The weather was perfect, Mediterranean climate at its September best. The sea was calm. Despite crowded decks and congested quarters, the troops began to feel almost like passengers on a vacation cruise. Hardly anyone was sick. The food was good. The showers worked. There was lots of time to sleep. What a relief after months of training, C rations, grime, dust, and mud, scorching days and impossibly cold nights. The men preferred to remember the receding coast of North Africa and the nurses bathing in the surf.
Ahead lay the beaches of Salerno, and the men learned about them at sea as they clustered about their platoon leaders to discuss missions and study newly issued maps.
But combat belonged to the future. For the moment the scene was reassuring. The convoys moved along in parallel lines, the ships several hundred yards apart. "All around the compass," an officer later wrote, "as far as we could see in the clear sunlight, there were ships and more ships . . . ugly but comfortable LSTs, low slung LCTs, sharp, businesslike LCIs. . . so many ships . . . that we all had a feeling of security." Barrage balloons floating above some of the vessels heightened the impression.1 Occasionally, escorting planes appeared.
In his cabin aboard ship, Maj. Gen. Fred L. Walker wrote in his diary:
The sea is like a mill pond. I hope we have as calm and peaceful a day tomorrow for our work in Salerno Bay. . . . At first light this morning I looked out the port hole of my stateroom . . . and could see ships in all directions. . . . an inspiring sight. . . .
Our plans are complete and it is only a matter of executing them. Everyone is cheerful and full of confidence. I expect the division to do well.2
Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark was also confident, and he impressed observers with his composure and youthful appearance.3
The campaign of southern Italy was getting under way. Launched by the armed forces of the Anglo-American coalition against the Axis Powers of Germany and Italy, it would develop into one of the most bitter military actions of World War II. Through the autumn and winter months of 1943-44, in discouraging weather conditions, in rough
terrain, against a skillful enemy, Allied troops would fight across the beaches of Salerno and into the city of Naples, across the Volturno River and in the rugged mountains below Rome, across the plain of Anzio and around the abbey of Monte Cassino. When spring arrived, some would wonder what they had accomplished.
The Strategic Background
The consecutive Allied campaigns in northwest Africa, Sicily, and southern Italy, geographically so logical, came about only after spirited strategic debate--after arguments over alternative courses of action, discussion of relative advantages and risks, disagreement and compromise on purpose and method. Using some of the men and matériel being assembled in the United Kingdom for a cross-Channel attack, the Allies invaded northwest Africa in November 1942 in order to help embattled British forces in Egypt. Having secured the northern coast of Africa by May 1943, the Allies invaded Sicily two month later to insure the safety of the sea lanes between Gibraltar and Suez and make voyages around the African continent unnecessary. In August 1943, with Sicily taken, the Allies gained indisputable control of the southern Mediterranean; the corridor between Tunisia and Sicily became a protected avenue.
The invasion of southern Italy in September, an immediate extension of the Sicily Campaign, had a broader aim. It was the opening act of a drama that was to reach its climax in Normandy nine months later. General Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander wrote afterward that when the Germans withdrew across the Strait of Messina to the Italian mainland in August 1943,
. . . the first aim of Allied strategy had been achieved: to clear the enemy from Africa and to open the Mediterranean to the shipping of the United Nations without fear of interruption; in the next phase the Mediterranean theater would no longer receive the first priority of resources and its operations would become preparatory and subsidiary to the great invasion based on the United Kingdom.4
The men responsible for the strategic decisions were Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, and Winston S. Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain. Their military advisers were the American Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the British Chiefs of Staff (COS), who together comprised the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS). General George C. Marshall, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, and General Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, were probably the most influential members.5 From the periodic meetings of the CCS evolved the strategy of the war, and from the Casablanca Conference in French Morocco during January 1943 emerged the origins of the decision to invade southern Italy.
