The partial dissociation of military planning from national policy limited the usefulness of the American military plans, yet it had a beneficial effect. It left the President and the Army Chief of Staff in a fairly loose relationship in which they could take, the measure of each other's problems before entering the invariably difficult relationships between a wartime political leader and his professional military advisers on strategy. Moreover, it left the Army planners a great deal of freedom to discuss with British staff officers the use of Army forces in coalition strategy, much more freedom than they would have had if American staff plans for using Army forces had been authoritative interpretations of the President's views on military strategy. The discussions did not, of course, lead under the circumstances no discussions could properly have led to agreement on the chief questions concerning the use of Army forces that would confront the United States and Great Britain as allies fighting against a common enemy, but they did a great deal to dispel ignorance and preconceptions, the formidable internal enemies that may easily be the undoing of military coalitions.
The Terms of Reference
The British-American staff talks opened in Washington on 29 January and continued to 29 March 1941. The meetings came to be referred to as the ABC meetings (American-British Conversations), and the final report by the short title, ABC-1.1
The head of the American delegation was General Embick, who then represented the Army on the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (Canada-United States). Embick was the most experienced and most forthright of the American planners. His seniority was much in his favor, since it qualified him to meet the British Army
representative on equal terms. The other Army members were Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, the new head of the Army planning staff; Brig. Gen. Sherman Miles, the Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2; and Col. Joseph T. McNarney, an Air officer who was thoroughly familiar with current war planning.2 The Navy section was headed by Admiral Ghormley, the Special Naval Observer in London, who returned to the United States for the conferences. He was accompanied by Capt. Alan G. Kirk, the naval attaché, Brig. Gen. Raymond E. Lee, the Army attaché, and the British delegation to the conference.3
The British representatives were Rear Adm. R.M. Bellairs; Rear Adm. V. H. Danckwerts; Maj. Gen. E.L. Morris; Lt. Col. A.T. Cornwall-Jones, who had accompanied the newly appointed ambassador to the United States, Lord Halifax; and two officers stationed in Washington, Air Commodore J C. Slessor of the British Purchasing Commission and Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN, the British assistant naval attaché.4
General Marshall and Admiral Stark welcomed the British representatives and dwelt on the need for secrecy, warning that public knowledge of the mere fact that conversations were in progress might have an unfavorable effect on the lend-lease bill, which was then before the Congress, and indeed "might well be disastrous."5
At the first meeting the British delegation made clear that they had come as a corporate body representing the Chiefs of Staff in their collective capacity as military advisers to the War Cabinet, and had complete freedom to discuss the general strategic position and to consider dispositions in the event the United States should enter the war. Any conclusion reached, however, would have to be confirmed by the British Chiefs of Staff and the British Government. This reservation was similar to the one imposed by the Chief of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations--that any plans agreed upon would be contingent upon future political action of both nations, as well as the approval of the respective Chiefs of Staff.6
The agenda proposed by the U.S. staff committee provided for a general discussion of the national military positions of the
United States and Great Britain; consideration of the strategy of joint military and naval action by the United States and the British Commonwealth in both the Atlantic and the Pacific; operations to carry out the proposed strategy; and agreements on the division of responsibility by areas, forces to be committed, skeleton operating plans, and command arrangements.7 The British accepted this agenda but proposed to extend the discussion of courses of joint action to include strategy in the Mediterranean and the Middle East as well as in the Atlantic and the Pacific.
The Washington Conversations
Before the opening of the conversations the American staff had very little chance to study the latest views of the British representatives. Admiral Ghormley and General Lee had tried to secure answers to a long list of questions that the American staff wanted answered--among others the relative importance to the British Empire of North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, the Malay Archipelago, and Hong Kong; British capabilities and strength in the Mediterranean; and the British plan of action if the Germans moved south into Italy. The British staff would not furnish the answers, on the ground that to do so might jeopardize the security of British war plans, until the British party had embarked for the United States. General Lee reported his concern over this development to the War Department, fearing that the American staff would not have sufficient time to study the British proposals and might find themselves rushed into agreements with the British by a march of events that might make time a vital consideration.8 This feeling of wariness unquestionably existed throughout the American staff at the beginning of the conference.
Grand Strategy and the Issue of Singapore
At the opening of the conversations the British representatives presented a clear, complete summary of their views. They began with three propositions of general strategic policy:
The European theatre is the vital theatre where a decision must first be sought.
The general policy should therefore be to defeat Germany and Italy first, and then deal with Japan.
The security of the Far Eastern position, including Australia and New Zealand, is essential to the cohesion of the British Commonwealth and to the maintenance of its war effort. Singapore is the key to the defense of these interests and its retention must be assured.9
The first two propositions were evidently in accord with the views of the American representatives; the third evidently was not.
As a corollary to their review of strategy the British proposed that American naval forces, after making necessary provision for the defense of the Western Hemisphere, should make their main effort in "the Atlantic and European theatres," and that American naval dispositions in the Pacific should nevertheless be such as to "ensure that Japanese operations in the Far East
cannot prejudice the main effort of the United States and the British Commonwealth in the principal theatres of war."10 Read in the light of British views on grand strategy, this declaration amounted to a proposal that the United States should underwrite the defense of Singapore.
The British representatives frankly explained their position. As they pointed out, the United Kingdom, the Dominions, and India "must maintain dispositions which, in all eventualities, will provide for the ultimate security of the British Commonwealth of Nations." It was a "cardinal feature" of British policy to retain "a position in the Far East such as will ensure the cohesion and security of the British Commonwealth and the maintenance of its war effort" the naval base at Singapore.11 It was, therefore, the aim of the British to persuade the Americans to recommend the adoption of this feature of British strategic policy as a feature of Anglo-American strategic policy and to agree that the United States, in recognition of the importance of holding Singapore, should send to Singapore four heavy cruisers and one aircraft carrier, together with planes and submarines.12
This proposal had a long history and was an important feature of Prime Minister Churchill's strategic policy. On 15 May 1940, in his first official message to the President, the Prime Minister had proposed, among other measures, that the United States "keep the Japanese quiet in the Pacific, using Singapore in any way convenient" and gave notice that he would bring up the question again. (It was at that time that the U.S. Fleet was ordered to stay at Pearl Harbor.)13 Early in the fall, soon after the Japanese Government had announced its adherence to the alliance of the Axis Powers (the Anti-Comintern Pact), the Prime Minister had proposed that the United States send a naval squadron to Singapore.14 Admiral Stark and General Marshall had then recommended strongly against taking any such step.15
The American staff representatives were particularly attentive to the revival of this proposal since the British Government was once again urging the same views on the United States through diplomatic channels.16 The American representatives, reemphasizing the nonpolitical nature of the staff conversations, protested what appeared to them to be an attempt to secure
political pressure to influence their decision on Singapore.17
On 11 February the British, at the request of the Americans, presented their views in writing.18 The U.S. Army members were unanimously of the opinion that acceptance of the British proposal would be contrary to the instructions that had been approved for their guidance and would constitute "a strategic error of incalculable magnitude," and so informed the Chief of Staff.19 On 13 February they met with their Navy colleagues to go over the British paper. Admiral Turner, who had prepared a statement in reply, traced the history of the successive British requests for American naval aid at Singapore, back to the fall of 1938 when President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull had "more or less committed the United States Fleet to actions in conjunction with the British forces in the Far East.20 The Army and Navy representatives were alike fearful that the President might accede to the urgent British demand and, at the suggestion of General Embick, they discussed how best to inform the President of the views of the American staff.21
The Army and Navy sections submitted their joint views to the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations and, finally, to the British. The British representatives acknowledged, indeed insisted, that it would not be necessary to hold Singapore in order to protect Australia and New Zealand or to prevent the movement of a large Japanese fleet into the Indian Ocean. The successful defense of Singapore would not prevent the Japanese from operating against British communications in the Indian Ocean, since the Japanese could certainly take and use Kamranh Bay or Batavia for this purpose. An American fleet in the Pacific, actively threatening the Japanese left flank, would be enough to prevent the Japanese from extending their operations so far from home.
The British representatives made it very plain that Singapore was none the less important to their government as a symbol of British ability and determination to protect the British Dominions and colonies and the overseas trade with them and with other countries in the Orient. The loss of Singapore, irrespective of its military value, would weaken the hand of those political leaders in Australia, New Zealand, and India--and also in China--who believed in the value of close association with Great Britain. The actual weakness of Singapore as a base, in view of the development of air power and the possibility of Japanese land operations in Malaya, did not detract from the symbolic value of Singapore but instead obliged the British to insist on its protection as an end in itself.
The British representatives did not rest their case entirely on the political importance of holding Singapore. They asserted also the operational value of Singapore as a "card of re-entry" into the South China Sea. They reasoned that, even though the fate of Singapore would not affect the rate and extent of Japanese conquests, it would
become vitally important at the point when the war against Germany and Italy should have taken a turn for the better. If the British still held Singapore, they could hope to re-establish their position in the South China Sea; if they had lost Singapore, they could not hope to do so. They concluded:
Even if we were able to eliminate Italy and the Italian fleet as an active enemy; even if with United States' assistance the situation in the Atlantic and home waters were to undergo some drastic change for the better, such as would enable us to reduce our naval strength in the west--even if Germany as well as Italy were defeated, it is at least highly problematical whether we could ever restore the position in the East. To carry out a successful attack and gain a foothold against opposition in East Asia and the Indies, thousands of miles from our nearest base, would be a colossal undertaking. It is open to doubt whether it would be a practicable operation of war in any circumstances. In the conditions in which it would have to be faced, when we should be exhausted by the strain of a long anal desperate struggle from which we had only just emerged, we are doubtful whether we should even be able to attempt it.22
In short, as the British representatives stated, British insistence on the defense of Singapore was based "not only upon purely strategic foundations, but on political, economic and sentimental considerations which, even if not literally vital on a strictly academic view, are of such fundamental importance to the British Commonwealth that they must always be taken into serious account."23 The British representatives did not make entirely explicit the very strong reasons, from a British point of view, why the United States should intervene promptly and decisively in the Far East. The American representatives understood, however, that the critical point was the prestige of the British Empire in the Far East and at home. They replied that the concern of the British Government on this score, as well as on the accompanying military disadvantages, in particular the loss of important sources of the rubber and oil of the East Indies, was very natural. But, to them, losses in the Far East seemed to be of secondary importance:
The general moral effect of the loss of Singapore and the Philippines would be severe. Singapore has been built up in public opinion as a symbol of the power of the British Empire. The eastern Dominions, the Netherlands East Indies, and China, look upon its security as the guarantee of their safety. Its value as a symbol has become so great that its capture by Japan would be a serious blow. But many severe blows have been taken by these various nations, and other severe blows can be absorbed without leading to final disaster.24
This comment, to be sure, did not deal with the effect on Great Britain itself of the weakening or loss of the British position in the Far East, upon which (as the British representatives had pointed out) the economy of tile United Kingdom was heavily dependent. But the American representatives made it clear that, in their opinion, the security of the North Atlantic and of the British Isles was the common basis of American-British strategy, and that it was up to the British to do the best they could to take care of their interests elsewhere, even as it was up to the United States to defend American interests overseas. Their vital common concern was to meet and eliminate the German threat to the security of the North Atlantic and the British Isles. On this basis the American representatives refused to join the British in recommending
that the retention of Singapore or the security of the Far Eastern positions be recognized as vital Allied aims or that the United States send naval units to Singapore. Instead, they proposed that the British should recognize that
The objective of the war will be most effectively attained by the United States exerting its principal military effort in the Atlantic or navally in the Mediterranean regions.
In explanation, they stated
The United States Staff Committee agrees that the retention of Singapore is very desirable. But it also believes that the diversion to the Asiatic theater of sufficient forces to assure the retention of Singapore might jeopardize the success of the main effort of the Associated Powers. From the broad view this diversion would amount to employment of the final reserve of the Associated Powers in a non-decisive theater. A commitment on the part of the United States to assure the retention of Singapore carries with it a further commitment to employ the forces necessary to accomplish that mission. It implies that the United States will undertake the early defeat of Japan and that it accepts responsibility for the safety of a large portion of the British Empire. No one can predict accurately the forces that will be required in such an effort, but it is conceivable that a large part of United States army and naval forces would ultimately be involved.25
Two matters of great concern to the British delegation were the allocation of American-produced aircraft and the disposition of American air forces. The delegation proposed that the United States should develop its entire air program so as to meet the critical British needs during the first year of American participation in the war, deferring the planned expansion of American air forces to the extent that it conflicted with British demands for planes and equipment, and assigning such American units as became available (after meeting essential defense requirements) where the British currently had the most acute need of them, irrespective of the effect on the long-range American training program.
The discussion of air strategy did not produce a sharp conflict between British and American views. In answer to American questions, the British representatives explained that, of course, they were talking not about the current situation but about the hypothetical situation with which the conversations as a whole were intended to deal--the situation in which the United States and Great Britain would be fighting side by side. They recognized not only that the United States must provide for its own defensive requirements but also that American leaders "could not--if only for political reasons--afford to ignore the need to build up their own air services." They further explained that they did not aim at the aggrandizement of the Royal Air Force at the expense of the U.S. Army Air Corps. They acknowledged:
The British suggestion amounts simply to this; that, in the event of United States intervention in the war, the common cause could best be served if the United States authorities base their programme on first reducing the disparity between the air forces of Germany and those of the British and the United States which are actively engaged in war, by extending as much direct and indirect assistance as possible to the British; and that, with this end in view, the Associated Powers should be prepared to accept the inevitable result that United States collaboration, in the form of the provision of formed units in the second year, would be less than would be possible
if the United States were to concentrate from the beginning on their own expansion.26
In deciding how to answer the British proposal the American staff committee had first to take into account the need to provide air forces for the security of the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere should the British Isles fall. The Army Air Corps estimated that forces required to meet this contingency to be 54 trained combat groups (the First Aviation Objective) plus personnel and facilities for immediate expansion to 100 combat groups (the Second Aviation Objective).27 There was every reason to believe that Germany had accurate knowledge of American production capacity and potential and would assume that American aid to Great Britain could not materially affect the relative air strengths before the winter of 1941-42. For the same reason, however, Germany could be expected to launch intensified air attacks and an invasion against the British Isles before the winter of 1941-42. On the basis of this reasoning, the critical period for Great Britain would extend until 1 November 1941. The American staff committee was inclined to take the risk of holding up its 54-group program as long as the United States was not actively engaged in the war.28
The details of the agreement were worked out in a separate report known by its short title, ABC-2.29 It provided that the first charge on American plane production would be the allocations made to the British and that until such time as the United States might enter the war, the British would receive the entire output from any new aircraft capacity. If the United States should enter the war, increases in output would be divided about equally between the United States and Great Britain. Though deferring fulfillment of the 54-group program, the U.S. Army Air Corps would start on a 100-group program to provide training facilities for 30,000 pilots and 100,000 technicians a year.
The policy adopted by the United States staff' committee for active American air participation, should the United States enter the war, entailed protecting a U.S. naval base to be established in Iceland and furnishing air support to the Royal Air Force in the British Isles. Colonel McNarney explained this policy at the meeting of the United States staff committee with the British delegation on 17 February 1941:
This general policy envisioned that pursuit aviation would be so disposed as to afford protection to United States' naval operating bases. Bombardment aviation would be grouped in a single general area for operations with the British Bomber Command. That the United States forces would normally
operate against objectives in Germany, but would, of course, operate against invasion ports or other vital objectives, in accordance with the demands of the existing situation.30
Three groups of pursuit aviation were to be sent to the British Isles during 1941 as they became available, initially to Northern Ireland, where there would be two naval bases. Eventually, when these pursuit groups were broken in, they would be sent to more active sectors in England. Three groups of heavy bombers and two groups of medium bombers were to be sent to England to operate under U.S. commanders in the British Bomber Command. No commitments were made in the course of the staff conversations for air participation in the Far East or in the Middle East.31 But the Air Corps was exploring the possibility of sending aviation units to the Middle East some time later:
We have avoided any commitments in this area. However, in 1942 and 1943 it will probably be impossible to crowd any more operating units into the British Isles. We are now studying the possibility of supporting a large air force in Egypt, Asiatic Turkey and Syria via the Red Sea, with an airways via Takoradi, British Gold Coast to Cairo.
Subject to the provision of air forces for the security of the Western Hemisphere and British Isles, agreement was reached that the main objective of the Associated Powers would be to achieve air superiority over Germany at the earliest possible time, particularly in long-range striking forces.32
Concentration in the Atlantic
As the debates over naval and air strategy showed, the British and American staffs were preoccupied with different things and would disagree accordingly over long-term plans. But there was still a great deal of common ground in the belief that the United States, like Great Britain, had much more to fear from Germany than from any of the other great powers. The importance of this for Army plans lay in the willingness of the British to agree that U.S. Army forces should be used "in areas which axe the most accessible to them, namely in the general area of the Atlantic."33 It was entirely feasible to adjust British strategic plans with this policy, for as the United States began to concentrate forces in the North Atlantic area, the British Government would be free to continue sending some additional forces to the Middle East and Far East.
Even apart from reasons of strategic policy, the American staff had a very strong reason for desiring such a solution. The concentration of American forces in the Atlantic theater would enormously simplify relations between British and American commands. Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner restated the principle, which had been contained in the instructions drawn up and approved for the American delegation
. . .that it is not the intention of the United States to agree to any breaking up and scattering of United States forces into small groups to be absorbed in the British commands. . . . The United States proposes to accept full responsibility for operations in certain definite areas, or for executing specific tasks in areas of British responsibility. . . . In brief, United States forces are to be under United States' command, and British forces under British Command. . . .34
Only on this basis could the American staff hope to minimize the vexing problems resulting from the gradual intrusion of American forces into areas in which Great Britain had, and the United States did not have, a large political and economic stake and a clearly formulated policy, together with control of communications, a monopoly of intelligence, and long experience in dealing with the civil authorities.
For these reasons the American staffs were eager to develop plans for collaboration in the North Atlantic, and, since the British were ready to join in the project, it was in this field of planning that the conversations proved most fruitful. The tentative agreements reached by the representatives dealt mainly with the disposition of American forces up to the time of full American participation in the war and for a few months thereafter. The general theory then was that the United States should prepare to take over as far and as fast as possible responsibility for defenses in the North Atlantic, except in the British Isles.
For the Navy this meant the assumption of responsibility for North Atlantic convoys. The United States was already planning to begin very soon to convoy ships all the way across the Atlantic. One of the first agreements reached with the British regarding Atlantic operations concerned the use of American forces if the United States should enter the war:
The principal task of the naval forces which the United States may operate in the Atlantic will be the protection of associated shipping, the center of gravity of the United States' effort being concentrated in the North Atlantic, and particularly in the Northwest Approaches to the British Isles. Under this conception, United States' naval effort in the Mediterranean will initially be considered of secondary importance.35
For the Army, concentration in the Atlantic meant, to begin with, the garrisoning of Iceland, in addition to the leased bases, and of American naval bases in the British Isles. In the early stages of American participation, the Army would establish air and ground forces in Great Britain. American air strength in Great Britain would be used not only to defend United States land and naval bases but also to take the offense, in conjunction with the Royal Air Force, against German military power. All these moves would relieve the pressure on the British high command, allowing it to continue deploying forces to the Middle East and Far East with far greater assurance.
Exchange of Military Missions
Besides reaching these tentative agreements, the British and American representatives readily agreed to recommend the exchange of military missions. The U.S. military mission in London recommended by the conference was to consist of two members--a flag officer of the U.S. Navy and a general officer of the U.S. Army with a secretariat and staff organized in three sections--a joint planning section, a Navy section, and an Army section.36 The
British military mission in Washington would consist of three members-a flag officer of the British Navy, a general officer of the British Army, and an officer of the Royal Air Force--with a joint planning staff, a Navy staff, an Army staff, an Air staff, and a secretariat. The Dominions of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand would be represented on the British mission in Washington by their service attaches.
Should the United States enter the war, these two missions were to be announced as the representatives of their respective Chiefs of Staff, and would then be set up, organized not only to collaborate in formulating military plans and policies but also to represent their own military services vis-á-vis those of the government to which they had been accredited.
At the conclusion of the agreements of ABC-1, recommendation was made that "nucleus missions" be exchanged at once. The Army War Plans Division (WPD) on 7 April 1941 recommended that the American nucleus mission be set up in London, separate from the military attaches office, in order to avoid political or diplomatic control, and that the general officer selected to head the mission be a major general qualified to assume command of the first units of the United States Army forces primarily antiaircraft and Air Corps--that would be sent to the British Isles in case of war. General Marshall gave his approval to the early establishment of the nucleus mission in London, the senior Army member of which would be a major general designated the Special Army Observer, London, responsible directly to the Chief of Staff.37 Maj. Gen. James E. Chancy, the Air Corps officer that had been sent to London to study British air defenses in the fall of 1940, was selected for the post. He was instructed to negotiate with the British Chiefs of Staff on military affairs of common interest, specifically those relating to combined action by American and British military officials and troops in British areas of responsibility, but not with a view to making political commitments. He was to try to arrange for American officials in England to take up military matters with the British through his group and not directly.38 Admiral Ghormley, who had been in London as the Special Naval Observer (SPENAVO) since the fall of 1940, received similar instructions from Admiral Stark.39 On 19 May General Chaney notified the War Department that he had established the Special Army Observer Group (SPOBS) in London.40
Meanwhile the Navy Department had made office space available for the few officers of the British military mission who were already in Washington. On 18 May the
nucleus British military mission advised the War Department that the heads of the British mission would be Admiral Sir Charles Little, who had been Second Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Personnel; Lt. Gen. H. C. B. Wemyss, who had been Adjutant General to the Army Forces; and Air Marshall A. T. Harris, who had been Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. These officers, with the remaining members of their staffs, would be leaving the United Kingdom early in June and would set up their offices in a leased house adjoining the British embassy in Washington.41
With the establishment of these "nucleus missions," the exchange of views and information between the British and American staffs became continuous, and the problems of coalition warfare came to be a familiar part of the work of the Army planners.
The strategy recommended by Admiral Stark and presented by the American staff for discussion with the British assumed a situation much like that proposed in the terms of reference for RAINBOW 5.42 Once ABC-1 had received the approval of the Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations, the Joint Board issued a new directive for the preparation of RAINBOW 5, requiring that the plan be based on ABC-1 and on joint United States-Canada War Plan 2 (ABC-22) which was then being drafted.43 The first Army draft of RAINBOW 5 was completed on 7 April and three weeks later the plan was submitted by the joint Planning Committee for the Joint Board's approval.
The general assumptions on which RAINBOW 5 was based, were as follows:
That the Associated Powers, comprising initially the United States, the British Commonwealth (less Eire), the Netherlands East Indies, Greece, Yugoslavia, the Governments in Exile, China, and the "Free French" are at war against the Axis Powers, comprising either:
- Germany, Italy, Roumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, or
- Germany, Italy, Japan, Roumania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Thailand.
That the Associated Powers will conduct the war in accord with ABC-1 and ABC-22.
That even if Japan and Thailand are not initially in the war, the possibility of their intervention must be taken into account.
That United States forces which might base in the Far East Area will be able to fill logistic requirements, other than personnel, ammunition, and technical materials, from sources in that general region.
That Latin American Republics will take measures to control subversive elements, but will remain in a non-belligerent status unless subjected to direct attack; in general, the territorial waters and land bases of these Republics will be available for use by United States forces for purposes of Hemisphere Defense.
The broad strategic objective of the Associated Powers under this plan would be the defeat of Germany and its allies. The national strategic defense policies of the
United States and the British Commonwealth would be to secure the Western Hemisphere from European or Asiatic political or military penetration, maintain the security of the United Kingdom, and provide such dispositions as would ensure the ultimate security of the British Commonwealth of Nations. The strategy of the offensive against Germany and its allies set forth in RAINBOW 5 (as in ABC-1) was as follows:
(a) Application of economic pressure by naval, land, and air forces and all other means, including the control of commodities at their source by diplomatic and financial measures.
(b) A sustained air offensive against German Military power, supplemented by air offensives against other regions under enemy control which contribute to that power.
(c) The early elimination of Italy as an active partner in the Axis.
(d) The employment of the air, land, and naval forces of the Associated Powers, at every opportunity, in raids and minor offensives against Axis Military strength.
(e) The support of neutrals, and of Allies of the United Kingdom, Associates of the United States, and populations in Axis occupied territory in resistance to the Axis Powers.
(f) The building up of the necessary forces for an eventual offensive against Germany.
(g) The capture of positions from which to launch the eventual offensive.44
American military operations would be governed by the following principles:In accord with these principles the United States Army and Navy would be required to assume the general tasks, in co-operation with other Associated Powers, of defeating the Axis Powers and guarding United States national interests by the following:
(a) Under this War Plan the scale of hostile attack to be expected within the Western Atlantic Area is limited to raids by air forces and naval surface and submarine forces.
(b) The building up of large land and air forces for major offensive operations against the Axis Powers will be the primary immediate effort of the United States Army. The initial tasks of United States land and air forces will be limited to such operations as will not materially delay this effort.
a. Reducing Axis economic power to wage war, by blockade, raids, and a sustained air offensive;
b. Destroying Axis military power by raids and an eventual land, naval, and air offensive;
c. Protecting the sea communications of the Associated Powers;
d. Preventing the extension in the Western Hemisphere of European or Asiatic military powers; and by
e. Protecting outlying Military base areas and islands of strategic importance against land, air, or sea-borne attack.45
The specific tasks assigned to the Army and the Navy under RAINBOW 5 were either already listed in ABC-1 or derived therefrom. In the western Atlantic the Army (in conjunction with the Navy) would be required to protect the territory of the Associated Powers, support Latin American republics against invasion or political domination by Axis Powers, provide defensive garrisons for Newfoundland, Bermuda, Jamaica, Trinidad, St. Lucia, Antigua, and British Guiana, and defend coastal frontiers and defense command areas. The Army would also be responsible for relieving British forces in Curacao and Aruba, for preparing to relieve Marine forces in the Azores and Cape Verde Islands, if the Navy had established such garrisons, and for building up forces in the United States for eventual offensive action against Germany. The Navy in that area would be responsible for protecting the sea communications of the
Associated Powers, for destroying Axis sea communications by capturing or destroying vessels trading directly or indirectly with the enemy, for protecting and routing shipping in the coast zones, and for preparing to occupy the Azores and Cape Verde Islands if such an operation became necessary.
In the United Kingdom and British Home Waters Area, the U.S. Army would co-operate with the Royal Air Force in conducting offensive air operations aimed primarily against objectives in Germany, provide ground defense for bases in the British Isles used primarily by United States naval forces, and provide a token force (one reinforced regiment) for the defense of the British Isles. The Army would also relieve the British garrison in Iceland as soon as practicable. In British Home Waters, the Navy, acting under the strategic direction of the British Commander in Chief of the Western Approaches, would be responsible for escorting convoys. The Navy would also be responsible for raiding enemy shipping in the Mediterranean under British strategic direction.
In the Pacific, RAINBOW 5 assigned to the Army the tasks of protecting the territory of the Associated Powers, preventing extension of Axis influence in the Western Hemisphere, and supporting naval forces in the protection of sea communications and in the defense of coastal frontiers and defense command areas. The Navy in the Pacific Ocean Area would protect the sea communications of the Associated Powers, destroy Axis sea communications, support British naval forces in the area south of the equator as far west as longitude 155ƒ east, and defend Midway, Johnston, Palmyra, Samoa, and Guam. The Navy would also be required to support the forces of the Associated Powers in the Far East area by diverting enemy strength from the Malay Barrier through the denial and capture of positions in the Marshall Islands and through raids on enemy sea communications, while preparing to establish control over the Caroline and Marshall Islands area.46
In the Far East, the Army would defend the Philippine coastal frontier, but no Army reinforcements would be sent to that area.47 The Navy would support the land and air forces in the defense of the Far Eastern territories of the Associated Powers, raid Japanese sea communications, and destroy Axis forces. The Commander in Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet, would be responsible, in co-operation with the Army, for the defense of the Philippines as long as that defense continued and, thereafter, for the defense of the Malay Barrier, but the Navy, like the Army, planned no reinforcement of its forces in that area.48
RAINBOW 5, as drawn in April 1941, provided no plan for the employment of land forces in a major offensive against Germany. Lt. Col. Charles W. Bundy of the War Plans Division, taking note of this omission, explained:
A great deal of consideration was given to the employment of major land forces, but very correctly no plans for these land operations
were formulated; a plan must be formulated upon a situation and no prediction of the situation which will exist when such a plan can be implemented should be made now. One of the principal policies enumerated in RAINBOW 5 is "The building up of the necessary forces for an eventual offensive against Germany."49
RAINBOW 5 was based on the time origin of Mobilization Day (M Day), which might precede a declaration of war or the occurrence of hostile acts. As a precautionary measure, the War and Navy Departments might put certain features of the plan into effect before M Day. The shipping schedule for overseas transportation of Army troops had been predicated on the assumption that M Day would not fall earlier than 1 September 1941. U.S. Army commitments to the British under ABC-1 would not become effective before that date. In the first few months of the war, under RAINBOW 5, 220,900 troops and at least 666 aircraft would have to be transported to overseas garrisons--44,000 troops to Hawaii, 23,000 to Alaska, 13,400 to Panama, 45,800 to the Caribbean area, and 26,500 to Iceland. By 1 November, 15,000 troops were scheduled for shipment to antiaircraft and air defense installations in the British Isles and to other permanent overseas naval bases in foreign territory. By 1 February, 53,200 air striking forces, including defense units, were scheduled for shipment to the British Isles.
On a very tentative basis, the Army had planned to prepare the following forces for overseas employment; 24,000 troops and 80 aircraft for the west coast of South America; 86,000 troops and 56 aircraft for the east coast of South America; 83,000 troops and aircraft for transatlantic destinations, prepared to embark 20 days after M Day; and, finally, an expeditionary force of one army, two corps, and ten divisions, prepared to embark 180 days after M Day.50
On 14 May, at its regular monthly meeting, the joint Board approved RAINBOW 5 and ABC-1.51 On 2 June, following approval by the Secretaries of War and Navy, RAINBOW 5 and ABC-1 were sent to the President, with the information that the British Chiefs of Staff had provisionally agreed to ABC-1 and had submitted it to the British Government for approval.52 The President read both documents and on 7 June returned them to the joint Board without approval or disapproval. Maj. Gen. Edwin M. Watson, the President's military aide, offered the explanation:
The President has familiarized himself with the two papers; but since the report of the United States British Staff Conversations, ABC-1, had not been approved by the British Government, he would not approve the report at this time; neither would he now give approval to joint Army and Navy Basic War Plan--RAINBOW No. 5, which is based upon the report ABC-1. However, in case of war the papers would be returned to the President for his approval.53
At the meeting of the War Council in Stimson's office on 10 June, the question came up of whether the President's not having approved RAINBOW 5 might interfere with Army preparations. General Marshall took the position that, although the Army did not know what changes President Roosevelt might make, the President had not after all disapproved the plan and the Army could go ahead on a tentative basis.54
The main task undertaken by the Army within the terms of ABC-1 and RAINBOW 5 was planning for the first Army forces to be sent to the United Kingdom. The preparatory investigations, studies, and negotiations were complex and time consuming. Sites in Great Britain that might be used for Army installations, including depots and air bases, had to be inspected, and tentative arrangements made with the British for their development. The organization of U.S. forces in Great Britain had to be outlined, the positions of U.S. ground and air forces in the U.S. chain of command clarified, and command relationships with the British defined. The size and composition of the U.S. forces first to be sent had to be determined. ABC-1 and RAINBOW 5, the starting points for General Chaney's work, had provided, after U.S. entry into the war, for the dispatch of a token force--a reinforced regiment--to help defend the United Kingdom; ground and air forces to protect bases in the British Isles used by the United States; a bombardment force to conduct offensive operations against the objectives in Germany; and a base force to contain the administrative establishments and supply and replacement depots to serve all U.S. forces in the United Kingdom. The War Department needed specific recommendations as a basis for decisions about the command, strength, and location of American forces that might be stationed in the British Isles, as well as their supply, housing, and defense from air attack.55 On the basis of Chaney's reports the War Department and GHQ, in the summer and fall of 1941, went ahead with detailed studies and tentative arrangements for sending troops to the British Isles.56
A comprehensive report submitted by General Chaney on 20 September contained detailed recommendations for sending about
107,000 men, exclusive of a reinforced division for Iceland. All of the units would operate under British strategic direction. Material support in the main would have to be drawn from the United Kingdom. All, except the bomber force and the Iceland force, would be under British tactical command. General Chaney recommended that a supreme U.S. Army headquarters be established in England, and that this headquarters exercise the functions prescribed in ABC-1 for the Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces British Isles (USAFBI) as well as those of the United States Army member of the military mission. The American commander would act as a theater commander and would be responsible for seeing that American troops were used in accordance with American strategic policy.57 How far General Chaney's specific proposals would govern action upon American entry into the war remained dependent on a great many unpredictable contingencies and on the resolution at that time of several disagreements.58
The First Difficulties Over Troop Movements
The War Department staff was most reluctant to establish any new garrisons or expeditionary forces. By midsummer of 1941, as the result of the Selective Service Act and the federalization of the National Guard, the Army had, for the time being, plenty of "bodies." By August 1941 the Regular, Reserve, National Guard, and Selective Service components of the Army totaled about 1,600,000 officers and men. There were twenty-nine infantry divisions, four armored divisions, two cavalry divisions, and a tactical air force of about 200 squadrons and approximately 175,000 men.59By the end of 1941 only two additional divisions were activated--the 5th Armored and 25th (Reserve) Infantry Divisions. The training of all these units and their supporting elements was just beginning. The shortage of materiel, particularly of new models airplanes, tanks, guns, and small arms ammunition, handicapped training and impaired the immediate combat effectiveness of the troops. New materiel needed by the
Army, planes and ammunition especially, was being diverted to the British, and to the Navy and Marine Corps. The War Department was consequently confronted with the problem of deciding whether to give the pieces of equipment that were beginning to emerge from the factories to soldiers in training or soldiers in the overseas garrisons.60 Since the needs of the latter were usually more urgent, troops in training often had to make shift with old materiel, or none at all. Even if all the troops had been ready and equipped, they still could not be sent overseas immediately. Large numbers of professional soldiers were needed as cadres in the United States to train other soldiers, and sufficient shipping space was not available. Though combatant ships of the "two ocean" Navy, troop transports, and cargo vessels were under construction, it was clear that the movement of troops overseas would long be limited for want of ships.61
Given the acute lack of experienced soldiers and the heavy competition for materiel, even the small-scale precautionary and defensive deployment of Army forces in 1941 for garrison duty in the Atlantic and Pacific put an almost unbearable strain on the Army.62 (See Chart 1.) At the time, the Army's mobilization problems were further complicated by existing legislative restrictions on the sending of troops outside the United States. Neither selectees nor National Guardsmen could be sent outside the Western Hemisphere. It was, moreover, impracticable to give these men overseas assignments even in the Western Hemisphere, since the Army had to be ready to release them after twelve months of service.
The Army's difficulties were discussed repeatedly during the spring and summer of 1941 in connection with plans to set aside expeditionary forces and to garrison Iceland. Admiral Stark thought it was more important at this time for the Army and Navy to prepare and assemble a highly trained amphibious force than it was to prepare a garrison for Iceland. The Admiral had in mind, of course, the possibility that the President might, on very short notice, order the Army and Navy to undertake an overseas expedition.63 Considering the Army's training and equipment problems, the War Department planners did not look with favor on Admiral Stark's suggested priorities of training, although they would have liked to drop planning for Iceland, had it not been a commitment under ABC-1.64
On the same day that Admiral Stark
brought up his idea, the President directed the Army and Navy to prepare a joint Army and Navy expeditionary force, to be ready within one month's time to sail from United States ports for the purpose of occupying the Azores. He declared in explanation that it was in the interest of the United States to prevent non-American belligerent forces from gaining control of the islands and also to hold them for use as air and naval bases for the defense of the Western Hemisphere.65 The Joint Board agreed that the operation would be carried out by Army and Marine Corps troops, supported by a naval force from the Atlantic Fleet, with 22 June 1941 set as a tentative date for the departure of the expedition.66 Accordingly, the staffs prepared a joint basic plan for the capture and occupation of the Azores.67
The decision for an operation against the Azores was perforce to be deferred when the President decided in early June to take the first steps toward the occupation of Iceland by U.S. troops.68 In accordance with instructions from the White House, General Marshall directed his staff planners to prepare a plan for the immediate relief of the British troops in Iceland.69
As a result of the presidential directives of the last week of May and early June, the War Department planners realized that expeditionary forces might be called for in any of several areas on short notice. This possibility was brought home to them with still greater forcefulness at a meeting on 19 June of the President with the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War. At this meeting the President inquired whether it would be possible for the Army to organize a force of approximately 75,000 men to be used in any of several theaters--for example, in Iceland, the Azores, or the Cape Verde Islands. The Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War. again called to the President's attention that the Army could not, under existing legislative restrictions, send forces outside the Western Hemisphere for any extended period without completely destroying the efficiency of all units directly or indirectly involved. General Marshall also pointed to the risks involved in sending half-trained and poorly equipped U.S. Army troops into any areas in which they might have to operate against well-trained and completely equipped German units.70
Nevertheless, the move to Iceland was not to be called off. Upon receiving an invitation from the Icelandic Government on 1 July, the President directed Admiral Stark to move marines to Iceland at once, and told him to arrange with the Army for the relief of the marines and for sending whatever additional Army troops would be needed, in conjunction with the British forces that remained, to guarantee the security of Iceland.71 By this time the idea
of immediately relieving the entire British garrison had been abandoned. On 7 July 1941 the marines landed in Iceland. Immediately thereafter a pursuit squadron with necessary service units was ordered to Iceland as the first Army contingent.72 But it proved extremely difficult to set up an Army force to relieve the marines. The passage of legislation in August 1941 permitting the retention in service of the selectees, Reserve officers, and the National Guardsmen still left the problem of restriction on territorial service--a problem which was to remain with the Army until Pearl Harbor brought a declaration of war.73
In the end, the Army force deployed to Iceland during 1941 was to number only about 5,000 men, the marines were required to stay to swell the American garrison to 10,000 men, and only a token British force was relieved for duty elsewhere. After weeks of strenuous staff work had been completed in Washington, the second Army contingent sailed on 5 September 1941 under the command of Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel.74 After taking into account the disruption in Army units already caused by the organization of this force, General Marshall decided that the marines would not be relieved by Army forces until 1942.75
Introduction to Grand Strategy
In the early spring of 1941 German submarines were sinking ships in the Atlantic so fast that the President seriously considered ordering aggressive action by American warships in spite of the evident risk that it would bring the United States into the war. He finally decided not to take the chance and instead ordered into effect the more cautious plan of having American ships merely report German movements west of Iceland.76
While the question was under consideration, the Army planners had to make up their own minds what decision would be wise. In keeping with a suggestion by Mr. Hopkins that the President needed professional military advice, General Embick, who had gone on leave after the staff conversations with the British, was brought back to Washington for a series of discussions with the President to "inform him as Commander-in-Chief of national strategy for the future, without regard to politics."77
At a conference with members of his plans staff early on the morning of 16 April, General Marshall presented the problem and asked how he should advise the President when he went with General Embick to the White House later that day.
If we have gotten to the point where we can no longer operate on a peacetime status,
should we recommend a war status? Or is it of importance to do something immediately? Is immediate action necessary?
As General Marshall observed, the situation facing him as Chief of Staff of the Army was embarrassing since, if the President should make a decision at that time, anything that could be done immediately would have to be done by the Navy and not by the Army--Army forces would not be prepared for action until the fall. Secretary Stimson's view, he reported, was that any military action at all by the United States, in whatever locality--Iceland, Greenland, the Azores, or Martinique--should be undertaken with an overwhelming force, and with a high degree of efficiency, even if contact with enemy forces were not imminent. General Marshall summed up the problem thus:
What I must be prepared to suggest is what should the President do. What do we think should be done. Of course, the President is also governed by public opinion. There are two things we must do: Begin the education of the President as to the true strategic situation--this coming after a period of being influenced by the State Department. The other thing is does he have to make a decision now? We must tell him what he has to work with.78
The plans staff worked on this problem during the morning of 16 April and presented its conclusions to the Chief of Staff before noon. It evaluated Army capabilities as follows:
We are prepared to defend our possessions in the Western Hemisphere and the North American Continent against any probable threat that can be foreseen. Subject to the availability of shipping we can promptly relieve British forces in Iceland and relieve Naval forces that may undertake the occupation of the Azores or the Cape Verde Islands. We can undertake, likewise subject to the limitation of shipping, any operations that may reasonably be required in the Caribbean or in Northeast Brazil.
So far as Army operations were concerned, the staff could only advise the postponement of American entry into the war, declaring
. . . it must be recognized that the Army can, at the present time, accomplish extremely limited military support to a war effort and from this point of view it is highly desirable that we withhold participation as long as possible.
On the other hand, the staff believed that it might well prove sound, from a military point of view, to enter the war before the Army could be of much use:
Upon the assumption, which appears reasonable, that the United States will enter the present war sooner or later, it appears to the War Plans Division highly desirable that our entry be made sufficiently soon to avoid either the loss of the British Isles or a material change in the attitude of the British Government directed toward appeasement.79
It appeared from their study that the planners, despite their caution, were in favor of early entry of the United States into the war. General Marshall left no room for doubt. He asked the planners in turn to express their personal opinions. Colonel McNarney answered
. . . that anything that would tend to cause the fall of the British Isles would tend to put the whole load on the United States. That it is important that we start reducing the war making ability of Germany. We do have a Navy in being and can do something. If we wait we will end up standing alone and internal disturbances may bring on communism. I may be called a fire-eater but something must be done.
Lt. Col. Lee S. Gerow and Colonel Bundy stated that they agreed completely with Colonel McNarney. Col. Jonathan W. Anderson, although in general agreement, was unwilling to take as strong a position as the rest.80
General Embick strongly disagreed. The situation did not seem to him so dangerous, in part because he did not believe that the loss of the Middle East would be fatal, even though it would be a heavy blow to the Churchill government. He acknowledged that should the United States enter the war fewer supply ships would probably be sunk in the Atlantic, and agreed that the loss of ships was a vital problem. But he declared that he himself would not advise entering the war and believed that to do so "would be wrong in a military and naval sense" and unjust "to the American people."81
During the summer of 1941 the Army staff came around to the view expressed by General Embick. The German attack on the Soviet Union, launched on 22 June 1941, undoubtedly conditioned this change of view. Even if the German forces were successful in reaching their major objectives in the Soviet Union during the summer and fall of 1941 (as American military intelligence considered probable), there was no longer any serious danger of an invasion of the British Isles until the spring of 1942, and until then the British position in the Middle East would also be much better.82
The change in the situation had quite the opposite effect on the views of the President and the British. The President decided to send additional Army forces to positions overseas, in spite of the earnest insistence of the War Department staff that the Army was not ready. The British; for their part, relieved by the German attack on the USSR, but at the same time anxious to forestall a possible reorientation of U.S. Army efforts toward the Pacific, ceased to dwell on the oft-repeated demand for American naval forces in the Southwest Pacific and began to urge an early entry of the United States into the war against Germany and the desirability of American collaboration in the Mediterranean.
