In November 1943 intensive preparations were going forward in Washington for the full-scale meetings with the Allied delegations at the Cairo-Tehran (code name SEXTANT-EUREKA) conference.1 The military planners were busy putting final touches on studies and plans and preparing their positions of advance and retreat--much like field headquarters making ready for battle. Experience in military diplomacy and the techniques of international conferences over the past year had convinced them of the need for thorough preparation and for greater understanding between the JCS and the President in advance of the meetings.
Final Rehearsals En Route to Cairo
There were special reasons in November for the planners' concern that pains be taken with the American rehearsal and performance. Not only were the President and his staff to meet with the British and with the Chinese representatives (Chiang Kai-shek and his staff) but also, for the first time in the war, a full-dress conference was to take place between the U.S., British, and Soviet delegations. After a number of fruitless attempts from early in the war to bring the "Big Three" together, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin were finally to meet face to face. The enlarged scope of the international conferences presented unusual complications. The Russians were as yet only at war with Germany, and the Chinese were participating actively only in the war against Japan. To preserve the diplomatic niceties, arrangements had been made therefore for the Western delegations to meet first with the Chinese at Cairo and later with Stalin, who had refused to go beyond Iran, at Tehran.
The general progress of the war since the Quebec conference had been encouraging. The Soviet counteroffensive, sweeping , westward, had crossed the Dnieper River; Italy had capitulated, and the Allies were in possession of the bottom of the Italian boot; the Gilberts campaign was about to begin. Nevertheless, certain trends made the Washington planners uneasy. From London and Moscow danger signals were being reported. They raised the serious question for General Marshall and his advisers whether the Russians, like the British, were now willing to settle for opportunistic Mediterranean operations even at the cost of postponing the final crushing blow against Germany on the Continent. From Chungking came the usual appeals for further aid.
A critical point had been reached in
Allied war planning. Almost two years had gone by since Pearl Harbor, but firm agreement among the Allies on a strategic design to beat even the primary antagonist--Germany--was still lacking. What appeared to be at stake was far more than the date or even the ultimate fate of OVERLORD. The whole strategy of the global war; the "beat Germany first" concept; the roles of the United States, Great Britain, the USSR, and China in the coalition effort--all were in the balance. A final showdown over basic European strategy was in the offing--one with profound implications for the conduct of the war against Japan as well. To the Washington military staff OVERLORD represented the hope--perhaps the last hope--of waging a decisive war, and they were determined to accept no further delay in the long-promised and much-postponed invasion across the Channel. Small wonder that General Morgan, COSSAC, who had just returned from staff discussions in Washington, should warn the British staff on the eve of their departure for Cairo of the temper of the American delegation and of the need to be prepared for a "stiff fight," in comparison with which QUADRANT might be considered "child's play.2
The JCS Re-examine Plans Against Japan
On 13 November the President, with a full complement of military advisers, sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, on the new battleship USS Iowa for the meetings at Cairo.3 With him were Harry Hopkins, Generals Marshall, Arnold, Somervell, Handy, and Roberts, and Admirals Leahy, King, and Cooke.4 That the Americans had come a long way in making ready for international conferences since Casablanca was illustrated both in the representation and in the final preparations aboard ship. In contrast to the handful of U.S. military planners sent to Casablanca, sixty military planning assistants were in the American delegation going to Cairo, including specialists in strategic planning and logistics and theater representatives--Navy as well as Army, with a liberal sprinkling of Army Air Forces and Army Service Forces representatives.5 Staff meetings were held almost every day during the trip, and important discussions took place both among the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and between the President and his staff. In the rush of preparations before boarding ship, the JCS had not been able to examine fully their planners' latest proposals for the JCS area of special interest--the war in the Pacific. One of the first subjects to which the JCS now turned was the question of the still-unsettled problem of the long-term plan against Japan.
Following QUADRANT, as already noted, there had been several attempts by the Anglo-American military planners to fashion a workable, long-range plan to bring about the defeat of Japan within twelve months after the fall of Germany, but none had found general acceptance. Indeed, the CPS had been pessimistic about any plan to beat Japan within this time limit. In the face of conflicting opinion among American planners over methods, routes, and objectives, the joint Chiefs of Staff were forced to resolve the problem themselves.6
En route to SEXTANT, the JCS considered the latest plans offered by the JPS and by the JSSC. Marshall and King both expressed astonishment that the Joint planners had recommended Hokkaido rather than Formosa as a primary objective, since Hokkaido did not "loom up as important" in any of the campaigns hitherto considered. Marshall felt that if the U.S. aircraft carriers could be used as, striking units rather than as protective cover for landing operations, great damage could be inflicted upon enemy bases without involving a large quantity of assault shipping and a subsequent build-up of land forces. Areas such as the strongly defended fortress of Truk in the Carolines would not have to be invaded. Marshall also thought that the planners had not given enough attention to "Japanese vulnerability through a lack of oil." In his opinion, a hard and fast blueprint of the war should not be set up, as the entire situation might change rapidly if the Japanese Fleet could only be brought into action. Marshall's concept of "flexibility" met with King's approval and presented the American planners with a quite different basic premise upon which to construct their future plans.7
The JCS then went on to consider and accept a recommendation of the JSSC that two plans for the defeat of Japan be formulated, one assuming Soviet participation and the other Soviet nonintervention. The two plans would be based on the premise that sea and air blockade plus intensive air bombardment would be sufficient to defeat the Japanese, thereby making invasion unnecessary. The JSSC optimistically added as another assumption that Germany would be out of the war by the spring of 1944 and that the present and prospective situation therefore warranted "an aggressive, imaginative and optimistic approach to the problem."8
On the surface, Marshall's doctrine of flexibility in the Pacific smacked strongly of the familiar and current practice of opportunism to which the Army staff had been objecting. On closer examination, it is apparent that the Chief of Staff's suggestions were not calculated to drain off Army forces and resources from the war against Germany. Rather, they would capitalize on new and old instruments and techniques of warfare and draw into play other potentially important strategic factors that, in the final analysis, might shorten the conflict and make less heavy demands on Army forces and resources--at least until the war with Germany was over. Marshall in effect was now urging what might be termed a planned opportunism, in contrast to the earlier "hit or miss," essentially defensive, hand-to-mouth opportunism in compartmented areas of the Pacific. Assuming freedom of movement and deployment among the compartments and along the alternative Pacific routes to Japan, the new policy might permit the most efficient use of the considerable manpower and large number of weapons already in the theater.
Acceptance of a constantly fluid situation, in which the Allies would seek to take every possible advantage of Japanese weakness or slowness in response and of Allied air and naval superiority and mobility, meant that despite the injection of the twelve-month target date there were still too many imponderables to allow all the pieces of the Japanese strategic puzzle to fall immediately into place. With Allied weapons and materiel available in ever-greater quantity, aggressive alertness would permit the fashioning of bolder plans during the period in which the European war was being brought to a close. Such foreshortening might come through a single development or a combination of developments such as USSR entry into the war, early defeat of the Japanese Fleet, acceleration of the assault shipbuilding program, massed carrier air strikes, or long-range bombardment utilizing B-29's. The accent on flexibility and short cuts did not rule out the ultimate necessity for an over-all plan but did recognize the hard fact that it must await a more propitious moment.
In the meantime, requirements for securing strategic bases and positions of readiness for the deployment of the large forces to become available after Germany's defeat would be one of the main problems confronting the planners. The growing conviction among the JCS and their staffs that the main effort against Japan would be made from the Pacific and the promise of the Central Pacific offensive to provide a more rapid advance than other routes seemed to indicate that the chief interest for future planning would lie in that area.9 Long-continued interest of the Navy and newfound interest of the Air Forces in the Marianas spurred the JCS to accept their capture as a planning objective in the Central Pacific. Acceptance of the primacy of the Central Pacific route would carry with it the condition that operations in other Pacific and Far Eastern theaters would have to be co-ordinated and probably subordinated to it. Along with efforts to keep China in the war
and bring in the USSR, the basic objectives of all operations would be destruction of the Japanese Fleet, shipping, and air forces and establishment of the air and sea blockade of the main Japanese islands.
On the eve of SEXTANT the JCS had therefore not arrived at an agreed overall plan against Japan. Like the earlier suggestion of dividing resources between the war against Germany and the war against Japan on an arithmetical basis, the idea of relating planning against Japan and Germany via a scheduled time limit appeared doomed to the scrap heap of abandoned strategic dreams. In place of a hard and fast long-range plan, General Marshall and the JCS had decided on the need to retain opportunism, now generally called flexibility, and to pursue a policy of watchful alertness, capitalizing on Japanese mistakes and Allied potentialities and superiorities. For the present, at least, the accent appeared likely to remain upon immediate operations and maintenance of the strategic initiative. The development of an over-all plan would have to await clarification of the European situation, progress of "modern and untried" methods of warfare, and solution of politico-military problems of coalition warfare.
The President Reviews the Issues
The discussions of the staff on board the USS Iowa culminated in two meetings with the President and Harry Hopkins--one on 15 November, the other on 19 November. During these sessions the President and his staff ranged over a wide variety of subjects: the plan for an emergency return to the Continent (RANKIN); spheres of responsibility for the occupation of Germany; command of Anglo-American forces operating against Germany; projected operations against Germany and Japan; rearmament of the French forces; the possibility of Turkey's entry into the war; postwar air bases; the agenda proposed for the forthcoming meetings with Chiang Kai-shek, Churchill, and Stalin; and future collaboration with the USSR. The list reflected the fact that postwar concerns were beginning to come to the fore, and the staff sought guidance from the President on these as well as on the more strictly strategic problems in the conduct of the war. In the course of the discussions the President gave the staff a clearer indication of the direction of his thinking and the fullest guidance on politico-military issues he had given them since America's entry into the war.
At the meeting on the 15th, hoping to nail down OVERLORD and get on with the war against Japan, the staff proposed that the Americans follow their familiar cautious stand on operations in the Balkan eastern Mediterranean area. The President replied "Amen," adding that the paper embodying the U.S. proposal should be sent to the British and that the American delegation should "definitely stand on it" during the first few days at Cairo.10 Passing to the involved subject of high command in Europe, which had been under discussion by the joint Chiefs, the President said that "it was
his idea that General Marshall should be the commander in chief against Germany and command all the British, French, Italian and U.S. troops involved in this effort."11
On the question of rearming French forces, the President expressed agreement with the staff's view that the United States should not promise U.S. military assistance and equipment beyond current commitments. The staff felt that the existing (eleven-division) program provided the French with the means they could reasonably absorb in assisting in the war against Germany. To augment French forces further for the purpose of postwar occupation of Axis territories, aiding in the war against Japan, and restoring French sovereignty over all territories of the French empire--as the French were then asking--seemed undesirable at this point.12 The President went on to say that the British wished to build France up to a first-class power that would be on the British side. It was his opinion, however, "that France would certainly not again become a first class power for at least 25 years."13 He did not feel that the United States should commit itself to returning to France all of her colonies. Among the places not to be returned to France he included Indochina, New Caledonia, the Marquesas Islands, and Dakar. Dakar he regarded as a continental outpost for the Americas "starting on the Coast of West Africa." Dakar's ports, airfields, and armaments must be kept in United Nations' hands, and Brazil should administer that portion assigned to militarized control of the United Nations.
After time out for further talks among themselves, the JCS met again with the President in the admiral's cabin on the 19th.14 Turning once more to the question of command in the war against Germany, the President took up the latest staff alternative proposals. He again expressed his preference for a supreme Allied commander but acknowledged that he might have to compromise with the Prime Minister. To Admiral Leahy's suggestion that the decision on a unified Mediterranean command should be postponed until after the overall command problem was settled, General Marshall took exception. He now was convinced that the immediate need for unified command was in the Mediterranean.
Apparently seeking to fortify his own preference in the meetings ahead, the President turned the discussion to the question of the total forces the United States and Great Britain would have at
home and abroad by the first of January 1944. On the basis of rough estimates offered by the staff, the President observed that in total strength overseas the United States was definitely ahead of the British. Soon the United States would have as many men in England for OVERLORD as the total British forces then in that country. General Marshall felt the United States was already ahead of the British in England. Noting that the British had only five operational divisions in England, he pointed out that the United States now had as many deployable men in England as had the British. General Arnold observed that the United States had also passed the British in aircraft overseas and by 1 January 1944 would have over 12,000 operational planes overseas against 8,000 for the British. The more exact figures on American versus British deployment, which General Marshall undertook to obtain for the President, would bear out even more sharply the pinch on British manpower and the consequent limit on anticipated overseas strength, in contrast with the prospect of a steady increase in U.S. manpower overseas in the months ahead.15
In a further discussion on the question of a Mediterranean commander in chief, the names of Generals Alexander and Eisenhower figured prominently as possible choices--depending on whether the supreme Allied commander were a British or an American officer. The President was still wary. Had the staff considered the danger that General Alexander might be dominated by the Prime Minister? General Marshall acknowledged that the JCS accepted this contingency but cited advantages that one command in the Mediterranean would bring. It would be both "logical and show good faith" to accept the British proposal forthwith. Admiral King came to the support of General Marshall; he, too, felt that the question of Mediterranean command should be dealt with immediately and on its own merits. The President next raised the point that the over-all Mediterranean command proposed by the British might have resulted "from an idea in the back of their heads to create a situation in which they could push our troops into Turkey and the Balkans." But he soon agreed with his staff that all dispositions and allocations by a Mediterranean commander in chief would be subject to the decisions of the CCS and the heads of state, and the President could exercise veto power. General Marshall felt that the British would point out--and with some justice--that they had suffered recently from lack of unified command in the Mediterranean. He added that "a commander such as General Eisenhower was always conservative, regarding the sending of reinforcements to another command that was not his own responsibility." On the other hand, an over-all commander who had responsibility for an enlarged theater would feel otherwise about bolstering
ROOSEVELT'S CONCEPT OF POSTWAR OCCUPATION ZONES for Germany drawn in pencil by the President Himself on a National Geographic Society map while en route to the Cairo conference.
weakened positions in his area of responsibility. Had General Eisenhower had responsibility for the Middle East, he probably would have been more inclined to insure additional air support for the British in the recent action in the Dodecanese.
Despite the arguments of the staff and the known disinclination of the Prime Minister to accept a supreme Allied commander, the President evidently still wished to retain the option of discussing the matter with the British. He concluded that the Americans could agree to a unified command in the Mediterranean and take up the question of a supreme Allied commander separately.
The President next turned to the question of zones of occupation and spheres of responsibility in postwar Germany. If Germany were suddenly to collapse or surrender before or during OVERLORD, the staff obviously would have to know what was expected of the military. Especially important were the practical questions of logistics and the disposition of the U.S. forces. Before them was a paper that contained the proposals of COSSAC and reflected British recommendations on proposed spheres of responsibility in Germany in connection with RANKIN. Since matters of political and economic as well as military policy were involved, the staff requested guidance from the President.16 The President proceeded to set forth the ideas he had in mind. Territorial dispositions should conform to the geographic subdivisions of Germany. Practically speaking, Germany should be split after the war into three states--southern, northwestern, and northeastern--or possibly five. The British wanted the northwestern part of Germany and would prefer to see the United States take over in France and Germany south of the Moselle River. This arrangement did not meet with the President's approval. He did not want to be involved in "reconstituting France," and especially wished to avoid complications with de Gazelle. France was "a British baby." The United States should take northwest Germany and U.S. troops should occupy the general area of Netherlands and northern Germany as far east as the Berlin-Stettin line. This would give the Americans the ports of Hamburg and Bremen far their ships and keep the United States out of the expected postwar trouble spots in France and southern Europe. The Russians would have territory to the east and the British to the south and west of the American zone. Possibly a buffer state between Germany and France would be necessary. At one point in the discussion the President, to set forth his ideas of a U.S. occupational zone in Germany more clearly, drew in pencil his proposed line of demarcation on a map the Army staff later brought back to Washington.17
The President envisaged an occupational force of about one million U.S. troops. In reply to a question by General Marshall as to how long the occupational troops would be maintained in
Europe, the President said "for at least one year, maybe two." The President was not explicit as to Italy and the Balkans area, except to make it clear he did not want U.S. troops there. In fact, the Americans should get out of Italy and France as soon as possible. Significantly, according to the record, the President stated that "There would definitely be a race for Berlin. We may have to put the United States Divisions into Berlin as soon as possible." But, Marshall later reported to Handy, it was the President's idea that Berlin would be jointly occupied by U.S., British, and Soviet troops.18
To maintain order in Europe during the occupation, the President had in mind a policy of "quarantine" and the use of the police power of the major powers among the United Nations. Thus he would not want to use U.S. troops to settle local squabbles in such places as Yugoslavia. Instead, the Army and Navy could be used to enforce an economic blockade and seal off trouble spots.
