now a part of British forces in the respective area), the equipping of Polish forces evolves to the requirements of the “Secret Army.” This requirement amounts to equipment for an equivalent of fifty infantry battalions which must be flown in, and would require an estimated 500 sorties initially. The Polish Genera] Staff estimates this force could fight in isolation for about 20 days and its continued existence would depend on a break through contact by other Allied Forces within that time.

The Polish plan further envisages the transporting of the U.K. and Middle East Forces into Poland by air after the break through contact with the “Secret Army” has been established. These, with other liberated Polish Forces, would be organized into 16 infantry divisions and six dismounted cavalry brigades. This latter phase is not considered as advantageous inasmuch as the effect of it cannot be realized until such time as it is no longer needed.

It is clear that sabotage and intelligence operations are desirable and the operation of 50 rifle battalions will considerably aid in this activity, as well as occupy the attention of considerable German forces. However, current intelligence digests indicate Russia will violently oppose any arming of the Poles in Poland due to the well-known Polish-Russian enmity.

To support this operation, including supply of initial equipment, would require some 2,000 sorties by heavy transport planes and this air lift cannot be spared without seriously affecting other operations.

Appendix “D”

Norway, Low Countries

In giving consideration to the possible need for supplying equipment and matériel to the forces of free neutrals of nations at present occupied by Axis forces and which might come within the scope of possibly having to be rearmed by the United Nations, estimates have been confined to Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Holland. The table which follows indicates (on the basis of informal estimates furnished by a representative of the Joint Intelligence Committee) the strengths of the armed forces of each nation at or about the time each became involved in the war, as well as the indicated potential strengths of that portion of the manpower of each nation which might be available for reequipment, rearming, training and service in the event of a United Nations reoccupation:

Country Estimated Strength at Outbreak of War Possible Strength To Be Equipped
Norway 17,000 40,000*
Denmark 11,000 10,000†
Belgium 650,000 50,000*
Holland 400,000 50,000*

From the above table it is apparent that the aggregate strength of the forces which might be available for rearming in all of these countries totals 150,000 troops. Since potential forces in none of these countries constitute a force which of itself could carry out extended offensive operations, it is presumed that such forces would be supplied only to the extent of basic individual equipment, together with certain categories of small arms and light motor vehicles. Considering the reequipment of all of these nations as a complete total requirement, and assuming that such reequipment would not take place until, at the earliest, sometime after 1 January 1944 (the estimated date on which the rearming of the French forces as presently contemplated would be completed), it is not considered that any great problem of supply would be involved and that quantities of the requisite materiel could be made available without unduly affecting the equipment status of American forces.

Assuming (for conservative purposes) that the reequipment of all of these countries would be coincidental, which of course would not be the case, a total maximum shipping requirement of some six to eight ships might be required but this could be made available without any effect on the BOLERO/SICKLE operation or operations as presently contemplated and planned for the South and Southwest Pacific areas.

It is, of course, obvious that a determination must be made at the earliest practicable moment in the event any or all of these countries, or any contiguous countries, are to be reequipped and rearmed. Such plans must indicate the approximate date on which rearming and reequipping would be required and, in general, the type force that it would be considered advisable to rearm and reequip for each country with the forces available to it and the nature of operations in which it is contemplated such forces might become engaged, i.e., garrison and police duty, or actual components of an offensive fighting force. It is also essential that a determination be made at the earliest practicable date as to how much equipment would be supplied and the source of the equipment.

For police purposes only.
*Estimated on basis of ability to form and train units upon liberation.

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President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Marshal Stalin

Québec, 18 August 1943.

Operational priority

Secret and personal to Marshal Stalin from Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt.

We have both arrived here with our staffs and will probably remain in conference for about ten days. We fully understand the strong reasons which lead you to remain on the battlefronts, where your presence has been so fruitful of victory. Nevertheless, we wish to emphasize once more the importance of a meeting between all three of us. We do not feel that either Archangel or Astrakhan are suitable but we are prepared ourselves, accompanied by suitable officers, to proceed to Fairbanks in order to survey the whole scene in common with you. The present seems to be a unique opportunity for a rendezvous and also a crucial point in the war. We earnestly hope that you will give this matter once more your consideration. Prime Minister will remain on this side of the Atlantic for as long as may be necessary.

Should it prove impossible to arrange the much-needed meeting of the three heads of governments, we agree with you that a meeting of the foreign office level should take place in the near future. This meeting would be exploratory in character as, of course, final decisions must be reserved to our respective governments.

Generals Eisenhower and Alexander have now completed the conquest of Sicily in thirty-eight days. It was defended by 315,000 Italians and 90,000 Germans, total 405,000 soldiers. These were attacked by thirteen British and United States Divisions and with a loss to us of about 18,000 killed and wounded, 23,000 German and 7,000 Italian dead and wounded were collected and 130,000 prisoners. Apart from those Italians who have dispersed in the countryside in plain clothes, it can be assumed that all Italian forces in the island have been destroyed. Masses of guns and munitions are lying scattered about all over the island. Over 1,000 enemy aircraft have been taken on the airfields. We are, as you know, about soon to attack the Italian mainland in heavy strength.


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

Québec, 18 August 1943.


With the approval of the President and the Prime Minister the Combined Chiefs of Staff direct that you immediately send 2 staff officers, 1 U.S. and 1 British, to Lisbon to report upon arrival to the British Ambassador. For Eisenhower, FREEDOM Algiers, FAN 196, from the Combined Chiefs of Staff. They should take with them the Armistice terms already agreed and previously sent to you. The British Ambassador in Lisbon has been directed to arrange a meeting with General “C” at which your staff officers will be present.

At this meeting a communication to General “C” will be made on the following lines:
a. The unconditional surrender of Italy is accepted on the terms stated in the document to be handed to him. (He should then be given the Armistice Terms for Italy already agreed and previously sent to you. He should be told that these do not include political, economic or financial terms which will be communicated later by other means.)

b. These terms do not visualize the active assistance of Italy in fighting the Germans. The extent to which the terms will be modified in favor of Italy will depend on how far the Italian Government and people do, in fact, aid the United Nations against Germany during the remainder of the war. The United Nations, however, state without reservation that wherever Italian forces or Italians fight Germans, or destroy German property, or hamper German movement, they will be given all possible support of the forces of the United Nations. Meanwhile, provided information about the enemy is immediately and regularly supplied, allied bombing will so far as possible be directed upon targets which affect the movement and operations of German forces.

c. The cessation of hostilities between the United Nations and Italy will take effect from a date and hour to be notified by General Eisenhower. (NOTE: General Eisenhower should make this notification a few hours before Allied Forces land in Italy in strength.)

d. Italian Government must undertake to proclaim the Armistice immediately it is announced by General Eisenhower, and to order their forces and people from that hour to collaborate with the allies and to resist the Germans. (NOTE: As will be seen from 2c above, the Italian Government will be given a few hours’ notice.)

e. The Italian Government must, at the hour of the Armistice, order that all United Nations prisoners in danger of capture by the Germans shall be immediately released.

f. The Italian Government must, at the hour of the Armistice, order the Italian Fleet and as much of their merchant shipping as possible to put to sea for allied ports. As many military aircraft as possible shall fly to allied bases. Any ships or aircraft in danger of capture by the Germans must be destroyed.

General “Charlie” should be told that meanwhile there is a good deal that Badoglio can do without the Germans becoming aware of what is afoot. The precise character and extent of his action must be left to his judgment; but the following are the general lines which should be suggested to him:
a. General passive resistance throughout the country if this order can be conveyed to local authorities without the Germans knowing.

b. Minor sabotage throughout the country, particularly of communications and airfields used by the Germans.

c. Safeguard of allied Prisoners of War. If German pressure to hand them over becomes too great, they should be released.

d. No Italian Warships to be allowed to fall into German hands. Arrangements to be made to insure that all these ships can sail to ports designated by General Eisenhower immediately he gives the order. Italian submarines should not be withdrawn from patrol as this would reveal our common purpose to the enemy.

e. No merchant shipping to be allowed to fall into German hands. Merchant shipping in northern ports should, if possible, be sailed to ports South of the line Venice-Leghorn. In the last resort they should be scuttled. All ships must be ready to sail for ports designated by General Eisenhower.

f. Germans must not be allowed to take over Italian Coast Defenses.

g. Make arrangements to be put in force at the proper time for Italian formations in the Balkans to march to the coast, with a view to their being taken off to Italy by United Nations.

General Eisenhower’s representatives must arrange with General “Charlie” a secure channel of communication between Italian Headquarters and General Eisenhower.

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Roosevelt-Churchill-Mackenzie King meeting, late evening

United States United Kingdom Canada
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill Prime Minister Mackenzie King

The dinner party at the Citadel broke up at midnight, after which Roosevelt, Churchill, and Mackenzie King “sat together for quite a little time.” Roosevelt and Churchill held discussions after dinner “until another late retiring.”

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The Pittsburgh Press (August 19, 1943)

Invasion plan all prepared, Québec hears

Commander-in-Chief also believed chosen for European push
By Merriman Smith, United Press staff writer

Fate of Europe may be decided at the Allied conferences in Québec at which these men are some of the leading figures. At the top are Canadian Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill; below, President Roosevelt and the Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada.

Québec, Canada –
Military decisions for the early invasion of Western Europe have been completed, including the naming of the Allied general who will direct the decisive campaign, it appeared today as President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill took up related political strategy.

The name of the Allied commander for the moment is a closely guarded secret, but Mr. Churchill is known to favor Gen. Harold Alexander, at present chief of land operations under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Mediterranean Theater. Gen. Eisenhower would also be a contender but, in the event of a simultaneous smash from the south, his services would probably be required there.

May pick ‘dark horse’

There has been some speculation here that a “dark horse” or relatively unknown military man might get the important post, such as Maj. Gen. Alexander Gatehouse, commander of armored forces at El Alamein.

The Allies must also name a commander for the East Asia Theater, which was created by separation from the India Command. Gen. Sir Claude Auchinleck succeeded Field Marshal Viscount Wavell as commander-in-chief in India when the latter was appointed Viceroy. It was believed that the East Asia Command would go to an American.

Eden in Québec

Anthony Eden, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, arrived here yesterday.

U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull said in Washington that he expects to leave late today for Québec. He will be accompanied by James C. Dunn, State Department political advisor on European affairs.

It was apparent Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill are dealing with the highest phases of both the military and political campaigns when it was revealed they had no scheduled callers at the historic Citadel where they are living in complete informality under one roof.

It was apparent to observers here that, as the political questions are taken up, the Soviet Union more and more became an integral part of the picture. While it was certain that precise boundaries will not be discussed in the absence of the governments-in-exile or without prior consultation with China and the Soviet Union, the territorial demands of all must undoubtedly be foreseen and appraised.

The Russians have for centuries desired an opening on the warm waters of the Pacific and on the Mediterranean. China, too, undoubtedly will have some claim on certain territories, such as Hong Kong and Formosa.

A further element in the political picture was the planning necessary to maintain the hopes of the conquered peoples of Western Europe who have become increasingly restless and impatient at the tardiness of the Allies in rescuing them from their Nazi conquerors.

Seeks diversion of foe

Important in connection with future political relationships was Russian dissatisfaction with Allied failure to divert in any large number of German forces on the Eastern Front. Russia’s desires have called for the removal of at least 60 German divisions of the more than 200 ranged against her.

From Algiers came reports of intensive massing and regrouping of the Allied armies in the Mediterranean area which, it was predicted, would permit speedier execution of the plans Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill were drawing. In that connection, it was to be remembered that the United States, as well as the other Allies, have had several months to transport men and equipment while the North African and Sicilian campaigns were being pushed.

Keep Axis guessing

For that reason, it may well be that final plans already prepared by the chiefs of staff will not cause any substantial regrouping or rearrangement of men and material and shipping.

Meanwhile, Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill were losing no opportunity to keep the Axis guessing about where and when the next great blow will be struck.

Decisions of the greatest importance were being made in the heavily-protected Citadel. And the principals were only too happy to see the Axis squirming in uninformed discomfort over what activation of the plans being made here will mean to the German and Jap armies and conquests.

Invasion expected

Some tangible information on the conferences will be made available today by White House Press Secretary Stephen T. Early after he confers with Brendan Bracken, head of the British Ministry of Information.

This much was certain: The decisions of the Québec conferences will be manifest only on the battlefields on the world, probably soon. It was generally accepted here that these manifestations would be a full-scale invasion of Europe.

Meanwhile, there were widely circulated reports that Mr. Churchill or Mr. Eden, or both, would go to Moscow at the conclusion of the conference to tell Premier Joseph Stalin about the decisions.

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Allied parley building up to something big

Heavy work of conference at Québec to near end by close of week
By Paul R. Leach

Québec, Canada –
Despite the well-publicized froth of this sixth inter-Allied war conference, there is evidence in plenty that it is building up to something much more smashing in character than mere verbal onslaughts against the Axis.

President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill and their joint chiefs of staff, as well as their relief and rehabilitation agencies, were caught politically unprepared by the sudden collapse of Rommel’s North African army. They were not much better set for what has been following the preschedule conquest of Sicily.

Explore next moves

Now top military, naval and air officers are backed up by the best technical minds in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada in careful exploration of the next moves. It is not enough that the Axis is on the defensive in Europe as well as the Far East. The military smash must be formulated now.

The “post-smash” political and economic programs for liberated peoples also have to be blueprinted so far as is possible to the end that those people can be helped to political independence through the expected chaos following German and Italian defeats.

Obviously, there must be more thinking along these lines now for the European countries than for Asia, because defeat of Germany is nearer accomplishment than is that of Japan and full-scale punishment of the Japs will follow a military cleanup of Germany, if all of the United Nations – including Russia – are truly united in implementing it.

Work to continue

Military tactics were under consideration in Washington, Ottawa and London long before the staffs began assembling here 10 days ago. Their work will continue long after the turreted Château Frontenac, which jealously and secretly houses them all, and the little Clarendon Hotel, which is home to 200 impatient correspondents, broadcasters and cameramen, return to less hectic catering to tourists and war contractors.

But it began to appear today that the heavy-duty work of the whole conference, military as well as political, will be nearing conclusion by the weekend.

The pre-conference publicity, which was just opposite to the intense secrecy surrounding previous Roosevelt-Churchill pow-wows, and the wearying “no comment” suspense that has obtained since the main conferees got together, is clearly enough leading to what might be even sensational public announcements later on.

May amplify on charter

Naturally the generals and admirals are not going to say where Hitler and Tōjō are going to be hit next, but a lot could be said of satisfying interest in the Italian people, to the French, and to countries still under German control.


U.S. State Department (August 18, 1943)

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

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Foreign Secretary Eden
Mr. Harriman
Mr. Atherton

Hopkins-Eden meeting

United States United Kingdom
Mr. Hopkins Foreign Secretary Eden

Eden and Hopkins discussed the proposed tripartite meeting with the Soviet Union and the subjects in which that country was most interested – the second front, the western frontiers of the Soviet Union, and the post-war treatment of Germany.

The British Deputy Prime Minister to the Commander-in-Chief, AFHQ

London, August 19, 1943.

