Getting Ready for "The Day"


Headquarters, ECAD, moved to Troyes, eighty miles east of Paris, in October 1944. There, at Camp Tank, in the concrete and steel buildings of a former Daimler-Benz automotive assembly and repair shop, the headquarters had space enough to billet itself comfortably-after the windows blown out in battle were reglazed. In the move, the units of ECAD went separate ways never to be assembled together in one place again : Headquarters, 2d ECAR, and its company headquarters dispersed to various locations in Belgium and northeastern France nearer their detachments, most of which were by then with tactical units; 3d ECAR went to Chartres. The detachments of 1st ECAR were being disbanded and their personnel transferred to the other two regiments as rapidly as they could be released from civil affairs assignments in France and Belgium.1

EGAD was beginning to show two serious flaws in its conception : its relationship with the detachments tended to become ineffectual after they were attached to tactical commands; while, on the other hand, ECAD's existence created a hiatus in the tactical commands' responsibility for the detachments. When Maj. Milton W. Buffington, G-2, ECAD, undertook an inspection of the detachments in November, he first had to get travel clearance from 12th Army Group, which complied only with the understanding that similar clearances would have to be secured from each of the armies and corps. The G-5's of First Army and VII Corps granted the clearances, after expressing unhappiness over the spirit and ability of the detachment officers. G-5, XIX Corps, flatly denied permission to visit its detachments in Germany and added a demand for a copy of all communications between EGAD and the detachments. At the MASTER Military Government Center in Verviers, the senior detachment commander said he was under orders not to communicate outside the center except through First Army G-5.2  As an E detachment commander he had expected to have some continuing contact with his subordinate teams; he had none. Only a week before, however, VII Corps G-5 had complained of the "headache" caused by having to supervise fourteen detachments in Germany.3

For the detachments still under EGAD control, being stationed in France was becoming a repeat of Shrivenham and Manchester. Detachment E1C3, Lt. Col. James R. Newman commanding, and its thirty-one H and I detachments went to Chartres


with the 3d ECAR. E1C3 and the detachments-the military government contingent for Wuerttemberg-would have a long wait ahead of them. In November they were back at daily lectures and language classes which, as they continued through the winter, spawned a crushing boredom. Newman resorted to periodic appeals. During the Bulge he tried self-interest, comparing the comforts of Chartres with the hardships being endured by the frontline troops. Later, he attempted to rouse the officers by urging them to devise ways for the enlisted men to pass the time constructively. Finally, he was reduced to recommending reading, study of current events, and physical fitness for all. 4

Memorable events were rare everywhere in ECAD. Lt. Col. D. I. Glossbrenner, the division's executive officer, put together a saxophone sextet which was remarkable because it proved quite popular and also because it was the second such ensemble Glossbrenner had organized, the other having been formed while he served with the 42d Infantry Division in France in World War I. Even more notable was a mission performed by the Division Service Company in October. In a convoy of twenty-five dump trucks, fifty-eight men of the Service Company and Headquarters Company, 3d ECAR, under Maj. Arthur M. Cory, moved 1  billion Allied military marks from London to the vaults of the Bank of France in Paris and other depositories in France. The fifty-four tons of money, worth $122,352,000, was the most valuable single cargo to pass through the SHAEF supply line in the campaign. 5

ECAD also received some publicity. For six weeks beginning in early January 1945, Congressman Albert Gore of Tennessee served incognito as a private with various types of military government detachments. Later, many newspapers picked up a part of his report to the Congress that described some of the men in military government as having been transferred there because they were surplus or misfits elsewhere. Fewer newspapers, however, printed the complete statement in which Congressman Gore characterized military government personnel on the whole as carefully selected, competent, and qualified.6

In November, Detachment A 1 A 1 joined EGAD in Troyes, setting up its headquarters in the city hall of the faubourg Saint Savine. AlA1, the U.S. Berlin detachment designate, came on orders from SHAEF and was not entirely happy to be in Troyes. The detachment commander, Col. Frank L. Howley, had wanted to go to the more comfortable and quieter summer resort of Barbizon in the forest of Fontainbleau outside Paris. Under Howley, who was an advertising executive in civilian life and a cavalry officer until a back injury sent him into the Civil Affairs Training Program (CATP), A1A1 had become the premier US civil affairs detachment and had held the two most glamorous and demanding assignments in the war so far, Cherbourg and Paris. In Paris it had supervised twenty-three detachments with 136 officers and 220 enlisted men. It moved to Troyes with 16 officers and 48 enlisted men.7  At Troyes, as the detachment historian stated, "AlA l ceased to be a mere detachment attached to the 1st ECAR and attained


military status as Detachment A1Al, ECAD." 8  The detachment also began rebuilding to its authorized strength for Berlin, 77 officers and 150 enlisted men.9 Howley set as the first training objectives complete self-sufficiency in operations, down to cooking and housekeeping, and a state of discipline superior to any other unit in the Army. Dr. Walter L. Dorn, attached as an OSS (Office of Strategic Services) civilian expert adviser, developed a program of instruction on Germany and built up a specialized library on Berlin largely from materials recently captured in Germany.

Practice and Policy

One of the most disconcerting experiences of the early occupation was the discovery that the policies emanating from Washington would not only have to be imposed on the Germans but on the Americans as well. What seemed to be elementary justice in the White House, and hence also in the C;AD and possibly even in SHAEF, did not automatically seem so on the ground in Germany. Here the Germans, alleged nation of sinners against peace and human decency though they might lie, became people who could be sick, hungry, and frightened, old and young, pretty and pitiable, guilty and innocent. Even though they might accept the idea of German collective guilt, the American soldiers did not feel at ease as agents of collective retribution.

