Shrivenham and Manchester

The Civil Affairs Center

Shrivenham, situated a few miles north of the railroad from London to Bath and Bristol, is not found on every map; and gazetteers, when they do so at all, give its location in relation to Swindon, which lies six miles to the southeast and bears the distinction of actually being on the railroad. A thoroughly unremarkable Berkshire village of somewhat less than six hundred inhabitants, Shrivenham was, nevertheless, long to remain in the memories of the World War II generation of American civil affairs officers-excepting possibly the minority who experienced the elegance (mostly architectural) of the British center in the Grand Hotel at Eastbourne.

On the grounds of what had been a private school for girls at Shrivenham, ETOUSA had established the American School Center in the summer of 1942 to train officer candidates and various categories of supply specialists. When Colonel Stearns visited there in October 1943 looking for space to billet the American civil affairs contingent, he found room for 1,000 men. Upon activating the Civil Affairs Center in December, he planned to receive the shipments of civil affairs officers and enlisted men at Shrivenham and there assign them to detachments and give them additional training.1 The program, as it developed, envisioned a regulated, synchronized flow of officers and men and a course of training and instruction that would produce fully organized and equipped detachments, each thoroughly acquainted with its pinpoint assignment-the actual locality for which it would be responsible in the occupation.2 The detachments which had completed their training would be sent to Manchester, where Steams had located 8,000 billets, to await their move to the Continent.

The program looked good, but some early signs were ominous. On close inspection, Shrivenham proved to be sorely wanting in the amenities expected by officers, particularly field grade officers, of whom there would be a substantial number. All officers, lieutenant colonels and below, would have to be billeted sixteen to a room. They would do their own cleaning and sweeping, and some rooms would have to double as classrooms in the daytime. The officers would be required to carry knives, forks, and cups to the dining hall where they would eat off compartmented - metal trays which they would have to wash themselves. 3


On the other side of the Atlantic, the Provost Marshal General's Office had found the morale of the officers who were slated for shipment to Shrivenham already sagging. One of its inspectors who observed the graduates of the Civil Affairs Training Program (CATP) assembled at Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania, reported that they were "feeling pretty well kicked around." Many had graduated from the course in one university and then been sent to another to take the same course a second time. All they would accomplish at Camp Reynolds would be to acquire enough familiarity with the .45-caliber pistol to fire for record. They would then go to the staging area at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, where they would wait for an undetermined time before being shipped out. 4

In December, when Stearns set up the Civil Affairs Center there, Shrivenham, in addition to being the reception and training depot, became the administrative headquarters for civil affairs-military government in the field. The Civil Affairs Center proposed to continue as parent organization for the detachments after they were formed and when they went into action on the Continent. For the time being, however, two functions, assignment and training, overshadowed everything else.

For the incoming officer, his encounter with the assignment division of the Civil Affairs Center could easily be the most important event in his military career. Its four boards would determine where he was to serve, and this placement in most instances proved permanent. The numerical designation of each board, as new officers quickly learned, reflected the level and, hence, desirability of the assignments it controlled. The first board selected men for army group, army, corps, and division staffs, the second for civil affairs detachments, and the third for service with the British. The fourth board, really the first in the order in which incoming officers encountered them, screened all officers and sent them on to the others for final assignment. The vast majority of the officers would go to the detachments. The early assumption was that British and U.S. personnel would be mixed about fifty-fifty, but, in fact, only 250 US officers were sent to Eastbourne, and they later returned to serve with American detachments.

The detachment board additionally selected officers for specific types of detachments.5  There were four types: A (17 officers, 2 warrant officers, and 24 enlisted men) , B (9 officers, 2 warrant officers, and 16 enlisted men) , C (5 officers and 9 enlisted men) , and D (4 officers and 6 enlisted men). 6  The A detachments were designed for employment in major cities, including national capitals such as Berlin and Paris, and were regarded as elite detachments. The others would be stationed in smaller cities or rural communities. The A and B detachments offered the most desirable berths in terms of probable location and opportunity to specialize, not to mention rank and prospects for advancement. But the C and D detachments, although individually smaller and destined most likely to operate in unglamorous and out-of-the-way places, would be needed in far greater numbers and would absorb the larger number of officers.

The training division had the mission of


turning out essentially finished detachments, an estimated 70 of them for France and 273 for Germany.7  As originally planned, each class would be given two months of general civil affairs instruction and military training which would be followed by an indefinite period of regional study and planning for pinpointed areas. In the later part of the second stage the enlisted men would join the teams. Col. Hardy C. Dillard, who had been associated with civil affairs training since its early days in the Provost Marshal General's Office and at Charlottesville, was transferred from the United States to head the division. On his arrival in December along with the 48-officer faculty and staff, most of them also from the United States, the division opened at Shrivenham with no students. When the first forty students came in mid-January, they were outnumbered by the faculty.