Most secret

For General Eisenhower’s eyes only from the Deputy Prime Minister.

To avoid inference which might be drawn from paragraph 3 of armistice terms, now in the hands of your staff officers travelling Lisbon, that we are “negotiating” with Badoglio Government, President and Prime Minister have agreed that after words “Commander-in-Chief” paragraph 3 should be amended to read “and none of these may now or at any time be evacuated to Germany.”

His Majesty’s Ambassador, Lisbon, has been informed.

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

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

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 19, 1943, 2:30 p.m.


Conclusions of the Previous Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 111th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.

Progress Report to the President and Prime Minister

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a draft progress report to the President and Prime Minister.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved the Progress Report to the President and Prime Minister.

“HABBAKUKS” (CCS 315-315/l)

Lord Louis Mountbatten said that HABBAKUKS might be regarded as floating seadromes or giant aircraft carriers. They could be used as floating advance landing grounds and could form a staging base for air attacks. They might ultimately be used for four-engined heavy bombers. He outlined the principal characteristics of the three types. He then referred to pykrete, the material from which it was proposed to construct HABBAKUK II. This might prove a strategic material of which there was an abundant supply. It was formed of a frozen mixture of diluted pulp and water, the latest type of which contained 94 per cent water. He gave details of the characteristics and strength of this material. A thousand-ton model had been built and had spent the summer in Lake Jasper, refrigeration being maintained by means of an engine of only 15 horsepower. He wished to emphasize that a HABBAKUK II, constructed of pykrete, had no limit to its size. Four-engined bombers could use them if they were built of sufficient dimensions or if adequate arrester gear and assisted takeoff could be arranged.

Sir Charles Portal said that the British Chiefs of Staff regarded HABBAKUK II as essentially a Pacific project. General Arnold had mentioned the difficulty of providing adequate bases in the Islands for the deployment of air forces for the bombardment of Japan. It would be a long time before the supply route to China allowed the maintenance of large air forces in that country and therefore the HABBAKUKS might be regarded as strategic bases or staging points for air attacks against Japan and would thus fill a gap in our facilities. They could be provided without impinging on other programs.

Admiral King said that he would agree to accept the recommendations contained in paragraph 8b of CCS 315.

In reply to a question by General Arnold, Lord Louis Mountbatten said that it was proposed that experiments and construction of pykrete sections for HABBAKUK II should proceed during the coming winter. If these experiments proved successful, construction could start in the spring of 1944 and the completed HABBAKUK be ready by the spring of 1945. In the meanwhile no delay must occur in the preparation of plans and construction of sites for the building of the HABBAKUKS. He asked that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should also approve the setting up of a U.S.-British-Canadian Board to press on with the whole matter, not only with regard to the winter experiments and the preparation of sites, but also with the preparation of drawings for the completed HABBAKUK. This Board should, in order to insure results, be asked to report monthly to the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Professor Bernal demonstrated with the aid of samples of pykrete the various qualities of this material.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note of paragraphs a, b, and c, of CCS 315/1.

b. Agreed to the construction of a section of HABBAKUK II, the continuation of design, and the study of the construction and of the facilities necessary for a full-size ship. This agreement to be incorporated as paragraph d in CCS 315/1.

c. Agreed that the appropriate United States, British and Canadian authorities should be invited to set up a Board forthwith to press on with the action agreed in b above, and to report progress monthly to the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Landing Craft

a. Manning of Landing Graft (CCS 286/3)
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to the modified proposal put forward by the British Chiefs of Staff in paragraph 2 of CCS 286/3.

b. Allocation of Landing Craft – Operation OVERLORD – Vehicle Lift (CCS 314)
The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed with the proposal of the British Chiefs of Staff in paragraph 4 of CCS 314 that the possibility of arranging an increase in the number of LCT (6) available for Overlord from American sources should be explored.

c. Allocation of Landing Ships and Craft – American Production (CCS 314/1-314/2)
Lord Louis Mountbatten explained that under the present ruling the Combined Munitions Assignments Board would feel themselves bound to allocate landing craft only to specifically projected operations. In order that the British should be able to play their part in operations in the Pacific, it was necessary for them to enter and train adequate personnel to man landing craft. If the present ruling were followed landing craft could be only allocated for specifically agreed operations which at present did not exist in the Pacific Theater. The British assault force which was in fact available and used for Operations TORCH and HUSKY had of necessity been built up before these actual operations were decided on. He felt that the allocation of landing craft should be based on agreed strategy rather than on agreed operations.

General Marshall said that the present position was such that there was everywhere a deficit of landing craft. Our operations were limited in many cases solely by the lack of these vessels. In view of this overall deficiency, he felt it essential to retain the ruling that landing craft should be allocated only to specifically agreed operations.

Admiral King said he would like to know the future construction program for landing craft in the United Kingdom. He appreciated the necessity for the provision of landing craft for training purposes.

Admiral King then suggested a modification to proposal 3b, in CCS 314/1, designed to meet Lord Louis Mountbatten’s point.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved paragraph 3b of the enclosure to CCS 314/1 modified to read as follows:

That the British should now work out their training requirements and submit requests for a corresponding share of U.S. production in 1944-45.