Nonfraternization, no doubt, was the policy that met the earliest, strongest, and in the long run most successful resistance. It was resented as a physiological frustration and in its prohibition of any kind of unofficial contact with Germans, including shaking hands and giving candy to children, as an awkward and irksome social quarantine. Generals as well as privates found it hard to have to ignore children.10  Worse, in a way, were attempts to defend the policy, which either sounded arbitrary or seemed to disparage the American intelligence, or both, as in the following effort by ECAD:

American forces occupied the Rhineland after the last war. At first the Germans hated them, but later the attitude was more friendly, even subservient.  This time it will be different. Many German towns and cities are in ruins already and many more will be before the end of the fighting. The Nazis plainly mean to hang on to the bitter violent end, then go underground and cause all the trouble and casualties they can.  The majority of the Germans support the Nazis. They hold democratic ways in contempt. They will try to make friends with us to try to get favors, to create sympathy for the "poor downtrodden" German people, to make us disagree among ourselves, or just to get a good chance to slip a knife into an Allied soldier. They will try to stir up ill-feeling and mistrust between the British and Americans and between both and the Russians. They will try to make the occupying forces feel sorry for themselves and undermine their will to finish the job. DON'T BE A SUCKER FOR GOEBBELS' ECHOES!    It will be especially difficult for personnel of military government to avoid friendly relations with Germans. But nonfraternization is the rule. It will be strictly followed.11


After two months of the occupation, the nonfraternization problem began to settle down in at least one respect. The fines for violations were becoming standardized: $10 for conversing with a German in the open, $25 for unauthorized presence in a German dwelling, and $65 for cohabitation with a German woman. The last fine, a month's pay for a private, could be higher for other ranks, but up to 15 December only one such fine had been imposed-which, perhaps, reveals much about enforcement of the policy.12  No one denied that enforcement, particularly in the matter of what was coming to be called the $65 question, was a problem. A major difficulty was that fraternization was a punishable offense for American soldiers but not for the Germans against whom, the commanders in the field concluded early, enforcement would probably be easier and more effective. SHAEF found itself having to point out repeatedly that nonfraternization was meant to represent an attitude of Allied troops toward the Germans, not one of the Germans toward the Allies or one which in any sense depended on the cooperation of the Germans.13

The nonfraternization policy had one virtue : its meaning was clear. The same could not be said of most of the other policies coming out of Washington. In the first place, they came late. The SHAEF and 12th Army Group interim directives of September, which had not included the latest policies, were not replaced until November.14 Until then the only guidance the armies and lesser commands had was contained in the four points on the flyleaf of the handbook. More important though was the apprehension in SHAEF, after the flyleaf and the directive were out, that the spirit of the new policies was not taking hold. The military government officers showed dismaying persistence in doing a good job according to the standards by which they had been trained.

The first point in the flyleaf, also included in the SHAEF directive, prohibited "steps looking toward economic rehabilitation of Germany." As a practical matter, there was almost nothing military government could have done in the fall of 1944 even if it had wanted to, but it had taken one small step. On 5 October, Detachment I4G2 had reopened the Kreis bank in Monschau. In the following weeks others were opened at Roetgen, Stolberg, Buesbach, and Aachen. The purpose, psychological rather than economic, was to give the occupation an appearance of permanence and stability. SHAEF had misgivings from the beginning, and Colonel Bernstein went to First Army to talk to Colonel Gunn:

Col. Bernstein : We are not supposed to meddle too much in the financial structure of Germany . . . . We have no program for banks . . . . Our job is to observe. Can we assume the responsibility of solving Germany's problems in a half-baked way? No. All we can do is let the Germans do it-and if anything goes sorry it is their responsibility. Our job is not to protect and build up the financial structure for the country as a whole. Col. Gunn : I do not think we are trying to do this . . . .

Col. Gunn : Is an orderly regime of life in our rear areas necessary? Just answer that one question.


Col. Bernstein : In terms of finance now-if they cannot clear their checks through banks, will it hurt anything?
Col. Gunn: I'm not referring to that. I mean lack of riots, lack of need to hold supplies, lack of need for troops to patrol streets-is this necessary?
Col. Bernstein : I do not think it is necessary to have an orderly regime to the extent that the Germans had one before the war . . . .
Col. Gunn : I mean the barest elements of order.
Col. Bernstein : . . . For the moment at least, we are not planning to give the Germans the type of treatment we are giving Italy or France. We are bound to be blamed for the inevitable financial chaos in Germany. Our responsibility is to our armies and to our people ; and to carry out the affirmative policies of our President and of Mr. Churchill.
Col. Gunn : Do you think it is necessary to have a regime where it isn't necessary to have soldiers policing every block?
Col. Bernstein : The answer to that is obvious . . . .15

SHAEF's concern deepened when military government reported a considerable success in its banking operations. Deposits everywhere consistently exceeded withdrawals-at Monschau even during the hectic days of the Bulge. The bank at Aachen received 617 new accounts and deposits of over a million Reichsmarks in the first three weeks it was open. In December it loaned a half million Reichsmarks to the city of Aachen and 50,000 to the bishopric.16

G-5, First Army, with satisfaction, took the success of the banks as a gauge of the effectiveness of the occupation. SHAEF, without satisfaction, apparently did too.   Actually, both seem to have overlooked one point : the Germans could do almost nothing with their money except put it in banks. There was nothing to buy that was not rationed and very little that was.

By December, one thing seemed clear to SHAEF : the recent developments in the philosophy of the occupation had not penetrated to military government in the field. As General McSherry stated, "This is clearly understandable in view of the fact that these military government officers received their training at Shrivenham and elsewhere without the benefit of the most recent CCS policy . . . ." 17   A corrective was needed, and G-5, SHAEF, supplied it in the following letter to the army groups and ECAD:

The essence of . . . policy is that no effort will be made to rehabilitate or succor the German people. Rather, the sole aim of military government is to further military objectives.
All planning, direction, and instruction by  US elements concerning military government should be guided by this policy which reflects firm US views as known in this headquarters. Principal points to be emphasized are the following:

a. Germany will not be "liberated" but occupied as a defeated nation.
b. The German people will be made to realize that all necessary steps will be taken to prevent any further attempt by them to conquer the world.
c. No steps will be taken looking toward the economic rehabilitation of Germany.

Reports from the field indicate that military government detachments and G-5 staffs of subordinate formations are inclined to try to do too much too relieve the problems of the German people. There seems to be a disposition to approach the administration of Germany with the idea that it is our job to


make Germany a "happy land" again. It is essential that all military government personnel be disabused of this concept.18

Eclipse Plans

In the outline plan issued on 10 November 1944, SHAEF described ECLIPSE as plans and preparations for operations in Europe in the event of a German surrender. ECLIPSE succeeded RANKIN and TALISMAN. Strictly speaking, since it incorporated the work done since summer, ECLIPSE was the same as TALISMAN and would have continued to be called such had SHAEF not learned in October that the meaning of the code word "TALISMAN" was known to the enemy.19 But ECLIPSE was actually more than just a substitute for RANKIN or TALISMAN renamed. RANKIN and TALISMAN had assumed a formal surrender either before Allied troops had crossed the German border or before they were deep into Germany. ECLIPSE defined the surrender in two ways: as an instrument formally signed by a German government or the German High Command, or as a decision to be taken by Eisenhower when the majority of the German forces had capitulated or been overpowered. By introducing this second and at the time seemingly more likely possibility, ECLIPSE, although it purported to be a military operation, became actually more a designation of a state or condition, namely, the end of hostilities and the beginning of the occupation.

The outline plan specified a primary phase in which the SHAEF forces, after the collapse or surrender would consummate OVERLORD by a rapid advance deep into Germany. The plan also contained the hint of a race for Berlin; but the ECLIPSE planning, as it continued into the winter, never did get down to the staging of an operation. In late January, an airborne strike to seize Berlin was nominally on the agenda for ECLIPSE; but although such a strike would have taken weeks, possibly months, to mount, nothing had been done to prepare it. SHAEF obviously expected to execute only the second phase : the routine deployment of forces in the western zones. Consequently, ECLIPSE planning became almost exclusively concerned with five objectives set for the second phase: (1) primary disarmament and control of the German forces; (2) enforcement of the terms of surrender or the will of SHAEF in the event there was no surrender; (3) establishment of law and order; (4) beginning of the total disarmament of Germany; and (5) redistribution of Allied forces into their national zones.20

In the second phase, ECLIPSE became not an operation but an administrative plan for establishing the occupation in Germany. As such it had a singular deficiency SHAEF was a combined command, yet no combined policy existed for the posthostilities period or was likely to be issued. All Eisenhower had were the CCS presurrender instructions. The five objectives for the second phase were handcrafted to avoid any encroachment on the existing policy vacuum; therefore, the objectives also practically omitted a mission for military government, the establishment of which would logically be SHAEF's primary function in ECLIPSE. The only feasible remedy was


to assume an extension of the CCS presurrender policy into the postsurrender period. Consequently, in its ECLIPSE planning, SHAEF G-5 took on the following additional objectives from the SHAEF presurrender directive of 9 November : care, control, and repatriation of displaced persons; apprehension of war criminals; establishment of property and financial controls; elimination of nazism and militarism; and preservation of a suitable civil administration to accomplish all the objectives.21

In writing the outline plan, SHAEF predicted that German resistance to ECLIPSE would be low. The Germans, the planners expected, would know they had been overwhelmingly defeated and would be too physically and spiritually exhausted to continue the struggle. Some sabotage might be attempted and some of the Nazi leaders might attempt a dramatic last stand, perhaps in the Bavarian Alps, though it was most unlikely.22 Instinct regarding the Germans was better in November 1944 than it would be a half year later. (See below, p. 255. )

The Carpet and Static Plans

Whether military government went into Germany after a surrender, as TALISMAN assumed, or, as ECLIPSE supposed, in the wake of the last battle, its first mission would be to seize governmental control in all areas occupied by SHAEF forces. In this respect the planning for military government in Germany had differed from the planning for civil affairs in liberated countries. Under RANKIN the concept of pinpointing-the assignment of specific detachments to specified localities-had been introduced for Germany. In liberated territory, detachments would be assigned where they were needed; in Germany they would be assigned to assert Allied control. RANKIN, however, said nothing about how detachments would get to their pinpoint assignments. The war remedied this omission. By the end of summer 1944, the armies were either at or approaching the German border and would most likely sweep across Germany in the deployment they then had, whether the Germans surrendered or not. For military government the effect would be like unrolling a carpet control would be extended across Germany from the border eastward as the armies advanced, the pinpointed detachments taking up their stations as the locations were uncovered.

The carpet made its appearance in the 1,186 South Plan Amended, which EGAD issued on 13 September 1944 and which thereafter went by the more convenient name Carpet Plan.23  Two ECAR's, the 2d and 3d, with 213 detachments and 1,428 functional military government officers were to provide the carpet. The area to, be covered, at first the US zone plus the Rhineland from the zone boundary north to Duesseldorf, was later increased in the ECLIPSE planning to include the whole southern third of the British zone. The carpet was a thin one. I detachments (four officers and six enlisted men) were assigned areas with populations up to 100,000. To provide coverage for the northward extension, four companies of detachments pinpointed for southern and eastern Bavaria had to be transferred north and given tem-


porary second assignments in Westphalia and Hanover in the British zone.24

Devised for  TALISMAN, the Carpet Plan was adapted to ECLIPSE and retained during the advance into Germany in 1945, somewhat less satisfactorily at each successive stage. The carpet was primarily a method of quickly providing area military government, but after September the movement into Germany was anything but fast. Consequently, the armies found themselves having to set up and maintain military government centers for detachments they would probably not soon be able to deliver and could not use for anything else. In the fall an irksome and seemingly endless round of detachment transfers began as operational plans and tactical boundaries changed. In the detachments-separated from their parent organization, EGAD, and not integrated into the armies-morale sagged.

