SEPTEMBER 18, 1941.
Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, W. P. D.
Subject. Strategic Estimate of the Situation.
1. The following data are furnished in response to your memorandum, above subject, WPD 4994, September 17, 1941. The succeeding paragraphs are numbered according to the questions propounded therein.
"1. Do you see any beneficial effect of America's war effort with respect to Great Britain maintaining her control over Singapore?"
America's defense effort, in terms of political, military, and economic pressure, has already contributed materially toward curbing Japan's advance to the southwest. This restraint on Japan tends to become stronger as time passes by.
"2. If Great Britain were driven out of the Mediterranean and Middle East Area, could she retain control in a remunerative sense in India and Malaysia? What are the capabilities of Japan with respect to this situation?"
Yes, provided the Trans-Pacific sea lanes are secured. In such an event Japan would be sorely tempted to attack to the southwest. Such an attack could be blocked only by the use of large U. S. Naval forces and considerable U. S. ground and air forces.
"3. If the Russian military forces were defeated in European Russia, would the Maritime and Siberian Areas continue to resist? What would their capabilities be in the premises?"
Yes, but on the basis of a purely passive defense. Resistance could be organized more effectively in eastern than in western Siberia. The degree of resistance would depend in large measure on material assistance from the United States and Japan's position in the then developing situation. The amounts of material furnished by us would be conditioned by the shipping situation, the means of land transport available on the Asiatic mainland and by the attitude of Japan.
"4. What would the effect be of a successful German drive to the southwest including the north and northwest African Areas?"
Such a move would have two major disadvantages for Germany: military over-extension and an increased economic problem with reference to Spain and Portugal. It would give her the following major advantages: consolidation of western Europe and north Africa; increased opportunity for naval raiding by ships and aircraft based on northwest Africa; opportunity to extend her influence in Latin American and perhaps to infiltrate there physically. Such action by Germany would necessitate the prompt occupation of the Natal area, Brazil, by the United States and the prompt occupation of the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands by the Democracies.
"5. What would the effect be on the situation if the Germans make a successful drive southeastward through Turkey, Iran and against the Suez Area?"
Such an event would entail disastrous British losses and a profound shock to British morale. It would throw the British back against India and Kenya. It would require the reorganization and protection of sea communications between India, Malaysia, Australasia and the Democracies. (See 2 above).
Brigadier General, U. S. Army,
Acting Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2.
(EXHIBITS OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE, PHA, PT. 14, EXHIBIT NO. 33 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATES PREPARED BY G-2, WAR DEPARTMENT)