The regulated flow of officers that had been planned was not going to materialize. At noon on 27 January the first large shipment, 416 officers, arrived at Shrivenham with full field packs after a twenty-hour trip by train from port. The center mustered enough trucks to transport the lieutenant colonels and majors; all the others marched the two miles from the station in rain carrying their packs. Two days later, while the boards were immersed in interviews with the first group, another 308 officers arrived.

At the end of the month the Civil Affairs Center, with none two weeks before, now had 770 officer trainees aboard and, if nothing else, a statistical sample of the men who would make up the civil affairs organization in the field. About 40 percent of the officers were commissioned directly from civilian life. The rest had received their commissions in other branches of the Army or in the National Guard. The youngest was 22 years old, the oldest 60. The average age was a few months short of 40; and the largest single increments were from ages 38 to 46, which together constituted about 40 percent of the total.8 (Subsequent shipments brought the proportion of commissioned civilians down to near 30 percent, but the average age remained constant.) 9 Youth was going to be in somewhat short supply, which was no surprise since few officers below the draft age limit, 38 years, and in first-rate physical condition had been accepted for civil affairs duty.

Maturity was considered to be an asset in a civil affairs officer. It did not prove to be so for many, however, in their initial confrontation with the English climate. On 14 February, out of a thousand officers then at Shrivenham, 46 percent went on sick call, most with colds which had already put 10 percent in the hospital.10

On 7 February, after the assignment boards had processed the January arrivals and detailed at least an officer or two as a cadre to each of the 343 detachments, the training division started its first course. By then the center was on notice to expect another thousand officers at the end of the month and large shipments of enlisted men in March. With these additions, the civil affairs force for northwest Europe would be practically complete, and something would have to be found for it to do, since RANKIN was dimming and OVERLORD not expected until late spring. In both opera-


tions, civil affairs-military government had the same two, though not mutually complementary, mission : to be ready and to wait. Waiting would be the more difficult.

Before the first course began, the training division had revised its program. The first course ran for nine weeks. The second began in late February for the officers arriving then and lasted six weeks. In the first week of April the two classes were merged and given a composite course. To handle the whole student load in two increments instead of four or five as had been planned at first, the f acuity had to be doubled. Since there was no other source, the additional faculty were recruited from among the incoming officers even though doing so increased the risk of the whole program being looked upon as busy work by students and faculty alike.

Since the first segments of both courses would be given before planning at SHAEF had progressed far enough to provide more pertinent subject matter, they contained little that the students had not heard before at least once. To compensate, the training division decided to concentrate on the known weaknesses of the trainees, languages and military training-the latter embracing both formal military drill and physical conditioning. Intensive courses were offered in French, German, and Russian; and the training schedule included two to four hours per day of military training in the form of calisthenics, games, and, specifically, two or three road marches of four to twelve miles each week-this last activity being less than universally popular with the students.11

The composite course started on 6 April and ran for eight rather than six weeks, ending on 27 May. During this time, the students, their theoretical training complete and pinpoint assignments in hand, were to have studied the towns and cities in which they would lie posted. By April, a pinpoint location had been determined for each detachment, but by then, too, SHAEF had imposed severe security restrictions on any information that might compromise OVERLORD. Consequently, the locations could not lie revealed to the detachments. The disappointment was enormous, but the actual loss was probably not much since the assignments all had to be changed later anyway. As a substitute for the pinpoint training, all students took part in a four week exercise, an elaborate but obviously contrived military government war game vaguely laid out in the German Land ( state ) Hesse. When the war game ended, the course reverted to lectures and conferences sporadically enlivened by guest lectures on Germany, France, and the Low Countries; language and military training also continued. Toward the end, in near desperation, the faculty resorted to demonstrations and dramatizations detachment in action in a mythical German town, a military government court, bomb disposal-some useful, some not, and all undisguisable time-killers.12 Word that SHAEF would stock the British Stella water purifier for use on the Continent set off a search across southern England for a specimen around which, hopefully, more hours of instruction could be devised. One was found, but then SHAEF announced that it would retain the already familiar US equipment after all.

