Chapter VII: 
The ASF and the OPD
The Army Service Forces had many disagreements with the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff. It was in essence a jurisdictional conflict, a type of conflict that commonly serves as the theme of administrative history. Controversy might have been averted had both the OPD and the ASF interpreted their responsibilities narrowly. Theoretically, a jurisdictional boundary might have been drawn between them by distinguishing policy from operation and strategy from logistics. But such a boundary is vague and ill-defined, and since both organizations were aggressively led by men who were determined to do their jobs well, friction was inevitable. Jurisdictional border raiding during a great war may appear unseemly, but in spite of this rivalry, or perhaps because of it, both OPD and ASF met their responsibilities admirably.
Specifically, the principal controversies were (1) over the problem of exchanging information on strategy and logistics, and over the time factor in logistical planning; (2) over the feeling by each organization that the other was assuming responsibilities not properly its own, particularly in handling details of overseas supply; (3) over relative merits and uses of weapons, particularly antiaircraft artillery and heavy guns; and most serious of all (4) over the representation of the ASF in the committee system of the joint Chiefs of Staff. In order to understand the issues more clearly it is necessary to examine the role of the Chief of Staff and the Operations Division under the War Department reorganization of 9 March 1942. The reorganization was not intended to diminish the essential authority of the General Staff as the top command of the Army. The revised army regulations issued in July 1942 made it clear that the Chief of Staff of the War Department was "the executive" through whom the President in his role as Commander in Chief exercised his responsibilities for deciding basic military issues. In addition, the Chief of Staff was the "immediate adviser" to the Secretary of War and responsible to him for planning and executing the military program.1 Thus the reorganization had not diminished the importance of the Chief of Staff: he remained the top professional military leader of the Army. The WDGS continued to be his immediate, personal organization.
At the same time, the reorganization had made some change in the scope of work performed by the General Staff. The revised regulation stated that the staff would make "such broad basic plans and policies" as would enable the commanding generals of the Air Forces, the Ground Forces, the Service Forces, and of the theaters of operations to prepare and execute

detailed programs. The regulation made the implied limitation even more explicit by saying that while the General Staff would "supervise" the execution of programs, it was not to engage in administrative duties or in operations for the performance of which any agency exists."2 Accordingly, the General Staff was to remain on a high level of policy making and supervision, while the maximum amount of detailed planning and administration was left to the major commands of the Army, three in the United States and others overseas. It was the interpretation of this division of responsibility that was to become a chief source of dispute.
The most important single unit of the General Staff throughout World War II was the Operations Division. Its function, succinctly described in the official statement of July 1942, was to perform "those duties of the War Department General Staff which relate to the formulation of plans and strategic direction of the military forces in the theater of war." By virtue of this authority, the OPD has been characterized as the command post of the Chief of Staff during World War II. Of the five sections of the General Staff, it was the only one which, after the reorganization, retained a large number of officials on the policy making level. Its staff of more than three hundred civilian and military personnel was twice as large as the total staffs of G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 combined. The division was ably led, first by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and then in turn by Generals Thomas T Handy and John E. Hu11.3
The Army Service Forces was supposed to receive from the Operations Division all the information it needed relating to strategic plans. The ASF believed that the Army Supply Program, the basis of all its procurement effort, could be computed accurately only if it knew in advance where and when military operations were to take place. The supply planners of the ASF, moreover, constantly worked with the OPD on preparations for the movement of men and supplies overseas.
This brings us to the first source of friction. Difficulty developed because of the feeling in the ASF that the OPD was not sufficiently aware of the length of time needed for the purchase, delivery, and transportation of military supplies. As already indicated, the ASF either sought to push the OPD into strategic and tactical commitments, or to make its own recommendations for military operations, based on estimated supply capabilities.4
The kind of difficulty which arose is illustrated in the preparations for TORCH, the invasion of North Africa. From a supply point of view, the entire operation was a nightmare. A final decision to launch an attack on North Africa was not made until the end of July with a target date less than three months later. Anticipating such an invasion, Generals Somervell and Lutes had begun to prepare for it even before the decision was made. In this the ASF received little guidance from OPD. As late as 6 September 1942, just two months before the invasion force landed, the ASF had still to learn what units were scheduled to sail from the United States and on what dates; whether any units sailing from the United Kingdom were to be supplied from the United States and when; what special equipment and supplies were necessary for the force sailing from the United States, and whether these supplies were to be

