The Build-up in Stride, 1943
January 1943 brought renewed hope that the movement of U.S. troops to the United Kingdom would be resumed. The scale of the build-up obviously depended on a firm decision on future strategy. Late in November 1942 President Roosevelt, encouraged by the initial success of the TORCH operation, suggested to Prime Minister Churchill the desirability of an early decision, and a few days later asked General Marshall for estimates on the number of men that could be shipped to both the United Kingdom and North Africa in the next four months.1
(1) BOLERO in Limbo, January-April 1943
OPD made a study of shipping capabilities and reported that 150,000 troops could be shipped to England by mid-April, assuming that there was no further augmentation of the North African force after the middle of January.2 The acceleration of movements to the United Kingdom depended largely on the demands on shipping from North Africa and on the availability of adequate escorts. Demands from North Africa, coupled with a continuing shortage of shipping, had caused a drastic amendment of earlier plans for a build-up of the 427,000-man force in the United Kingdom by the spring of 1943. Current plans called for shipment of only 32,000 men in the next four months.3
Future Allied strategy to follow TORCH had remained undecided throughout the fall of 1942, and the War Department was not inclined to favor a large build-up in the United Kingdom even if shipping were available. In January 1943 the Allied leaders met at Casablanca to resolve this uncertainty. By that time the world outlook was considerably brighter than it had been six months before. The Red armies had frustrated the first German attempt to break through in the Caucasus and were now on the offensive; Rommel had been beaten in North Africa and the Allied vise was closing on the German forces in Tunisia; and the land and sea actions at Guadalcanal had checked Japanese expansion in the South Pacific. But whatever optimism was inspired by the more favorable situation on these fronts was sobered by the gloomy aspect presented by the war on the seas. In spite of the rising production figures of the American shipyards, Allied shipping losses continued to exceed replacements throughout 1942. In the first months of 1943 the U-boat attacks reached their full fury. The shortage of shipping consequently
remained the severest stricture to Allied plans and prevented full utilization of the Allied war potential.
The Casablanca decisions recognized the Atlantic as one of the most important battlefields of the war by giving the fight against the submarine menace the first charge against United Nations resources. In view of the competing demands of the North African area and the Russian aid program on the limited shipping resources it was hopeless to think of a full-scale cross-Channel operation in 1943. The Allied leaders decided instead to continue the offensive in the Mediterranean. The invasion of Sicily was to be the major effort of 1943. Regarding operations from the United Kingdom, the Allied leaders gave impetus to air operations by assigning high priority to the inauguration of a combined bomber offensive, but their decisions fell somewhat short of a definitive commitment on ROUNDUP. Nevertheless, two decisions were made which confirmed the basic assumption that there would still be a cross-Channel operation. It was agreed to establish a combined command and planning staff in the United Kingdom to plan for cross-Channel raids and for a possible return to the Continent under varying conditions in 1943 or 1944, and a corollary agreement was reached to reinstate the BOLERO build-up. Both the Prime Minister and the President were anxious to build up forces in the United Kingdom, and President Roosevelt urged that a definite build-up schedule be prepared so that the potential effort of Allied forces in the United Kingdom could be estimated at any time to take advantage of any sign of German weakness.4 General Somervell calculated that shipping capabilities would permit only small movements in the first six months, and the Prime Minister expressed disappointment that only four divisions would arrive by mid-August. But the shortage of cargo shipping made it impracticable to schedule a more rapid troop build-up at first, since, as it was pointed out, there was no point in sending units without their equipment.5 After the middle of the year it was estimated that the rate of shipping could be vastly increased, and that a total of 938,000 troops, including fifteen to nineteen divisions, could be dispatched to the United Kingdom by the end of 1943. Added to the present strength in Britain, this would result in a build-up of 1,118,000 men.6
While the Casablanca Conference did not give a definite pledge regarding a cross-Channel attack, its decision to resume the BOLERO build-up on such a scale reinforced the belief that ROUNDUP eventually would take place. he estimate that nearly a million men and their equipment could be transported to the United Kingdom in the next eleven months was highly optimistic in view of the chronic shortage of shipping and the continued demands on Allied resources from the Mediterranean area and the USSR. Nevertheless, the Casablanca decision on BOLERO was welcome news to those in the United Kingdom who once before had begun preparations for such a build-up and had then seen the ETO experience a sudden bloodletting and loss of priority.
Theater officials were fully aware of the task which a revived program would present. To move nearly a million men with their supplies would mean the reception of
about 150 ships per month in the last quarter of the year, with all the attendant problems of discharge, inland transportation, storage, and construction. General Lee had attended the conference in Casablanca, and even before leaving North Africa took the first steps to get planning under way for the task which he knew the SOS would have to shoulder. On 28 January he wrote informally to Maj. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer, chief of staff of the War Department SOS, giving him advance notice of some of the requests for service troops which he expected to make shortly through official channels.7 A few days later he informed General Littlejohn, who was acting for Lee in the latter's absence, of the decision to resume the build-up and instructed him to study the implications with Lee's British opposite, Gen. T. S. Riddell-Webster, the Quartermaster General.8 Before departing for North Africa General Lee had instructed his staff to draw up two supply and accommodation plans, one based on the current troop basis of 427,000, and another for the then hypothetical force of a million men.9
The renewed confidence which the SOS now felt for the build-up of the ETO was expressed on 5 February in the announcement that planning for the movement of a large force to the United Kingdom would no longer be considered as a staff school problem, but would be worked out as a firm program as expeditiously as possible. Complete plans on personnel, storage and housing, construction, transportation, and supply were to be developed, with the G-4 co-ordinating all plans.10 The reinstatement of BOLERO also brought the BOLERO Combined Committee of London together for the first time in several months.11
The year 1943 found the ETOUSA and SOS staffs considerably better prepared to plan for the reception and accommodation of U.S. forces than they had been six months earlier. Their experience in the summer of 1942 had made them more aware than ever of one essential prerequisite to such an undertaking--the advance arrival of sufficient service troops to prepare the necessary accommodations and facilities. This was even more imperative in 1943 than it had been earlier because of the unavailability of British labor. British officials had pointed out at the Casablanca Conference that the proposed shipments (150 ships per month at the peak) could be handled only if U.S. dock labor and locomotives were forthcoming.12 There was also a shortage of depot space. The British had stopped construction because of their own manpower shortages and because of the reduced requirements for the smaller 427,000-man troop basis. They therefore urged that U.S. service personnel be included in the earliest arrivals.13 It was precisely this problem that General Lee had in mind when he wrote to General Styer from North Africa late in January. He asked for 30 port battalions, 30 engineer regiments, 15 quartermaster service battalions, and about 30 depot companies of various categories. All these would be necessary in order to discharge the 120-150 ships per month, construct the needed depots, properly store and issue equipment and supplies, and carry out
the airfield construction program. He pointed out that the U.S. forces had been caught short of service troops in the summer of 1942 and had got by only by the emergency use of British labor and even combat units. This remedy could not be tried again. U.S. forces must become more self-sufficient and the SOS portion of the revived BOLERO program must be larger. Lee punctuated his argument with a lesson from history, quoting General Pershing who in 1918 had made a similar appeal for advance shipments of SOS troops for the necessary construction projects. With the experience of August and September 1942 fresh in his memory, General Lee noted that the SOS had learned the hard way in the past seven months, and he was determined that there should not be a repetition of the frantic efforts of the previous summer.14
These arguments were readily seconded by General Lee's staff in the United Kingdom. General Littlejohn pointed out to the new theater commander that the support of the new program necessitated the expansion and acceleration of the SOS construction program and supply operations. For this purpose he urged General Andrews to ask for a stepped-up shipment of SOS troops. There was sufficient reason for such a plea at this time. The SOS was already a reduced and unbalanced force as a result of the losses to TORCH. The hospital and airdrome construction programs were seriously behind schedule.15 Finally, the British could not be expected to provide labor on the scale they had maintained in the summer of 1942, and it was predicted that they would insist that SOS troops arrive well in advance of combat units.16
After the Casablanca decision the SOS staff members in the United Kingdom had immediately been instructed to figure their troop needs, which were to be used in formulating a service troop basis for presentation to the theater commander. Ever conscious of the repeated admonitions from the War Department and theater headquarters to keep service troop demands to a minimum, the service chiefs felt a strong compulsion to offer the fullest possible justification for their stated requirements. They had two favorite and seemingly indisputable arguments. Almost without exception they were able to show that percentagewise they were asking for fewer troops than the SOS of the AEF in 1917-18. The SOS portion of the AEF on 11 November 1918 had been 33.1 percent. On the basis of a total build-up of 1,118,000 men by December 1943, they argued, the SOS should therefore have a troop basis of 370,000. The chief of engineers, for example, maintained that on the basis of the practice in World War I, in which 26.9 percent of the SOS consisted of engineer troops, the present SOS should have 99,500 engineer troops. He was asking for only 67,000. The service chiefs further reinforced their claims by painting out that the present war was making much heavier demands on the services of supply. There had been a great increase in mechanized transport, in air force supply, and in the fire power of weapons; there were new problems of handling enormous tonnages of gasoline and lubricants, and of constructing airfields. Furthermore, in the
war of 1917-18 the U.S. Army had operated in a friendly country where port and transportation facilities were already available. Operations in Europe would now require landing supplies over beaches and restoring ports and railways. Thus, World War I was not even a fair basis of comparison so far as service troop requirements were concerned.17
By mid-February General Littlejohn had assembled sufficient data on the needs of the various services to present the theater commander with a tentative troop basis calling for a total of 358,312 men. By far the largest components were those of the Corps of Engineers, the Quartermaster Corps, and the Medical and Ordnance Departments, accounting for more than two thirds of the total. In presenting the needs of the SOS to General Andrews, General Littlejohn noted that every practicable measure had been taken to reduce SOS needs, and he again reviewed the limited possibilities of utilizing British labor. If it became necessary to reduce the SOS troop basis further, he continued, army and corps service units should be brought to the theater and made available to the SOS. The need for service units was so urgent that he even recommended securing the required manpower by breaking up organizations in the United States. The SOS desired the highest possible shipping priority for its units and asked for a rapid build-up to a strength of 189,000 by the end of June. The most pressing need was for engineer construction units, and these were therefore given a priority second only to air force units for the bomber offensive.18 But the air units were to be followed by service troops to support the bomber offensive, and by additional service troops for the BOLERO program.
It was only a matter of days before the hopes for this program were dashed. On 19 February General Marshall wired the theater that the decision to resume the build-up was not firm, and that the schedules set up in September 1942 would be followed until a definite decision was reached.19 Three days later this bad news was confirmed by a cable from OPD notifying the theater that there were indications that shipping for the U.K. build-up would be "nothing for the months of March and April because of the urgency of the situation in another theater." The "other theater"î was North Africa, which continued to make unexpected demands on both troops and cargo. Immediately after the Casablanca Conference the War Department had been asked to prepare a special convoy with urgently needed vehicles and engineer and communications equipment. Only a few days later General Eisenhower asked for an additional 160,000 troops to arrive by June. These demands were superimposed on the requirements for the planned Sicilian operation and entailed a great increase in cargo shipments to the Mediterranean.20 The results for BOLERO were inescapable. Meeting these demands meant not only a drain on troops and matériel but the
diversion of the limited shipping resources. The battle of the Atlantic reached its height in these months, and the competing claims of Russian aid, the support of operations in the Mediterranean, and the British civil import program on shipping simply precluded an immediate implementation of the Casablanca decision on BOLERO
The inability to rebuild the U.K. forces as planned in January was a bitter pill for the planners in England. General Andrews thought it would do no harm as far as ground forces were concerned, since theater planners had not even been able to arrive at a practical plan upon which to set up a ground force troop basis. In fact, upon reflection, he thought there was one aspect of a slower build-up which might be a partial blessing. Because training areas and firing ranges were inadequate in the United Kingdom, it was preferable that American troops get as much training as possible in the United States. A delayed build-up would also allow the SOS to build a firmer foundation.21 But the setback in building a bomber force was a serious blow. Andrews noted that units needed between forty-five and sixty days to prepare themselves for combat after arriving in the theater, and it had been hoped that every available unit in the United States might be brought over early in the year to take advantage of the favorable summer months.22 Air force units in England were suffering from both combat losses and war weariness. Lacking replacements, some groups were reduced to a strength of 50 percent, and progressive attrition was seriously lowering morale among the crews that remained.23
Cancellation of the build-up had an unavoidable repercussion in the United Kingdom and cast a pall of uncertainty over all planning. General Andrews appreciated fully the desirability of proceeding with planning for cross-Channel operations. In anticipation of a Combined Chiefs directive, based on the agreement at Casablanca, he urged that joint planning should again be resumed, emphasized particularly the importance of having a firm troop basis and a schedule of arrivals, so that U.K. planners would know what they were dealing with, and underlined the necessity of arranging for production and procurement of vast quantities of equipment, a task which would require many months.24 In its never-ending attempts to get more specific commitments and precise data on which to base its own preparations, however, the SOS was again frustrated. The G-4 of the SOS submitted a list of questions to the G-4, ETOUSA, early in March concerning future operational plans, the over-all troop basis, and levels of supply. The ETOUSA supply officer was helpless to offer any specific information on the size, place, extent, and timing of future offensive operations. He could only reply that the Casablanca program evidently had not been discarded but only delayed, and added hopefully that directives were expected from the War Department which would "permit planning to proceed beyond the present stage of conjecture."25
The SOS meanwhile continued to analyze its troop needs with a view toward paring its demands even further. Late in March it completed a troop basis and flow chart calling for approximately 320,000 service troops based on a total force of 1,100,000 men. In submitting it to the theater commander General Lee asserted that it was the result of an exhaustive study by the chiefs of services and represented the minimum requirements. The reduction of 40,000 in the troop basis was made possible largely by the decision to use certain service elements of both the ground and air forces for administrative purposes.26 At the same time the SOS continued to plead for shipments of service troops in advance of combat units, underlining this need in every communication with higher headquarters.
For the moment these plans were largely academic, for the shipping situation made it impossible to implement the Casablanca decision on the scale expected. In the first three months of 1943 only 16,000 of the projected shipment of 80,000 men were dispatched to the United Kingdom, and 13,000 of these had already left the United States at the time of the Casablanca Conference. The main effect of the diversions to North Africa was felt in February, March, and April, when the flow of troops to the United Kingdom averaged fewer than 1,600 per month.27 The effect on troop movements was most pronounced because troop shipping was even scarcer than cargo shipping at this time. But in cargo shipment the record was similar. In the same period the monthly cargo arrivals averaged only 35,000 long tons (84,000 measurement tons).28
At this rate the ETO was barely maintaining its strength after the losses to TORCH, to say nothing of mounting an air offensive. Worried by the almost complete neglect of the United Kingdom, General Andrews in his last weeks as theater commander pleaded with the War Department not to let the build-up die. If necessary BOLERO should be retarded, he maintained, but not halted. There should be a steady building up of American forces in Britain for an overseas operation in 1944. At the least it was important to maintain the impression that American troops were arriving in large numbers and to say and do nothing which would appear inconsistent with this conception. General Andrews felt that any appreciable slowing down of BOLERO might even compromise an operation in 1944, since preparations were already behind schedule.29 Fortunately the question of the build-up was soon to be resolved.
The uncertainty regarding the United Kingdom build-up was finally largely dispelled in May 1943, when Allied leaders met at the TRIDENT Conference in Washington. Plans for the defeat of the Axis Powers in Europe were embodied in three major TRIDENT decisions: to enlarge the U.S.-British bomber offensive from the United Kingdom; to exploit the projected Sicilian operation in a manner best
(2) The Troop Build-up Is Resumed, May-December 1943
calculated to eliminate Italy from the war; and to establish forces and equipment in the United Kingdom for a cross-Channel operation with a target date of 1 May 1944.30
The resolution concerning a cross-Channel attack was not an unequivocal commitment, as it turned out, and Allied strategy was to be reargued within another few months. Nevertheless, the naming of a date and the designation of the size of such an operation made it the most definite commitment yet accepted for the attack which American planners had supported for the past year. The likelihood that the BOLERO build-up would now be carried out was strengthened by a definite allocation of resources: twenty-nine Allied divisions were to be made available in the United Kingdom for the operation in the spring of 1944; and there was to be no further diversion of resources to the Mediterranean. In fact, four U.S. and three British divisions in the Mediterranean area were to be held in readiness after 1 November for movement to the United Kingdom.31
By May 1943 an additional factor was enhancing prospects for the U.K. buildup. After the near-record shipping losses in March (768,000 tons from all causes),32 the battle of the Atlantic took a sudden turn for the better. Beginning in April, with the increasing use of long-range and carrier aircraft, and of improved detection devices and convoy practices, the Allies took a mounting toll of U-boats. And as shipping losses fell off, the increasing output of the shipyards was reflected in the net gains in available tonnage. This turn of events was undoubtedly one of the most heartening developments of the war, and soon made it possible to plan the logistic support for overseas operations with considerably more confidence and on a greatly magnified scale. Together with the freezing of resources in the Mediterranean, it promised to create a tremendous potential for the U.K. build-up.
