Québec Conference 1943 (QUADRANT)

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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The Combined Chiefs of Staff to President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill

Québec, 19 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 319

Progress Report to the President and Prime Minister

  1. The Combined Chiefs of Staff submit the following report on the progress made so far in the QUADRANT Conference.

  2. We have agreed to accept tentatively Sections I, II and III of the final report made to you at the TRIDENT Conference as a basis for use in this Conference. These sections, covering the Overall Objective, the Overall Strategic Concept for the Prosecution of the War, and the Basic Undertakings in Support of the Overall Strategic Concept, to be reaffirmed at the conclusion of the present Conference.

Strategic concept for the defeat of the Axis in Europe

  1. We have approved the following strategic concept of operations for the defeat of the Axis Powers in Europe, 1943-44.

  2. Operation POINTBLANK
    The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system, the disruption of vital elements of lines of communication, and the material reduction of German air combat strength by the successful prosecution of the Combined Bomber Offensive from all convenient bases is a prerequisite to OVERLORD (barring an independent and complete Russian victory before OVERLORD can be mounted). This operation must therefore continue to have highest strategic priority.

  3. Operation OVERLORD
    [Subparagraphs a, b, and c are identical with the subparagraphs of paragraph 3 of CCS 303/3.]

We have approved the outline plan of General Morgan for Operation OVERLORD and have authorized him to proceed with the detailed planning and with full preparations.

  1. Operations in Italy
    [This paragraph is identical with paragraph 4 of CCS 303/3.]

  2. Operations in Southern France

Offensive operations against Southern France (to include the use of trained and equipped French forces), should be undertaken to establish a lodgement in the Toulon-Marseilles area and exploit northward in order to create a diversion in connection with OVERLORD. Air nourished guerilla operations in the Southern Alps will, if possible, be initiated.

  1. Air Operations
    [This paragraph is identical with paragraph 6 of CCS 303/3, except that the cross-reference in subparagraph d has been changed to read “(see paragraph 10 below).”]

  2. Operations at Sea
    [This paragraph is identical with paragraph 7 of CCS 303/3.]

  3. Operations in the Balkans

Operations in the Balkan area will be limited to supply of Balkan guerillas by air and sea transport, to minor Commando forces, and to the bombing of Ploești and other strategic objectives from Italian bases.

  1. Garrison Requirements and Security of Lines of Communication in the Mediterranean
    [This paragraph is identical with paragraph 9 of CCS 303/3, except that the parenthetical reference to appendix A to CCS 303 is omitted.]

The U-boat war

  1. Progress Report

We have had encouraging reports from the Chiefs of the two Naval Staffs regarding the U-boat war. We have approved recommendations made by the Allied Submarine Board which should result in further strengthening our anti-U-boat operations. The board has been directed to continue and expand its studies in search of further improvements.

Portuguese islands

  1. Facilities in the Azores Islands

On the successful conclusion of the negotiations for the use of the Azores we have taken note of the assurance given by the British Chiefs of Staff that everything will be done by the British as soon as possible after actual entry into the Azores has been gained to make arrangements for their operational and transit use by U.S. aircraft.

The war against Japan

  1. Southeast Asia Command

We have considered the proposals of the British Chiefs of Staff for the setup of the Southeast Asia Command.

On the question of Command relationship, we have agreed:
a. That the Combined Chiefs of Staff will exercise a general jurisdiction over the strategy for the Southeast Asia Theater and the allocation of American and British resources of all kinds between the China Theater and the Southeast Asia Command.

b. That the British Chiefs of Staff will exercise jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to operations, and will be the channel through which all instructions to the Supreme Commander are passed.

We are giving further consideration to:
c. The precise duties of General Stilwell as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander; and
d. Arrangements for the coordination of American agencies such as OSS, OWI, FCB, etc., with comparable British organizations.

  1. Operations in the Pacific and Far East

a. We have given preliminary consideration to a memorandum by the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff on specific operations in the Pacific and Far East 1943-44.

b. We have had an account from Brigadier Wingate of the experiences of the long-range penetration groups which were employed in Northern Burma in the early part of this year. We think that there is much to be said for further developing this method of conducting operations on a larger scale against the Japanese, and are working out plans to give effect to this policy.

c. We have not yet considered specific operations in Northern Burma or the Arakan Coast for 1943-44, pending the receipt of further information about the logistic situation which has been created by the disastrous floods in India.

d. Meanwhile the Combined Staff Planners have completed in outline a long-term plan for the defeat of Japan. This has not yet been considered. We propose to review specific operations in the Pacific and Far East for 1943-44 (See a, b and c above) in the light of the conclusions reached on this larger question.

Remainder of the conference

  1. Before we separate, we proposed to discuss the following matters:
    a. Immediate operations in the Mediterranean;
    b. Emergency return to the Continent;
    c. Military considerations in relation to Spain;
    d. Military considerations in relation to Turkey;
    e. Military considerations in relation to Russia;
    f. Equipment of Allies, liberated forces and friendly neutrals;
    g. A number of miscellaneous matters.
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Note by the Secretaries of the Combined Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 19 August 1943.


The following summary of recent correspondence with AFHQ North African Theater relating to post-HUSKY operations, has been made for the convenience of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in connection with the discussion on post-HUSKY operations tabled for the 113th Meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff, 20 August 1943.


Combined Secretariat


Summary of Messages Exchanged with AFHQ

NAF 250 From General Eisenhower, dated 30 June 1943

This message summarizes the operations following HUSKY that General Eisenhower considers to be possible assuming that seven veteran divisions will be sent to the U.K. In paragraph five he states:

In order to be in a position to take advantage of whichever line of action shows itself more likely to achieve my mission, I have arranged for planning to be undertaken for:

  • a. Operation BUTTRESS and Operation GOBLET.

  • b. Operation BUTTRESS followed by a rapid overland exploitation to the Heel, Naples, and Rome, and a reinforcement by sea of three divisions into Naples.

  • c. Operation BRIMSTONE both on a full and modified scale, the latter being in sufficient strength to overcome German resistance if Italian Army has ceased to fight.

  • d. After Operation BRIMSTONE, it may be possible to carry out Operation FIREBRAND. The French are now actively examining this problem.

FAN 165 From the Combined Chiefs of Staff, dated 16 July 1943

The strategic concept in your NAF 250 accepted for planning purposes. In addition, the Combined Chiefs of Staff wish to express their interest in the possibilities of a direct amphibious landing operation against Naples in lieu of an attack on Sardinia, if the indications regarding Italian resistance should make the risks involved worthwhile.

NAF 265 From General Eisenhower, dated 18 July 1943

The last paragraph is as follows:

In view of these considerations and assuming that substantial German reinforcement in Southern Italy has not taken place, I recommend carrying the war to the mainland of Italy immediately Sicily has been captured, and request very early approval in order that no time be lost in making preparation.

FAN 169 From the Combined Chiefs of Staff to General Eisenhower, dated 20 July 1943

The recommendations contained in the last paragraph of your NAF 265 are approved, you should, however, extend your amphibious operations northward as far as shore-based fighter cover can be made effective.

FAN 175 From the Combined Chiefs of Staff, dated 26 July 1943

With the object of expediting the elimination of Italy from the war, the Combined Chiefs of Staff consider you should plan forthwith AVALANCHE to be mounted at the earliest possible date, using the resources already available to you for PRICELESS. …

NAF 303 From General Eisenhower, dated 28 July 1943

The air problem facing us in AVALANCHE is one of some difficulty, first, because of the distance from possible bases to provide cover for the initial assault and second, because of the increased effort required for neutralization of hostile air and disrupting lines of communications. Another difficulty arises because of the intensive air effort we have been maintaining for some weeks and the additional necessity for continuing this effort in a rapid cleanup of the HUSKY Operation. This cleanup is an essential preliminary to the AVALANCHE Operation in order to get necessary airfields and to have a reasonable bridgehead in the BUTTRESS area in order that German reserves may not be, with immunity, rushed directly to the point of landing.