To the student officers the courses at Shrivenham seemed most of the time to be an elaborate effort to generate mass bore-


dom while at the same time assaulting individual self-esteem and possibly physical well-being as well. Hastily devised courses led by instructors with no more knowledge than the students, and sometimes less, resulted in disgruntlement that no amount of ingenuity in devising lectures, recitations, demonstrations, and similar activities could dispel.13 The living conditions of recruits, unheated classrooms, drills, and cross-country hikes during midwinter and a cold, damp spring smacked almost of sadism to middle-aged men who assumed, not illogically, that if the Army needed them at all it ought to be for something better. They had come expecting to be given important work but instead found themselves trudging across the English countryside or taking canned courses and solving stereotype problems. Worst of all was the feeling of being excluded from what appeared to be very worthwhile and important activity going on around them. The SHAEF Special Staff and the country sections, which had moved to Shrivenham in March, seemed to be immersed in vital projects. From occasional appearances as lecturers by members of these groups, the student officers gathered that the really important work was going on behind a curtain of security and that they were only marking time. A morale study in the Civil Affairs Center in April reported the commonest complaint to be the feeling of working in a vacuum without knowing what was really going on.14

The truth was that most of the more than two thousand civil affairs officers in training at Shrivenham, barring a sudden development of so-called RANKIN conditions, were only getting a taste of the frustration they would experience before finding their place in the war. Sooner or later they would have to be so informed, hopefully in a manner that would raise their morale, or at least not destroy it completely. Consequently, 9 May 1944 was later remembered as the first day of spring in Shrivenham by the students and as something akin to Resurrection Day by the Civil Affairs Center staff. In the morning, Eisenhower arrived to inspect the school. Toward the end of the ceremony, which had included a more or less well-executed and enthusiastic parade, he invited the students to break ranks and gather around him, saying they reminded him too much of a firing squad "standing out there." Having implied that he too saw the incongruity of field grade officers doing close-order drill, he went on to assure them that they were not forgotten. They were as modern, he said, as radar, and just as important to the command. Although humanitarian in its results, their job was to help win the war. If they failed, the armies would fail; the fighting front of the modern army was "only the fringe of a tremendous organization." What Eisenhower said was less important than that he said it, particularly his closing remarks

Now a word about what you are doing here. No commander can ever accumulate the supplies, the organization, the men that he needs in exact timing with the existence of that need. In other words, he piles up reserves. For some time you have been in reserve. You're probably getting bored, some of you. You are a little tired of idleness, particularly when some of you were extraordinarily busy men in civilian life, and you gave up many things-made many sacrifices-and you are getting damned tired of not being used usefully in view of your sacrifices. Your time is coming, so don't worry.15




Nothing substantive had changed, but the Supreme Commander had shown that he was aware of the students. They were at least not the victims of wanton mismanagement. To enhance the mood, the Civil Affairs Center sponsored an all-day press conference at Shrivenham on the 10th. Fifty correspondents attended. It gave the newsmen something to write about at a time when the security on all other SHAEF activities was at its tightest, and the ensuing publicity made the continued waiting in the wings a little less onerous for the student officers.

Although it continued in nominal existence until the last week of June, the Civil Affairs Center completed its essential work in May. By the end of the month, the whole anticipated US civil affairs officer contingent for northwest Europe had been assigned-and sometimes, as plans changed, which they often did, reassigned.16 After the training division completed the composite course at the end of May, there remained only a small course for warrant officers and officers with no previous civil affairs training. Ever since the first full de-


tachment, a D detachment, was formed and sent to US First Army on 15 March, the student officers had been moving out, gradually in April and in large numbers in May, to join their detachments.17 On its closing in June, the Civil Affairs Center left behind in St. Andrews Parish Church in Shrivenham a plaque and two bells to complete the church's octave of chimes.


One of the first lessons learned from AMGOT in Sicily and Italy was that military government in the field ought to be able to take care of itself. The line troops there had frequently been too busy and almost always too preoccupied with what they regarded as more important affairs to provide support and services for members of an organization whose acronym they were inclined to read as "Aged Military Gentlemen on Tour." 18  More often than not the AMGOT officers had gone into action with no more than their personal gear, flags, proclamations, some stationery, and some money. They had counted themselves lucky when they had a jeep, a trailer, some spare gasoline, a tent, and a typewriter. Their priority was so abysmally low that before the Sicily landing some tactical units had even refused to embark the civil affairs officers themselves.19

Civil affairs plans for northwestern Europe recognized early the need for a housekeeping organization. The detachment concept, developed under COSSAC, provided a basic unit; but the detachments, although they would be attached to the tactical commands, would not be part of them. Neither would they be self-sustaining. They would, as AMGOT had, exist in a kind of administrative void. To correct this shortcoming, Civil Affairs, ETOUSA, had begun thinking in the fall of 1943 of creating a separate administrative organization for the detachments and in November had asked Washington to furnish seven skeletonized military police (MP) battalions, that is, headquarters and medical personnel only.20  The detachments would be attached to the battalions which would go into the field with them providing continuous administrative services and support and thereby integrating civil affairs solidly into the Army. The Civil Affairs Center would do the same at the top.21