The least satisfactory aspect of the Carpet Plan was that it did not resolve the problem of the transition from SHAEF's anti-AMGOT philosophy of military government in the combat phase to the regional approach projected for the permanent occupation. In a fast, unopposed sweep like the one anticipated in TALISMAN, the problem could have been expected to resolve itself quickly; the carpet would be laid and regional administration established in a matter of weeks at most. Not so under the conditions that would prevail. Furthermore, although the Carpet Plan assigned regional detachments, the SHAEF directive of 9 November reconfirmed military government as a command responsibility and only projected the regional system as the ultimate form of military government.  While the carpet was being laid the combat commands would direct military government, each within its own tactical boundaries which would rarely if ever coincide with the German regional boundaries.25

Since the Carpet Plan was concerned with the whole area that US forces would occupy on the advance into Germany, and not specifically with the US zone, EGAD at the end of October also submitted a Static Plan to provide for permanent deployment into the zone. In the first stage of the Static Plan the detachments stationed outside the final US zone would be withdrawn. In the second stage, 250 detachments would be deployed in the US zone to provide complete coverage down to the Landkreise and Stadtkreise, and the permanent occupation would begin. To complete the Static Plan, thirty-seven new detachments would be needed-thirty-nine after Bremen and Bremerhaven were added.26

The change from the mobile phase of the Carpet Plan to the static phase would require a command reorganization. When the carpet had been laid and active operations ceased, Headquarters, 6th Army Group, which in September 1944 moved in on the right flank of the front after making the drive through southern France, would be withdrawn; and 12th Army Group would assume command of the entire US zone. The tenure of 12th Army Group was also likely to be short. When the combined command was dissolved, the US element of SHAEF would become the


Headquarters, US Forces in the European Theater (USFET); Eisenhower as theater commander and military governor would use the theater staff in the zone and the US Group Control Council to carry out his tripartite obligations in Berlin.27 In the shift to the Static Plan deployment, the armies would become military district headquarters. Originally there were to have been four military districts, but after 12th Army Group pointed out that the whole zone was actually only about the size of the state of Mississippi and that Bavaria would have to be arbitrarily split in half to provide the fourth district, the number was reduced to two. Bavaria would become the Eastern Military District, and the Western Military District (later to be reduced by transfer of territory to French control) would include the Laender Hesse, Hesse-Nassau, Wuerttemberg, and Baden.28

Since the zone and military district boundaries followed German administrative boundaries, the transition to the Static Plan would make possible the installation of regional military government detachments. The SHAEF presurrender directive envisioned this development and authorized a G-5 technical channel of command on matters which did not "affect tactical operations or concern the security of Allied troops." But military government would also remain a command responsibility of the military district commanders, who, with their corps and division commanders, if the security of their forces was threatened and who were to be informed of all military government technical instructions. The military district commander could suspend such instructions "when in his judgment conditions within his district require." 29

The Carpet and Static Plans put EGAD in the peculiar position of experiencing an acute personnel shortage at a time when most of the personnel it had were not employed. In November, EGAD and 12th Army Group submitted separate requests to Washington for increased officer and enlisted allotments. The War Department, which had since D-day already raised ECAD's authorized strength (including other than detachment personnel) to 2,768 officers, 120 warrant officers, and 5,366 enlisted men, was reluctant to approve an increase when the end of the war might soon make thousands of men available in Europe.30  In December, McSherry went to Washington to promote a boiled-down request for 740 officers, 16 warrant officers, and 1,071 enlisted men. When the War Department told SHAEF that it had no unallocated troops from which to make an increase, Smith replied, "What the hell am I going to do to handle this personnel problem . . .?" He asked for at least an allotment of grades and ratings, saying, "[We] will secure the bodies over here," and implied that the "bodies" would be secured "from the backdoors of hospitals" if necessary.

In February, the War Department approved a temporary overstrength up to the number SHAEF had requested, thereby re-


lieving for the moment one pressure on ECAD while intensifying another.31  Because ECAD did not have a fixed table of organization, promotions had been difficult. After EC AD also became an overstrength organization, promotions were doubly difficult since theater regulations all but prohibited promotions in overstrength units.32

The Displaced Persons Executive

During the early months of OVERLORD, neither the displaced person (DP) nor refugee problems materialized to the extent that had been feared. The western Europeans, by then wise in the ways of war, for the most part stayed close to their homes. The eastern Europeans encountered were nearly all Soviet nationals forced into German service after being captured on the Eastern Front. The question of their status was a delicate one that would not be answered until the Yalta Conference, but in the meantime the German uniform guaranteed them prisoner of war treatment. SHAEF handled civilians under the Outline Plan for Refugees and Displaced Persons (4 June 1944), which placed the responsibility on the local governments and restricted the military involvement to relief where it was essential and to prevention and control of disease that might also threaten the health of the military forces.33

The flood of displaced persons, however, was still expected when Germany collapsed or when the Germans weakened and could no longer control the millions of forced laborers within their boundaries. The DPs were there, and something would have to be done about them sooner or later. The questions were, what and how much. The German handbook and early SHAEF policy proposed to make them a responsibility of the German authorities who would care for them in centers until their own governments arranged repatriation. Whether the Germans, even under Allied supervision, could be proper guardians for people they had so long oppressed, however, was doubtful; and SHAEF G-5 concluded shortly after D-day that some kind of special DP teams would be needed and that the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was the logical source of such personnel, since to set up military teams in ECAD would dissipate military government strength.34