At Casablanca, while the campaign in North Africa was still in progress, the
Allied leaders decided to invade Sicily. Interested in securing their lines of communication in the Mediterranean, they also wanted to divert German strength from the Soviet Union during the summer of 1943 and to force Italy out of the war.6 In view of their intention to achieve ultimate victory in Europe by means of a cross-Channel operation, should they plan any other undertaking in the Mediterranean area after Sicily? Further Mediterranean ventures would drain men and matériel from the resources being collected in the United Kingdom for the cross-Channel attack and thus postpone the action envisaged as the decisive blow against Germany. On the other hand, the Axis nations occupied southern Europe between Spain and Turkey, and that shore line was immediately at hand and a tempting target for invasion. This became the vital issue: was it better to halt Mediterranean operations after Sicily and conserve the cross-Channel build-up for the advance into northwest Europe, or was it better to exploit success in the Mediterranean and maintain offensive momentum by striking the underbelly of Europe?7
The question would plague the Anglo-American coalition during the first six months of 1943, and even later, for the answer depended on fundamental decisions regarding the conduct of the entire war. Until these decisions were made at the highest level, military planners at all echelons could do little but try to crystallize their thoughts by drafting tentative plans.
The Americans, conscious of the demands of the war in the Pacific, generally staked their hopes in Europe on an early cross-Channel invasion of France and a decisive meeting with the enemy forces along the most direct route to Germany. The British, in general, looked upon a cross-Channel attack as the climactic blow against an enemy exhausted by Soviet resistance, Allied bombings, and operations along the vast periphery of Europe, including the Mediterranean.8
A main effort on the Channel coast of
France would limit Mediterranean operations, for Allied resources were insufficient to support major campaigns in both areas simultaneously. As it became clear during the spring of 1943 that shortages in landing craft and assault shipping, no less than the estimated strength of the enemy opposition, would prevent a cross-Channel effort that year, continuing the offense in the Mediterranean area after the conquest of Sicily seemed increasingly desirable as a means of employing the considerable forces assembled in the theater. Furthermore, significant Mediterranean operations beyond Sicily would help the Russians by drawing German forces from the Eastern Front.
If, then, it was expedient to continue offensive operations in the Mediterranean beyond Sicily, where should the action take place? Americans who regarded European strategy in terms of a cross-Channel attack looked for a complementary and diversionary maneuver useful to that main effort. They tended to favor an invasion of southern France, with conquest of Sardinia and Corsica as preliminary steps.
British strategists were inclined toward the Adriatic and Aegean areas of the Mediterranean. They wished to support the guerrillas active in the Balkans, lure Turkey into the war on the Allied side, and open a shorter sea route to the USSR for lend-lease supplies. They saw airfields and logistical bases in southern Italy as preliminary requirements.
These divergent courses, one leading from Sicily toward the western Mediterranean and the other toward the eastern Mediterranean, offered little basis for Anglo-American compromise. Each had serious disadvantages.
An Allied invasion of Sardinia and Corsica would pose no direct threat to Germany. Nor would it, as the single major post-Sicily effort in 1943, be large enough to satisfy public expectations and to provide hope of quick liberation of the occupied countries. Furthermore, conquest of Sardinia and Corsica would point toward an invasion of southern France, which in turn was bound to a cross-Channel attack. The limited shipping and amphibious equipment available in the Mediterranean and elsewhere would so restrict the size of a landing force in southern France as to prohibit a strong and immediate drive into the interior. No objective vital to the Germans would be directly threatened, and only a minimum diversion of German forces from the Eastern Front could be expected.
Prospects of a Balkan campaign were just as discouraging. The Allies would first have to seize the toe and heel of Italy, open airfields and ports, and accumulate resources, then launch an amphibious operation across the Adriatic. The Italian foot, no strategic objective in itself, was mountainous country with poor communications and small harbors of only limited usefulness; if defended, it would be difficult to take. In the relatively barren Balkans, Allied forces would be far from the United States and Great Britain, they would require a massive logistical effort for their nourishment, and they would be embarked on a slow and tedious march into Central Europe, where decisive objectives were absent. A Balkan penetration would change the whole direction of European strategy, make no contribution to the cross-Channel endeavor, and cause a wholesale shift of air power to the eastern
Mediterranean that would disrupt plans to intensify strategic bombing against Germany from the United Kingdom.
Despite the differences in American and British thinking, one hope united the Allies--that Italy, the weaker of the European Axis partners, could be forced out of the war.
The benefits of an Italian capitulation were well worth securing. Twenty-nine Italian divisions in the Balkans and five in France would no longer be available to the Germans for occupation duties and coastal defense. Faced with the burden of fulfilling commitments formerly delegated to the Italians, the Germans would have to decide whether they could remain in Italy or whether they would have to withdraw behind the Alps. In either case, they would have to transfer divisions from the Russian front or from France to insure, at the least, the defense and internal security of the Balkans. Stretched over the European continent, they would be more vulnerable to attack from any quarter. If they withdrew from Italy, they would lose the naval bases in Italy and along the eastern shore of the Adriatic, as well as the use of Italian supply routes to the Balkans. They would forfeit to the Allies air bases in central and northern Italy that were within range of the Rumanian oil fields, the Danubian supply route, and the main Axis industrial centers in southern Germany and Czechoslovakia.
How then, if conquest of Sicily failed to do so, could the Allies force Italy out of the war? The British, in general, were willing to spend more time and resources in the Mediterranean than the Americans, who, generally, were looking for some place to halt Mediterranean operations in order to regain resources for the campaigns in the Pacific and the buildup in the United Kingdom. And in reconsidering their strategic aims, the Allies fell back to their earlier position--the Americans looking beyond Sicily toward Sardinia and Corsica, on the way, possibly, to southern France, the British toward southern Italy, on the route, perhaps, to the Balkans.
There was much to be said in favor of each course. Conquest of Sardinia and Corsica would represent a major commitment that was feasible in terms of the resources already in the theater. The operation would continue the momentum of the Allied offensive, protect still further Mediterranean shipping, provide advanced air bases, pose a threat to southern France and to the whole western coast of the Italian mainland, and perhaps compel Italian capitulation.
A Balkan invasion also had certain advantages. It would deny the Axis essential oil, chromium, copper, and other war commodities; menace Axis lines of communication to the Eastern Front; demoralize the nations of eastern Europe that were wavering in loyalty to the Axis; and might accelerate guerrilla action in Greece and Yugoslavia to the point of making the German occupation untenable.
A third possibility was an invasion of southern Italy, followed by a campaign up the peninsula. This, like the other alternatives, had its pros and cons. If the Axis forces resisted effectively in the mountainous ground, major and protracted operations would be necessary. Since Allied resources in the Mediterranean were insufficient to guarantee decisive success, additional troops and matériel would have to be brought to theater that the Combined Chiefs of
Staff had relegated to subsidiary importance. Furthermore, an advance all the way up the Italian mainland would impose on the Allies the liability of maintaining internal security in hostile territory, perhaps even the obligation of directing the entire civil administration of the country; and it would bring Allied forces to the formidable barrier of the Alps. If the Allies restricted their sight to the capabilities of their available forces, they would have to limit their efforts to the southern portion of the Italian peninsula. Though operations confined to the south promised some advantages--a relatively small commitment of resources, without the obligation of extensive political and economic commitments, would gain air bases for bombing targets in the Balkans and southern Germany--they would lead to no decisive objective beyond producing, perhaps, the surrender of Italy.
Although a campaign up the Italian peninsula would be difficult for the ground forces, it had certain attractions for Allied air commanders. Bases in central Italy would permit heavy bombers to attack vital targets in southern Germany and in Rumania without having to cross the great belt of fighter and anti aircraft defenses along the northern and western approaches to Germany. No comparable defensive barrier existed along the southern entrance, and the Germans were probably incapable, because of their already stretched resources, of erecting one. Thus, an Allied air offensive from Italy, if coordinated with intensified bombing from the United Kingdom, would have a particularly destructive effect.9 Whether this advantage would offset the costs of a long and difficult ground campaign was another matter.
If the Allies decided to launch operations in the Mediterranean beyond Sicily in 1943, they thus had two possible immediate invasion areas: Sardinia and Corsica, leading eventually to southern France; and southern Italy, leading ultimately to a mainland campaign or to the Balkans. Only the President and Prime Minister, with the help of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and on the basis of worldwide strategy, could make the decision, and upon that decision the CCS would set theater objectives, allocate theater resources, and approve theater plans.
Toward a Decision
When the Allied leaders met in Washington in May 1943, as the fighting in North Africa was coming to a victorious end, they confirmed--in meetings know as the TRIDENT Conference--their plan for the invasion of Sicily and scheduled the operation for July. They also came to a decision on their goals in the Mediterranean: knock Italy out of the war and tie down the maximum number of German forces.
But how to accomplish these aims and specifically where to make the next effort after Sicily were subjects on which they could still reach no agreement.10 In the hope of clarifying the issues, Mr. Churchill and Generals Marshall and Brook traveled at the end of May to Algiers to meet with the commanders who were
directing the war in the Mediterranean.
There, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Commander in Chief, Allied Force. His chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, headed the integrated Anglo-American Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ), organized in accord with American staff principles and doctrine.11 In exercising his authority, General Eisenhower worked under the close supervision of his immediate superiors, the Combined Chiefs of Staff. This command conception was more British than American, since the Americans regarded a theater commander as a rather independent figure.12 To a certain extent, perhaps, the CCS, and particularly General Marshall, offered somewhat more than the usual guidance, not only because of General Eisenhower's and their own relative inexperience but also because of the magnitude of Eisenhower's task.
Under Eisenhower's command were combined ground, naval, and air forces of the United States and of the British Commonwealth of Nations, as well as those French forces in North Africa that no longer followed the Vichy Government. To the problems of prosecuting coalition warfare were added the commitment by the United States to re-equip French military units and employ them in combat and the need to protect North Africa against possible Axis incursion through Spain and Spanish Morocco.
In performing his operational tasks, General Eisenhower followed the British practice of command in committee to the extent of generally making his decisions after conference with his subordinate service commanders. These were General Alexander, who was Deputy Commander in Chief, Allied Force, and Commander in Chief, 18 Army Group, and who in the latter capacity directed the operations of the ground forces; Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, who commanded the Mediterranean Air Command; and Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew B. Cunningham, who, as Commander in Chief, Mediterranean, directed naval operations.13
Where to seek the enemy after the Sicily Campaign was a subject that had undergone much tentative exploration by
the commanders and planners in the Mediterranean. To them it was clear that the course of operations would depend in large measure on two enemy reactions impossible of accurate assessment before the event: how the Italians would react to the invasion of Sicily and how the Germans would react if Italian demoralization and disintegration continued.
Eisenhower's planners were inclined to favor a course of action beyond Sicily that would not bind the Allied forces to a single unalterable line of advance. Invasion of Sardinia and Corsica seemed to them to meet this condition best. If the larger situation suddenly changed--if, for example, developments on the Eastern Front affected the extent of German help to the Italians, or if the CCS decided to concentrate the Mediterranean resources elsewhere in the world--the Allies would not be irretrievably committed so long as they were engaged only in seizing the two islands. Nor would such a campaign divert Allied resources from the build-up in the United Kingdom. The principal disadvantage was that if conquest of Sardinia and Corsica failed to precipitate Italian surrender, further action would be necessary, probably an assault on the mainland. In that case, it was doubtful whether another amphibious operation could be mounted in 1943, for winter weather would compel postponement of a landing until the spring of 1944.14
These were among the topics discussed during the visit of Churchill, Marshall, and Brooke to Eisenhower's headquarters at the end of May 1943, though the central question remained how best to force Italy out of the war. Recognizing that Italian morale had seriously declined since the Axis defeat in Tunisia, the Allied leaders believed that increased pressure during the next few months might well force Italian capitulation.
In General Eisenhower's opinion, steps to eliminate Italy should be taken immediately after the Sicily Campaign. Although Sardinia and Corsica were, as his planners had pointed out, tempting invasion targets, he felt that the Allies ought to go directly onto the Italian mainland if Sicily was easily won. Mr. Churchill, who had a strong desire to get Italy out of the war and Rome into Allied hands, agreed.
Wary lest an Italian campaign absorb resources needed for a cross Channel attack, General Marshall felt that a decision should await an appraisal of enemy strength and intentions as revealed in the reaction to the invasion of Sicily and the subsequent fighting there. He proposed and the others agreed that General Eisenhower should set up two planning staffs, each to plan a separate operation, one against Sardinia and Corsica, the other against southern Italy. When experience in Sicily indicated the strength of the opposition, Eisenhower would have a better basis for recommending to the CCS the more appropriate course of action.15
THEATER COMMANDERS. General Eisenhower, Air Chief Marshal Tedder, General Alexander, and Admiral Cunningham.
Although it was still by no means certain that the Allies would initiate any further operations in the Mediterranean after Sicily, General Eisenhower on 3 June began to prepare for two possible amphibious assaults after Sicily, one alternative to the other--a landing on the Calabrian toe of Italy and a landing of Sardinia.16 Corsica he would handle separately.
The easiest way to invade the mainland was from Sicily, across the Strait of Messina, barely two miles of water at the narrowest point. But since the troops engaged in the Sicily Campaign might be exhausted at the end of the fighting and incapable of carrying the war to the mainland, and since it might even be desirable to invade Italy before the Sicily Campaign ended, Eisenhower assigned the mission of planning that invasion to the British 10 and 5 Corps headquarters, which were not to be involved in Sicily. The 10 Corps headquarters was to plan to mount an assault from North Africa around 1 September: a landing in Calabria to seize the minor ports of Reggio and San Giovanni, followed by an advance overland to take the small port of Crotone and nearby airfields. If enemy resistance delayed the advance, 5 Corps was to be ready to carry out, thirty days later, an amphibious assault near Crotone. (Map 1)
For the other possible invasion, Eisenhower on 10 June directed General Clark, who commanded the Fifth U.S. Army, to prepare for a descent on Sardinia.
If Sardinia rather than the Italian toe was chosen as the invasion target, the American assault force--one corps with four divisions--would be strengthened by the addition of the troops preparing to land on the toe--10 Corps with three divisions. Eisenhower also instructed Clark to look into the possibility of a landing on the heel near Taranto. Several days later, on 15 June, he asked General Henri Philippe Giraud, commander in chief of the French forces in North Africa, to plan a wholly French operation to seize Corsica.17
As planning for the most probable target areas beyond Sicily thus began months before the invasion of Sicily, CCS and AFHQ planners continued to survey other possible courses of action in the Mediterranean, though there was still no assurance that any would be initiated.18
It was at this time that a new idea became prominent. Instead of invading the toe for the purpose of advancing to the heel and perhaps moving to Naples and possibly even to Rome, the planners began to think of driving directly from the toe to Naples, then to Rome. The whole of southern Italy, as far north as Naples certainly, and perhaps as far as Rome, came to be regarded as a desirable objective.19
Extending this concept, the British Chiefs of Staff began to see a campaign in southern Italy as an end in itself and far more useful than an invasion of Sardinia. It would shake Italian morale more profoundly and tie down more German forces. In contrast, the American Joint Chiefs remained disturbed over the possibility of drifting into major land campaigns that would unfavorably affect a cross-Channel assault. They preferred Sardinia and Corsica, which required fewer resources.20
At this point, General Henry H. Arnold, Commanding General, Army Air Forces, and a member of the JCS and CCS, interjected a suggestion made earlier. Would a valid air argument, he asked, prove of sufficient weight to prompt the selection of one post-Sicily choice over the others? As far as he was concerned, the Italian mainland was the most attractive target area because of the air bases located there. If the Allied ground forces could advance from southern into central Italy, they would gain additional airfields that would permit maximum bombardment of vital enemy targets still substantially immune from attack.21 Arnold's recommendation had no immediate consequences.
No one during the early months of 1943 seems to have been thinking of Sardinia and Corsica as steppingstones to northern Italy, even though the island would offer staging areas for amphibious operations and airfields for short-range bombardment and close support.
On the last day of June, ten days before the invasion of Sicily, General Eisenhower summed up his thoughts for the CCS. A selection of any operations after Sicily, he said, would depend on the opening phases of the Sicily Campaign, as well as on certain limiting factors. Aside from the enemy reaction in Sicily, the principal determinant was the CCS directive to eliminate Italy from the war and to engage the maximum number of German forces. Hardly less important was a CCS directive that applied after the Sicily Campaign came to an end--
it required the movement from the Mediterranean theater to the United Kingdom of four American and three British divisions, all with supporting units, to augment the build-up of the cross-Channel forces. Contributing to the current uncertainty over post-Sicily alternative was Eisenhower's lack of exact knowledge of the extent of American naval support and the amount of assault shipping he was to receive. Nor did he know whether the CCS would furnish certain America troop units he had requested. Among lesser handicaps were deficiencies in anti aircraft artillery troops, which he hope the British Middle East Command would make good. Some British units lacked equipment, which could perhaps be obtained by stripping divisions in the Middle East. He needed military police units in North Africa to relieve combat troops who were guarding prisoners of war. Not enough landing craft and shipping were available to permit adequate amphibious training. Too few long-range fighter planes were on hand to protect contemplated amphibious assault areas. And if Italian resistance collapsed, he would require more than 900 military government officers.
With these needs in mind, General Eisenhower figured that if a successful invasion of Sicily failed to bring Italy to surrender, he had two alternatives: to carry operations to the Italian mainland by invading the toe, followed perhaps by an amphibious assault against Crotone; or to invade Sardinia. He had discarded the possibility of an amphibious landing in the heel near Taranto for several reasons. The weather in early November, probably the soonest the operation could be launched, would make prolonged maintenance over the beaches a risky proposition; planners estimated that the serviceable landing craft remaining after the operations in Sicily would be far too few to permit an assault in the size and strength deemed appropriate; and Taranto was too far from airfields in Sicily to permit fighter aircraft to give the assault forces adequate cover.
Much of his recommendations of where to go after Sicily, Eisenhower declared, would depend on the strength and location of the German forces and on the morale of the Italian Army. If effective and prolonged Axis resistance seemed unlikely, he would probably favor invading the toe. But if the six British divisions tentatively slated for that invasion appeared too small a force to exploit overland to the heel or to Naples, he would probably incline toward Sardinia.
In pursuit of flexibility, Eisenhower had plans prepared for four possible invasions: (1) landings in Calabria to be executed by British forces; (2) Calabrian landings developed overland to the heel and, in the event of Italian collapse, to Naples and Rome, carried out by British units, these to be reinforced by three American divisions brought by ship into a captured Naples; (3) a landing on Sardinia by America and British troops; and (4) a landing on Sardinia together with a French invasion of Corsica. If strong Axis resistance on Sicily made it unwise to invade the mainland, Eisenhower would probably recommend launching a full-scale assault to capture Sardinia, but this would probably be impossible before 1 October.22
Strong opposition was what Eisenhower
expected on 9 July as Allied convoys approached the coast of Sicily. In the light of that estimate, he informed General Marshall that "our resources" for post-Sicily "are very slender indeed." Hospital capacity in North Africa, for example, was less than half the number of beds the Surgeon General of the Army recommended as a minimum figure. Also, the theater was so lacking in service units that combat troops were performing general labor, guard duty, and port work. Thus, despite his earlier impulse to descend on the Italian mainland, he now hesitated to recommend any operation beyond Sicily.23
Yet the inherent logic of the situation required another operation. The exploration of alternative possibilities beyond Sicily was primarily contingency planning in the event the Sicily Campaign failed to eliminate Italy from the war. But granting the campaign achieved the first part of the dual CCS directive: knock Italy out of the war, the second part of the directive would still be in force: contain the maximum number of Germans. What was far from clear was what the Germans would do if Italy surrendered. The most widespread assumption among Allied planners was that an Italian collapse would move the Germans to withdraw from Italy. In that case, the Allies would have to be ready to make a swift follow-up.
There would be another blow in the Mediterranean area, then, but where?
1. Lt. Col. Norman Hussa, "Action at Salerno," Infantry Journal (December, 1943), p. 24. See also Engineer History, Fifth Army, Mediterranean Theater, vol. I (n.d.), p. 6; Maj Cader C. Terrell, The Operations of the 142d Infantry at Salerno, Advanced Infantry Officers Course, Ft. Benning, Ga., 1949-50 (hereafter referred to as Terrell Monograph); 141st Inf AAR, Sep 43. For an explanation of LCI's, LCT's, and LST's, see the Glossary.
2. Walker Diary, 8 Sep 43. General Walker kindly made his diary available to the author.
3. Quentin Reynolds, The Curtain Rises (New York: Random House, 1944), p. 283. See also Richard W. Tregaskis, Invasion Diary (New York: Random House, 1944), p. 113.
4. Field Marshal the Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Despatch, 19 Apr 47, published as "The Allied Armies in Italy from 3rd September, 1943, to 12th December, 1944" in the Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 6th June, 1950 (referred to hereafter as Alexander Despatch), p. 2879.
5. The membership and operations of the CCS have been explained, for example, in Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1959), pp. 6-7, and in John Ehrman, Grand Strategy, V, August 1943-September 1944, "History of the Second World War," United Kingdom Military Series (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1956), pp. 18ff.
6. Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1, 1942, to June 30, 1943, to the Secretary of War (Washington, 1943), p. 10; Eisenhower Dispatch, The Italian Campaign, 3 September 1943-8 January 1944 (hereafter cited as Eisenhower Dispatch), pp. 65-67, copy in OCMH.
7. The strategy of 1943 has been examined in detail and with varying interpretations in the following volumes of UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II: Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944; Robert W. Coakley and Richard M. Leighton, Global Logistics and Strategy, 1943-1945 (Washington, 1968); Lt. Col. Albert N. Garland and Howard McGaw Smyth, Sicily and the Surrender of Italy (Washington, 1965); Gordon A. Harrison, Cross-Channel Attack (Washington, 1951). See also Richard M. Leighton, OVERLORD Revisited, American Historical Review (July, 1963).
8. The rest of this section, unless otherwise noted, is based on the following sources: Unnumbered JCS Paper, United Nations Course of Action Subsequent to HUSKY, 8 Apr 43; Memo, Brig Gen Albert C. Wedemeyer for Maj Gen Muir S. Fairchild, 2 Apr 43; OPD Papers, Allied Invasion of Italy, 25 Feb 43, Collapse of Italy, 2 Apr 43, and Outline Plan for Seizure of Heel of Italy, 8 Apr 43, all in ABC 384; JCS 288/1, 8 May 43, title: Invasion of the European Continent From Bases in the Mediterranean in 1943-44; AFHQ Appreciation and Outline Plan for Assault on Sardinia, 1 Dec 42; AFHQ G-3 Memo, Plans for Opn BRIMSTONE, 23 Jan 43; AFHQ Preliminary Directive, 2 Feb 43; AFHQ G-3 Memo, Reorganization of North African Theater After Clearance of Tunisia, 10 Feb 43; AFHQ G-3 Memo, Action in the Mediterranean in the Event of the Collapse of Italy, 7 Mar 43; AFHQ G-3 Paper, Alternative Action If HUSKY Becomes Impracticable, 10 Mar 43; AFHQ G-3 Memo, Action on Collapse of Italy--Availability of Forces and Timing, 17 Mar 43; AFHQ Log P 50/26, 22 Mar 43; AFHQ G-3 Memo, Opn HUSKY as an Immediate Follow-up to VULCAN, Apr 43. See Bibliographical Note for file locations.
9. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder to Gen Eisenhower, 8 May 43, ABC 384.
10. For a detailed account of the TRIDENT Conference, see, for example, Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944. Chapters V, VI; Coakley and Leighton, Global Logistics and Strategy, 1943-1945, Chapter III.
11. General Eisenhower was also Commanding General, North African Theater of Operations, U.S. Army (NATOUSA), a headquarters dealing with purely American matters--personnel, supply, and discipline. Maj. Gen. Everett S. Hughes, Deputy Commander, NATOUSA, also commanded the NATOUSA Communications Zone. Maj. Gen. Thomas Larkin commanded the Services of Supply, NATOUSA, which controlled the base sections in the theater. The British Middle East Command, with headquarters in Cairo, was responsible for a theater that was not engaged in active ground operation but performed service and training functions; several U.S. service and Air Forces units were under its operational control. See Ehrman, Grand Strategy, V, 21ff.; Leo J. Meyer, Strategic and Logistical History of the Mediterranean Theater, MS, OCMH.