Apparently because seven military police battalion headquarters were not to be had in the United States, General Hilldring was obliged to invent the European Civil Affairs Division (ECAD) . At the end of December he proposed that in place of the MP battalions, ETOUSA set up a division with a normal division headquarters, twenty-eight companies (the equivalent of seven battalions), and seven medical detachments. The division, he suggested, ought to provide administration for all US civil affairs personnel in the European theater except those assigned to SHAEF and Headquarters, 1st US Army Group.22 Two weeks later the Civil Affairs Division approved a strength of 2,528 officers, 124 warrant officers, and 5,147 enlisted men (total 7,799) for the division. Of these numbers, 2,280 officers, 120 warrant officers, and 3,600 enlisted men would be


detachment personnel and the rest administrative, except for forty-eight instructors and several dozen enlisted men assigned to the Civil Affairs Center.23

On 7 February 1944, by General Order No. 13, Headquarters, ETOUSA, established the European Civil Affairs Division (US Contingent, SHAEF Provisional).24  A letter accompanying the order named Colonel Stearns as division commander and gave him a free hand in organizing the division within the War Department personnel allotment. On the 12th, Stearns, in the first ECAD general order, activated the division at Shrivenham and formally assumed command. At the same time he attached the Civil Affairs Center to the division, thereby giving civil affairs outside the higher staffs a single and separate administration.25

From the first, one thing everyone associated with the division was aware of was that ECAD was an unusual military organization, unique in some respects, curious in others. No unit like it had ever existed before in American history. Perhaps somewhat overestimating the importance of the distinction, the division's historians extended it also to world history.26 Among other firsts, the division was the first known to have been organized entirely outside the continental boundaries of the United States, and it claimed the record in World War II for achieving combat readiness ten weeks, as opposed to thirteen months for the average infantry division.27 On the curious side, the division had the overt characteristics of a tactical organization without being one. In the field it would have no command function. Its operating personnel would receive their orders exclusively through the tactical units to which they would be attached. ECAD would in fact cease to be a unit in the usual sense once it left England. Some part of it would go wherever SHAEF troops went. The sole function of the division headquarters would be to act as parent organization for the civil affairs personnel, "keeping their records, promoting them as they deserve, disciplining them if necessary, paying them, getting their mail to them, relieving them, taking care of them if they are ill, burying them if they die, and getting them help if they need it." 28

The division was formed into three regiments, the 6901st, 6902d, and 6903d (all provisional) European Civil Affairs Regiments. The 6901st Regiment, with eight companies, was earmarked for France and the Low Countries but was to be trained also for Germany. The 6902d and 6903d Regiments, ten companies each, were to be trained exclusively for Germany.29  Each company would have 80 civil affairs officers and 113 civil affairs enlisted men, plus an organic component of officers and enlisted men not specializing in civil affairs, who would provide services and administration.30  The detachments were designated


by type, company, and regiment, hence D5B 1 was the fifth D detachment of B Company, 6901st Regiment. In action, the companies would move with the tactical commands to which their detachments were attached, and the regiments would station themselves as close as possible to their companies, though they-and to an even greater degree the division headquarters-could scarcely avoid becoming remote entities for most of the detachments.

The outstanding peculiarity of ECAD was that only its smallest components, the detachments, had an operating civil affairs-military government role. Independently of the division, they would be the instruments through which the combat troops would be relieved of civil commitments and the primary SHAEF civil affairs objective would be attained, namely, "to ensure that conditions exist among the civilian population which will not interfere with operations, but will promote these operations."31  They would be small, self-contained and partially self-sufficient headquarters, which, although not designed to govern, would have sufficient authority and possess enough technical know-how to revive, instruct, and supervise local governments. In doing so they would accomplish the second SHAEF civil affairs objective, which was to achieve the first with maximum economy of military manpower.

In liberated areas, the degree of military control would depend on how well the indigenous authorities functioned without assistance. In enemy territory, however, military government, though indirect, would be firm and comprehensive, and each detachment in its own locality would be concerned with the whole spectrum of governmental affairs. In the first stage of the occupation every detachment would carry out the following essential actions

Governmental Affairs

1. Hold a conference of local officials. Announce the military government proclamations and ordinances and make the necessary plans for enforcing them.
2. Post the proclamations and ordinances, noting time and date.
3. Reconnoiter the area.
4. Make arrangements for billeting military personnel in the area.


Public Safety

1. Hold a conference of local public safety officials.
2. Secure guards for supplies, important installations, and municipal records.
3. Control circulation of the local population (especially displaced persons and refugees).
4. Impound all weapons, explosives, narcotics, and radio transmitters in civilian hands.
5. Inspect local prisons and detention camps.
6. Investigate unexploded bombs, mine fields, booby-trapped areas, and ammunition dumps.


Public Health

1. Re-establish local public health organizations.
2. Secure care for civilian sick and wounded.
3. Report incidence of communicable diseases.
4. Correct serious hazards in environmental sanitation, particularly in water supply and sewage disposal systems.
5. Establish strict control over medical supplies.