NAF 307 From General Eisenhower, dated 2 August 1943

This reads in part:

Yesterday I had a meeting with the three commanders in chief. Conclusions reached were in line with those reported following a similar conference of a week ago. We are positive that a lodgment must be made in the BUTTRESS area before any bold stroke should be attempted such as AVALANCHE. On the other hand, our hope is that this lodgment can be made without employing troops otherwise available for AVALANCHE. If ad hoc crossing of Straits proves too difficult, and former landing operations in close support of that effort are forced upon us, then the AVALANCHE project must be delayed materially.…

NAF 318 From General Eisenhower, dated 10 August 1943

This message reads in part:

Meeting of commanders in chief was held today in Tunis. General agreement to effect that every effort must be made to mount AVALANCHE with 10th Corps so equipped with landing craft that it can be used either on that operation or on BUTTRESS if latter proves to be necessary. Every effort must be made to establish a bridgehead on Toe employing only troops and means now in Sicily. Agreed that we should avoid, if humanly possible, penning up sizeable forces in Toe where they could be rather easily contained, particularly since to do so would practically eliminate any chance of AVALANCHE type of operation this year. This is because of necessary use of landing craft in maintaining over beaches the troops we would have in Toe.

From the above, it appears that General Eisenhower has been given definite authority to operate against the mainland of Italy with a very distinct preference expressed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff for Operation AVALANCHE. General Eisenhower, on the other hand, has indicated that to do AVALANCHE, either BUTTRESS or an ad hoc crossing of the Sicily troops to the Toe of Italy must be effected in order to provide shore-based air cover for AVALANCHE. This conception has at least the tacit approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

W6959 From General Bedell Smith to General Whiteley, dated 10 August 1943

This signal gave information regarding AVALANCHE. Timing of all future operations must depend primarily upon date of completion of Sicilian campaign. All commanders were agreed that the establishment of considerable forces in Calabria would almost certainly result in stalemate being reached in Calabria this year, or at best, would permit only slow, laborious advance. Number of landing craft required would prevent any further amphibious operation this year on the scale of AVALANCHE. Two months from now weather conditions would prevent use of strips in Calabria and unless we could obtain all-weather airfields such as exist in Naples area, we should be unable to apply our air strength and would be unable to count upon the degree of air supremacy enjoyed up till now.

Previous conclusions confirmed that prior to AVALANCHE it was essential to obtain small bridgehead in Calabria in order to open Straits, hold German troops in Calabria and prevent them being employed in reinforcement of AVALANCHE area. Ability to do this and at the same time to launch AVALANCHE dependent entirely on serviceability of landing craft. Assessment being made of minimum landing craft requirements to see whether BAYTOWN or AVALANCHE could be mounted at or about the same time. Risks of AVALANCHE fully appreciated, particularly in light of apparent German reinforcement of Italy. Considered, however, that prize to be gained makes considerable risk acceptable. By air action in meantime it might be possible to make Italian people force a policy of non-cooperation with Germany on present Italian Government and so make Avalanche easier. As circumstances at the time might prevent launching of AVALANCHE allocation of landing craft and loading of 10th Corps to proceed so that it could be employed either in BUTTRESS or AVALANCHE. Following decisions therefore made:

  • To proceed with AVALANCHE preparations with target date 7 September.

  • Flexibility of 10th Corps and allocation of landing craft to be such that either BUTTRESS or AVALANCHE could be launched.

  • 8th Army to make every effort to seize bridgehead with resources of craft remaining after allocation to 10th Corps.

  • Actual dates of operations to depend upon date of completion of Sicilian Battle.

  • Operations BARRACUDA and GOBLET cancelled.

  • 5th Corps to be in AFHQ reserve.

  • Air effort against communications in Italy to be maintained at highest possible level consistent with maintenance requirements.

W7323 From General Bedell Smith to General Whiteley, dated 14 August 1943

Gave provisional figures of buildup dependent on:
a. Whether BAYTOWN-AVALANCHE mounted, or BAYTOWN-BUTTRESS mounted.
b. Date of initial assault.
c. Progress made on mainland.

d. State of port of Naples when captured.
If German resistance in Calabria weakens and BAYTOWN can be exploited, intention is for 8th Army to move into Calabria and advance north and east with a view to joining up with AVALANCHE forces and occupying Heel. Maximum number of divisions which can be maintained through Calabria is 6. Forces available for further buildup, if required: one U.S. division, ex Sicily; two French divisions; 5 corps of two or three divisions from Middle East; First and Sixth Armored Divisions; further French divisions. Assuming target date for AVALANCHE 7th September, it appeared that the following forces could be put on the mainland through Naples by 1st December. Either 6 divisions and tactical air force, or 5 divisions plus tactical and strategical air force. In addition 3 divisions through the Toe and possibly up to 3 further divisions by ferry service into Calabria from Sicily. Estimated rate of buildup after 1st December might be one Division per month. LSTs essential for the above buildup until at least 1st December. The above based on no shipping limitations.

W7445 From General Bedell Smith to General Whiteley, Dated 15th August 1943

Results of AVALANCHE and succeeding operations likely to depend upon buildup race between the Germans and ourselves. Once we can get a firm hold on the Naples Area we should be well placed but it is at least probable that thereafter we may have to fight our way slowly and painfully up Italy. The difficulty of amphibious and overland operations against Southern France should not be minimized. Desirable areas in Southern France for amphibious assault cannot be reached by shore-based single-engined fighters operating either from Northern Italy or Corsica. Ability to undertake amphibious operation therefore dependent on German air strength in Europe being so reduced or otherwise committed that assault can take place under cover of carrier-borne or twin-engined fighters. Availability of land forces will depend upon defensive commitments in Northern Italy, which should not exceed a maximum of 10 divisions, and on our ability to equip and transport remainder of divisions then in Mediterranean. Estimate that 24 divisions will be available, of which perhaps not more than 16 will be fit for operations.

NAF 326, 16th August, From General Eisenhower

In spite of every effort, enemy is succeeding in evacuating much personnel and light equipment across the Straits. Crossing the Straits should be attempted by us as quickly as necessary supporting guns and supplies can be accumulated. Present indications as to date between September 1st and 4th, and for AVALANCHE target date September 9th. Since a 10-day interval between the two assaults would greatly alleviate difficulties in landing craft, we are straining every nerve to make the first assault on the earliest possible date.

From General Bedell Smith to General Whiteley, dated 17 August 1943

AVALANCHE will be undertaken before next moonlight period and preceded at maximum interval by BAYTOWN, which hoped to launch before end of August or early September. Target date AVALANCHE may be deferred till September 11th.

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Roosevelt-Churchill dinner meeting, 9:30 p.m.

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill
Mr. Hopkins Mrs. Churchill
Subaltern Mary Churchill

Roosevelt dined with the Churchill family and Hopkins, and that Roosevelt and Churchill were closeted for several hours following dinner.

The Pittsburgh Press (August 20, 1943)

Québec hints –
Aerial blitz will precede invasion move

But it doesn’t mean Allies will not attack Europe soon

Québec City, Canada (UP) –
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill – while aware of Russian demands for a second front – were believed today to have decided to give airpower its chance to crush Germany first and, in any event, to blast such a path of destruction that land armies may invade Europe with the fewest possible casualties.

Accompanying this first crushing phase will be reminders to the German people that they have the alternative of getting out of the war or seeing the Allies “bomb, burn and destroy” everything in their path.

Conference nears close

It was emphasized that this does not mean that the date of an Allied landing has not been fixed nor that it may not come sooner than ordinarily expected. It does mean, however, that the lessons of Pantelleria and Sicily have taught United Nations leaders the value of intensive air preparations in appreciably shortening any campaign.

The President and Prime Minister were drawing near the end of their historic sixth wartime meeting and late today were to be joined by Secretary of State Cordell Hull who, with British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, will be given a review of decisions as they affect Anglo-American foreign policy.

The four will have dinner at the Citadel tonight.