Use of “PLOUGH” Force (CCS 316)

General Marshall said that the U.S. Chiefs of Staff agreed with the proposal that the capabilities of the PLOUGH force should be communicated to General Eisenhower and General Morgan who should be asked to report to the Combined Chiefs of Staff whether these forces could be usefully employed in their theaters. This force had already been ordered to withdraw from Kiska.

Lord Louis Mountbatten suggested that it would assist the two commanders if a United States officer from PLOUGH force could proceed to the two theaters to give details of the capabilities of the force. He himself could also send an officer.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note that Admiral Nimitz and General De Witt had been directed to return the PLOUGH force to the United States on the first available transportation.

b. Concurred in the proposal presented in paragraph 4 of the enclosure to CCS 316.

Equipping Allies, Liberated Forces and Friendly Neutrals (CCS 317)

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Chiefs of Staff had not yet had time to consider this paper.

General Marshall put forward certain amendments to the paper, which were suggested by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff:
a. Took note of certain amendments presented by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff.
b. Agreed to defer action on the paper until the next meeting.

Special Operations in Sardinia

General Marshall said that though he had no reports from the theater commander on the matter, General Donovan had informed him of the excellent work accomplished by OSS personnel in Sicily. He had felt that even better results could have been obtained if they had been allowed to land prior to the operation, or at least in the first wave. He (General Marshall) believed that since no immediate military operations were planned against Sardinia, it would be well worthwhile to allow OSS and SOE to operate freely in this island. They might succeed in enabling an unopposed landing to be achieved or to seize airfields or other strategic points and hold them as centers of resistance. He had not, of course, as yet discussed this matter with General Donovan.

General Marshall then presented a draft telegram to General Eisenhower suggesting that OSS and SOE should be given a free hand to operate in the island of Sardinia.

Sir Alan Brooke asked for time to consider this proposal.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note of a proposal submitted by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff that General Eisenhower be requested to comment on a suggestion to gain an unopposed occupation of Sardinia by fifth column activities.

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Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 19 August 1943.

CCS 314/2

Allocation of Landing Ships and Craft – American Production

The United States Chiefs of Staff have considered the proposals presented by the British Chiefs of Staff in CCS 314/1. They feel that the provision of landing craft still constitutes a bottleneck in the conduct of military operations and will continue to do so for some time. At present there is no likelihood of a reserve in landing craft being created.

The whole subject of the allocation of landing craft is being explored by the Combined Staff Planners. However, the United States Chiefs of Staff feel the landing craft must continue to be allocated as necessary to meet the needs of specific operations.

Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 19 August 1943.

CCS 315/1


The U.S. Chiefs of Staff have given careful consideration to the proposals submitted by the British Chiefs of Staff in CCS 315 and have reached the following conclusions:
a. By the expenditure of extraordinary effort and consequent stoppage of other essential war projects, the construction of HABBAKUK II and an erecting plant therefor is feasible and might be completed as early as the end of 1945.

b. Construction of HABBAKUK III could possibly be accomplished by the end of 1945. Claims for invulnerability of HABBAKUK III to hull damage may be somewhat justified, but they are outweighed by the operating advantages inherent in conventional carrier types by virtue of speed, maneuverability, and operating refinements.

c. Due to the relatively small value of the HABBAKUKS in increasing the effectiveness of aircraft operation, and in view of the existing aircraft carrier program, the diversion of manpower and critical materials involved in their construction is not warranted.

Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 19 August 1943.

CCS 318

Sardinia, Fifth Column Activities

It is the opinion of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff that the present conditions of unrest in Italy might offer an opportunity for favorable results from fifth column activities in Sardinia. They therefore suggest that the following message be sent to General Eisenhower:

It is understood that you have sufficient troops available to assault Sardinia at this time. However, you are unable to do so due to lack of landing craft. This fact and the promising situation existing throughout the Italian area would appear to offer an excellent opportunity by means of fifth column activities to establish conditions in Sardinia for an unopposed occupation of that island. The OSS and SOE organizations might collaborate in accomplishing this. Furthermore, this presents an excellent opportunity to test the effectiveness of these organizations and to provide them with experience and training for future operations of a similar character. Your comments and recommendations are requested.

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Roosevelt-Churchill meeting, afternoon

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill

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

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

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 19, 1943, 5:30 p.m.


After welcoming the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the President and Prime Minister agreed that they should read through the Report of Progress which had been submitted to them. (NOTE: The amendments to the report that were directed by the President and Prime Minister have been included in a revised copy of the report and have been published as CCS 319.)

Mr. Hopkins raised the question as to whether POINTBLANK included air operations from Italy.

Sir Charles Portal said that it did not but it was anticipated that it might include such operations in the future. He said that one of the chief objectives of the POINTBLANK operation (in its first stage) was to destroy German fighter factories. Some of these can be better attacked from Italy.

General Arnold agreed and said it was contemplated that part of the POINTBLANK forces would eventually move so as to operate from Italian bases when they became available.

The President asked if the operation included attacks on Ploești.

General Arnold replied that the oil industry was one of the major objectives in the third phase of the plan and attacks on Ploești, if not specifically mentioned in the plan, could be included in that phase provided suitable bases had become available.

