In the three weeks between 18 August and 11 September, British and Canadian forces drove eastward from Falaise to the Seine, overran the flying bomb sites in the Pas-de-Calais, and wiped out the memories of Dieppe and Dunkerque. The First U.S. Army crossed the Seine, captured a large enemy force at the Mons Pocket, and dashed through Belgium. The Third Army swept through the Brittany peninsula, ran wild through the Argentan-Laval-Chartres area, and lent its forces to clear part of the First Army and British sectors while pushing other units south and east of Paris. By mid-September, General Eisenhower's troops had driven the enemy back to a line running along the Dutch border and southward along the German border to a point near Trier, and thence to Metz. In less than two weeks, the Allies had gone more than 200 miles from the Seine to the German border, clearing all northern France and the greater part of Belgium and Luxembourg. They had penetrated into the Netherlands and in places crossed the German frontier. From the south, U.S. and French forces had advanced more than 300 miles up the Rhone valley and helped to clear southern and southwestern France of the enemy. They had made contact with the right flank of General Bradley's army group on 12 September and were in process of establishing a line running southward from Metz by way of Epinal and Belfort to the Swiss border. By 15 September the vast bulk of occupied western Europe had been freed and the battle had been carried to German soil. (Map IV) These great events, coming in less time than it had taken to capture Caen and St. Lô, raised the hopes of the Allies and led them to believe that quick victory before winter was in their grasp. Instead, the great drive lost its momentum at the West Wall and a winter of hard fighting remained in the Vosges, the Huertgen Forest, the Ardennes, and in the plains of the Maas and the Roer.
The Pursuit Stops Short of the Rhine
Toward the end of August 1944, Allied intelligence agencies, aware of the desperate straits of the enemy and viewing constantly the increasing evidence of his demoralization, saw German defeat near at hand if the Allied attack could be continued and the enemy allowed no chance to regroup or strengthen his defenses. With these possibilities in mind, the SHAEF G-2 summary declared near the end of August: "The August battles have done it and the enemy in the West has had it. Two and a half months of bitter fighting have
The Situation at the End of August
brought the end of the war in Europe within sight, almost within reach." A week later it described the German Army in the west as "no longer a cohesive force but a number of fugitive battle groups, disorganized and even demoralized, short of equipment and arms." The First Army chief of intelligence saw a thoroughly disorganized enemy and predicted that political upheaval in Germany might well occur "within 30 to 60 days of our investiture of Festung Deutschland." The Combined Intelligence Committee, which had foreseen possible German collapse in the fall of 1943, was certain in the first week of September that the German strategic situation had deteriorated to the point "that no recovery is now possible." Holding that neither the German government then in power nor any Nazi successor was likely to surrender, the committee saw collapse taking the form of piecemeal surrenders by field commanders. It concluded that "organized resistance under the control of the German High Command is unlikely to continue beyond 1 December 1944, and . . . it may end even sooner."1
This enthusiasm was not shared by all commanders or intelligence chiefs, nor was it borne out entirely by the situation in Germany. General Eisenhower had warned newspaper reporters against undue optimism in an interview on 20 August. His forces had advanced so rapidly, he felt, and supply lines were so strained that "further movement in large parts of the front even against very weak opposition is almost impossible." General Patron's chief of intelligence showed greater caution than either his colleague at SHAEF or his commander at Third Army. At a time when SHAEF was declaring the Germans no longer a cohesive force and General Patton believed he could cross the German border in ten days, Colonel Koch declared:
Despite the crippling factors of shattered communications, disorganization and tremendous losses in personnel and equipment, the enemy nevertheless has been able to maintain a sufficiently cohesive front to exercise an overall control of his tactical situation. His withdrawal, though continuing, has not been a rout or mass collapse. Numerous new identifications in contact in recent days have demonstrated clearly that, despite the enormous difficulties under which he is operating, the enemy is still capable of bringing new elements into the battle area and transferring some from other fronts.
* * *
It is clear from all indications that the fixed determination of the Nazis is to wage a last-ditch struggle in the field at all costs. It must be constantly kept in mind that fundamentally the enemy is playing for time. Weather will soon be one of his most potent Allies as well as terrain, as we move east to narrowing corridors. . . . But barring internal upheaval in the homeland and the remoter possibility of insurrection within the Wehrmacht, it can be expected that the German armies will continue to fight until destroyed or captured. 2
Developments in the Reich and among the German armies in the west gave grounds both for Allied optimism and for caution as to the enemy's ability to continue the fight. The enemy situation, extremely confused when the Falaise trap was closed, became chaotic after the retreat east of the Seine. By the end of August, Model, still attempting to direct both OB WEST and Army Group B, saw his position grow progressively worse as Allied
forces broke through the Somme-Marne-Saone line and threatened the line Meuse-Moselle. Hitler's reaction was to announce that Rundstedt had been recalled to the post of Commander in Chief West, that Model would retain Army Group B, and that the West Wall (Siegfried Line) position would be strengthened. On 3 September, Hitler admitted that exhaustion of the forces in the west and lack of immediately available reserves made it impossible to indicate positions other than the fortresses which could and must be held. He ordered instead that an attempt be made to gain the maximum amount of time for the organization and transfer of new divisions and the improvement of German defenses in the west. Forces on the north and in the center were to fight stubbornly for every foot of ground, while preventing the Allies from making any major envelopment. Army Group G was to gather a reserve force in the area of the Vosges which was initially to cover the retreat from southern France and then to strike deeply in the U.S. southern flank. Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Equipment and Commander of the Replacement Army was to retain responsibility for the defense of the West Wail from the Swiss border to Roermond. Efforts were also made to provide new units for the defense. Army Group G was instructed to use as replacements men from the ground, air, and naval elements that were then withdrawing from southern and southwestern France.3
On the following day, Model informed the Fuehrer that the forces in the west could hold only on the line Albert Canal-Meuse River-Siegfried Line extensions. This stand he said, would require at least twenty-five fresh divisions and an armored reserve of five or six panzer divisions. He asked for immediate reinforcements and for ten infantry and five panzer divisions by 15 September. Von Rundstedt supported these views. The new Commander in Chief West reported on 7 September that Army Group B was worn out and that it had only 100 tanks in operating condition. Saying that the Allies had complete air superiority, that an airborne attack could be expected, and that a ground forces drive in the direction of Aachen seriously menaced his position in the north, he asked at once for five or preferably ten divisions with assault gun battalions and antitank weapons and emphasized the need of aerial support. He added that at least six weeks would be necessary to get the West Wall ready for defense, and requested more armor and weapons to protect his existing positions for that length of time.4
