Grand Strategy
Volume V
August 1943-September 1944

By John Ehrman
Sometime Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge



Editor's Preface xi
Introduction xiii
I. Strategy and Supply in the Autumn of 1943  
  i. Outline of Strategy 1
  ii. Outline of Command 15
  iii. Supply 25
  iv. Data for an Offensive Strategy 49
II. OVERLORD and the Mediterranean, August-November 1943  
  i. The Conditions for OVERLORD 53
  ii. The Rôle of the Italian Campaign 58
  iii. The Consequences in the Eastern Mediterranean 75
  iv. The British and American Strategies 105
III. British Strategy in the Far East, and the Formation of the South-East Asia Command, August-November 1943  
  i. The Strategic Conditions 123
  ii. The Formation of the South-East Asia Command 135
  iii. A Strategy for Burma 148
IV. The Decisions for 1944: I, Cairo and Teheran, November-December 1943  
  i. Cairo: The Problems Considered 155
  ii. Teheran: The Decisions Taken 173
  iii. Cairo: The Details Reconsidered 183
V. The Decisions for 1944: II, Epilogue to Cairo, December 1943-January 1944  
  i. The Settlement of the European Commands 203
  ii. Unsettlement in the Mediterranean and South-East Asia 207
VI. OVERLORD and the Mediterranean, January-March 1944  
  i. The Attacks on Anzio and Cassino 225
  ii. New Demands from OVERLORD and from Italy 231
  iii. The Postponement of ANVIL 243
VII. OVERLORD and the Mediterranean, April-June 1944  
  i. The Debate on ANVIL Continued 249
  ii. The Capture of Rome and its Implications 259
  iii. Developments in Yugoslavia 270
VIII. Preparation for OVERLORD, January-June 1944  
  i. The Revised Plan 279
  ii. The Rôle of the Air: POINTBLANK and the Transportation Plan 286
  iii. The Rôle of the Air: CROSSBOW 305
  iv. Deception, Security and the French 315
  v. The Last Weeks 332
IX. Advance on Three Fronts, June-September 1944  
  i. The Two Great Offensives 337
  ii. The Consequences for the Mediterranean 345
  iii. Relations with the Russians 367
  iv. Victory in Europe in 1944? 377
X. The Campaign in Burma, January-June 1944  
  i. Arakan and the Central Front 405
  ii. The Northern Front 415
XI. The Strategy for the Pacific & South-East Asia, January-April 1944  
  i. Growth of a British Strategy for the Pacific 421
  ii. The Americans' Positions 450
  iii. The Pursuit of Facts 456
XII. The Strategy for the Pacific & South-East Asia, April-August 1944  
  i. The Middle Strategy and Its Implications 459
  ii. The Middle Strategy Discussed 478
  iii. Developments in South-East Asia 486
  iv. The Final British Proposals 493
XIII. The Second Quebec Conference and the Aftermath, September 1944  
  i. The Conference 505
  ii. Arnhem, the Gothic Line and the Consequences 524
Index 621


I. Code Names Mentioned in the Text 537
II. Ministerial Appointments, August 1943-September 1944 539
III. A. Chiefs of Staff, Vice-Chiefs of Staff, British Joint Staff Mission in Washington 542
  B. Allied Commanders 543
IV. A. Certain Types of Assault Shipping Estimated to be Available for Theatres over the First Half of 1944 548
  B. Estimated Rates of Casualties and of Serviceability for Assault Shipping 549
V. Some Calculations of Assault Shipping Required for Operations in 1944 550
VI. The Prime Minister and the Balkans late in 1943 554
VII. Memorandum from General Ismay to the Prime Minister on 28th April, 1944, concerning the Discussion on OVERLORD and ANVIL, January-April 557
VIII. Estimates of Forces required for Operation CULVERIN, October 1943-February 1944 562
IX. Memorandum from General Ismay to the Prime Minister on 29th April 1944, concerning the Strategy for the War Against Japan, January-April 566
X. Some Prime Minister's Minutes and Telegrams, Hitherto Unpublished, of which Extracts are Quoted in the Volume 569
XI. Chronological Table of Selected Events and Planning Dates 580


I. The Far East, Position and Possibilities, Winter 1943 facing page 11
II. The Mediterranean, Possible Strategies, Autumn 1943 57
III. Burma and Malaya 129
IV. The Mediterranean, Possible Strategies, April-August 1944 263
V. Central Italy 270
VI. North-West Europe 279
VII. The Three European Fronts, 1st July-6th September 1944 343
VIII. Northern Italy 384
IX. The Far East, Possible Strategies, May-June 1944 459
End Papers
Front: 'Festung Europa' and the Japanese Position, August 1943
Rear: Combined Chiefs of Staff's Theatres, October 1943


The Frontispiece is reproduced by courtesy of the Keystone Press Agency, Plat VI by courtesy of the Sport and General Press Agency, and Plat VII by courtesy of Life Magazine. The other Plates are Crown Copyright, and have been selected with the help of the staff of the Imperial War Museum, where they are housed.

Frontispiece. The First Quebec Conference, August 1943
Plate I. Mediterranean Commanders facing page 64
  II. The Cairo Conference, November 1943 160
  III. The Teheran Conference, December 1943 176
  IV. General Wilson
General Alexander
  V. OVERLORD Commanders 284
  VI. Air Commanders 292
  VII. Admiral Mountbatten
General Stilwell
  VIII. British Military Advisers at the Second Quebec Conference, September 1944 510

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation