United States Army in World War II
The War Department

Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944

Maurice Matloff

. . . To Those Who Served


Chapter Page
Introduction: The Basis of Strategy 1
    The Grand Alliance 1
    The "Europe First" Decision 9
    The Search for a Strategic Plan: 1941-42 10
I. Casablanca--Beginning of an Era: January 1943 18
    The War Against Germany 18
    The War Against Japan 30
    The "Unconditional Surrender" Announcement 37
    Casablanca in Retrospect 38
II. Advance in the Mediterranean: January-May 1943 43
    Critical Shortages and the Battle of the Atlantic 43
    Windup of the African Campaign 50
    Rearming the French 54
    Commitments to the Middle East 58
    Command Changes: USAFIME, NATO, and ETO 60
    The Problem of the Neutrals: Spain and Turkey 63
III. The Search for a Formula 68
    Role of Airpower 70
    Limiting the Mediterranean Advance 72
IV. Mounting Pressures in the Pacific and Far East: January-May 1943 77
    Stalemate in Burma 78
    The Three Demands 82
    The Clash of Personalities 84
    Victory Through Airpower? 87
    Planning for Pacific Operations 88
    System of Command of Joint Operations 102
V. The New Look in Strategic Planning 106
    Reorienting Staff Planning 106
    Strategy and the Manpower Problem 111
    Preparatons and Rehearsal for TRIDENT 120
VI. The TRIDENT Conference--New Pattern: May 1943 126
    Cross-Channel and Mediterranean Operations 126
    The Pacific and the Far East 135
    The Balance Sheet 143
VII. From HUSKY to AVALANCHE: May-Mid-August 1943 146
    Launching HUKSY
    Planning Post-HUKSY Operations
VIII. Crossroads in the European War 162
    Search for the Formula Continued 162
    Strategy, Production, and Manpower 179
IX. Current Plans and Future Operations in the War Against Japan: June-August 1943 185
    Launching the Central Pacific Thrust 185
    The SWPA Approach to the Philippines 193
    Anticlimax at Kiska 195
    The Assam Bottleneck 196
    Air Operations and Command Problems in the CBI 198
    Origins of the Southeast Asia Command 201
    Sino-British Attitudes and Policies 203
    Planning the Over-all War Against Japan 205
X. QUADRANT--Shaping the Patterns: August 1943 211
    Staff Planning and the President's Position 211
    The Conferees Assemble 217
    Debating the Issues in the War Against German 220
    Discussion on the War Against Japan 230
    Emerging Strategic Patterns 240
XI. "The Mediterranean Again:" August-November 1943 244
    Invasion of Italy 245
    Rome Versus Rhodes 249
    The Balkans and Turkey 259
    Mediterranean Build-up Versus OVERLORD 262
XII. Strategy and Command in the War Against Germany 270
    The Problem of Command Organization
    The Problem of Selecting a Supreme Commander for OVERLORD
XIII. British-American Plans and Soviet Expectations: August-November 1943 280
    The USSR in British-American Planning 281
    Establishment of the U.S. Military Mission to the USSR 289
    The Moscow Conference 291
    "Fish or Cut Bait" 303
XIV. Strategic Strands in the War Against Japan: August-November 1943 307
    The Quest for Short Cuts 308
    The Progress of Pacifc Operations 312
    Shipping, Deployment, and Rotation 317
    Build-up in Burma 321
    New Techniques and Weapons in the War Against Japan 326
XV. Final Rehearsals En Route to Cairo 334
    The JCS Re-examine Plans Against Japan 335
    The President Reviews the Issues 338
XVI. Cairo-Tehran--A Goal is Reached; November-December 1943 347
    Opening Skirmish at Cairo: 22-26 November
    Climax at Tehran: 28 November-1 December
    Mop-up at Cairo: 3-7 December
    Staff Planning and the Significance of SEXTANT
XVII. Strategic Inventory: December 1943 388
    Growth of the U.S. Army: 1943
    Expansion of the Army Overseas
    The Tally Sheet
XVIII. Concentraton for the Big Blow: January-May 1944 402
    Preparations for OVERLORD 403
    OVERLORD Planning and Mediterranean Options 412
    OVERLORD and the Unconditional Surrender Formula 428
XIX. The Second Front and the Secondary War--The CBI: January-May 1944 433
    The Consequences of SEXTANT 433
    The Fate of SEAC 437
    The Mounting of the B-29 Offensive 442
    The Battle of the Air Transports 447
    The Decline of the CBI 449
XX. The Second Front and the Secondary War--The Pacific: January-May 1944 451
    The American Preserve 451
    Options in the Pacific 453
    End of a Mission 459
    Of Troops and Transports 461
    Eve of OVERLORD 464
XXI. The Promise of Military Victory: D-Day to September 1944 466
    ANVIL:--The Last Rounds 466
    CBI--The Asiatic Holding Theater 475
    Target--Philippines 479
    Strangulation or Invasion? 487
XXII. Political Shadows 490
    The Anglo-American Coalition 490
    The Soviet Ally 497
    The French Problem 501
    Relations With Other Nations 504
XXIII. OCTAGON--End of an Era 508
    The Second Quebec Conference 508
    Expansion and Distribution of U.S. Military Power 518
    The Staatus of Strategy 521
Epilogue 532
    Completing the Strategic Patterns 532
    The Challenges of Victory and Peace 538
Appendix page
A. Staff Summary of Current and Projected Deployment of American Versus British Forces, Prepared for the Cairo Conference 541
B. SEXTANT and the Postwar Political Balance in Asia--A Reflection 544
C. Principals at the International Conferences--January 1943-September 1944 546
D. Shipment of Divisions Overseas--January 1942-September 1944 550
E. Deployment to Principal Theaters--31 December 1942-30 September 1944 555
Bibliographical Note and Guide to Footnotes 556
Glossary of Abbreviations and Code Names  
Index 575


1 Tentative Schedule for Operations Against Japan, 1943-44 207
2 Planning Schedule of Operations, 1944 377
3 Planners' Deployment Estimates of March 1943 and Actual Deployment of Forces 31 December 1943 391
4 Army Overseas Deployment: 31 December 1942--31 December 1943 392
5 U.S. Overseas Deployment: 31 December 1943 398


1 Asia and Adjacent Areas  


1 The Anfa Hotel on the Outskirts of Casablanca 19
2 British and American Leaders at Casablanca 22
3 Generals Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle 38
4 High-Ranking Trio in New Delhi 80
5 The Federal Reserve Building, Washington, D.C. 127
6 General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Marshall 154
7 Lt. Gen. John E. Hull 165
8 Châeau Frontenac, Overlooking the St. Lawrence River 218
9 Top Military Planners at Quebec 219
10 Members of U.S. and British Staffs, Queb, 23 August 1943 222
11 Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and General Marshall 231
12 General Arnold With Lord Louis Mountbatten 237
13 Roosevelt's Concept of Postwar Occupation Zones for Germany 341
14 Aboard the President's Plane 345
15 Mena House, Cairo 348
16 The Pyramids 349
17 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang 351
18 The Big Three in Portico of the Soviet Legation, Tehran 358
19 The Combined Staffs Meeting in Mena House, 4 December 1943 368
20 Ismet Inonu, the President of Turkey 379
21 Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force 405
22 General Marshall With General Douglas MacArthur 454
23 Visitors at Normandy Beachhead, 12 June 1944 468
24 President Roosevelt During Pearl Harbor Conference 483
25 Guard of Honor on Review at The Citadel 509
26 Members of Joint Planning Staff at OCTAGON 517
All pictures in this volume are from Department of Defense files.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation