The Manpower Problem
August 1944-February 1945
(1) Rumblings of a Replacement Problem
Of all the logistic problems that plagued ETOUSA in the fall of 1944 the shortages of ammunition and replacements undoubtedly caused the greatest anxiety. In their development and chronology the two problems were closely parallel. In both there was speculation as to possible shortages even before D Day; in both a crisis developed in the fall of 1944, necessitating emergency measures and longer-range plans to ensure adequate support for the last months of the war.
The theater's first difficulties with replacements, in July, had resulted partly from the fact that losses in infantry, especially infantry riflemen, had been considerably higher than forecast for the first two months of operations, and partly from the fact that the War Department had not shipped replacements in the various branches in the proportions agreed to before D Day. The theater did not actually lack replacements at the end of July. But its stockage at that time was completely out of balance as the result of the disproportionately heavy losses in infantry riflemen. Converting men of other branches to infantry obviously could not solve the immediate difficulty. The theater therefore turned to the War Department for emergency shipments, at the same time asking that it increase the proportion of infantry riflemen in all future replacement training.1
The July experience served to focus attention on a larger manpower problem. The Army had already exceeded its authorized strength of 7.7 million men, and a serious shortage was developing in the Army as a whole. This development had in fact been the subject of repeated warnings from the War Department beginning as early as September 1943, when the Chief of Staff called attention to the manpower ceiling under which the Army thereafter had to operate, and warned that there would have to be greater economy in the use of men. General Marshall at that time suggested that it might be advisable to establish an investigating agency on the model of the War Department Manpower Board, which was then conducting extensive investigations of the entire Army establishment
in the zone of interior with a view to releasing unneeded personnel for more urgent assignments. Visitors from the War Department to overseas theaters, he said, reported the impression that there was an unnecessary extravagance in the use of manpower in service installations, and he deemed it essential that there be a continuing review of the theater's needs relative to changing missions so that manpower could be transferred and utilized more efficiently, or recovered and transferred to more urgent tasks.2
In January 1944 Marshall had again called attention to the critical manpower situation developing in the United States, suggesting additional measures the theater could take to help solve the problem. Marshall observed that the manpower shortage was being aggravated by the mishandling of two groups of men: physically imperfect men who could still render useful service were being discharged, and men physically qualified for general assignment were being used in limited assignment positions. The Army, he said, would simply have to make better use of the manpower it already had. Basically, this meant conserving and properly using the important resource which it possessed in limited assignment personnel.3
The necessity for action along these lines was again emphasized in February 1944 as the result of a survey which Col. George R. Evans, chief of the Classification and Replacement Branch of The Adjutant General's Office, made of the entire replacement situation in the European theater. Evans urged the Communications Zone to direct all its units and installations to survey their personnel with the aim of identifying individuals physically qualified for field duty (other than those occupying key or highly technical positions) who could be replaced by men physically disqualified for full field service. The Communications Zone was to earmark such men for assignment to field force units as physically handicapped individuals were made available for reassignment to the Communications Zone.4
In April 1944 at a G-1 conference in Washington attended by representatives from both the European and North African theaters,5 War Department officials tried to impress even more strongly upon the theaters the necessity for action along these lines. General McNarney, the Deputy Chief of Staff, rightly suspecting that the theaters still did not appreciate the seriousness of the manpower shortages, again made it clear that the Army had reached its authorized strength of 7.7 million men and that the acquisition of new troops henceforth would be restricted to the numbers required to maintain that strength. This meant that new demands for men not already provided for in the troop basis would have to be met by reduction elsewhere. The day had passed when personnel could be obtained for the asking.
War Department officials were particularly critical of the North African theater, which apparently had been extravagant in its use of manpower for rear area services and which had failed to take effective measures to transfer able-bodied men from the supply services and retain them for combat. They were determined that the experience in that theater should not be repeated in Europe, and insisted that the theater not only adopt the War Department's policies on the conservation of manpower, but that it organize its replacement system along lines prescribed by the War Department so that those policies could be carried out effectively. Later in April NcNarney went to the United Kingdom and repeated these warnings at a theater command and staff conference.6
Despite these admonitions, plus strong criticism of General Lee for his opposition to the War Department's recommendations, the theater did not take effective action. ETOUSA had already adopted the policy of retraining limited assignment men who were physically able to serve usefully in some other military capacity. But it shrank from taking the necessary measures to remove general assignment men from service units and retrain them, and it resisted pressure to establish the kind of agency which General Marshall had originally recommended to scrutinize the use of manpower in the theater.
ETOUSA found one reason after another to postpone such distasteful work. General Devers, who was still theater commander in the fall of 1943, had originally opposed the idea on the ground that operational plans had not crystallized sufficiently to permit a thoroughgoing survey of troop requirements.7 In June 1944 Maj. Gen. Ray W. Barker, the SHAEF G-1, offered a plan for a comprehensive survey of manpower problems, covering not only the matter of more effective utilization of limited assignment men, the release of general assignment personnel, and the use of prisoners of war and liberated manpower, but involving a thorough examination of the theater's organization with a view to uncovering and eliminating duplication of function and responsibilities. As part of the plan he proposed the establishment of a theater manpower board which would operate directly under the theater commander with wide powers to investigate all the ramifications of the manpower problem and make specific recommendations as to where savings should be carried out.8
The G-1's proposal appears to have been made in the true spirit of the War Department's directives, and was the first attempt to come to grips with the problem realistically. General Bull, the G-3, concurred in the plan. But General Crawford, the G-4, expressed strong disapproval of the idea, arguing that such a job was a command function, and that no "committee" could carry out such a survey which would not use up more
manpower than it might save.9 An amended proposal, which Barker submitted in answer a few weeks later, also encountered objections from the G-4, and for the moment, at least, the matter was dropped.10
Personnel officers at General Lee's headquarters also opposed the creation of a manpower board, mainly on the ground of uncertainty as to the future COMZ organization on the Continent. Late in July they found additional support for this argument as the result of the addition of eight divisions to the ETOUSA troop basis, which was expected to involve the activation of additional service units within the theater. In any case, the Communications Zone preferred to leave to the section commanders the responsibility for combing out general assignment men and replacing them with limited assignment personnel.11
It was a misreading of human nature, to say the least, to expect commanders to carry out measures which would obviously be to their own disadvantage, and it was a policy which in the end proved totally inadequate, as might have been expected. For the time being, the Communications Zone preferred to postpone the difficult business of screening general assignment men out of the service forces, and confined itself to issuing general pronouncements that the "wastage or improper use of manpower will not be tolerated in this theater," and toothless injunctions that men would be "assigned to positions in which they can render the maximum service." Such directives, while outwardly conforming with the War Department's prodding on the subject, were hardly specific enough to be enforced, and were in fact easily circumvented.
The crisis of July provided the theater with a dramatic reminder of its manpower problem, and the War Department took the opportunity to express its impatience with the theater for what it regarded as poor planning as well as poor administration of manpower resources. The War Department's main criticism at that time focused on the succession of revised requisitions which had followed the discovery of shortages in infantry. The War Department regarded this as evidence of poor planning,12 and McNarney at the time expressed doubts as to the competence of Lee's G-1.13
The theater's actions were partially defensible, at least so far as the shortages in July were concerned. Lee could point to two extenuating circumstances: the prolonged hedgerow fighting had taken a toll of infantrymen which the field commands had not foreseen; and shipments from the zone of interior had
been unbalanced as to type, even by accepted War Department planning factors--the infantry shipments of May, June, and July containing only 35, 58, and 50 percent respectively of riflemen as against a previously accepted factor of 64.3. Lee maintained, in addition, that the troop build-up had been more rapid than planned, although this was a tenuous argument insofar as the months of June and July were concerned.14
McNarney admitted that the European theater had been shortchanged on infantry riflemen, and explained the unbalanced make-up of the May-July shipments by the necessity to meet the North African theater's expected requirements for the southern France operation, and by the fact that the War Department had been forced by popular demand to place certain restrictions on the age at which combat replacements would be shipped to overseas theaters.15
Washington's concern over the unreliability of the European theater's estimates of future requirements was understandable. It was on the basis of these that the output of the training centers had to be planned, normally five to six months in advance of actual need. Again and again, according to McNarney, the theater's forecasts of needs had proved inaccurate, with the result that the War Department was forced to resort to painful improvisation in order to meet the theater's needs. There was, of course, no foolproof formula for estimating replacements needs. The Deputy Chief of Staff acknowledged this, asking only that the theater adjust the estimates of its needs as promptly as possible to actual experience.16
Behind the frustration over the unreliability of planning estimates lay the suspicion that the theater was not making the best use of its men. The War Department therefore continued to prod ETOUSA on the subject of using its available manpower to better advantage. Late in August it notified all theaters that it would be able to meet replacement requirements as currently estimated through December 1944, since replacements scheduled for shipment in that period were already in training. But it gave unequivocal warning that beginning in January 1945 it would be able to provide only a portion of the theater's estimated needs. It reminded the theaters, moreover, that War Department policy required that they provide a training and assignment system for men no longer physically capable of performing their previous duty assignments, for men physically capable of performing combat duty who were withdrawn from COMZ units, and for the conversion of surpluses in particular arms and services.17
Basically, the theater's problem boiled down to one of finding enough physically qualified men to meet its combat losses, and it had three possible sources which it could exploit to meet this need: (1) overages in types other than infantry which it might retrain; (2) theater overstrength; and (3) general assignment men
in the supply services of the Communications Zone and Air Forces who could be withdrawn for conversion to a combat arm and replaced by men no longer physically qualified for such assignment.
The theater had already had some experience in the retraining of men, albeit a very limited one. In April 1944 agreement had been reached with the War Department to raise the proportion of infantry in the replacement pool from 64.3 percent to 70.3. Since it was already too late at that time to make adjustments in the May shipments, the theater took steps to retrain as infantrymen approximately 2,500 men, representing overages in other branches and replacements being improperly used, in an effort to establish what it regarded as a safe level of infantry replacements by D Day.18
Meanwhile the theater had also laid down the first outline of a policy on the utilization of limited assignment men. Shortly before the invasion, on the suggestion of the theater G-1, arrangements were made to establish machinery within the replacement system to receive, classify, and redistribute all personnel returning from hospitals and rehabilitation centers, to retrain limited assignment men, and to distribute to appropriate branch replacement depots all recovered general assignment men who were to be retrained for combat assignments. The theater commander approved setting aside certain facilities at the American School Center at Shrivenham, England, to be used by the replacement system for these purposes. It was realized from the start, however, that the number of men who would become available for limited duty by return from hospitals would far exceed the Communications Zone's normal losses, and that limited assignment personnel could be absorbed only through the release of able-bodied men for combat. Exactly how this was to be accomplished was a matter of considerable disagreement.19
Policy on limited assignment men was further clarified and developed during the first months on the Continent. The armies agreed, for example, to absorb limited assignment men up to 5 percent of their strength, some of whom would of course have to be retrained for new duties. Limited assignment troops from the Communications Zone were to return from hospitals and rehabilitation centers directly to their former units without requisition and be carried as temporary overstrength until absorbed by normal attrition. Limited assignment men from the combat zone were to be retrained for new assignments and absorbed by the Communications Zone.20
Everyone thus apparently appreciated the necessity to utilize limited assignment personnel. But no truly effective measures were as yet being taken to withdraw general assignment men from the Communications Zone to make room for
them. This was the crux of the entire manpower problem, for the Communications Zone and the air forces constituted the largest sources of able-bodied men in the theater.
Up to the beginning of July there apparently was no serious concern within the theater over a possible replacement shortage in the near future. In fact, the theater actually reduced its September replacement requisition by 15,000 men at that time, and also canceled its requisition for August in all branches except infantry. Its efforts to recover personnel for use as replacements was limited to initiating a survey of the Communications Zone to determine whether any excess of personnel existed, and to issuing a directive to section commanders to release such overstrength or excesses.21 Section commanders were understandably reluctant to release men at this time in view of the uncertainty as to requirements in connection with the organization of the Communications Zone on the Continent. Consequently the release of men to the Replacement System both in number (about 4,800) and quality was disappointing. Brig. Gen. Walter G. Layman, chief of the Replacement System, complained that many of the men were not fit for training as riflemen. Section commanders obviously were not releasing their best men for conversion.22
The July crisis suddenly made the replacement situation a matter of much greater urgency. The theater not only made frantic appeals to the War Department for emergency shipments and for a much higher percentage of infantry-trained replacements, but also took additional steps to produce replacements from its own resources. Since the theater's need was urgent, the quickest dividends obviously promised to come from the conversion of men from combat arms other than infantry, of which there was an excess of more than 20,000, rather than from service personnel. The first step, therefore, was to take approximately 4,000 replacements representing overages in the branches of field artillery, tank destroyer, and antiaircraft and convert them as quickly as possible to infantry.23
Shortly thereafter in accordance with earlier War Department directives to reduce the number of basic privates in T/O units, the theater ordered that men so released, regardless of arm or service, also be made available for retraining as infantry rifle replacements. Up to that time the services and major combat commands had been allowed to activate new units utilizing the personnel made available through such reductions.24 In addition, the theater notified the Replacement System25 that men originally
trained as infantry replacements in categories other than rifleman would be made available in certain numbers for retraining as riflemen by the Replacement System.26
These various measures bore their first fruit in August, when the Replacement System retrained about 5,500 men as infantry riflemen. In September 4,500 men completed conversion training. Most of the retraining up to this time was done in the United Kingdom, although some retraining had started at Le Mans. About 3,300 limited assignment men were being trained in new skills at Shrivenham, where the entire facilities of the American School Center were now being used for that purpose.27
These efforts undoubtedly represented progress in the desired direction, but they constituted only a beginning toward meeting the theater's needs for infantrymen, toward training and absorbing the mounting numbers of limited assignment personnel, toward reducing the excessive stocks in certain branches, and toward reducing the theater's overstrength. At the end of September the theater still reported overages in every category except infantry riflemen, the excesses in the combat arms alone totaling nearly 34,000. The shortage in riflemen totaled 7,000, although the replacement pool as a whole held 119,000 men and was substantially above its authorized strength.28
The theater's overstrength, not only in replacements but in its T/O units and overhead, made ETOUSA especially vulnerable to criticism by the War Department. Washington had called attention to the theater's excessive overstrength before, claiming that it exceeded 130,000 men at the end of July. More than half of it consisted of overages in replacements, resulting mainly from the fact that losses in many categories had been lower than estimated. Overstrengths in overheads and T/O units could be attributed to several things, among them the fact that all infantry basics had not been withdrawn from ground and service troops, that some units had not reorganized under the latest T/O's and that accelerated needs for continental installations had caused overheads to be exceeded at least until the U.K. installations could be closed out.
The War Department had been willing to overlook some overstrength, but by September it concluded that the theater was not doing enough to eliminate it despite categoric instructions to do so. It feared that large overstrengths were becoming a permanent feature of the manpower picture in all the theaters. The War Department was particularly disturbed over the possibility of a permanent accumulation of excess replacements in some categories, which it regarded
as the worst type of wastage.29
Late in September General McNarney sent the Army Inspector General, Maj. Gen. Virgil L. Peterson, to the theater to survey the manpower situation personally. General Peterson reported that the theater's replacement pool had a strength of about 119,000, nearly 49,000 men in excess of the 70,000 authorized. An additional 20,000 men who formerly had been replacements had been assigned as overstrength to various units, including 10,500 with truck companies, 6,700 in airborne divisions, and 2,250 with the engineer special brigades, which continued to operate the Normandy beaches.30
As was so typical wherever statistics were involved, War Department figures were widely at variance with those of the theater. Its total overstrength, the theater claimed, actually stood at 68,000 on 30 September, as compared with the War Department's figure of 131,000 for 31 July. General Eisenhower admitted that the difference did not result from any reduction in strength over the two-month period, but rather from "lack of a common basis of calculation." Once again, as demonstrated in the case of ammunition, it was clear that the theater and the War Department were not following uniform accounting practices. In the matter of replacements, moreover, the theater had been operating on the basis of an allowed replacement pool of 170,000, which, it insisted, had been authorized before D Day, in contrast with the War Department's figure of 70,000.
The theater actually reported a replacement strength of nearly 200,000 men, although this included replacements on requisition for October and November, men in transit, and replacements for the air force. On the basis of an authorized ceiling of 170,000 it admitted to an overstrength of slightly less than 30,000 as compared with the War Department's claim of 49,000, or even 69,000 counting the former replacements now listed as overstrength in various units. In any case, the theater felt that the War Department should take cognizance of the fact that a large portion of its personnel classed as replacements at any given time consisted of "dead stock" in that it was not actually available for use as replacements. Included in this category were air force troops, referred to as "happy warriors," who were either awaiting shipment to the zone of interior or were en route to or from the United States; men being retrained; and men earmarked for activation of new units. At the end of September, according to theater figures, men in these categories accounted for 52,000 of the 125,000 ground force replacements physically present in the theater. Only about 73,000 men were actually available for replacement purposes. Because of this, General Eisenhower asked for a "certain tolerance" between the authorized ceiling and actual stockages.31
But the War Department was not convinced that the theater was making the best use of its manpower resources. That
the "word" on manpower conservation had not reached everyone concerned, or at best was not thoroughly understood in the theater, was indicated by the fact that commanders continued to request authorization to activate new units using manpower available to them in the form of overstrengths despite the theater's measures designed to recapture such men. Early in September the theater again expressly forbade the use of personnel for such purposes, and emphasized that all troops in the theater in excess of T/O's were to be considered as replacements regardless of whether they were in the Replacement System, attached to units and installations, or assigned as overstrengths. It again prohibited the use of such personnel for any purposes other than as loss replacements, and served notice that it would not approve requests for local activations involving use of such men.32 General Peterson particularly questioned the theater's authority to legitimize the overstrengthening of units with replacements, as it had done in the case of truck drivers, and its taking advantage of deletions from its troop basis to activate other units from manpower available to it within the theater, as it was trying to do in the case of the forty-nine antiaircraft battalions.33
With the report of such practices in mind, General McNarney in mid-October again pressed the theater to retrain as infantry all surplus replacements in other branches and to force general assignment troops out of jobs that could be performed equally well by men no longer physically qualified for combat. Anticipating the opposition which the latter would undoubtedly evoke, he told top commanders that they would simply have to break down the natural resistance of subordinates to the withdrawal of personnel.34
During October the theater continued to direct its efforts toward rebuilding its depleted infantry pool and toward correcting the maldistribution produced by the casualty experience of June and July. Early in the month it learned from the War Department that shipments from the United States would total less than 19,000 in November, representing a reduction of about 10,000 in ETOUSA's requisition for that month. This allotment was to include a high percentage of infantry, however--15,000 in regular infantry plus 1,400 infantry paratroops and 400 nisei infantrymen for the 442d Infantry Regiment. The War Department justified the reduction on the assumption that ETOUSA would as previously planned fall heir to about 10,000 replacements which the Seventh Army was to turn over when ETOUSA assumed responsibility for the logistic support of forces in southern France on 1 November.35
ETOUSA first concluded that the reduction would not necessarily be critical, although it would lower the infantry pool level which the theater considered essential. Much depended on whether
NATOUSA made available sufficient replacements for the support of Seventh Army.36
It became evident in the next few days, however, that Seventh Army was already having manpower difficulties, to say nothing of bringing with it a dowry of 10,000 men. A critical manpower situation had developed in the Fifth Army in Italy as the result of recent heavy casualties and the War Department's refusal of a large part of its requisition for October and November, and NATOUSA warned General Devers on 7 October that it might not be able to provide replacement support for the Seventh Army through October.37 In fact, a few days later General Clark asked Devers, who was still serving as deputy commander of NATOUSA, that shipments of NATOUSA replacements set up for Seventh Army be diverted to Fifth Army and, if it was already too late to stop their shipment, that ETOUSA be asked to ship 3,000 men by the fastest means available.38 Devers replied that Seventh Army faced an equally serious shortage. He relayed Clark's appeal to ETOUSA, however, and offered to release all scheduled support for the southern France forces from NATOUSA, except for men returned from hospitals, if ETOUSA could assume responsibility for the support of Seventh Army about two weeks earlier than scheduled--that is, on 15 October instead of 1 November.39
The shipment of officer replacements from NATOUSA had already ceased, and Devers at this time asked ETOUSA for 400 infantry officer replacements, which ETOUSA agreed to furnish.40 When ETOUSA learned of the situation in the North African theater, it informed the War Department that the situation in Seventh Army definitely made it essential that the entire requisition for November be met. In fact, it warned that it might have to request an increase.41
ETOUSA appeared resigned to assuming responsibility for the support of Seventh Army earlier than planned, and now also went to the aid of its neighbor in the Mediterranean. Convinced by both Clark and General Alexander that the operations of the Fifth Army had a direct bearing on the forces likely to be committed on the western front, ETOUSA indicated its willingness to meet NATOUSA's request for 3,000 men, if the War Department would make good the loss in its November shipments.42 Lt. Gen. Thomas T. Handy first insisted that there was no need for such a transfer, arguing that the War Department was meeting NATOUSA's needs and had already shipped about
2,200.43 The Fifth Army's need was urgent, however, and it appeared that shipments coming from the United States would not reach Italy before the end of the month.44 Smith conferred with the G-1's of both NATOUSA (General White) and 6th Army Group (Brig. Gen. Ben M. Sawbridge), and decided that ETOUSA should and could help the Fifth Army through the critical period. He recommended to the War Department that ETOUSA be allowed to go ahead with the shipment.45 Handy then gave his approval to the proposal, and within the next few days approximately 3,000 replacements were air transported to Italy. Handy notified ETOUSA that the War Department was adding 5,000 infantry replacements to its November requisition, which would more than compensate for the proposed diversion and would also compensate in part for the fact that ETOUSA was assuming responsibility for the support of Seventh Army earlier than planned. At the same time he warned that the War Department would be hard pressed to meet anticipated December requests, and again enjoined the theater to practice the utmost economy and to accelerate its retraining program.46
By the end of October the theater's replacement situation appeared appreciably brighter, thanks in part to the measures which the theater had taken to retrain men as riflemen, but also to the somewhat larger shipments from the zone of interior and to the substantially smaller losses of infantrymen which attended the highly mobile warfare of August and September and the lull in operations in October.
As requested by the theater, riflemen comprised a higher percentage of the total infantry replacements in the next few months, the percentage rising to 68 in August and over 80 in September.47 Meanwhile, battle casualties, after totaling 51,400 in July, dropped to 42,500 in August, to 42,000 in September, and to 31,600 in October, despite the increasing size of the forces committed.48 Operations during the pursuit brought a heavy demand for armored force replacements, particularly tank commanders, and for vehicle drivers rather than infantrymen.49
Throughout August and September the branch distribution of replacements in the theater's pool had continued to be badly out of balance, and there were substantial surpluses in branches other than infantry. In mid-August, for example, of a total stockage of 67,000 replacements
available to the theater, only 20,000 (30 percent) were infantry-trained, and of these only 3,250 were riflemen. At the time about 9,000 infantrymen were in the process of conversion to riflemen.50
In October the Replacement System continued its efforts to correct this maldistribution. The theater's aim was to establish and maintain at all times a pool of 70,000 replacements. On the basis of the casualty experience up to September it had decided that 78.3 percent (54,800) of this pool should consist of infantrymen, as compared with the earlier 64.3, and that 70 percent of the infantrymen (or about 38,000 men) should be rifle-trained. On 1 September the branch distribution was badly out of balance, although some progress was made in rebuilding the pool of rifle-trained replacements. On that date the theater's stockage of infantrymen had risen to about 42,000 as against its announced requirement of 55,000. Of these only about 15,000 had the much needed MOS 745 classification, the occupational specialty number of a rifleman.51
The retraining of an additional 14,400 men in September and October, combined with the smaller losses of those months, did much to bring the branch distribution of the theater's pool into better balance. By 1 November the theater had built up its stockage of infantry riflemen to 30,000. Despite the fact that this did not represent the announced target, and despite War Department injunctions and warnings, the theater authorized a substantial cutback in the retraining program for November.52
The balance that had been reached was actually a very precarious one. It had been achieved largely by the retraining of other replacements--that is, surpluses in infantry other than riflemen and in other combat branches. The theater had as yet made no real effort to tap its principal remaining source of general assignment men--that is, the air force and the Communications Zone. Viewed in the light of the measures which eventually had to be taken, those of the summer of 1944 hardly constituted more than stopgap measures and failed to go to the heart of the manpower problem.
(2) The Storm Breaks, November-December 1944
If there was any complacency over the manpower situation at the end of October it vanished quickly in the next few weeks. The launching of major Allied offensives in November under conditions of cold, wet weather had a dual impact on casualty figures: battle casualties, which had come to only 31,600 in the preceding month of relative inactivity, rose to 62,400 in November; meanwhile, nonbattle casualties, which had totaled 28,400 in October, suddenly reflected a high incidence of trench foot and rose to 56,300. Total casualties for the month thus exceeded 118,000 men. (Table 10)
Before this trend had become evident the theater had received discouraging
TABLE 10--BATTLE AND NONBATTLE CASUALTIES, JUNE 1944-MAY 1945
|Year and month||Total||Battle||Nonbattle|
a No data.
Source: For battle casualties, Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, p. 32; for nonbattle, [Henderson] The Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, p. 45.
and at the same time conflicting information regarding the future availability of replacements from the United States. Early in November the War Department gave ETOUSA a long-range forecast indicating that shipments in December would total 43,350, of which 35,000 would consist of infantrymen, and that shipments in the four succeeding months would average 44,650, of which 36,000 would be in the infantry branch. It cautioned, however, that these figures represented the maximum capability, that unforeseen requirements in other theaters might force downward revisions, and that theater plans should be sufficiently flexible to meet such an eventuality. It again urged, therefore, that ETOUSA make the maximum contribution to its own replacement capabilities by a vigorous retraining program.53
Theater replacement officials, comparing the War Department's forecast with the theater's requisitions, noted that ETOUSA might suffer a cumulative shortage of more than 53,000 infantrymen by the end of February. The theater at the time possessed a pool of approximately 61,000 infantrymen, of which about 38,000 were riflemen. That pool, it calculated, might easily be eliminated by the end of December if casualties were higher than then estimated, which indeed they were.
Surveying the potentialities within the theater, the G-1 of the Replacement System, Col. Walter C. Cole, concluded that there were three sources from which the estimated requirements for infantry riflemen might be met. These were: (1) general assignment men received from the Communications Zone in exchange for limited assignment men; (2) casuals and replacements other than infantry still available in the Replacement System in excess of actual needs; and (3) infantrymen in the three line-of-communications regiments. The theater had already taken steps to recover some of the infantry-trained general assignment men in its three line-of-communications regiments, having recently ordered 60 percent of their strength released to the Replacement System and replaced by limited assignment men.54
The prospect of men in any of these categories becoming available in the immediate future was poor. The conversion of general assignment men withdrawn from service units was obviously the most remote. The quickest return could be realized through the withdrawal of the infantrymen from the three line-of-communications regiments, which was expected to yield about 5,000 men. Even these required a three-week refresher course and would not be available until December. The Replacement System recommended, in addition, that an initial increment of 4,000 men from the armored force, field artillery, chemical warfare, coast artillery, and ordnance branches be converted to riflemen. In order to select 4,000 men and still ensure a sufficient stockage to meet the theater's pool requirements, the Replacement System now proposed that all coast artillery, field artillery, ordnance, and quartermaster casuals be declared free replacements if no requisitions for them were received after their arrival in their appropriate assignment depots. Until this time the Replacement System had followed the policy of holding casuals so that they could be returned to their former units. This had often tied up sizable numbers of men when requisitions did not arrive from their former units.55
The theater G-1, Colonel Franey, approved these recommendations immediately, and in fact urged the Replacement System to increase the retraining program to a minimum of 20,000 within the next three weeks, even at the risk of a later inability to meet a portion of the requirements in branches other than infantry and armor. He also suggested that more prompt relief could be provided by the retraining of an appropriate number of infantry specialists, for reports had indicated that the ratio of infantry riflemen to infantrymen was still badly out of balance. It was estimated that in the latter category there still was a surplus of more than 22,000.56
Meanwhile the theater had received a disturbing communication from the War Department containing vague references to the possibility of canceling the remainder of requisitions not yet shipped.57 By the theater's interpretation, it involved a reduction of nearly 36,000 infantry replacements previously scheduled for November and December arrival. Such a cut, it asserted, would almost certainly jeopardize the success of operations.58 Moreover, the War Department had stated that the theater henceforth would have no choice as to the number of replacements in each branch, but would have to accept the War Department's distribution with regard to classification by arm or service.
On the matter of cancellations, as it turned out, there had been a misunderstanding, and the War Department quickly assured ETOUSA that it was not canceling any previously approved
requisition.59 On the matter of branch distribution, however, the War Department stood firm, at least for the moment. Theater officials had noted that only 49.2 percent of all infantrymen shipped from the zone of interior consisted of riflemen as against requests that 56.5 percent be so trained, and asserted that the War Department was continuing to train men in the branches of coast artillery, tank destroyer, field artillery, chemical warfare, ordnance, quartermaster, and transportation in excess of needs. The War Department maintained that it was training replacements in accord with the arm and service breakdown of the best estimates of total replacement needs in all theaters, and that it was impracticable to change training programs to meet the frequent changes in theater estimates.60
The developments of November showed that the War Department and the theater had not yet overcome the language barrier on the subject of replacements and that there still was need for arriving at a common basis of understanding. Late in the month the theater therefore sent a group of officers to Washington to discuss the replacement problem and to make certain that the War Department clearly understood ETOUSA's situation. The Bull Mission, which also discussed the ammunition shortage while in Washington,61 went over the entire replacement problem with War Department officials in the first days of December.
In some ways the conference underscored past misunderstandings and differences. General Henry, the War Department G-1, sensed that the theater and the War Department even at this late date were employing different personnel accounting methods. War Department figures pictured the theater as being well off in the matter of replacements. They showed, for example, that the theater's replacement pool on 31 October contained 160,000 men, of which 62,000 were infantrymen. Even allowing for 50,000 battle casualties in November, it showed that the theater would have 125,000 replacements at the end of the month, of which 55,000 would be infantrymen.
These figures were based on a definition of theater replacement resources which the theater had never accepted--that is, that the true replacement resources of the theater were the sum total of all replacements in the Replacement System plus overheads and existing overstrengths in theater units.62 At the request of the theater the War Department had only recently authorized ETOUSA a replacement pool of 80,500 men, specifying that this number must include all replacements, whether in depots, in transit, in training, or as part of unit overstrengths, whereas the theater
had desired a pool of that size over and above the "dead stock" which normally accounted for a large percentage of the total replacement population of the theater. The War Department refused to authorize such a pool.63
War Department and theater officials finally ironed out their differences over accounting procedures. But the War Department took the opportunity to express its dissatisfaction with the theater's retraining program, making special note of the continuing large surplus in branches other than infantry. Again it made clear to ETOUSA representatives that the theater's requirements simply could not be met from the zone of interior. The War Department could show that it had definitely made greater efforts to recapture personnel for replacement purposes than had the theater. All newly inducted men qualified for overseas service were already being trained as replacements; every man in the Army Ground Forces and Army Service Forces whom it was practicable to withdraw from other jobs was undergoing conversion to infantry; and 40,000 men were at this time being withdrawn from the Army Air Forces for the same purpose. Even with these efforts the War Department estimated that it could barely meet overseas losses in the next few months.64 "This personnel business," as General Handy put it, "is one of the worst headaches we have."
Washington officials were also highly critical of the gross discrepancies between the theater's long-range estimates of requirements and the requisitions it finally submitted. The requisition for December, for example, represented an increase of 10,000 over the estimates submitted in August, and for January the theater had finally asked for 67,000 men as compared with its earlier estimates that it would need about 40,000. Taking all the theaters together, these discrepancies had been as high as 100 percent for ground forces and 140 percent in infantry alone. Such increases posed an obvious dilemma for the War Department, which had to plan the training of replacements several months in advance.
In the end the War Department agreed to add about 18,000 men to ETOUSA's January shipments, which raised the allocation for that month to 54,000. The theater on its part acknowledged the need to expand its retraining program in order to convert the excessive surpluses in branches other than infantry, and also agreed to meet more of its infantry officer requirements through appointments from the ranks and by retraining from other arms and services. The War Department agreed to consider shipping limited assignment men to the theater should this be necessary to meet the withdrawals of general assignment men from service units, and also to provide training cadres for the theater's conversion program and for an officer candidate school.65
Shortly after General Bull returned to the theater General Eisenhower instructed the major commands of the theater to comb out men who could be replaced by limited assignment troops or from units which could operate at less than T/O strength.66 The Communications Zone initially planned to meet its commitment under these orders by releasing about 15,000 men from service units, in some cases at least making them temporarily understrength. Section commanders were enjoined to comply fully with the order, particularly as to reporting positions which could be filled with limited assignment men.67
At this time the ETOUSA Replacement System had three major retraining courses under way designed to produce additional infantry rifle replacements from the theater's own resources: (1) a twelve-week basic infantry course organized to convert men from arms and services other than infantry to infantry riflemen; (2) a three-week refresher course for general assignment men withdrawn from the three line-of-communications regiments; and (3) a six to eight weeks' basic infantry course for the retraining of infantrymen other than riflemen. Two courses were then being conducted for officers: (1) a three-week basic infantry refresher course for infantry officers withdrawn from noncombat assignments, and (2) a twelve-week basic infantry course for the conversion of officers in other arms and services to infantry.68 Approximately 16,000 enlisted men and 500 officers were in training under this program in mid-December, although the output for the month actually came to less than 6,000.69
This program was now due for a substantial expansion. The main impetus came from an unexpected direction. In mid-December the German counteroffensive in the Ardennes suddenly shocked the theater into action which it had repeatedly postponed. Losses in the first two weeks were to raise battle casualties to 77,700 for the month of December. Nonbattle casualties totaling 56,700 were to bring the total losses to 134,400 men. (See Table 10.) The replacement situation consequently became more critical than ever.
An accelerated conversion program offered no solution to the immediate problem, and the theater therefore was forced to take drastic emergency measures to meet the heavy losses which attended the battle raging in the Ardennes. Field commanders immediately voiced their concern over the heavy losses, which rose to an estimated 50,000 men in the 12th Army Group within the first week, more than 40,000 of which were infantrymen.70
The theater met the crisis mainly by two expedients: (1) speeding up the delivery of replacements already in the theater pipeline, and, more importantly, (2) stripping units not yet committed. As soon as the seriousness of the situation was apparent, theater headquarters took steps to have all available replacements moved to the armies as quickly as possible. As a result, approximately 2,100 replacements arriving at Marseille were flown to the Third Army on Christmas Day, and another 2,500 were flown to the Third and Ninth Armies the following day.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented drastic action SHAEF on 20 December had ordered the basics of all nine regiments of the 42d, 63d, and 70th Infantry Divisions, then in the 6th Army Group area, withdrawn and released to the Third Army for use as infantry replacements.71 At 219 men per regiment, this produced nearly 2,000 men. A few days later Supreme Headquarters decided to strip the 69th Division as well, and ordered 25 percent of the T/O enlisted strength of each of the three regiments, totaling about 2,200 men, released and shipped to the Continent by air for the First and Ninth Armies.72 Additional measures taken within the first week included the withdrawal for immediate shipment to front-line units of 5,000 men then being retrained by the Replacement System.73 By 25 December the theater through these various measures had arranged to provide about 30,000 men to the three armies of the 12th Army Group.74
Allocation of replacements between the 12th and 6th Army Groups gave overwhelming priority to the former, which was heavily engaged in the counteroffensive. Within the 12th Army Group deliveries at first favored the Third Army somewhat in order to bring General Patton's forces up to the fullest possible strength for the counterattacks they launched a few days before Christmas.75
Theater headquarters also considered other possible actions, such as the withdrawal of combat trained men from engineer combat battalions and general service regiments, and of basics, or even infantry, from divisions which had not yet been committed.76 But these measures were not taken. Instead, on 26 December the theater made an appeal for volunteers for retraining to infantry. Among those who responded to the appeal were 2,250 Negroes, some of whom accepted a reduction in grade to qualify, since only privates and PFC's were declared eligible. By mid-March, when the training of volunteers was suspended,
nearly fifty platoons of Negro infantrymen had been formed.77
Meanwhile two of the armies had instituted emergency retraining programs to produce replacements from their own resources. The Seventh Army, informed that it stood little chance of getting more favorable treatment in the matter of allocations for possibly a month or more, late in December withdrew nearly 4,000 men from its service units for conversion to infantry riflemen, replacing them with limited assignment men provided by the Replacement System. Using its own training personnel and the facilities of the Replacement System's second depot at Thaon, France, the Army retrained nearly 4,000 men in the next month.78 Third Army had inaugurated a similar program early in December, transferring about 6,500 general assignment men to its own replacement battalion at Metz for retraining. But the pressing need for replacements after the middle of the month led to the commitment of both training units and trainees before the conversion could be properly completed.79
The enemy counteroffensive had of course seriously aggravated an already bad manpower situation, and theater officials concluded within a few days of the launching of the offensive in the Ardennes that the emergency measures then being considered could not see the theater through its immediate difficulties. On 19 December, therefore, General Eisenhower decided to send a second mission to Washington. Its goal, as he put it, was to effect a "better understanding and insure that we are speaking the same language" in the matter of replacements, and to show how critical the manpower situation had become despite the "drastic actions" which the theater had recently taken.80
The War Department welcomed the proposed visit, but it forewarned ETOUSA that there was little hope of improving on the shipments already scheduled for the immediate future.81 A few days later, on 22 December, General Barker, Brig. Gen. Joseph J. O'Hare, and Col. James M. Franey, respectively the SHAEF, 12th Army Group, and COMZ G-1's, and Col. Lyle T. Shannon, chief of the Reinforcement Section of the G-1 Division, ETOUSA, flew to Washington to present the theater's case for additional men. Discussions with War Department officials, among them Maj. Gen. Stephen G. Henry, the G-1, General Handy, the Deputy Chief of
Staff, and General Porter, the G-3, got under way at the Pentagon on 23 December.
Essentially, the conference covered no ground that had not been covered in the meeting held earlier in the month. Despite the desperate plight of the theater resulting from the heavy fighting in the Ardennes, ETOUSA officials actually found themselves more on the defensive than ever. The ETOUSA representatives argued with some validity that the Ardennes battle was seriously aggravating its manpower shortage. General Barker showed, for example, that the theater would be short about 17,000 riflemen by the end of the month and that divisions would be down to about 78 percent of their rifle strength by that time. Beyond this, however, ETOUSA's case was weak and vulnerable. The claim, for example, that ETOUSA's replacement problem had been aggravated by the necessity to go to Fifth Army's aid in Italy and to assume responsibility for the support of the Seventh Army sooner than planned had no validity, for, as Pentagon officials were quick to point out, the War Department had more than made good these losses. The claim that ETOUSA had had a retraining program in operation for some time and that it was drawing on COMZ units for general assignment men and even reducing the strengths of service units could hardly be supported. ETOUSA's conversion program actually had gotten under way in earnest only within the past month. The ETOUSA representatives admitted, in fact, that the theater had not appreciated the seriousness of the manpower situation until November.
The theater based its main plea for special consideration on the claim that Germany's defeat had the highest priority, and that victory in the European theater within the next four or five months hinged on the support which the War Department would give ETOUSA. Barker pleaded for special consideration at least through March, when the accelerated retraining program would be in full swing and producing results. General Handy pointed out that the War Department had given the European theater favored treatment all along. The War Department's allocations showed, moreover, that the European theater was scheduled to continue to get the lion's share of the available manpower for the next four months. In infantry alone ETOUSA's share would average nearly 75 percent of the world-wide allocation.
It was precisely by virtue of this favored treatment, Washington officials argued, that ETOUSA now had the biggest and best remaining pool of manpower on which to draw. The bulk of potential combat replacement material was now overseas. There no longer was any reserve of combat troops in the United States on which the War Department might depend in an emergency, for all major formations were now committed for deployment overseas. Moreover, the War Department had already withdrawn all potential replacement material from the air force and service forces in the zone of interior and was in the process of doing the same in the outlying defense commands.
Practically the only source remaining in the United States was the manpower becoming available through induction. This was actually a dwindling asset so
far as providing able-bodied men was concerned, for the pool of men in the 18-26 age group which had not been deferred for industrial or farm purposes was now depleted, and only a limited number of men was entering that age group every month. The War Department had in fact agreed with Selective Service to re-examine about 30,000 men previously rejected as borderline cases, and was contemplating relaxing physical standards. The quality of replacements, in other words, would not be as high as in the past.
Earlier in the month the War Department had agreed to increase shipments to the theater by about 18,000 men, but it now explained that it had been able to do so only by cutting the training cycle from seventeen to fifteen weeks and by shortening the furloughs customarily given men scheduled to go overseas. In increasing the January commitment, therefore, the War Department warned that it was "borrowing from the future," for it was merely speeding up the delivery of men in the replacement pipeline and not increasing the total number available.82
War Department officials could not refrain from contrasting the relatively drastic steps taken in the United States to recover manpower with the rather unimpressive performance of the theater. General Handy noted that in terms of the ratio of combat units to their support, ETOUSA's divisions were the most expensive of any theater. And why, he asked, was it necessary for any unit in the European theater to be understrength when the theater's T/O units and overhead were nearly 20,000 men overstrength?
It was plain that War Department officials considered the theater wasteful in its use of manpower, and they were more pointed than ever before in their remarks concerning its failure to take more timely action on the retraining of its overstrengths and the general assignment men in its noncombat units. The warnings had been clear as to the War Department's declining capability to furnish replacements. How, they asked, could the theater wait until late in November to accelerate its retraining program? In General Handy's view, the solution was obvious: "You just have to comb them out."
