The Occupation Troops

Army-Type Occupation

On V-E Day, Eisenhower had sixty-one U.S. divisions, 1,622,000 men, in Germany, and a total force in Europe numbering 3,077,000.1 When the shooting ended, the divisions in the field became the occupation troops, charged with maintaining law and order and establishing the Allied military presence in the defeated nation. This was the army-type occupation. A counterpart of the military government carpet, its object was to control the population and stifle resistance by putting troops into every nook and cranny. Divisions were spread out across the countryside, sometimes over great stretches of territory. The 78th Infantry Division, for instance, for a time after V-E day was responsible for an area of 3,600 square miles, almost twice the size of the state of Delaware, and the 70th Infantry Division for 2,500 square miles. Battalions were deployed separately, and the company was widely viewed as the ideal unit for independent deployment because billets were easy to find and the hauls from the billets to guard posts and checkpoints would not be excessively long. Frequently single platoons and squads were deployed at substantial distances from their company headquarters.

The occupation troops manned border control stations, maintained checkpoints at road junctions and bridges, sent out roving patrols to apprehend curfew and circulation violators, and kept stationary guards at railroad bridges, Army installations, DP camps, jails, telephone exchanges, factories, and banks. In the first months troops were plentiful and almost everything of importance-and some not so important-was guarded.2 In effect, the combat forces became military government security troops.

The army-type occupation was comprehensive and showed the Germans that they were defeated and their country occupied. This type of occupation was presumably capable of squelching incipient resistance since none was evident. On the other hand, it employed a much larger number of troops than would be available for the permanent occupation and did so at considerable cost in combat potential and discipline. The larger units lost their cohesiveness, and in the platoons and companies discipline weakened. Ironically, the supposed chief beneficiary, military government, concluded after two months' experience that the better plan would have been to form the occupational police battalions General Gullion had asked for and been refused in 1942. The tactical troops thought in terms of military security and therefore often followed different priorities


than would have been most useful to military government. The public safety officer in Marburg, for instance, complained that he was having to spend most of his time explaining to the tactical troops why they should, besides protecting potential sabotage targets and checking passes, also supply guards for the $200-million worth of art work, 400 tons of German Foreign Office records, and 84 tank cars loaded with mercury, all of which were in military government custody.3

The most obvious defect of the blanket occupation was its impermanence. The vast majority of the troops were going to be redeployed either to the Pacific or home for discharge. Their work in Germany was finished the day the war ended. Some troops would be there for weeks, some for months, but all would be almost constantly on the move outward. In July, after the withdrawal to the zone was completed, SHAEF published a revised deployment plan. It was based on an assumed permanent occupation force of 8 divisions: 3 for the Western Military District, 4 for the Eastern Military District, 1 (less 1 regiment) for Berlin, and 1 regiment for Bremen. The army-type occupation would be retained but revised. Two regiments, one armored and one airborne, would lie trained and held ready as a mobile striking force. The others would be static and engage in occupation duty but would be stationed in regimental concentrations near main administrative centers and not again dissipated by battalions and companies.4


The ban on fraternization had been in force eight months by V-E Day - long enough in the opinion of those who had to enforce it and, no doubt, too long to suit those required to observe it. After his tour of occupied Germany in late April, Colonel Starnes recommended revising the nonfraternization orders "to a common sense basis immediately [after] hostilities cease . . . . A non-fraternization policy anywhere," he told Smith, "with an), people with whom we are not at war will appear childish, senseless, and in a very short time all of us will be ashamed that we ever behaved in such a manner." 5  Three days after the surrender Bradley and Smith talked about modifying the policy; at almost the same time in Washington, Marshall was talking to Elmer Davis, Director of the Office of War Information. The subject was the Goering case and the alleged friendly treatment of other high-ranking Germans which, Davis said and Marshall reported in a cable to Eisenhower, had aroused "an intense public reaction, approaching and in many cases reaching bitterness." Smith later sent a copy of the cable to Bradley with the comment, "It seems to me that this is a fairly good answer to our conversation." 6