For SHAEF G-5 in the summer of 1944 the most ominous aspect of the DP problem was, as always, the nightmare possibility of millions of people streaming out of Germany, clogging roads, creating an avalanche of economic problems for the war-weakened liberated countries, and spreading disease, typhus in particular, across Europe. Furthermore, the critical stage, the start of the mass DP movement, would most likely come at a highly inopportune moment, namely, when German control broke down and SHAEF forces were not vet on the scene. If the DPs were to be persuaded to stand fast, it would have to be done in advance by an order or by an appeal. General Gullion and the DP Branch, SHAEF, did not believe either


method had much chance of succeeding with people who would experience their first taste of freedom in years; but in July they decided to try an appeal through psychological warfare channels for what it might be worth. A standfast order seemed to be ruled out, for the time being anyway, since SHAEF's authority to issue orders to Allied citizens, Soviet nationals in particular, was in doubt. Consequently the appeal merely informed the DPs that they would receive food and shelter and help in getting home and concluded with "Stay Where You Are!" 35

TALISMAN and ECLIPSE and the possibility of a German collapse in the fall of 1944 lent urgency to the DP planning even though the DP problem was nonexistent in the early stage of the Rhineland campaign. The Germans still had a tight hold on the people behind their front, and the movement was eastward rather than westward. At the end of January 1945, the Aachen DP center housed only twenty-nine displaced persons, all of them Poles, and intelligence reports (which later proved correct) indicated that the Germans were moving the forced laborers out of the Rhineland.36 Nevertheless, in SHAEF planning during the same period, the DPs advanced to top priority among the concerns of the occupation, and, notably, the emphasis shifted from control to welfare. A mass migration was still to be feared, but henceforth it could, at least, probably be confined to the boundaries of Germany.

The presurrender directive for military government made care, control, and repatriation of United Nations DPs the second of seven major military government objectives.37 As such it became a command responsibility, one which SHAEF further defined in a memo, "Displaced Persons and Refugees in Germany," issued on 18 November. The DPs from liberation to repatriation were to be cared for as a direct military concern, and commanders were to employ all available resources to this end. To the maximum extent, the German authorities would be required to provide food, shelter, medical attention, and wages and, in all of these matters, give the DPs priority over the German population. During the opposed advance into Germany, military government detachments operating in the normal military chain of command would be detailed to work with the DPs. In the later stages and in the static phase the Displaced Persons Executive (DPX) would take over.38

In creating the DPX, SHAEF conferred on displaced persons a distinctive status in the occupation and established an administration for them that was separate to some extent from both military government and the tactical commands. Within SHAEF, the DPX became the first example of a new form of organization that cut across existing organizational as well as national lines to co-ordinate work in a specific functional area. In the 18 November memorandum SHAEF contemplated using officers from the U.S. and British Control Council groups and the Women's Army Corps; and on 25 November Eisenhower concluded an agreement with Governor Lehman, Director General of UNRRA, authorizing UNRRA teams to be recruited in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway,


and France to assume "to the maximum extent" the handling of the DPs. 39  These groups would be associated in the DPX with the G-5 branches in SHAEF and its subordinate staffs, the military government DP detachments, and combat and service personnel detailed to DP work.40 In the ECLIPSE planning, SHAEF lowered considerably its estimate of the number of DPs from the 21 million talked about earlier, but still expected them to number close to 10 million in all of Germany and over 3  million in the western zones. The work of the DPX would be to persuade the DPs by every means to stand fast, move them into assembly centers where they could be given food, shelter, and medical care, and arrange their orderly and early return to the countries of their origin.41

War Crimes

The post-World War II prosecution of war criminals had its formal beginnings in the Moscow Declaration of 1 November 1943 and the United Nations War Crimes Commission, which began its work in London in January 1944. The Moscow Declaration pledged the three major allies, speaking in the interest of all the United Nations, to seek out Axis war criminals and return them for punishment to the countries in which the atrocities had been committed. The declaration implied further that major war criminals, whose offenses were not restricted to a geographical area, would in some manner be punished jointly by the Allied governments.42  The War Crimes Commission was charged with gathering evidence and compiling lists of Axis war criminals.

War crimes had been a lingering concern of the anti-Axis nations throughout the war, a concern that in part reached back to 191 9 and the Paris Peace Conference where provisions for trying accused Germans had been written into the Treaty of Versailles but not enforced. Before November 1943, the US President, the British Prime Minister, and the governments in exile had issued numerous warnings aimed particularly at deterring the Germans from executing hostages and from mistreating and murdering Jews. That many crimes against Allied soldiers were also to be expected could be inferred from Hitler's "Commando" order of 1942, which refused quarter to enemy troops on raids or missions behind the German lines, and from the official encouragement, beginning in 1943, of civilian attacks on downed US and British airmen. The victims of such policies, civilian and military, could number in the millions and the perpetrators in the tens of thousands.