12. An example of Anglo-American differences in thought on the role and function of the theater command may be found in the British suggestion that planners be sent from London and Washington to Algiers in order to help the AFHQ Planning Staff formulate post-Sicily plans. The American member of the CCS persuaded the British members to the contrary view, and the CCS finally disapproved the suggestion on the grounds that the function of CCS planners was to advise the CCS and not to assist the theater commanders, and that the presence in Eisenhower's headquarters of planning teams from London and Washington might interfere with the functions of the theater command. Sending planners or technical advisers to Algiers, the CCS decided, must depend entirely on Eisenhower's wishes. Lt Gen Joseph T. McNarney to Gen Eisenhower, 2 Jun 43, OPD Exec 3, Item 6. On the close supervision exercised by the CCS, see, for example, CCS to Eisenhower, 20 Jun 43, OPD Exec 3, Item 6.
13. Eisenhower Dispatch, pp. 39-42. Though in actual practice Alexander held the title of Deputy Commander in Chief, there is some question whether the title was ever formally confirmed. Ehrman, Grand Strategy, V, 21.
14. AFHQ G-3 Memos, Opns After HUSKY, 7 Mar 43, and Mediterranean Strategy, 7 May 43; AFHQ G-3 Paper, Opns After HUSKY, 29 May 43. See also Rpt, JCS Joint strategy survey committee, Opns Subsequent to HUSKY, 24 Apr 43, and Memo, COS, Opns in the European Theater Between HUSKY and ROUNDUP, 14 May 43, both in ABC 384.
15. Summary, Min of Mtg, Eisenhower's Villa, Algiers, 29 May-3 Jun 43, ABC 384. Accounts of the Algiers conference may be found in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, pp. 153-55; Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff. . . July 1, 1941 to June 3, 1943 . . ., p. 11; Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1948), pp. 193-95.
16. AFHQ G-3 Memo, Opns After HUSKY, 3 Jun 43, ABC 384; Alexander Despatch, p. 2882. See also History of Allied Force Headquarters and Headquarters NATOUSA (n.d.) (cited hereafter as History of AFHQ), Part 2, sec. I, p. 141.
17. Eisenhower Dispatch, pp. 105-06; Alexander Despatch, pp. 2882-83; Fifth Army History, Part I, From Activation to the Fall of Naples (Florence, Italy: L'Impronta Press, 1945), pp. 16-17.
18. See, for example, AFHQ G-3 Memos, Outline Plan for Assault on Italian Mainland, 7 Jun 43, and Post-HUSKY Opns, 28 Jun 43; Memo, Roberts for ACofS OPD, 3 Jul 43, ABC 384. As late as 26 June, AFHQ planners were considering the possibility of moving from southern Italy across the Adriatic to Yugoslavia. AFHQ G-3 Memo, Post-HUSKY Opns, 26 Jun 43.
19. AFHQ G-3 Memos, Opns After HUSKY, 3 Jun 43, Post-HUSKY Opns, 26 Jun 43, and Occupation of Italy, 1 Jul 43; AFHQ G-3 Memos, Occupation of Italy, 3, 14 Jun 43, and Rpt by Combined Staff Planners, Post-HUSKY Opns North African Theater, 13 Jul 43, both in ABC 384; AFHQ Msgs, 17 Jun 43, OPD Exec 3, Item 6.
20. Memo, 6 Jul 43, and Notes on CCS 101st Mtg, 9 Jul 43, ABC 384.
21. Memo, Arnold for JPS, Comparison of various Post-HUSKY Opns in Relation to Allied Air Capabilities, 3 Jul 43, ABC 384.
22. Eisenhower to CCS, 3 Jun 43, OPD Exec 3, Item 5. See also AFHQ G-3 Memo, Post-HUSKY Opns, 28 Jun 43, ABC 384.
23. Eisenhower to Marshall, 9 Jul 43, and Smith to Marshall, 6, 11 Jul 43, all in OPD Exec 3, Item 5. General Eisenhower eventually obtained more French troops to perform service functions in North Africa.