combat loaded; what the special supply requirements were for the task forces sailing from the United Kingdom; the size of the force which would eventually be moved from the United Kingdom to North Africa; and finally, the objectives to be assigned General Patton's force. The ASF had to know all this in order to estimate shipping requirements for troops and military equipment .5
The Army Service Forces did not receive a clear-cut reply to the questions thus posed, simply because at this time there were no answers. President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill had agreed on the North African campaign on 24 July. Planning took place in both Washington and London, and General Handy of the Operations Division had to fly to London in mid-August to keep his own division posted.6 It was not until early September that even the main outlines of the operation were set; by 6 September OPD was therefore not yet in a position to provide Somervell with the specific information requested by him. TORCH became a kind of symbol to the ASF of the plight it would constantly be finding itself in if strategic decisions were not made well in advance of actual operations, and ample time afforded for logistical preparations.
On 20 July 1943, General Somervell asked the Chief of Staff for guidance on supply questions. Under the heading of current problems he listed frequent shifts in plans involving the transfer of large numbers of men and supplies, uncertainty about the cross-Channel operation, and the advancing tempo of operations in the Pacific. He also inquired whether the build-up of troops and supplies in England was to be continued; whether there was some expectation of moving from Italy into France or Austria; and whether preparations for military operations in the Pacific should be accelerated.
Next, taking up long-range problems, Somervell argued, that the Army Service Forces needed more detailed information about joint strategy, as, for example, the timetable for the redeployment of troops to the Pacific after the defeat of Germany, and the approximate scale of the redeployment. This information was needed in the revision of the Army Supply Program for the calendar year 1944, and for the formulation of at least a part of the production program for 1945. Somervell also pointed out that while, for the remainder of 1943 and all of 1944, shipping capacity was in balance with the procurement program, in 1945 more shipping would be available than military equipment. The question was, should present supply and shipping schedules be reduced accordingly; or should the supply program for 1945 be increased to take care of possible relief demands?
Finally, General Somervell asked for more detailed information about the forthcoming operations against Japan. What would be the character and magnitude of operations on the mainland of China? How large an army would be required in the Pacific? To what extent would supplies still be provided the Russians after the defeat of Germany? In what parts of the Pacific would the major operations take place? And more specifically, was an operation based on Alaska still contemplated? 7

This memorandum was one of several similar reminders to the OPD that the Army Service Forces had to have information about military operations in advance if it was to plan its own work with accuracy and with a minimum of expense and waste motion. But again, the OPD was scarcely in a position to respond in detail. Military plans were too uncertain to enable it to supply the definite information he sought. While General Somervell appreciated these difficulties he felt it necessary to impress the needs of the ASF upon OPD, and to point out once more the close relationship between supply activities and strategic planning. The Operations Division, on the other hand, was already familiar with these problems, and Somervell's not-too-gentle reminders had the effect of opening up old wounds.
The claim that procurement and supply activities required a precise and early knowledge of strategy may at times have appeared unwarranted. Divisions were equipped under fairly standardized tables of allowances calculated to meet general rather than specific needs. There was a danger too that early strategic commitments might destroy the element of surprise and might even prevent the full exploitation of unexpected opportunities. No strategic planner could overlook the possibility of a "break," even if he dared not definitely count on one. Nor could he overlook the possibility of unforeseen setbacks. The strategic planners of World War II .wanted sufficient supplies of all kinds to meet any strategic change. They were wary of production schedules geared closely to inflexible strategic concepts. Some War Department officers felt that maximum over-all production should be undertaken and that procurement plans should not wait for a fully developed strategic concept with a detailed plan for troop deployment.8
The ASF did not share this point of view. For one thing, standardized troop equipment tables were not an adequate guide for procurement. They did not take into sufficient account such variables as where and when the troops would fight, and in what numbers. The kind of clothing provided troops destined for England and northern Europe had to be very different from the clothing for troops fighting in the Pacific. Climatic conditions made substantial differences in the demands for waterproofing and other preservative materials, not to mention medical supplies. Then too, the availability and condition of overseas port facilities, roads, railways, utility systems, and similar considerations made a great deal of difference in the procurement of construction supplies.
Furthermore, in an economy which apparently was straining to meet war production needs and whose civilian administrators were inclined to be critical oŁ "excessive" Army requirements, General Somervell could scarcely accept a concept of "maximum over-all production." This latter idea suggested a vast supply pool on which the strategic planners would draw as the occasion required. General Somervell wanted a procurement program calculated reasonably well to meet specific supply demands. He abhorred the possibility of waste under the other arrangement, knowing full well that criticism growing out of the accumulation of large stores of unused military supplies would eventually be directed at him, not at the strategic planners.