The Atlantic Conference
The changes in the positions of the British and American staffs were evident in staff talks held during the Atlantic Conference in the summer of 1941 between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, on board the USS Augusta and H.M.S. Prince of Wales lying off Argentia, Newfoundland.83 On the military side, no agenda had been prepared or views exchanged with the British before the conference, nor had the President given the American staff authority to make commitments.
At this conference the American staff was given a reminder how important it was to the British to hold their position in the Middle East and gain control of the North African coast. On 3 July 1940, shortly after the fall of France, the British neutralized
ABOARD THE H.M.S. Prince of Wales during the Atlantic Conference.
Seated: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill.
Standing, left to right: Harry Hopkins, W. Averell Harriman, Admiral Ernest J. King, General George C. Marshall,
Field Marshal Sir John Dill, Admiral Harold R. Stark, and Admiral Sir Dudley Pound.
the threat of a hostile French Fleet in a naval action three miles west of Oran at Mers-el-Kebir, but failed in an attempt to take Dakar (23-25 September 1940). They had held and defeated the Italians in Libya (September 1940-January 1941) , but German intervention in the Mediterranean created a more dangerous situation. German troops landed in Africa in February 1941 and entered Libya at the end of March. Early in April the Germans attacked in the Balkans, where the Italians had been waging a futile campaign for several months. The British had held their own against the Germans in Libya, but they had been quickly overwhelmed in Greece and Crete. Whatever reasons Hitler had had at the time for intervention in the Mediterranean, German forces there represented a constant danger, which would
greatly increase if Soviet resistance were to collapse or the German campaigns were to slacken on the Eastern Front.
During the staff talks the British brought up explicitly for the first time (on the military level) the possibility of employing American troops in a combined operation in French North Africa and of using American help to reinforce the Middle East. Through these undertakings in particular, they believed that early American intervention would entirely change the whole military situation. The American staff thus began to become acquainted with the British notion of what operations American intervention in the war would make possible. At the same time they also learned of the general methods by which the British Chiefs proposed to gain victory in Europe after blockade, bombing, subversive activities, and propaganda had weakened the will and ability of Germany to resist:
We do not foresee vast armies of infantry as in 1914-18. The forces we employ will be armoured divisions with the most modern equipment. To supplement their operations the local patriots must be secretly armed and equipped so that at the right moment they may rise in revolt.84
The emphasis on mobile, hard-hitting armored forces operating on the periphery of German controlled territory and eventually striking into Germany itself, rather than large-scale ground action to meet the full power of the German military machine, was in accord with the Churchillian theory of waging war on the Continent.85
During the conference the American military staff remained noncommittal on the British proposals and strategic views.86But after the conference the War Department prepared comments which became the basis of a formal reply by the joint Board to the British in the early fall of 1941. The War Department staff objected primarily to the proposition that early American intervention would insure victory--perhaps even a quick victory--over Germany. They took the position that
Actually we will be more effective for some time as a neutral, furnishing material aid to Britain, rather than as a belligerent. Our potential combat strength has not yet been sufficiently developed. . . . We should. . . build, strengthen, and organize for eventual use, if required, our weapons of last resort--military forces.87
The Joint Board, elaborating on this view, characterized as "optimistic" the British conclusion that American intervention would make victory not only certain but also swift, and replied:
While participation by United States naval forces will bring an important accession of strength against Germany, the potential combat strength of land and air elements has not yet been sufficiently developed to provide much more than a moral effect. Involvement of United States Army forces in the near future would at best involve a piecemeal and indecisive commitment of forces against
a superior enemy under unfavorable logistic conditions.88
By the middle of 1941 there was every reason to expect that the adjustment of American national policy to the rapidly growing requirements of a world conflict would demand of the U.S. Army "a piecemeal and indecisive commitment of forces against a superior enemy under unfavorable logistic conditions." This was entirely consistent with the President's strategic policy, in which the readiness of the U.S. armed forces was a subordinate consideration. The main expression of American strategy was the program evolved by the President during 1940 of aiding other nations already defending themselves against military aggression. The first stage in carrying out this policy was to supply them with munitions.
The Lend-Lease Act of 11 March 1941 provided the basis for an extension of the scope and a great increase in the scale on which the President could execute this program. The Lend-Lease Act authorized the President to furnish material aid, including munitions, to all countries whose resistance to aggression was contributing to the defense of the United States. The principal recipient of American aid, on an ever greater scale, remained Great Britain. But the application of the Lend-Lease Act to China later in the spring of 1941 was an extremely important step in the clarification of American national policy, since it evidently disposed of any remaining possibility that the United States might be willing to acquiesce in the accomplished fact of Japanese hegemony on the Asiatic mainland.89 And the extension of the Lend-Lease Act to cover the Soviet Union, formally announced in November 1941, was of great consequence as a measure of the President's willingness to base American international policy on the principle of the common international interest in supporting resistance to armed aggression.
The War Department participated in the development of the critical aspect of the lend-lease program--the provision of munitions--but only by providing technical advice and handling the machinery of procurement and distribution.90 The one important connection then established between the lend-lease program and the future operations of the Army was the creation by the War Department of several field agencies to supervise lend-lease traffic overseas. Though they were specifically concerned with lend-lease operations, some of them
were obviously of potential use as nuclei for U.S. Army theater headquarters.
In September 1941 the plans staff suggested to General Marshall "the need for a United States military mission in any major theater of war where lend-lease aid is to receive emphasis." General Chaney's observer group in London was "expected, in addition to other duties, to support the supply and maintenance phase of Lend Lease activities in the United Kingdom."91 The staff recommended the appointment of special missions to do similar work elsewhere. Similar proposals came from G-2 and from Maj. Gen. James H. Burns, Executive Officer of the Division of Defense Aid Reports.
One such military mission had, in fact, already been established on the other side of the world. In August 1941 the War Department had charged Brig. Gen. John A. Magruder with facilitating the flow of lend-lease materials to China. The first of the lend-lease missions, the American Military Mission to China (AMMISCA), was the prototype of missions sent elsewhere.92
The suggestion of sending special missions to all active combat zones was soon put into effect. In October 1941 the War Department, acting upon presidential instructions, established a military mission for North Africa, where lend-lease munitions were being used by British forces defending the Suez Canal. The task of this mission, headed by Brig. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell, was supervising lend-lease activities, including American supply depots and maintenance facilities in support of British operations.93 General Maxwell set up his headquarters in Cairo on 22 November 1941.
Soviet entry into the war against Germany and Italy in June 1941 called for further extension of the lend-lease program. A series of conferences was held by a U.S. mission headed by W. Averell Harriman in London and by the Beaverbrook-Harriman mission in Moscow during September 1941.94 The agreement reached at Moscow in terms of munitions to be furnished the Soviet Union was incorporated in the First (Moscow) Protocol. This accord was signed by Mr. Harriman, Lord Beaverbrook, and Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav M. Molotov on 1 October 1941. A month later President Roosevelt and Marshal Joseph V. Stalin endorsed the agreement.95 At the request of Harry Hopkins, Col.
Philip R. Faymonville remained in Moscow to act as lend-lease representative there. A military mission to the USSR was constituted at the end of October 1941, under Maj. Gen. John N. Greely, but never secured Soviet permission to go to Moscow.96
Another military mission assisted more directly in the dispatch of lend-lease supplies to the Soviet Union. By agreement between the British and Soviet Governments, their troops had entered Iran in late August--Soviet troops had occupied the northern part and British troops the southern part. Of the few routes left for sending supplies to the USSR, the route via the Persian Gulf ports and Iran was the most promising. The U.S. Military Iranian Mission, set up in October 1941, under Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler, was assigned the task of assuring the establishment and operation of supply, maintenance, and training facilities for British, Soviet, and any other operations in the general area of the Persian Gulf, including Iran and Iraq.97 He began operations in Baghdad on 30 November 1941. Transporting supplies through Iran to the USSR ultimately proved to be a critical lend-lease operation.98
These missions, though their formal authority was much more restricted and their prospects for developing into Army headquarters were far more uncertain than those of the Chaney mission, had nevertheless much the same kind of importance as agencies through which the War Department began dealing with the practical problems of several important overseas areas--terrain and climate, transportation and communications, politics and administration, the performance of American equipment, and the treatment and behavior of American military personnel. The experience that the missions began to acquire in the fall of 1941 constituted an all too brief preparation for the tasks that the War Department was to face in supporting and controlling its far-flung overseas operations in World War II.
The most searching examination of long-range problems of strategy made by the Army to date, came in the summer of 1941 when the War Department staff undertook to estimate the size and composition of the Army forces that would be required to defeat Germany. Until then the American planners had only touched on the question of operations to defeat Germany and had not developed the idea--stated by Admiral Stark in November 1940--that large-scale land operations would be required. In the summer of 1941 an attempt to analyze long-term requirements for munitions, for inclusion in a comprehensive national armaments program, raised the question of the ultimate size and composition of the Army and, therefore, of the scale and type of operations it would conduct.99
Planning for American production of munitions had been continually complicated for over a year by conflicts between the needs of the Army and requirements resulting, at first, from British and French purchases and, later, from lend-lease allocations. Future conflicts were certain to prove far more serious, should the United States enter the war. In July 1941 the President formally asked for an estimate of the munitions requirements of the armed services to help formulate a comprehensive national industrial plan.100
The responsibility for carrying out the President's instructions within the War Department, for both the Army's ground and air arms, devolved initially upon the Army's War Plans Division. Its chief, General Gerow, soon put forward his idea of the method to follow in setting up industrial objectives:
We must first evolve a strategic concept of how to defeat our potential enemies and then determine the major military units (Air, Navy and Ground) required to carry out the strategic operations.
General Gerow considered unsound the main alternative method--to calculate the supply of U.S. munitions that would have to be added to the production of potential Allies in order to exceed the production of potential enemies. It would be folly, he declared, to assume that "we can defeat Germany simply by outproducing her." He continued, by way of example:
One hundred thousand airplanes would be of little value to us if these airplanes could not be used because of lack of trained personnel, lack of operating airdromes in the theater, and lack of shipping to maintain the air squadrons in the theater.101
To adjust ultimate production to a strategic concept of how to defeat the nation's potential enemies, it was necessary to estimate the "strategic operations" and "major military units" that would be required to execute them. On this basis the War Department proceeded to make its strategic estimates and to calculate ultimate Army requirements for the initial "Victory Program" of September 1941.