Hitherto, the American staff aboard the Iowa had been thinking about the occupation primarily in terms of the military considerations of OVERLORD. With his usual logic, Marshall pointed out that U.S. forces in OVERLORD would be advancing on the right and that occupation zones set up on that basis would involve less entanglement of forces and shorter and more direct supply lines. But now he and the other Chiefs of Staff concluded that a scheme was needed to disengage from OVERLORD at any stage, in order to switch to occupation areas outlined by the President and meet the political requirements he had set forth. Both the President and Marshall were hopeful of a swift and successful thrust at the heart of Germany. The President envisaged a "railroad" invasion of Germany with little or no fighting. Marshall was hopeful that, by exploiting airpower operating from a bridgehead and air bases seized in OVERLORD, the Allies might get a quick and cheap victory over Germany without having to make the rapid advance on the ground to the German frontier envisaged by COSSAC.19 In any event, Marshall assumed, there would be a shortage of rolling stock and a land advance would have to be made largely by motor trucks.
It is interesting to note that the President's idea of an American zone in postwar northwest Germany portended a U.S. occupation in force, to be conducted, like the American approach to the European war itself, with a minimum of time, expense, and political complications in European affairs. As he put it, "We should not get roped into accepting any European sphere of influence."
The President and the staff next took up the proposed agenda for the President's conferences with Chiang Kai-shek, Churchill, and Stalin. The President seemed determined to have the Chinese war effort supported as strongly as possible.20 At the same time, he signified his intention of telling the Generalissimo
only in general terms about the scheduled operations again Japan--specific dates would be omitted. He did not propose to raise the question of a supreme commander for the war against Japan--a problem that had been troubling the staff. The President asked the staff about the progress of the Hump airlift and about preparations for operations in north Burma. General Marshall told the President of the efforts to organize 3,000 American volunteers into long-range penetration groups to precede the Chinese forces. He reported a discouraging communication from Stilwell on the training of Chinese forces in Yunnan. Only a small percentage of the Chinese troops needed had been received; those arriving were new men lacking equipment and suffering from malnutrition. Marshall added that he thought it would be a serious mistake to put additional U.S. combat troops in with the Chinese, British, and Indian forces already in the theater. Introduction of a large contingent of American combat forces into the area would only increase the problem of supplying materiel over the Hump.
Moving on to the question of postwar aims in the Orient, the President observed that the Chinese wanted equal rights with the USSR in Outer Mongolia and Chiang Kai-shek wanted Manchuria returned. Undoubtedly the discussion of this subject would cause trouble. The staff pointed out that the Russians were keenly interested in a "nice big port" and communication to Dairen. The President was hopeful that the whole question could be worked out on a basis of "free zones"--a proposal on which he did not elaborate. Without comment he passed quickly over the Generalissimo's desire for a trusteeship over Korea to be administered by the USSR, China, and the United States. The Chinese would want Formosa and the Bonins. If the United States desired, the Generalissimo would undoubtedly give the Americans base rights in Formosa but not on a permanent basis. On the mandated islands in the Pacific, the President was more definite. They should be under the "composite sovereignty" of the United Nations, with the required military bases to be occupied by the United States.
Coming to the proposed agenda of the meeting with Churchill, the President brought the discussion around once more to the U.S. policy of nonparticipation in operations in the eastern Mediterranean-Balkan areas. General Marshall summed up the Army--and American staff--position, asserting, "We have to see this Balkan matter finished up. We do not believe that the Balkans are necessary. To launch operations in this region would. result in prolonging the war din Europe] and also lengthening the war in the Pacific." He pointed to the more than one million tons of U.S. supplies then in England for OVERLORD. To undertake a Balkan operation would be "going into reverse" and would reduce American potentialities by two thirds. Commitments and preparations for OVERLORD extended as far west as the Rocky Mountains in the United States. If the British insisted on ditching OVERLORD for the Balkans, the Americans could reply "that we will pull out and go into the Pacific with all our forces." After Marshall stated his case, the President said he felt attention had to be paid to the Soviet attitude in the matter. The Russians were then only sixty miles
from the Polish border and forty miles from Bessarabia and might shortly be on the point of entering Rumania. They might ask that Western Allied forces be sent up the Adriatic to the Danube to help defeat Germany. General Marshall replied that the Americans would have to be ready to explain to the Russians the implications of such a move. If the Soviet forces got to the Bug River, the Western Allies could force the issue from England by throwing in air support. He doubted that any troops the Allies might send to the Balkans, in line with the President's hypothesis, would have an appreciable effect on the situation.
Before concluding the discussion of the forthcoming meeting with the Prime Minister, the staff also called the President's attention to prospective differences over Burma operations. The staff was anticipating British objections especially to the amphibious phase of the Burma undertaking. General Marshall pointed out that Churchill favored operations against Sumatra or the Andaman Islands. In Admiral King's opinion, the British statement that without further help from the United States they could undertake only the Andaman Islands operations was simply "a case of marking time." Both the President and the staff expressed some annoyance at the way the Azores matter had been handled by the British. Their feeling was that U.S. interests in the Azores facilities--recently opened for the use of the Western Allies--might have been more actively promoted, but General Marshall thought that the real source of the trouble had been the lack of energetic American representation in Lisbon.
In preparing for the meeting with Stalin, General Marshall advised the President of the need to establish an organizational basis for doing business with the USSR on the military level. General Handy had been stressing the same point to the JCS--that the forthcoming meetings should develop a method or machinery for collaboration with the USSR.21 General Arnold wanted the Russians to give advance information as soon as possible on the air facilities that might be available for bases and operations against Japan. The President had already pointed to the need for making a study on the number of bombers that could be operated from the vicinity of Vladivostok once the war with Germany was over. He now commented that "the Soviets would like to have our planes but not our air personnel." On the subject of Soviet interest in Italian ships, the President was far more favorably disposed than Admiral King. President Roosevelt was willing to let the USSR have the use of one third of the vessels as a token of good will, but with the proviso that title to them was not to be transferred.
At the conclusion of the discussions with the President aboard the Iowa, the staff were more firmly united than ever on the stand they would take at the conference. As their position emerged from the talks, the JCS would support OVERLORD as scheduled, a campaign in Burma, and getting on with the Pacific war, but no eastern Mediterranean-Balkan operation.22 The President appeared
ABOARD THE PRESIDENTS PLANE.
General Eisenhower with Mr. Roosevelt on the flight from Oran to Tunis, 20 November 1943.
to be in accord. Never since the United States had entered the war had he given them such a glimpse of his reflections on the political problems that were bound up with the war and its outcome. But nothing that he said aboard ship was designed to deter the staff from fighting the kind of war they had set out to fight--a quick war leading to a decisive military victory. On the contrary, his stated views all seemed oriented toward realizing that objective as soon as possible. All signs pointed to the encouraging prospect that the American delegation would enter the conference as a united team. How the U.S. military position would fare once the staff sat down with the Chinese, the British, and the Russian delegations and the President conferred with their chiefs of state remained to be seen.