Meanwhile, it was reported today that Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill have committed themselves to “bomb, burn and ruthlessly destroy the people responsible for creating the war” and have approved plans to invade Hitler’s Europe.

Japan to be levelled

As for Japan, that country will be “levelled” by the combined military might of Great Britain and the United States, once Hitler is finished.

The determination of the two leaders was made known here by British Information Minister Brendan Bracken, who indicated that the new pledges will be contained in a “Declaration of Québec,” expected to go far beyond the Casablanca “unconditional surrender” statement.

Meanwhile, it was understood here that plans for pounding into the European fortress had reached such an advanced stage that Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill have agreed on the general who will lead the assault on Western Europe.

Closest military secrecy naturally surrounded both military plans and the name of the military leader, but it became apparent that the welter of speculation produced by the conference is welcomed by the leaders as a convenient smokescreen.

The most touted choice for the Allied command was said to be Gen. Harold Alexander, chief of land operations under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Mediterranean area. He is reputed to be Mr. Churchill’s choice. Though Gen. Eisenhower is considered a contender, his services probably would be needed in his present post in the event of a simultaneous smash from the south. A third speculation centered on some dark horse, such as Maj. Gen. Alexander Gatehouse, commander of the armored forces at El Alamein.

Warning to Germans

Also, it was understood today, a direct warning to the German people that they must get out of the war or suffer “utter destruction” is being drafted by Messrs. Roosevelt and Churchill and their military and foreign affairs experts.

The appeal will not be made until the Allies are poised for a leap onto the continent of Europe. Then the population of Germany will be told with bombs as well as words that the time has come when they are to be “ruthlessly attacked.”

The public was told by Mr. Bracken yesterday not to expect any “real” news from the conferences. Mr. Bracken meant that it would be foolish to expect the two leaders to give the enemy an accurate idea of what is coming next. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill, however, were expected to do their part in the “war of nerves” by concluding their talks here with a press conference that will bristle with predictions of doom for the Axis leaders and their followers responsible for plunging the world into war.

‘Vital’ decisions

Mr. Bracken confirmed that the conferences are producing military decisions of “vital” import. He promised that after the fall of Germany, the British Empire will throw its “full might” against the Japs.

When Mr. Bracken said that while the war was going along “well indeed” for the Allies, the road ahead still remained “long and hard,” the correspondent of the official Russian news agency asked whether he made any distinction between Europe and the Far East.

The bushy-haired minister replied:

It is all one war. Great Britain will not lay down our arms until we have completely conquered and inflicted exemplary punishment on the Japanese.

Bitter against Japs

The plans being drawn were to “bomb and burn and ruthlessly destroy in every way available to us the people responsible for creating this war,” Mr. Bracken said.

Mr. Bracken talked to newsmen after he had conferred with Mr. Churchill.

Mr. Bracken was bitter in his discussion of the Japanese, describing them as seemingly “content to live on blood.”

He seemed particularly anxious to offset any idea that, once Germany is beaten, the British will “pull out” of the war and leave the Japanese to the Americans.

He repeated:

It is all one war.

Warning correspondents to expect no real, factual information from Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Churchill, Mr. Bracken said:

The time will come when Hitler and Tōjō and their tribe of gangsters will get the news of Québec.

The news will come from the men in the Citadel through their generals, admirals and air marshals leading force fighting forces.

What of the Pacific?

Questions involving the Pacific loomed up with new importance after the Bracken press conference because of one off-trail remark of his. Talking about how Britain will fight to the finish of Japan, he said quietly:

We have very good sailors and bombers, and none of our Allies will be the slightest bit disappointed with our efforts.

Mr. Bracken’s casual remarks about Britain’s “good sailors” fitted in with reports that the naval situation in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean is easing to the point where Great Britain can transfer a large naval force from the Atlantic to the Pacific where, as the Allied timetable unfolds, the pressure on Japan will be increased.

Disposition of British naval strength may have been one of the big questions worked out here.

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Québec Conference costs $8,000 a day

Québec, Canada (UP) –
It is costing the Canadian government $8,000 a day to play host to the Québec Conference, Dr. E. H. Coleman, Canadian Under Secretary of State, said today.

Dr. Coleman, in charge of arrangements, said this amount is being paid to the Canadian Pacific Railway, owners of the Château Frontenac Hotel, which had been taken over by the government for the conference. He said he considered the rate “most reasonable.”

All the Canadians are on one floor, the British and Americans are distributed in alternate floors.

At the Citadel, Prime Minister Churchill has the ground floor at one end of the building, and President Roosevelt has the upper floor, which opens out on to the terrace.

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Little incidents at Québec –
Bickel: Churchill works at night, Roosevelt is early riser

And between the two, you see, they keep the Axis jittery with an around-the-clock attack
By Karl A. Bickel, Scripps-Howard staff writer

Québec, Canada –
There is an amiable and rather distinguished lamp post just to the left of the cavern-like entrance to the Château Frontenac that has become a center of journalistic interest here of late and where in consequence practically a continuous press conference is held.

The lamp post observed today:

Everything that I say is entirely on the record and based upon careful study of the best trends, military, naval and economic, as I have observed them drift in and out of the Château over the past 48 hours.

Thereupon the lamp post expounds the situation.

It is out of material no deeper than that the reports on plots and plans and intrigues developing out of the three-man conversations in the long rooms inside the old Citadel on the hill emanate. To date, Messrs. Roosevelt, Churchill and King have been at it, off and on, for something over 50 hours and little incidents do escape.

Churchill works late

Mr. Churchill, it develops, does his best thinking after midnight and loves to roam about his suite mulling over his plans, checking on maps and papers, comfortably enwrapped in a big dressing gown and smoking one of those terrific cigars that alone would lay most men out. If it is at all possible, he loves to break into the Roosevelt bedroom some hour after 1 a.m. and try out a sudden inspiration on the presidential mind. The grapevine has it that if there is any one thing that could cause a rift of irritation between the two great men, it’s occasioned by these early morning impulses on the part of the Prime Minister.

On the other hand, Mr. Roosevelt, it is said, works best in the early morning hours and thus when the Prime Minister emerges from his quarters later in the morning, the President is all set for him. And so, between the two and with the active support of Mr. King and Mr. Eden, an around-the-clock psychological attack upon the Axis is maintained.

Work when they praise

Early in the day, a procession of generals, admirals, political and economic experts and others file out of the Château for Mr. Roosevelt’s headquarters. Before 8 o’clock, the President is receiving them, getting compact memorandums that he is so insistent upon, checking up points that arouse his interest, indicating new lines for further investigation. Newcomers appear as the earlier groups are disposed of, and until noon, the President is busy receiving and absorbing information he needs for later conferences with Churchill, King and Eden.

There is not set time for the conferences between Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt. The two are housed together in the Citadel and their apartments open into the same general living quarters.

They do their work as they like and then wander into the general quarters and meet. Whenever they meet, the conference is on.

There is a feeling here that the conference is developing into a much bigger thing than was originally planned. Earlier thought that it was primarily to cover the Pacific area must be discarded because it is obviously covering the whole field of conflict today and the evolution of that conflict tomorrow.

It is obvious too that Russia is much in the minds of the two men, and while Joseph Stalin is not in the comfortable living rooms of the Citadel in person, he is there in fact every moment of the day.

Although no hint is given as to future plans for a direct contact with the Russian leader, it is felt that it is inevitable that such a meeting must follow this one and soon. And that if it is held, it will probably be in Moscow.

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Russians ask second front talks – ‘soon’

‘And action must follow,’ Moscow newspaper’s editorial says

Moscow, USSR (UP) –
The authoritative political review War and the Working Class said today that a British-Soviet-American conference called for the avowed purposes of solving the question most important to the Soviet Union – the second front – would be most welcome, but must not be “just another conference.”

Saying that the time had come “to pass from words to action,” the review declared editorially that while the Québec Conferences consolidated the British and American bloc:

Québec, as can be seen from the number of its participants, does not yet express the viewpoint of the whole Anglo-Soviet-American coalition.

The statement was the first authoritative comment here on the Québec Conference since the TASS News Agency announced that Russia was not invited.

‘Must solve problems’

The review said:

Many people who are seriously worried about necessity of intensifying the war effort of all three countries and who are truly interested in the common cause, raise the question of a conference of representatives of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States.

Of course, such a conference must not be just another conference after which the most important problems, as the fight against Hitlerite Germany, will remain unsolved.

‘Way for early victory’

Presently when quick decisive actions are particularly necessary, a conference of the three powers should decide the principal and most urgent question – a question of shortening the war.

The publication maintained that the military situation was such that the coalition could accomplish a victory over Germany and its vassals this year, but said postponement of the second front in Europe until next year would prolong the war and “once more put off the collapse of Hitlerite Germany.”

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Editorial: The Québec question

Inclusion of Secretary of State Hull and Foreign Minister Eden in the Anglo-American war conference is welcome proof that delayed problems of foreign political policy will be faced jointly. That most of them will be solved – or indeed can be solved without the presence of other Allies – is too much to expect. But at least more political unity between London and Washington can be achieved on French, Italian and Russian questions, to mention only a few; and that is the necessary beginning for larger Allied agreement.

The Nazi propaganda radio now blatantly extends the feelers for a fake peace which Berlin and Rome have been making less publicly for months, particularly since the fall of Mussolini. The danger that the Axis in losing the war will win the peace, by a convenient change of color and other hocus-pocus to wangle soft terms instead of unconditional surrender is one with which the Québec conferees must deal.

This is the basic issue in Allied policy toward Italy today, and will soon be in our policy relating to such satellite countries as Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as Fascist Spain.

Also, the same issue is involved in Allied disagreement concerning Eastern European frontiers in particular and the post-war political settlement in general. Russia wants the Baltic states, and parts of Finland, Poland and Romania.

In addition to those territories which Stalin considers essential to Russian security, he is also said to want to dominate or protect Eastern Europe and northern Iran in exchange for sanctioning British spheres of influence in Western Europe and southern Iran.

Will Russia, or Britain, or the United States, or all three, or the United Nations as a whole, have the determining voice in Germany’s status? Stalin’s own statements and the manifesto of his Moscow “Free Germany Committee” indicate that Russia might be willing to make a soft peace with the German Army after the fall of Hitlerism, while the Churchill-Roosevelt terms are unconditional surrender.

These differences cannot be solved by ignoring them. Recent experience proves they grow worse unless faced. Somehow an agreement on basic European policy must be reached with Stalin. Presumably that will be possible only after a prior tentative agreement by Britain and the United States, plus a willingness to meet Russia partway in a mutual adjustment to which all can give vigorous support.

Meanwhile, the sweep of military events is determining political events to our disadvantage. The fall of Mussolini caught the Allies political unprepared, which enabled Hitler and Badoglio to strengthen the Nazi hold on northern Italian bases which we had hoped to get. Of more importance, Russian advances on the Eastern Front are giving Stalin dominant influence in a future German settlement because there is neither an Allied political agreement or a Western land front. Where and when the Western Allies invade the continent are questions of vast political consequence.

Thus, military and political problems have been fused by the heat of battle, and no longer can be separated. This is nobody’s fault. It is inevitable that military victories precipitate political questions. This is embarrassing, but it is a great opportunity for statesmanship.

The hope is that Allied statesmen – including Stalin – are realistic enough to know that they must stick together, that if Germany can divide them, she certainly will win the peace and may even win the war.

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U.S. State Department (August 20, 1943)

Roosevelt-Churchill discussions

United States United Kingdom
President Roosevelt Prime Minister Churchill

Roosevelt and Churchill, accompanied by Hopkins, Harriman, Brown, Mrs. Churchill, and Thompson, went on a fishing trip, and that Roosevelt and Churchill had an opportunity for discussions during the drive to and from Lac de L’Épaule. According to an informal memorandum by Harriman, which states that Roosevelt and Churchill “had a discussion of the Pacific war after lunch” and contains the following details of the conversation:

The Prime Minister was arguing for “S[umatra]” which I gathered did not particularly appeal to the President. The Prime Minister was enthusiastic over this conception. As a matter of fact, it is impossible because the shipping is not available. The President was more interested in “B[urma].” The President used most of the glasses and saltcellars on the table making a “V”-shaped diagram to describe the Japanese position in the semi-circular quadrant from western China to the South Pacific, indicating the advantages of striking from either side, thereby capturing the sustaining glasses, and the disadvantage of trying to remove the outer ones one by one. It was not too serious but a pleasant relaxation.

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

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

Combined Chiefs of Staff Minutes

August 20, 1943, 2:30 p.m.


Conclusions of the Previous Meeting

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Accepted the conclusions of the 112th Meeting. The detailed record of the meeting was also accepted, subject to minor amendments.

Naval and Air Commanders for Operation OVERLORD

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed to the following British suggestion for Air and Naval Commanders for OVERLORD:

Naval Commander: Commander-in-Chief Portsmouth (Admiral Sir Charles Little)
Air Commander: Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Fighter Command (Air Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory)

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

Sir Alan Brooke said that he would like to have time to refer this matter to London where the officers most qualified to advise were situated. It might be necessary to handle it at a later date through the Joint Staff Mission.

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

Sardinia – Fifth Column Activities (CCS 318/1)

Previous Reference: CCS 112th Mtg. Min, Item 7.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a draft telegram to General Eisenhower on the subject of the use of OSS and SOE organizations in Sardinia.

Sir Alan Brooke suggested certain amendments to this telegram, including a reference to operations in Corsica.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Agreed, with certain amendments, to the dispatch to General Eisenhower of the signal contained in CCS 318/1 (Subsequently dispatched as FAN 198).

Appreciation and Plan for the Defeat of Japan (CCS 313)

Sir Alan Brooke said that the British Chiefs of Staff had not had sufficient time to arrive at a definite conclusion with regard to the plan and would like to hear the views of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff. The early action required by U.S. forces in the Pacific appeared to be generally agreed by the Combined Staff Planners, except for differing views as to the emphasis to be laid on operations in New Guinea. It was with regard to operations of British forces that the various alternatives existed.

Admiral Leahy said that the U.S. Chiefs of Staff were in agreement with the recommendations put forward by the U.S. Planners with certain amendments which he outlined.

General Marshall said that, in his opinion, it would be necessary to undertake the recapture of the whole of Burma; only thus could the main road to China be reopened. Akyab and Ramree must be taken before the next monsoon. Operations further south, i.e., against Sumatra, would, he considered, be a diversion from the main effort which must be concentrated with a view to clearing Burma.

Sir Alan Brooke then outlined the various operations which could be undertaken from India.

Sir Alan Brooke said that there seemed to be two alternatives. In both cases the first step would be the recapture of North Burma. After that, it would be possible either to press on with the reconquest of the whole of Burma and later attack Singapore or, alternatively, to recapture Singapore and afterwards clear Southern Burma. The extent of the operations this season was dependent on the reply from the Commander in Chief, India, with regard to the lines of communications through Assam. The capture of Akyab was a necessary preliminary to an attack on Rangoon, since it provided the necessary air base. The Prime Minister had suggested an alternative operation, the capture of the northern tip of Sumatra. It was not possible to undertake in 1944 both the capture of Akyab and that of Northern Sumatra. The Akyab operation could take place in March and the Sumatra operation, which was not dependent on the monsoon, could take place in May. The North Sumatra operation was being examined and necessitated a force of some four divisions. This was only a slightly larger force than that required for Akyab.

From an examination of the courses of action put forward by the Planners, it appeared that the opening of a port in China could be accomplished at approximately the same time, whether this was done by an overland advance through China after opening the main Burma Road, or, whether it was done by sea-borne attacks from Singapore after opening the Malacca Straits.