The TRIDENT planners scheduled a build-up of 1,300,300 American soldiers in the United Kingdom by 1 May 1944. Of these, 393,200 were to be air force troops, and 907,100 were to be ground and service troops, including eighteen and one-half divisions. By 1 June 1944, the planners calculated, a force of 1,415,300 (twenty-one divisions) could be established in Britain.33 These figures did not necessarily constitute a troop basis, nor did they reflect actual shipping capabilities. It was noted that there were actually more divisions available than were scheduled for shipment, and the rate of build-up was based on what the British indicated could be processed through their ports, not on shipping capabilities. The balanced movement of troops and their cargo was actually limited by the quantity of cargo which could be accepted in the United Kingdom, the maximum practical limit being 150 shiploads per month except in absolute emergency. From this time on British port capacity was to be a despotic factor governing the build-up rate. Once more, therefore, the Combined Chiefs emphasized the necessity for the early arrival of port battalions to aid in the discharge of ships, and engineer construction units to complete the needed depots. The wisdom of such a policy could hardly be disputed, and at the close of the conference Headquarters, ETO, was notified that the shipment of service troops was to be given
a priority second only to the air force build-up.34
The ETOUSA planners welcomed the green light which the TRIDENT decisions constituted, although they had not been idle despite the failure to implement the earlier Casablanca decisions. In the early months of 1943 the SOS staff had continued to plan for the eventual flow of troops and cargo, and had assembled a mass of logistical data covering all aspects of the build-up, such as manpower, storage and housing, transportation, construction, and supply. This information was issued in what were known as Tentative Overall Plans which were kept up to date by repeated revision. To implement the TRIDENT decisions in the United States, the BOLERO Combined Committee in Washington was now reconstituted as the BOLERO-SICKLE Combined Committee, the word SICKLE applying to the air force build-up, which was now planned independently of the ground and service components. As before, the Combined Committee of Washington was set up as a subcommittee of the Combined Staff Planners (of the CCS) with the mission of coordinating the preparation and implementation of the BOLERO-SICKLE shipping program.35 Although the London Committee had never been formally disbanded, it had not met since February after the abortive revival of BOLERO. On 20 July it once more met under the chairmanship of Sir Findlater Stewart. Headquarters, ETOUSA, had made some new appointments to the committee and the entire group assembled at this time primarily to introduce the new members. Direct contacts had long since been established between appropriate American and British services and departments, and there was no longer any pressing need for regular meetings of the entire committee. The July meeting consequently proved to be the only formal session under the new program, although small ad hoc meetings and informal conferences were called from time to time, and the various specialized subcommittees continued to meet to solve particular problems.36
British and American officials in the United Kingdom had already taken cognizance of the reception and accommodation problem posed by the new program, and had recognized the necessity for bringing older plans up to date. But it had been impossible to publish a new BOLERO Key Plan earlier because of the tentative status of the troop basis.37 Early in July Headquarters, ETO, submitted to the War Office new build-up figures and data to be considered in the distribution of U.S. forces in the United Kingdom. These planning figures approximated the TRIDENT shipping schedule, indicating a build-up of 1,340,000 men by 1 May 1944. The War Office was asked to use this total to plan the maximum accommodations.38 On the basis of this figure the BOLERO Key Plan underwent its last major revision, the Fourth Edition being issued by the Deputy Quartermaster General on 12 July 1943. The British Southern Command had already anticipated the changes and had issued its own
plan for the U.S. Southern Base Section area two weeks earlier.39
During the summer of 1943 the ETOUSA, SOS, and Eighth Air Force staffs devoted a large portion of their time to the all-important problem of obtaining a definitive troop basis for the ETO. No single other problem was the subject of so many communications between the various headquarters and between ETOUSA and the War Department. Solving it was perhaps the most important initial task after the strategic decisions of the Combined Chiefs which assigned the theater its mission. Not only was it essential that the War Department determine the total allotment of troops to the theater. It was necessary to come to an agreement with the theater over the apportionment of this over-all allotment between the air, ground, and service forces to create a balanced force, and decide on the specific numbers of each of the hundreds of different types of units. In one of the first staff conferences held by the SOS to discuss the implications of the TRIDENT decisions it was pointed out that the over-all troop basis--air, ground, and service--together with the priorities for shipment, was a basic factor in the preparation of an accommodation, maintenance, supply, and construction plan, and therefore a necessary prerequisite to the revision of the BOLERO Key Plan.40
Had the ETOUSA planners awaited the approval of a firm troop basis, however, little progress would have been made in preparing for the build-up in 1943, for the troop basis continued to be a subject of negotiation with the War Department for several months to come. Fortunately, ETOUSA and SOS planners had begun calculating the theater's requirements before the TRIDENT Conference, and on 1 May General Andrews had submitted to the War Department a list of the units, totaling 887,935 men, which he desired shipped to the theater by 31 December. It was admittedly only a partial list, but provided sufficient data to the War Department for the employment of shipping for the remainder of the year. A complete troop basis was hardly possible at the time, since an operational plan had not yet taken shape to determine the precise troop needs.41 ETOUSA later submitted new priority lists, and by the end of the month shipments were beginning to be made on the basis of the interim 888,000-man troop list and the theater's latest priority requests.42
Submitting the partial troop list was one of General Andrews' last acts as commanding general of the European Theater. On 3 May, barely three months after assuming command, he was killed in an airplane crash while on a tour of inspection in Iceland. General Andrews was an air force officer, and his loss was therefore particularly regrettable in view of the plans then being formulated for an intensified aerial offensive. Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers, commander of the Armored Force at Fort Knox, was appointed his successor and arrived in England on 9 May 1943.43 To him now fell the task of bringing to
fruition the long-drawn-out and detailed work on a definitive troop basis.
For the first time it was possible to develop the troop basis with somewhat more specific missions in mind. The air force troop basis was now formulated on the basis of the Combined Bomber Offensive, which was in the process of acceptance by the Combined Chiefs of Staff early in May. The ground force troop basis, while based on a still nebulous plan for a cross-Channel operation, was nevertheless firmly related to the plans which were now being formulated by the new Allied planning staff established in April in accordance with the decision made at Casablanca in January. Under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Frederick E. Morgan (British), who had been named Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander (designate), or COSSAC, this group had taken the place of the old ROUNDUP planning staff and was already putting into shape an outline design for continental invasion.
The first of the troop bases to be developed in detail and submitted to the War Department was that of the air force. For this purpose General Arnold sent a special mission to the United Kingdom, headed by Maj. Gen. Follett Bradley, Air Inspector of the Army Air Forces, to study the personnel needs and organization of the Eighth Air Force and to prepare a troop basis adequate to the contemplated mission of the air force in the United Kingdom. General Bradley arrived in England on 5 May, at the very time that the command of the theater was changing hands. After three weeks of studies and conferences he submitted his plan to the War Department at the end of May, calling for an allocation of 485,843 men, including 113 groups, to be built up by June 1944. The proposal was approved by General Eaker, who had assisted in its preparation, and by General Devers, although with certain reservations. On the assumption that the VIII Bomber Command was to be built up at maximum speed and to its maximum strength for its new mission, the plan had been developed with little relationship to the theater's other requirements. General Devers thought the air force troop basis was too large compared with those of the ground and service forces then under study in his headquarters, and he also opposed the speed of the build-up which the Bradley plan called for. He believed that the proposed build-up could be carried out only at the expense of SOS and ground troops, since there was not enough shipping to go around. He warned that the air could not operate without SOS support, and that the brunt of any reduction in movement schedules would therefore have to be borne by the ground forces.44
The War Department approved the Bradley plan as a basis for planning, but with important exceptions. In particular, it opposed certain organizational features of the plan and insisted on reductions in headquarters and service personnel, for which the plan had made a generous allocation of 190,000 men in a total of less than 500,000. Despite protests from the Eighth Air Force, a sizable reduction was eventually made in its troop basis. At the direction of the War Department a second group of officers went to England in October to make a new study of air force needs, and pared the allocation to 466,600. After a further review by the War Department, and the decision to
divert certain groups to the Mediterranean, the troop basis of the Eighth Air Force was finally established at 415,000, with a build-up of ninety-eight and a half groups to be achieved by June 1944.45
Meanwhile Headquarters, ETOUSA, and the SOS completed their studies of ground and service force needs, and the troop bases for these two components were submitted to the War Department in the month of July. On the 5th General Devers requested approval of a ground force troop basis of 635,552 (to include eighteen divisions), and on the 18th he submitted the SOS troop basis calling for 375,000 men. In both cases these figures represented only the "first phase" requirements--that is, the forces required to launch an operation on 1 May 1944 aimed at securing a lodgment on the Continent. General Devers carefully pointed out that additional units in all categories would have to augment this force in order to support continuing large-scale operations.46 Troop bases for the "second phase" were then being studied and were to be submitted within a few weeks.
As in the case of the Bradley plan, both ground and service force troop bases for the first phase came under careful scrutiny in the War Department. For the most part the ground force allocation was not seriously challenged, although questions were raised regarding the ratio of various types of troops.47 Most of the critism was reserved for the SOS troop basis, just as the service troop allocations in the air force plan had also been subjected to the heaviest criticism. It was generally conceded that the supply and maintenance situation in the ETO before the actual start of operations was considerably different from that in a normal overseas theater. The construction program for camps, airdromes, and other installations, the receipt, storage, and issue of preshipped supplies and equipment, and other factors all tended to create a unique logistical problem. At the same time, the War Department staff noted, from the standpoint of economy it was not desirable to ship units merely to meet this abnormal situation if such units would not be needed when the peak load had passed at approximately D Day. As the SOS troop basis made its way through the War Department staff sections it was generally agreed that savings could be made. The G-3 specifically listed certain guard units, military police, and Ordnance and Transportation Corps units for elimination; and he cast a suspicious eye on certain other special units, the need for which was not considered to be critical, or whose functions could be performed by other units.
Among these were forestry companies, gas generating units, fire fighting platoons, utility detachments, model maker detachments, bomb disposal companies, petroleum testing laboratories, museum and medical arts service detachments, radio broadcasting companies, and harbor craft service companies.48 The G-3 was emphatic in his assertion that nonessential units should not be approved for the ETO or any other theater. It was imperative, he noted, that combat and service units be required to perform, in addition to their normal duties, certain services for which they were not primarily organized or trained, for example, fire fighting. The current manpower shortage made it extravagant in his opinion to provide service troops enough to meet peak loads which might occur only infrequently. The eight-hour day and the "book figures" for normal capabilities of service units simply had to be abandoned.49
The analysis of the ETOUSA troop basis was by the War Department's own admission a highly theoretical matter, for Washington lacked detailed knowledge of operational plans and exact information on the type of operations to be undertaken. The War Department's study was largely a statistical analysis, based on a comparison of the ETO's requests with the allotment of various types of units in the over-all War Department troop basis, and on a comparison with a hypothetical thirty-division plan worked out in the War Department, supposedly with a cross-Channel operation in mind. There was great variance between the calculations made in the theater and in Washington, and the War Department was at a loss to make very many specific demands for reductions. On 25 August it returned the troop basis to the theater with the characteristic "approved for planning purposes," but with the injunction to effect economies in the use of service troops. Most of its recommendations were of a general nature. The theater was instructed to reduce to a minimum the number of fixed logistical installations in the United Kingdom with the idea that certain of these installations would eventually be required on the Continent. As a temporary reinforcement of the SOS it was asked to utilize to the maximum the service units whose regular assignment was with the ground forces, and, if necessary, even to employ combat units where training would not suffer too seriously. Before making more specific recommendations the War Department preferred to await the development of a more detailed operational plan and also asked to see the theater's administrative plan.50
The return of the troop basis to the theater was followed in a few days by letters from both Brig. Gen. John E. Hull, the acting chief of OPD, and General Handy, the Deputy Chief of Staff, re-emphasizing the serious manpower situation in the United States. The shortage of men was placing a definite limitation on the size of the Army, with the result that the War Department had been charged with sifting all theater troop demands. It therefore requested additional information on which to base its consideration of ETOUSA's troop needs, and again asked
the theater specifically to submit an outline administrative plan for the cross-Channel operation.51
To these comments and injunctions ETOUSA could only reply that it had already taken into consideration precisely those economy measures which the War Department had listed. Every effort had been made to keep to a minimum the number of fixed installations. The War Department, it noted, was apparently unaware of conditions in the United Kingdom, for the logistical setup there was far from optimum. The British had long since dispersed most installations because of the threat of air attack. These had been accepted for use by the Americans largely because the shortage of both labor and construction materials precluded extensive building of new and larger depots. The rail distribution system and the limited capacity of the highways also favored more numerous, smaller, and dispersed installations, all of which tended to increase the need for service units. ETOUSA further assured the War Department that it had already counted on the use of service units of the ground forces wherever possible in formulating the SOS troop basis. ETOUSA admitted certain minor changes in its troop lists, but for the most part justified its requests. The submission of an administrative plan it regarded as impractical at that time.52
The problem of striking an adequate and at the same time economical balance between service and combat troops was a perennial one. Since the War Department's 1942 troop basis had not provided adequate service troop units, it had been necessary to carry out piecemeal activations in order to meet the requirements for overseas operations. In 1943 the number of available troop units continued to fall short of the demands of the overseas commanders. The desire to place the largest possible number of combat units, both air and ground, in the field inevitably resulted in subjecting the service troop demands to the closest scrutiny. Increasingly conscious of the limited manpower resources, the War Department General Staff in November 1942 not only reduced the total number of divisions in the over-all troop basis, with corresponding cuts in the service units organic to the combat elements, but also took steps to reduce the over-all ratio of service to combat elements. There was no formula for economy which could fit all the varied circumstances of a global war, and it was difficult at best to prove that logistical support would be jeopardized by eliminating one or two depot companies or port battalions. In general the view persisted in the War Department that the ratio of service to combat troops was excessive, and it had become normal to regard the demands of the service forces with a certain suspicion, at times with some justification.53 Pressed by the manpower situation in the United States the War Department apparently felt doubly obliged to question the theater's demands.
It should be noted that the original SOS troop demands had already suffered a very sizable cut. The chiefs of services had originally submitted to the theater
commander a list of requirements totaling 490,000 men, each chief maintaining that he had asked for only the minimum number considered essential to do an efficient job. General Devers had taken issue with these demands, and had given a command decision limiting the total service troop basis to 375,000 and assigning the various services specific percentages of this total. The service chiefs consequently had little choice but to recalculate their needs and bring them within the prescribed allotments. Reductions were naturally made where they involved the least risk. The number of hospital beds was reduced by refiguring casualty estimates. Requirements for port battalions were refigured on the assumption that greater use could be made of civilian labor on the Continent, and for railway units on the assumption that railways would not be restored as rapidly as previously planned. In this way 115,000 bodies were lopped off the original "minimum" estimates. The 375,000-man troop basis which General Devers eventually submitted to the War Department in July was based on an allocation of 25 percent of the over-all theater troop basis to the SOS.54 This was certainly not exorbitant considering World War I experience and the enlarged services which the SOS was expected to perform. Whether a force thus limited by fiat would prove adequate to support the ground and air elements remained to be seen. At any rate, the theater stood firm on its July troop basis for the SOS, and it was eventually accepted by the War Department without important changes. While the various component troop bases underwent minor alterations from time to time, by November the ETOUSA first-phase troop basis for 1 May 1944 had reached relative stability with the following composition:55
Type Number Total 1,418,000 Services of Supply 375,000 Ground Forces 626,000 Air Forces 417,000
In the meantime work had also progressed on the troop basis for the second phase, the terminal date for which at first was designated as June 1945 and later moved forward to 1 February 1945. On 5 August General Devers submitted the ground force requirements, totaling 1,436,444,56 and on 26 September the theater notified the War Department that its second phase service troop needs would total 730,247 men.57 Added to the air force total, which did not change since it was to achieve its maximum build-up by 1 May 1944, the troop basis for the second phase thus totaled approximately 2,583,000. The second phase figures represented the cumulative build-up to 1 February 1945 and therefore included the first phase totals. They represented the estimated needs for extended operations on the Continent after seizure of a lodgment area, and were prepared at this time primarily to serve as a guide to the War Department in its activation and training program. As before, the War Department made a careful examination of ETOUSA's stated
TABLE 3--TROOP BUILD-UP IN THE UNITED KINGDOM IN 1943
Month Arrivalsa End of month strength Monthly Cumulative
from Jan 42
January 13,351 255,190 b122,097 19,431 47,325 36,061 5,672 February 1,406 256.596 104,510 19,173 47,494 32,336 5,507 March 1,277 256,873 109,549 19,205 51,566 34,244 4,534 April 2,078 259,951 110,818 19,184 53,561 33,886 4,187 May 19,220 279,171 132,776 19,204 74,205 34,028 5,339 June 49,972 329,143 184,015 22,813 107,413 49,444 4,345 July 53,274 382,417 238,028 24,283 132,950 73,831 6,964 August 41,681 424,098 278,742 39,934 152,548 79,898 6,362 September 81,116 505,214 361,794 62,583 168,999 120,148 10,064 October 105,557 610,771 466,562 116,665 200,287 148,446 1,164 November c173,860 784,631 637,521 197,677 247,052 191,208 1,584 December 133,716 918,347 773,753 265,325 286,264 220,192 1,972a. By ship. Excludes movements by air.<,br> b. Includes 13,608 men assigned to Allied Force for this month only.
c. A large portion of these arrivals consisted of units redeployed from North Africa.