On 20 November the Iowa arrived at Oran, where the President was met by Eisenhower and his staff. After a flight to Tunis, the President, on the 21st, toured the historic battlefields of that area with General Eisenhower. The President talked briefly about the future--especially OVERLORD. He undoubtedly seized the opportunity further to appraise
Eisenhower, who was then slated to be brought back to Washington as Acting Chief of Staff in Marshall's place, should Marshall assume command in Europe. With characteristic sensitivity to what history would record, the President commented to Eisenhower that few people remembered the name of the "Chief of Staff" for the last years of the Civil War. He did not like to think that before many years had gone by practically nobody would know General Marshall. This was one of the reasons he wanted Marshall to have the big field command. But, as Eisenhower later recorded, the President also confided his dread at the thought of Marshall leaving Washington.23 Both Eisenhower and King have also told how, while dining with Marshall at Eisenhower's cottage during the brief stopover at Tunis, King explained to Eisenhower the steps leading up to the President's tentative decision to give Marshall the top field command over King's objection--much to the apparent embarrassment of Marshall, who, with characteristic reserve, kept silent.24
During the night of the gist the President and his party departed by plane for Cairo. No one, least of all Eisenhower, who was soon to join the others at the conference, suspected what the next two weeks would bring.
Table of Contents
Previous Chapter (14) * Next Chapter (16)
1. The composite conference was usually referred to by the code name SEXTANT, although SEXTANT properly referred only to the meetings at Cairo. EUREKA was the code name given to the interim meetings at Tehran.
2. Ltr, Barker, Deputy COSSAC, for Handy, 17 Nov 43, Folder 3, Item 15, Exec 5.
3. The general background Of SEXTANT, including the oft-told stories of security leaks and the narrow escape during the voyage to Cairo of the USS Iowa from a torpedo accidentally discharged by one of the accompanying U.S. escort vessels, is briefly recounted in the published memoirs and biographies of a number of the principal American participants: (1) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 766-70; (2) Leahy, I Was There, pp, 193-99; (3) King and Whitehill, Fleet Admiral King, pp. 499-502; (4) Arnold, Global Mission, pp. 453-59. For negotiations on the location of the conference, see also Hull, Memoirs, II, 1292-96, 1303, 1306, 1311. For preparations on the British side, see Churchill, Closing the Ring, pp. 300-33.
4. General Roberts had succeeded Wedemeyer as chief Army planner on 11 September 1943. Roberts had been promoted to brigadier general on 6 November 1943.
5. (1) A brief summary of Army and joint staff preparations for SEXTANT is contained in Cline, Washington Command Post, pp. 226-28. (2) To help brief General Handy for the Cairo conference, the Operations Division gathered a variety of data relating to plans, command, operations, deployment, and logistics. These were assembled in one book, an abbreviated version of books prepared by OPD for earlier conferences. See OPD Condensed Information Book, 6 Nov 43, Exec 6. (3) For the detailed story of Army staff preparations for Cairo, see especially: ABC 337 (18 Oct 43), 1-A; ABC 337 (7 Dec 43); Item 12a, Exec 5; and Item 15, Exec 5.
6. See pp. 311-12, above.
7. Min, 123d mtg JCS, 15 Nov 43. Marshall's argument for flexibility and adaptability in order to attain his major strategic objectives was not a new characteristic. He bad revealed these same qualities earlier in the year in advocating an earlier date for HUSKY and in recommending AVALANCHE. See Ch. VII, above.
8. Min, 123d mtg JCS, 15 Nov 43. Admiral Leahy was more pessimistic and voiced his fear that it would take more than a year after Germany's defeat to subdue the Japanese. The JCS official appreciation of the European situation, submitted several days later at Cairo to the British, contained no estimate of the date of possible German collapse. It predicted that Germany, still possessing formidable strength, would fight hard as long as hope for a negotiated peace existed. See CCS 300/3, 18 Nov 43, title: Estimate of Enemy Situation, 1944-Europe.
9. (1) JCS 581, 9 Nov 43, title: Specific Operations for the Defeat of Japan 1944. (2) JCS 581 / 1, 16 Nov 43, same title. (3) Min, 123d mtg JCS, 15 Nov 43. (4) Min, 124th mtg JCS, 17 Nov 43.