Hitler found himself hard pressed on the matter of reinforcements because of the situation in the east. The Allies were aided at this juncture, as they had been since June, by a sustained Russian drive along a front stretching more than 800 miles from Finland to the Black Sea. Beginning their offensive within a week after the landings in Normandy, the Red armies by 5 September had forced Finland to sue for peace, had driven to East Prussia, threatening to cut off enemy forces in the Baltic area, and had swept into Poland
to the gates of Warsaw, where they stopped. In late August and early September they seized the Ploesti oil fields, forced the collapse of Romania, and turned Bulgaria to the Allied side. The Germans had to commit more than two million men on the Eastern Front as compared to approximately 700,000 in the west. Incomplete statistics indicate that the Germans suffered over 900,000 casualties on the Russian front during June, July, and August. The casualties inflicted by Soviet forces on the Germans prompted Mr. Churchill to tell the House of Commons in early August that the Russian Army had done "the main work of tearing the guts out of the German army." He added: "In the air and on the oceans we could maintain our place, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being, except after several more years, that would have been able to maul and break the German army unless it had been subjected to the terrible slaughter and manhandling that has fallen to it through the strength of the Russian Soviet armies."5
The Russian efforts, tremendous though they were, rested heavily on material contributions of the United States, Great Britain, and Canada in the form of lend-lease. In the period October 1941 to 30 June 1944, the Allies had supplied nearly 11,000 aircraft, more than 4,900 tanks, and 263,000 vehicles, including trucks, jeeps, trailers, armored cars, and the like. The vehicles, equivalent to more than one-third the total number landed on the Continent for the United States forces until the end of the war, were of tremendous importance to the mobility of the Red Army. Indeed, it is estimated that by the middle of 1944 American trucks carried one half of the Russian supplies. I.t is worthy of note that the tanks would have supplied the initial T/O requirements of more than 18 American armored divisions, and the trucks and other vehicles would have supplied the organic requirements of more than 110 armored or 125 American infantry divisions as then organized.6
A glance at the bill of casualties presented in the west could have given Hitler little encouragement. In three months of fighting, nearly 300,000 Germans were dead, wounded, and missing, while an additional force of more than 230,000 officers and men, of whom 85,000 belonged to the Field Army, had gone into the fortresses of
western Europe to remain until the final surrender. The toll of high-level commanders--dead, removed, or captured--was heavy. Rommel, an army group commander, was badly wounded,7 one army commander (Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann) was dead, another (Hausser) badly wounded, a third (Eberbach) captured, and a fourth (Chevallerie) relieved. Three OB WEST commanders (von Rundstedt, von Kluge, and Model) had been relieved during the period, although Rundstedt was reinstated. Von Kluge, who had also been relieved of the Army Group B command, was dead by his own hand.8
German estimates of Allied strength gave even less comfort. Still heavily overestimating the opposing divisions, the enemy spoke at the end of the first week in September of 54 Allied divisions on the Continent.9 Although the number was grossly exaggerated, even a more accurate listing would have been discouraging. General Eisenhower had at the moment some 38 divisions (20 U.S., 13 British, 3 Canadian, 1 Polish, and 1 French), and 5 to 8 U.S. and French divisions still under the Mediterranean commander were being landed in the south of France. The actual number still in the line or in support cannot be estimated precisely inasmuch as three divisions or more had been withdrawn for re-equipping. Nor is it clear how many men carried as wounded and missing during the period had returned to duty. Nevertheless, the number was still substantially in excess of the 700,000 men now in the enemy's forty-nine and a half divisions and attached units stationed in the west.10
Hitler refused to regard the situation as hopeless. New units were in the process of formation. OKW notified the Commander in Chief West that he would get four infantry divisions between 13 and 25 September, and that in the period 15 to 30 September his forces would be reinforced by two panzer brigades, several antitank companies, former fortress battalions, and other reconverted units. An attempt was made to encourage OB WEST by pointing out that the Allies had been overoptimistic and that their boasts in late August both at home and in the field that the war was about at an end had proved false. Hitler pressed the work of strengthening the West Wall defenses, rushing workers and materials to the task. By 10 September more than 200,000 workers were engaged in construction on these fortifications. In a move to aid the defense efforts, OKW gave the Commander in Chief West jurisdiction over all branches of the Wehrmacht, control over the work on West Wall defenses, and permission to call on all
agencies in the western theater of war for aid.11
Indications that the enemy was determined to hold in the west appeared in a reprint of captured minutes of a meeting at the German Ministry of Propaganda on 4 September, circulated by 12th Army Group later in the month. The German representatives, anticipating the transportation difficulties of the Allies, predicted that the advance would soon be halted. In this event, they added, the Germans would be able to make use of new weapons then in preparation, and wait for the inevitable squabble which would arise between the Russians and the British over the Balkans. "It is certain," they said, "that the political conflicts will increase with the apparent approach of an Allied victory, and some day will cause cracks in the house of our enemies which no longer can be repaired."12
Against this background of enemy disorder and frantic attempts to re-establish a new defense line, Allied commanders were considering various plans for clearing northern France and Belgium and advancing to the German border and the Rhine. The SHAEF planners, at least a month before D Day, had outlined general strategy to be followed for the defeat of Germany after capture of the lodgment area. Recalling that the Supreme Commander had been charged with the task of undertaking operations "aimed at the heart of Germany and the destruction of her armed forces," the planners selected what they considered to be the chief target area of Germany and the best route by which this objective could be reached. They recognized Berlin as the ultimate Allied goal but held that the city was "too far east to be the objective of a campaign in the West." Instead, they set their eyes on the Ruhr, saying that it was the only area in western Germany of vital economic importance, that an attack on the area would force the enemy to commit his main forces there and thus give the Allies a chance to bring them to battle and destroy them, and that capture of the area would have a tremendous effect on German morale.13
Allied Plans for an Advance to the Rhine
From the beginning, therefore, there was a SHAEF plan to angle the attack from the Seine in the direction of the Ruhr. This plan, it will be recalled, was based on the idea of a slow advance after a careful build-up at the Seine and a series of actions which would push the enemy forces back to the German frontier north of Aachen by D plus 330 (2 May 1945). It was considered dangerous to attack by a single route and thus canalize the advance and open it to a concentrated enemy attack. SHAEF decided in favor of "a broad front both north and south of the Ardennes," which would give the Allies the advantages of maneuver and the ability to shift the main weight of attack. If the enemy could be forced to extend his forces to meet threats in the Metz Gap and the Maubeuge-Liége areas and to maintain his coastal defenses along the Channel
coast, his hold would be weakened along the whole front. In this circumstance, a deep penetration on both sides of the Ardennes or north of that area would force an enemy withdrawal from the Ardennes west of the Liége-Luxembourg line for a concentration to meet the Allied main thrust. In the light of these conclusions, the SHAEF planners recommended that the main line of advance be along the line Amiens-Maubeuge-Liége-the Ruhr, with a subsidiary attack on the line Verdun-Metz.
When the enemy began to retire from Normandy in confusion after mid-August, General Eisenhower returned to the pre-D-Day concept for the advance into Germany. While favoring a major thrust into the Ruhr area, he still wanted a secondary attack to the south of the Ardennes. Some observers felt that in holding to this view he was overlooking the fact that the bulk of the enemy forces, once held east of the Seine, had been committed in the Mortain and Falaise Gap areas and were no longer available to threaten any single line of advance which might be made to the northeast or to the east. To them, speed was needed to destroy the enemy before he could piece together enough of his shattered elements for a defense of the West Wall or the Rhine.
In mid-August, before it was clear that the German collapse west of the Seine would be as sweeping as it proved to be, Generals Bradley and Patton discussed a scheme for sending three corps across the Rhine near Wiesbaden, Mannheim, and Karlsruhe to end the war speedily. To them this was the shortest route into Germany and one that promised the best dividends. General Bradley thought that both First and Third Armies should execute the maneuver, whereas General Patton believed that the Third Army alone, if given sufficient supplies, could move to the Metz-Nancy-Epinal area and cross the German border in ten days. General Montgomery at the same time was considering an entirely different approach to the problem, an approach somewhat nearer the initial SHAEF concept than that of General Bradley and General Patton. Wanting as quickly as possible to clear the Pas-de-Calais coast with its V-bomb sites, to get airfields in Belgium, and to secure the port at Antwerp, Montgomery felt that the main drive should be made toward the northeast. In the belief that his own British and Canadian forces would be unable to accomplish all of these missions quickly, he proposed that part or all of General Bradley's forces should move northeastward with their right flank on the Ardennes, cutting the enemy lines of communications and facilitating the advance of the British forces.
The British and U.S. commanders, each conscious of the opportunities on his own front and desirous of seizing them quickly, favored single thrusts into enemy territory. One would have swung nearly all of the Allied force to the northeast; the other would have thrust the main U.S. forces almost due east.
On 22 August, General Eisenhower considered the various plans of his subordinates. He expressed his intention eventually to direct 21 Army Group north of the Ardennes while 12th Army Group advanced beyond Paris and prepared to strike just south of the Ardennes. At the moment, however, he had certain tactical requirements to consider. In order to aid 21 Army Group in carrying out its immediate missions of destroying forces between the Seine and the Pas-de-Calais, it was necessary, he felt, to reinforce the British
army group with an entire airborne command and such other forces as might be required. He added that General Bradley's rate of advance east of Paris would depend on the speed with which ports in Brittany could be cleared and the Allied supply situation improved.14
General Montgomery on the 23d reminded the Supreme Commander that to sweep through the Pas-de-Calais to Antwerp he would need an entire U.S. army moving on his right flank. General Bradley argued that one corps would be sufficient for this purpose. General Eisenhower, although believing the British commander overcautious, acceded to his request,in order to insure success. At the same time, he ordered General Bradley to use his remaining forces to clear the ports in Brittany, defend U.S. lines of communications against possible attacks from the Paris area, and amass supplies for an advance eastward toward Metz. Told by the services of supply that they could support the British advances through northern France and Belgium, Eisenhower wrote Montgomery: "All of us having agreed upon this general plan, the principal thing we must now strive for is speed in execution. All of the Supply people have assured us that they can support the move, beginning this minute--let us assume that they know exactly what they are talking about and get about it vigorously and without delay."15
In supporting General Montgomery's attack with a U.S. army, the First, General Eisenhower also allocated the bulk of 12th Army Group's gasoline to that army, thus depriving Third Army of the means of making a rapid drive to the east. It was a blow to the hopes of General Patton, who felt that the British commander had outargued the Supreme Commander. Patton drew some solace from the fact that he still had seven good divisions going in the direction he and Bradley always wanted to go.16 Furthermore, he still had eight days in which to advance before the drying up of his fuel supply led him to a temporary halt.
General Eisenhower in explaining his decision to General Marshall said that he had temporarily changed his basic plan for attacking both to the northeast and the east in order to help General Montgomery seize tremendously important objectives in the northeast. He considered the change necessary even though it interfered with his desire to push eastward through Metz, because 21 Army Group lacked sufficient strength to do the job. He added that he did not doubt 12th Army Group's ability to reach the Franco-German border, but "saw no point in getting there until we are in a position to do something about it."17
On 26 August, General Montgomery, still acting as commander of ground forces on the Continent, repeated the Supreme Commander's decisions to the Allied generals. He assigned the following tasks: the First Canadian Army was to clear the Pas de-Calais; the Second British Army was to advance rapidly into Belgium; and the First U.S. Army was to support the British advance by driving forward on the Paris-Brussels axis to establish forces in the Maastricht-Liége area east of Brussels and the Charleroi-Namur area south of Brussels.
TABLE 1--CASUALTIES CAUSED BY FLYING BOMB AND ROCKET ATTACKS ON THE UNITED KINGDOM, 1944-45
Number Killed Seriously Injured Bombs a Rockets b By Bombs a By Rockets b By Bombs a By Rockets b Totals...... 5,890 1,054 5,835 2,855 16,762 6,268 In London.... 2,563 517 5,373 2,642 15,258 5,670 Elsewhere.... 3,327 537 462 213 1,504 598
a Between 12 June 1944 and 29 March 1945.
b Between 8 September 1944 and 27 March 1945.