Source: Troop arrivals data obtained from ETO TC Monthly Progress Rpt, 30 Jun 44, ETO Adm 451 TC Rpts. Troop strength data obtained from Progress Rpt, Progress Div, SOS, 4 Oct 43, ETO Adm 345 Troops, and Progress Rpts, Statistical Sec, SGS, Hq ETO, ETO Adm 421-29. These ETO strength data were preliminary, unaudited figures for command purposes, and while differing slightly from the audited WD AG strengths, have been used throughout this volume because of the subdivision into air, ground, and service troops. This breakdown is unavailable in WD AG reports.
needs. Once more it gave its tentative approval, but again pointed out the manpower ceiling under which the War Department was working, noting that the ETO's troop basis would have to be compared with those of other theaters and weighed against over-all manpower availability. It returned the troop basis with recommended alterations and requested that ETOUSA make certain reductions, particularly in service units.58 In November, after restudying the theater's needs, General Devers made his counterrecommendation, restoring some of the cuts, but accepting a reduction of more than 125,000 service troops. At the end of November the theater's over-all troop basis, first and second phases combined, calling for a build-up of forty-seven divisions as of 1 February 1945, stood as follows:59
Type Number Total 2,377,000 Services of Supply 604,000 Ground Forces 1,356,000 Air Forces 417,000
The actual initiation of troop movements did not depend on the final approval of the various troop bases, and the BOLERO build-up had started on the basis of flow charts and priority lists worked out
earlier in the year. The ETOUSA air force had made a negligible recovery in the early months of 1943 despite the high priority accorded it at the Casablanca Conference. In April it was able to operate only six heavy bomber groups with a daily average strength of only 153 planes.60 Upon the approval of the Combined Bomber Offensive plan the build-up of the Eighth Air Force assumed a new urgency and the means were now finally found to carry out the movement of both personnel and cargo roughly as planned. The resumption of the BOLERO build-up first became evident in the month of May, when nearly the entire shipment to the United Kingdom (20,000 men) consisted of air units. The air build-up in fact continued to be favored for most of the summer, and from May through August accounted for approximately 100,000 or three fifths of the 165,000 men shipped to the United Kingdom. (Table 3) By the end of the year the air force had achieved a remarkable growth from 16 groups, 1,420 planes, and 74,000 men in May to 46 groups, 4,618 planes, and 286,264 men.61 The movement of air combat units actually proceeded ahead of the estimated shipping schedules set up at TRIDENT.
The SOS and ground force build-up also achieved an encouraging record, but only after a serious lag in the early months. Ground force strength in the United Kingdom remained almost unchanged from January through May, with fewer than 20,000 men (comprising only one division, the 29th), and made only negligible gains in June and July. By December it was built up to 265,325 men. This was far short of the build-up which the theater commander had originally requested in May (390,000 by 31 December), but the shortage was not serious in view of the fact that large-scale ground combat operations were not contemplated until the following spring.
The progress of the service troop buildup gave far more cause for concern, particularly in the early months. The SOS force in the United Kingdom, like the ground forces, had remained almost stationary, with a strength of about 34,000 throughout the first five months of 1943. In June the theater repeated a request which had been heard many times before--to speed up the arrival of service troops in order to take advantage of the long summer days and good weather to advance the construction of the needed facilities in the United Kingdom. There now were additional reasons for a more rapid build-up, for the decision to reinstitute the preshipping procedure resulted in heavy advance shipments of cargo, and it appeared that there would be insufficient British labor to handle more than about seventy-five ships per month. The theater was already employing Medical Corps, ground combat, and air force troops alongside British civilian labor in depots and ports, and the shortage of labor was already adversely affecting certain British services to the U.S. forces, such as vehicle assembly, tire retreading, and coal delivery to North Africa. At one time during the summer the theater commander considered using the entire 29th Division as labor.62
From June through August the theater received fewer than 46,000 service troops. The lag resulted in part from diversion of shipments to another area, in part from the unavailability of the desired types of
units. Despite the earlier restrictions which the Combined Chiefs of Staff had placed on any further diversion of resources to the Mediterranean, the Sicilian operation had met with such brilliant success, and prospects for an Italian collapse were so favorable that the decision was made in July to invade Italy. Once more, therefore, operations in the Mediterranean area asserted a prior and more urgent claim to available resources. In response to requests from General Eisenhower approximately 66,000 troops were diverted to the North African theater, and only 37,000 troops (mostly air units) out of a projected 103,000 could be shipped to the United Kingdom in August.63 Theater officials expected that the net loss would be even greater, and would have a cumulative effect on the total BOLERO program, since the postponement of the SOS build-up would necessarily delay the ETO's readiness to accept ground and air force units.64
General Lee and the Combined Committee of London learned of the prospective diversions early in July.65 The SOS commander immediately protested, warning the War Department that any further postponement or curtailment of the SOS troop arrivals would jeopardize the cross-Channel operation itself, for the theater was losing unrecoverable time through its inability to undertake the necessary preparations for the later ground force arrivals.66 The inability of the War Department to ship service units of the required types was essentially the fruit of its earlier neglect of the SOS troop basis. Although the activation of service units had been greatly expedited since the fall of 1942, it had been a struggle to obtain from the General Staff the men needed to fill out the units authorized in the 1943 troop basis, and the SOS units had had to be activated earlier than had been anticipated to meet ETOUSA's requirements.67 So urgent did the need become in the summer of 1943 that the War Department finally resorted to the expedient of diverting partially trained ground and air personnel to the Army Service Forces (formerly the War Department SOS, renamed in March) for training as service troops.68
Shortages in the United Kingdom were particularly acute in the category of engineer construction units needed to complete the program for airdromes, hutments, storage, hospitals, shops, and assault-training facilities. General Lee noted that standards had already been lowered from those recommended by the chief surgeon for shelter and hospital beds, and airdrome standards were also below those of the RAF.69 The SOS commander had asked for twenty-nine engineer general service regiments by 30 September. Late in July the War Department informed him that only nineteen could be shipped unless certain unit training was waived. The theater, as in 1942, was willing enough to train units in the United Kingdom, and therefore accepted the partially trained troops.70 Much the same
situation obtained with regard to air force service troops, and as a result the build-up of combat units took place at the expense of service troops, creating a serious lack of balance in the summer of 1943. In October the Air Forces began shipping thousands of casuals to the United Kingdom, where the Eighth Air Force planned to give them on-the-job training and organize them into various types of service units.71
Beginning in September the shipment of service units improved appreciably. In the last four months of the year the SOS almost tripled its strength in the United Kingdom, rising from 79,900 to 220,200. The Combined Chiefs meanwhile had raised the sights for the U.K. build-up. In August the Allied leaders met in the QUADRANT Conference at Quebec for a full-dress debate on strategy for 1944. By that time the tide of war had definitely turned in favor of the Allies. Italy was at the very brink of collapse; the German armies had already been ejected from the Caucasus and the Don Basin, and were now being forced to give up the last of their conquests east of the Dnieper. For the most part the Quebec meeting resulted in a reindorsement of the TRIDENT decisions so far as operations in the European area were concerned. It again gave the air offensive from the United Kingdom the highest strategic priority, approved the first product of the COSSAC planners--the OVERLORD plan for cross-Channel attack in May 1944--and directed that preparations should go forward for such an operation. As a result of the diminishing scale of shipping losses it was also possible to raise the target for the BOLERO build-up. Troop movement capabilities were now increased from the previous TRIDENT figure of 1,300,300 to 1,416,900 by 1 May 1944.72
Troop shipments in the remaining four months of the year did not quite achieve the QUADRANT estimates, although the theater received record shipments of air, ground, and service troops from September through December. In October the arrivals topped 100,000 for the first time, and in November rose to 174,000. At the end of the year ETOUSA had a total strength of 773,753 men (as against a cumulative build-up of 814,300 projected at Quebec), which represented slightly more than half of the authorized first phase troop basis. General Devers was acutely aware of the limited port and rail capacity in the United Kingdom, and had hoped for a heavier flow.73 It was obvious at the end of the year, however, that there would have to be heavy shipments in the first months of 1944.
The flow of supplies and equipment to the United Kingdom under the revived BOLERO program got under way somewhat in advance of the personnel buildup, largely because of the more favorable cargo shipping situation. As a result of the gradual elimination of the submarine menace and the record-breaking production of shipping, the total tonnage lost from all sources by the Allies and neutrals since September 1939 was more than replaced during 1943. In that year the tonnage constructed was four times the total lost in the same period.74
(3) The Flow of Cargo in 1943
Cargo shipping had been allocated on the basis of a build-up of 80,000 men in
the first three months, and 169,000 in the second quarter. The subsequent cancellation of troop movements to the United Kingdom freed approximately 150,000 ship tons per month from hauling the equipment of these units, and left the Army Service Forces (ASF) with the problem of finding cargo for the space.
To both ETOUSA and the ASF this situation was ready made for the reinstitution of the preshipping procedure which had been attempted on a limited scale in 1942. ETOUSA in particular wanted equipment to arrive in advance of troops so that it could be issued to them on their arrival and loss of training time could thereby be avoided. Preshipment would also preclude telescoping heavy shipments in the months immediately preceding the invasion, when British port capacity was expected to be a decisive limiting factor.
In February and March General Andrews repeatedly urged the War Department to adopt this procedure. Early in April he came forward with a detailed proposal requesting that shipments arrive thirty to forty-five days in advance of troops, or, as a less desirable alternative, that organizational equipment be shipped force-marked and arrive at least simultaneously with the arrival of troops. The War Department General Staff gave the request a cool reception. Recalling the unhappy experience with preshipped supplies in the summer of 1942, when much equipment had been temporarily lost in the U.K. depots, the General Staff feared that this situation might be repeated. Theater officials were fully aware of the danger, and it was for precisely this reason that they were at the same time urging the early shipment of service troops. There was also a question as to whether equipment should be shipped in bulk or in sets for "type" or specific units. Because of the habit of shipping equipment forcemarked, precedent indicated the latter method. But the instability of the troop basis in the spring of 1943, and the impossibility at that time of accurately forecasting troop arrivals, reduced to guesswork the planning of advance shipment for specific units. Bulk shipment, on the other hand, would allow the build-up of depot stocks in the United Kingdom with less regard for lists of specific troop units and could thus proceed with relative disregard for changes in the troop basis.75
At the urging of both ETOUSA and the ASF, the General Staff gave a cautious approval to the preshipment concept on 16 April. As authorized at that time, the plan provided for the shipment of organizational equipment, force-marked, thirty days in advance of the sailing of units. In effect, this was not preshipment at all as envisaged and proposed by the theater, for it meant that equipment would arrive, at best, at approximately the same time as the units. Moreover, it adhered to the old force-marking practice by which sets of equipment were earmarked for specific units and therefore did not embody the idea of shipments in bulk. Advance shipment was applied only to a selected list of items--combat maintenance, boxed general purpose vehicles, and Class IV supplies (items such as construction and fortification materials, for which allowances are not prescribed)--in which production at this time exceeded current requirements. Established priorities then in force also limited the application of the program, since North African operations, training requirements in the United States, the bomber offensive in the United Kingdom, and two major operations in
the Pacific all had more urgent call on supplies. Applying the force-marking principle even made it difficult to compute requirements because of the unstable troop basis. In general, then, preshipment was accorded hardly more than lip service at this stage, reflecting both the War Department's reluctance to go further and the theater's continued low priority position.
Unsatisfied with this half-hearted acceptance of the preshipment idea, the ASF immediately exerted efforts to obtain a fuller implementation of the concept. On 16 May it succeeded in getting OPD's approval of an amended procedure which overcame one of the most restrictive features of the original directive. To circumvent the difficulty of computing requirements for the very tentative troop basis then in existence, it was decided that equipment would not be shipped for specific units, but rather for "type" units. While shipments were ostensibly computed from the troop basis, the troop basis was recognized as largely fictitious, and equipment was to be shipped for type infantry divisions, antiaircraft battalions, port battalions, and so on, on the safe assumption that the theater would eventually need and get these types of units. The equipment was to be stockpiled or pooled in U.K. depots for issue to such units upon their arrival. Thus, while having a definite relationship to a troop basis of tentative dimensions, equipment was to be shipped in bulk and not earmarked for particular units.
Even this amendment did not permit a full blossoming of the preshipment idea as originally conceived. Supplies intended for advance shipment still were to be drawn only from excess stock or production. They not only held a priority below that assigned to normal shipments to the United Kingdom, which was already near the bottom of the priority list of overseas theaters, but were far down on the priority list of units in various stages of training in the United States. Only after all the prescribed training allowances of units had been filled as they moved upward in the priority scale in preparation for overseas movement could supplies be made available for advance shipment purposes.
The preshipment procedure therefore began under heavy handicaps. Other theaters, the training allowances of troops in the United States, and high priority operations all took precedence. In fairness to those who worked out the emasculated version of the scheme it should be said that this was probably the highest position preshipment could be accorded at the time. It was wholly consistent with current strategic aims, for the cross-Channel operation was to remain in doubt for several months to come. The immediate aim of preshipment, after all, was not to guarantee an unlimited build-up for BOLERO, but to obtain sufficient cargo to fill the available shipping space in the next few months. In the four months from May through August the "surplus" of space over the normal requirements of troops moving to the United Kingdom was expected to total 784,000 measurement tons. Beginning in September the heavier troop flow was expected to absorb all available tonnage for the cargo which would normally accompany units. In fact, cargo shipping space would fall short of requirements in the fall, and the preshipment program was therefore anticipating the heavy cargo requirements of later months. These expected developments gave the proposal an unassailable logic.
Even in the context of its limited objective,
TABLE 4--CARGO FLOW TO THE UNITED KINGDOM IN 1943
Received Measurement tons Long tons Monthly Cumulative
from Jan 42
from Jan 42
January 129,694 117,913 2,297,909 38,562 881,554 February 92,948 75,566 2,373,475 20,373 901,927 March 115,856 65,767 2,439,242 24,719 926,646 April 134,950 111,245 2,550,487 60,784 987,430 May 251,832 87,056 2,637,543 36,593 1,024,023 June 542,001 348,900 2,986,443 176,033 1,200,056 July 779,906 670,024 3,656,467 292,701 1,492,757 August 730,300 753,429 4,409,896 324,308 1,817,065 September 906,981 778,102 5,187,998 302,914 2,119,979 October 1,018,343 956,888 6,144,886 395,359 2,515,338 November 848,054 790,754 6,935,640 322,757 2,838,095 December 910,482 1,008,150 7,943,790 378,078 3,216,173Source: Shipment data from [Richard M. Leighton] Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow in Preparing the European Invasion, 1943-44, prep in Hist Sec, Control Div, ASF, MS, p. 154, OCMH. Receipt data from TC Monthly Progress Rpts, Statistics Br, OCofT, SOS ETO, ETO Adm 450-51.
however, preshipment did not achieve its goal. Despite strenuous efforts, sufficient cargo could not be found to fill the space released by the reduction in troop movements. A total of 135,000 measurement tons was shipped to the United Kingdom before the end of April, but this left approximately 100,000 tons capacity which could not be filled and was therefore turned back to the War Shipping Administration.76 The same inability to fill available shipping space continued in varying degree throughout the next four months. Approximately 1,050,000 tons of shipping were made available for May and June, but less than 800,000 tons of cargo were dispatched. (Table 4) In July 780,000 tons of an allocated 1,012,000 tons of space were utilized, and in August only 730,000 tons were shipped as against the available 1,122,000. Of the 2,304,000 measurement tons shipped to the United Kingdom in the four-month period from May through August, slightly more than 900,000 tons, or 39 percent, represented preshipped cargo. This was a large proportion, but hardly represented a spectacular achievement in preshipment. The percentage was this high only because troop sailings to the United Kingdom were small in these months and the normal accompanying equipment and supplies accounted for a relatively small portion of the total cargo space. Preshipment was actually failing to achieve its immediate purpose, which was to utilize
all available shipping. Furthermore, full advantage was not being taken of the long summer days when British ports were at their maximum capacity and relatively free from air attack.
The failure to achieve even the narrow aims of the preshipment program is not too surprising in view of the status of Allied plans in the summer of 1943. Fundamental to the failure was the low priority accorded preshipment cargo. This in turn reflected in part the doubts that surrounded future strategy. Even the TRIDENT Conference, with its resolutions on the Combined Bomber Offensive, cross-Channel attack, and the accelerated build-up, did not resolve these doubts. The temptation still remained to commit Allied resources more deeply into the Mediterranean, and throughout the summer the possibility remained that there might be no cross-Channel operation after all. Late in June came the request from North Africa for additional personnel, which further upset planned troop flow to the United Kingdom, and in July there were indications that the entire European strategy would be reconsidered.
In view of the wavering strategic plans, preshipment definitely involved risks. Tying up additional equipment in the U.K. depots might actually make it difficult to equip a force for a major operation elsewhere except by reshipping the stocks from the United Kingdom. Logistic plans had been mapped out at TRIDENT to conform with strategy; but with the strategic emphasis subject to change, logistic plans could hardly be stable. Nothing demonstrated so pointedly the necessity for firm objectives if the logistic effort was to be effective.
The instability of preshipment plans was best exemplified in the Chief of Staff's directive of 8 July ordering the advance shipment suspended after 15 August until the strategic situation was clarified. By early August most of the equipment for troops scheduled to reach the ETO by the end of 1943 had been shipped, and it was necessary to reach a decision on preshipment of equipment for troops sailing after the first of January. Fortunately the air had cleared somewhat by this time, and the list of ground units scheduled to sail before 1 May 1944, completing the first phase troop basis, was complete. On 13 August came approval of preshipment on the extended troop basis, thus allowing advance shipment of supplies to continue.