The North African campaign, begun in November 1942, suffered too well the consequences of tardy preparation. It is illustrated by the story of the 829th Signal Service Company which has been told under theapt title, "Case History in Confusion." The company was made up of carefully selected personnel and, under terrific pressure from the beginning, it was subjected to a confusing volley of contradictory and supplementary orders, that made fulfillment of its mission impossible. Somervell, in explaining the subsequent failure of this as well as other units, attributed it to "the difficulty in obtaining authorization for such units in adequate time to give them the necessary training." 9
General Somervell wished to be promptly and thoroughly informed about everything that was going on. When he found, for example, that certain memoranda announcing decisions or instructions of the joint Chiefs of Staff were being withheld, he requested that all secret papers which might require planning or action by the Army Service Forces be sent to him. In the case of the particular memoranda just referred to, he wished to learn the strategic concept for the year of 1943, adding significantly that he believed that nearly all matters of strategy would require action on the part of at least some of the agencies of the ASF.10
To this problem of providing early information on strategic plans to the logistical staffs, no clear or wholly satisfactory solution was ever worked out. A great many factors had to be taken into consideration such as, for example, the experience and size of the organizations involved. Unquestionably, the ASF did not get nearly enough time to prepare for the invasion of North Africa or for many other operations.
In those instances when information was provided well in advance, results were gratifying. By being present at the Casablanca Conference, Somervell learned immediately of the decision to undertake the invasion of Sicily, and so was able to advise General Lutes what to expect. Indeed, General Lutes' own diary reveals that by 3 February 1943, long before the Tunisian campaign itself was even well begun, he was estimating the number and capacity of the landing craft and the combat loaded transports which would have to sail from the United States to land on the shores of Sicily; by the first of March, he had prepared timetables covering a period up to the end of May for convoys carrying necessary supplies.11 As the war progressed, the Operations Division and the ASF worked together more efficiently, but the dispute over the time factor in logistical planning continued throughout the war. Another source of difference between the ASF and the OPD was the conviction that OPD was encroaching on ASF prerogatives, particularly in the handling of the details of overseas supply. According to the Army Service Forces, the OPD often handled details which bogged it down and created supply bottlenecks. For example, General MacArthur in the summer of 1942 sent a radiogram asking information about certain types of jungle clothing and equipment. Because of the nature of OPD's relationship with the theaters, it was technically within its rights when it decided to handle this matter. But AST officers felt that this was really a supply problem and that unless the request raised questions of high policy, OPD