For two months thereafter, SHAEF wrestled with itself, trying desperately to enforce the nonfraternization policy and, just as desperately, to get rid of it. Deluged with letters, telegrams, and editorials protesting the Goering incident, Marshall ordered Eisenhower on 14 May to "stimu-


late stories and pictures showing the stern attitude of American military personnel" toward German prisoners of all ranks. For a start, Eisenhower issued a public statement disapproving all forms of fraternization and an order to the US commands threatening to deal summarily with any future incidents.7 A week later, however, he asked Clay's opinion on a switch to the milder nonfraternization policy stated in the 1944 War Department's "Guide to Germany." In his reply, Clay summed up the dilemma in one sentence: "While it is recognized that discipline in the Army should not be governed by public opinion, we cannot completely forget the effects of public opinion . . . ." He believed that to relax the nonfraternization policy, except possibly with respect to small children, would be "misunderstood by the press and the public." However, he was apparently convinced that the "Guide" policy was the only feasible one, and he recommended having a study made to determine how it could be put into effect after the combined command terminated.8

Meanwhile, arrests were being made, cases were being tried, and good combat soldiers were getting bad records. As a deterrent, the judge advocates frequently tried the cases as violations of standing orders under the Articles of War, which could result in as much as six months' confinement and two-thirds' loss of pay. While no one imagined that any calculable percentage of the offenses was being detected, the number of trials held was not insignificant. The 28th Infantry Division, for example, had sixty cases on its docket in mid-June and was going to try every one by court martial under the Articles of War. In May, the XXIII Corps' judge advocate tried twenty-five cases against enlisted men and two against officers.9  The Inspector General, Seventh Army, investigated four cases involving ten generals. The generals probably fared better than the enlisted men similarly charged. Generals Dahlquist and Stack and Brig. Gen. Walter W. Hess were found to have "engaged in social contact" with Goering, and Maj. Gen. Frank W. Milburn, Maj. Gen. F. A. Prickett, and Brig. Gen. W. H. Maris to have "engaged in friendly contact" with Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt in violation of the nonfraternization policy. The other two cases were declared not to have constituted fraternization. The investigation took almost three months and, the nonfraternization policy being all but defunct by then, ended with a recommendation to take no further action in any of the cases.10

A curious myth associated with the non-




fraternization problem was the belief that the ordinary soldiers objected most to the ban on friendliness to young children. On 2 June, Eisenhower reported to Marshall, "Continuing surveys among our troops show that non-fraternization rules are fairly well observed except in the case of small children." Because the American soldier could not be stern and harsh with young children, Eisenhower continued, "the fear of all commanders is that the breaking down of the order with respect to the child will eventually have its effect on the whole proposition and upon discipline in general." After some discussion as to what constituted a small child (Eisenhower proposed twelve years as the age limit, but Marshall wondered "how a soldier is going to tell the age of a child before being kind to it?" ) and after Marshall decided that public reaction would be favorable, Eisenhower announced the lifting of the ban on fraternization with children on 11 June.11

The soldier's urge to befriend small chil-


dren, however, was not the real issue. Of five provost marshals interviewed in June, none mentioned children as figuring in his fraternization cases-or, for that matter, any other Germans except women. Maj. William Hill, 28th Infantry Division, said: "Soldiers are going to have their fling regardless of rules or orders. If they are caught they know what the punishment will be. However, that is not stopping them and nothing is going to stop them." Maj. Hal N. Briggs, 35th Infantry Division, added, "There is a lot of fraternization going on and we know it, but to catch them is a different thing." 12