In the end the conference produced only one important offer of assistance to the theater: the War Department offered to provide the nucleus of a training cadre for an officer candidate school in France. Beyond this it said only that the European theater would continue to get the largest share of the 80,000 replacements which the War Department hoped to provide to meet world-wide requirements each month. It had made unequivocally clear--this time by refusing to make any further concessions--that the theater henceforth must look to its own resources and ingenuity. In effect, therefore, the problem was thrown back into the theater's lap.83
(3) The Theater Acts, January-February 1945
The War Department's refusal to promise additional replacements had one very salutary effect, which probably could not have been produced in any other way. ETOUSA, finally convinced that the War Department meant what it had repeatedly asserted about the shortage of manpower, now took steps to accelerate the retraining program which it had belatedly undertaken late in November.
On 8 January General Eisenhower announced the creation of a U.S. Theater Manpower Section, responsible directly to himself, to supervise and control the entire conversion program. The Manpower Section, initially drawn entirely from the SHAEF G-1 Division, was charged with the final determination of both the numbers and categories of personnel to be withdrawn from each component command for transfer to the Replacement System, and was empowered to issue all the necessary instructions to effect such withdrawals and to control the allocation of both limited assignment and general assignment men to the various commands. Emphasizing the seriousness of the manpower situation, General Eisenhower instructed that all necessary records of the various headquarters be made available to the section, and ordered that nothing be allowed to interfere with the success of the program.84
In general, it was expected that the Theater Manpower Section would implement the recommendations of the group of officers from the War Department Manpower Board which was about to carry out a thorough survey of the theater's manpower. General Eisenhower at this time authorized the group, headed by Maj. Gen. Lorenzo D. Gasser, to proceed anywhere in the theater to carry out this mission.85
General Eisenhower at first specified that the Theater Manpower Section was to operate under the direct supervision of the U.S. element of the SHAEF G-1 Division. Shortly thereafter, however, he decided to combine all manpower affairs, including procurement, training,
and morale, under one office, and created the new position of Deputy Theater Commander for that purpose, naming Lt. Gen. Ben Lear to the position. Lear had commanded the Second Army in the United States from 1941 to 1944 and had succeeded Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair as commanding general of the Army Ground Forces in July 1944 when McNair was killed in Normandy. General Marshall had put Lear at General Eisenhower's disposal to carry out his invigorated replacement training program. The theater commander specifically delegated to Lear the authority to "coordinate, control, and direct" the activities of the Theater Manpower Section, which in effect meant authority over all matters dealing with the economic use and proper handling of men.86
The creation of the Theater Manpower Section and the appointment of General Lear to supervise all manpower activities immediately raised questions regarding the role and authority of the theater G-1, which already was handling much of the staff work on manpower. General Lear promptly announced that he intended to establish the Theater Manpower Section as a completely separate entity operating directly under his jurisdiction, and that he intended to avail himself of the assistance of the various agencies of the theater staff already concerned with manpower, in line with this interpretation of the theater commander's desires. Lear announced his intention of naming Colonel Shannon, the head of the Reinforcement Section of G-1 ETOUSA, as chief of the Theater Manpower Section, and of reinforcing the section as necessary with other officers from both the SHAEF and ETOUSA G-1 Divisions.87
The Communications Zone questioned this interpretation, objecting particularly to the loss of control over the Reinforcement Section of its G-1 Division, which did much of the staff work on manpower--gathering data on requirements and availability and determining the number of men that had to be withdrawn for retraining. General Lee naturally desired to retain control over this important part of the entire manpower machinery. The matter was finally brought to General Eisenhower's attention, and the Supreme Commander referred the entire problem to his G-1, General Barker.88
General Barker believed strongly in the need for an agency at the highest level that would impartially and vigorously prosecute the manpower program now contemplated, and for an agency that should not be subject to control by any interested party. He also considered it necessary that all theater-level staff work on the manpower problem be brought under the control of one agency. The Replacement System had already been placed under the supervision of General Lear. General Barker considered it logical that the Reinforcement Section of the ETOUSA G-1 Division, which was closely tied up with the functions
of the Replacement System and the new Theater Manpower Section, should also pass to Lear's control. In his opinion, leaving it with the Communications Zone would defeat the intent of the whole program, for it would deny General Lear control over a vital element of the entire structure and result in divided responsibility.
General Eisenhower approved his G-1's recommendations. On 5 February, therefore, General Barker notified Lee that Lear was to have control of all activities concerned with the direction of the Theater Manpower Section and the Replacement System. In line with this decision the theater-wide function of the Reinforcement Section of G-1 ETOUSA, with the necessary personnel, were now to be transferred to the Theater Manpower Section. To be included in the transfer was the section's current head, Colonel Shannon, who was to become chief of the Theater Manpower Section. A suitable cadre was to be left with ETOUSA G-1 to carry on the work on the Communications Zone's own manpower problems. On 24 February General Lear officially announced the reconstitution of the Theater Manpower Section as a separate staff section responsible directly to himself as Deputy Theater Commander, and outlined its duties and responsibilities.89
Creating the Theater Manpower Section and granting it undisputed authority in the field of manpower represented a triumph for General Barker's ideas, for the SHAEF G-1 had argued with little success for such an agency as early as June 1944. General Barker had clearly seen the danger of having the Communications Zone, by virtue of its alternate role as theater headquarters, possess a major voice in a matter in which it had an important vested interest and which now required vigorous and impartial treatment. The entire argument once again pointed up the anomalous position of one headquarters attempting to play a dual role, and indicated the need for a disinterested agency which would exercise real theater-wide surveillance and control.
In the meantime the theater had also taken action to get the expanded retraining program into operation, laying down policy on withdrawals and eligibility, specifying the objectives of the retraining program and the kind of training to be given, and issuing the first directives on the release of general assignment men to the replacement system. With one exception, the training courses to be given remained the same. But the Replacement System now ordered a substantial shortening of the courses in an effort to speed up the delivery of replacements. The three-week refresher course previously specified for men taken from the three line-of-communications regiments, for example, was now shortened to one week; similarly, the six- to eight-week course for the conversion of infantry other than riflemen to MOS 745 now became a two-week course; the course for conversion from other arms and services
was reduced from twelve to four weeks; and the course for the conversion of officers from other arms and services from twelve to six.90
The scope of the new training program was revealed in mid-January, when the theater commander ordered the Replacement System to increase the enlisted infantry retraining facilities to a capacity of 40,000 men, and to establish an officer training school capable of producing 1,900 infantry officer replacements per month. Of the 1,900, 400 were to consist of officers retrained from other branches in a course of six to eight weeks' duration, and 1,500 were to be provided through an officer candidate school course of twelve weeks. The theater ordered the expanded program to be put into effect by 15 February.91
The theater had also issued the first calls for the release of general assignment men for retraining. On 1 January General Lee assigned specific quotas to the various COMZ sections, the total COMZ commitment for the first five weeks coming to 21,000 men. For the initial increment the theater directed USSTAF to transfer 10,000 men beginning late in January. The army groups and the U.S. element of SHAEF were to make smaller contributions. The first quotas were established fairly arbitrarily in order to get retraining under way without delay. The Theater Manpower Section later established a more systematic method of determining quotas, based on the maximum understrengths
"And me a Clerk-Typist!"
at which units could operate, the number of limited assignment men available to maintain them at minimum operational strength, and so on. The separate retraining being conducted by the armies was now ordered stopped in order to ensure control of replacement requirements by branch, which had been thrown out of balance as a result of the several conversion programs.92
At this time theater headquarters also laid down the policy to govern withdrawals. In general, all physically qualified white enlisted men under the age of 31 assigned to noncombat units were declared eligible for transfer to the Replacement System for retraining to infantry. Key specialists who possessed
highly specialized skills, who were not in excess of minimum requirements, and who could not be suitably replaced, as well as medical enlisted men in infantry and armored regiments and battalions, were exempted. Men who had passed their 31st birthday and were serving in combat units were not to be removed from combat units, nor were physically qualified men to be reassigned to noncombat units after hospitalization solely for reasons of age.93
In each case the theater planned to replace the men withdrawn with limited assignment men. It hoped to ease the transition at least partially by authorizing the assignment of limited assignment men for on-the-job training for a week to a month before the withdrawal of men for conversion training. It realized from the start, however, that this objective would probably not be attained, and warned the various commands to be prepared to operate understrength pending the receipt of replacements.94 Meanwhile, it notified the War Department that it would need about 25,000 limited assignment men in addition to those available in the theater in order to expedite the release of general assignment personnel for retraining. The War Department could not promise to meet the requirement in full, but it took immediate action to recover personnel for this purpose in the United States, assigning quotas to the Army Service Forces, the Army Ground Forces, and the Army Air Forces.95
ETOUSA also asked the Mediterranean theater if it possessed any surplus limited assignment men it could release. General McNarney offered to make 3,000 men in this category available, and scheduled the first shipment early in February. In fact, MTOUSA, after a War Department inquiry regarding its overstrength in replacement, also offered to provide ETOUSA with an additional 3,000 general assignment replacements, thus reciprocating ETOUSA's favor of the preceding October. Needless to say, ETOUSA accepted with alacrity, and the shipment was scheduled for 15 February.96
The officer shortage constituted a special problem, and the Officer Candidate School was the major addition to the retraining program which ETOUSA already had placed in operation. The infantry officer replacement problem had grown progressively worse during the war. As in the case of enlisted replacements, the War Department had warned the theater in October that it could not
continue to fill ETOUSA requisitions, for the training of officer candidates was actually being curtailed for lack of qualified candidates. Consequently it had warned the theater that it must meet a greater and greater portion of its needs through conversions and direct appointments.97
The theater actually had one of the best possible sources of officer material in its combat-tested and experienced noncommissioned officers. But it had not fully exploited this resource, in part because of the policy which did not assure commanders making battlefield appointments that they could retain such men in their own commands. Casualties rose sharply in November, and the theater estimated that officer losses would total 2,500 per month if operations continued at the current pace. Approximately 40 percent of casualties could be expected to return to duty, leaving a net loss of about 1,500. With the War Department promising only 600-700 replacements per month, this meant that the theater would have to furnish 800-900 from its own resources. The 12th Army Group G-1 painted an even more pessimistic picture, forecasting officer casualties of nearly 3,700 for the month of December. Appointments had averaged fewer than 400 per month for the entire theater.98
This trend led the Replacement System to recommend the establishment of an Officer Candidate School in the theater. In January, as part of the greatly expanded retraining program, the theater commander ordered the establishment of an Officer Candidate School capable of training 1,900 infantry officers per month. With assistance from the War Department in the form of a badly needed training cadre dispatched from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, the theater Replacement System announced the establishment of an officer training center at Fontainebleau, France, on 21 January, naming Col. Harold E. Potter as commandant. The training schedule provided for three classes, each of 240 men, to start every week.99
Field commanders were urged to take advantage of their authority to make more direct appointments. The heavy losses of December, plus a change in policy which allowed units to retain the officers they commissioned, overcame some of the earlier reluctance.100 But the number of appointments continued to be disappointingly low, and replacement officials forecast sizable shortages in the infantry officer category in view of the fact that the officer candidate program could not begin to graduate officers until May. Early in March, at the urging of his G-1, General Eisenhower again urged both army group commanders to appoint more officers from the ranks, pointing out that this was the only method of meeting the shortages in the
OFFICER CANDIDATE CLASS, FONTAINEBLEAU, performing detailed stripping of the M1 rifle.
next few months.101 The Replacement System had earlier instituted a three-week indoctrination course at the Fontainebleau training center for officers who had been commissioned directly.102
By mid-January the goals of the conversion program had been clearly outlined. But the program did not achieve real momentum until the next month. At the end of January 13,600 men were in training; a month later the number had risen to 33,400. The actual conversions in these two months totaled 7,685 and 8,193 respectively.103 The fruits of the program were still some way off, and the replacement situation therefore remained tight.
Meanwhile, replacement requirements continued high. Battle casualties, which
had risen to 77,700 in December, dropped to 69,100 in January, but nonbattle casualties rose from 56,000 in December to 67,600 in January. Total casualties, coming to 136,700 men consequently exceeded the losses of the preceding month.104
Late in January the theater estimated that the shortage of infantrymen within the armies alone totaled 82,000, of which nearly 50,000 were in riflemen.105 The outlook for the future was hardly encouraging despite the special efforts now being made. Earlier in the month the War Department had again relented somewhat, revising its capabilities upward to 44,000 men for May and 46,000 in June. To achieve these figures, however, it noted that it would have to call upon the Army Air Forces for an additional 15,000 men. These would consist largely of students in training for air crews and of highly trained technicians, and the Army Air Forces warned that their transfer would seriously affect air operations in the European theater. The War Department preferred not to make these withdrawals. ETOUSA manpower officials insisted on the additional replacements, however, pointing out that the theater's conversion capabilities would begin to diminish after June.106
Early in February the Replacement System estimated that its needs in the three months beginning with March would average 90,000 men. Seemingly unaware of the recent announcements from Washington, it recommended that the War Department be asked to furnish 91,300 in March, 88,375 in April, and 51,300 in May.107
The theater had continued to allocate replacements between the two army groups on the basis of their relative divisional strengths and operational missions. Early in January, in the midst of the Ardennes battle, SHAEF ordered the available infantry riflemen replacements allocated to the 12th and 6th Army Groups in the ratio of 8 to 1. Armored replacements, in which the shortage was also serious at this time, were allocated between the two commands in the ratio of 10 to 1.108
The 6th Army Group considered this division inequitable, particularly in view of the intensified fighting that had attended the enemy's offensive in the south beginning on New Year's Day. General Devers immediately asked for reconsideration, therefore, claiming shortages of 15,000 enlisted men and 500 officers in the Seventh Army. SHAEF defended its original allocation on the basis of operational priorities, although it notified the 6th Army Group that it would get 3,000 men which the Mediterranean theater had offered to ship; this would in effect change the ratio from 8 to 1 to 5.7 to 1. Hospital returnees did not figure
in the allocations, for they automatically went back to their original units.109
As had happened so frequently before, the calculations of the two commands were based on conflicting claims. SHAEF had referred to shortages of only 5,200 infantry riflemen in the 6th Army Group, while the latter claimed a deficiency of 13,300. Moreover, 6th Army Group entered an additional bid for approximately 5,000 officers and men, representing losses which the 42d, 63d, and 70th Divisions had suffered as the result of emergency releases in December.110 SHAEF refused to alter the allocations for January at so late a date, and promised instead to make adjustments in the February allocations if they were warranted.
Late in January SHAEF and 6th Army Group reconciled their conflicting claims. SHAEF acknowledged that its previous allocations had been inequitable. In compensation it now assigned the February allocation of approximately 50,000 infantry replacements to the 12th and 6th Army Groups on a 3 to 1 ratio. Armored replacements were to be divided equally between the two commands. The 6th Army Group's situation improved greatly in the next few weeks, owing mainly to smaller losses. In March, therefore, SHAEF, taking into consideration the new operational priorities and missions, again threw proportionately greater support to the 12th Army Group, allocating infantry replacements, totaling 60,000 men, at a 5 to 1 ratio and armored replacements, totaling 2,100 at a 4 to 1 ratio.111
(4) The Replacement System in Operation
For the most part U.S. forces in the European theater attempted to keep units at their full T/O&E strength through the provision of individual replacements, delivered to units either while they were in action or when they were out of the line and refitting. The relief of battle-weary regiments by units shipped in advance of other divisional components had only a limited application and did not constitute a significant exception to this policy.
The provision of replacements was the mission of the Replacement System, a separate command operated by the SOS/COMZ under the staff supervision of the theater G-1. Planning for such an organization got under way in the spring of 1943, and ETOUSA directed the SOS to establish a replacement system the following fall. On 24 November the SOS announced the establishment of the Field Force Replacement System, naming Col. Walter G. Layman as its chief. One replacement depot, with five battalions, located at Lichfield, was already in operation in England, but the
newly created Field Force Replacement System, as such, did not actually come into operation until January 1944. The command was subsequently redesignated Ground Force Replacement System, then the Replacement System, and in December 1944 its name was finally changed to Ground Force Reinforcement Command.112
The War Department showed an early interest in the newly established organization. Increasingly concerned over the manpower shortage developing in the United States, it was determined that the Replacement System in the European theater should be established along lines that would insure the best possible manpower management. As noted above, in January 1944 it sent Colonel Evans, chief of the Classification and Replacement Branch of The Adjutant General's Office, to survey the theater's progress in establishing adequate replacement handling machinery.
Evans found several faults with the policies which the theater had laid down for the embryo replacement system and made several recommendations, based on experience in the Mediterranean, for the operation of the system on the Continent. In line with the warnings which the War Department was beginning to issue at this time regarding the developing manpower shortage, he also recommended that all units and installations of the SOS be directed to survey their personnel to identify men occupying other than key or highly technical jobs who were physically qualified for field duty, and that these men be earmarked for assignment to field force units as limited assignment men were made available to replace them. As shown earlier, this recommendation met with little enthusiasm in a theater feverishly preparing for the Normandy invasion.
Evans' main criticism dealt with the matter of the Replacement System's place in the command and organizational structure. The order establishing the system had provided for a "chief" of the Field Force Replacement System and had left its position in the command structure somewhat nebulous. Certain supervisory powers over the depots, for example, had remained with the various base section commanders. The latter, according to Evans, were not confining their supervision to the functions orally agreed to. Moreover, there appeared to be no central staff agency, such as The Adjutant General's Office in the War Department, through which all directives, requests, and information would be routed. In short, Evans thought the command and staff channels were vaguely defined, and he argued strongly for giving the chief of the Replacement System command status so that he would have complete and sole authority over all ground force replacement troops. As an example of the inflexibility of the system as it was then being operated, he cited the practice of earmarking all replacements arriving in the theater for either field force or SOS assignments, with no provision for interchange of men with specialties common to two or more arms or services, a policy which did not permit the maximum utilization
of skills when and where they were needed.113
ETOUSA officers who attended the War Department conference on manpower early in April 1944 took exception to the requirement that the theater accord command status to the Replacement System, and asked that the theater be allowed to establish the Replacement System as it thought best. Brig. Gen. Oscar B. Abbott, then the ETOUSA G-1, explained that the theater commander, through the chief of the Field Force Replacement System, exercised effective control over the location, training, and assignment of units and personnel of the system and over the flow and distribution of replacements, and denied that the base section commanders had any control over such manpower. He saw no need to give the chief of the system any additional powers, such as court-martial jurisdiction or supply, and asked that no changes be made at that late date.
War Department representatives did not press the issue for the moment, appearing satisfied with assurances that the head of the Replacement System, whatever his title, possessed sufficient powers to exercise a centralized control over the handling of replacements and to produce the desired results.114 General Marshall was not satisfied with this arrangement, however, and a few days after the conclusion of the conference stated his desires in the matter in a lengthy cable to General Eisenhower. The North African experience had convinced him of the absolute need for a single commander with sole responsibility for the operation of the theater's Replacement System in conformity with both theater and War Department policies. It was imperative, he maintained, that the commander of the Replacement System have control of all casual personnel; that he direct and co-ordinate training programs for the recovery and proper utilization of men coming out of hospitals and for the retraining of able-bodied men in the Communications Zone to make them available for duty with combat units; and that he take aggressive action to prevent the accumulation and stagnation of men in depots. Furthermore, he must exercise control of loss replacements sent to the theater to prevent their diversion for other purposes.
These lessons, according to the Chief of Staff, had been learned at high cost in North Africa and were based on a mass of cumulative evidence. Referring to the opposition which the theater had so recently expressed to the War Department's views, he noted that he would not tolerate a "stiff-necked attitude" in opposition to an essential change dictated by experience with which ETOUSA officials were not acquainted.115
General Eisenhower assured the Chief of Staff that his wishes would be carried out, and noted that Colonel Layman, the chief of the Replacement System, exercised complete control over the system, and for all practical purposes actually
was a commander, for the base sections retained supervision over the depots only in matters of housekeeping and supply.116 Early in May General Marshall's views on the whole matter were embodied in a formal directive to the theater, which specifically laid down War Department policy on the subject. On 18 May the theater headquarters in turn announced these policies as effective within the theater and gave the Replacement System command status.117
By D Day there were thirteen depots in the Replacement System, comprising fifty-three battalions and 168 companies. The OVERLORD build-up plan called for the transfer of five of these depots to the Continent by D plus 90. In general, the scheme provided for a depot in support of each army, one battalion in direct support of each corps, and additional depots to operate reception centers or to serve as stockage or training installations.
Deployment to the Continent took place substantially as planned. In line with the general scheme of command for the early phases of the invasion, however, control of the Replacement System in France was initially decentralized. For the assault stage one battalion was attached to each corps. In mid-June First Army took control of the replacement units which had arrived in Normandy. First Army tried, in fact, to retain indefinite control over the replacement units which supported it. In accordance with the plan, however, control of all replacement units reverted to the Replacement System after the drawing of an army rear boundary early in August, so that centralized control was once more established over the entire system.
Four depots were then in operation on the Continent. By mid-September the Replacement System in France had grown to six depots, with twenty-six battalions. By mid-November the transfer of all but two of the depots remaining in England, and the incorporation of the depot which had arrived via southern France in support of the Seventh Army, raised the strength of the Replacement System on the Continent to ten depots. No further expansion of the system was contemplated. But the inauguration of the big retraining program in January 1945 led to the activation of two additional depots on a provisional basis, which raised the Replacement System's strength on the Continent to twelve depots. Two depots remained in England throughout the period of operations.118
There were five types of depots. One type provided direct support to the armies and was located well forward. At the end of January 1945 there were four of these: the 18th Replacement Depot, located at Tongres, Belgium, serving the Ninth Army; the 3d Depot, at Verviers, Belgium, serving the First Army; the 17th Depot at Angervillers, France, serving the Third Army; and the 2d Depot, at Thaon, France, serving the Seventh; a separate battalion, the 51st, at Charleville,
France, supported the Fifteenth Army. Two depots acted primarily as receiving stations for hospital returnees, or casuals. These were the 19th, at Etampes, France, and the 10th, at Lichfield, England. Three depots served as intermediate or "stockage" pools. These were the 14th, at Neufchâteau, France, generally in support of the Third and Seventh Armies; the 11th, at Givet, Belgium, in support of the Ninth and First Armies; and the 6900th Provisional Depot, established in January at Verviers, Belgium.
Two depots and a separate battalion served solely as reception agencies. These were the 12th Depot in the United Kingdom, the 15th Depot at Le Havre, and the 54th Battalion at Marseille. The 12th, located at Tidworth, England, eventually became a retraining center. Three other depots came to serve purely as training centers by January 1945. These were the 9th Depot at Fontainebleau, for officers and officer candidates, and the 16th Depot, at Compiègne, and the 6960th Provisional Depot at Coetquidon, both for enlisted men. In addition, Training Center No. 1, at Shrivenham, England, trained limited assignment men for new duties.119
The rapid build-up of the Replacement System on the Continent was accompanied by a shift in the "processing" of replacements from England to the Continent. Most replacements continued to debark in the United Kingdom until the end of the year because of inadequate port facilities on the Continent. Beginning as early as August, however, replacements arriving at northern U.K. ports moved directly to Southampton by rail and re-embarked for the Continent, most of them going ashore at the Normandy beaches. The opening of Le Havre eventually led to the establishment of the main reception facilities at that port.
Whether he arrived directly from the United States or came via the United Kingdom, the average combat replacement made four stops along the continental pipeline before he finally was assigned to a unit. If he debarked at Le Havre, for example, as most replacements did beginning in November 1944, he went directly to the 15th Depot located just outside the port. The 15th acted purely as a reception center or transit area, providing barely more than a roof for the men while they awaited transportation forward. Normally the stay at the reception depot lasted only overnight, sometimes only a few hours. The replacement's next stop was the intermediate or stockage depot, where the first processing was begun. It was at this stage that the infantry replacement was issued a rifle, and an attempt was made to meet other individual equipment shortages and to bring service records up to date. Here the first attempt was also made to orient him on the status of current operations, and lectures were given on medical hygiene, including advice on the prevention of trench foot. The stockage depot also provided the replacement the first opportunity to collect back pay since his departure from the United States. The stay in the stockage depot varied. Men were sometimes on their way within forty-eight hours, as was common during
ORIENTATION LECTURE FOR ENLISTED MEN, 19th Reinforcement Depot, February 1945. Visiting the class are Lt. Gen. Ben Lear (carrying swagger stick, left background) and General Eisenhower.
the December crisis. But they often stayed much longer, and the delays at this stage were the source of much of the dissatisfaction of the individual replacement.
From the stockage depot the replacement went next to an army depot. If he came from the 14th Depot at Neufchâteau, for example, he next found himself at either the 17th Depot, which supported the Third Army, or the 2d, which supported the Seventh. In general, the processing at this stage of the journey was simply a continuation of that already begun, and included a check of a man's medical record and the filling of remaining equipment shortages. When directed by the army, the replacement moved on to the forward battalion supporting a particular corps, and finally to a specific unit.120
The operation of this human pipeline was bedeviled by many difficulties and became the target of endless reproach. In general, complaints fell into two broad categories. Those originating with the field commands generally dealt with such subjects as the unsatisfactory quality of replacements, endless equipment shortages, and theater policy on such matters as requisitioning and returning casuals. Those originating with the individual replacement dealt mainly with the subject of the physical discomforts and mental distress attending the interminable delays involved in moving from
reception depot to the unit of final assignment.
The lot of the individual replacement was not an enviable one at any time, and it was particularly hard in the first several months of operations on the Continent. Housing facilities at the depots offered little or nothing in the way of creature comforts, and transportation for a long time took the form of either open trucks or slow-moving trains made up of unheated and crowded "40 and 8's" neither of which permitted adequate sanitation or messing facilities. Most replacements accepted the physical discomforts of the forward journey without complaint in anticipation of quickly reaching the unit of their ultimate assignment. Thousands of replacements, particularly infantry riflemen, did in fact pass through the system with relative speed and quickly found "homes" with units. Contrary to theory, however, thousands of others found themselves detained for unconscionably long periods at some point along the way.
For the latter, life in a "repple depot" was a constant battle against boredom, frustration, and worry. The Replacement System was ill-prepared, particularly at first, to keep men occupied or comfortable. Time therefore hung heavily on their hands. Left with nothing to do, and without knowledge as to his future assignment, the replacement pictured a black future for himself and expanded every rumor. Association with casuals usually did not help matters, for casuals, unfortunately, often delighted in feeding the new man's imaginary fears with tall tales about the enemy's cunning and the small chance of survival. Realizing the bad effect which this had on the morale of new men, the Replacement System eventually adopted the policy of separating casuals from new replacements during their stay in the system.121
Most of the depots forward of the ports eventually offered training to replacements in transit. But such training was often makeshift and pointless, and not always of a high caliber, for its conduct depended largely on officers who themselves were replacements or casuals and who gave only grudging co-operation. Meanwhile much of the processing at each stage along the replacement's forward journey, involving endless paper work, interviews, and short-arm inspections, seemed meaningless and unnecessary.122
The speed with which a replacement might finally be assigned and delivered to a unit and thrown into combat often contrasted sharply with the protracted delays in the depots. Common sense suggested that a man should be integrated into his unit while the unit was at rest or in reserve. Field service regulations had in fact once advocated such a policy. But it was common practice for replacements to be absorbed into a unit without knowing much more than its name. In fact, replacements often joined their units at night, without even seeing the faces of the men with whom they were to fight, and in some cases without learning the names of their squad or platoon
INFANTRY REPLACEMENTS CHECKING EQUIPMENT at a forward battalion before leaving to join a specific unit.
leaders. Such practices not only multiplied the confusion and anxiety for the individual replacement, but created an additional hazard for the unit as a whole. Proper guidance and orientation of the replacement at this stage of his journey was undoubtedly more important than at any other, for it was at this stage that he became a member of an organized group and had to meet the first test of combat. Many units appreciated this and made special efforts to facilitate the integration of new men and help them make the necessary psychological adjustment. Some divisions established permanent processing agencies designed to introduce the replacement to his unit, acclimate him to his new surroundings, orient him on the habits of the unit, and check his equipment.123
The problem of the morale of the individual replacement received increasing attention during the fall of 1944 and was one of the factors which eventually led to the creation of a separate office for the control of all manpower affairs under General Lear. The Replacement System itself was aware of many of the deficiencies in the handling of replacements. In November Brig. Gen. Henry J. Matchett, who had succeeded General Layman as commander of the Replacement System upon the latter's death in England on 24 September, invited constructive criticism and
suggestions for improvement in the operation of the system. Late in December Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel, chief of the Inspectorate Section under Lear, with the aid of other officers, conducted a systematic investigation of the many complaints over the handling of replacements.124
Some of the deficiencies were outside the power of the Replacement System to remedy. In the case of others, such as the inadequacy of training at the depots, the Replacement System was undoubtedly severely handicapped by the lack of training units and equipment, and by its necessity to rely on casuals and replacements for actual instruction. Nevertheless it made a conscientious effort late in 1944 to alleviate the hardships attending the replacement's progress along the replacement route, including the organization of more meaningful training programs, provision of better housing and recreational facilities, and the provision of somewhat better facilities during the trip forward. Included in the latter were kitchen cars capable of heating rations, and permanent train commanders and medical noncommissioned officers to take the place of those previously drafted from the ranks of casuals and replacements. These measures, while alleviating some of the physical hardships attending the journey through the replacement system, actually did little to ease the replacement's mental anxiety. The handling of thousands of men was unavoidably an impersonal matter, and most replacements did not overcome the feeling that they were orphans until they finally found a home with a unit.125
The very term "replacement," in the view of some, had a bad psychological effect on those to whom it was applied, for it had a connotation of expendability. In an attempt to overcome this, theater headquarters late in December ordered the use of the term discontinued and the term "reinforcements" substituted on the ground that replacement personnel should be considered as a combat reserve. The War Department had no objection to the change, but it rejected the suggestion that it adopt the new term for use throughout the Army, and reminded the theater that the treatment of replacements before their entry into combat was more important to morale than calling a "rose by another name." It was at this time that the theater also redesignated the Ground Force Replacement System the Ground Force Reinforcement Command.126
At the suggestion of the War Department, ETOUSA in March took a more
positive, if belated, measure to improve the morale of replacements. Early that month General Joseph W. Stilwell, commanding general of the Army Ground Forces, proposed that the War Department ship infantry replacements in squad- or platoon-size units rather than as individuals, and that it earmark such units for specific divisions before their departure from training centers in the United States. One obvious advantage to such a scheme was that it facilitated control, discipline, and training during movement through the Replacement System. More important, groups of men who had learned to know each other and had trained as a team could be assigned intact to units.
ETOUSA accepted the basic idea of the proposal, although it objected to the idea of earmarking units in advance for specific assignment. On 10 March it announced that henceforth all replacements would be organized into four-man groups, three of such groups forming a squad, four squads a platoon, and four platoons a company. The Replacement System announced that insofar as practicable it would organize casuals, limited assignment men, and men in the training depots, as well as shipments from the zone of interior, in this manner. While there was little chance that entire companies, or even platoons, could be maintained as units and so assigned, and while the organization was not made binding on the units which eventually received them, it was intended that every effort be made to maintain the integrity of at least the smallest grouping--that is, of four men--for its entire time in the Replacement System. Since the plan did not go into effect until barely a month before the end of hostilities, there was little to indicate how successful it might have been.127
Hospital returnees, or casuals, constituted an important source of manpower, comprising nearly 40 percent of all personnel passing through the Replacement System.128 But they also constituted a special problem. As a veteran, the casual, when thrown into the Replacement System, had but one objective, which was to return to his former unit. Any delay in setting him on his way he considered intolerable. It irked him to have to go through the same routine as new replacements, and in many cases he communicated his embitterment to the green and impressionable newcomer. For the most part, commanders were equally anxious to have their old men back.
The most desirable procedure would naturally have been to return the casual
automatically to his old unit. Unfortunately, such a practice would have conflicted with one of the basic tenets of the theater's manpower policy--namely, the proscription against overstrength in units. Theater replacement policy, as laid down at the time of the invasion, had in effect admitted the desirability of such a procedure, but had made only a limited concession to the idea in practice. It had decreed that men discharged from hospitals who were still fully qualified to perform the duties of their MOS would be returned to their former units "whenever practicable," which meant only if requisitions were on hand from those units to fill vacancies. The basic reason for disallowing the automatic return of casuals was that it would result in overstrengths in some units at the same time that others were short of men.129
In view of the prospective manpower shortages, this policy undoubtedly had much validity. But, as events showed, it failed to reckon the results in terms of morale. The prolonged argument over the return of casuals illustrated the difficulty of reconciling the demand for economy in the management and use of manpower with the desire to accommodate the field commands and the individual replacement.
The theater had had occasion to confirm its adopted policy on returning hospital casuals within the first month of the invasion. Late in June, and again early in July, the commander of the Replacement System reported his concern over a growing accumulation of casuals against which no requisitions had been submitted by their former units, and asked what the disposition of these men should be. The theater G-1 pointed out that the policy on this subject was clear: unless vacancies existed in their former units, the men in question must be considered available for use in filling requisitions from other units. The G-1 conceded, however, that such personnel should not be used to fill requisitions from other units as long as other replacements were available for that purpose.130 An exception had already been made in the case of all field grade officers and enlisted personnel of the first three grades in the case of nondivisional units.
The month of August brought an unexpected complication. Casualties were relatively light that month, with the result that the number of hospitalized men returning to the Replacement System temporarily exceeded the rate at which vacancies were occurring. This further reduced the chances that a man would return to his former unit. In an attempt to overcome some of the injustices which might result from this situation the 12th Army Group succeeded in getting priorities established by which preference for return to a unit was given to those men who had served with the particular unit the longest time. The Replacement System also adopted the policy of automatically returning general assignment casuals to the depot supporting
the army from which they had come, which increased to some degree the chances that men would return to their former units.131
The theater's policy on casuals was closely tied up with theater requisitioning policy. Under the terms of requisitioning regulations a division was prohibited from requesting replacements for an understrength regiment if the division as a whole was overstrength, although former members of the regiment needing the replacements might be languishing in the Replacement System after their discharge from hospitals.132 Transferring men from one unit to another within the division was obviously no solution.
Field force commanders appealed again and again for the abandonment of this policy and asked that casuals be returned to their old units automatically. To the casuals themselves, detainment in the replacement depots was incomprehensible. In desperation many a casual took matters into his own hands and returned to his unit at the risk of being charged AWOL rather than sweat out official orders. Nevertheless the theater in November reaffirmed the standing policy on casuals: they were to be held in forward depots only ten days. If no requisition justified by actual vacancies was forthcoming from the men's former units within that period, they were to be considered free replacements and used to fill any requisition received by the depot.133
In actual practice some replacement battalions tried to return all casuals from divisions to their former units, even though this often entailed holding men beyond the authorized time limit and thus violated theater policy. Many felt that it was better to do this than to assign men to new units and risk having them go AWOL. Failure of the armies to enforce theater policy encouraged men to do exactly this.134
In any case, the manpower crisis brought on by the enemy onslaught in December finally changed all this. Early in January 1945, on General Devers' suggestion, SHAEF authorized the automatic return of all casuals to their former units in the 6th Army Group. Later in the month it suspended the policy requiring requisition for such casuals for the 12th Army Group as well.135
The suspension of the policy requiring requisitions for casuals applied only to enlisted men. Field grade officers had been excepted from the rule earlier. One group of casuals therefore still remained subject to the theater's original policy--that is, company grade officers. Later in February the replacement system, recognizing the bad effect which prolonged
retention in depots was having on the morale of this group, recommended that all general assignment company grade officers from the armies be returned to them without requisition. The theater commander approved the proposal on 13 March.136 Two weeks later the theater finally rescinded the original regulation entirely, thus abandoning a policy for which there had long since been little support and which, in fact, had been widely disregarded.137
One exception remained. In February the theater had decreed that the automatic return-to-duty policy would not be applied to men who had sustained three or more wounds, each of which had required ten days' hospitalization. Thereafter such individuals were assigned to noncombat duty unless they specifically requested that they be returned to their old units.138
Up to the time of the manpower crisis late in 1944 the theater policy on casuals applied equally to service force and field force men. Beginning in January 1945, however, service force casuals, if hospitalized more than sixty days, were automatically dropped from the rolls of their organization and upon release from the hospital were considered free replacements. If still classified general assignment, they were subject to conversion training.139
Meanwhile field commanders protested the theater's policy on requisitioning and overstrength for the reason that it often operated to keep units considerably below their T/O strength. They pointed out that the proscription on requisitioning against anticipated casualties often resulted in the accumulation of losses for several days because of the lag in filling requisitions. One division noted that during periods of intensive combat, when its losses averaged 165 men per day, the shortages might add up to a thousand or more men by the time the replacements for the first day's losses arrived because of the normal lag of six or seven days. The inevitable result was a loss in combat effectiveness, for the heaviest casualties were mainly in infantry riflemen.
Finally, combat commanders also protested against the regulation that they requisition on the basis of assigned strength rather than effective strength. The number of men in a unit who were either AWOL, confined awaiting trial, awaiting reclassification proceedings, sick but not evacuated, or in the hospital, was always sizable. Under existing regulations a man who was AWOL, for example, had to be carried as part of the assigned strength of a unit for one year, and a man being hospitalized normally was carried on the rolls of a unit for sixty days. Units could not requisition replacements to make up for shortages resulting from such absences.140
The field commands had an opportunity to air their grievances on personnel policy at a conference called by the theater
G-1 early in November. The main concern, as always, was the problem of keeping units at authorized strength in view of the theater's existing regulations. Some commanders frankly admitted that they had circumvented theater regulations, requisitioning men in advance of actual need in order to overcome the lag in delivery. General Eisenhower's own representative, Maj. Gen. Everett S. Hughes, agreed that existing regulations only invited subterfuge. In fact, he favored the kind of dubious bookkeeping which some units, like First Army, had already resorted to in order to accomplish the desired end.141
Shortly thereafter the theater legitimized the practice which some units obviously were already following by authorizing units engaged in combat to requisition replacements forty-eight hours in advance of expected losses. But it refused to permit units to compute replacement needs on the basis of effective strength.142
The theater's regulations on casuals and requisitioning were probably a necessary part of any over-all manpower control and accounting system designed to conserve and economize. In actual practice, however, it became clear that policy on stocking, requisitioning, and use could not be applied as arbitrarily to men as to supplies and equipment. Moreover, it is questionable whether the savings effected by these regulations--savings which had implications for both the efficiency of units and the morale of individuals--were significant in comparison with the savings which might have been effected through an earlier implementation of War Department injunctions with respect to the recovery and conversion of able-bodied men in the Communications Zone and air force, and in various theater overstrengths and surpluses.
Providing replacements suffered from the handicap of most military logistics in that requirements are not easily calculated and "production" is not readily adjusted to changing demands. But the handling of the manpower problem was handicapped, in addition, by a basic flaw in the theater's command and organizational structure. Giving the Replacement System command status failed to ensure the kind of personnel management the War Department had in mind, for the Replacement System had no authority to recover general assignment men from the major subcommands for conversion training and to replace them with limited assignment men. Manpower management was a problem which touched every command in the theater. It needed to be handled at the highest command level, not by a command with an important vested interest in the situation. The fact that no effective measures were taken until the Supreme Commander personally intervened indicated that no true theater headquarters existed which could enforce War Department policy. Unfortunately the manpower problem, like the ammunition problem, was needlessly aggravated by the lack of mutually understood rules on accountability.
1. See Logistical Support I, 460-63.
2. Cbl R-3412, Marshall to CG ETO, 23 Sep 43, ETO 381 Troop Basis 1943.
3. Ltr, Marshall to Eisenhower, 6 Jan 44, ETO GFRC 3009 Circulars, Hq Replacement System 1944.
4. Memo, Evans for G-1 ETOUSA, sub: Observations and Recommendations, FFRS, ETOUSA, 31 Jan 44, ETO GFRC Planning file.
5. The ETOUSA representatives were Brig Gen Oscar B. Abbott, the G-1, Brig Gen Ralph B. Lovett, the adjutant general, and Maj Gen Paul R. Hawley, the chief surgeon.
6. Remarks by McNarney and Transcript of G-1 Conf on Repls and Pers Control, 3 Apr 44, and Ltr, Abbott to Lee, 15 Apr 44, sub: Rpt on Conf Held in Washington, D. C., both in SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944; Notes on Comd and Stf Conf ETO, 18 Apr 44, EUCOM 337/3 Conferences, Staff Weekly 1944, I.
7. Cbl W-5527, Devers to Marshall, 8 Oct 43, ETO 381 Troop Basis 1943.
8. Memo, Barker for Smith, 28 Jun 44, sub: Theater Manpower Bd, SHAEF G-1 320/2 Manpower, Establishment, Equipping.
9. Memo, Crawford for G-1, 30 Jun 44, sub: Theater Manpower Bd, SHAEF G-1 320/2 Manpower.
10. Memo, Barker for G-3 and G-4, 11 Jul 44, sub: Conservation of Manpower, and Crawford's reply, 14 Jul 44, SHAEF G-1 320/2 Manpower.
11. Memo, Franey for Lee, 13 Jul 44, ETO GFRC file on Replacements. The view that the screening out of able-bodied men should be left to the section commanders was also held by the Replacement Section of the Adjutant General's Office, ETO. Memo, AG Repl for G-1, 7 May 44, in reply to proposal by ETO G-1 (29 April 1944, subject: Disposition of Limited Service Men), that a board be established to conduct continuous surveys of the SOS for this purpose, to be directly responsible to the deputy theater commander, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units, II (a).
12. See Logistical Support I, 461-63.
13. Ltr, McNarney to Lee, 9 Aug 44, CofS 322 Sec. I, Cases 1-30.
14. Ltrs, Lee to McNarney, 25 Aug and 23 Sep 44, CofS 322 Sec. I, Cases 1-30.
15. Ltr, McNarney to Lee, 29 Sep 44, CofS 322 Sec. I, Cases 1-30. See Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley, and William R. Keast, The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1948), pp. 205-09.
16. Ltr, McNarney to Lee, 10 Oct 44, CofS 322.
17. Ltr, WD to Theaters, 23 Aug 44, sub: Overseas Repls, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
18. History of the Ground Force Replacement System, ETO, Pt. I: The Replacement System From the Date of Activation to D Day, prep by the GRFC, ETO Adm, Ch. III, Sec. III, pp. 10-11, ETO Adm 334.
19. Memo, G-1 for AG Repls, 29 Apr 44, sub: Disposition of Limited Sv Men; AG Repl reply, 7 May 44, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units, II (a); Memo, G-1 for G-3 ETO, 23 May 44, sub: Reassignment Center, Replacement System, Ltr, Hq ETO to SAC, 1 Jun 44, sub: Facilities at American School Center for Repl System and 1st Ind from SHAEF, 9 Jun 44, all in EUCOM 322 Replacements, II (b).
20. Memo, Lee for Lord, 9 Jul 44, sub: Manpower Board, GFRC File on Replacements.
21. Memo, Franey for Lee, 13 Jul 44, GRFC File on Replacements.
22. Ltr, GFRS to Deputy Theater Comdr, 17 Jul 44, sub: Shortage of Inf Repls, as cited in [Capt. Robert J. Greenwald] Human Logistics, a study of the reinforcement system, prep in Hist Sec ETO, Jan 45, p. 82.
23. History of GFRS, Part II: D Day to V-E Day, Ch. IV, pp. 1-2.
24. Memo, Hq ETO to Chiefs of Gen and Special Stf Secs, 4 Sep 44, sub: Use of Repls for Local Activations of Units and Installations, EUCOM 322 Replacements Units, II (a).
25. For convenience, the term Replacement System is used throughout in reference to the command variously designated as the Field Force Replacement System, the Ground Force Replacement System, the Replacement System, and the Ground Force Reinforcement Command.
26. Ltr, CG COMZ to CG GFRS, 27 Jul 44, sub: Retraining of Basic Privates, History of GFRS, Ch. V, p. 37; Ltr, Hq ETO to CG GFRS, 11 Aug 44, sub: Retraining of Pers as Inf Repls SSN 745, ETO GFRC 353 Training 1945.
27. Memo, CG GFRS for G-1 ETO, 1 Oct 44, ETO GFRC 370.092 Reinforcements, Oct 44 to Jun 45; [Henderson] The Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, Pt. IX of the Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, p. 140; Ltr, GFRS to Comdt American School Center, 23 Aug 44, sub: Training of Limited Assignment Pers, ETO GFRC 001.1 Schedules and Memos GFRC 1945.
28. Memo, CG GFRS for G-1, 1 Oct 44, ETO GFRC 370.092 Reinforcements.
29. Remarks by McNarney at Gen Council Mtg, Office of the DCofS, 4 Sep 44, and Ltr, McNarney to Eisenhower, 5 Sep 44, both in SHAEF G-4 320.2 Strength 1944, I; Memo, OPD DCofS, 8 Sep 44, sub: Strength of ETO, and Memo, Gen Henry, G-1, for CofS, 9 Sep 44, sub: Reduction of Army Overstrength, both in OPD 320.2 Sec. XX, Cases 365-90.
30. Memo, Peterson for DCofS, 5 Oct 44, WD CofS 322 Sec. II, Cases 1-30.
31. Ltr, Eisenhower to Handy, 17 Nov 44, SHAEF G-3 O&E 320.2 Theater Overstrength, I.
32. Memo, Hq ETO to Gen and Special Stf Secs, 4 Sep 44, sub: Use of Repls for Local Activations of Units and Installations, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units, II (a).
33. See Ch. X, Sec. 2, above, on the matter of the antiaircraft artillery units.
34. Ltr, McNarney to Lee, 10 Oct 44, ETO GFRC 370.092 Reinforcements.
35. Cbl WARX-41410, AGWAR to ETO, 5 Oct 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
36. Cbl EX-53721, COMZ to AGWAR, 11 Oct 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I; Memo, ETO G-1 to GFRS, 13 Oct 44, History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 279-80; Brig Gen Henry J. Matchett, CG GFRS, for G-1 COMZ, 8 Oct 44, ETO GFRC 370.5 Troop Movement File B 1944-45.
37. Cbl 35544, White of NATO to Devers, 7 Oct 44, 6 A Gp 322.96-1.
38. Cbl, Clark to Devers, 9 Oct 44, 6 A Gp 322.96-1.
39. Cbl BX-17480, Devers to Clark, 10 Oct 44, and Cbl B-17491, Devers to Eisenhower, 10 Oct 44, 6 A Gp 322.96-1.
40. Cbl, 6 A Gp to ETO, 10 Oct 44, and CBL EX-54104, ETO to 6 A Gp, 13 Oct 44, 6 Gp 322.96-1.
41. Cbl EX-54575, COMZ to AGWAR, 15 Oct 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
42. Cbl S-62499, SHAEF to AGWAR, 16 Oct 44, and Cbl S-62508, Smith to Alexander and Clark, 16 Oct 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944.
43. Cbl WAR-47563, Handy to Eisenhower, 16 Oct 44, OPD Cbl Files.
44. Cbl MA-1732, Alexander to SHAEF, 17 Oct 44, SHAEF Out Cable Log, Smith Papers.
45. Cbl S-63030, Smith to Handy, 19 Oct 44, 6 A Gp 322.96-1.
46. Cbl WX-49381, Handy to SHAEF, 20 Oct 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944; Cbl WX-49282, AGWAR to SHAEF, 20 Oct 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I; History of GFRS, Ch. VI, 283.
47. Replacement Study, August 1944-April 1945, prep by G-1 ETO, Set 45, EUCOM 322 Replacement Studies 1944-45.
48. Nonbattle casualties totaled 17,000 in August, 21,000 in September, and 28,400 in October. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report prep by Statistics and Accounting Br AG, Dept of Army, OCMH, p. 32; [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, p. 45.
49. Aide Memoire, unsigned, 11 Aug 44, sub: Repl Situation, Incl to Memo, LST for Franey, 18 Aug 44, ETO GREC File on Replacements.
50. Memo, Statistics Br SGS ETO, 14 Aug 44, ETO Adm 235 Ordnance Ammo.
51. Memo, G-1 COMZ for CG COMZ, n.d. [Sep], sub: Repls, USFET 322 Replacements; Replacement Study, August 1944-April 1945, prep by G-1 ETO, n.d., EUCOM 322 Replacement Studies 1944-45.
52. Stf and Comd Conf, COMZ, 5 Jan 45, EUCOM 337/3 Conferences, Staff Weekly 1944, I.
53. Ltr, WD to ETO, 8 Nov 44, sub: Overseas Repls, WD AG 320.2 (2 Mar 43) (36) Sec. 1A Overseas Replacement System--Estimates.
54. The three regiments were the 29th, 118th, and 156th. Ltr, Hq ETO to Hq Comdt SHAEF, 29 Oct 44, sub: Inf Enlisted Repls, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944; and Memo, Lt Col H. A. Twitchell for Bull, 25 Nov 44, sub: Repls, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
55. Memo, Cole for CG GFRS, 19 Nov 44, sub: Study, and Memo, Gillespie, CofS GFRS, for CG ETO, 19 Nov 44, sub: Requirements for Inf Riflemen, both in GFRC 370.092 Reinforcements May 44 to Apr 45.
56. Memo, Franey for GFRS, 22 Nov 44, GFRC 370.092 Reinforcements.
57. Cbl EX-64610, AGWAR to COMZ, 17 Nov 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
58. Cbl E-66027, COMZ to AGWAR, 23 Nov 44, and Memo, Barker for Bull, 22 Nov 44, sub: Repls, both in SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
59. Cbl W-67832, AGWAR to ETOUSA, 24 Nov 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements; Memo for Record, unsigned, 24 Nov 44, sub: Repl and Requisitions of ETO for Nov and Dec, OPD 370.5 ETO Sec. XIV, Cases 471-95.
60. Ltr, Matchett to AG ETO, 20 Nov 44, sub: Comparative MOS Rpt of GFRS of ETO, with atchd Comparative MOS Rpt, Cumulative Arrivals and Requisitions, 1 Jan-30 Sep 44, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units 1944, 3B; Cbls E-64802, COMZ to AGWAR, 18 Nov 44, and W-67325, Witsell to G-1 ETO, 23 Nov 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
61. See Chap. IX, Sec 3, above.
62. Ltr, ETO to AG WD, 15 Jan 45, sub: Theater Rate Tables, with atchd Monthly Report of GFRS, ETO, EUCOM 320.2 Theater Rate Tables; Memo, Barker for Smith, 3 Dec 44, sub: Replacements, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
63. Cbl EX-61989, COMZ to AGWAR, 10 Nov 44, and Cbl WX-64610, AGWAR to COMZ, 17 Nov 44, OPD 370.5 ETO Sec. XIV, Cases 471-95.
64. For the efforts made in the zone of interior, see Palmer, Wiley, and Keast, op. cit., pp. 200-225.
65. Ltr, Eisenhower to Marshall, 27 Nov 4, OPD Exec Office files; Memo, Henry for Bull, 2 Dec 44, sub: Repls SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I; Memo, Henry for CofS, 3 Dec 44, sub: Repls, CofS 320.2 Sec. IV, Cases 126-75; Summary of Conclusions Reached and Actions Taken With Respect to the ETO Replacement Problem [ca. 5 Dec 44], CofS 322 Sec. II, Cases 31-45; Ltr, Handy to Eisenhower, 5 Dec 44, ETO Special File prep by G-1 Adm 17 Nov 44-1 Jan 45.
66. Cbl S-70984, Eisenhower to Handy, 15 Dec 44, OPD Cbl Files.
67. Memo, Lee for G-1, 15 Dec 44, sub: Reinforcement Strength, and Memo, Franey for Lord, 16 Dec 44, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units 1944-45, 3B; Stf Mtg, 19 Dec 44, EUCOM 337 U.K. Base Stf Mtgs.
68. Ltr, GFRS to G-3 COMZ, 6 Dec 44, History of GFRS, Ch. V, p. 61.
69. Memo, GFRS for G-1 ETOUSA, 15 Dec 44, History of GFRS, Ch. V, p. 64; [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, p. 45.
70. Memo, Bull for Smith, 25 Dec 44, sub: Repls, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I.
71. Ltr, Bull to Smith, 19 Dec 44, sub: Urgent Repls, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944, I; Cbl S-71778, SHAEF to COMZ and A Gps, 20 Dec 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944.
72. Cbl 8-72407, SHAEF to 69th Div COMZ and CGRS, 25 Dec 44, and Cbl S-76596, SHAEF to 6 A Gp, 26 Jan 45, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944.
73. Cbl EX-79059, ETO to Barker and Franey in Washington, 26 Dec 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements.
74. Cbl S-72409, SHAEF to 12 A Gp, 25 Dec 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements.
75. Ltr, Bull to Smith, 14 Dec 44, sub: Alloc of U.S. Repls, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements; Cbl EX-76107, COMZ to A Gps, 19 Dec 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements; Memo, Col Richard L. Gillespie, DCofS GFRC, for CofS GFRC, 21 Dec 44, in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, 297.
76. Memo, Eyster for Twitchell, 24 Dec 44, sub: Possible Inf Rifle Repl Sources, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements.
77. Memo, G-1 for CofS, 27 Dec 44, sub: Retraining of Colored Pers as Inf, Ltr, Lee to Comdrs of Colored Troops COMZ, 26 Dec 44, sub: Volunteers for Training and Assignment as Reinforcements, Ltr, ETO to Sec Comdrs, 28 Dec 44, sub: Retraining of Colored Pers as Inf Riflemen, Ltr, Hq ETO to CG COMZ, 9 Feb 44, Memo, Lee for Lear, 1 Feb 45, Memo, Lear for Shannon, 10 Feb 45, and Ltr, ETO to A Gps and GFRC, 10 Mar 45, sub: Employment of Colored Reinforcements, all in EUCOM 322 Replacement Units 1944-45, 3B; [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 103-04, 143-44, 146.
78. TWX, 6 A Gp to SUSA, 22 Dec 44, TWX AX-15635, SUSA to 6 A Gp, 25 Dec 44, TWX BX-21949, 6 A Gp to SUSA, 27 Dec 44 and TWX CPX-16078, SUSA to 6 A Gp, 31 Dec 44, all in ETO 319.1 Transportation (Telephone Conversations) 1 1944-46; [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 44-45, 86.
79. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 70-71, 147, 150-51.
80. Cbl S-71574, SHAEF to AGWAR, 19 Dec 44, SHAEF Out Cbl Log, Smith Papers.
81. Cbl W-80589, Handy to Eisenhower, 21 Dec 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements.
82. It had done the same with field artillery ammunition in response to the theater's pleas late in November. See Ch. IX, above.
83. Min, Mtg to Discuss ETO Repl Situation, 23 and 28 Dec 44, ETO Special File prep by G-1 Adm, 17 Nov-1 Jan; Memo, Gilmer, Chief European Sec Theater Gp OPD, for Hull, 27 Dec 44, sub: Repl Status of ETO, OPD 230.3 Sec. XXVII, Cases 516-53; Cbl 77780, Lee to WD, 23 Dec 44, and Cbl 82668, Marshall to Eisenhower, 27 Dec 44, OPD 370.5 ETO Sec. XV, Cases 496-513.
84. Ltr, Eisenhower to Major Comds, 8 Jan 45, sub: Manpower, SHAEF AG 200.3-4 Reinforcements (Reconversion Program-Policy) 1945.