Major Albert C. Wedemeyer played the leading role for the General Staff in conducting Army-wide studies on requirements of manpower.102 He assembled estimates of the strength and composition of task forces, of the theaters of operations to be established, and of the probable dates at which forces would be committed. He thus became one of the first of the Washington staff officers to attempt to calculate what it would cost to mobilize and deploy a big U.S. Army.103
As a basis for estimating the munitions and shipping that the Army would need, the Army planners calculated on an ultimate Army strength of 8,795,658 men with "approximately 215 Divisions." Of the over 8,000,000 men, about 2,000,000 were to be allotted to the Army Air Forces. The planners accepted a supplementary study drawn up by the Army Air Forces War Plans Division (AWPD), which looked forward as far as 1945, when bombers with a "4,000 mile radius of action" would be in quantity
production.104 The Army would consist largely of air, armored, and motorized forces. Aside from the provision of service troops for potential task forces, relatively little attention was paid to the requirements of service troops in the build-up of overseas theaters. According to the Army estimates, approximately 5,000,000 men would eventually be moved overseas, requiring the maximum use of about 2,500 ships at any one time.105
For purposes of estimating the Army's requirements, the planners made five primary assumptions about U.S. national policy:
a) Monroe Doctrine: Resist with all means Axis penetration in Western Hemisphere.
b) Aid to Britain: Limited only by U.S. needs and abilities of British to utilize; insure delivery.
c) Aid to other Axis-opposed nations: Limited by U.S. and British requirements.
d) Far-Eastern policy: To disapprove strongly Japanese aggression and to convey to Japan determination of U.S. to take positive action. To avoid major military and naval commitments in the Far East at this time.
e) Freedom of the Seas.106
Other Army assumptions were that the principal theater of wartime operations would be Europe and that the defeat of potential enemies, among whom were listed Italy and Japan, would be "primarily dependent on the defeat of Germany." For want of essential equipment, U.S. field forces (air and/or ground) would not be ready for "ultimate decisive modern combat" before 1 July 1943.
In making its estimates the Army staff necessarily projected U.S. military operations
into the future, in the frame of reference of ABC-1 and RAINBOW 5. The steps to be executed before M Day or the beginning of hostilities required the United States to defend the Western Hemisphere; reinforce the Atlantic bases, Alaska, and the overseas garrisons; insure the delivery of supplies and munitions to Great Britain and other friendly powers; and prepare U.S. troops for active participation in the war.107 Finally the "Brief" outlined military operations, at first defensive and then offensive, that would lead to victory over Germany once war had been declared. Before the final ground operations were undertaken, overwhelming air superiority in Europe would have to be achieved, utilizing to the full air base facilities in the British Isles; enemy vessels would have to be swept from the Atlantic and the North Sea; and the foundations of German military power weakened by dispersion of enemy forces, blockade, subversive activities, and propaganda. No specific military measures for defeat of the potential enemy in the Far East, Japan, were considered. In fact, the Victory Program envisaged neither large-scale Army action against Japan, nor continued active Russian participation in the war.
When the Army planners spoke of blockade, propaganda, subversive activities, air superiority, the application of pressure upon Germany "wherever soft spots arise in Europe or adjacent areas," and "the establishment of effective military bases, encircling the Nazi citadel, they appeared to be in accord with British strategic theory.108 However, there was a sign of an incipient divergence from British theory--a belief that, sooner or later, "we must prepare to fight Germany by actually coming to grips with and defeating her ground forces and definitely breaking her will to combat."109 Vague as the Army strategic planners were about the preliminary preparations and conditions, they were disposed to think in terms of meeting the German Army head on.110
The great disputed issues of wartime strategy had not been--as they could not yet be--joined, much less resolved. As General Gerow observed, the strategic estimates for the Victory Program calculations were based upon "a more or less nebulous National Policy, in that the extent to which our government intends to commit itself with reference to the employment of armed forces had not yet been clearly defined."111 As a result, the War Department was free to assume
that a high priority would be given to gathering forces for operations against the main body of the German Army. The Army estimates did not allow for the contingencies that a higher priority might be given to the lend-lease requirements of Great Britain and the USSR; that the President might accede to the desire of the British to secure and exploit their position in the Mediterranean; and that it might become necessary to make good, with logistically very costly operations across the Pacific, the strong political stand that the United States was taking against Japan.
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1. Fourteen sessions were held. Although the conversations are often considered to have ended on 27 March 1941 (see statement in opening paragraph of ABC-1), a fourteenth meeting was held on 29 March, at which time approval was given to ABC-1. (Min, mtg U.S.-Br Stf Confs, 29 Mar 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 14th mtg, WPD 4402-89.
ABC-1 (American-British Conversations), Report of United States-British Staff Conversations, 27 March 1941, U.S. ser 011512-12R, Item 11, Exec 4 (hereafter cited as ABC-1 Report) is also reproduced in Pearl Harbor Hearings, Part 15, pp. 1485-1542. Unless otherwise indicated, all documents cited in this chapter which are identified by either a B.U.S. or U.S. (Navy) serial number are filed in Item 11, Exec. 4.
2. (1) Memo, WPD for CofS, 26 Dec 40, sub: Army Reps for Stf Confs with Gt Brit, WPD 4402. This memorandum, written by General Gerow, was approved by the Chief of Staff on 28 December 1940, and Maj. Gen. William Braden, Deputy Chief of Staff, got in touch with the Secretary of War the same day. (2) Orders designating the Army members were issued on 30 December 1940. Ltr, TAG to Gen Embick, 30 Dec 40, same sub, AG 334.8 Confs (12-26-40).
Later, at the suggestion of Admiral Ghormley that an Army secretary be appointed--the Navy had appointed Commander Lewis R. McDowell, and the British, Lt. Col. A. T. Cornwall-Jones, as secretaries--General Embick added Colonel Scobey as secretary of the Army section. (Min, 2d mtg U.S. Navy and Army Members, 29 Jan 41, U.S. ser 09212-2.)
3. Admiral Turner, Captains Cooke and Kirk, Capt. DeWitt C. Ramsey, USN, Lt. Col. Omar T. Pfeiffer, USMC, and Commander McDowell were members of the Navy section. (Ltr, CNO to Admiral , 24 Jan 41, sub: Appt of Navy Com to Conduct Stf Confs with Br, U.S. ser 09212.)
4. (1) Memo, Orme Wilson, Ln Off State Dept for Dir Central Div, Navy Dept, 16 Jan 41, sub: Br Aide-Memoire, Jan 15, 1941, WPD 4402-1. (2) On the outward voyage on the British battleship, King George V, Admiral Ghormley and General Lee presented a list of questions, to which the British furnished written answers on 31 January. Note by U.K. Delegation, Br-Amer Tech Convs, 31 Jan 41 B.U.S. (J) (41) 6.
5. (1) Min, plenary mtg Br-U.S. Stf Convs, 29 Jan 41, B.U.S. (41) (J) 1st mtg, WPD 4402-89, Part 1 a. (2) Cf. min cited n. 2. Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand advisers were available for consultation with members of the British delegation but did not participate in the conversations.
6. Statement by U.K. Delegation, U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 29 Jan 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 1.
7. Agenda for U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 27 Jan 41, U.S. ser 011512-2.
8. General Lee sent this report to the War Department on 7 January 1941, a month after he had been instructed to secure information and report to the War Department. (Msg, Lee to Miles, 7 Jan 41, No. 647, WPD 4402-1.) Admiral Ghormley had also failed to get advance information, and had so reported to Admiral Stark.
9. Statement cited n. 6.
10. Ibid. Significantly the British representatives proposed, as an example of the principle that the partner having predominant forces in an area should exercise command over the Allied forces in the area, that "a United States Admiral should have command over British and Dominion naval forces in the Pacific and Far East." General Gerow wrote a marginal comment on this passage: "Watch out."
11. ABC-1 Report.
12. Min, 6th mtg Br-U.S. Stf Convs, 10 Feb 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 6th mtg.
13. The message is quoted in full in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 23-25. See also Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 141, 174, and Hull, Memoirs, p. 831.
14. The message of the Former Naval Person (Churchill) to President Roosevelt, 4 October 1940, is quoted in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 497-98. Churchill asked the President whether he might not send an American naval squadron to pay a friendly visit to Singapore. He suggested that the visit might provide a suitable occasion for discussions by American, British, and Dutch staff officers concerning technical problems of naval operations in East Indies and Philippine waters.
15. (1) Min, Standing Ln Com, 5 Oct 40, Item 58, OCS Binder 1. (2) Memo, CofS for SW, 7 Oct 40, sub: Mtg of Ln Com Saturday Oct 6, 1940, filed with min of Standing Ln Com, Item 58, OCS Binder 1. (3) Cf. Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, p. 118.
16. At the same time that the British were presenting their appreciation on the Far East to the United States staff committee, Lord Halifax communicated the substance of this paper to Secretary of State Cordell Hull. (See min, conf in OCofS. 18 Feb 41.)
17. (1) Min, conf in OCofS, 18 Feb 41, WDCSA CofS Confs, I. (2) Declaration by U.S. Stf Com, U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 19 Feb 41, U.S. ser 011512-7.
18. The Far East--Appreciation by U.K. Delegation, Br-U.S. Stf Convs, 11 Feb 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 13.
19. Memo, Gens Embick, Gerow, and Miles, and Col McNarney for CofS, 12 Feb 41, sub: Dispatch of U.S. Forces to Singapore, WPD 4402-3.
20. Min, Jt mtg of A&N See, U.S. Stf Com, 13 Feb 41, U.S. ser 09212-11.
21. (1) Min, Jt mtg of A&N Sec, U.S.-Br Conf, 19 Feb 41, U.S. ser 09212-15. (2) For the offensive strategy of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, as proposed by the Navy, see par 33, Statement by U.S. Stf Com, "The U.S. Military Position in the Far East," 19 Feb 41, U.S. ser 011512-8.
22. The Far East--Appreciation, cited n. 18.
24. Statement by U.S. Stf Com, "The U.S. Military Position in the Far East," Br-U.S. Stf Convs, 19 Feb 41, par 26, U.S. ser 011512-8.
25. Ibid., pars 37-39. Nothing was said of the defenselessness of Singapore against land attack, though there is good reason to believe that the Navy was well informed on this score.
26. Note by U.K. Delegation, 3 Feb 41, Provision and Employment of U.S. Air Forces, B.U.S. (J) (41) 8.
27. The Air Corps 54-group program called for a total delivery by 1 April 1942 of 21,470 tactical and training planes. Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate, Plans and Early Operations-January 1939 to August 1942, I, THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II (Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1948), 129, (hereafter cited as Craven and Cate, AAF 1).
28. (1) Draft, Provision and Employment of U.S. Air Forces, n.d., no sig, Item 11, Exec 4. (2) See Colonel McNarney's discussion on air allocations and deployment on the occasion of General Arnold's pending trip to England. Memo, McNarney for Arnold, 7 Apr 41, sub: Stf Convs, WPD 4402-7.
29. The work of an Air subcommittee, ABC-2 was submitted two days after the ABC-1 Report was completed. (ABC-2, ltr, Gen Embick, Admiral Ghormley, and Admiral Beliers, to CofS, CNO, and (Br) CsofS, 29 Mar 41, sub: Air Collab. This document is reproduced in Pearl Harbor Hearings, Part 15, pp.1543-50.) The members of the Air subcommittee were Air Vice Marshal J. C. Lesson, RAF, Captain Ramsey, USN, and Colonel McNarney, USA.
30. Min, 9th mtg U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 17 Feb 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 9th mtg.
31. Memo cited n. 28 (2) .
32. (1) Ibid. (2) ABC-1 Report.
33. Statement by U.K. Delegation, 29 Jan 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 2.
34. (1) Min, 7th mtg Br-U.S. Stf Convs, 14 Feb 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 7th mtg. (2) For the definition of the agreed areas of British and American strategic responsibility, see Annex 2, ABC-1.
35. Min, 8th mtg Br-U.S. Stf Convs, 15 Feb 41, B.U.S. (J) (41) 8th mtg.
36. (1) The organization of the U.S. Military mission in London as envisaged at that time did not provide separate Air representation. General Arnold wanted an Army Air officer to be assigned to each board and committee so that American organization would correspond to the British organization. Arnold expressed this view to Ambassador John G. Winant during his visit to London in April 1941. See Henry H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York, Harpers & Brothers, 1949), p. 217. (2) For the influence of the British pattern on American organization, see Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1951), pp. 102-03.
37. (1) Memo, WPD for CofS, 7 Apr 41, sub: U.S. Mil Miss in London, WPD 4402-5. The Army staff for the nucleus mission was to consist of sixteen officers including the head of the mission and, upon the entry of the United States into the war, was to be increased to forty officers. (2) Memo, G-2 for CofS, 7 Apr 41, same sub, WPD 4402-5.
38. (1) Ltr, Marshall to Chancy, Sp Army Obsr, London, 24 Apr 41, sub: Ltr of Instns, WPD 4402-5. (2) Notes on conf in OCS, 11:00 O'clock, 28 Apr 41, WDCSA, CofS Confs, Vol II. General Lee, the military attaché in London, acted in the dual capacity of military attaché and special Army observer until General Chaney's arrival.
39. Ltr, Stark, CNO, to Ghormley, SPENAVO in London, 5 Apr 41, sub: Ltr of Instns, WPD 4402-11.
40. Msg, Chancy to TAG, 23 May 41, AG 210.684 (5-23-41) MC.
41. Memo, Capt A.W. Clarke, Secy to Br Mil Miss in Washington, no addressee, 18 May 41, sub: Appts to the Br Mil Miss in Washington, WPD 4402-10. The British mission itself was to consist of about thirty-one officers, although a number of other British officers were coming to Washington at this time to be assigned to Admiralty Missions in North America, and to the administration of the British Air Training Plan which was being implemented in the United States. The joint secretaries selected for the mission were Comdr. R.D. Coleridge, RN, and Mr. W.L. Gorell-Barnes of the Foreign Office.
42. See above, p. 8.
43. Incl A to rpt, JPC [Gen McNarney and Admiral Turner] to JB, 30 Apr 41, sub: Jt Bsc War Plan RAINBOW 5 and Rpt of U.S.-Br Stf Convs, Mar 27, 1941, JB 325, ser 642-5.
46. Ibid. The "Malay Barrier," as used in RAINBOW 5, was defined as including the "Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the chain of islands extending in an easterly direction from Java to Bathers Island, Australia."
47. The Navy had stated that it would not transport reinforcements from the United States to the Philippines after Mobilization Day (M Day). Memo, WPD for CofS, 21 Jan 41, sub: Measures to be Taken in Event of Sudden and Simultaneous Action by Germany and Japan Against the U.S., WPD 4175-18.
48. (1) Sec VII, Incl A to rpt cited n. 43. (2) Par 2, memo, Admiral Stark, CNO, for CofS, 22 May 41, sub: Analysis of Plans for Overseas Expeditions, RAINBOW 5 Development File, G-3 Regd Docs.
49. Draft memo, WPD [Col Bundy] for CofS [May 41 ], sub cited n. 48(2). This memorandum was drafted not earlier than 22 May 1941, as it contains a reference to a memorandum from the Chief of Naval Operations of that date.
50. Sec VIII, Incl A to rpt, cited n. 43.
51. Min, JB mtg, 14 May 41.
52. The Secretary of the Navy approved Joint Board 325, serial 642-5 (RAINBOW 5 and ABC-1) on 28 May 1941. Memo, Col Scobey, SJB, for CofS, 2 Jun 41, sub: Approval of JB Sers by SN, JB 325, ser 642-5.
The Secretary of War gave his approval on 2 June 1941. (1) Ltr, JB to SW, 28 May 41, sub: Approval of War Plans. (2) Ltr, Stimson and Knox to President, 2 Jun 41. Both in JB 325, ser 642-5. The second letter forwarded RAINBOW 5 and ABC-1 to the White House.
53. Memo, Col Scobey for CofS, 9 Jun 41, sub: JB 325, ser 642-5-Jt A&N Bsc War Plan-RAINBOW 5 and Rpt of U.S.-Br Stf Convs-ABC-1, JB 325, ser 642-5. On 5 July 1941 Under Secretary Welles informed President Roosevelt that Lord Halifax wished the President to know that the British Government had in fact approved the ABC-1 Report. (Ltr, Welles to President, 5 Jul 41, and atchd Itr, Lord Halifax to Welles, 4 Jul 41, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 74.)
54. Min, conf in OSW, 10 Jun 41, WDCSA, SW Confs (War Council), Vol I. The Army planners quickly drew up detailed plans to send to Army commanders. The War Department Operations Plan RAINBOW 5 (WPD WDOP-R5) and the War Department Concentration Plan RAINBOW 5 (WPD WDCP-R5-41) were approved by the Chief of Staff on 19 August 1941 and issued to the Army commanders shortly thereafter. (See copies of plans in G-3 Regd Does.) RAINBOW 2 and 3--providing for American concentration in the Pacific in the event of war--were canceled at the Joint Board meeting of 6 August 1941. RAINBOW 1 and 4--the hemisphere defense plans--were not formally canceled until May 1942. RAINBOW 4 supplanted RAINBOW 1 in the spring of 1940 and, although its assumptions were actually superseded by events, it continued to serve for some purposes of hemisphere defense planning until 7 December 1941. Such long-range planning as the Army did in 1941 for future military operations was done under the assumptions of RAINBOW 5.
55. (1) See ltr, Gen Chaney, Off of Sp Army Obsr, London, for CofS, 8 Sep 41, sub: Air Def of Nav and Air Bases in U.K., WPD 4497-7. (2) A list of other reports submitted by General Chaney is in memo, WPD for TAG, 27 Oct 41, sub: Preparation for Plans for Task Forces, Bases and Def Comds as Provided in WD Opns Plan, RAINBOW 5, 1941, WPD 4497-7.
56. For examples, see: (1) memo cited n. 55 (2), and (2) notes on conf in Gen Gerow's off, 29 Oct 41, memo for red, L. C. J. [Lt Col Lawrence C. Jaynes], 29 Oct 41, sub: Augmentation of Pers and Functions of Chaney Miss, Tab D, Item 4, Exec 4.
57. (1) Ltr, Gen Chaney to CofS, 20 Sep 41, sub: Comd Arrangements, U.S. Army Forces in Gt Brit, OPD 320.2 Ireland, 14. (2) Memo, WPD for SW, 3 Oct 41, sub: U.S. Trs for British Isles, WPD 4497-5. The proposed forces, exclusive of Iceland, were listed as follows:
Strength Bomber Force 36,000 Northern Ireland 30,000 Scotland 13,500 Token (England) Force 7,300 Base Force 20,000
(3) Gen Gerow's Diary, 16 Jul, 12 Aug 41 entries, Item 1, Exec 10. The number of Army troops contemplated in WPD planning for Iceland fluctuated throughout the summer of 1941 between five and thirty thousand.
58. Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, for instance, believed that the idea of a token force was a mistake but, since it had been agreed upon, its strength should be held to a minimum. He maintained that, outside of the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. military effort should be, as much as possible, offensive. (Memo, Gen McNair, CofS GHQ, for ACofS WPD, 8 Nov 41, sub: U.S. Token Force ABC-1, WPD 4497-8.) Early in 1942 the token force for England was scratched. For a detailed account of the divergent views within the American staff, in late 1941 and early 1942, on the especially troublesome problem of the control and command of U.S. Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom, see Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 579-87.
59. For over-all strength figures, see: (1) Strength of the Army Report, Machine Rcds Branch, AGO, STM-30; and (2) Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1, 1941 to June 30, 1943 to the Secretary of War, p. 2. The Regular Army divisions were: the 1st-9th Infantry Divisions, 24th Hawaiian Infantry Division, and the Philippine Division; 1st-4th Armored Divisions; and the 1st and 2d Cavalry Divisions. The National Guard divisions were: the 26th-38th, 40th, 41st, and 43d-45th Infantry Divisions.
60. See Logistics in World War II, Final Report of the Army Service Forces (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1948), pp. 10, 12.
61. For a War Department review of the state of preparedness of the Army in the early fall of 1941, see: (1) memo, WPD for CofS, 22 Sep 41, sub: Overseas Possessions, Task Forces, and Leased Bases, WPD 4564-1, and (2) memo, WPD for CofS, 7 Oct 41, sub: Ground Forces, with corrected copy of incl, memo, CofS for President, 14 Oct 41, sub: Est of Ground Forces Req, etc., WPD 4594. (A copy with various rough drafts is filed in Env 8, Exec 4.)
62. In addition to reinforcing the U.S. overseas garrisons--Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines--the War Department in 1941 had to provide troops to garrison the leased British bases in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and British Guiana. Troops were also deployed, under separate agreements, to Newfoundland and Bermuda. From June through November, other Army movements overseas were to Greenland, Iceland, and Surinam (Dutch Guiana). An account of the overseas deployment for hemisphere defense in 1941 will appear in Conn, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense.
63. Ltr, Stark to CofS, 22 May 41, sub: Analysis of Plans for Overseas Expeditions, RAINBOW 5 Development File, G-3 Regd Docs.
64. Memo, WPD for CofS [May 1941], sub cited n. 63, RAINBOW 5 Development File, G-3 Regd Docs.
65. (1) Ltr, JPC [Gen Gerow and Admiral Turner] to JB, 28 May 41, sub: Submission of Jt Bsc Plan for Capture and Occupation of Overseas Positions, JB 325, ser 694. (2) For the diplomatic action taken by the United States, see Hull, Memoirs, p. 940.
66. Min, JB mtg, 24 May 41.
67. Ltr cited n. 65. The plan bore the Army short title, GRAY, and the Navy short title, WPD 47. For fuller information, especially on the War Department position, see WPD 4422.
68. See JPC rpt, 11 Jun 41, JB 325, ser 696. See also (1) John G. Winant, Letter from Grosvenor Square (Boston, Houghton Miffing Company, 1947), pp. 203-04, and (2) Morison, Battle of the Atlantic, p. 67.
69. Gerow Diary, 4 Jun 41 entry, Item 1, Exec 10.
70. Ibid., 19 Jun 41 entry.
71. Memo, H.R.S. [Admiral Stark, CNO] for Dir of War Plans [Navy], 1 Jul 41, no sub. Copy in Gerow Diary, atchd to 1 Jul 41 entry, Item 1, Exec 10.
72. See (1) Jt A&N Directive for Reinforcement of Defenses of Iceland (Short Title-INDIGO-1) [10 Jul 411, JB 325, ser 697-1; (2) memo, WPD for TAG (through Gen Arnold), 15 Jul 41, sub: GHQ Carry Out INDIGO-1, WPD 4493-41.