Exactly how widespread fraternization was no one in authority seemed to know or want to know. Ninth Army reported that German girls and US soldiers were some times seen walking in parks. The 6th Army Group noted a "surprisingly large number of young women" - WACs, their French equivalent, and DPs- appearing in the company of US soldiers. Few of the girls, according to the army report, were in uniform, and most of them spoke German which "made it impossible to tell whether a soldier was violating the rule or associating with an Allied National." 13  The soldiers were more candid. They joked about the opportunity being given the Germans "to see Americans engaged in the most widespread violation of their own laws since Prohibition" and about putting on French uniforms so that they could fraternize without a guilty conscience.14

One thing could not be ignored: in attempting to force on its troops a wholly artificial standard of conduct, the Army was putting itself in a position that was both ludicrous and potentially dangerous. No amount of pious exhortation could, once the fighting had ended, convince the soldiers that they were not the chief and possibly intended victims. Some said that "the policy is just to give the brass the first crack at all the good looking women." Others saw "the German soldier getting a discharge, donning civilian clothes, and making love to the women while they [the US troops] are the ones virtually in prison." 15 Staffs that had engineered the defeat of the Wehrmacht were having to match wits with their own soldiers and were losing. The powerful Headquarters, 12th Army Group, struggled with the problem of how to tell a female DP from a German Frauelein and came up with the following solution: "an armband four inches wide, made of materials in the colors of their respective nations will be worn on the left arm by Allied DPs as a symbol of recognition." 16 One unit tried issuing buttons to the DPs, and the unit newspaper announced the move under the headline "Button, Button, Who's Got the Button." In the Fifteenth Army area, a CIC detachment was reportedly sent to watch a security guard detachment that had been detailed to shadow an MP private who was suspected of flirting with a German girl.17 The Germans, SHAEF PWD reported ruefully, could hardly fail to notice that some-


thing had gone wrong "when large signs `Don't Fraternize' have to be displayed every 50 yards or so." In Frankfurt, where barbed wire preserved the monastic seclusion of the SHAEF compound, the Germans were remarking that the Americans were a people who built concentration camps and put themselves in them.18 Lastly, the venereal disease rate was rising and with it a knot of contradictions. The SHAEF Judge Advocate pointed out

The very establishment of prophylactic stations and the directives requiring reports of the contraction of venereal disease are indicative of the realistic view which the Army has heretofore taken of this problem. Soldiers will fraternize in the manner indicated, in spite of any rules to the contrary, and should they, fearful of being tried by court martial for such fraternization, avoid the use of prophylaxis or checkup, venereal disease may become rampant and completely out of control.19

On 4 June, SHAEF, with desperate illogic, published orders stating: "Contraction of venereal disease or the facts concerning prophylactic treatment will not be used directly or indirectly as evidence of fraternization . . . ." 20

Fittingly, nonfraternization did not end, it disintegrated. On 19 June in Washington, Eisenhower said that there could be no fraternization in Germany until the last Nazi criminals had been uprooted. Two days later at a press conference in Abilene he talked about abating the nonfraternization policy "as soon as the criminals and dangerous elements [among the Germans] are sorted out." On the 25th, in a group interview at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, Generals Jacob L. Devers, Joseph T. McNarney, and William L. Simpson, all recently returned from important commands in Germany, agreed that "non-fraternization must and will be relaxed in the near future. " 21 On 10 July, SHAEF announced that nonfraternization would continue except in special cases. Relations with German girls and the German public, the announcement explained, were only part of the picture. Security was more important, and there might be serious trouble in the coming winter; therefore, the troops could not be permitted to fraternize.22  Four days later, Eisenhower announced, "In view of the rapid progress which has been made in carrying out Allied de-Nazification policies . . . it is believed desirable and timely to permit personnel of my command to engage in conversation with adult Germans on the streets and in public places." 23

Joyously dubbed "the fraternization order" by the troops, the Eisenhower revision went into effect on the 15th, a Sunday. Gladwin Hill, correspondent for the New York Times, described the scene in Schierstein on the Rhine River:

There was a new watch on the Rhine today -by handholding American GI's and German girls taking advantage of the relaxed restrictions on fraternization.
In the hot sunshine of a Sunday afternoon they sat on grassy riverbanks, chugged up and down stream in American boats, and zipped around streets with the zest of a child




diving into a box of candy previously accessible only by stealth.24

Seventh Army reported an immediate free and open mingling of soldiers and German civilians and asked for clarification of the announcement because its commanders and MPs had no instructions concerning which types of contact were permissible and which were not.