It was, in any event, essential to develop to the maximum the air route into China. It was the only method of supplying that country. On the defeat of Germany a great number of aircraft should be available. In addition to this it was necessary to decide on the main line of advance, either overland or by sea from Singapore. In each case the Ledo Road would first be opened and then either Akyab captured as a preliminary to an attack on Rangoon, or Northern Sumatra captured as a preliminary for an attack on Singapore, Whatever course of action was adopted, great developments would have to be undertaken with regard to base facilities in India.

Admiral Leahy asked if an attack on the Kra Isthmus, as an alternative to the attack on Northern Sumatra, had been examined.

Sir Alan Brooke explained that though this line of advance had certain advantages, the difficulty was the lack of any ports on that coast.

Admiral King said that he had always considered Bangkok as the most valuable prize. If this town could be captured, it would be unnecessary to assault Rangoon, since all Japanese lines of communication to it could be effectively cut, and it would fall into our lap.

Sir Charles Portal said that on the assumption that the war against Germany was completed by the autumn of 1944, he believed that the air route to China could be vastly increased. According to the plan, no substantial amount of supplies could get into China by any road before 1946. The United Nations would have a tremendous production of heavy bombers, transports and air crews which, when the drain of active operations against Germany ceased, would rapidly build up into vast numbers. Similarly, the other requirements for the air route, such as radio aids, would be plentiful.

To achieve results, however, from these vast forces it would be necessary at once to start building up the necessary facilities and to make preparations for deploying and employing the aircraft. Numbers would be so large that, if necessary, unserviceable aircraft could be scrapped rather than large repair depots should be set up. Maximum efforts must be made, if necessary at the expense of operations to open the southern road. By 1945 it could be possible for the air supply route to reach such magnitude that delivery by the Ledo and even the main Burma roads would be insignificant in proportion. He realized that there were great difficulties in the construction of airfields particularly in China. Myitkyina, Bhamo and Lashio could be used which would increase the load. Air forces could develop a direct air offensive on Japan and ground forces could be thrown in to stiffen the Chinese troops required to safeguard the base area. Japanese opposition everywhere would be weakened and their morale lowered. Operations on these lines would be, he felt, more profitable than tedious land operations to open the main land route. As he visualized it, it would, by the methods he had outlined, be possible to continue attacks on the periphery of the wheel to achieve attrition, to attack the heart of Japan (the center of the wheel) by air, with devastating results on her industry and morale, while at the same time the westerly drive in the Pacific would cut the spokes of the wheel. Thus he believed the earliest collapse of Japan could be achieved, but a greater effort must be made to build up the air route. A study of the logistic possibilities should be made at once, after which the route must be built up, if necessary at the expense of ground operations.

General Marshall said that he felt it important that in view of the immense difficulties of ground operations in the area concerned, that the most effective application of our air superiority should be considered and that we should capitalize on the effects of this superiority.

Sir Charles Portal said that he was very strongly in agreement with General Marshall and had himself been thinking on the same lines. He had been impressed by the small number of aircraft (22) required to maintain three of Brigadier Wingate’s groups. The air could be directed by these groups onto vital enemy points. Penetration by these methods with lightly armed forces assisted and supplied by the air, could, he felt, produce quicker results than the laborious advances of land forces, accompanied by the necessary building of road communications. With regard to the seizure by air action of potential air bases, he believed that while this, in certain cases, could be achieved, it must be remembered that troops and anti-aircraft weapons were essential in the initial stages and that the bases could not be held by air action alone until the enemy had been driven back to a certain distance from them.

General Arnold said that he considered that further use could be made of the vast number of fighters and light bombers which would later be available for direct action against the Japanese all over Burma. They could attack railroads, bridges and troops and vehicles on the march.

Sir Charles Portal agreed that this had great possibilities but pointed out the risk of delaying the air operations out of China by building up too heavy a force of lighter aircraft for operations in Burma.

Both General Marshall and Sir Alan Brooke agreed that the tactical conception of operations in Burma employing air reinforcement and air support and supply to long-range penetration groups should be studied as a matter of urgency.

Sir Alan Brooke pointed out that to attack Japan it would be necessary to base forces far into China. The Chinese forces required to hold the essential bases would require considerable supplies which would effect a reduction in the air effort itself. In addition to the development to the maximum of the air route, the Ledo Road, with pipelines for gasoline, and then a sea route into China, must be developed. Operations to clear Lower Burma by means of long-range penetration groups in conjunction with air support or operations against either the Kra Isthmus or Singapore could be undertaken. He would be interested to know which it was believed would most assist the United States thrust in the Pacific, particularly with regard to the synchronization of these operations with corresponding operations in the Islands.

Admiral King said that in view of the nature of the country he did not believe that an attack on Rangoon would divert many Japanese forces. Operations, however, against the vital center of Bangkok or into China to develop the air offensive would, he thought, both produce strong Japanese reactions. The Japanese, however, had no shortage of troops. Their major deficiencies were in aircraft and shipping. Shipping was their main bottleneck since this was required to support all their operations throughout a wide area, including their air operations. This being the case, he believed that the initial main effort of the air forces based in China should be against shipping and port facilities.

Sir Charles Portal said that he agreed with Admiral King’s conception of the vital importance of striking at Japanese shipping from the air.

Sir Alan Brooke said that he felt that the Combined Chiefs of Staff had had a most valuable discussion. He would like to have the subject further considered on the following day. It was important to get the background as to possibilities by the various methods which had been discussed and to decide on a long-range plan and to relate immediate operations to this general policy.

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

Immediate Operations in the Mediterranean

Reference: CCS Memo for Information No. 132.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff had before them a memorandum setting out the main points in the various signals which had recently been exchanged between the Combined Chiefs of Staff and General Eisenhower.

Sir Alan Brooke said that the latest information seemed to show that the Germans had some 16 divisions in Italy. The majority of these appeared to be in the north and there was a tendency to move the headquarters of units in the south into the Naples area.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Took note of CCS Memo for Information No. 132.

Military Considerations in Relation to Spain (CCS 321)

Sir Alan Brooke said that there had been no time to refer the British paper with regard to policy in relation to Spain to the Foreign Office but it set out the military considerations involved.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved this paper.

Military Considerations in Relation to Turkey (CCS 322)

General Marshall said it seemed that the present scale of equipment to Turkey was too high and might be reduced.

Sir Alan Brooke agreed with this view. The Turks were not absorbing all the equipment now being provided. Their training and repair facilities were inadequate. He believed that supplies should be slowed down to a “trickle” and they should not be given more than they could usefully absorb and employ.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff: Approved this paper.

Military Considerations in Relation to Russia

Sir Alan Brooke outlined the present position in Russia. In general, the Russians were in a stronger position than ever before. He believed that they had reserves available for further offenses in the autumn. Hungary was understood to be seeking to negotiate a separate peace and neither Rumania nor Finland were desirous of remaining in the war. The Germans would, he thought, be forced to hold all their existing divisions on the Russian front or even to reinforce them. This would facilitate our operations in Italy and OVERLORD. He did not believe that there was any chance of the Germans achieving a negotiated peace with the Russians who had too much to wipe off the slate.

General Marshall referred to the forming of a “Free Germany” movement within Russia. From reports he had received, it appeared that Russia was turning an increasingly hostile eye on the capitalistic world, of whom they were becoming increasingly contemptuous. Their recent “Second Front” announcement, no longer born of despair, was indicative of this attitude. He would be interested to know the British Chiefs of Staff’s views on the possible results of the situation in Russia with regard to the deployment of Allied forces – for example, in the event of an overwhelming Russian success, would the Germans be likely to facilitate our entry into the country to repel the Russians?

Sir Alan Brooke said that he had in the past often considered the danger of the Russians seizing the opportunity of the war to further their ideals of international communism. They might try to profit by the chaos and misery existing at the end of hostilities. He had, however, recently raised this point with Dr. Beneš, who had forecast the Russian order to international communist organizations to damp down their activities. Dr. Beneš’ view had been that since Russia would be terribly weakened after the war, she would require a period of recovery, and to speed up this recovery would require a peaceful Europe in which she could take advantage of the markets for her exports.