The President indicated that if we could reach bases as far north as Ancona in Italy they would be within striking distance of Ploești.

It was then agreed that the plan for the combined bomber offensive should include attacks from all convenient bases.

The Prime Minister discussed the paragraph pertaining to OVERLORD. He indicated that he was in favor of the plan but that it must [be] understood that its implementation depends on certain conditions being fulfilled regarding relative strengths. One of these was that there should not be more than 12 mobile German divisions in Northern France at the time the operation was mounted and that the Germans should not be capable of a buildup of more than 15 divisions in the succeeding 2 months. If the German strength proved to be considerably greater than this, the plan should be subject to revision by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Hopkins said he did not feel that the Allies should take a rigid view of these limitations. He suggested that there might be 13 German divisions, or even 15 German divisions at two-thirds strength. Also it would be difficult to assess what the German fighter strength would be at that time. In this regard, he felt that General Morgan’s report was inelastic.

The Prime Minister agreed that there should be elasticity in judgment in deciding as to whether or not the operation should be mounted. He wished to emphasize that he strongly favored OVERLORD for 1944. He was not in favor of SLEDGEHAMMER in 1942 or ROUNDUP in 1943. However, the objections which he had had to those operations have been removed. He said that every effort should be made to add at least twenty-five per cent strength to the initial assault. This would mean an increase in the landing craft necessary but there are nine months available before the target date and much can be done in that time. The beaches selected are good but it would be better if at the same time a landing were to be made on the inside beaches of the Cotentin Peninsula. The initial lodgment must be strong as it so largely affects later operations.

General Marshall agreed that an increase in initial assault would greatly strengthen the OVERLORD operation.

The President said that he would like to have the time of arrival of U.S. troops in England stepped up, and General Marshall indicated that a study with respect to this was now being made. He wished to emphasize that the shortage of landing craft places the greatest limitation on all of our operations. He cited the case of the Mediterranean, at the present time, and indicated that we could have made an entry into Italy before this, had landing craft been available.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Mr. Lewis Douglas, Mr. Averell Harriman, and Lord Leathers had made an intensive study on the shipping situation which indicates that a large increase will be available as a result of our success in anti-U-boat warfare.

Admiral King said that the prospects are excellent that there will be more landing craft available than we had previously anticipated.

The President said that a study is now being carried on looking toward the possibility of converting excess dry cargo ships into troop carriers. Such conversion takes about six months, but he felt that it should be carried out to the extent necessary to bring the cargo lift and troop lift into balance.

General Marshall reported that General Somervell is optimistic over the prospects of making up our present backlog in troop lift.

In discussing the paragraph pertaining to Italy, the President asked if it was contemplated sending French troops to Sardinia and Corsica. He thought it desirable to use them in an operation against Corsica but considered it best not to use them in an operation against Sardinia.

Sir Alan Brooke expressed the thought that an attack against Sardinia depends entirely on what the Germans do with the forces they now have on that island. There is a possibility in the case of a collapse of Italy that the German force will be withdrawn entirely. In that case Sardinia will fall with Italy and a military operation to obtain it will not be necessary.

The Prime Minister wanted it to be definitely understood that he was not committed to an advance into Northern Italy beyond the Ancona-Pisa Line.

Sir Alan Brooke doubted whether we should have enough troops to go beyond this line, but it was not yet possible to say.

The President asked if it was necessary to go further into Northern Italy in order to reach Germany with our aircraft.

Sir Charles Portal replied that it was not necessary but there was a distinct disadvantage in permitting the Germans to occupy the airfields in Northern Italy south of the Alps. This had a particularly bad effect in improving the warning service for all raids into Germany. Additionally, the airfields in Northern Italy have greater capacity than those in Central Italy. These need considerable work done on them before they can accommodate our big bombers.

In discussing the paragraph pertaining to a diversion in Southern France, the Prime Minister indicated that he would be hesitant in putting our good divisions into that area to meet the resistance which might be anticipated, and he doubted therefore if French divisions would be capable of an operation of the kind suggested.

Sir Alan Brooke said that such a diversion would, of course, depend on what the German reactions had been and that troops would only be landed in Southern France if the Germans had been forced to withdraw a number of their divisions from that area. There are two routes by which it might be accomplished: from West Italy if our forces in Italy had been able to advance that far north; otherwise the landing in Southern France would have to be an amphibious operation.

Mr. Eden asked if there would be adequate air cover for an amphibious operation against Southern France.

Sir Charles Portal replied that the air cover would not be good.

The Prime Minister thought that it would be well to consider, as an alternate plan, the possibility of flying supplies in for guerrillas who might be operating in the mountains thirty miles from the coast. This mountain area would constitute an excellent rendezvous point for Frenchmen who objected to being sent into Germany and who might take refuge there. He described such an operation as “air-nourished guerrilla warfare.”

It was agreed that the possibilities of this proposal should be explored.

With reference to the Balkans, the President asked if plans were being prepared as to the action we should take in the event that the Germans withdrew from the Balkans to the line of the Danube.

Sir Alan Brooke replied that of course any such action would depend on the forces available. He did not think there would be any surplus from our main operation.