should have turned it over to ASF.12 Service Forces people felt the same resentment when the Operations. Division intervened in a routine memo dealing with requirements for automotive spare parts.13
The ASF objected on much the same grounds when OPD passed on the qualifications of supply officers selected by the ASF to fill overseas positions. "This office," Somervell tartly asserted, "will not refer the selection of service staff officers to your office for approval in the future." In the same memo he also took issue with OPD action disapproving arrangements to organize an engineer regiment in Egypt. The ASF had recommended that a civilian construction contract be terminated and that its work be done by an engineer regiment to be formed from personnel in the Middle East. The OPD sent out contrary orders. The exchange of messages with the Middle East Command dragged on for over a month, involving, as General Somervell observed, "an inexcusable waste of time." He continued: "I am sure that inefficiency will result in the event that junior officers in OPD continue to interfere with matters of supply." 14
A few days later, General Somervell wrote another sharp memorandum to the Operations Division on troop requirements for the Northwest Service Command. 15 And after a lapse of three more days, he again took issue with OPD over its disapproval of the assignment of an Army music band to the Persian Gulf Command. In justification of the assignment Somervell remarked, "There is absolutely no form of recreation in the isolated and depressing spots where a great many of this command must work," and concluded that the "band will do no good in the United States and as long as it exists, we might as well put it in a theater where we can get some results from it." On the copy of this memorandum, when it was returned by OPD, was a penciled remark, "Reported band on way. Do you want two?" 16
These disputes in themselves were trivial. But it was just because they were so trivial that General Somervell objected to OPD's intervention. A basic motive of the reorganization of March 1942 was to relieve the Chief of Staff of unnecessary administrative burdens, and now the Operations Division as the Chief of Staffs own staff seemed to go out of its way to enter into the pettiest kind of detail. Not only the ASF, but the Air Forces as well, complained of this situation.17
On the other hand, the OPD had the major responsibility of supporting the theaters of operations. It is a natural tendency for hard-working, energetic individuals to be reluctant to delegate authority because they feel they themselves could do the job better than someone else. OPD, understandably, in carrying out its major responsibility, did not always draw a fine jurisdictional boundary line. In fact, many of the specific interventions into detail about which the ASF grumbled could be justified on the grounds of emergency, or that they were loose ends of a larger transaction handled in OPD, or that they were unique, or that they were

 part of OPD's policy-making functions.
Another of the important points of conflict between ASF and the OPD stemmed from a difference of opinion over the best use of certain weapons, particularly antiaircraft artillery and heavy guns. 18 General Somervell belonged to the group that believed in more antiaircraft protection for troops. There was a great deal of support in the War Department for this point of view.19 General McNair of the Army Ground Forces was one of the leaders of an opposing group. McNair believed that manpower and mat6riel ought not be diverted into purely defensive operations. He objected to the defensive psychology and the loss of mobility caused by added equipment. Antiaircraft fire was important when the enemy commanded the air, he argued, but since it was expected that Allied planes would dominate the sky, Allied antiaircraft guns would be largely unnecessary.20 The Operations Division went along with McNair's arguments. In his protest, Somervell wrote to the OPD that "the action taken by the Department in reference to antiaircraft protection is a short-sighted one," and he suggested that "General McNair be directed to spend two weeks at the front under aircraft attack to see if this changes his ideas. If after this stay he is still of the opinion that there should be no antiaircraft weapons as a part of the organic equipment of a division, I will withdraw my position." 21 The course of events, on the whole, seemed to support McNair's stand.22
General Somervell took an equally strong stand on the use of heavy artillery. He expressed the opinion that when the time came to crack the defenses of Bizerte and Tunis or any pill box and masonry fortifications, field commanders would be pleased to have weapons of 90-mm. caliber or better. "It seems inexcusable for us," he wrote, "to have in arsenals in this country weapons of heavier caliber which are not being used because of some technical theory or because the theater commander has not thought to ask for them." 23
As a matter of fact, the calibers and quantities of heavy artillery were a source of disagreement between the ASF and the Army Ground Forces, with OPD incidentally involved. The AGF was reluctant to commit itself to the use of heavy artillery pieces which might delay rapid maneuver of troops. The Ordnance Department, on the other hand, was eager to build heavier calibers in artillery and to provide larger quantities of ammunition than the Ground Forces and even overseas theaters had first recommended. Indeed, requirements for heavy artillery appeared in the Victory Program of 1941 and in later Army Supply Programs. The Ordnance Department was by no means un-