It was only a few days later that the QUADRANT Conference at Quebec reaffirmed earlier decisions on operations in Europe, dispelling much of the fog of the past two months and incidentally reaffirming the validity of preshipment. The conferees again recognized the all-important problem of U.K. port capacity, which had a significant bearing on the entire cargo shipping program. British officials had already called attention to the problem at Casablanca and at TRIDENT, noting that the maximum practical limit was 150 shiploads per month, even with the help of U.S. dock labor. At the TRIDENT Conference in May they had agreed to a quarterly schedule of sailings to meet U.S. requirements averaging 90 ships per month in the third and fourth quarters of 1943, and 137 per month in the first and second quarters of 1944. By August, however, it had become evident that the slow rate of troop and cargo movements during the spring and summer would force a tremendous acceleration of movements in the fall and winter, which would be beyond the capacity of U.K. ports. British officials were particularly
concerned about the pressure in the months immediately preceding the invasion, when ports would also be taxed by out-loading activities. The primary cause of this limitation was the shortage of labor, and measures were already being taken to dispatch additional U.S. port battalions to the United Kingdom in anticipation of the deficits.
At Quebec British officials insisted on a revision of the earlier sailing schedules, calling for an increase to 103 shiploads per month in the fourth quarter of 1943, and a reduction to 119 per month in the first and second quarters of 1944.77 Advancing the heavier shipments to the fall of 1943 was obviously indicated to relieve the strain in the early months of 1944, and also to make up for the lag during the summer of 1943. The schedule revision meant a net reduction of 77 ships for the nine-month period, however, and placed a ceiling on U.K. reception capacity which was considerably below the quantity of ships and cargo the War Shipping Administration and the ASF could provide. So far as preshipment was concerned, the remaining months of 1943 were to be crucial, since the equipment accompanying the heavy troop unit movements in 1944 would certainly absorb the bulk of the available shipping after the first of the year. Efforts were therefore bent toward finding cargo to fill the available shipping in the remaining months of 1943.
Cargo shipments to the United Kingdom in August totaled only 730,300 measurement tons, and well reflected the numerous logistical problems which could affect the carrying out of BOLERO. Rearmament of additional French divisions in North Africa, first of all, had drawn off about 250,000 tons. In addition, August had seen the diversion of U.S. personnel to North Africa, resulting in smaller troop movements to the United Kingdom and, in turn, relatively small normal cargo shipments. Consequently, of the 730,200 tons shipped that month, an abnormally large proportion--about 48.7 percent--represented preshipped cargo, even though the total tonnage was not large. Shipments in September and October were considerably larger, totaling 906,981 and 1,018,343 measurement tons, respectively. In these months, however, troop sailings were so much heavier that preshipped cargo accounted for only 40.4 and 36.5 percent.
November shipping also felt the effect of outside logistic factors. The decision had been made at TRIDENT, and reaffirmed at Quebec, to transfer four American divisions from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom. This redeployment was largely carried out in November and had its repercussion on the U.K. build-up by diverting troop shipping and cutting deeply into the planned troop sailings from the United States. Once more the ASF was suddenly faced with the problem of finding equipment to fill the cargo shipping released by this cancellation of troop movements. The result was evident in the tonnage figures for November. Less than 850,000 tons were shipped that month, but of this total 457,868 tons, or 54 percent, were preshipped equipment, the largest advance shipment yet achieved in both actual tons and percentage of total cargo. Even this figure was misleading, however, for three of the four divisions transferred from North Africa had to be equipped from stocks established in the United Kingdom. In December a total of 910,482 measurement tons was shipped to
the United Kingdom. Because of the considerably heavier troop sailings with their accompanying equipment, however, preshipped cargo totaled only 318,314 tons, or 35 percent. A comparison of actual ship sailings with those scheduled in May and August is given below:78
Date TRIDENT QUADRANT Actual 3rd Quarter 1943 259 -- 241 4th Quarter 1943 280 308 273
Actual sailings, therefore, did not even achieve the ceilings established at the TRIDENT Conference, much less the accelerated schedule agreed on at Quebec for the last three months of 1943. A comparison of total tonnages shipped with tonnage allocated likewise reveals the inability to allocate sufficient cargo to fill the available shipping. In the eight-month period from May through December approximately 1,400,000 tons of shipping were allocated in excess of the ASF's ability to provide cargo. The result foreboded serious trouble, for the mounting troop movements of 1944 were bound to turn the surplus tonnages of 1943 into deficits.79
At the heart of the supply build-up problem was the system of priorities which had been necessitated by the inability of U.S. production facilities to fill all requirements simultaneously. Existing priorities relegated ground force cargo for the European theater to eighth place (priority A-1b-8) and gave advance shipments to the theater an even lower rating. Fully aware of the priority handicap, the ASF in the early stages of the preshipment program had suggested a revision of priorities for equipment as applied to units in training in the United States, but met strong opposition from the Army Ground Forces. In September the ASF again raised the question, this time with strong backing from the theater. ETOUSA was particularly worried about certain critical shortages and pointed out that even minimum requirements of engineer and signal equipment had not been met. There was need for 125,000 long tons of organizational equipment for troops arriving in October alone, and in view of the time required for distribution, supplies were neither arriving sufficiently in advance nor keeping pace with the personnel build-up.80 Yet no action was taken to change priorities, and in September and October sufficient cargo was again lacking to fill available shipping space.
In November the ASF finally succeeded in persuading the General Staff to accord cargo for preshipment the same priority as normal theater shipments (that is, A-lb-8 for ground forces and A-lb-4 for air forces). But this proved to be a minor concession. At the end of November, when the new priority went into effect, it was already apparent that available cargo space could not be filled for that month.
More important, by this time troop movements to the United Kingdom had increased to such a scale that the bulk of available tonnage was taken up by the normal equipment accompanying troops. In other words, the flow of personnel was now beginning to catch up with the flow of cargo, and it was no longer possible to advance-ship large tonnages. The stock of preshipped equipment in the United Kingdom was beginning to melt away. Of the estimated 1,040,000 tons of preshipped equipment in the United Kingdom on 1 November, almost half was to be issued to arriving troops within two months. Some question even arose as to whether an adequate flow of cargo could be maintained to support the scheduled flow of troops. There certainly were doubts about the possibility of meeting the critical shortages under existing priorities.
By the end of the year, then, the nub of the problem was the theater's priority, which it now became imperative to raise. Early in December the ASF asked OPD to raise ETOUSA's priority for air force equipment from 4 to 1, and that for ground force equipment from 8 to 2. It requested the same priority for advance shipments. The General Staff approved this plan and put it into effect before the end of the year. In the remaining months before D Day ETOUSA was therefore to enjoy the highest priority for all items required. Enormous tonnages still remained to be shipped to meet the requirements of the 1 May troop basis and the many special operational needs of the cross-Channel invasion.
The mounting tonnages of supplies which began to arrive in British ports in 1943 naturally placed a tremendous burden on the growing SOS organization. Fortunately, there was to be no repetition of the unhappy experience of 1942. The Services of Supply was a much more experienced organization by this time, and 1943 had witnessed a steady improvement in shipping and receiving techniques and procedures. The goal of the shipping program was of course to put down in the United Kingdom adequate supplies in such a way that they could be properly stored and distributed. To achieve this objective posed problems for the theater and the zone of interior which were closely related. The extent to which cargoes were to be segregated in the U.K. ports, for example, had a direct bearing on the marking and manifesting procedure of the port of embarkation and the zone of interior depots. Likewise, the marking and documentation system and the degree to which cargoes could be broken down when vessels were unloaded largely determined the nature of the depot system in the theater. Because of the many restrictions on the handling of supplies in the theater, however, the theater SOS in most cases was left with little choice in its methods, thus placing on the zone of interior the burden of accommodating itself to these difficulties.
The importance to the theater of having cargo properly marked and manifested had already been demonstrated. Preparations for TORCH had served as an object lesson: the theater must be properly notified of the status of its requisitions and shipments, and cargo must be adequately marked. Nothing so stultified plans for future action as not knowing what resources could be counted on.
The need for adequate advance information was fully recognized. Standing operating procedures provided for an elaborate reporting system intended to
keep the theater informed of the status of its requests at every stage. The key document in the series was the manifest, which contained the first detailed information for overseas port agencies regarding a cargo's contents and stowage, making it possible to plan unloading and distribution. Until the end of 1942, however, this system of notification had proved inadequate. The manifest was often incomplete, lacked uniformity, was illegible, used a haphazard nomenclature, and even though sent by air mail, frequently did not arrive ahead of the cargo.
The second aspect of the problem--proper identification of cargo--was even thornier. Some of the worst marking practices had been eliminated after the frustrating experience in connection with the TORCH preparations, but the marking system still fell short of the theater's needs. As it evolved in 1942, the system of shipment identification provided only three or four elements of information: a shipping designator in the form of a four-letter code name which indicated the theater or area to which the cargo was addressed; an abbreviation of the supply service making the shipment; and the Roman numeral indicating the class of supplies. For example, UGLY-QMII was used to mark a crate of quartermaster Class II supplies going to the United Kingdom. This marking was unsatisfactory to the ETO, for it failed to allow the identification of separate items of shipment with the corresponding items of the requisition. The theater desired a series of symbols by which each item in a shipment could be matched with corresponding items on all the supply papers and reports, such as the requisition, shipping papers, availability notices, packing lists, manifests, loading cables, and so on.
The theater's need for such an elaboration of the marking system was dictated largely by conditions in the United Kingdom. ETOUSA had originally planned, in accordance with normal practice, to have cargo shipped from the port areas to central base depots in the United Kingdom. There it would be segregated and then reshipped to advance or branch depots, which would distribute supplies to using units. This system was too extravagant in the use of transportation and depot facilities. British railways were heavily burdened, and depot space was always at a premium. To avoid the cross-hauling and back-hauling, and to save labor in the repeated handling of supplies which this system involved, ETOUSA desired a marking procedure which would so completely identify specific items of a shipment with the original requisition that they could be routed directly from the port to specific depots.
In 1942 the War Department instructed the various theaters to work out their own codes for this purpose, and ETOUSA officials gave the problem careful study. By December 1942 the SOS staff had worked out a plan, and two of its authors, Col. E. C. Goodwin and Maj. Charles Case, were sent to Washington to urge its adoption. The UGLY system, as it was called, simply expanded on the original identification procedure, adding the necessary code symbols so that each item of shipment could be matched with the original requisition and corresponding items on all supply documents. The specific requisition was indicated by a letter and a three-digit number. Each service was allocated a block of numbers. The Quartermaster Corps, for example, could use any number from 001 to 099, and increased the possible number of combinations by adding
a letter to indicate the series of requisitions. B019, for example, was the nineteenth in series B of QM requisitions, and in submitting requisition BO19 the theater would request that all shipments made against it be marked UGLY-QMII-BO19. This included the basic ingredients of the marking code and provided a complete oversea address. It was to be stamped on all containers in a shipment against a particular requisition, and thus permitted the identification of a particular item, case, or crate of supplies with the requisition requesting it.
There were other refinements and elaborations. When more than one shipment, or shipments from two or more depots, were made against one requisition, additional letter and number symbols were added to indicate the depot making the shipment and the number of the shipment. When the New York Port received a requisition from London it frequently made extracts for filling for the various depots where the supplies were stored, and instructed these depots to add the necessary code and number to the marking to identify its part of the original requisition. The Raritan Arsenal, for example, might mark its shipment as follows: UGLYORDII-B320RA6. Each of the other ordnance depots filling a portion of the B320 requisition would add its appropriate letter code and shipment number. Additional abbreviations could be inserted to indicate specific convoys, priorities, advance shipments, and so on. From the theater point of view this plan not only provided a satisfactory means of marking shipments and matching shipments with requisitions, but overcame the persistent difficulties of keeping the theater informed of the status of its requests. The manifest procedure was uncertain at best; the proposed system provided brief, simple code symbols for each shipment, which could be transmitted by cable as soon as a shipment had been loaded. It virtually assured the theater of receiving a complete listing of the items in a shipment before it even left the New York Port, and eliminated all nomenclature references, on which there was such confusing lack of uniformity. Finally, upon a vessel's departure the cargo loading cable gave the theater even more exact information on the tonnage of cargo for each requisition number and partial shipment.81
The War Department did not receive the ETOUSA plan with open arms. All agencies concerned subjected it to an exhaustive examination and, while admitting its advantages, raised strong objections. The Transportation Corps in particular was critical. The inauguration of the new system involved a complete reorganization of supply procedures, it claimed, and a complete reindoctrination of supply personnel. Furthermore, the Transportation Corps had recently put into effect a more detailed manifest breakdown which it hoped would meet the past criticism by the theater, and desired that it be given an opportunity to prove its worth. Early in January General Lutes therefore asked the theater to withhold the new plan, but promised to put it into operation should the improved manifest fail to meet ETOUSA's needs. A few weeks later General Lee held a conference of his service chiefs, as a result of which he reported to the War Department that the new manifest was proving unsatisfactory. The figures compiled by the service chiefs indicated that the system had actually
deteriorated. The manifests still lacked the type of information needed to indicate the status of requisitions or to show what supplies were afloat or en route. They were often arriving too late to be of any use to the overseas port commander in giving disposal instructions.
Once more the authors of the UGLY plan were sent to Washington, and the experience of December was repeated. The War Department appeared more opposed to the ETOUSA plan than ever. It insisted that further improvements had been made in the manifest, meeting the theater's objections, and it now questioned the entire basis for the detailed system which the theater was demanding. General Lutes felt that the ASF was being asked to accommodate all of its shipping procedure to the U.K. depot system. The theater was asking for a detailed advance documentation of shipments so that it could plan the final disposition of every package even before its arrival, and so that it could make a minute breakdown of cargo at the port and forward it to the branch and issue depots in a direct single haul. According to General Lutes, this would put the ASF into the "retail business." He thought there was great danger of becoming bogged down in such detailed documentation of supplies for the support of a million or more men. The ASF had in mind a more "wholesale" handling of supplies, whereby cargo could be broken down by service near the port and then moved to interior depots. Since distances were short in the United Kingdom, the ASF assumed that much of the redistribution of cargo could be handled by trucks.82
The theater avoided using motor transport for that purpose, however, until the rail lines became hopelessly burdened. The narrow and winding roads of the United Kingdom were not meant to be used by the large vehicles of military convoys. So far as the breakdown of cargo in the port area was concerned, this was impossible unless cargo was adequately marked. The SOS had met this problem partially by the use of inland sheds where supplies were segregated and sometimes stored until shipped to the branch and general depots. But General Lee opposed the establishment of a complete branch storage system in the vicinity of the ports because it entailed a far heavier construction program than could be sustained. He held to the original SOS proposal for a marking and forwarding procedure which would be adaptable to the United Kingdom's storage and transportation system and which would facilitate the distribution of supplies within the theater, even if it meant changes in zone of interior procedures. If this could be accomplished through a more efficient manifest system, well and good. General Lee recognized some good features in the existing manifest system and thought it could be improved even further by the inauguration of a new high priority courier service, but it was obvious that ETOUSA did not care to place its faith in a system which had been found so wanting in the past.83
Late in March the War Department approved and put into effect some of the most important features of the UGLY plan in connection with cargo shipments to the United Kingdom. Its application at this time represented a compromise, since it was intended mainly to supplement the
MOTOR CONVOY waiting to board landing craft during a training exercise, Falmouth, England, December 1943, above; convoy moving along road in England, below.
manifest system and therefore to facilitate the notification of the theater about coming shipments and in the immediate handling of cargo upon its arrival. It did not implement those portions of the plan which would have given the theater information on exactly what portions of its requisitions had been filled, on partial shipments on the same requisition, and on the shipping depot. The result was that stock control and record keeping remained very complicated and constantly in arrears.
The problem of stock control and adequate supply records concerned the ASF as much as the theater and was intimately related to the problem of transmitting adequate information about shipments to the theater. Partly because of the continuing unsatisfactory system of overseas supply records, and partly because of the increasingly obvious advantages of the UGLY system, the ASF extended the ETOUSA plan late in May. Under its fuller application the procedure now provided that separate shipments made against particular requisitions would be completely identified by the symbols in the third portion of the overseas address already described. In fact, this particular feature of the procedure was specifically emphasized by the new title which the ASF now gave it--"Identification of Separate Shipments to Oversea Destinations" (later referred to simply as ISS). In effect, the system now embodied virtually the entire UGLY plan.
Meanwhile the theater persuaded the ASF to accept still another refinement in the shipping procedure which further facilitated the handling of cargo in the United Kingdom by relieving the strain on British transportation. Until the spring of 1943 cargo was loaded on available ships in the United States without much regard to destination in the United Kingdom. Upon arrival of the ships in U.K. waters the Ministry of War Transport, in so far as possible in accordance with the wishes of the SOS service chiefs, allocated vessels to the ports best suited to serve the destinations of the bulk of the cargo in a particular ship. The long rail hauls frequently required to move cargo from the port to its ultimate destination thus placed a burden on British internal transportation facilities. It would obviously not do to continue this wasteful practice when the rate of the BOLERO build-up increased to 150 or more ships per month.