The 21 Army Group commander stressed a special British problem which had developed since mid-June in his reminder that a speedy advance would "bring quick relief to our families and friends in England by over-running the flying bomb launching sites in the Pas de Calais."18 (Table 1)
General Bradley confirmed the broad outline of General Montgomery's directive but asked that the inter-army-group boundary be changed to give Brussels to. the Second British instead of to the First U.S. Army. This shift was accepted by the 21 Army Group commander. In addition to making these arrangements for First Army, General Bradley directed the Third Army to complete the reduction of Brittany, protect the south flank of 12th Army Group, and prepare for a continuation of its advance to seize crossings of the Rhine between Mannheim and Koblenz.19
General Eisenhower's decision to shift the First U.S. Army northward temporarily during the British advance from the Seine to Antwerp was accompanied by a firm resolution to return as soon as possible to the early SHAEF policy of advancing toward Germany by routes north of the Ardennes and south of that area through the Metz Gap. At the beginning of September, his planners began to study means by which one corps from the First Army could now be used to support a move of the Third Army toward the Saar and a move either up to the Moselle or toward Frankfurt while the remainder of the British and U.S. forces were going northeast. On 2 September at Chartres, General Eisenhower discussed future plans with
Generals Bradley, Hodges, and Patton. As a result of decisions made there, the 12th Army Group commander told his subordinates to prepare for an advance by the Third Army and one corps of the First Army toward Mannheim, Frankfurt, and Koblenz.20
General Eisenhower qualified his approval of the drive to the east with his statement that it would depend on the success of the northern thrust, which had prior claim on supplies. He also warned of the supply problems which might give trouble in the future and noted:
We have advanced so rapidly that further movement in large parts of the front even against very weak opposition is almost impossible. . . . The closer we get to the Siegfried Line the more we will be stretched administratively and eventually a period of relative inaction will be imposed upon us. The potential danger is that while we are temporarily stalled the enemy will be able to pick up bits and pieces of forces everywhere and re-organize them swiftly for defending the Siegfried Line or the Rhine. It is obvious from an over-all viewpoint we must now as never before keep the enemy stretched everywhere.21
From Field Marshal Montgomery's point of view, the scarcity of supplies provided no basis for a strategy of stretching the enemy everywhere.22 Instead, he insisted that Allied resources were insufficient for two full-blooded attacks and that a compromise solution would merely prolong the war. He urged that the drive to the Ruhr be given full backing, saying, "We have now reached a stage where one really powerful and full-blooded thrust toward Berlin is likely to get there and thus end the German war."23
General Eisenhower replied that no reallocation of existing resources "would be
adequate to sustain a thrust to Berlin." Since the bulk of the German Army in the west had been destroyed, he went on, it was imperative to breach the Siegfried Line, cross the Rhine on a wide front, and seize the Ruhr and the Saar. Such a drive would give the Allies a stranglehold on two of Germany's chief industrial areas and largely wreck its ability to wage war. It would assist in cutting off the forces retreating from the south of France, give the Allies freedom of action, and force the enemy to disperse his forces over a wide front.24 The Supreme Commander, while giving priority to Montgomery's advance to the northeast, thought it important to get "Patton moving again so that we may be fully prepared to carry out the original conception for the final stages of the campaign." As he saw it at the time, the logical move was to take advantage of all existing lines of communications in the advance toward Germany and to bring the southern wing of the OVERLORD forces on to the Rhine at Koblenz. At the same time, airborne forces would be used to seize crossings over the Rhine thus placing the Allies in a position to thrust deep into the Ruhr and threaten Berlin. The execution of these drives rested, he added, on speed, which in turn relied on maintenance--"now stretched to the limit."25
Field Marshal Montgomery argued that the maintenance question emphasized the need for putting all supplies behind one thrust into Germany. Believing "with all respect . . . that a reallocation of our present resources of every description would be adequate to get one thrust to Berlin," he asked General Eisenhower to reconsider his decision. SHAEF planners felt that Montgomery's view was optimistic. They suggested that a maximum of three Allied corps could be pushed to Berlin by the end of September only if five corps were grounded in Normandy and Brittany, if Antwerp--captured on 4 September--and ports in the Pas-de-Calais were producing some 7,000 tons of supplies a day, and if an airlift was bringing in 2,000 tons daily.26 Nonetheless, SHAEF made a considerable effort to provide additional support for Montgomery's battle. General de Guingand reported to his superior on 7 September that SHAEF had met 80 percent of the British requests for locomotives and rolling stock and that an increased allocation would be made. He added that the northern thrust was to have priority on air supply and would be allocated the airborne army as a means of capturing Walcheren Island and clearing the Schelde estuary in the hope of opening the approaches to Antwerp.27
The new allocations, while welcome, were much less than Field Marshal Montgomery thought necessary for a powerful thrust into Germany. Worse still, in his view, the Supreme Commander during the first week in September had authorized General Bradley to continue the attack to the east and to allocate additional fuel supplies to the Third Army. Under these authorizations, the 12th Army Group commander ordered crossings of the Rhine by the First Army near Cologne, Bonn, and Koblenz and by the
Third Army in the vicinity of Mannheim and Mainz, and, if possible, near Karlsruhe.28
General Eisenhower discussed the routes of advance and other problems with his army group commanders and the Allied naval commander on 9, 10, and 11 September. In the most important of the three conferences, he met with Air Chief Marshal Tedder, General Gale, and Field Marshal Montgomery on 10 September at Brussels. The Supreme Commander refused to consider what he called "a pencil like thrust" into the heart of Germany.29 Since the Germans still had reserves, he believed that a single thrust on any part of the front would meet with certain destruction. General Eisenhower was unwilling, therefore, to stop operations in the south. He emphasized that his chief interest was in opening the port of Antwerp, but added that he was willing to defer this operation until an effort could be made to obtain a bridgehead over the Rhine at Arnhem and outflank the defenses of the Siegfried Line.30
General Patton's forces went forward rapidly, and on 14 September General Bradley was able to announce that Third Army had crossed the Moselle in force. Noting that the next forty-eight hours would indicate how fast Patton could go, the 12th Army Group commander added that if Third Army could not make any real progress northeast from the Metz area he would shift it to the north. But the Supreme Commander now relaxed his previous order to the point of saying that if Montgomery could go ahead on the maintenance promised him, and if Hodges could be kept fully supplied up to the time he reached his first principal objective, there was no reason "why Patton should not keep on acting offensively if conditions for offensive action were favorable.31