Public Welfare

1. Reestablish local agencies for handling relief.
2. Provide adequate food distribution facilities
3. Establish information and lost and found bureaus.


Utilities and Communications

1. Establish military control over all means of communications and all utilities.
2. Restore civilian services, including water, sewage, power and gas, telephone and telegraph, and postal service as well as streets and roads.


Labor, Transportation, and Salvage

1. Co-ordinate local labor exchanges.
2. Establish control over all means of transportation.
3. Set up a system of salvage collection.


Resources, Industry, Commerce, and Agriculture

1. Procure and provide materials and services for the military and food for civilians.
2. Restore price and rationing controls; supress black markets; institute first aid for restoration of normal civilian requirements.



1. Set up military government courts as necessary.
2. See that proper proclamations, ordinances, regulations, and orders are posted and published.
3. Co-operate with the public safety contingent and Counterintelligence Corps on release of political prisoners.
4. Make recommendations on local legislation to be suspended.



1. Guard banks and other depositories of funds.
2. Require continuance of local tax collection.
3. Assure proper custody of all enemy, abandoned, or absentee-owned property.



1. Contact local government officials in charge of food and clothing supplies and find location of storage points and available stocks.32


At SHAEF and in the higher staffs the main functions would have specialists assigned to them. In the detachments an officer could be judge or prosecutor in a military government court one day, sewage and waterworks inspector the next, and financial, transportation, rationing, or police expert as the situation might require.

Since ECAD existed almost entirely to enable the civil affairs-military government detachments to work, subsist, and move independently of the tactical units that they would serve, the division's table of equipment was its outstanding-officers who served with ECAD might even say sole-asset. In the early planning, before exact civil affairs needs could be known, Colonel Stearns had prepared a special list of equipment (SLOE) based on the standard table of equipment of a military police battalion multiplied by seven. To the result he added for good measure enough jeeps and weapons carriers to bring the total number of vehicles to just a few short of two thousand. 33  In December 1943, General McSherry took the special list of equipment to Washington. At this time the possible imminence of RANKIN assured its fast approval and secured for it an A-2 priority with SHAEF, an astoundingly high priority for civil affairs, which would never again hold any higher than A-6. Outfitted with a gilt-edge hunting license, EGAD was embarrassed by a lack of drivers until February, when Stearns recruited volunteers from among the student: officers to begin driving the vehicles to Shrivenham from depots all over England.34 Later, when what was needed to make the detachments self-sufficient was better known, a revised special list of equipment added trailers, tents, field desks, safes, drafting instruments, and electric and gasoline lanterns. ETOUSA's approval for this revision came


much more slowly, and the division's G-4 section spent most of May, June, and July on the road scouring the depots for the new items.

Although it was well outfitted-by AMGOT standards even lavishly-EGAD had an early and persistent weakness; it was not a table of organization unit. The grades of its personnel, from private to colonel, were allotted to it, not determined by the organizational structure and needs of the division. This arrangement meant that throughout the division, but particularly in the detachments, the grades of officers and enlisted men were those they brought with them and not those appropriate to the positions to which they were assigned, which were in fact usually higher. After ETOUSA made the allocation, the number of officers in the ranks of major and above was about half what the division thought it needed, and eight times as many lieutenants were allotted as the division wanted.35 Since the imbalance originated largely in the War Department policy that virtually restricted direct commissions for civilians to the company grades, the real experts in civil administration as often as not were bracketed in the lower ranks. ECAD requests for upgrading were uniformly turned down in ETOUSA, where the reasoning prevailed that by the time a full-scale civil affairs organization was needed, the fighting would be over and an ample selection of higher ranks would be available from the combat branches. Consequently, the prospects for promotion in ECAD were, and would remain, dismal.

In comparison with the rest of the European civil affairs organization, EGAD was remarkably stable, a condition that some of its members interpreted- with some reason-as a symptom of stagnation. The upheavals in SHAEF in the winter and spring of 1944 only barely reached down to the division. As a result of the G-5 reorganization in April, the country sections which had been in the Special Staff were attached to EGAD for administration and assigned unit designations, the US element of the German country section becoming the 6911th European Civil Affairs (ECA) Unit.36  In May after wrestling for two months with the organizational peculiarities necessitated by the grade allotments, EGAD solved part of the problem by eliminating one company each from the second and third regiments. Also in May, when ETOUSA reacquired an operating civil affairs mission (in the Communications Zone) , Colonel Stearns became Assistant Chief of Staff, G-5, ETOUSA, and Colonel Henry McE. Pendleton assumed command of ECAD. On 6 June EGAD applied a final organizational touch by converting from provisional to permanent (though still not table of organization) status. The 6901st, 6902d, and 6903d ECA Regiments (Provisional) became the 1st, 2d, and 3d ECA Regiments, and the 6911th ECA Unit (Provisional) became the 6th Civil Affairs (CA) Unit.37

The Manchester Phase, ECAD

In late February, 12 EGAD officers and 19 enlisted men went to Manchester, where at the end of March they received and billeted 661 enlisted men and 29 company officers from the United States, the first large civil affairs-military government en-


listed contingent. A day later, in a morning fog so thick that the rear ranks could not see him standing fifty feet away, Stearns greeted the new arrivals. He told them they would be specialists, but for the time being their muscles were needed to set up a reception center for the several thousand men who would be coming after them.