There would, however, Sir Alan Brooke considered, be Russian demands for a part of Poland, at least part of the Baltic States, and possibly concessions in the Balkans. If she obtained these territories, she would be anxious to assist us in maintaining the peace of Europe.

With regard to Russia’s air power, Sir Charles Portal said that in view of her superiority on the Eastern Front, the results achieved were disappointing. This, he believed, was largely due to lack of adequate training and handling.

In discussing the possibility of the Germans releasing forces from the Eastern Front for operations elsewhere by the shortening of their line, Admiral King said that he was doubtful whether the shortening of a line would in fact allow Germany to divert divisions elsewhere. The shortening of the line would enable the Russians to intensify their dispositions on this shorter front.

Synthetic Harbors

Lord Louis Mountbatten reported that certain experts with regard to synthetic harbors were now on their way to Québec to discuss the matter with the appropriate United States officers.

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Hull-Eden meeting, afternoon

United States United Kingdom
Secretary Hull Foreign Secretary Eden
Mr. Dunn Sir Alexander Cadogan
Mr. Atherton
740.0011 EW/8–2045

Department of State Minutes

August 20, 1943



Mr. Eden first spoke of the operation LIFEBELT. He said that arrangements had now been approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the President and the Prime Minister for entry into the Azores by British forces, exclusively, on the understanding that within two weeks after the start of the operation efforts would be made by the British to obtain the consent of the Portuguese for American forces to join them in the islands. He further said that such assurances as the Portuguese had asked had been given by the British Government with respect to the withdrawal of British forces from Portuguese territory after the war and also with respect to the maintenance of Portuguese sovereignty in all her territories. Mr. Eden suggested that assurances along similar lines would be asked by the Portuguese from the United States. Such assurances might be given if we felt like doing so at the time request was made for American forces to join the operation. Comment was made that this was a reversal of the previous position taken by the United States Chiefs of Staff, who had stated their objection to confining the operations exclusively to the British and had referred to the original decision to use force, if necessary, in order to make the Islands available for Allied operations.

Conditions of Surrender for Italy

Mr. Eden brought up the question of the discussions which had been going on between the Prime Minister and the President as to the conditions of surrender to be given the Italians in the event of tender of unconditional surrender being received by the Allied forces or governments. He said that it was the Prime Minister’s view that the long, comprehensive document was the form to be preferred.

The Secretary said that he had gone over this document, which, as far as he was concerned, appeared to be satisfactory but that he understood the President’s view to be that General Eisenhower was now empowered to present the military requirements which would be imposed in the event of an Italian surrender, and that any further political, financial and economic terms which had not yet been finally agreed upon as between the two Governments would be handed to the Italians at a later time.

Both the Secretary of State and Mr. Eden agreed that this matter would take further discussion with the Prime Minister and President before being entirely clarified.

Russia and China

The Secretary then, stated there had been some considerable publicity giving the impression that Stalin had not been invited to the Quebec Conference and remarked that it appeared to be rather fruitless to continue the system of inviting Stalin to the conferences, and that some attempt should be made to arrive at a basis of talks with Stalin in order to come to grips, if possible, with Soviet general policy and cooperation, if possible, in the much broader picture of the maintenance of peace and world security. The Secretary pointed out that everything seemed to go back to the Russian demands for territory, which was another way of looking for security. He made the point that security was world-wide, and if we could draw the Russians into a broad discussion, then the emphasis would not remain merely on the smaller countries on Russia’s western border.

Mr. Eden agreed to the necessity of making a new approach to this problem, but stated frankly he had no suggestions to make and would welcome any ideas that were put forward to accomplish this purpose. He furthermore felt that this should be done without any loss of time.

The Secretary said that he had given a great deal of thought to this problem and would come back to the subject again with Mr. Eden.

(He did not touch on the four-power declaration which he had already drafted and placed in the hands of the President as he preferred to await the President’s move on that subject first. The first mention of the four-power arrangement in the form of a draft declaration was made by the President at the dinner that same evening attended by the Prime Minister, the Secretary, and Mr. Eden at the Citadel.)

The Secretary also spoke of the necessity for keeping China not only closely informed but cooperating in the general broad over-all picture as we went forward with the war. He said he realized that the Chinese could not be brought into all of the strategic conferences naturally, but he had had visits from Chinese representatives who indicated that the Chinese were feeling rather badly about not being included in discussions pertaining to the war against Japan in which they were important factors, and they were convinced conversations on this subject would take place in Québec.

Rome an Open City

Mr. Eden brought up the question of the Italian move to have Rome declared an open city.

The Secretary brought Mr. Eden up to date on the American position which was disclosed in the correspondence between the Papal Delegate in Washington and the Department. Upon receiving word from the Papal Delegate that the Italians had decided to have Rome declared an open city and asking for the conditions under which the Allies would be prepared to accept such a declaration, the Papal Delegate was informed that the matter was under consideration and that there was no reason why the Italian authorities could not proceed in any manner they desired to fulfill the requirements of such a declaration.

The Secretary went on to say, however, that the American Government had made no commitment whatever on the subject, nor was any commitment contemplated as far as we were concerned.

Mr. Eden expressed his agreement and satisfaction with the position thus far taken, which left entire freedom of action to the two governments.

Dependent Peoples

The Secretary brought up the subject of dependent peoples, but Mr. Eden did not appear to be ready to go forward with this subject.

Greece and Yugoslavia

Mr. Eden then spoke of the message which had been sent by the King of Greece to both governments, requesting advice on their part as to the position he should take in the face of demands of certain Greek elements that he renounce any intention of coming to Greece until a plebiscite on the subject of the monarchy had been taken in that country.

Mr. Eden then went on to say they were having great difficulties with the Yugoslav Government as the young king had just accepted the resignation of the Yugoslav cabinet in connection with the refusal of the Croat member of the cabinet to agree to the transfer of the Yugoslav Government from London to Cairo. It was Mr. Eden’s opinion, however, that the transfer would be accomplished within two or three weeks, and that it was much better for the Yugoslav Government to carry on its operations from Cairo where it was nearer the situation.

Senate Cooperation in Approval of Wartime International Agreements

Mr. Eden inquired as to the recent published stories that an agreement had been arrived at between the Senate and the State Department which would provide for approval by the Senate of international agreements entered into by the United States during the wartime period.

The Secretary explained that the situation was not exactly as reported. He said that for some time now he had been carrying on conversations with members of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate and other important Senators, with a view to keeping them informed of the Government’s plans with regard to certain international arrangements which became necessary in the carrying out of the war effort. He cited as an example the United Nations arrangement with respect to relief and rehabilitation (UNRRA). He told how he had shown copies of the draft arrangement on this subject to the Senators, had explained to them how the legislative function in connection with providing of funds and approval of the arrangement was provided for in the text of the draft, and had offered to meet any reasonable suggestions with respect to changes of wording in order to make the position of the legislative branch of the government clear in all respects. He said that he had met with considerable success in these conversations up to the present, and he proposed to continue along those lines in as great a detail as was necessary in order to keep the Senate informed of the plans of the Executive in all these respects.

French Committee of National Liberation

Mr. Eden brought up the subject of relationship with the French Committee of National Liberation. There was a somewhat lengthy review of the negotiations extending over a period of two years or more, in which the Secretary made the point that at no time had the policy of the American Government not been fully agreed in, by telegrams from the Prime Minister to the President, which Mr. Eden admitted.

The discussion ran along the lines of the British taking the position that de Gaulle was their only friend in 1940, the Secretary raising as against this attitude the objectives and actions of the United States Government, including the prevention of the French Fleet and the French North African bases from falling into German hands, Admiral Leahy’s work in keeping up the spirit and courage of the French population in France, the U.S. naval support long before we were in the war, and the lease-lend aid. It then became evident that neither Mr. Eden nor Sir Alexander Cadogan had seen the last State Department Formula which had been transmitted to the President within a few days after receiving the last British Formula on the subject. Copies of the State Department draft, which was almost word for word the same as the British last suggested formula, were then produced. After examining them, Mr. Eden said he felt that the Prime Minister could not accept a formula which did not contain the word, “recognition.” There was some discussion on this point in order to bring out the American view that “recognition” was only given to a government or some form of government, whereas in this case it was understood that both the British and the U.S. Governments had no intention whatever of considering the French Committee as a government.

Mr. Eden made the suggestion at the end of this discussion that it might be necessary for the two Governments to adopt their own formulas and make their announcements in their own separate ways.

The Secretary followed this by a remark that such a procedure, even if done at identically the same moment, would mean an obvious divergence of views.

Mr. Eden said that he realized any such policy would be so considered and regretted any such possibility.

The Secretary replied that he very much regretted the consideration of such a divergence of views but that if the British could stand it, we could.

The Secretary then made a convincing and reasoned marshalling of the situation as it affected the long-term view of the United States toward the whole French situation and the future of France itself.

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Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 20 August 1943.

CCS 301/2
References: a. CCS 301
b. CCS 301/1

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

The U.S. Chiefs of Staff believe that the proposed subparagraph for inclusion in paragraph 8 of CCS 301, circulated as CCS 301/1, does not express the importance of the maintenance and buildup of the air route into China, or the intention of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in regard thereto.

The U.S. Chiefs of Staff recommend the inclusion of the following subparagraph in paragraph 8 of CCS 301, in lieu of the subparagraph presented in CCS 301/1:
(i) Air Route into China
Present plans provide for first priority of resources available in the China-Burma-India Theater, on the building up and increasing of the air routes and air supplies to China, and the development of air facilities, with a view to:

  1. Keeping China in the war.
  2. Intensifying operations against the Japanese.
  3. Maintaining increased U.S. and Chinese Air Forces in China.
  4. Equipping Chinese ground forces.

Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 20 August 1943.

CCS 313/1

Appreciation and Plan for the Defeat of Japan

The U.S. Chiefs of Staff recommend approval of paragraph 20 of CCS 313 as amended below:

  1. To summarize, it is recommended that the Combined Chiefs of Staff should take the following action:
    a. Approve the general objectives as a basis for planning and preparation.

b. Direct examination of lines of advance, including a study of the feasibility and desirability of operations through the Moulmein area or Kra Peninsula in the direction of Bangkok with the object of isolating Rangoon and facilitating the capture of Singapore.

[Subparagraphs c, d, e, f, g, h, i, and j are identical with subparagraphs b, e, d, e, f, g, h, and i, respectively, as recommended by the United States Planners in CCS 313.]

k. Approve planning for the start of operations against Southern Burma and/or the Malaya Peninsula with a target data of 1944; these plans to be revised at the next meeting of the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

[Subparagraph l is identical with subparagraph k as recommended by the British Planners in CCS 313.]

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Memorandum by the U.S. Army Air Force Planners

Québec, 20 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 323

Air Plan for the Defeat of Japan

The problem

The provision of an appreciation producing an outline plan to direct the full aerial resources of the United Nations to bring about, in conjunction with other military and naval effort, the overwhelming defeat of Japan not later than 12 months after the defeat of the Axis powers in Europe.


It is assumed that:
a. The defeat of the Axis powers in Europe has been accomplished in the fall of 1944.

b. Russia and Japan maintain a state of neutrality.

c. China continues as an active and cooperative Ally, furnishing ground forces which, in conjunction with U.S. Tactical Air Forces, serve to secure the unoccupied portions of China.

d. The capacity of the air, road and pipeline facilities for “over the hump” transportation is to be first devoted to requirements of the 14th Air Force and the Chinese Army.

e. During the period in question, October 1944 to August 1945, inclusive, United Nations naval, air, amphibious and ground operations in the North, Central, South and Southwest Pacific, in Burma and the Bay of Bengal areas, are maintaining constant and increasing pressure against enemy forces. United Nations submarines, in increasing numbers, continue to harass and destroy enemy shipping.

f. North and North Central Burma are cleared of the enemy and occupied in 1944; and all of Burma in 1945.

The mission

To accomplish, by a combined aerial offensive, the destruction of the Japanese military, industrial and economic systems to such a degree that the nation’s capacity for armed resistance is effectively eliminated, within 12 months after the defeat of Germany.

Overall objective

a. To accelerate the destruction of selected systems of critical Japanese industry, the accomplishment of which will reduce the Japanese war effort to impotency.

b. Among the intermediate, nevertheless the most important objectives, is the neutralization of the Japanese Air Force, by combat, and through the destruction of aircraft factories, and the reduction of Japanese shipping and naval resources, to a degree which permits an occupation of Japan.


To reduce Japanese capabilities of resistance to a point which, within 12 months after the defeat of Germany, will force the capitulation or permit the occupation of Japan, requires the launching of an effective bomber offensive against vital targets on the main islands not later than the fall of 1944. Only such an offensive can, at a sufficiently early date, reach and destroy the vital elements of Japan’s transportation structure, and the nerve centers of her economic, military and political empire.

In view of the political, economic, military and transportation situation in the USSR, and more particularly the degree of industrial and economic development in Far Eastern Russia, the vulnerability of supply lines connecting it with Western Russia, and the consequent logistic difficulties which would probably be encountered in supporting air forces in substantial strength in the Maritime Provinces, it is unwise at this time to plan United Nations bomber offensive operations against Japan from bases in that area.

The islands of the Pacific within effective bombing range of the vital industrial areas of Japan, do not afford adequate bases for our air forces which will be available in 1944-45. Upon information now available, it appears that the only land area affording such bases with adequate capacity and dispersion, within 1,500 miles of the Japanese target area, immediately available for development, is on the Chinese mainland.

The beginning of the air offensive against Japan cannot await the opening of the ports of Hong Kong and Wenchow by the difficult and necessarily slow penetration of the enemy’s far flung and well defended defensive positions to the south and east thereof. Naval advances from the south and east will, however, be greatly facilitated and expedited by preliminary air offensive operations against the industrial and transportation targets on the island of Honshu.

It is evident that if a bomber offensive is to begin in 1944 from bases in China, the movement of all troops, organizational equipment and supplies in the base areas must initially be accomplished by air from India.

The transportation of such personnel, equipment and supplies may be accomplished by the employment of approximately 4,000 B-24 airplanes converted to cargo airplanes and tankers. The project will require a flow of approximately 596,000 tons per month through the port of Calcutta. (See Section 1, Enclosure “A”). Calcutta port facilities are at present adequate to handle 960,000 tons per month. Construction of additional facilities in that port will however not be required immediately.

A most important factor in planning for the air attack on Japan from the west, is the necessity for providing adequate protection of the air bases against the violent Japanese reaction which is certain to follow the large-scale development of those bases, and initiation of the use thereof. The pressure being exerted by our operations against Japanese forces in outlying Pacific areas in Burma and perhaps Sumatra, will substantially contain those forces, and prevent Japan from greatly reinforcing her air forces now deployed in China. Nevertheless, Japan will not readily accept the risk of loss of her already important, and potentially rich, newly acquired empire to the south. It is believed, however, that Chinese forces, reasonably equipped and supplied, aided in leadership, supported by the U.S. 10th and 14th Air Forces, will be able to defend the air base areas. Chinese forces and U.S. Tactical Air Forces, essential to provide such defense, will be available. Logistic support for them is dealt with in a subsequent paragraph. The initiation of the bomber offensive, and even measures in preparation therefor, will tremendously stimulate Chinese morale and unify the Chinese people under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek.

A brief outline of the logistical implications of the proposed plan is contained in Enclosure “A.”

B-29 heavy bomber aircraft possess a tactical radius of 1,500 miles with a bomb load of ten tons, and are the best suited aircraft for the bombing of Japan from available bases. B-29 tactical units shown in Section 2 of Enclosure “A” will be available for deployment in China for operations against Japan on the dates indicated.

Studies conducted within the U.S. Army Air Forces indicate that 28 B-29 groups, of 28 airplanes each, conducting five missions per month on a 50 percent operational basis, for a period of six months, or a total of 168 operating group months, can accomplish the degree of destruction required to accomplish the Over-all Objective, described in paragraph 4, above.