The President said that he was most anxious to have the Balkans [sic] divisions which we have trained, particularly the Greeks and Yugoslavs, operate in their own countries. He thought it would be advantageous if they could follow up, maintain contact, and harass the withdrawal of the Germans if they should elect to withdraw to the Danube.

The Prime Minister suggested that Commando forces could also operate in support of the guerrillas on the Dalmatian coast.

The President then referred to a suggestion made by the Netherlands Government that 1,500 potential officers should be trained in the USA with a view to organizing, if the Germans withdrew, formations in Holland to take part in the struggle against Germany.

General Marshall said that this would present no difficulty.

The discussion then turned to the garrison requirements and security of lines of communication in the Mediterranean.

It was generally agreed that there would be about forty-seven divisions available for operations in that area. These include the French, Greeks, Yugoslavs, and Poles in addition to the divisions of the U.S. and U.K. Seven of the latter were due to be brought back to the U.K. for OVERLORD.

The Prime Minister said that there are several British divisions that have to be reconstituted and that every effort is being made to do this as soon as possible. One expedient is the sending of nine independent battalions to North Africa to take over the guard duty now being performed by active formations.

Sir Alan Brooke said, that the operations now envisaged made use of all the divisions that will be available. This, of course, is subject to fluctuation depending upon the enemy’s reactions. He estimated, however, that seventeen to twenty divisions would be required in Italy, one in Corsica and Sardinia, and these, together with garrison troops in Cyprus and North Africa, would limit those available for other offensive operations. There was also a shortage of antiaircraft artillery. So long as the Germans occupy Crete and Sardinia maintenance of anti-aircraft defense will be necessary in North Africa, However, every effort was being made to remedy this deficiency.

The President reiterated his desire to use the Yugoslav and Greek divisions in the Balkans if the opportunity arose.

The Prime Minister said that he believed that, barring the necessity to retain the oil output in the Balkans, it would be to the Germans’ advantage to withdraw from that area.

Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that there were other raw materials, particularly bauxite, which the Germans secured from the Balkans that would cause them to hesitate to withdraw.

The discussion then turned to the occupation of the Azores.

The President suggested that within a week or ten days after the British occupation of the Azores, he would send the Prime Minister a notice that a British and American convoy and some British and American air units were proceeding to the Azores and would expect to use the facilities of those islands. The British could then say to the Portuguese “that they were frightfully sorry that their cousins from overseas had descended upon them but that, having done so, there was little that they could do about it.”

The Prime Minister agreed to this plan. He pointed out that the British were not at fault in failing to obtain the immediate use of these facilities for the United States. He had kept the President informed of events. He said the British have not given President Salazar any assurance as to what forces would be sent to help Portugal in case of attack. The British had only committed themselves to declare war on Spain in the event that she attacked Portugal, and to afford such help to Portugal as was in their power against an attack by the Germans. He said that, if on the 8th of October, the British have entered the islands and no attack against Portugal had resulted, President Salazar would feel much better about permitting United States use of the Azores’ facilities. Immediately upon occupancy, the British will make every effort by diplomacy to obtain the permit for United States entry.

Mr. Eden said that it had always been visualized that this would be done. He suggested that the proposed American-British convoy might sail in about a fortnight after the British entry. He thought that timing was an extremely important factor but he felt confident that the situation could be handled to everyone’s satisfaction.

In discussing the command situation in Southeast Asia, the Prime Minister pointed out that the setup agreed upon did not exactly coincide with the Mac Arthur model. He asked General Marshall if it might not be possible to have a British liaison officer appointed to General MacArthur’s Staff.

General Marshall said that arrangements to accomplish this were under way at the present time, and, in addition, he was taking the necessary steps to see that the situation in the Southwest Pacific was adequately reported to the Prime Minister at frequent intervals.

When an examination of the final report had been concluded, the Prime Minister referred to the long-term plan for the defeat of Japan, on which he understood work had been proceeding ceaselessly since the last Conference. This plan was both strategical and technical. It would deal with such things as the best method of gaining access to China, the securing of airfields from which to bomb Japan, and the provision of synthetic harbors and HABBAKUKS. There was no doubt that the combined resources of the United States and the British Empire could produce whatever special equipment might be required to permit of the concentration of the enormous air forces which would be released to attack Japan after the defeat of Germany. But apart from such considerations, there were many political factors to be taken into account. Great Britain would be faced with difficulties in moving her veterans, many of whom would have been on continuous service for several years, forward into a new campaign. It might prove somewhat easier to arrange matters in the Navy and the Air Force, and in the war against Japan it would be the air which would be of vital importance. These difficulties would, of course, be overcome. Nevertheless he hoped that the work of the Planning Staffs would only be taken as foundation data. With their comparatively circumscribed viewpoint, the Planners could not be expected to produce final solutions to the problems confronting our two nations. He hoped the Combined Chiefs of Staff would not think themselves limited by the results of the Planners’ study of the war against Japan.

Admiral King said that the Chiefs of Staff never felt themselves so limited.