mindful of the requirements of mobility, but believed that even heavy pieces of artillery could be mounted on self-propelled carriages or tanks or pulled with some rapidity by heavy tractors. First in Italy and later in France and on the German border, the Army was grateful that it had heavier and heavier artillery available .24 This time events supported Somervell's stand.
Perhaps the principal source of friction between the ASF and OPD was the problem which arose over the representation of the ASF in the committee system of the joint Chiefs of Staff. As time went on, the JCS became more and more important in the conduct of the war, and its committees and subcommittees tended to be the place where vital issues on military operations were discussed and resolved. During the first year of its existence, the JCS constantly increased the scope of its interests and the size of its machinery. The ASF contributed its share of influence in this direction, particularly in bringing to the attention of the JCS certain procurement and logistical problems. A case in point is when General Somervell in October 1942 recommended that the War Production Board should ask the JCS to fix procurement limits for various military supply programs in the calendar year 1943.25 In January 1943 he prepared a memorandum for the JCS reviewing the major categories of possible procurement for the year, and requesting a decision on whether these programs were to be considered as of equal priority or whether special emphasis should be given to aircraft procurement, escort vessels, high octane gasoline, and synthetic rubber development. In the latter event, he stated, other military programs, the Russian protocol commitments, and essential civilian supplies, would have to be carried along at a lower priority rate.26 Such action on the part of the ASF tended to bring it within the scope of the JCS system.
Although in other respects content with the joint committee system, Somervell felt strongly that the Army Service Forces should have a voice in that system. As G-4, following Pearl Harbor and the early phase of overseas deployment, he had played a prominent role in determining the use of shipping. When he took over command of the ASF, he wished to retain such influence for that agency. In this effort he had a head-on collision with OPD, which wanted the ASF to provide logistical advice, in a technical but not in a policy-making sense. In effect, the ASF was to speak only when spoken to. The nub of the issue was in the overlapping of the task of translating logistical data into strategic decisions with the task of translating strategic decisions in their initial stages into logistical plans for supporting operations.27
The most important supporting committee in the JCS system was the joint Staff Planners UPS). Its Army representative was Maj. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer of the Operations Division. Wedemeyer readily agreed with Somervell that logistics was basic to any plan and went so far as to quote-from a British officer in Washington who said that knowledge of logistical possibilities was more important than

understanding strategic possibilities.28 But both he and the British members believed that logistical advisers should not be planners as such; rather they ought to be technical experts who would be called upon whenever the planners felt they needed advice.29 In other words, the Operations Division attitude, as expressed by General Wedemeyer both in OPD and in the JPS, was that ASF technical and logistical data were both proper and desirable. But he believed that it was the business of the planners and not the Army Service Forces to interpret and use that data as they saw fit. Somervell did not accept this position. To him it seemed necessary and wise that the ASF participate in and help determine strategic decisions. In practice the ASF and its commander did influence strategy, largely through its determination of the logistical feasibility of Army plans. Yet General Somervell was never a member of the JCS. Unwilling to accept the position of a mere technical adviser, Somervell in September 1942 recommended the formation of a new joint committee to serve the Joint Chiefs of Staff as specialists in logistical planning. He argued that the joint Staff Planners were ignorant of procurement and supply problems and their opinions were "predicated neither on knowledge nor experience." The new committee ought to be made up of himself and a Navy officer in a comparable position. Since both men would have large, experienced staffs at their beck and call, the new committee could furnish reliable logistical advice quickly.30 The experience of 1942, both in the North African campaign and in the build-up of supplies in England for a cross-Channel operation, buttressed Somervell's arguments. The consequences of poor co-ordination in these operations was another grim reminder of the truism that logistics and strategy were inextricably intertwined.
The Operations Division did not dispute Somervell's contention that much closer co-ordination between strategy and logistics must take place; but it did take issue with the manner in which Somervell proposed to bring it about. It opposed setting up a committee which could have direct contact with the joint Chiefs of Staff and in effect bypass the JPS on many subjects. At that very time, the Joint Chiefs were considering the appointment of requirements representatives from the War and Navy Departments to advise the strategic planners. OPD pushed this proposal as an alternative to Somervell's plan.31 Four War Department representatives were chosen, one of whom came from OPD and another from ASK General Marshall asked Somervell whether he thought his proposed committee was still necessary. Somervell wrote his reply on Marshall's memo: "No Sir, not at present anyway." 32
But the addition of requirements representatives was a makeshift which failed to achieve its purpose. The whole joint staff system was creaking badly, and the JCS was poorly served, particularly at the level of the JPS. The planners were busy men. They tried to do more than they could rea-