In spite of their seriousness, war crimes were for a long while a subject on which the US authorities spoke sternly but acted with elaborate caution, both for good reasons. As long as hostilities lasted, verbal deterrence-the promise of punishment-was for the US government the only feasible approach. The other possibility of actually trying war criminals as they were captured, although a more positive deterrent, could also bring reprisals against US prisoners of war in German hands, and American public opinion was especially sensitive to


the welfare of prisoners of war. In November 1043, while Eisenhower was still commanding in the Mediterranean, Secretary of State Hull urged and Eisenhower agreed that no publicity should be given to the capture of war criminals or to evidence collected against them. Hull even advised against any actions that might reveal individuals to be under suspicion, and Eisenhower, to be on the safe side, forbade not only trials in the theater but all publicity on the subject.43 In December, when the Soviet Union tried and condemned three German soldiers at Kharkov for gas van atrocities, Hull announced that the United States did not regard "direct handling of war criminals" as falling within the terms of the Moscow Declaration.44 When the Germans threatened to try captured British and American airmen (reprisals against Soviet prisoners of war being somewhat superfluous since neither the Germans nor the Soviet Union recognized any rules in their war against each other) , the State Department assured the Germans through the Swiss of continuing US strict observance of the Geneva Convention.45

In the plans for OVERLORD, both the Standard Policy and Procedure and CCS 551, the presurrender military government directive, made the arrest of war criminals an objective of the occupation. CCS 551 directed Eisenhower to have arrested and "held for investigation and subsequent disposition" Adolf Hitler, his chief Nazi associates, and all war crimes suspects, including those on the War Crimes Commission lists.46 Neither document, however, applied outside the German borders, and procedure for dealing with war crimes developed slowly. On 20 August 1044, SHAEF established a standing court of inquiry in G-1 to collect and preserve evidence "only in cases involving Allied military personnel." The court of inquiry was not mobile and could only hear witnesses and receive evidence brought to it. 47 In the first week of September, just before the first troops crossed the German border, SHAEF instructed the army group commanders to take all war criminals into custody "so far as the exigencies of the situation permit," lout the army groups were not given instructions on the investigative procedures for another three months. 48

A good part of the reason why little had been done at SHAEF up to the late summer and fall of 1944 - apart from the concern for reprisals which was always predominant-was that equally little was teeing done in Washington. In August the Joint Chiefs of Staff were just beginning to work on a war crimes directive, JCS 1023, which at that stage constituted mainly a definition of war crimes.49  The law as to the nature and punishment of war crimes was far from precise. The Responsibilities Commission of the Paris Peace Conference in 1910 had listed thirty-two specific war crimes. In 1943, the War


Department's Judge Advocate General had identified forty-four crimes.50 JCS 1023 accepted the following as a general definition: "The term, war crimes, covers those violations of the laws and customs of war which constitute offenses against persons or property, committed in connection with military operations or occupation, which outrage common justice or involve moral turpitude." 51 Neither the two lists nor the definition extended the concept of culpability beyond the commission of specifically identifiable acts, and whether such acts could even be successfully tried was doubtful. Although the Judge Advocate General had found no bar to trying war criminals during hostilities, the United States was obviously not inclined to exercise that prerogative.52  As a further obstacle, FM 27-10, Rules of Land Warfare, appeared to give most defendants an easy plea by providing that members of armed forces would not be punished for crimes "committed under orders or sanction of their government or commanders." 53

Nevertheless, late summer 1944 was as crucial a period in the US thinking on war crimes as it was in other matters concerning the occupation. In the outline of his plan for Germany which Morgenthau sent to Stimson on 6 September, he included a proposal for dealing with war criminals which specified that a list be made beforehand of the "arch criminals . . . whose obvious guilt is recognized" and that after being captured and identified they be executed by firing squads without trial. Specific crimes "leading to or causing the death or persons" were to be tried by military commissions.54  Morgenthau had talked to Hilldring about the proposal some days earlier, and Hilldring had wondered how people would get on the list, a question Morgenthau seems never to have answered to his own satisfaction. Stimson, in his memo to the President on 9 September, ranked the proposed war crimes policy almost equally with the economic provisions in his objections to the Morgenthau Plan. The accused, he insisted, would have to be charged, heard, and allowed to call witnesses in their defense; the punishment would have to be accomplished in "a dignified manner consistent with the advance of civilization" for the sake of "the greater effect on posterity." He proposed that an international tribunal be set up to try the "chief Nazis" and that the other war criminals be returned to the scenes of their crimes as the Moscow Declaration required.55

Although Stimson subsequently withdrew from the argument on the economic future of Germany, he became more passionately involved with the war crimes question as time passed, not only continuing to argue for orderly trials but making himself a leader in the development of the legal philosophy on the whole subject. His first reaction to the Morgenthau proposals seems to have been that all charges against major as well as lesser criminals would have to based on violations of existing laws of war. Much as he abhorred them, he said, he did not see how crimes committed in Germany or committed before the war began, such as the killing of Jews, could be considered crimes which the United


States could punish "any more than Germany would have a right to intervene in our country to punish people who are lynching the Negroes." 56

After the Quebec Conference, when he heard that the President and Prime Minister had leaned toward the idea of executions without trials, Stimson appointed a panel of War Department lawyers to study the question.57 Although he remained opposed to mass summary executions, his thinking on what constituted punishable offenses changed. From the study, which continued to the end of the year under Stimson's active leadership, a plan emerged for a grand conspiracy trial not only of individuals but of organizations as well, such as the SS and Gestapo. The charge would be conspiracy to dominate the world "by means wholly contrary to international law." 58 The law would be less the rules of war than the prewar international agreements which had sought to outlaw war itself, particularly the Kellogg-Briand Pact. Stimson was encouraged when, after telling Roosevelt the story of a conspiracy case he had tried against the American Sugar Refining Company in 1906, the President "gave his very frank approval to my suggestion . . . that conspiracy with all of the actors brought in from the top to the bottom, or rather with all classes of actors brought in . . . would be the best way to try it . . . ." 59

In the fall, spurred by Secretary Stim-son's interest, the War Department began to acquire organizations for dealing with war crimes. At the end of September, on instructions from Stimson, the Judge Advocate General established a war crimes office which some weeks later, by agreement with the Navy and State Departments, became the National War Crimes Office.60 The mission of the office was to collect evidence of "cruelties, atrocities, and acts of oppression'' against members of the US Armed Forces or other Americans and to apprehend, try, and execute sentences on persons against whom cases were developed.61 Stimson kept the handling of policy in his own office, naming Assistant Secretary of War McCloy as his representative "in all matters involving war crimes" and charging G-1 with staff supervision of plans and policies.62  In November, FM 27-10 was revised to eliminate the plea of superior orders.63