Early in 1943 representatives of the British War Office, the Ministry of War Transport, the British Railways, the War Shipping Administration, and the SOS met to study the problem and worked out a plan designed to eliminate much of the cross- and back-hauling involved in the current practice. This was the zoning system which the War Department approved in April and implemented three months later. By this plan the United Kingdom was at first divided into two zones for the receipt of cargo. Zone I, designated by the code word SOXO, included the entire area north of a line of county boundaries drawn through London and Banbury, and thus embraced the Clyde and Mersey River ports (chiefly Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester) and also the Humber River ports of Hull and Immingham on the eastern seaboard. Zone II, known as GLUE, included the southern portions of England and Wales, and the ports of the Bristol Channel and Plymouth, Southampton, and London. A third area, Zone III, comprising Northern Ireland and named BANG, was added later. It was intended that each zone should be served by
its own ports alone and that there should be a minimum of hauling from the ports of one zone into another.84 Service chiefs in the United Kingdom were to requisition for a particular zone, and ships were to be loaded in the United States so far as possible with cargo for that zone. Most cargo henceforth bore the shipping designator SOXO, GLUE, or BANG, depending on the group of ports to which it was directed, instead of UGLY, which was now used only on cargo not intended for any particular port group in the United Kingdom. Based on an estimated maximum 160 ship arrivals per month, the space and facilities were allocated to handle 65 vessels in Zone I, 85 in Zone II, and 10 in Zone III. By the end of the year the ports of the three zones were handling 41 percent, 53 percent, and 6 percent respectively of the incoming cargo, approximately according to the planned loads.85
Using data from the various shipping documents, such as the manifests, and the cargo loading cables which were dispatched from the United States upon the departure of the ships, the chiefs of services indicated the depots to which they wanted particular supplies delivered. With this information Transportation Corps representatives attended the meeting of the Diversion Committee of the Ministry of War Transport at London shortly before the arrival of a convoy in British waters and decided on the basis of available berths, handling equipment, size of the ships, and type of cargo at which port each vessel was to be discharged. Once these decisions were made, the information was passed along to the service chiefs, who then determined the final destination of each item of cargo. By the time a vessel berthed, the port commander was supposed to have in his hands precise knowledge of the size, weight, and location of all cargo in the ship and the ultimate depot destination of every item. This information also enabled transportation officials to have the required rolling stock available for movement inland. Clearance of the ports always had a high priority on the British railways and roads so as to prevent backlogs and congestion in the port areas, which were frequent targets for the Luftwaffe. As the British freight wagons left the ports, depot commanders were immediately notified by telephone so that they could make preparations to receive the supplies.86
The procedure described above was, in theory at least, the scheme for the shipment to and receipt of cargo in the United Kingdom as gradually worked out in 1943. The system at first appeared highly complex, especially to the ASF, which in the eyes of the theater did not fully comprehend the peculiarities of supply problems in the United Kingdom, and the ASF was understandably reluctant to undertake the overhauling of its supply procedures and reindoctrination of thousands
of its personnel. But the new system quickly proved its worth and earned the almost unanimous approval of all theaters. In the fall of 1943 the Transportation Corps added still another improvement to the procedure. It perfected its so-called date-line system, scheduling each step in processing requisitions and planning shipments by a series of deadlines, all actions being geared to a fixed convoy sailing date. The result was an integration of the several processes into a synchronized operation which eliminated many of the last-minute changes which had characterized the preparation of shipments before. The addition of still another symbol--the time priority or convoy cycle symbol--to the overseas address removed still more of the uncertainty for theater supply officials.87 By the end of 1943, when the tremendous cargo shipments to the United Kingdom were getting under way, the ISS, bearing many of the features of the originally proposed UGLY plan, was fully developed and in operation.
The peculiarities and limitations of British facilities influenced logistic operations along the entire supply pipeline, reaching back to the depots and even the factories in the zone of interior. In England every service and facility groaned under the burden of wartime demands and was subjected to the closest control. For personnel and cargo arriving in the United Kingdom this first became evident in the field of transportation. Two agencies, both under the Ministry of War Transport, exercised a tight control over all water and land transport. Sea Transport at first controlled the entire working of vessels from berthing to unloading, although the U.S. Transportation Corps by 1943 was given full control of American ships in the ports. Movement Control directed all transportation inland.
(4) Troop and Cargo Reception
By far the most important of the points of entry for American supplies and personnel were the Clyde and Mersey River ports and those of the Bristol Channel. The Humber River ports (Hull and Immingham), London, and the southern ports of Southampton and Plymouth, while important in peacetime, were for a long time unsafe because of both enemy submarine and air attacks, and were not extensively used on American account until the avalanche of supplies began late in 1943. The Clyde ports--consisting of Greenock, Gourock, and, fifteen miles up the river, Glasgow--were the main points of debarkation for American troops. At all three ports troops were debarked by tender, in midstream at Glasgow, and in the broad, deep anchorage known as the "Tail of the Bank" at Greenock and Gourock. They immediately entrained at quayside for their assigned destinations. Glasgow possessed excellent dock facilities, including the necessary cranes. But the Clyde area was relatively removed from the principal U.S. lines of communications and was used mainly for troop reception, accounting for more than half, or 873,163, of the 1,671,010 U.S. debarkations to 30 May 1944.88 It accounted for only about 8 percent--1,138,000 measurement tons, or 226,000 long tons--of the total U.S. tonnage discharged in the United Kingdom through May 1944.
The Bristol Channel ports--Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, and Avonmouth--and
TENDERS ALONGSIDE THE QUEEN ELIZABETH at Gourock, Scotland.
the Mersey ports--Liverpool, Garston, Manchester, and Birkenhead--were located nearer the center of U.S. activity and tended to specialize in freight discharge. The two groups of ports accounted for 9,750,000 measurement tons (3,800,000 long tons) or 70 percent of all tonnage brought into the United Kingdom for American troops through May 1944. Most of the heavy equipment and supplies, such as tanks, guns, and ammunition, were brought through these ports, although often with great difficulty. Much of the equipment at these ports was outmoded and inadequate for unloading directly from ship to rail, or rails were so constructed that it was impossible to follow the American practice of moving cargo by means of pallets and fork-lift trucks or tractor-drawn trailers. Many improvements were made in cargo-handling methods, however, including the use of special slings for lifting explosives, and the construction of floating cranes for handling tanks and tractors. With the mounting tonnage receipts in the summer of 1943 these ports were hard pressed to prevent the formation of backlogs, but by one expedient or another they managed to keep their quays cleared. The Mersey ports, in addition to discharging about 4,500,000 measurement tons of freight, debarked more than a half million U.S. troops.
American cargo imports constituted only a fraction of the total volume of freight which flowed through the British ports. Throughout the war years Britain
required an import program to meet its civil needs and sustain its war effort which ran to about 25,000,000 tons per year. In 1943 U.S. imports into the United Kingdom added another 2,500,000 tons to this volume of traffic. The capacity of the ports to handle these enormous tonnages was limited as much by labor difficulties as by the inadequacies of the physical plant. The fighting services had long since drawn off the younger and more able-bodied men, leaving a labor force both smaller and less efficient. The average age of dockers at Liverpool, for example, was 52.89 Port operations were also plagued by prevailing employment practices in the United Kingdom. Before the war British dock work was conducted under a system of casual labor, with workers shifting from dock to dock and from one employer to another. In the summer of 1940 dock laborers were required to register and submit to compulsory transfer to any port where they were needed. The bombing of the southern and eastern ports threw an increasingly heavy load on the safer western ports and made it imperative to bring these ports to the fullest efficiency, and therefore also required revisions in the employment system which still prevailed.
In 1941, before the Americans came on the scene, the entire system of dock employment became more regularized, and the National Dock Labour Corporation was formed to take over as the employer of all stevedores. Nevertheless, British labor practices still brought many frustrations. In Northern Ireland, for example, port labor was controlled by the stevedoring concern of G. Heyn and Son, Ltd., called HEADLINE, which provided workers upon request of the port authorities. For this service it received a 20 percent commission on the gross payroll. Under the terms of the contracts it was against the interests of both the employer and employees to discharge vessels quickly or in those ports where handling equipment was superior, and the company even attempted to dictate the port where ships were to be berthed. In 1943 this unsatisfactory situation was resolved by new contracts whereby it was to HEADLINE'S advantage to accomplish a rapid discharge and therefore assure a quick turnround of vessels.90
The labor problem in Belfast was further complicated by the existence of rival Catholic and Protestant unions, one of which worked coasters and the other ocean-going vessels. Since much of the cargo discharged at Belfast was transferred to English or Scottish ports by coaster, a strike started by the union handling coasters would also tie up discharge of ocean-going freighters since there was little storage space in the port itself. All in all, the situation was highly volatile, and disputes over pay and other matters frequently involved American port officials in wildcat strikes or threats to strike, and at times delayed the scheduled discharge of ships. Until the summer of 1943 the British unions restricted the use of military labor to those periods when civilian workers were unavailable. By that time, however, the flow of cargo rose to huge proportions and resulted in an acute labor shortage, and the ban on the use of military labor was lifted. In the Bristol Channel area the U.S. port commander had foreseen this shortage and had anchored a ship at Penarth to train a new
group of fifty Transportation Corps soldiers in unloading methods every two weeks. This scheme paid off well when the critical labor shortages developed in 1943. At the height of the BOLERO build-up in the spring of 1944 fifteen U.S. port battalions of approximately 950 men each were engaged in the discharge of cargo from U.S.-controlled vessels.91
The task of moving personnel and cargo inland in the United Kingdom fell chiefly to the railways. In addition to the limited capacity of their rolling stock the British railways suffered from other handicaps, such as limited head space and inadequate tunnel clearances, which impeded the free movement of tanks and other awkward equipment. Colonel Ross, chief of transportation in the ETO, had reported after his first look at U.K. facilities in 1942, that the country was "so cramped and small, the railroad equipment so tiny, the roads so small and crooked and methods so entirely different" that a complete reorientation of operating methods was required.92 By comparison with the railroads of the United States the British system was indeed in many ways a Lilliputian one. Nevertheless, it accomplished a prodigious feat although dangerously overburdened, and by the tightest control handled traffic approaching the crowded schedules of the New York subways.
With the first inauguration of the BOLERO build-up in the summer of 1942 a question immediately arose as to the role of U.S. Transportation Corps personnel in the U.K. organization, The British desired that American troop units should be absorbed into the existing system. Colonel Ross objected to such complete integration, and quickly established trained traffic control personnel in the British rail transportation offices in the regional commands to learn the British system of control. With continental operations in mind, when U.S. Transportation Corps units would have to operate their own lines of communications, he felt it was his duty to develop an organization capable of functioning independently. He therefore insisted that the Transportation Corps in the ETO be allowed to assume full responsibilities in transportation operations as rapidly as permitted by available personnel. At the same time he organized a refresher course for transportation officers, referred to by some as a "deflation school," since it was suspected of having been designed as much to deflate any latent chauvinism which U.S. officers might have about U.S. transportation facilities and procedures as to orient them in British railroading methods.93
The development of a completely separate U.S. transportation system was hardly feasible, and ETOUSA agreed with British officials to establish a joint control. Under this arrangement the American traffic control system paralleled the British, American personnel working closely with British transportation officials and assuming a full share of responsibility in the control of movements. By early 1943 American traffic officers were handling all their own transportation in areas where U.S. troops were preponderant, and American Rail Transportation Officers (RTO's) became familiar figures in the many stations along the British rail lines. Railway operating units meanwhile trained by performing switching
service at the depots and operating for short distances on the main lines. American units first took over the operation of switchyards at the Ashchurch, Sudbury, and Thatcham depots in the fall of 1942, and in November for the first time operated a "goods" train on a British main line, between Sudbury and Egginton.94
Since distances were short, no attempt was made to establish the normal staging system for troops arriving in the United Kingdom. By careful scheduling of troop trains (up to seventy per day) to meet convoys, worked out in advance by representatives of the British railways, Movement Control, and the Office of the Chief of Transportation, ETOUSA, troops could be marched directly from boatside to train and dispatched to their destinations without delay. The entire movement had to be highly synchronized because passenger cars were in short supply, normal civilian rail traffic had to be accommodated, and rail facilities at the ports were limited. RTO's at the port supervised the transfer of troops from portside to trains, and others along the route made arrangements for refreshment halts.
Supplies were moved under the same general system of control, with regional transportation officers working in close collaboration with British Movement Control. As with troop movements, the local RTO's were responsible for issuing the necessary shipping documents, notifications of departure, and so on.
As indicated earlier, the British railways were desperately short of locomotives, and in 1942 arranged for the shipment of 400 engines (known as Boleros) from the United States. These 2-8-0's were the equivalent of the British "Austerity" class engines. They had been designed in co-operation with the British, the principal consideration being simplicity of design and construction and the necessary ruggedness to stand up under combat conditions, since they were eventually intended to be used on the Continent. The first of these utility locomotives arrived with ceremony befitting their importance at Cardiff, Wales, in November 1942. The program was later extended, based on an estimate that some nine hundred locomotives would be needed on the Continent in the first six months of operations, and joint stockpiling of Boleros and British Austerities was begun. In 1943 the American-built engines began to arrive at the rate of about fifty per month.95 A freight car building program was also undertaken. Large numbers of cars designed for use on the continental railways were shipped knocked down to save shipping space and were assembled in England, principally at the Hainault Railway Sheds and Siding, excellent shops constructed just before the war at Chigwell, Essex, a few miles northeast of London.96
Motor transport moved little cargo until the fall of 1943 mainly because of the difficulties of operating large trucks over rural roads and through the often narrow streets of English towns. By that time the flow of cargo swelled to proportions which the railways could not handle, and motor transport therefore came into increasing use, operating under the Motor Transport Division of the Transportation Corps and under the same regional control system as
U.S.-BUILT LOCOMOTIVES stockpiled in Wales, above. Locomotives, tank cars, and freight cars are checked at an Amy railway shop before being stockpiled for use on the Continent, below.
was used in co-ordinating movement by rail. In the final eight months of the build-up, from October 1943 through May 1944, trucks of the Transportation Corps carried approximately 1,100,000 long tons (averaging 140,000 tons per month) or one third of all supplies cleared from the ports.97
Limitations of manpower, construction materials, and transportation facilities all influenced the type of depot system which the SOS was to have in the United Kingdom. Early SOS plans contemplated the establishment of two types of depots: one to store reserves to meet invasion requirements and sited with a view to outmovement to the Continent; the other to store maintenance supplies. This arrangement was soon found to be impracticable, and reserve and maintenance supplies were therefore stored in the same depots. Plans for base or wholesale and advance depots were also abandoned when it was found more desirable to route incoming supplies directly from ports to their ultimate destination. The only concession to the idea of wholesale depots for the purpose of segregating supplies was the expedient of the sorting shed, which prevented the clogging of ports.
Control of the U.S. depots in the United Kingdom was first vested in a General Depot Service under the theater G-4. This arrangement was short-lived, however, and in accordance with the trend to decentralize SOS operations the depots eventually came under the direct command of the base section commanders in whose particular area they were located. Planning storage requirements naturally took place at a higher level. The responsibility for consolidating the needs of all the services belonged to the chief quartermaster, and the task of providing the necessary space was that of the chief engineer. The chief quartermaster exercised staff supervision over all the general depots--that is, depots which stored and issued the supplies of more than one service. Branch depots, which handled the supplies of only one service, came under the technical supervision of the respective service chiefs.
To meet a variety of requirements, depot installations necessarily took a variety of forms, ranging from the general and branch depots to the large vehicle parks and special storage facilities for such items as petroleum and ammunition. Suitable storage space was almost always at a premium because of the lag in construction, the necessity of revising early estimates (a larger amount of covered storage was required because of the damp climate and poor packing of supplies), and the unsuitability of some of the facilities turned over for American use.
In the first flush of the BOLERO build-up in 1942 there was no time to construct new supply installations. The early needs of the U.S. forces were met by taking over British depots or various types of warehouses. The first installations were established in former commercial warehouses in Liverpool, Bristol, and London, and in existing depots at Barry, Thatcham, Portsmouth, and Ashchurch. The acres of newly constructed Nissen hut storage did not appear until the middle of 1943. As in the case of the ports, much of the warehousing turned over by the British was hard to adapt to modern storage methods. Materials-handling equipment was lacking, space was often poorly arranged, ceilings were too low, doors too narrow, and in many multistoried warehouses
ROADSIDE STORAGE of ammunition and vehicles in England.
elevators were either in poor working order or nonexistent. Fairly typical of the facilities taken over in the first year was the fourteen-story Stanley Tobacco Warehouse in Liverpool, which became the site of Depot G-14 (the G indicating a general depot). Its elevators were old and slow, access to the loading bays was restricted, and all traffic was funneled down Dock Road, which also bordered Liverpool's miles of quays. A picturesque feature was provided by the widespread use of dray horses, which clattered up and down the main thoroughfare day after day with their wagonloads of supplies.
Finding enough civilian labor to aid in the operation of the depot was a perennial worry. The U.S. Army at first hired recklessly at American wage scales. British officials pointed out the serious consequences of such a policy and offered to provide workers under reciprocal aid payments. The return to British civil service rates naturally caused some bad feelings. The eventual arrangements for unskilled labor, such as dock gangs and warehousemen, have already been mentioned. Skilled workers, such as clerks and supervisors, were thereafter administered and paid by British Pay and Establishment Officers, although many British civilians at higher headquarters continued to be paid at American rates through the U.S. Army Finance Office.98
The problem of pilferage added to the irritants of G-14 in the early months and was a source of trouble at other depots as well. The Liverpool depot received large quantities of tempting items such as cigarettes, candy, towels, and canned food. In the confusion of 1942, when records were poor and guarding was inadequate, thefts of these commodities by both civilians and soldiers continued for several months. Investigations that followed the discovery of this situation in the fall of 1942 apparently did not solve the problem. In March of the following year General Somervell himself wrote to General Andrews, noting that he had had reports of losses of shocking dimensions through theft. The theater commander assured him that measures had been taken to reduce such losses to a minimum, and took the opportunity to point out that the trouble obviously was not all at the theater end, for investigation of some shipments had disclosed that pilferage had taken place before their arrival in the U.K. ports.99
G-14 at Liverpool was an example of the conversion of commercial facilities to meet the requirement for a general military depot. A more model installation could be seen in the depot turned over to the Americans at Ashchurch, only a few miles north of Cheltenham. Located in the heart of the Bristol Channel port area, and adjacent to the Birmingham-Bristol line of the London, Midland, and Scottish Railway, this installation became one of the key general depots of the SOS network. It had been recently built by the British and organized as a Royal Army Service Corps establishment, primarily as an automotive depot. In accordance with policies laid down in the BOLERO plan, the transfer of the Ashchurch installation was a gradual process. The first SOS units were attached in June 1942 to receive motor vehicles discharged at the ports. British troops were gradually replaced by U.S. units, and a few months later the command of the depot passed from the
GENERAL DEPOT AT ASHCHURCH, above. Engineer construction materials stored at another depot, below.