Manchester was almost the only large city in England not already saturated with American or British troops. The British Army had requisitioned some buildings and had established a system for billeting in private homes through the local police but had not used them, except briefly for the Dunkirk survivors in 1940. In March, ECAD took over as its local headquarters the Nicholls Hospital, a former orphanage built in the late nineteenth century, and as enlisted billets the Denton hat factory plus thirty-two large dwellings in Heaton Moor.38 The buildings, vacant for several years, were dirty; messing equipment and plumbing needed cleaning and repairs; and beds had to be set up and mattresses stuffed. The three main locations were about four miles from each other and they did not have all the space needed for offices, storerooms, classrooms, and the like. These facilities had to be situated elsewhere in the city wherever a vacant store, garage, meeting hall, or large dwelling could be found.

By early April, when nearly three thousand enlisted men arrived within four days, they could be taken off the trains on which they came, assigned quarters, given a hot meal, have their papers processed and be classified during the night while they slept, and the next morning be given their company and detachment assignments. When the second and third shipments arrived, some men had to be billeted in private homes. At the beginning there was a flurry of medical certificates presented by householders seeking exemptions, but soon more space was being offered than was needed.

While Manchester, with its persistent smoke, rain, and fog, was hardly a place American soldiers would have chosen to be stationed, particularly in a gloomy wartime winter, the ECAD troops and Manchester civilians struck it off from the start. Recreation was plentiful in every form from motion pictures and plays to dancing, boxing, and wrestling and motorcycle and greyhound racing at the Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, the largest amusement park in the British Isles. The ECAD soldiers met the people in the pubs and in their homes, and, inevitably, before long some Manchester girls were becoming American wives. In June a former lord mayor of Manchester publicly praised the deportment of the ECAD troops in a newspaper article, and later Eisenhower commented that military civilian relations in Manchester were the lest of any place in the United Kingdom.39

The enlisted men detailed to EGAD were not specialists in the sense of having been given previous civil affairs training, and about a third were former limited-service men. These two circumstances gave rise early to a rumor which was never entirely laid to rest, even within ECAD itself, that the civil affairs enlisted personnel were mostly mental misfits. A few of the limited service men had previous records of functional mental disturbances-later some were transferred in who had broken down in combat-but the most common defect was impaired vision. The enlisted classifica-


tion section found the median EGAD enlisted man to have an AGCT (Army General Classification Test) score in group II (110 or higher) . He was between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-nine, had at least a high school education, and in civilian life had been either a student or a skilled white-collar worker. Of the total EGAD enlisted personnel, 68 percent were in ACCT groups I and II as compared with 37 percent of the Army as a whole, and 61 percent were high school graduates (Army average 41 percent). About 20 percent had at least one year of college. The enlisted men were generally younger than the officers under whom they would serve, only 2 percent being over thirty-eight years of age, but they had a substantial leavening of maturity. Forty-six percent were between ages twenty-three and twenty-nine, and 23 percent were over thirty. Although they did not have Army civil affairs training, many had background experience superior to that of some civil affairs officers. Over fifty were graduate engineers or architects. Four were former museum directors. Others had been lawyers, college instructors, teachers, policemen, and social investigators. About 30 percent were ASTP (Army Specialist Training Program) trainees, who in one sense constituted a potential core of disgruntlement since they had expected to get commissions. On the other hand, their nine months of college training in foreign languages and other areas put them well ahead in this respect of many of the officers under whom they would serve.40

On 20 March, Maj. D. I. Glossbrenner, the division's executive officer, took charge of the advance echelon headquarters at Nicholls Hospital and began the work of bringing EGAD into existence. The officers were at Shrivenham, and the enlisted men were coming into Manchester. The task was to bring the two together within the next ten weeks, equip them, and have the three regiments ready to go into action any time they might be called after 1 June. Aside from seeing to details even down to road maps and stationery, the advance echelon had to make certain that each officer and enlisted man had enough weapons training to be able to "shoot his way in and out" and that each knew how to operate and maintain the vehicles he might be expected to use.41