85. General Gasser and his aides began their survey with detailed job analyses of units in the U.K. Base, where they uncovered substantial duplication of services and surpluses of men. Several officers of the Gasser board, under the direction of Brig. Gen. Robert C. Rodgers, later undertook a similar survey of continental installations and headquarters of the Communications Zone and pointed out where substantial savings in manpower could be made. Memo, Eisenhower for CGs USAF and COMZ, 12 Jan 45, sub: Authority for Gasser, Memo, Gasser for OPD WD, 27 Jan 45, sub: Plan for Surveying U.K. and COMZ Activities on the Continent, Memo, Gasser for Smith, 12 Jan 45, sub: Opns of WD Manpower Bd in ETO, and Ltr, Lear to CGs COMZ et al., 8 Mar 45, sub: Authority for ETO Manpower Bd, all in ETO 322.01/3 Manpower Board and Manpower Section; Memo, Gasser for Lear, 2 Mar 45, sub: Rpt of Progress, ETO Sec WD Manpower Bd, ETO AG 319.1/1 Daily Progress Reports, I, Ltr, Rodgers to Gasser, 17 Mar 45, sub: Changes in AF Orgn, Recommendations to Effect Further Pers Savings, and Memo, Brig Gen J. C. Drain, Chief Misc Facilities Br WD Manpower Bd, for Gasser, 17 Mar 45, sub: Recommended Additional Pers Reductions in the U.K. After 15 Apr 45, both in ETO 200.3 Manpower; Ltr, ETO to CG USSTAF, 6 Apr 45, sub: Survey of Pers Requirements USSTAF in U.K. by WD Manpower Bd, and Ltr, ETO to Lee, 6 Apr 45, sub: Pers Requirements U.K. Base, both in EUCOM 320.2 Strength Reports 1944-45; Ltr, ETO Manpower Bd to Lear 23 Apr 45, sub: Progress Rpt, and Ltr, Rodgers to Lear, 5 May 45, sub: Pers Survey of Normandy Base Sec, both in EUCOM 322 Manpower.
86. Ltr, CG ETO to Major Comds, 23 Jan 45, sub: Duties and Responsibilities of the Deputy Theater Commander, EUCOM 322 Manpower. See also Ch. XIII, Sec. 3, for Lear's position and authority.
87. Memo, Lear for Lee, 29 Jan 45, sub: U.S. Theater Manpower Sec, EUCOM 322 Manpower.
88. Memo, Lord for Franey 30 Jan 45, and Memo, Lee for Lord, 1 Feb 45, EUCOM 322 Manpower.
89. Ltr, Osborne to Lear, 2 Feb 45, sub: G-1 SHAEF Conf on Manpower, and Ltr, Barker for Eisenhower, 2 Feb 45, sub: Theater Manpower Sec, ETO 322.01/3 Manpower Board and Manpower Section; Memo, Barker for Lee, 5 Feb 45, sub: Status of Theater Manpower Sec, and Ltr, Lear to Major Comds, 24 Feb 45, sub: Manpower, EUCOM 322 Manpower.
90. Ltr, GFRC to 16th Repl Depot, 1 Jan 45, History of GFRS, Ch. V, p. 67.
91. Ltr, Hq ETO to CG GFRC, 13 Jan 45, sub: Retraining Program, ETO 353 Training.
92. Ltr, Hq ETO to CG USSTAF, 16 Jan 45, sub: Inf Reinforcement Training, SHAEF AG 200.3-4 Reinforcements (Reconversion Program-Policy) 1945; Cbl E-81246, Lee to SOLOC et al., 1 Jan 45, and Cbl EX-87604, ETO to A Gps, 17 Jan 45, ETO Adm 398.
93. Ltr, Hq ETO to Major Comds, 17 Jan 45, sub: Manpower, ADSEC 320.2 Strength.
94. Ibid.; Ltr, Hq ETO to CG USSTAF, 16 Jan 45, sub: Reinforcement Training, SHAEF AG 200.3-4 Reinforcements (Reconversion Program-Policy) 1945.
95. Cbl EX-84377, 9 Jan 45, and Cbl W-21658, AGWAR to ETO, 16 Jan 45, both in SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Reinforcements (Requisitions, Availabilities, Training); Note for Record, OPD, 14 Jan 45, sub: 25,000 Limited Assignment Repls Desired by ETO, and Memo, Henry for CGs Major Comds, 22 Jan 45, sub: Limited Assignment Requirements for CZ ETO, both in OPD 370.5 ETO Sec. XVIA, Case 521.
96. Cbl S-76296, SHAEF to MTOUSA, 23 Jan 45, Cbl FX-91140, MTOUSA to SHAEF, 25 Jan 45, Cbl EX-93002, COMZ to MTOUSA, 31 Jan 45, and Cbl FX-19843, MTOUSA to COMZ, 2 Feb 45, Cbl FX-22498, MTOUSA to COMZ, 7 Feb 45, Cbl EX-95983, ETO to MTOUSA, 8 Feb 45, Cbl FX-26639, MTO to ETO, 14 Feb 45, all in SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Reinforcements (Requisitions, Availabilities, Training); Cbl WX-26191, AGWAR to McNarney, 24 Jan 45, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
97. Cbl WX-49282, AGWAR to SHAEF, 20 Oct 44, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
98. Ltr, Hq ETO to A Gp and Army Comdrs, 30 Oct 44, sub: Inf Off Repls, 6 A Gp 322.96-1; Memo, Barker for Bull, 22 Nov 44, sub: Repls, Memo, O'Hare for Bull, 22 Nov 44, and Memo, Col F. J. de Rohn, Chief Training and Experiments Sec G-3 SHAEF, for G-3, 22 Feb 45, sub: Battlefield Appointments, all in SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
99. History of GFRC, Ch. II, p. 136; History of the Theater Manpower Section, pp. 7-8, ETO Adm 560.
100. Memo, Twitchell for G-3, 2 Mar 45, sub: Off Reinforcements, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
101. Ltr, Barker to Smith, 7 Mar 45, sub: Off Repls, and Ltr, Eisenhower to Bradley and Devers, 11 Mar 45, both in SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
102. Ltr, Hq ETO to CG GFRC, 7 Feb 45, sub: Retraining Program, ETO 353 Training; Gen Bd Study 3, Reinforcement System and Reinforcement Procedures in ETO, p. 26.
103. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, p. 140.
104. Ibid., p. 45. and Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, p. 32.
105. Memo, Bull, 26 Jan 45, sub: Repls, EUCOM SHAEF Plans and Operations 23 Nov 44-26 Jan 45.
106. Cbl W-30564, Handy to Eisenhower, 1 Feb 45. and Cbl S-77790, Lear to AGWAR, 4 Feb 45, both in SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Reinforcements (Requisitions, Availabilities, Training); Memo, Osborne for Lear, 5 Feb 45, sub: Manpower Reinforcements From U.S., ETO AG 319.1/1 Daily Progress Reports I.
107. Memo, GFRC for G-1 ETO, 8 Feb 45, ETO CFRC 200.3 Personnel Requisitions File B.
108. Whiteley, Deputy G-3 SHAEF, Stf Study, 3 Jan 45, sub: Allocs of U.S. Reinforcements, with approval by Smith, 7 Jan 45, SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements 1944.
109. TWX BX-22756, 6 A Gp to SHAEF, 12 Jan 45, and Memo, Nevins for Smith, 13 Jan 45, sub: Reinforcements for 6th A Gp, both in SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements; TWX S-74930, SHAEF to 6 A Gp, 14 Jan 45, ETO Cbls ETO Adm 404.
110. Cbl BX-23339, 6 A Gp to SHAEF, 23 Jan 45, and Cbl BX-23377, 6 A Gp to SHAEF, 25 Jan 45, both in ETO Cbls ETO Adm 405.
111. Cbl S-76474, SHAEF to 6 A Gp, 25 Jan 45, ETO Cbls ETO Adm 405; Memo, Whiteley for G-1 SHAEF, 30 Jan 45, sub: Alloc Of Reinforcements, Twitchell, Stf Study, 7 Feb 45, sub: Alloc of U.S. Reinforcements, TWXs EX-98008 and EX-97974, COMZ to A Gps, 13 Feb 45, and TWX FWD-17358, SHAEF to ETOUSA, 26 Feb 45, all in SHAEF G-3 370.092 Reinforcements.
112. SOS GO 122, 24 Nov 43, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units II (a). For the history of the planning of the replacement system see file ETO SOS AG 322.96 Replacement Troops Jun 42 to Aug 43.
113. Memo, Evans for AG ETOUSA, 13 Feb 44, sub: Observations and Recommendations, FFRS, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements (Replacement Requirements) 1944; Memo, Evans for Lovett, 12 Feb 44, sub: Final Rpt, GFRC Planning File.
114. Notes on Conf, 8 Apr 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944.
115. Cbl W-22651, Marshall to Eisenhower, 13 Apr 44, ETO Eyes Only Cbl File.
116. Cbl E-24656, Eisenhower to Marshall, 23 Apr 44, ETO Eyes Only Cbl File.
117. Ltr, WD to ETO, 4 May 44, sub: Opn of Theater Repl System, and Ltr, Hq ETO to Major Comds, 18 May 44, sub: Opn of Repl System ETO, both in SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements.
118. History of GFRS, Pt. II: D Day to V-E Day, Ch. IV, pp. 1-2; [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 17-26.
119. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower, pp. 26-29.
120. Ibid., pp. 28-40; [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 7-48.
121. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 40, 91-92; [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 34-37; Ltr, Hq, GFRS to COs Repl Depots, 27 Nov 44, sub: Segregation of Casuals and Repls, in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 290-91.
122. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 40-43, 170-72; [Greenwald] Human Logistics, p. 18.
123. [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 52-56.
124. Early in October 1944 General Matchett authorized Maj Arthur Goodfriend, Editor in Chief of The Stars and Stripes, to survey the workings of the Replacement System from within. Posing as "Private Arthur Goodwin," and furnished with orders as an infantry replacement, Goodfriend entered the system via the 2d Transit Area at OMAHA Beach on 8 October and went the entire route of a replacement, ending with assignment to the 26th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division. His observations are contained in, Rpt to the CG of the Replacement System, 27 Oct 44, sub: Experiences in Army Ground Force Replacement System, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units 1944-45, IIIB. The later reports of General Bonesteel and other officers can be found in EUCOM GFRC 333.3 Inspections by General Inspectorate Section ETOUSA. See also Ltr, Matchett to Armies, Corps, and Divisions, 9 Nov 44, History of GFRC, Ch. IV, pp. 286-89, and [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 99-102.
125. [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 16-21.
126. Memo, Franey for Hughes, 1 Dec 44, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units, II (a); ETOUSA GO 131, 28 Dec 44, SHAEF AG 200.3-1 Replacements 1944; [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 3-4; Memos, Maj Gen I. H. Edwards, G-3, for DCofS, 17 and 23 Mar 45, sub: Redesignation of Certain Repl Units, Chief of Staff, 322, Sec. II, Cases 31-45.
127. Cbl WAR-46854, Stilwell to C. G. Christiansen at SHAEF, and Cbl S-81733, SHAEF to Stilwell, 13 Mar 45, both in ETO Adm 410; Stf Study, Col H. W. Riley, Actg G-3 ETO, 24 Mar 45, sub: Cir 25, GFRC, 10 Mar 45, in ETO 319.1/1 Daily Progress Reports, II; Ltr, ETO to A Gps, 8 Apr 45, sub: Orgn, Training, and Flow of Reinforcements, EUCOM 322 Replacement Units, II (a); History of GFRC, Ch. VI, pp. 306-10.
128. The casualty experience of the first three months showed that out of every 100 casualties, 70 were hospitalized, the remaining 30 representing killed, captured, or missing. Of the 70, 45 could be counted on to return to general assignment duty, 11 to limited assignment duty. Time of hospitalization varied, but an average of 46 of the 70 returned to duty within 120 days. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 84-85.
129. Ltr, Hq GFRC to Repl Depots, 13 Jun 44, sub: Disposition of Offs and EM Returning From Hospitals, as cited in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 376-77; [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower, pp. 85-86.
130. Ltr, Hq GFRS to COs Repl Depots, 13 Jun 44, sub: Disposition of Offs and EM Returning From Hospitals, and Memos, GFRS for G-1 ETO, 3 Jul 44, and G-1 for GFRS, 6 Jun 44, all in GFRS Hospital Personnel Returning to Duty, May 44-Jun 45; Memo, GFRS for G-1, 25 Jun 44, as cited in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 377-78.
131. Ltr, 12 A Gp to Army Comdrs, 8 Sep 44, sub: Priorities for Returning Hospital Returnees to Their Former Units, as cited in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 379-80.
132. Memo, Col Waine Archer, Chief Combat Lessons Br G-3 ETOUSA for CG GFRS, 1 Dec 44, GFRC 322 Combat Observer's Report 1944-45. See also Ltr, Bull to Chief Training Sec G-3 SHAEF, 13 Nov 44, and AGF Observers' Rpts in OCT, both in SHAEF G-3 Reinforcements.
133. Ltr, Hq GFRS to COs of Depots, 25 Nov 44, sub: Return of Casual Pers, GFRC Hospital Pers Returning to Duty; Memo, Franey for CofS GFRS, 22 Nov 44, GFRC 370.092 Reinforcements May 44-Apr 45.
134. [Greenwald] Human Logistics, pp. 49-50.
135. Cbl EX-22330, 6 A Gp to SHAEF, 4 Jan 45, and Cbl S-73767, SHAEF to 6 A Gp, 5 Jan 45, ETO Cbls, ETO Adm 403; Cbl EX-88999, SHAEF to 12 A Gp, 21 Jan 45, in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 383-86.
136. Ltr, CG GFRS to Lear, 26 Feb 45, sub: Return of Company Grade Gen Assignment Offs to Armies, and Ltr, Hq ETOUSA to GFRC, 13 Mar 45, same sub, as cited in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 387-88.
137. Cir 35, Hq ETO, 29 Mar 45, GFRC Hospital Pers Returning to Duty.
138. [Henderson] Procurement and Use of Manpower in the ETO, pp. 88-89.
139. Memo, CG GFRS for COMZ G-1, 16 Jan 45, as cited in History of GFRS, Ch. VI, pp. 384-85.
140. Ltr, Gen Wyche to CG ETO, 14 Nov 44, sub: Combat Replacements, 6 A Gp 322.96-1.
141. Min, G-1 Conf at Hq ETO, 3-4 Nov 44, EUCOM 337 G-1 Conf, 3-4 Nov 44, I.
142. TWX EX-62284, Eisenhower to Major Comds, 10 Nov 44, GFRC Requisitions Nov 43-May 45; Ltr (1st Ind), ETO to CG SUSAG, 25 Nov 44, sub: Combat Repl, 6 A Gp 322.96-1.