73. On 8 August the Senate passed Senate Joint Resolutions 92 and 93, extending the period of service. The House accepted them with amendments on 12 August, by the close vote of 203 to 202. The House amendments were accepted by the Senate and the measures sent to the White House for signature on 14 August. (For a discussion of the problem and legislative action during 1941, see Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, Ch. VII.)
74. A detailed account of the occupation of Iceland by Army forces is contained in Conn, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts [Chapter XVIII].
75. (1) Gerow Diary, 29 Aug 41 entry, Item 1, Exec 10. (2) Memo, Gen Marshall for President, 6 Sep 41, sub: Orgn of first Army Contingent for Iceland, WPD 4493-125.
76. See Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 291-92.
77. Notes on conf in OCofS, 16 Apr 41, WDCSA, CofS Conf, Vol II.
79. Memo [WPD] for CofS, 16 Apr 41, sub: Strategic Considerations Peace or War Status, WPD 4402-9. This document was initialed by Colonel Anderson, acting head of WPD in the absence of General Gerow, who was then on sick leave.
80. Notes on conf cited n. 77. Colonels McNarney, L.S. Gerow, Anderson, and Bundy were WPD representatives.
81. Notes on conf cited n. 77.
82. (1) Memo, G-2 for CofS, 19 Jun 41, sub: Est of the Russo-German Sit, IB 85, filed in G-2/370.2 USSR (6-23-41). (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 303-04. (3) Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: The Grand Alliance (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950), p. 393.
83. The American delegates to the military staff talks were Admirals Stark, King, and Turner, Generals Marshall and Arnold, Comdr. Forrest P. Sherman, and Colonel Bundy.
84. "General Strategy Review by the British Chiefs of Staff," 31 Jul 41, Item 10, Exec 4. Colonel Bundy noted that this review was read paragraph by paragraph by Admiral Sir Dudley Pound to the assembled British-American staff on board the H.M.S. Prince of Wales on 11 August 1941.
85. For the Prime Minister's theory advanced during the conference, see memo for Admiral Stark, no sig, n.d., sub: Notes of Speech by Prime Minister on USS Augusta, 9 Aug 41, Item 10, Exec 4.
86. For the staff discussions at the Atlantic Conference, see: (1) memo, Comdr Sherman for CNO, 18 Aug 41, sub: Notes on Stf Confs, 11-12 Aug 41, and (2) memo, Col Bundy for CofS, 20 Aug 41, sub: Notes of Stf Confs, Aug 11-12, 1941 on board Prince of Wales, both in Item 10, Exec 4; and (3) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 358.
87. WPD draft memo [WPD for CofS, Sep 41], sub: Gen Strategy-Review by Br CofS, WPD 4402-64. The memorandum was not delivered but was used informally in drawing up the joint Board letter.
88. For the JB reply, see: (1) ltr, JPC [Col Robert W. Crawford and Admiral Turner] to JB, 25 Sep 41, sub cited n. 87, JB 325, ser 729; (2) memo, Maj. Charles K. Gailey, Jr., Exec OPD, for CofS GHQ, 14 Oct 41, sub: JB 325 (ser 729)-Gen Strategy Review by Br CsofS, WPD 4402-64; and (3) memo, Col Scobey, SJB, for JPC (Army Sec), 3 Jan 42, sub: JB 325 (ser 729)-Gen Strategy, JB 325, ser 729. (JB 325, serial 729 was superseded by the paper entitled: Tentative U.S. Views on Subject of British Memorandum, Dec. 18.) For other pertinent references to material in War Department files about the Atlantic Conference and its aftermath, see note for red, Lt Col Clayton L. Bissell, 31 Oct 41, sub cited n. 87; WPD 4402-64; WPD 4402-62; and Item 10, Exec 4.
89. (1) For a very brief account of the China aid program, see below, pp. 63-64. (2) For a full account, see Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Stilwell's Mission to China, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1952), Ch. I.
90. For a detailed treatment of the War Department's part in the lend-lease program, including administration, policies, and missions, see Richard M. Leighton, and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy: 1940-1943, a volume in preparation for the series UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II.
91. Memo, WPD for CofS, 24 Sep 41, sub: Mil Miss in Iran, WPD 4596. Actually SPOBS became a lend-lease mission only in a very limited sense. U.S. civil representatives in the United Kingdom were given important responsibilities for lend-lease, and heavy reliance was also placed on regular British-American channels in Washington.
92. For the setting up of the Magruder mission, see Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Mission to China, Ch. I.
93. For pertinent papers on the establishment of the Maxwell Mission, see: (1) WPD 4511-9, (2) WPD 4559-3, (3) Item 6, Exec 4, and (4) WPD 4402-72.
94. The American (Harriman) mission to Moscow included Admiral William H. Standley, Generals Burns and Chancy, Col. Philip R. Faymonville, and Colonel Bundy. For references in War Department files to the Harriman mission, see especially: (1) Item 2, Exec 10; and (2) WPD 4557-4, -6, -12, and -46.
95. (1) For the protocol, see agreement, n.d., title: Confidential Protocol of Conf of Reps of U.S.A., U.S.S.R., and Gt Brit . . . , copy filed in separate folder annex, title: Russia (Moscow Confs), with WPD 4557. (2) For the formal decision to transfer supplies to the USSR under the Lend-Lease Act, see ltr, President to Lend-Lease Administrator Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., 7 Nov 41, WPD 4557-25. (3) For a detailed discussion of the Moscow conferences and aftermath, see Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 384-97. For the texts of the Russian-aid protocols, see U.S. Department of State, WARTIME INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS, Soviet Supply Protocols, Publication 2759, European Series 22 (Washington, Government Printing Office, n.d.).
96. For the Greeley mission, see for example: (1) WPD 4557-10 and -17, and (2) OPD 210.648 Iran, 38.
97. For references to the Iranian mission, see especially: (1) WPD 4549-3, and (2) PD 4596-3.
98. A detailed treatment of the Wheeler, Greeley, and Maxwell missions is found in T. H. Vail Motter, The Persian Corridor and Aid to Russia, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1952).
99. (1) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, Ch. XI, treats the rearmament program and problem of foreign aid, and discusses in considerable detail the whole story of the development of the Victory Program in the War Department. (2) Cline, Washington Command Post, Ch. IV, contains an account of the role of WPD in Victory Program planning.
100. Ltr, President to SW, 9 Jul 41, Photostat copy filed in WPD 4494-1.
101. Memo, Gen Gerow for John J. McCloy, ASW, 5 Aug 41, no sub, Tab G, Item 7, Exec 4.
102. (1) Memo, WPD for CofS, 19 Sep 41, sub: Resume of Confs, etc., WPD 4494-12. (2) Cf. memo, WPD for CofS, 8 Dec 41, sub: A&N Est of U.S. Over-all Pdn Reqmts, WPD 4494-21.
103. The results of the studies furnished him were incorporated in: (1) "Estimate Army Requirements . . . ," September 1941; (2) "Brief of Strategic Concept of Operations Required to Defeat Our Potential Enemies (September 1941)"; and (3) a supplementary report, "War Department Strategic Estimate . . . October 1941."
104. The detailed study of Army air needs, for the initial Victory Program estimates, had been prepared by the newly established Air War Plans Division in a paper known as AWPD/1. This document, based on ABC-1 and RAINBOW 5, contained the blueprint for AAF expansion. It called for 2,164,916 men and some 60,000 combat planes. (For a detailed discussion of AWPD/1, see Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 131-32, 146-47, 149-50, 594, 599-600.)
105. JB 355, ser 707, 11 Sep 41, title: JB Est of U.S. Over-all Pdn Rqmts, App II, Part II and Part III, JB 355, ser 707, in WPD 4494-13. Appendix II contains the Army estimate, Parts I and II being WPD's study-including Army Air Forces summary statistics-and Part III being a detailed study by the Army Air Forces War Plans Division. For a brief of the Army Air Forces study, including references to B-29's, see Appendix II, Part III, Section I. Appendix I contains the Navy requirements. As a result of the unrecognized differences between the Army and Navy, the Secretaries of War and Navy, on 25 September, forwarded to the White House, along with a single joint Board report on strategy to defeat the enemy, separate estimates of ultimate requirements-Army ground, Army air, and Navy. ((1) Memo, Actg ACofS WPD for CofS, 24 Sep 41, sub: Ultimate Rqmts of Army, Ground, and Air Forces. (2) Ltr, SW and SN for President, 25 Sep 41. Both in WPD 4494-13.)
106. Brief of Strategic Concept of Operations Required to Defeat Our Potential Enemies (September 1941)," App II, Part I, JB 355, ser 707, 11 Sep 41, title cited n. 105. As summarized in the joint Board report, submitted to the White House along with the separate Army and Navy estimates on 25 September 1941, national objectives as related to military policy were: (1) "preservation of . . . the integrity . . . of the Western Hemisphere"; (2) "prevention of the disruption of the British Empire"; (3) "prevention of further extension of Japanese territorial dominion"; (4) "eventual establishment in Europe and Asia of balances of power which will most nearly ensure political stability in those regions and the future security of the United States; and, so far as practicable, the establishment of regimes favorable to economic freedom and individual liberty." The first three items in effect supplemented the Army statement. The fourth, seemingly a long-range political objective that might have had significant implications for U.S. strategic planning in World War II, was presented without elaboration as to meaning or manner of achievement. (See JB rpt atchd to Victory Program Est, JB 355, ser 707, copy filed with WPD 4494-13.)
107. This "short of war" program was a summary of recommendations which were to be made in greater length in the "War Department Strategic Estimate . . . October 1941." In this estimate, the "short of war" steps involved military and naval protection of the Western Hemisphere and American shipping; establishment of military bases in Newfoundland, Iceland, Greenland, Bermuda, the Antilles, British Guiana, the United Kingdom, Alaska, and on U.S. islands in the Pacific; and finally the release of "merchant shipping, planes, foodstuffs, munitions to Russia, China, Great Britain and other powers opposing the Axis." ("War Department Strategic Estimate . . . October 1941," Vol I, especially pp. 1-3, WPD 4510.)
108. (1) "Brief of Strategic Concept . . . , App 11, Part I. (2) Chart, "Ultimate Requirements Ground Forces," App II, Part II, Sec I. Both in JB 355, ser 707.
109. Chart cited n. 108 (2). For fuller discussion on ways of defeating Germany, see App II, Part II, Sec II, "Estimate Army Requirements, Supporting Study," JB 355, ser 707.
111. It is remarkable in the light of subsequent events in World War II, that the Army planners should have settled on 1 July 1943 as the target date for the all-out effort against Germany. It is equally remarkable that their calculation of an 8,800,000-man Army came so close to the figure ultimately reached--8,300,000 (though with great variations in types and composition of units from those originally envisaged).
111. Memo, Gen Gerow for SW, 13 Nov 41, sub: Strategic Est, Vol I (Copy 11), Item 9, Exec 4.