By year's end some of the new thinking in Washington was beginning to reach Europe. The JCS had submitted 1023 to the Combined Chiefs of Staff in October but, when the scope of the US approach expanded shortly thereafter, did not press for its conversion into a combined directive. Consequently, Eisenhower, as Supreme Commander, could only continue under the limited guidance he had received earlier. The War Department, however, could issue instructions to him independently as


Commanding General, ETOUSA, and on 25 December the Judge Advocate General directed the theater judge advocate general to set up a war crimes office similar to the one recently created in Washington. To Eisenhower, G-1 explained, "Mr. Stimson regards the investigation of war crimes as a subject of top importance." 64 The theater war crimes branch was to lie charged with investigating war crimes alleged against Americans and, for transmission to the appropriate governments, also crimes against nationals of other United Nations; but no war criminals were to be tried.65


The Psychological Warfare Division, SHAEF, which liked to call itself PsyWar but went more conservatively and correctly by the initials "PWD," originated as one of two new general staff divisions, G-5 and G-6, in February 1944. In the April 1944 SHAEF reorganization, G-6 was abolished and its functions were divided between two special staff divisions, Public Relations and Psychological Warfare. Brig. Gen. Robert A. McClure, who had been Assistant Chief of Staff, G-6, during its brief existence and before that Eisenhower's chief of information and censorship in the Mediterranean, became the director of PWD. As such he was blessed-not entirely happily-with four deputies, each of whom represented a powerful US or British civilian agency, namely, the Office of War Information and Office of Strategic Services (US) and the Political Intelligence Department and Ministry of Information (British). The US operating personnel had been selected on the basis of language knowledge and occupational background and were mostly graduates of the Psychological Warfare School at Camp Ritchie, Maryland.

Psychological warfare during OVERLORD had two broad purposes : to undermine the enemy soldier's will to fight and to influence civilian opinion in ways useful to SHAEF. The first objective, which often had to be attuned to the immediate combat situation, was delegated to the army groups by PWD. The second objective, over which PWD retained direct control, took several forms : propaganda to friendly peoples still under German occupation, so-called consolidation propaganda in liberated countries, and propaganda to the German people. This last form was going to make PWD an important agency in the occupation because SHAEF planning assumed from the beginning-though it is not clear why-that the mission to conduct propaganda to the Germans during the war naturally also embraced control of information in Germany tinder the occupation.66 Military government, charged with executing all other aspects of occupation policy, was thereby excluded from the propaganda mission. As a result, military government tended always to look on the occupation as primarily an exercise in governmental administration, while PWD and its successors regarded it as an operation on the German mind. Both were valid approaches, but undoubtedly they would have been more effective combined rather than competing with each other.

Public information policy developed


slowly. It did not figure in the military government plans, and PWD was engrossed throughout 1944 with its operational responsibilities. CCS 551, while setting freedom of speech and press as essential, authorized only a negative program of censorship and control in the interest of military security and to prevent Nazi propaganda. JCS 1067 ordered the German information services, including moving pictures, to shut down completely, presumably pending an overhaul and subsequent establishment of free speech and press. But the order said nothing about how these freedoms would be accomplished, and it was not a combined directive.

As the armies drove into Germany in the fall of 1944, PWD's chief concern was with the Germans on the other side of the front, to sell them unconditional surrender if possible and, in any case, to condition them for the military government to come. Restrictions imposed from Washington reduced appeals for both purposes to a portrayal of military government as stern and all-powerful but just-a combination that made unconditional surrender about as attractive as Judgment Day.

The lack of something to say became painfully evident after PWD acquired a first-class vehicle for reaching the Germans, the 150-kilowatt Radio Luxembourg transmitter, one of the most powerful in Europe. The Germans demolished the main control room in Luxembourg City on 1 September while U.S. troops were still sixty miles away; but at the transmitter outside the city a civilian technician, who knew where spare tubes had been hidden away, convinced the German chief engineer that smashing the tubes in the transmitter would do a permanent enough job. On the 10th, the 5th Armored Division captured the transmitter. Four days later the spare tubes were recovered, and on the 23d Radio Luxembourg went back on the air. 67 Getting two national and several civilian agencies and military staff's to agree on what to broadcast was a great deal more difficult, as was also the attempt to explain a policy to the Germans that was not clear to SHAEF itself. After two months, one of McClure's British deputies thought things were almost hopeless enough to warrant giving up and reverting to "purely tactical leaflet and radio work." 68

After military government moved into the Aachen area, PWD's mission with regard to the Germans took on a new and unforeseen aspect. No need to control or sanitize the press existed because there was no press; and without electric power much of the time, the Germans could not listen to their radios. The implications for the future were clear: occupied Germany was not going to be a hotbed of resurgent Nazi propaganda; it was going to be an information desert. Experience soon showed that the one could be as potentially dangerous as the other. If the occupation had no voice, the people would live on rumors. The pressures of the time were too great for them to exist in an information vacuum.