10. (1) Min, mtg President and JCS, 15 Nov 43. This meeting, as well as that of the 19th, was held aboard USS Iowa, with the President, Harry Hopkins, Generals Marshall and Arnold, Admirals Leahy and King, and Rear Adm. Wilson Brown, Naval Aide to the President, present. (2) JCS 558, 1 Nov 43, title: United Nations Strategy in the Balkans-Eastern Mediterranean Region. (3) JCS 558/ 1, 5 Nov 43, same title.
11. For the staff shipboard discussions on command in advance of the meeting with the President, see min, 123d mtg JCS, 15 Nov 43.
12. (1) Memo, Handy for CofS, 4 Nov 43, sub: Formation of Two French Brigades for Operations in West Pacific, with JCS 547 in ABC 091.711 France (6 Oct 43), (2) Memo, Donnelly, Secy JPS, for Bieri, Gen Hansell, Gen Roberts, Capt Doyle, USN, 7 Nov 43, sub: The Distribution of French Ground and Air Forces in the Various Theaters of Operations and the Rearmament of French Air and Naval Forces, with JCS 561 in ABC 091.711 France (6 Oct 43). (3) Memo, Col G.A. Lincoln for Gen Hull, 21 NOV 43, same sub, with JCS 547 in ABC 091.711 France (6 Oct 43).
13. Min, mtg President and JCS, 15 Nov 43.
14. For background discussions of the staff, see especially: (1) min, 124th mtg JCS, 17 Nov 43; (2) min, 125th mtg JCS, 18 Nov 43; and (3) min, 126th mtg JCS, 19 Nov 43.
Unless otherwise indicated, the discussion that follows is based on min, mtg President and JCS, 19 Nov 43. What is apparently a preliminary informal version of the formal recorded minutes is contained in Item 11, Exec 2. A partial record of the minutes is also filed with CCS 320 in ABC 384 NW Europe (20 Aug 43), 1-A.
15. On 23 November General Marshall submitted the requested statistics to the President. These carried forward the breakdown of U.S. versus British deployment from the current point (22 November 1943) to 1 July 1944. In general they showed the projected steady increase in total strength of American forces deployed overseas-for all branches while those of the British forces overseas would remain, except for a slight increase in Navy personnel, almost constant during the period. At the second plenary session at Cairo the President read out the figures. See: (1) memo, CofS for President, 23 Nov 43, no sub, Folder 3, Item 15, Exec 5; and (2) min, 2d plenary mtg, SEXTANT, 24 Nov 43, SEXTANT Conf Book. For the statistical breakdown see App. A.
16. For the background papers on RANKIN and for staff discussions on that operation on board the Iowa, see especially: (1) JCS 577, 8 Nov 43, title: Europe-wide "RANKIN"; (2) JPS 321, 10 Nov 43, same title; (3) JCS 577/1, 16 Nov 43, same title; (4) JCS 577/2, 17 Nov 43, same title: (5) min, 124th mtg JCS, 17 Nov 43; and (6) min, 125th mtg JCS, 18 Nov 43.
17. The map is filed in item 11, Exec 2. At the conclusion of the meeting the map was handed to General Marshall who in turn gave it to General Handy the same day.
18. Memo, T.T.H. [Handy], 19 Nov 43, sub: RANKIN, Item 11, Exec 2. This is General Handy's record of the information given him by General Marshall on 19 November after the meeting of the JCS with the President. The existing record of the minutes of the conference is somewhat confusing on the question of the occupation of Berlin. It contains the puzzling statement, attributed to the President, "The United States should have Berlin." This, of course, may have been garbled in notation.
19. Min, 124th mtg JCS, 17 Nov 43.
20. Leahy, I Was There, p. 198.
21. Min, 126th mtg JAS, 19 Nov 43.
22. There was little explicit discussion of specific Pacific operations in the staff meetings with the President on board ship. Since the Pacific was viewed as an area of primary American responsibility, differences over specific undertakings were not likely to emerge in forthcoming discussions with the Allies, on which the President's interest was then focused.
23. (1) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 770. (2) Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 197.
24. (1) Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe, p. 196. (2) King and Whitehill, Fleet Admiral King, p. 504.