These concessions to 12th Army Group, however hedged about with conditions, appeared to Field Marshal Montgomery to undermine plans for the approaching airborne operation near Arnhem and the campaign to open the port of Antwerp. To some members of his staff, the granting of permission for Patton to continue to drive to the east, while Montgomery was oriented toward the northeast, prevented any commander from landing a solid punch and weakened the center of the Allied line in the area of the Ardennes. To Field Marshal Montgomery's worried comments on the subject, General Eisenhower replied on the eve of the Arnhem operation: "I sent a senior staff officer to General Bradley yesterday to see that all of his forces and distribution of his supplies will coordinate effectively with this idea. While he had issued a temporary directive on September 10 that on the surface did not conform clearly to this conception of making our principal drive with our left, the actual fact is that everything he is doing will work out exactly as you visualize
it." He added: "So Bradley's left is striking hard to support you; Third Army is pushing north to support Hodges; and Sixth Army Group is being pushed up to give right flank support to the whole."32
The Supreme Commander's emphasis on the opening of the port of Antwerp at the conference of 10 September may be said to mark a new phase in Allied operational planning. At the beginning of September, the stress had been on thrusts to the Rhine. This strategy had been encouraged by the capture of Antwerp on 4 September. But when it was clear that this prize was of no value until the enemy had been dislodged from his positions north and south of the Schelde estuary, stretching for some fifty miles to the sea, General Eisenhower gave priority to an operation to clear the estuary. After his conferences of 9, 10, and 11 September, he became confirmed in his view that "the early winning of deep water ports and improved maintenance facilities in our rear are prerequisites to a final all-out assault on Germany proper." He was influenced by the fact that the Allies were still supported logistically over the open beaches and that a week or ten days of bad weather in the Channel could paralyze the movements of the armies. He now ordered 21 Army Group to secure promptly the approaches to Antwerp and Rotterdam in addition to the Channel ports, 12th Army Group to reduce Brest, and 6th and 12th Army Groups to open lines from Marseille to the north.33 In his insistence on deep-water ports, General Eisenhower was supported by the Combined Chiefs of Staff. From their conference at Quebec they had expressed their preference for the northern over the southern routes of advance into Germany and had stressed the necessity for opening the northwest ports, "particularly Antwerp and Rotterdam, before the bad weather sets in."34
Before the Antwerp operation could be started, Field Marshal Montgomery carried out his offensive near Arnhem. With the end of that attack, the pursuit into Germany came to a full halt.35 On other fronts, it had virtually come to a standstill by mid-September. A review of the logistical situation of the Allied forces in the preceding four to six weeks may help explain why the pursuit stopped short of the Rhine.
It is clear that the demands of four rapidly advancing armies, requiring as much as a million gallons of gasoline daily, overtaxed the Allied lines of communications, which extended in some cases as far back as Cherbourg and the invasion
Logistical Reasons for the Halt
beaches. These limitations certainly made impossible a number of simultaneous drives through the Siegfried Line and also made doubtful the success of a single thrust beyond the Rhine. From the beginning of OVERLORD planning, the various staffs had recognized supply difficulties as one of their major problems. They had stressed, therefore, the necessity of capturing sufficient ports to provide adequate and easily accessible stores, emphasizing the vital importance of Cherbourg, Le Havre, and the ports of Brittany if a drive into Germany was to be sustained. The planners assumed, as a result, that the rate of the advance beyond the Seine would be much less rapid than the rate actually achieved. In procurement estimates of June 1944, designedly optimistic for purposes of planning, D plus 90 (4 September 1944) was set for reaching the Seine, D plus 200 (23 December 1944) the Belgian frontier, D plus 330 (2 May 1945) the German frontier north of Aachen, and D plus 360 (1 June 1945) the surrender.
Both the first and last of these dates proved pessimistic. The Third Army reached the Seine on D plus 75 (20 August 1944) and the surrender came on D plus 336 (8 May 1945). These predictions, later pointed to with pride by the Allied staffs, have tended to obscure the more important fact, so far as supplies were concerned, that on D plus 97 ( 11 September 1944), one week after they were expected to reach the Seine and some seven months before they were supposed to reach the German border north of Aachen, the Allies actually sent units across the Reich frontier. But it was in this period of the great pursuit between the Seine and Germany that supply and transport facilities proved hopelessly insufficient for the slashing attack which developed. True, in mid-August, when the armies were beginning to be pinched for supplies, the planners changed their calculations. At that time British planners estimated that bridgeheads could be established over the Seine at Rouen in the period between 10 August and 10 September, and that after the latter date an advance could be made on Amiens. The SHAEF planners were less optimistic, holding that any advance in strength before October east of the Seine-Loire River line would have to be conducted mainly by British forces. They suggested that an advance in strength by U.S. forces beyond the Mantes-Gassicourt-Orleans line be delayed until late October. Because the Allies would have to feed the population of Paris if they took the city, the SHAEF planners favored postponing its capture until rail facilities were developed in Brittany and Normandy and the Seine ports were captured.36 As late as 23 August, the 12th Army Group deputy chief of supply estimated that the British would be at the Seine on 1 September, the Somme on 15 September, and on other objectives (apparently northern France and Belgium) by 1 November. General de Guingand, 21 Army Group chief of staff, concurred with these estimates ex-
cept that he expected to gain the "other objectives" by 15 October.37
In mid-August as the tremendous possibilities of a rapid advance became evident, the Allied supply organizations made great efforts to provide the means for the offensives which were developing. Communications Zone troops were laying pipelines for carrying fuel, constructing at the peak as much as thirty to forty miles a day. Special emphasis was placed on the rapid restoration of railroad lines so that overburdened truck companies could be used more economically. At the height of supply difficulties in the last week of August, an emergency airlift and the Red Ball Express truck line were set up to deal with the gasoline shortages which became more acute as the advance continued beyond the Seine.38
The liberation of Paris, as SHAEF supply planners had feared, increased the heavy load thrown on the U.S. supply organization and interfered directly with the flow of fuel to combat elements. The additional burden came at a time when aircraft engaged in carrying fuel to the First Army were supposed to be returned to the Air Transport Command for training in preparation for forthcoming airborne attacks.39 On 29 August, the 12th Army Group chief of civil affairs found that the French capital needed 2,400 tons of supplies daily and proposed that they be brought by air. General Bradley initially authorized 500 tons at the expense of military requirements, but added in another message the same day that additional information on supply requirements in the city required that a "total of 1500 tons daily regardless of cost to the military effort, be delivered at once."40 The reassignment of aircraft to airborne training and the diversion of air tonnage to civil affairs supplies coincided with the almost complete cessation of gasoline deliveries to the Third Army, which had been the chief beneficiary of the airlift since 25 August.
Another complication appeared as the armies moved farther to the east: the problem of constructing sufficient and proper airfields to receive the airplanes necessary to maintain the pace which was being set on the ground. The rapid advance of armored columns meant that the burden thrown on airfield construction agencies in the matter of materials, men, and time was much greater than the capacities of the organization which had been set up. The chief of staff of IX Engineer Command, which was charged with the task of building and maintaining airfields, gave eloquent testimony after the war on the problems confronting the Allies in their attempts to supply the rush to the Rhine. In analyzing the claim that General Patton could have gone to Germany in ten days, he declared:
Had Patton continued through the Saar Valley and the Vosges it must have been without close air support and with a very small contribution in the way of air supply beyond the Reims-Epernay line. We could have fixed up Conflans, Metz, and Nancy-Azelot in time to have done some good, but the next possible fields were at Haguenau and Strasburg with no fields except Trier between
there and Koln-Maastricht Plain. I would not have liked to tackle the job of supplying Patton over the Vosges and through the Pfalz during that October. I don't doubt that we could have carried about 2 armored and one mtz. division up to Koln, but then where. Certainly not across the Rhine. A good task force of Panzerfaust, manned by Hitler youth could have finished them off before they reached Kassel.41
Whether a diversion of all supplies to Field Marshal Montgomery's forces would have enabled him to cross the Rhine before the enemy could reorganize his defenses cannot be finally settled. To let the
1 Army Group have all the support it wanted in late August would have meant stopping the Third U.S. Army near Paris, delaying a link-up between the OVERLORD and the ANVIL forces, failing to capture enemy elements retreating from southwestern France to Germany, and opening the right wing of the army to a possible enemy attack. If the Rhine could have been crossed while the enemy was still unprepared and the shock of that event had shaken the Reich into collapse or its armies into surrender, obviously these eventualities would not have mattered. If the single thrust across the Rhine had failed to smash German resistance, there is some doubt that the forces could have been maintained at full operational scale.
It is equally difficult to determine whether the diversion of all available supplies to General Patton would have permitted him to reach the Rhine in ten days or two weeks. On this subject, the Third Army chief of operations noted at the end of August 1944 that there was an indication that the army would necessarily have to slow its pace "to permit supply echelons to make adjustments that would enable them to keep up." This was attributed in part to the fact that the Third Army was responsible for operations on fronts 600 miles apart, and responsible for a flank of over 1,000 miles which it was covering with less than two divisions plus the XIX Tactical Air Command.42
The failure of the Allies to realize their hopes of victory in late August may have followed in part from a deficiency of optimism on the part of OVERLORD planners.43 The means of communication, built for a slower, more ponderous drive than that which developed, could not sustain the tenor twenty-day pursuit that opened the way to the smashing of the enemy short of the Rhine. The original supply estimates emphasized the opening of the Brittany ports and Le Havre and the amassing of supplies west of the Seine before beginning a drive toward the Ruhr. The Brittany ports were still judged to be of primary importance as late as 1 September. By 9 September, when Generals Patton and Bradley discussed the matter, there had been a considerable change in opinion. General Patton later wrote: "We both felt that the taking of Brest at that time was useless, because it was too far away and the harbor was too badly destroyed. On the other hand, we agreed that, when the American Army had once put its hand to the plow, it should not let go. Therefore, it was necessary to take Brest."44 At least three excellent divisions of the Third Army and valuable transport
were heavily involved here at a time when troops and vehicles were desperately needed to the east.
In hardly any respect were the Allies prepared to take advantage of the great opportunity offered them to destroy the German forces before winter. The buildup of men and certain critical supplies in the United Kingdom, the arrival of divisions in France, the requisition and transport of civil affairs supplies, the organization for military government,45 the rebuilding of rail lines, the laying of pipelines--virtually the whole intricate military machine was geared to a slower rate of advance than that required in late August. Unfortunately the period of the great opportunity lasted for only a few weeks and there was not sufficient time, however vast the effort, to make the necessary readjustments in the logistical machinery which would insure speedy victory.
In this period of confusion, of over-strained supply lines, of strident demands for many different courses of action, most of which would have been excellent had the means been available, the Supreme Commander decided to stick by his initial plan of making the main attack in the north, with a subsidiary advance in the south. In the first bold thrust across the Seine, when he wished to clear the Pas-de-Calais and capture Antwerp, he approved Montgomery's drive to the northeast and threw most of the First Army into support of the British advance. This required the allocation of most of the U.S. gasoline supplies to the First Army and brought the Third Army virtually to a halt just east of Paris. When by 5 September the supply situation eased slightly General Eisenhower agreed that the Third Army could resume its drive toward the Saar and Frankfurt and thus returned to the earlier SHAEF concept of a dual thrust. At the same time he sent all but one corps of the First Army northeastward in support of the main offensive. Within the next two weeks he was to offer the 21 Army Group commander the bulk of available locomotives and rolling stock, the transport of three U.S. divisions, and the resources of the airborne army. In these various decisions, he attempted to take advantage of any momentary opportunities for exploitation which might be offered, while clinging to the objectives laid down before D Day as vital to victory: seizure of industrial areas essential to Germany's continuance of the war, use of routes which offered the best opportunity for maneuver while stretching the enemy's forces over a broad front, and elimination of the maximum number of Germans west of the fortifications of the West Wall and of the Rhine.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (13) * Next Chapter (15)
1. SHAEF Weekly Intel Summaries 23 and 24, 26 Aug and 2 Sep 44, SHAEF G-2 Rpts; FUSA G-2 Estimate 24, 3 Sep 44, Opns Rpts; Rpt of Combined Intel Com, Prospects of a German Collapse and Surrender as of 8 Sep 44, CCS 660/1, 9 Sep 44, OCTAGON Conf Min.
2. TUSA G-2 Estimate 9, 28 Aug 44, TUSA AAR, II.
3. OI-SIR/39 (Scheidt); Der Westen (Schramm); Hitler's order of 1 Sep 44, Nr. 773134/44. Office of Naval Intelligence, Fuehrer Directives and Other Top-Level Directives of the German Armed Forces. 1942-1945. (Referred to hereafter as ONI Fuehrer Directives.) Fuehrer Directives is a selection of translated documents from German naval archives. Hitler's orders of 3 and 4 Sep 44 (WFSt Op. Nr. 773189/A and OKW/WFSt Nr. 773222/44). Army Group B, Ia Fuehrerbefehle 17.VI.-25.IX.44.
4. Teletype, Model to Jodl, 4 Sep 44; Teletype, Rundstedt to Keitel, 7 Sep 44. Both in Army Group B, Ia Lagebeurteilungen 2O.V.-11.X.44.
5. Strength figures on German forces in the west and east in August-September 1944 are discussed by H. M. Cole in The Lorraine Campaign (Washington, 1950), pp. 29-43. Mr. Churchill's statement to the House of Commons was cited in 302 H. C. Deb. 1474 (Hansard's 1943-44).
6. Office of Foreign Liquidation, Foreign Economics Section, Dept of State, Report on War Aid Furnished by the U.S. to the U.S.S.R., June 22, 1941-September 20, 1945; Sixteenth Report to Congress on Lend-Lease Operations: For the Period Ended June 30, 1944 ( Washington, 1944); War Department Field Manual 101-10, Organization, Technical and Logistical Data, 10 Oct 43 and 12 Oct 44 (organization of armored and infantry divisions); Historical Section, Headquarters, ETOUSA, American Enterprise in Europe (Paris, 1945); Transportation Corps Monthly Rpt, 31 May 45, and Consolidated Statistics of TC Ops in ETO, 1 Jan 42-8 May 45, contained in Historical Report of the Transportation Corps in ETO, Vol. VII (Apr-May-Jun 45).
The statistics on tanks and vehicles sent the Russians indicate the number actually shipped, less those lost or diverted elsewhere, prior to 1 July 1944. Undoubtedly part of these were still in the supply pipelines going into Russia, and were not available during most of the period in question.
Only organic transportation of the division is considered in the statistics relative to the number of U.S. divisions which could have been supplied from tanks and vehicles furnished the Red Army. It is clear that a number of vehicles far in excess of the divisional table of organization is essential to supply a division, depending on distance from a port, conditions of combat, and the like. By the same token the replacement factor for combat losses or normal wear on tanks would require a reserve of tanks beyond that mentioned.
7. Another army group commander, Blaskowitz, was soon to be relieved.
8. SHAEF estimated German losses as of 29 August 1944 at 400,000. Memo, SHAEF G-2 for SAC, 29 Aug 44, SHAEF G-2 Intel on Germany GBI/o1-A/091-3. See Cole, The Lorraine Campaign, p. 31, for information on German casualties.
9. Teletype, Rundstedt to Keitel, cited above, n.4.
10. Strength statistics for both Allied and enemy forces are open to question. The Allied order of battle for 1 September is given in SHAEF G-3 War Room Summary 87, 1 September 1944. Strength as of that period showed a cumulative total since 6 June of 826,700 in the British area and 1,211,200 in the U.S. area. These statistics do not include the U.S. and French forces pouring into southern France which were to total six French and three U.S. divisions by 15 September. Cumulative casualties since D Day (not including 6th Army Group figures) were over 200,000 (124,394 for the U.S. forces as of 30 August and 82,309 for the British and Canadians as of 31 August. With the exception of 36,486 dead (20,668 American and 15,818 British and Canadian) it is not clear how many of the 200,000 casualties had been returned to duty. (For cumulative casualties, see SHAEF G-3 War Room Summary 91, 5 September 1944.)
11. OI-SIR/39 (Scheidt); Der Westen (Schramm); Hitler's order of 7 Sep 44, Nr. 0010783/44. 0NI Fuehrer Directives.
12. Rpt of Conf of ministers at Ministry of Propaganda, 4 Sep 44, in Annex 2 to 12th A Gp Periodic Rpt 106, 19 Sep 44, 12th A Gp Periodic File, 28 Jul-Nov 44.
13. This and the following paragraphs on the SHAEF plan are taken from SHAEF Planning Staff draft, Post NEPTUNE Courses of Action After Capture of the Lodgment Area, Main Objectives and Axis of Advance, I, 3 May 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I.
14. Eisenhower to Marshall, CPA 90235, 22 Aug 44, Eisenhower personal file.
15. Eisenhower to Montgomery, 24 Aug 44, confirming agreements of the preceding day, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I; Bradley, A Soldier's Story, pp. 399-401; Eisenhower to Marshall, 5 Sep 44, Diary Office CinC.
16. Patton, War as I Knew It, pp. 116-17.
17. Ltr, Eisenhower to Marshall. 24 Aug 44, Eisenhower personal file.
18. Montgomery to army comdrs, M-520, 26 Aug 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I. Mr. Churchill at the beginning of August estimated that between 13 June when the first V-bombs were dropped on the United Kingdom and 1 August more than 5,700 robot bombs had killed nearly 5000 people, seriously injured 14,000, destroyed 17,000 homes, and damaged 80,000. Address by Mr. Churchill, August 2, 1944, 302 H. C. Deb. 1475 (Hansard's 1943-44). Post-war estimates indicate that between 12 June 1944 and 29 March 1945 nearly 5,900 bombs fell in the United Kingdom, killing over 5,800 people and seriously injuring nearly 17,000 more. In the period 8 September 1944 to 27 March 1945 more than a thousand rockets were to fall in the United Kingdom, killing 2,835 people and seriously injuring 6,268 more.
For efforts of SHAEF and the air forces to deal with the continued CROSSBOW threat in the summer of 1944, see Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces in World War II, Vol. III, Ch. 15, "CROSSBOW-Second Phase." The authors indicate that U.S. bomber commanders and, to a lesser extent, British bomber chiefs opposed Air Chief Marshal Tedder's insistence on a continued bombing of V-weapon launching sites. The Bomber commanders preferred to concentrate more heavily on German economy and support of the Allied land battle as a better means of stopping the V-weapon attack. The authors conclude that the large-scale CROSSBOW operations during the period were a failure but that they offered firm evidence that "the Allies could respond too generously rather than too niggardly to whatever threats might arise to jeopardize the execution of the grand strategic designs so carefully prepared and so skillfully executed in the pursuance of one objective--defeat of the enemy in Europe." (P. 541.)
19. 12th A Gp, Ltr of Instr 6, 25 Aug 44, 12th A Gp Rpt of Opns, V, 85-87; Ltr, Bradley to Montgomery, 26 Aug 44, 12th A Gp Military Objectives 371.3; Montgomery, Normandy to the Baltic, p. 208.
20. Memo, Nevins for Chief Ops A Sub-Sec G-3 SHAEF, 1 Sep 44, OCMH files; points of discussion at Chartres given in Notes on Meeting of Supreme Commander and Commanders, 2 Sep 44, 12th A Gp Military Objectives 371.3; Memo, G-3 SHAEF for CofS SHAEF, 3 Sep 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning I. General Patton says ( War as I Knew It, pp. 120-24) that General Bull, the SHAEF G-3, refused to approve this plan on 30 August while on a staff visit to Bradley's advance headquarters. "We [Bradley and Patton] finally persuaded General Eisenhower" to approve the plan on 2 September. General Bull recommended the plan in a memorandum of 3 September in which he said that, in view of reported German weakness along the West Wall, the reduction of the size of Allied forces driving northeast of the Ardennes was not only practicable "but desirable . . . to maintain the speed of advance."
21. Eisenhower to comdrs, FWD 13765, 4 Sep 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I; Eisenhower to Marshall, FWD 13792, 4 Sep 44, Eisenhower personal file.
22. General Montgomery's appointment as field marshal was announced on 1 September. Mr. Churchill had informed General Eisenhower on 22 August that the promotion would be made to run from the termination of Montgomery's command of Allied assault forces. This the Prime Minister considered a necessary concession to British public opinion. He added that the promotion, which would make Montgomery outrank both Eisenhower and Bradley, would make no difference in the field marshal's position in regard to high-ranking U.S. officers. AMSSO to Eisenhower, 4891, 22 Aug 44, Eisenhower personal file.
23. Montgomery to Eisenhower, M-160, 4 Sep 44, Eisenhower personal file. Compare this with the statement, Montgomery, Normandy to the Baltic, p. 193: "My own view was that one powerful, full-blooded thrust across the Rhine and into the heart of Germany, backed by the whole of the resources of the Allied armies, would be likely to achieve decisive results."
24. Eisenhower to Montgomery, FWD 13889, 5 Sep 44, Eisenhower personal file.
25. Memo for record, Eisenhower, 5 Sep 44, Diary Office CinC.
26. Although Antwerp itself was seized almost intact, Germans on Walcheren Island and to the south of the Schelde estuary prevented ships from coming up the Schelde to Antwerp.
27. Montgomery to Eisenhower, 7 Sep 44, Diary Office CinC; Plng paper. Logistical Implications of Rapid Thrust to Berlin, Sep 44, SHAEF G-4 Logistical Forecasts, Folder 13; Cbl ADSEC (21 A Gp CofS) to TAG HQ EXFOR (Montgomery), 7 Sep 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I.
28. Bradley ltr of instructions to comdrs (in confirmation of previous verbal orders), 10 Sep 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I; Bradley, A Soldier's Story, pp. 410-14.
29. It should be noted that Field Marshal Montgomery spoke of the thrust as "full-blooded." Inasmuch as his proposals involved the use of the Second British Army and two corps of the First U.S. Army for an advance between Arnhem and the Ardennes, his term "full-blooded" seems the more accurate description. General Patton's earlier proposal for an advance toward Berlin by two corps seems to conform more nearly to the term "pencil like."
30. Notes on mtg at Brussels, 10 Sep 44, by Tedder, CMH files; Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, pp. 306-07.
31. Bradley to Eisenhower, 12 Sep 44; Dir, Eisenhower to army comdrs, FWD 14764, 13 Sep 44. Both in SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I. Bradley to Eisenhower, 14 Sep 44, 12th A Gp 371.3 Military Objectives, I; Eisenhower to Bradley, 15 Sep 44, Eisenhower personal file.
32. Montgomery to Eisenhower, M-181, 9 Sep 44; Montgomery to Eisenhower, M-192, 11 Sep 44; Eisenhower to Montgomery (comments on Montgomery's statements to Gen Smith), FWD 14758, 13 Sep 44; Eisenhower to Montgomery, 16 Sep 44. All in SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I. Comments of members of 21 Army Group staff to author in series of interviews.
33. Montgomery to Eisenhower, M-192, 11 Sep 44; Eisenhower to Montgomery, FWD 14758, 13 Sep 44; Dir, Eisenhower to army comdrs, FWD 14764, 13 Sep 44. All in SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I.
34. CCS to Eisenhower, OCTAGON 16, 12 Sep 44, SHAEF SGS 381 Post OVERLORD Planning, I. In discussing General Eisenhower's proposals of alternative routes into Germany, Field Marshal Brooke thought the northern route should be strengthened as much as possible. He asked for the most energetic efforts to secure and open the port of Antwerp as a valuable base for future operations on the northern flank. He felt there had not been enough emphasis on these two points. His proposed draft reply was the one sent General Eisenhower. CCS 172d mtg, OCTAGON (Quebec), 12 Sep 44.
35. For discussion of the Arnhem operation, see below, Ch. XVI.
36. SHAEF G-4 Post Neptune Operations Administrative Appreciation, 17 Jun 44, SHAEF G-4 370.2 Post-NEPTUNE Operations Logistic Studies. 21 A Gp Plan, Development of Current Operations, 11 Aug 44; Air Staff SHAEF, Development of Operations from the Bridgehead to Secure Lodgment Area and Advance Beyond (21 A Gp Plans); SHAEF G-3 Plan, Post NEPTUNE Operations, 17 Aug 44, Sec. III, SHAEF G-3 Post OVERLORD Planning, 18008, 370-31. When the preliminary draft of the 21 A Gp Plan was received at SHAEF at the end of July, Group Captain Gleave, one of the SHAEF planners, indicated that, whereas SHAEF felt that the paper was too optimistic, Air Marshal Coningham considered the plan not bold enough. Gleave to SASO, AEAF, 2 Aug 44, SHAEF file Air Staff (SHAEF).
37. Memo on conf with Maj Gen Miles Graham, 21 A Gp G-4, et al., dtd 23 Aug 44, SHAEF 12th A Gp G-4 Papers, Drawer 11, Folder 11.
38. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies, discusses these efforts in detail. Mr. Royce L. Thompson of OCMH has prepared an exhaustive study of the gasoline shortages from the official reports of SHAEF, Communications Zone, and the army group, army, corps, and division files. This study is in OCMH files.
39. See Craven and Cate, The Army Air Forces in World War II, III, 275-77.
40. 12th A Gp to SHAEF et al., Qx 21026, 29 Aug 44; 12th A Gp to COMZ Fwd, Qx 21043, 29 Aug 44. Both in SHAEF G-4 581.2 Transportation by Air of Supplies and Equipment, II (1944).
41. Ltr, Col Herbert W. Ehrgott to Ralph Ingersoll, 25 Jul 46, copy furnished by Ehrgott to Air Historical Section, U.S. Air Force.
42. G-3 Summary for Aug 44, TUSA AAR, I. See also Cole, The Lorraine Campaign, p. 22. In his statement, "the iron rules of logistics were in full operation and . . . the Third Army, making an attack subsidiary to the Allied main effort, would be the first to suffer therefrom."
43. This is discussed fully in Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies.
44. Patton, War as I Knew It, pp. 127-28.
45. For example, policy on the issuance of occupation money for Germany was not settled until three weeks after the Allies had crossed the German frontier.