sonably be expected to do, and they made decisions in fields with which they were personally unfamiliar. They attempted to remedy the weakness by adding nonvoting members as in the case of the requirements representatives, and by delegating their work to subordinates .33 Their efforts failed. The woeful performance of the American joint system was evident at the Casablanca Conference where, in the opinion of many observers, the polished professional performance of the British joint staff made the Americans look like rank amateurs .34
In January 1943 the Joint Chiefs of Staff considered revamping their supporting committees. Somervell was attending the Casablanca Conference, and in his absence, General Styer pushed the claim that ASF logistics specialists should have more representatives on the joint system .35 But the Army and Air Forces planners sought to reduce rather than increase the influence of the ASE In streamlining the system, the joint Staff Planners recommended that the Army representatives should come from the Air Forces and the Operations Division solely, and that an ASF representative be invited to attend meetings only when the others wished to get comments on problems with which the ASF might be specially concerned. General Styer dissented sharply from this proposal.36
An even more extreme recommendation by OPD involved the creation of a three man Joint Administrative Committee UAC) without ASF representation. The word "administration" was used in the sense that the British used the term, as roughly equivalent to logistics. From this special logistics committee, according to the recommendation, the Army Service Forces would be excluded; the Army representative would come from the Operations Division, which had a small logistics unit of its own. The ASF representation on joint staff committees would be limited to membership on technical committees such as the Military Transportation Committee, the Joint Communications Committee, and others of a similar nature.37
On 27 March 1943, Somervell personally addressed a vigorous protest to General Marshall on the proposed reorganization of the supporting agencies of the joint Chiefs of Staff. He began his memorandum with a first paragraph consisting of ten words: "I must ask your help on this most important matter." He explained that no one in the ASF had been consulted during the preparation of the recommendations and added that the paper was "tragic evidence of the lack of understanding of its framers of logistics, and shows a faulty concept of the elementary principles of sound administration." If the proposals were to be adopted, it would "make it next to impossible to handle the supply and logistics of the Army on an efficient basis." In his opinion the OPD proposal was "highly reactionary and a distinct step backwards."
Somervell then commented upon the importance of logistical factors in determining military strategy: "Owing to our exceptionally long supply lines, the location of our theaters of operations around the entire globe, and critical shortages in shipping, logistics are, in most cases, the

final governing factors in decisions involving action in the field. If this war has demonstrated anything, it has shown that our efforts to launch attacks on the enemy have, in every case, been governed by logistics-transportation and supply. Where these factors have not been given due weight," the result has been "confusion, delay, and disaster."
Somervell based a large part of his case on the unfamiliarity of OPD with the field of logistics; he reminded the Chief of Staff that before the ASF took part in the deliberations of the joint Staff Planners, many of the papers were "superficial." He cited as examples certain staff papers on production, shipping, and aluminum which had come before the JCS. He added that "it was for this reason that I sought to be present to give you full information on logistics problems and to be represented on lower committees so that papers presented to the joint Chiefs of Staff would be real staff papers and not so superficially treated as some had been." Somervell insisted that unless General Marshall was officially represented on the JPS by an officer who knew supply requirements, production availability, and transportation capabilities, he would be badly served, and the Army and the war effort would suffer. He agreed that committees could be too large, but the addition of one more member under such circumstances seemed scarcely unreasonable. He also pointed out that the Joint Administrative Committee would have a Navy representative. But, with representation for the Army confined to OPD, there would be no Army representation with the detailed knowledge of administrative problems.
In conclusion, Somervell asked Marshall to request the withdrawal of the JCS reorganization plan in order to consider further the Army part of the paper. Somervell made many proposals, particularly with regard to representation of the ASF on many JCS subordinate committees. But the heart of his recommendation was that logistics be an integral part of war planning and not introduced condescendingly with the words "when certain service planning remains necessary." He urged that no logistics or procurement questions be referred to the joint Deputy Chiefs of Staff as set up under the plan, and he asked that the proposed joint Administrative Committee be reconstituted as a logistics committee on which the ASF would be represented.38
The Operations Division argued in reply that logistics was not the exclusive monopoly of the Army Service Forces. OPD people as well as those from other branches of the Army, understood the significance of procurement, supply, and administration, though they did not pretend to be expert in the more technical aspects of logistics. For details and fine points, planners depended on the ASF to serve them in a subordinate technical role, and they were perfectly capable of assimilating for their policy and strategy-making functions the logistical data thus provided. If, in the past, this logistical material was not well prepared, an OPD general noted, it "is unfortunate because the logistic information and data required for such plans was invariably obtained from the ASR" 39
General Somervell's protest had some

effect. The effort of the planners to eliminate the influence of the Army Service Forces from an important place in the joint system failed. Though the ASF did not get official representation on the JPS, and though even its nonvoting requirements representative was eliminated, it was given one of the four members of the new JAC which specialized in logistics. Originally Brig. Gen. Patrick H. Tansey of the Operations Division had been the Army designee to the committee, but instead, General Styer, Somervell's chief of staff, was appointed.40
Unfortunately the struggle did not end there. The JAC represented a revolutionary step in joint organization, and the Army and Air Forces members of the JPS feared that the new committee would formulate conclusions on logistics which might influence basic strategy. The planners feared that if they did not modify strategy to conform to the recommendations of the logisticians, the Joint Administrative Committee would appeal to the JCS. The planners would tolerate no challenge to their primary position, and throughout the war urged that they alone should direct planning activity.41
In July of 1943 President Roosevelt directed the JCS to provide for joint planning in logistics to parallel joint strategic planning so that there would be "one unified and balanced supply program consistent with up-to-date strategic concepts." In a memo to General Marshall, Somervell commented, "Evidently the information furnished the President has been neither accurate nor complete," and he enclosed a draft of a proposed reply. The Joint Chiefs relied heavily in their answer on a memorandum by Somervell which stated that the JAC was working to achieve the President's goal.42 OPD officers, however, took issue with the accuracy of General Somervell's reply, which led the Joint Administrative Committee to draft a new charter. It proposed that it be renamed the joint Logistics Committee, that membership be increased from four to six, and that two of the three Army members should come from ASE
The Operations Division opposed this suggestion. Its representative on the JPS, in collaboration with the Air Forces planner, argued effectively that the JLC ought not to be on a par with the planners in the co-ordination of logistics with strategy. As a result, the ASF logisticians suffered a double defeat. First, in the final phraseology adopted, the new committee was to "advise" rather than "act in co-ordination," and the JPS was specifically named as the body which was to integrate logistics with strategy in the preparation of joint war plans. In this way, the logisticians would be checked in attempts to make strategy. Second, the additional member of the new JLC was to come from the Operations Division rather than from the ASF.43
With its victory over the ASF on the powers and membership of the new committee, the JPS dropped their opposition to another proposal, that of providing the JLC with a working committee. This unit, called the Joint Logistics Plans Committee, was made up of a control group of six members, one of whom was from the ASF and another from OPD. Besides these,

there were a great many associate members who worked with specific problems. The Army associates came from all parts of the War Department that had logistical problems and staffs. But by far the largest number came from the Army Service Forces. Through their expert knowledge of many of the subjects that came before the committee, they enabled the ASF to make its weight felt on lower levels and to exert a considerable influence.44
In summary, it may be said that the Operations Division tended to move into the field of logistics and build its own logistical staff, while the Army Service Forces tended to enter the field of strategy. This tendency to encroach arose naturally because OPD could not determine strategy in a vacuum, while the ASF in working out logistical possibilities was also, in effect, imposing limitations on strategy. Strategic employment of the Army was essentially a problem of movement of men and supplies to where they could be effectively employed against the enemy. This movement aspect was the overlapping area of strategy and logistics.
In this zone of overlapping interest, OPD was unhappy about the role played by the ASF in matters of strategy, and the ASF was equally unhappy about the role of OPD in logistics. General Somervell wrote to General Marshall that the Logistics Section in the Operations Division was "a straight and unnecessary duplication of effort" which ought to be eliminated and its duties "absorbed in the appropriate agencies of the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Force' S."45 On the other hand, OPD tried to cut down the influence of the ASE It particularly objected to the Strategic Logistics Division in ASF, which prepared long-range operational studies.
In an extreme case, an OPD colonel pleaded that certain information be with held from ASF, because "the Planning Division, ASF, has been notorious for its meddling in strategic planning."46
Unfortunately all this had repercussions in personal resentments and animosities. General Somervell never realized the extent of the hostility in the Operations Division against himself, although General Lutes, whose working relations with OPD were closer and on a more continuous basis than those of Somervell, realized what was happening. At the end of the war, the OPD was one of the important advocates of the move to break up the Army Service Forces.

Page Created June 13th 2001


Previous Chapter     Next Chapter

Return to the Table of Contents