British to the Americans. In August 1942 the depot had a U.S. strength of slightly under 3,000 men and consisted of 158 permanent buildings, including 10 hangar-type and 5 smaller warehouses. Despite the capacity and size of the installation many improvements and additions were necessary. American troops at first had to live in bell tents at a site near the depot called Camp Northway, which was devoid of all normal comforts. U.S. engineers set to work immediately to build a hutted camp. Another project that received high priority--extending the network of rail spurs--eventually gave the depot an excellent system that provided rail access to about one third of the buildings and 90 percent of the open storage areas.100
The Ashchurch installation was a general depot, receiving, storing, and issuing equipment and supplies for five of the seven services--Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal, Engineer, and Chemical Warfare. But its principal activities continued, as under British operation, to be in the field of ordnance supply, and all its commanders were either quartermaster or ordnance officers. The depot's Ordnance Section was responsible not only for the receipt, storage, and issue of ordnance general supplies, all types of general, special purpose, and combat vehicles and artillery, but also for fourth and fifth echelon maintenance of ordnance equipment. The latter responsibility required the establishment of a base shop capable of completely rebuilding all types of engines and heavy units. To meet this need a regular assembly line was organized. The General Motors schedule for this line called for a daily production of 80 engines, 40 transmissions, 40 transfer cases, 40 rear-axle assemblies, 40 front-axle assemblies, and varying capacities for about a dozen other minor assemblies such as starting motors and generators, although the "Little Detroit," as the base shop was called, for various reasons never achieved these output figures. Before D Day the shop reached its highest production rate in May 1944, when it turned out 854 engines.
Tire repair was another of the Ordnance Section's duties. The first tire repair company arrived in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1942. Lacking equipment and supplies, however, the unit was utilized for miscellaneous ordnance duties for many months, and could not begin the work for which it was trained until July 1943. After its facilities were expanded in the fall, the tire repair shop achieved a rate of more than 3,000 retreads and 6,000 section repairs per month. Just before D Day the two tire repair companies operated on a twenty-four-hour basis.
In 1943 the Ordnance Section at G-25 undertook another important task--vehicle assembly. Vehicles were shipped to the theater either wheeled, boxed, or cased. Wheeled vehicles were sent directly to parks and depots and, after a little servicing, were issued for use. Boxed vehicles came packed in one crate or box and required only the addition of wheels and minor assembly and servicing before issue. Cased vehicles, however, came either in twin unit packs (TUP), two vehicles in from one to five boxes, or single unit packs (SUP), one vehicle in one or two boxes, and required considerably more assembly work. General Motors and Studebaker 2‡-ton trucks, for example, were shipped in TUP'S, two vehicles in four cases;
JEEP ASSEMBLY LINE at an ordnance depot, September 1943.
Diamond T cargo trucks and wreckers and Dodge 1‡-ton trucks were packed two vehicles in three cases; jeeps came in SUP's, one per box. Arrangements had been made with the British in 1942 to have civil contractors assemble all vehicles shipped under BOLERO program. By the summer of 1943, however, British plants had been able to achieve a rate of only slightly more than 4,000 assemblies per month, with no prospect of handling vehicles at the expected rate of import,101 and the SOS therefore proceeded to establish its own assembly facilities. On 7 August the theater's chief ordnance officer instructed Col. Clarence W. Richmond, an ordnance officer who had assumed command of Depot G-25 only a few weeks before, to begin the assembly of vehicles by 16 August. The task of actually constructing the assembly lines fell to Maj. William R. Francis, commander of the 622d Ordnance Base Automotive Maintenance Battalion, which was then operating the base shop. Lacking units specifically trained in assembly work, lacking the proper tools, and having little information from higher headquarters, Major Francis, after a look at the British Austin Motor Works, nevertheless went ahead with plans. Assisted by M. Sgt. Leroy Beil, a shop foreman and mechanic, and by Pvt. George Phillips III, a time and motion expert formerly with the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Major Francis succeeded in getting an assembly line built
and in operation by his own battalion by 18 August. A second line was brought into operation three weeks later, employing a newly arrived heavy automotive maintenance company. Production was at first confined to seven General Motors models, and the assembly of additional types was undertaken later. In December the plant undertook the assembly of combat vehicles, artillery, and motorcycles, as well as general purpose wheeled vehicles. Before D Day the plant assembled 8,500 vehicles and 5,800 miscellaneous units such as trailers and antiaircraft guns. Its best day on the truck assembly line was 26 October 1943, when it turned out 128 General Motors 2‡-ton trucks.
Something of the range and complexity of activities at G-25 is suggested by the fact that Ordnance alone handled more than 320,000 items of supply, ranging from tiny jewels for wrist watches to 10-ton wreckers. The formidable inventory and stock control problem was incalculably complicated in 1942 by a change-over to a different automotive parts identification scheme after the responsibility for supply and maintenance of motor vehicles was transferred from the Quartermaster Corps to the Ordnance Department. Coming in the midst of the hurried preparations for TORCH, the change created an almost hopeless confusion, necessitating as it did the retraining of thousands of supply personnel and civilian workers. The derangement within the depots plagued SOS supply personnel well into 1943. The accounting and inventorying practices of ETOUSA were a source of embarrassment for a long time and were the subject of more severe censure from the War Department than was any other shortcoming.102
With the acceleration of the BOLERO build-up in the summer of 1943 G-25 handled an increasing volume of supplies and stood out as one of the great general depots in the SOS structure. At the peak of its capacity the depot had 1,750,000 square feet of covered storage space and more than 2,000,000 square feet of open storage. It had a strength of over 10,000 men. G-25 employed a relatively small number of civilians--under 500--partly because of the location of the depot and the resultant shortage of skilled workers. Many of those who were employed at the depot had to be transported by U.S. Army buses from Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, and other nearby communities. Ordnance activities continued to dominate the business of the depot, although its duties were diversified. On 1 June 1944,6,500 of the 10,000 men belonged to Ordnance units, of which there were a total of 43 companies organized under 8 battalions and 2 group headquarters. From a small beginning in 1942 the warehouse handling equipment of the Ordnance Service alone grew to include 32 cranes (up to twenty tons capacity), 64 fork lifts, 35 prime movers, and 38 tractors, and the service also supervised a pool of conveyors, 475 flat cars and auto trailers, and 5 narrowgauge diesel locomotives. In the months just preceding the invasion the depot processed nearly 5,000 ordnance requisitions per week.
By the end of 1943 the SOS depot system comprised 18 general and 46 branch depots, in addition to 11 vehicle parks and 22 petroleum and 8 ammunition depots.103 Vehicle parks, many of them
established on the grounds of large British estates, with their row after row of tanks, armored cars, and trucks, gave a particularly impressive picture of massed might. Most of the depots likewise gave such an impression. But G-25 was one of the largest and had by that time become something of a model installation. Because of its proximity to Cheltenham it became the showplace of the SOS and was regularly placed on the itinerary of visiting dignitaries. In characteristic army fashion, work frequently came to a standstill and many man-hours were lost while brooms were wielded to prepare for "inspections" by high-ranking visitors.
The problem of developing an efficient logistical organization with a workable delineation of authority between the various staffs and command echelons continued throughout 1943. The initial attempt by the SOS to take over theaterwide supply and administrative functions had resulted in an unsatisfactory compromise with ETOUSA, providing for a division of responsibilities between the two headquarters, creating overlapping agencies, and permitting considerable wasted effort and confusion.104
(5) Command and Organizational Changes in 1943
The crux of the problem from the start was the position of the special staff and the split of the services between London and Cheltenham. The first attempted clarification of the relationship of the two staffs, shortly after General Eisenhower's assumption of command, was admittedly a makeshift arrangement and not intended as permanent. It solved nothing in the fundamental conflict for the simple reason that it did not give the SOS control of all theater supply and administration. Partly because of this unsatisfactory definition of relationships and powers, and partly because the SOS was split between Cheltenham and London, the hodgepodge of agencies, duplication of effort, and confusion continued.
Preoccupation with the TORCH preparations prevented a remedying of this unsatisfactory situation and allowed it to worsen. But once the North African operation was launched General Lee and his staff again took up the struggle to bring the SOS into what they conceived to be its proper relationship to ETOUSA--that is, to secure for it control of all theater supply and administration. In November 1942, on the basis of an analysis of the existing organization made by the head of his Progress Branch, General Lee proposed a reorganization which would have made him responsible for all supply and administrative functions in the theater and thus "free the Theater Commander of [these] details." The plan would have permitted the senior officers of the various services to continue on the theater staff, but proposed that they be under the direct command of the Commanding General, SOS, and that all but a few of the chief administrative officers, such as the adjutant general, inspector general, theater judge advocate, and provost marshal, also be stationed at the SOS headquarters. The theater staff flatly rejected Lee's proposal, asserting that there were certain responsibilities for administration, discipline, and training which the theater commander could not delegate.105
Nevertheless, the existing arrangement was recognized as defective and caused dissatisfaction in all quarters. The division of functions between ETOUSA and the SOS had its obvious disadvantages, which were accentuated by the physical separation of the two headquarters between London and Cheltenham. As an example, the over-all supervision of military police activities was the province of the provost marshal at ETOUSA; but the military police officers in the various districts were appointed by and were responsible to the SOS provost marshal. The question of jurisdiction became particularly involved in the matter of the issuance of directives on the regulation of highway traffic, since it involved the prerogatives of base section commanders, the chief of transportation, the military police, the SOS as a whole, and the theater.
There was an even more inherent danger in the separation of logistical planning for future operations from normal SOS operations, the one being carried out by the theater staff and the other by the SOS, for under this arrangement there was the strong possibility of repeating the error made in the preparations for TORCH, in which the SOS was largely left out of supply planning, although called on to execute logistical plans. The difficulties of operating under this arrangement became increasingly evident during the winter of 1942-43, and the service chiefs in particular realized the need for integrating functions and concentrating authority in one place. But while the need for reorganization was widely recognized, there was little agreement as to what the changes should be, probably because any fundamental alterations inevitably involved surrender of authority by one headquarters or another.
At the time General Lee's proposal was being considered at theater headquarters another plan for the organization of the theater was offered by Col. Royal B. Lord, an officer who then was assigned to the Office of the Chief Engineer. His proposal had the same objective--that is, to bring all supply and administrative functions under the control of the SOS--but would accomplish it in a somewhat different manner. Colonel Lord envisaged a division of the theater into three subtheaters, one for North African operations, one for air operations, and a combined SOS-Communications Zone. The salient feature of the scheme was the proposal that the theater commander's staff concentrate on operational planning, while the SOS-COMZ command take over all planning and operational aspects of supply and administration. While this plan does not appear to have been officially presented to the theater headquarters, it is worth mentioning at this point in view of the key positions in the SOS which its author was later to have, and in view of the fact that he subsequently was instrumental in bringing about a reorganization along the lines of the basic principle he advanced at this time.
Throughout these months the organizational problem was complicated by the fact that North Africa still came within the boundaries of the European theater. With the severance of the TORCH area in February 1943, North Africa no longer entered into these considerations, and the ETO once more resumed its independent development, although subordinate in importance to the more active theater of operations.
Within a month after General Andrews assumed command of the ETO General Lee submitted another plan for reorganization
Basically, it had the same objective as before, but it embodied a more radical change in proposing that the Commanding General, SOS, be designated Deputy Theater Commander for Supply and Administration and that the theater G-4 be placed under him. The proposal thus closely resembled British practice, wherein the theater commander's deputy exercised direct control of the lines of communication. This arrangement, General Lee asserted, would remedy one of the most serious defects of the existing setup, for it would permit the proper co-ordination of broad operational planning with logistical planning and operations by providing for "the proper presentation of the Air and Ground Force needs to the SOS," and by insuring "that the capabilities of the SOS are considered in the preparation of operational plans."106 With the TORCH experience in his memory, General Lee was obviously concerned over the role of the SOS in future operational and logistical planning. His latest proposal was intended to insure that future planning would be properly co-ordinated, in addition to bringing all supply and administration under the control of the SOS. General Lee's plan was a significant landmark in the history of command and organization, for it presented for the first time the idea of a Deputy Theater Commander for Supply and Administration, which was eventually adopted, and also pointed up the fundamental issue of the ETOUSA G-4's position vis-ý-vis that of the Commanding General, SOS.
General Andrews was not unaware of the faults in the existing organizational structure and indicated a willingness to see some changes brought about along the lines of concentrating more authority for supply and administration in the hands of the SOS. But he did not accept the proposal to name General Lee Deputy Theater Commander, nor the idea of placing the theater G-4 under him. General Andrews believed that the SOS commander already had sufficient authority to carry out his mission without being named Deputy Theater Commander; and he regarded the proposal with regard to the G-4 as administratively unsound, for it would have placed the chief of a general staff division at theater level under a subordinate headquarters and therefore in a very difficult position. General Andrews thought that it was necessary for the ETOUSA G-4 to guide the SOS "according to broad phases of theater and higher plans," and that the necessary co-ordination of logistical planning with the SOS could be accomplished through normal staff channels if the SOS and the ETOUSA G-4 maintained close liaison. To achieve better co-ordination he suggested rather that the chiefs of the services should move back to London and spend at least part of their time there.
The theater commander thus rejected the more radical innovations embodied in General Lee's proposal. But the discussions nevertheless led to certain improvements in the organizational structure. On 21 March theater headquarters redefined the whole ETOUSA-SOS relationship. General Order 16, which replaced General Order 19 of July 1942, reiterated the basic principle that the theater headquarters was the superior authority regarding the determination of policies, objectives, priorities, and the issuance of orders affecting two or more commands. Beyond this, it described the SOS as its instrumentality for administration and supply in the
theater. The powers and responsibilities of the SOS were detailed in a separate letter of instructions. On the vital matter of the position of the administrative and supply chiefs, the order assigned all these to the SOS, with the exception of the inspector general, adjutant general, theater judge advocate, provost marshal, and a few miscellaneous agencies. As if to leave no doubt regarding the extent of the SOS's authority over these services, the order placed them under General Lee for "coordination, supervision, operational control, and direction," thus using the entire constellation of magical terms which were such favorites in the military jargon and subject to such frequent misinterpretation. The order also specified that Headquarters, SOS, and the chiefs of services were to be established in London, where the latter would be better available to the theater commander and his staff. In addition, the London Base Command, until then under ETOUSA, was turned over to the SOS for administration, and became Central Base Section. Its commander, Brig. Gen. Pleas B. Rogers, was also named Headquarters Commandant of ETOUSA.
The theater's new order by no means fully met the desires of the SOS. Certain of the administrative services still remained with the theater headquarters, against General Lee's wishes. But the difficult position of the technical service chiefs was considerably improved, for the system of maintaining senior representatives at theater headquarters was eliminated. Headquarters, SOS, and the chiefs of services now moved to London, where each service chief established a planning division, and an over-all SOS planning echelon was established. SOS planning was now carried out in London, close to the theater staff, while SOS operations continued to be handled from Cheltenham. This division of function in the SOS became permanent, and led to the appointment in April of Brig. Gen. William G. Weaver as deputy commander of the SOS in charge of operations.
The reorganization of March 1943 was undoubtedly a step in the direction desired by General Lee, although it did not completely resolve the conflict between the theater and SOS headquarters. The ETOUSA staff in general disapproved the SOS's pretentions to power and its insistence on a large general staff. General Lee had asked for one major general and twenty-nine brigadier generals for the SOS staff and base sections. The request did not sit well with the ETOUSA staff, and evoked an acrid remark about the "high pressure salesmanship" exerted by the SOS to provide general grades for its staff positions.107 On the other hand, the SOS could not see why ETOUSA should retain any of the administrative services, and desired to bring the entire special staff under its control. One explanation for ETOUSA's tenacity in retaining certain purely administrative functions for itself was the fact that the theater's functions were still limited mainly to administration and supply. The ETO was not yet really a theater of "operations" in the sense that it was conducting combat operations (except for limited air operations), for the North African invasion was directed by an Allied organization; it was rather in a sense merely an extension of the zone of interior. In this relatively static situation there was consequently a tendency on the part of the ETOUSA staff to want control over administration and supply, the principal matters that concerned the theater at the time. Even planning for a cross-channel
operation was still in an academic stage because of the remote prospects of actually carrying out a major invasion of the Continent.
The March reorganization also left unsettled the whole matter of the relationship of the SOS to the ETOUSA G-4. In General Lee's view, the theater G-4 duplicated functions which were rightfully the province of the SOS. General Andrews, however, held that logistical planning must be carried out at the same level as operational planning, and that a G-4 on his own staff was vitally necessary to co-ordinate all matters relative to administrative support for future operations. The result was that, in planning, the service chiefs were in effect under the direction of the theater G-4, and the SOS, although now controlling most of the special staff positions, was left with something less than the complete control of all aspects of supply and administration which it had sought. That the possibility for conflict was contained in this arrangement was immediately foreseen, for the G-4 would have to maintain the closest possible contact with the service chiefs of the SOS. To guard against any infringement of the authority of the Commanding General, SOS, ETOUSA therefore issued a memorandum cautioning its staff to observe the proper channels of communication and not to short-circuit the SOS commander in communicating with the chiefs of services. In the relationship between the theater general staff divisions and the SOS service chiefs the old problem of maintaining the distinction between "command" and "technical" matters thus took another form, with each headquarters guarding its own prerogatives.
The reorganization effected under General Order 16 was short-lived. To General Lee the position of the theater G-4 outside the SOS was an anomalous one and made impossible the accomplishment of his goal--complete integration of all supply and administration in the theater. What General Lee apparently desired was an organizational setup similar to that in the zone of interior, where General Somervell's ASF had also gained wide authority over matters of procurement, supply, and administration, and had all but absorbed the War Department G-4's functions. Efforts to secure a more acceptable organization therefore continued, and with the assumption of the theater command by General Devers in May General Lee made another attempt. This time he was more successful, for General Devers was more receptive to General Lee's proposals. On 27 May a new general order (33) was issued redefining the relationship between the SOS and ETOUSA. It resolved the problem of the theater G-4 by abolishing the position, the duties of the G-4 being assumed by the Commanding General, SOS. In addition, the SOS acquired control of still more of the administrative services, chiefly the Claims Commission, the newly created Area Petroleum Service, and the offices of the theater judge advocate and the provost marshal.
These changes strengthened the SOS immeasurably, combining the planning and operational functions of supply for the first time in one agency. They gave General Lee great satisfaction, and he later wrote that "this was the first constructive move towards the elimination of the separate theater staff and vested in the SOS complete supply responsibility for the theater."108
To accommodate itself to its enlarged functions the SOS now also underwent an
internal reorganization. The old general staff divisions were eliminated and the activities of the SOS were organized along functional lines. In place of the SOS G-4 a Chief of Services was now named, taking over all supply services in both their planning and operational aspects, and in place of the G-1 a Chief of Administration was designated to do the same with regard to the administrative services. A new Training and Security Division replaced the G-2 and G-3. The Chief of Administration, Col. Edgar B. Fell, had charge of all the administrative services now operating under the SOS, including the Claims Commission and the services of the judge advocate, army exchange officer, chief finance officer, special services officer, provost marshal, and chief chaplain. Colonel Lord became the Chief of Services, and took under his supervision all the supply services, plus the General Purchasing Agent and the Deputy Area Petroleum Officer. His office was the most important under the new arrangement, and was organized into three echelons to provide over-all supervision and co-ordination of supply planning and operations--one at Norfolk House, for planning with Allied planning agencies; one at Cheltenham for the supervision of supply operations; and one at SOS headquarters in London to exercise general over-all supervision. General Weaver, who had become General Lee's chief of staff, continued as deputy commander.
Within two months the SOS carried out still more internal changes. Certain inconsistencies already existed in the SOS personnel assignments as a result of the May reorganization. Colonels Fell and Lord were both junior to many of the officers serving under them, and Colonel Lord was for various reasons not acceptable to at least part of the staff,109 although he had the complete confidence of the SOS commander. In view of the intensified preparations which would now certainly attend the revival of BOLERO and COSSAC's planning for cross-Channel attack, both General Styer, the ASF chief of staff who was in England in June, and General Devers recommended that another officer be brought to the ETO for a key role in the SOS. In accordance with their recommendations Maj. Gen. Robert W. Crawford, a senior officer destined to hold a high staff position in the Supreme Allied Headquarters, was ordered to England from the Middle East, where he had been in charge of supply activities. On 24 July he was appointed deputy commander of the SOS and Chief of Services, replacing both General Weaver and Colonel Lord in those positions.
Colonel Lord temporarily assumed the job of Deputy Chief of Services for Planning, and General Weaver retained only the position of chief of staff to General Lee. Once General Crawford had oriented himself on SOS operations, however, he established his office in London and concentrated his efforts on logistical planning, becoming chief of staff to Lee as well as deputy commander. General Weaver continued in charge of operations at Cheltenham and was now officially designated Field Deputy Commander. In the final shakedown of SOS staff assignments Colonel Lord ended up as Chief of Operations, a new name for the Chief of Services, in which position he was responsible for staff co-ordination of operations, while General Weaver, as Field Deputy Commander, exercised actual supervision over field operations, making inspections and
CHART 4--ETOUSA AND SOS COMMAND AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE,
GENERAL CRAWFORD receiving the Distinguished Service Medal from General Devers.
co-ordinating the activities of the base sections. Finally, Colonel Fell was replaced by Col. Earl S. Gruver, whom General Crawford had brought with him from the Middle East, and the office of the Chief of Administration was moved to London. The entire reorganization was formalized in a series of SOS general orders appearing between 19 and 25 August 1943. (Chart 4)
The chief effect of all this shuffling of assignments and titles was that General Crawford assumed the planning responsibility, thus taking over the function formerly held by the theater G-4, but now carried out within the SOS. With the CCS approval of the OVERLORD plan at Quebec in August, this aspect of SOS activities gained increasing importance, and the work of all echelons was intensified in the late summer and fall of 1943 with the greatly accelerated flow of American troops and supplies to the United Kingdom. As a result of the stepped-up tempo of planning for the cross-Channel operation there was a tendency to bring more and more of the SOS organization to London. Despite the division of SOS activities between two headquarters the system appears to have worked fairly well, and periodic staff conferences were held at both Cheltenham, attended by the base section commanders, and London. At one of these conferences, on 23 August, General Lee expressed considerable satisfaction with the new system. "For the first time," he stated, "an American Army has . . . what we regard as sound organization, bringing together the G-4 and SOS functions."110
Even this arrangement did not last. Early in October the chief innovation of the August reorganization was temporarily canceled when the position of G-4 at the theater level was restored and supply planning was shifted back from the SOS to ETOUSA. Partly because of a personality clash General Crawford left the SOS, having served less than two months as deputy and chief of staff to General Lee, and moved up to occupy the G-4 position on the theater commander's staff. While the channels of control were changed, however, the system seems to have functioned much as before. Moreover, the retransfer of the planning function was only temporary. In December General Crawford moved to COSSAC, which eventually was transformed into Supreme Headquarters, and with this change in assignment General Lee once more took over the duties of theater G-4. Several other changes in assignment were also
GENERAL LORD, Chief of Staff SOS. (Photograph taken in 1944.)
made within Headquarters, SOS, the chief one being the appointment of Colonel Lord as chief of staff and deputy commander of the SOS. Colonel Lord thus became General Lee's right-hand man and an influential voice in all future activities of the SOS.
While the changes brought about in May and August 1943 undoubtedly represented an improvement in theater organization it was partially illusory. The modifications of August had never completely stopped the duplication of function or conflict over administrative matters between the SOS and ETOUSA, and relations between the two headquarters continued to be afflicted with trouble. Earlier in the year General Lee had been empowered to issue orders within the scope of his authority, using the familiar authentication "by order of the Theater Commander." In July the Eighth Air Force challenged this practice when the SOS published a circular charging the base section commanders with responsibility for control of all troops outside ports and camps and authorizing them to detail men from ground and air force commands to temporary military police duty. The Eighth Air Force contended that this was an infringement on its authority and raised the old issue of the right of a coordinate command to issue such orders. General Devers upheld the air force in this test of strength, asserting that commanders had no authority to issue orders in his name outside their own commands. The authority of the SOS to issue such orders was accordingly revoked, and the SOS's instructions were amended forbidding it to "infringe upon the command responsibilities of other major commanders." Henceforth, when the SOS found it necessary to issue instructions to co-ordinate commands (the Eighth Air Force and V Corps) which affected their command responsibilities, it was to submit these instructions to ETOUSA for approval and issuance. In accordance with this new procedure the circular which had offended the Eighth Air Force was therefore submitted to ETOUSA and republished word for word over the name of the theater commander.
This affair demonstrated clearly that the SOS did not yet have the full authority which it thought it had acquired, and forcibly pointed up the vexing difficulties attending the attempt by a subordinate command to assume theater-wide supply and administrative functions. The SOS was obviously displeased with this curtailment of its authority and did not accept it without protest. Its thinking was reflected in a study of the whole SOS position written
by Col. Charles R. Landon, General Lee's adjutant general. Colonel Landon asserted that it was necessary that the SOS continue to issue instructions in its own name to the entire theater if it was not to be reduced to the position of a minor staff section of a huge G-4 office. He admitted the necessity of avoiding delicate matters which other commands might consider an infringement of their rights, but it would be intolerable to have the service chiefs, for example, in their theater capacity pass on recommendations from the office of their own superior, the Commanding General, SOS. Colonel Landon therefore recommended that the SOS continue to issue instructions within its province to the entire theater in the name of the Commanding General, SOS. This procedure was adopted, but it resulted only in an increase in the number of matters which had to be submitted to the theater staff for review, and therefore increased the duplication of effort in the two headquarters.111
The attempt to bring the supply and administrative activities of the entire theater under the control of one headquarters thus remained a dilemma which seemed to defy solution. In the fall of 1943 the preparations for OVERLORD, including the creation of a new Allied command, cast a new light on the entire problem of SOS-ETOUSA relations. The subsequent changes in the theater's command and organization were closely tied up with these developments, and the account of these changes is best postponed to a consideration of their relationship to the command developments on an Allied level.
In the course of the difficulties over its relationship with ETOUSA the SOS also made certain adjustments in connection with two other aspects of organization and command. One pertained to the development of its territorial organization, the base sections, and the other concerned its supply and administrative responsibilities to the Air Forces.
It will be recalled that in the original organization of the regional command system in the summer of 1942 the base section commanders had been granted fairly broad powers, although certain activities, such as transportation and the operation of the ports, had been exempted from their control. In general, the base section commanders possessed complete authority over activities confined to their own command; but were restricted in matters which were "interstate" or theater-wide in nature. The chiefs of services therefore possessed certain powers in addition to the "technical supervision" which they normally exercised in matters affecting their particular service, and supervised these activities through representatives who were members of the base section commanders' staffs.
This entire arrangement came up for review in October 1942, only two months after it had been established. The source of greatest dissatisfaction was the extent of the exempted activities. Base section commanders complained that the chiefs of services had encroached on their authority, especially with regard to the control of service troops. The whole problem was discussed at an SOS staff and command conference on 24 October, at which General Collins of the Northern Ireland Base Section was outspoken in his criticism of the system, asserting that the service chiefs had abused their powers and that it would have been impossible to operate in Northern Ireland if existing regulations had been carried out. Despite these complaints
no basic change was made in the original division of responsibilities and authority at that time.
The solution of this basic conflict between functional and regional control was by no means clear, and the vague delineation of authority of the base section commanders and chiefs of services persisted for a long time. Colonel Weaver, then chief of staff to Lee, thought the difficulties could best be resolved by better co-operation between the two. He emphasized the obligation of the service chiefs to keep the base section commanders informed of their activities. He thought that the base section commanders would seldom find fault with anything the service chiefs tried to do on technical matters, but the base section commanders naturally resented being bypassed or kept in the dark about those activities. He therefore urged that the chiefs of services, so far as possible, issue their directives on technical matters through their representatives in the base sections; and a new SOS circular on 31 October admonished the service chiefs to keep the base section commanders "continually informed."112 General Lee was a firm believer in the base section system and was desirous that it be made to work. Relations between the base section commanders and the service chiefs did in fact improve after this, although the exempted activities and "interference" by the service chiefs were a continued source of annoyance.
The year 1943 brought certain changes in both the territorial structure of the SOS and in the division of authority. Four base sections had been activated in the summer of 1942--Western, Southern, Eastern, and Northern Ireland. In 1943 the number was first reduced to three and then increased to five, the situation in Northern Ireland accounting for most of the changes. After the TORCH operation, Northern Ireland became primarily an air force base, and most of the activities there were handled by the new VIII Air Force Composite Command. When V Corps moved to England, SOS activities in Northern Ireland were even further reduced, and in December 1942 Northern Ireland Base Section was therefore inactivited and the area was incorporated into Western Base Section as a district. The number of base sections in the United Kingdom was thus reduced to three. In the fall of 1943 Northern Ireland again became important as a troop concentration area as American units began to flow to the United Kingdom in large numbers. Northern Ireland Base Section was therefore re-created on 2 October 1943, and General Collins returned from Western Base Section to assume command. In the meantime another base section had been added when the London Base Command was turned over to the SOS in March 1943, as already mentioned. It was officially designated the Central Base Section on 29 April. With this addition and the re-creation of Northern Ireland Base Section the SOS therefore consisted of five base sections at the end of 1943 : Southern Base Section (Colonel Thrasher); Western Base Section (Col. Harry B. Vaughan); Eastern Base Section (Col. Ewart G. Plank); Northern Ireland Base Section (General Collins); and London Base Section (General Rogers). (See Map 2.)113
Important developments took place in 1943 toward the solution of the problem of the division of powers between the base section commanders and the chiefs of services. In the first six or eight months of operations there had been an increase in the number of exempted activities, which continued to be a thorn in the side of the base section commanders. Beginning in the spring of 1943 this trend was reversed. At the end of May the internal management of exempted activities was given to the base section commanders, and the service chiefs were left with only the normal technical controls. Three months later the system of exempted activities was officially ended, and the base section commanders were charged with responsibility for "all SOS operations" in their sections.114 This development had the effect of removing the control of the service chiefs over their representatives on the base section staffs, since these officers had been responsible to the chiefs of services for exempted activities. Base section commanders were also given a more complete control of personnel assignments.
The result of these changes was to enhance considerably the powers of the base section commanders at the expense of the service chiefs. Base section commanders now possessed virtually complete control over personnel and depot operations. Each base section was a miniature SOS duplicating the organization at SOS headquarters, and the operating instrumentality of the SOS. Its functions included issuing supplies to all troops in the base section, providing complete hospitalization, policing the entire base section area, handling train and road movements in co-operation with British agencies, providing entertainment and recreational facilities, constructing the necessary accommodations, acquiring quarters, and receiving supplies and American troops through the ports. In the pyramidal structure of the SOS the base sections now operated substantially according to the principle which General Lee had enunciated--"centralized control and decentralized operation." The chiefs of services retained technical control of their services in the base sections, exercising this through their representatives on the section staffs. Since technical control was always subject to conflicting interpretation, however, service chiefs and base section commanders continued to complain about interference and infringements of authority. Thus, a fundamental conflict remained, and the comments which General Weaver--then a colonel--had made in October 1942 still applied. Co-operation between the base section commanders and the service chiefs was still the key to successful operations.115
The problem of the division of function within the structure of the SOS was in many ways duplicated in the SOS's relations with the Air Forces. The Air Forces from the very beginning of the theater's organization insisted that its supplies, because of their peculiar nature, receive special handling. An agreement had been reached in the summer of 1942 by which supplies and equipment common to all the services should be provided by the SOS. Supplies peculiar to the AAF, however, were to be handled by its own service organization, the VIII Air Force Service Command, and were to be requisitioned directly from the United States. Beyond this the Air Forces had also hoped to secure control over construction of all airdromes,
over local procurement of air force supplies, and over the handling of air force supplies at ports of debarkation. Against its wishes the responsibility for the construction of airdromes was assigned to the SOS, and the control of aviation engineer construction battalions also remained with the SOS. Local procurement was to be handled in the same way as for the other services, that is, Air Force requests would be cleared through the General Purchasing Agent. As far as discharge at the ports was concerned, the original agreement provided that the SOS control all port facilities, although AAF liaison officers were to supervise the handling of air force supplies. This proved unsatisfactory to the Air Forces, which claimed that the SOS was too slow in dispatching cargo, and the Air Forces soon established intransit depots at the ports to assure proper and expeditious handling of its supplies.
Actually, the Air Service Command wanted to establish its own independent supply pipeline all the way back to the zone of interior, and continued to fight toward this goal. Throughout 1943 the Air Forces urged increased control over its own supplies, charging the SOS with delays and with requiring too many justifications for Air Force requisitions. Early in 1944 an Air Service Command board, after studying the entire supply system, proposed that certain common supply items be furnished the Air Forces in bulk without detailed justification. This idea was rejected. But the SOS agreed that the existing system had faults and made certain concessions in the requisitioning procedure. These changes still did not meet the Air Forces' objections, and early in February the Air Force Service Command again asked that certain supplies be earmarked for the AAF before shipment from the United States. This would have established an independent supply line to the zone of interior for the Air Forces and was consistently opposed by the theater. Except for the earlier concessions, therefore, the supply procedure remained as before, to the dissatisfaction of the Air Forces. As in the controversy between the base section commanders and service chiefs, successful accomplishment called for a large measure of mutual understanding and co-operation.116
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (2) * Next Chapter (4)
1. Ltr, Roosevelt to Churchill, 30 Nov 42, WDAG CofS 334 JCS; Memo, Brig Gen John R. Deane for OPD, 10 Dec 42, OPD 370.5 ETO, Sec 1, 1-63.
2. Memo, Handy for Marshall, 18 Dec 42, sub: Shipment of Troops to U.K., OPD 370.5 ETO, Sec 1, 1-63.
3. Memo, CofS for President, n.d., OPD 370.5 ETO, Sec 1, 1-63.
4. 2d ANFA (Casablanca) Mtg, 18 Jan 43, JCS Hist Files.
5. 3d ANFA Mtg, 23 Jan 43.
6. CCS Paper 172, 22 Jan 43. U.S. strength in the United Kingdom on 1 January stood at approximately 135,000, but was to suffer further losses to TORCH.
7. Ltr, Lee to Styer, 28 Jan 43, ASF CofS ETO 1943, I.
8. Cbl 8833, Lee to Littlejohn, 4 Feb 43, USFET 381 54-40 BOLERO.
9. Ltr, Hq SOS to Chiefs of Svcs and Stf, 15 Jan 43, sub: SOS Plng, SOS 381 SOS Plng, Jan-Feb 43.
10. Hq SOS, Basic Plng Dir 1, Personnel, 5 Feb 43, ETO 381 Opns Data, Basic Plng Dir 1.
11. BCC(L) Min, 18 Feb 43, ETO Preinvasion 322.
12. CCS 172,22 Jan 43.
13. CCS Min, 65th Mtg, 21 Jan 43.
14. Ltr, Lee to Styer. 28 Jan 43.
15. Ltr, Littlejohn to CG ETO, 9 Feb 43, sub: SOS Manpower Requirements, ETO SOS Manpower Program
16. Ltr, Ross to Lee, 6 Feb 43, SOS AG 320.2 SOS Jun 42-Jul 42. Approximately 58,000 laborers were at this time directly employed either on construction projects for U.S. forces, or as stevedores. Ltr, Littlejohn to CG ETO. 17 Feb 43. sub: Current BOLERO Plng, SOS AG 320.2 Jun 42-Jul 43.
17. Memo, Lt Col V. A. Rapport, Progress Div SOS, for CG SOS, 7 Feb 43, sub: Comparison of SOS in 1917-18 and Now, ETO Opns Data, Basic Plng Dir 1, Sec II, SOS Troop Program; Ltr, Littlejohn to CG ETO, 9 Feb 43.
18. Ltr, Littlejohn to CG ETO, 17 Feb 43, sub: Current BOLERO Plng, SOS AG 320.2 SOS Jun 42-Jul 43; Ltr, Littlejohn to CG ETO, 9 Feb 43; Basic Plng Dir 1, Annex 4; Cbl 7234, ETO to AGWAR, 13 Feb 43, SOS AG 320.2.
19. Cbl R-5983, Marshall to Andrews, 19 Feb 43, SOS AG 320.2.
20. [Richard M. Leighton] The Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow in Preparing the European Invasion, 1943-44, prep in Hist Sec, Control Div, ASF, 1945, MS (hereafter cited as Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow), pp. 15-16; OCMH.
21. Ltr, Andrews to Handy, 3 Mar 43, ETO 312.1 Andrews Correspondence 1943.
22. Ltr, Andrews to Marshall, 26 Feb 43, ETO 312.1 Andrews Correspondence 1943.
23. Ltr, Gen Eaker to Andrews, 27 Feb 43, and Ltr, Andrews to Gen Handy, 3 Mar 43, ETO 31 2.1 Andrews Correspondence 1943; Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces, II, 309.
24. Ltr, Andrews to Gen Ismay, 17 Mar 43, ETO 385 Methods of Conducting War.
25. Ltr, Hq ETO to CG SOS, 13 Mar 43, sub: Questions Concerning Operational Requirements, SOS AG 381 Plans.
26. Ltr, Lee to CG ETO, 22 Mar 43, sub: Proposal--Troop Basis and Flow, SOS Troops, SOS AG 320.2; Memo, Lt Col Edgar T. Fell, G-1 SOS, for CofS SOS, 9 Mar 43, sub: Ground Force Units for SOS Use, Basic Plng Dir 1, Sec XI, SOS Troop Program.
27. Progress Rpt, Progress Div, SOS, 4 Oct 43, ETO Adm 422.
28. TC Monthly Progress Rpt, Statistics Br, OCofT SOS, ETO Adm 450-52.
29. Cbl 8869, Andrews to Marshall, 17 Apr 43, ETO Eyes Only Cbls 1943-44.
30. CCS 242/6, 25 May 43.
32. Samuel E. Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic (Boston, 1947), p. 412.
33. CCS 244/ 1, 25 May 43, Annex VII.
34. Cbl R-8870, AGWAR to ETO, 26 May 43.
35. Note by Secy, Principal Adm Officers Corn of War Cabinet, 18 Jun 43, sub: BOLERO-SICKLE Combined Com, ETO BOLERO File 1943.
36. Memo for COfS, 8 Jul 43, sub: Info on BOLERO Corns, ETO BOLERO File 1943; BCC(L) Min, 2d Mtg, 20 Jul 43, ETO Preinvasion 322.
37. Ltr, Hq ETO to CG SOS, 12 May 43, sub: Distribution of US. Ground Force, SOS AG 320.2 SOS Jun 42-Jul 43.
38. Ltr, Hq ETO to Under-Secy of State for War, 7 Jul 43, ETO 381 Troop Basis 1943.
39. Joint BOLERO Key Plan (Southern Command), 30 Jun 43, ETO BOLERO Second Key Plan.
40. Min, SOS Stf Confs, 1 Jun 43, ETO 337 Confs 1943, I.
41. Ltr, Andrews to OPD, 1 May 43, sub: Troop Basis and SOS Priorities, ETO 381 Troop Basis 1943.
42. Min, 20th Mtg, BOLERO Combined Planners (Washington), 4 Jun 43, Annex A, Background on BOLERO-SICKLE Buildup, 3 Jun 43, ASF Planning Div, Series II, A46-183.
43. During the interim period of six days the theater was commanded by Maj. Gen. William S. Key, the Provost Marshal, as the senior officer in the theater.
44. Ltr, Bradley to CG AAF, 28 May 43, sub: Organization of Eighth Air Force, with Inds, OPD 320.2 Security, Sec II.
45. Ltr, Eaker to CG ETO, 15 Oct 43, sub: Implementation of Bradley Plan (Revised), OPD 320.2 Security, Sec II; Note for record, 3 Nov 43, sub: Troop Basis Air Forces ETO, OPD 320.2 ETO, Sec IX-A. See also Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces, II, 635-38.
46. Ltr, Devers to CofS WD, 5 Jul 43, sub: Ground Force Troop Basis ETO, ETO 381 Troop Basis 1943; Ltr, Devers to CofS WD, 18 Jul 43, sub: SOS Troop Basis ETO, OPD 320.2 ETO, Sec V.
47. The chief of staff of the Army Ground Forces noted, for example, that only 49 percent of the ground force troops in the ETOUSA troop basis were combat troops, while in the North African theater the percentage was 59. The War Department G-3 took exception to the ratio of allotments to the various supporting arms. He estimated that the allocation of antiaircraft troops should be 19 percent of the total number in the nondivisional supporting arms, while the ETOUSA planners had allowed an allocation of 33.9 percent. At the same time the ETOUSA troop basis revealed a smaller allowance of field artillery than was considered adequate by the War Department. The G-3 recommended a more "normal" ratio of combat support than was indicated in the ETO basis. Memo, Brig Gen James G. Christiansen, CofS AGF, for CofS WD, 28 Aug 43, sub: Troop Basis ETO, and Memo, Brig Gen Ray E. Porter, G-3 WD, for ACofS OPD, 11 Aug 43, sub: U.K. Troop Basis, OPD 320.2 Security, Sec III.
48. Memo, WD G-4 for G-1 and OPD, 5 Aug 43, sub: U.K. Troop Basis, and Memo, Gen Porter for ACofS OPD, 11 Aug 43.
49. Memo, Gen Porter for OPD, 16 Oct 43, sub: Restudy and Restatement of Troop Basis for 1st Phase. OPD 320.2 Security, Sec III.
50. Ltr, Secy War to CG ETO, 25 Aug 43, sub: Troop Basis, Ground and Svcs of Supply, ETO, ETO 320.2 Strength and Troop Basis, I.
51. Memo, Hull for CG ETO, 7 Sep 43, sub: Theater Troop Basis, ETO 320.2 Strength and Troop Basis, I; Memo, Handy for CG ETO, 1 1 Sep 43, sub: Plng Info Requested by Cbl, P&O 381 1943-45. See Kent Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1947), on the U.S. manpower problem.
52. 1st Ind to WD Ltr of 25 Aug, Hq ETO to WD, 25 Sep 43, OPD 320.2 Security, Sec III.
53. Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow, pp. 55-58.
54. Telephone Conversation, Col Royal B. Lord with Gen Weaver, 10 Jul 43, SOS AG 320.2 SOS May 43-Jan 44; Memo, Lt Col George W. Beeler, Chief of Svcs ETO, for Col E. M. Jones, G-5 ETO, 12 Jul 43, sub: SOS Troop List--375,000-man Basis, SOS AG 381 Troop Basis and Strength 1943.
55. Memo, Lt Col L. B. Meacham, SOS, for Col Beeler, 25 Nov 43, ETO 320.2 Strength and Troop Basis, I.
56. Ltr, Devers to CofS WD, 5 Aug 43, sub: Field Forces Troop Basis, 1st and 2d Phase, ETO 381 Troop Basis 1943.
57. Ltr, Maj Gen Idwal H. Edwards, CofS ETO, to WD AG, 26 Sep 43, sub: Second Phase Troop Basis, OPD 320.2 Security, Sec III.
58. Memo, Handy for CG ETO, 21 Oct 43, sub: U.K. Troop Basis, 1st and 2d Phase, ETO 320.2 Strength and Troop Basis, I.
59. Memo, Meacham for Beeler, 25 Nov 43.
60. Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces, II, 311.
61. Progress Rpt. Progress Div, SOS, 4 Oct 43, Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces, II, 639.
62. Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow, pp. 69-71.
63. Ibid., p. 73.
64. Memo, Ross for Lee, 16 Jul 43, sub: August Troop Lift, SOS AG 320.2 SOS May 43-Jan 44.
65. Ltr, Lutes to Lee, 9 Jul 43, ETO 381 Opns Data, Basic Plng Dir 1, Transportation; Cbl Black 7, BSCC(W) to BCC(L), 15 Jul 43, ASF Plng Div, BOLERO-SICKLE Com, Series II, A46-183, Item 22.
66. Memo, Lee for Secy War, 22 Jul 43, sub: BOLERO-SICKLE Build-up, SOS AG 381 BOLERO Combined Com.
67. Ltr, Lutes to Lee, 12 Jun 43, SOS 381 Troop Basis and Strength 1943; Ltr, Lutes to Lee, 9 Jul 43, ETO 381 Opns Data, Basic Plng Dir 1--Transportation.
68. Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow, p. 72.
69. Memo, Lee for Secy War, 22 Jul 43, sub: BOLERO-SICKLE Build-up.
70. Note for record, OPD, 30 Jul 43, OPD 321, 2 ETO, Sec VI.
71. Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces, II, 640; Cbl, Handy to CG ETO, 27 Sep 43, and Note for record, 27 Sep 43, OPD 320.2 ETO, Sec VII.
72. CCS 329/2, 26 Aug 43.
73. Cbl W-2 154, Devers to Marshall, 20 Jul 43, SOS AG 320.2 SOS May 43-Jan 44.
74. U.S. Fleet Anti-submarine Bulletin, I (Feb 44), 8.
75. Except as otherwise noted, the discussion of shipping procedures is based on the monograph, Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow, Chs. I and II.
76. A measurement ton, in contrast to a long ton, is a unit of volume rather than weight, reckoned at 40 cubic feet. Since the density of cargo varies greatly, there is no fixed conversion factor between measurement and long tons, but in shipments to the ETO over a long period one long ton was equivalent to approximately 2.6 measurement tons. The terms "ship ton" and "measurement ton" are interchangeable.
77. CCS 329/2, 26 Aug 43, Annex VII.
78. These figures are valid only for purposes of comparison. The number of sailings was actually expected to be greater and was in fact considerably greater than indicated above. These figures represent tonnages converted to ships with uniform capacity of 10,000 tons. The total cargo ship sailings actually exceeded 600 in the fourth quarter of 1943, for example, many of them with loads of less than a thousand tons.
79. Actually, the world-wide shipping situation was much tighter than is indicated by the allocations to the ETO. The "surpluses" for U.K. shipment were surpluses only in terms of the available cargo, which was insufficient to utilize the space made available for the BOLERO shipments. For greater detail on the whole shipping situation see Leighton and Coakley, The Logistics of Global Warfare.
80. Ltr, Lee to WD, 25 Sep 43, sub: BOLERO Supply Program, and Memo, Col Lord for Lee, 25 Sep 43, sub: Evaluation of Supply Program and Present Supply Status, ETO 390.1 BOLERO Supply Program.
81. This description of the marking problem is drawn primarily from Chapter V of Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow.
82. Ltr, Lutes to Lee, 6 Mar 43, USFET AG 400.161 Marking of Supplies 1942-43.
83. Ltr, Lee to Lutes, 1 Apr 43, USFET AG 400.161 Marking of Supplies 1942-43. See also SOS ETO Tentative Overall Plan for Supply and Administration, 12 Apr 43, Revised Editions of 20 Jun 43 and 1 Jan 44, ETO Adm 369.
84. Some of the cargo entering the Clyde ports was to be transferred by coaster to the Mersey River ports in Zone II.
85. Ltr, Lee to CG ASF, 5 Apr 43, sub: Zoning of U.K. for Receipt of U.S. Army Cargo, and Memo, Hq ASF for CofT et al., 27 Apr 43, sub: Zoning of U.K. for Receipt of Cargo, ETO 381 Opns Data, Basic Plng Dir 1, Transportation; Memo, Lt Col W.D. Holland, Asst to COfS ASF, for Devers, 7 May 43, with Incl, Rpt, sub: Résumé of Conf between Gen Devers and Representatives of CG ASF, Chiefs of Supply SOS, et al., 7 May 43, ETO Adm 337 1943 Confs; Troop and Supply Buildup in the United Kingdom to D Day, Pt. III of The Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, prep by Hist Div USFET, 1946, MS (hereafter cited as Troop and Supply Buildup), pp. 192-94, 244, OCMH.
86. History of the Transportation Corps ETO, prep by Int and Hist Br, Plng Riv, OCofT ETO, 1944, MS (hereafter cited as History of the TC, ETO), I (1942-43), 12-13, ETO Adm 582.
87. See Oversea Supply Policies and Procedures, prep by Richard M. Leighton, ASF Historian, 1945, MS, Ch. IV, Sec. 3, OCMH.
88. Statistical Progress Rpt, OCofT ETO, 30 Jun 44.
89. Ltr, Col Walter D McCord and Lt Col Leo J. Meyer to CofT WD, 18 Oct 43, sub: Report, AG Records 320.1-353.9 England 1943.
90. History of the TC, ETO, I, 28-29; The Local Procurement of Labor and Supplies, U.K and Continental, Pt. X of The Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, Hist Div USFET, 1946, MS, pp. 45-47.
91. History of the TC, ETO, II (Jan-Mar 44), Marine Operations; Memo, Col Meyer for Hugh M. Cole, 30 Jul 51, sub: Critique of MS, Sec. I, p. 13, OCMH; Ltr, Col McCord and Col Meyer to CofT WD, 18 Oct 43, sub: Report.
92. Ltr, Ross to Gen Wylie, 28 Jul 42, ETO Adm 314A Transportation--General.
93. I. Ross, ìRoss of ETO,î Army Transportation Journal, I (April, 1945), 32-36.
94. History of the TC, ETO, 1, 7-8, 49; Troop and Supply Buildup, pp. 111-12, 119-24, 201.
95. Memo, AACofT Plng for Col K. F. Hausauer, 8 Dec 43, sub: Locomotives and Port Battalion Requirements for BOLERO and ROUNDUP, SHAEF G-4 381 BOLERO I 44.
96. History of the TC, ETO, 1 49-51.
97. Troop and Supply Buildup, p. 204.
98. Healey Memoir, pp. 30-35.
99. Ltr, Somervell to Andrews, 23 Mar 43, and Ltr, Andrews to Somervell, 6 Apr 43, ETO Adm 391 Andrews Correspondence; Healey Memoir, pp. 33-34.
100. The description of G-25 is based on History of G-25, U.S. General Depot G-25 at Ashchurch, England, 11 July 1942-6 June 1944, prep by Hist Sec ETO, MS, ETO Adm 512.
101. Min, Mtg of BOLERO Transport Subcommittee, 5 Aug 43, ETO BOLERO File 43.
102. Min of Conf, Washington, CG ASF and Chiefs of Supply and Adm Svcs, 7 May 43, USFET 337 Confs.
103. SOS ETO Installations and Operating Personnel in United Kingdom, 1 Jan 44, ETO Adm 449.
104. See above, Ch. I, Sec. 5, and Ch. II, Sec. 3.
105. Organization and Command in the ETO, I, 194-97. The entire discussion of the organization and command problem is based on this monograph.
106. Ltr, Lee to Andrews, 3 Mar 43, as quoted in Organization and Command, 1, 201.
107. Organization and Command, I, 212.
108. Memo, Lee for Col S. L. A. Marshall, Theater Historian, 15 Oct 45, as cited in Organization and Command, I, 215.
109. Ltr, Styer to Somervell, early Jun 43, ASF, Somervell Files, CofS 42-43 (6).
110. Stf Conf Notes, SOS, 23 Aug 43, as cited in Organization and Command, I, 223.
111. Organization and Command, I, 227-231A.
112. Stf Conf Notes, SOS ETO, 24 Oct and 16 Nov 42, and Cir 41, SOS, 31 Oct 42, as cited in Organization and Command, I, 119-21.
113. Organization and Command, I, 231A-36, 238-39. The only boundary change occurred on 8 July 1943, when the Bristol Channel port area was established as a separate district and transferred from Southern Base Section to Western Base Section.
114. Cir 36, SOS, 30 May 43, and Cir 49, SOS, 24 Aug 43, Organization and Command, I, 240.
115. Organization and Command, I, 240-46.
116. Ibid., I, 250-53.