Seventy-five percent of the selected strategic targets in Japan lie between Tokyo and Nagasaki. Substantially, all of this objective area is within 1,500 miles of a region in unoccupied China, the center of which is Changsha, within an approximate 800 miles radius of Kunming (See Map, Appendix “A”).

The area 400 miles north and south of Changsha, within this zone, is suitable for the development of VLR bomber airfields, and many old unimproved fields exist in the region. Operations of B-29 aircraft from this area would bring the majority of the selected strategic objectives within effective tactical radius.

From a source of supply in the Calcutta area, 200 heavy bomber aircraft of the B-24 type, stripped of armor, armament, and other equipment not essential to transport service, can support one B-29 group operating against Japan from bases in this area, at the rate set forth in paragraph 14.

Such B-29 type airplanes would transport gasoline, bombs and other required supplies directly from the port of Calcutta to Kunming, using the latter area as a staging center, before proceeding with a capacity load to the B-29 operating base zone.

Forces Required
A minimum striking force of 100 B-29 airplanes is desirable to conduct effective strategic bombing operations against Japanese mainland objectives. The availability of ten B-29 groups in the base area will permit sustained operation by such striking forces. Ten B-29 groups will be available for deployment in China by October, 1944.

2,000 B-24 type aircraft, converted to transports, would be required to support such operations from Calcutta supply bases. This number of aircraft, so converted, could be made available in the Calcutta area by October, 1944.

Aircraft availability schedules shown in Section 2, Enclosure “A,” indicate that a total of 20 B-29 groups will be available for deployment in China by May, 1945, and could be maintained at normal strength thereafter.

The same schedules indicate that the 4,000 B-24 type aircraft required for conversion to transport functions to maintain these 20 B-29 groups, can also be made available in the Calcutta area by May, 1945.

Operations by the 10-20 groups of B-29 aircraft which will be available, at the rate set forth in paragraph 14, would total 182 operating group months by 31 August 1945 at which time it is estimated that the degree of destruction of Japanese resources essential to crush the enemy’s capacity for effective armed resistance will have been fully accomplished.

Such operations, while weakening and demoralizing the enemy, will vastly encourage our long-suffering Chinese allies, and inspire them to increased and united effort to eject the enemy from their homeland, and hasten complete victory.

During the summer months of 1945, B-29 groups based on the Aleutian Islands could effectively attack parallel strategic Japanese objectives located in the northern part of the Empire.

Air Bases. A report on air base requirements and availability is contained in Section 3, Enclosure “A.” Sites, materials and labor required for construction of Chinese and Indian air bases are locally available.

Preparation of the necessary bases and other facilities for these operations must be initiated at least one year prior to October, 1944.

Other Supply Routes into China. The supplies brought into China from the west by the Air Transport Command, by pipeline, or by overland transportation, would be available for equipment and support of Chinese Ground units and supporting Tactical Air Forces (the latter provided by the USAAF, with limited augmentation by Chinese Air Units). The Tactical Air Force required to be furnished by the USAAF, will be available. The indicated volume of such supplies during the period in question is set forth in Section 4, Enclosure “A.” Such balance of supply as is available beyond the requirements of the above forces will serve to reduce the demands of the B-29 strategic Air Force upon the special type of air transport support set forth herein.

Concept of the Operation
a. Phase I. October 1944-April 1945. Sustained B–29 precision bombing attacks throughout the period to accomplish the destruction of selected strategic Japanese industrial systems, including aircraft factories and ship yards.

b. Phase II. May 1945-August 1945. An all-out attack against the other selected strategic objectives within tactical radius, integrated with attacks upon complementary objectives in Northern Japan by two B-29 groups based in the Aleutian Islands, to accomplish the destruction of Japanese resources which are an essential preliminary to an occupation of the Japanese homeland by United Nations forces.


The destruction of Japanese resources to such a point that the enemy’s capacity for effective armed resistance is substantially exhausted can be accomplished by sustained bombing operations of 10-20 B-29 groups based in an area of Unoccupied China within 1,500 miles of the center of the Japanese industrial zone.

Such operations can be supplied by 2,000-4,000 B-24 type aircraft, converted to transports, based at Calcutta, supplying the operational bases after staging at Kunming.

The required air striking and supply forces will be available.

Adequate air and ground defense forces and the maintenance of such units will likewise be available.

The planning and preparation of air bases and other facilities essential for the execution of this plan should be instituted without delay.

The execution of this plan promises to vastly strengthen our Chinese Allies, and to bring about a decisive defeat of Japan within 12 months after the defeat of the Axis powers in Europe.


That the line of advance proposed in the “Air Plan for the Defeat of Japan” be approved; and that this appreciation and outline plan be submitted to the Combined Staff Planners for further study and detailed development.

That in consonance with the United Nations Overall Objective, and Overall Strategic Concept for the Prosecution of the War, action be initiated without delay and prosecuted with all practicable expedition, to complete the preparatory measures required to be taken, and to provide the facilities and air bases in expanded numbers and increased proportions, essential for the timely execution of this plan.

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Report by the Combined Military Transportation Committee

Québec, 20 August 1943.

Enclosure to CCS 222/2

a. The present limit of UGS convoys is 80 ships.

b. UGS 16 sailing on August 26th has 91 firm presenters. A number of these ships have been held back from previous UGS convoys, because of the inability of North African ports to handle them. It is understood that this difficulty no longer exists.

c. UGS 17 sailing September 5th already has 79 presenters with indications of more to come.

d. A similar situation is foreseen for the next few UGS convoys.

The situation regarding UGS 16 is now urgent and there appear to be two alternatives:
a. To raise the limit of UGS convoys.
b. To withdraw the 11 lowest priority ships.

The most satisfactory solution would be for alternative a to be adopted.

If this is not feasible the 11 ships to be withdrawn from UGS 16 will suffer the least possible delay if they are included in the first available HX or SC convoy to U.K. to join up with a KMS convoy to the Mediterranean. This would result in a delay in arrival dates of these 11 ships at their destinations of between 16 days and 26 days, depending upon the speed of the ships selected. North Atlantic and KMS convoys are frequently overloaded but have no fixed limit, and are not so well protected as UGS convoys.

The Combined Chiefs of Staff are, therefore, requested to give a decision on the allocation of ships to UGS 16 as a matter of urgency. If it is decided that the limit for UGS convoys must remain at 80 ships, it is requested that the Combined Chiefs of Staff indicate the priority in which these 80 ships should be selected. A decision is required by August 23rd in order to ensure the least delay to any ships which it may be necessary to withdraw from UGS 16.

The detail of ships and destinations of the 91 presenters for UGS 16 is shown in the Annex.

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Memorandum by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff

Québec, 20 August 1943.

CCS 314/3

Allocation of Landing Craft (Operation OVERLORD – Vehicle Left)

We have noted the memorandum by the British Chiefs of Staff (CCS 314) concerning the shortage of vehicle lift for OVERLORD and the necessity of additional landing craft therefor; viz., 57 LCT(3 or 4)s and 15 LCT(5)s. Consideration has also been given to the British proposals contained in CCS 286.

We have examined the possibility of providing additional LCT(6)s from U.S. sources and find that our own LCT deliveries to fulfill the TRIDENT U.S. commitment for OVERLORD cannot be accomplished as early as desired and that it is impossible to increase the number of LCTs so committed; viz., 146, of which 41, at least, must come from the Mediterranean.

Studies are under way which it is hoped will effect an increase in the rate of U.S. landing craft production. However, the result of these studies at the present time indicates that such an acceleration cannot be felt before April 1944.

In view of this, the deficiencies in OVERLORD will have to be made good from the Mediterranean and these movements will, of course, in the case of LCTs, have to be adjusted to weather conditions.

It is suggested that every effort be made to put all the LCT(5)s now in the U.K. in an operating condition and employ them in OVERLORD as a means to improve the situation.

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