Continuing, the Prime Minister said that he did not view with favor the idea that a great expedition should be launched to retake Singapore in 1945. He was most anxious not to set an aim for that year which would paralyze action in 1944. The campaign of 1942-43 had been most ineffective, and he felt ashamed that results in this theater had not been better. It was now proposed in the coming winter to extend the operation of the long-range penetration groups in Northern Burma, and he thought this should be supplemented by the seizure of the tip of Sumatra. If a strong air force could be lodged there, the Japanese could be brought to action, their shipping could be bombed, and they would be forced to gather resources to react against our initiative. Options would be kept open for subsequent action in either direction. Whatever happened, we must not let an ultimate objective paralyze intervening action, and he earnestly hoped that the Combined Chiefs of Staff would examine the possibilities in the Southeast Asian Theater, with the object of doing the utmost possible to engage all forces against the Japanese. Only in this way would our overwhelming superiority achieve rapid results against the waning strength of the enemy.

The President said that he looked at the problem from a rather different angle. The position occupied by the Japanese might be compared to a slice of pie, with Japan at the apex, and with the island barrier forming the outside crust. One side of the piece of pie passed through Burma, the other led down to the Solomons. He quite saw the advantage of an attack on Sumatra, but he doubted whether there were sufficient resources to allow of both the opening of the Burma Road and the attack on Sumatra. He would rather see all resources concentrated on the Burma Road, which represented the shortest line through China to Japan. He favored attacks which would aim at hitting the edge of the pie as near to the apex as possible, rather than attacks which nibbled at the crust. Thus, provided Yunnan could be securely held, an air force could be built up through Burma in China, which would carry out damaging attacks on Japanese shipping. At the same time the attack through the Gilberts and Marshalls to Truk would strike the opposite edge of the slice of pie. If one might judge by the operations in the Solomon Islands, it would take many years to reach Japan, but the other side of the picture was the heavy attrition to which the Japanese forces were subjected in these operations.

The Prime Minister expressed his agreement with the President’s simile, but inquired whether the conquest of Southern Burma was really necessary. The problem in Burma was not so much the finding of forces to deploy, but rather of overcoming the difficulties of an exiguous line of communication, and of a monsoon which limited operations to six months in the year. Burma was the worst possible place in which to fight, and operations could only be carried on by a comparatively small number of high-class troops. There were large forces in the Southeast Asia Command, and it was for this reason that he hoped to see an attack on the Sumatran tip. An attack on Akyab could hardly be regarded as profitable.

The President said that he also had never thought much of the idea of taking Akyab or Rangoon. The Generalissimo had favored the attack on Rangoon, because he thought that it would interfere with the Japanese communications, but these probably now ran across land from Bangkok, and the Japanese were in any event not so dependent on their line of communication as the Allied troops.

The Prime Minister said that he favored the extension of Wingate’s operations in Northern Burma, and the supporting advances; but he wished to emphasize his conviction that the attack on Sumatra was the great strategic blow which should be struck in 1944. CULVERIN would be the TORCH of the Indian Ocean. In his opinion, it would not be beyond the compass of our resources. We should be striking and seizing a point of our own choice, against which the Japanese would have to beat themselves if they wished to end the severe drain which would be imposed upon their shipping by the air forces from Sumatra.

The President suggested that the Sumatra operation would be heading away from the main direction of our advance to Japan.

The Prime Minister said that nevertheless it would greatly facilitate the direct advances. The alternative would be to waste the entire year, with nothing to show for it but Akyab and the future right to toil through the swamps of Southern Burma, He earnestly hoped that careful and sympathetic study would be given to this, the Sumatra project, which he was convinced was strategically of the highest importance. He would compare it, in its promise of decisive consequences, with the Dardanelles operation of 1915.

The Prime Minister then read to the meeting a telegram recently received from General Auchinleck, reporting the opinion of Admiral Somerville that greater resources than had hitherto been deemed necessary would be required for the operations at Akyab.

The Prime Minister observed that Akyab, the importance of which had apparently been overlooked in the retreat from Burma, and which we had failed to take last winter, had now been turned into a kind of Plevna. It was against this that we proposed to employ the whole of our amphibious resources in the Indian Ocean in 1943-44. He could not believe that this was right.

The President inquired whether the possession of Akyab was essential for an attack on Rangoon.

General Arnold said that it would certainly be useful in improving the scale of air attack which could be brought to bear on Rangoon, and possibly on Bangkok, but he doubted whether it was essential.

Admiral King said that he had always understood that Akyab was required in order that attacks might be made against the Japanese line of communication northward from Rangoon.

General Marshall said that the principal importance of Akyab was as a stepping-stone to the conquest of Southern Burma.

Reference was then made to the air route to China, and General Arnold reported that the figure of 7,000 tons was almost certain to be reached in August.

The President then inquired what would be the relationship between the Generalissimo and the new Allied Commander-in-Chief of the Southeast Asia Command.

He was informed that their relationship would be that of two neighboring Commanders-in-Chief. Liaison would be insured by the fact that General Stilwell would be the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Southeast Asia Command, and also Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo. The arrangements made for the new command guarded against the diversion of resources destined for China, unless agreed upon by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

The President then suggested that it would be necessary to include in the final report a carefully considered paragraph relating to our action in support of Russia.

He was informed that this was under consideration, and an appropriate paragraph would be included.

The meeting then adjourned.

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