In November, PWD began publishing a weekly paper, Die Neue Zeitung (The New Newspaper), at its headquarters in Luxembourg. The press run of 23,000 copies was enough to supply about one copy for every five persons in the occupied area. PWD apparently proposed to relieve the information drought and simultaneously give the Germans their first lesson in democratic journalism, hence the title


and the pictures, maps, and feature articles in the first issue. Die Neue Zeitung would have its day but not for almost a year. The second issue came out in austere format as Die Mitteilungen (Communications). SHAEF had declared it would not let its resources be used to provide anything for the Germans other than official military government communications.69

In January, SHAEF public information policy for the occupation began to take form. SHAEF added Military Government Law No. 191 to the proclamation and ordinances which military government posted in every occupied community. The law ordered a shutdown of all media of public expression : press, radio, moving pictures, theater, and musical performances. Television and sound recordings, overlooked at first, were later added to the list. The Germans would have to get along on Radio Luxembourg, Die Mitteilung, and the so-called Mitteilungsblaetter (information sheets) that SHAEF authorized the army groups to publish as needed. All three would carry only official announcements and summaries of international news. General McClure said, "It is PWD policy not to entertain the Germans." 70 To avoid making the Army a permanent press service for Germany-and, contrary to some opinion in PWD, only incidentally to begin the democratic reorientation of the German information media-PWD would, when conditions permitted, license carefully selected individual Germans as publishers. Neither corporations nor associations would be licensed because they were difficult to call to account. Eventually Germans would operate the newspapers and other media and be controlled through the licensing power.71

A Place for the Control Council Group

The U.S. Group Control Council was guided by three sources: the EAC "Agreement on Control Machinery in Germany," JCS 1067, and SHAEF. Under the EAC agreement, the US Group Control Council was actually the nucleus of what was to be called the Control Staff, since the Control Council would consist of the three commanders in chief and the Co-ordinating Committee of their deputies, who had not yet been appointed. In November, the group reorganized into twelve divisions provided for in the EAC agreement: military; naval; air; transport; political; economic; finance; reparations, deliveries, and restitution ; internal affairs and communications ; legal ; prisoners of war and displaced persons; and manpower.72 To these divisions were added an intelligence section in the headquarters staff, a public relations service, and an information control service, the latter two to be headed by Brig. Gen. Frank A. Allen, SHAEF's public relations chief, and General McClure when they had finished their duties with SHAEF. The majority of the divisions, in fact, had temporary or acting directors, pending civilian appointments in some cases and release of designees from SHAEF in others. The projected nucleus group strength was 1,200 officers; the actual strength in November was 175 officers and 15 civilians.73


JCS 1067, as the US Group Control Council's Bible, was a formidable test in exegesis. On the other hand, the group was under orders to make its plans in accordance with EAC recommendations to the three governments, and in the absence of these to be guided by US views pending before the commission; but the EAC had not made any recommendations to the governments beyond the surrender instrument and those on the zones and control machinery. The War Department regarded JCS 1067 as a US view to be put before the E AC, but it was being revised in Washington and had not yet been submitted. Already, however, the original JCS 1067 seemed to conflict with the agreement on control machinery in one instance. The agreement required the twelve divisions of the Control Staff, as one of their chief functions, "to control the corresponding German Ministry or Central Institution" ; and Strang, Winant, and Gousev had assumed in their report that there would be at the outset some sort of German central administration through which the Control Staff would operate.74 JCS 1067 required the immediate dismissal of all members of the Nazi party and all "ardent supporters." It was difficult to conceive how anyone working in a German ministry could fail to qualify as at least an ardent supporter.75

The agreement on control machinery had given the Control Council a role in the postwar administration of Germany, but pending the surrender and actual establishment of tripartite control, definition of the role was left to SHAEF, which was where the War Department wanted it to be. Defining a mission for the Control Council groups raised several problems. The Control Council would be a tripartite body, hence any planning should have been on a tripartite basis from the start. The Russians had said they were selecting their personnel and would send them to London; they had thereafter subsided into silence.76 The US and British groups were in London but not coordinating their work except through SHAEF, which could hold a tight rein on the Americans but not on the British. What the Control Council groups had to plan for was also in question. That SHAEF would lie dissolved soon after the surrender had become accepted thinking. However, SHAEF would be responsible for inaugurating the occupation, which SHAEF interpreted to include "responsibility for control of the German forces, military government, and disbandment and disarmament in its widest sense." Furthermore, SHAEF had instructed the army groups to make no agreements on policy with the Control Council groups without its concurrence and to hold no meetings with them without SHAEF representatives present.77 Exactly what the Control Council groups would plan for the period after SHAEF was dissolved was also in doubt.

In the first week of December, in a staff memorandum which superseded the so-called Treaty of Portsmouth and became known as the Treaty of Versailles, SHAEF set some doubts to rest, at least to its own satisfaction. During the presurrender period, the Control Council groups would be separate-the British under their own government, the Americans under Eisenhower


as Commanding General, ETOUSA-but they would work "in closest liaison with each other" to assure that their plans and SHAEF's were in agreement. Until the governments decided to disband SHAEF, it would be responsible for the occupation in Germany and would execute policies transmitted to it through the Combined Chiefs of Staff. The Control Council groups would advise on control machinery and on "measures to be taken to implement established policies." Any of their personnel in Germany during the SHAEF period would be under SHAEF command.78 Later, SHAEF also gave the US Group Control Council two planning missions: to plan for the control of the German ministries and central agencies and to plan for the US participation in the Control Council and its subordinate bodies. Plans for the US zone, however, were to be worked out in the US element of G-5, SHAEF.79

The over-all bleakness of the immediate future of the Control Council groups was relieved somewhat by Plan GOLDCUP. In late September, SHAEF had rather vaguely agreed to let a small ministerial control team enter Berlin after the city was occupied to do some preliminary reconnaissance for the Control Council.80 Later in the fall, when it still seemed that the British and Americans would enter Berlin first, the idea was expanded and given the code name GOLDCUP. Under GOLDCUP, the US and British Control Council groups would furnish officers and enlisted men to form an Advanced Ministerial Control Group. Under SHAEF's command, the Advanced Ministerial Control Group would supply a mobile control party for each of the German ministries and central agencies. The control parties would be ready to move in and take charge of German ministerial personnel and records as soon as they were uncovered, presumably in Berlin but anywhere in Germany in case the government dispersed.81 By the time the control parties were organized in January 1945, when or whether they would enter Berlin had become doubtful.




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