The first complete company, Company B, 1st European Civil Affairs Regiment (ECAR) , moved out on 14 April to join First Army. The whole 1st ECAR was put together by 1 May and moved to Shrivenham to await its call to join tactical units. The 2d and 3d ECARs, with some vacant personnel spaces, were ready at the end of the month. On 8 June, two days after the invasion, two detachments, D5B1 and D3B1, landed on OMAHA Beach; and three days later, D3B1 was in operation at Trévière and D5B1 at Isigny, the first sizable towns liberated.42  At the end of the month four companies were on the Continent, and the division headquarters had closed at Shrivenham and moved to the Kenilworth Hotel in Manchester to join the undeployed elements.43

But the waiting was not over. Germany did not break under the invasion, and the




French showed themselves surprisingly capable of running their own governmental affairs. The whole 1st ECAR shipped out early in the second week of July, and the Headquarters, 2d ECAR, with five of its companies followed late in the month.44

In Manchester in July, the division headquarters, which after D-day had seemed not to have much left to do except to continue training and wait for its call, suddenly found itself plunged into a round of replanning. Decisions being made outside SHAEF, in Washington and London and in the European Advisory Commission, added a new and important dimension to ECAD's role in Germany; besides providing civil affairs support for the armies in combat, it would be required to establish territorial military government for a US zone in Germany. The detachments, thus far organized specifically to assist military operations, would also have to become the executive instruments of US purposes and policies in the occupation.45

The new role could not be accommo-


dated without revamping the detachments. Organized under the anti-AMGOT principles of the Standard Policy and Procedure, they were not capable of administering territory beyond the span of control of a single detachment. Such ability as existed was vested in the tactical G-5s, ETOUSA, and SHAEF and, except for SHAEF, was to be exercised within unit boundaries, not political boundaries. Although they varied somewhat in size, hence also in potential span of control, the detachments formed only a compartmentalized horizontal structure. For Germany they would have to be given a vertical dimension as well.

Zonal military government under the new scheme, as far as it concerned the EGAD detachments, would cover all governmental levels in Germany except the national level. Common sense required that it should also conform to existing German administrative boundaries, which raised two problems. In the first place, the German internal subdivisions varied widely in area and population. For instance, one Land (state) , Prussia, comprised close to two-thirds of the total prewar area and population of the Reich. However, except for Bavaria, which was substantially less than half the size of Prussia, the remaining Laender (states) were much smaller, some no larger than counties in the United States, and some-Hamburg and Bremen-were single cities. Several Prussian provinces, such as Hanover and the Rhine Province, were larger than any of the other Laender except Bavaria. In fact the smaller Laender were more nearly comparable to the Prussian Regierungsbezirke (provincial districts). At the Kreis level the disparities, though still there, were less pronounced. The Landkreise (rural districts, roughly similar to small US counties in size and function) provided an element of uniformity. The Stadtkreise (equivalent to US incorporated municipalities) again varied depending on population, since every city, whether large or small, constituted a single Stadtkreis. Secondly, while the division into three zones could be assumed, which of the two western zones would go to the United States was not yet decided. The British and the Americans both wanted the northwestern zone. Trying to keep abreast of shifting arguments between the two governments, EGAD drafted various plans : the "1700 North Plan" in mid-July, the "1500 North Plan" in early August, the "900 South" and "1100 South" plans also in August, and the "1186 South Plan" and "1737 North Plan" at the end of August. (The numbers all referred to the number of officers to be assigned.) The "1186 South Plan," as amended in mid-September, was the one finally adopted, but by that time the revamping of the detachments was completed, having been based mostly on the "North" plans.46

First estimates for twenty-four new detachment types boiled down finally to five types given the letter designations E to I. E detachments (26 officers and 35 enlisted men) were originally conceived of as regional detachments capable of administering Laender and Prussian provinces. They would supervise German authorities at these levels and the military government detachments assigned to subordinate levels. F detachments were designed to fit in at the level of the Regierungsbezirke and smaller Laender. When the southwestern zone became the American zone, E detachments were assigned to the Land and Regierungsbezirk governments and F detachments to the larger municipalities. The G (9 officers and 15 enlisted


men) , H (5 officers and 10 enlisted men) , and I (4 officers and 6 enlisted men) detachments were designed for Stadtkreise and Landkreise. The H and I detachments were always the most numerous, and in the initial distribution constituted about four fifths of the planned 250 detachments.47  The system of designation continued to be by detachment type, number in company, and regiment, for example, E1B3 and F2H3. The A- to D-type detachments would not be used in Germany with one notable exception, Detachment A1A1, the Berlin detachment.

Since regional detachments had not been contemplated in the original scheme for ECAD, their inclusion at this time added some functions that in Germany were administered primarily through regional agencies, such as, transportation (particularly railroads) ; postal, telegraph, and telephone services; public utilities, education; and religion. Furthermore, in all functions the German regional agencies concerned themselves less with the public than with management of the lower governmental levels, so functional specialization became important. Whereas at the Kreis level public health might be concerned mainly with communicable diseases and sanitation, on the regional scale it would involve administering health insurance programs and licensing medical practitioners. In the Landkreise, transportation meant finding enough conveyances to move food supplies and products; at the regional level it could mean running a major segment of the national railroads. In July, ECAD began an eight-week regional program to train officers in twelve functional specialties finance; economics and public utilities; property control; transportation; labor; postal, telephone, and telegraph; food and agriculture; legal; education and religion; interior; public safety and public health.48 The approximately 150 E detachment officers so trained were expected later to instruct the Regierungsbezirk and lower level detachment officers whom they would advise and supervise in the occupation.

The regional program began on 3 July, and the detachments were recast and ready to begin training for Germany by the end of the month. Since security restrictions no longer prevented pinpoint training, the plan was to familiarize each detachment so thoroughly with the area in which it would operate that the members would feel at home there from the day they arrived, even down to knowing by name the persons with whom they might have to do business.49 Eventually the detachments would get such training, but in August the war suddenly seemed to be moving too swiftly for it to be accomplished in Manchester.

The beachhead phase of the invasion ended in July. On 1 August, 12th Army Group became operational. With First and Third Armies, it would make the drive northeastward into Germany. The Germans were in trouble in France and at home, where dissident General Staff officers had attempted to assassinate Hitler on 20 July. At mid-August, Montgomery trapped the German Seventh Army in the Mortain-Falaise pocket, and the Germans began a retreat that they would have practically no chance of stopping short of their own western border, if there.

On 18 August, Pendleton received orders


to move ECAD to France in the first two weeks of September and complete its reorganization and training there while standing by for duty in Germany. The decision had been talked over in SHAEF G-5 a week and a half earlier, the conclusion then being that, if nothing else, the detachments would benefit from living under field conditions.50  During the interval the war had moved fast, and by the time the orders reached ECAD, SHAEF had instructed 12th Army Group to concentrate on preparing for military government in Germany, "starving" France to free the maximum number of detachments for training for Germany and being prepared if necessary to dismantle the whole civil affairs structure then in France and dispatch it to Germany.51

The division had packed and weighed, determined the cubage of its equipment, and held a practice loading in July; a forward headquarters echelon had gone to France late in the month to take in charge the undeployed companies of the 1st and 2d ECARs and begin reorganizing and retraining them for Germany. When the call came for the whole division to move, the forward echelon had its headquarters in the Chateau du Mont Epinque near Cherbourg. By then the front was moving fast and 12th Army Group wanted the division to set up farther east. In the first week of September, the forward echelon and the units under it moved to Rochfort-en-Yvelines, thirty miles southwest of Paris. Until two weeks earlier the chateau had housed German troops, and some were still there as prisoners of war put to work cleaning up for ECAD's arrival.

On 1 September the division moved to Dunham Park a few miles outside Manchester. Simultaneously with this short move, the division assumed a new character, painting out the "CA" markings on its truck and jeep bumpers and substituting "MG." Detachment commanders, previously called CAOs (civil affairs officers ) became MGOs (military government officers). The tone of the term "military government," considered too harsh for friendly ears, seemed just right for the Germans; hence civil affairs ceased to exist except in the designations of the division and the regiments, where the CA was retained apparently for the sake of euphony.

During the several days spent at Dunham Park, the division completed gas mask and personal equipment inspections, and the officers and men drew ammunition, insect powder, and K rations. On the 7th the division began the first serious test of its mobility as serials of about sixty vehicles each, carrying men and equipment, started moving out of Dunham Park to Hursley Camp outside Southampton. From here, as quickly as space became available, the division moved onto the Southern Railway docks at Southampton to board ships. Nearly everyone spent several nights bivouacked on the docks waiting to go aboard the Liberty ships on the cross-Channel run. By this time, the ships were all thoroughly dirty and rat-infested from two months of such trips.

While the division was aboard ship, off UTAH Beach waiting to land its vehicles, word came through on 15 September that the US zone in Germany would be in the


southwest. Every detachment had to be reassigned and fast ; the first American troops had already crossed the German border south of Aachen on the 11th. In another four days 12th Army Group was calling for four military government companies to move up to Verviers (Belgium) and Verdun behind First and Third Armies and be ready to enter Germany as more territory was taken. Because the detachments organized for Germany were still either bringing their vehicles ashore in landing craft or making their way inland along side roads (to leave the main arteries open for priority traffic) , the forward echelon had to put together the companies from the 2d ECAR detachments that it had at Rochfort and send them off to the armies.52 The last EGAD convoy pulled into Rochfort on 24 September. Five days before, on the 19th, the first detachment to operate in Germany, D8B1, had gone into action at Roetgen. 53




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