Taking its guidance from Eisenhower's message to the commands and the War Department, which stressed the limited nature of the modification, SHAEF G-1 prepared a clarifying directive. In it, G-1 defined public places as parks and streets or enclosures such as railroad stations, concert halls, theaters, art galleries, market places, shops, and city halls. In such places soldiers could engage in conversation or exchange "customary forms of greeting" with adult Germans, and walk and sit with them.25 General Patton, the Third Army com-


mander, however, urgently requested permission to hold organizational dances with German girls as invited guests, while Generals Clay and Adcock proposed to extend the G-1 definition of public places and exclude only private homes, hotel rooms, brothels, and Army-sponsored social events such as the dances Patton wanted to give. This last event, they maintained, could not be considered public. G-1 protested that the Clay-Adcock definition could possibly allow soldiers to consort with undesirable women in cabarets while prohibiting sponsored dances "under controlled conditions." At the end of the month, the problem went to Eisenhower; he responded with, "The Theater Commander wishes you to be advised that he considers his major commanders fully competent to interpret and define the term 'public places' within the spirit of his intentions and that he does not wish to publish any further definitions or interpretations in this connection." 26

Although nonfraternization had still not positively been pronounced dead, from then on the USFET staff was concerned only with arranging the funeral. The debate over the definition of public places rumbled on sporadically, but in the meantime enforcement ceased. When the Control Council, at USFET's urging, ended the ban entirely, effective 1 October (even though the Control Council had not imposed it and the French and Russians had not observed it), the only prohibitions left were those against marrying Germans and billeting in German homes.27  By then the subordinate commands had even begun to sponsor fraternization. Quite a few experimented with systems of social passes. The passes were issued to girls of presumed good character and admitted them to unit social events. Unfortunately, some implications of being registered made it difficult to interest the kinds of girls the commands wanted most.28

In November, after six months of the occupation and nearly three months of tolerated fraternization, USFET surveyed soldier opinion on the Germans. Nearly 80 percent of the soldiers interviewed said their impression was favorable. They most liked the Germans' cleanliness and industriousness and most disliked their "air of superiority and arrogance." Although exactly half still liked the English best, 28 percent said they preferred the Germans and only 11 percent the French. Less than half (43 percent) blamed the German people for the war and fewer (25 percent) imputed to the people responsibility for the concentration camp atrocities. The soldiers were also asked how much time they had spent during the previous seven days and seven nights "talking" (including contacts "other than those of purely conversational nature") with Germans. Few had associated at all with older Germans and fewer still with men their own age, while 56 percent had spent some time "talking" with German girls, 25 percent for ten hours or more. 29


Redeployment and Readjustment

Wartime planning had assumed that a large part of the forces required to defeat Japan would come from Europe after hostilities ended there. In early November 1944, Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General, Army Service Forces, had told Eisenhower: "The European Theater of Operations . . . will in fact become a base, the location of resources which we will wish to divert to use in the Pacific . . . . We are going to place immediate demands on you to put your machine in reverse and this at a time when you will have to be laying out your billeting areas, lines of communications, ports, railroads, and other facilities for your job of maintaining order in Germany." 30  Subsequently, with the Battle of the Bulge and the drive into Germany still months ahead, redeployment planning groups had gone to work in the Pentagon and at Headquarters, ETOUSA.

By the third week in March 1945, SHAEF anticipated having to release a million and a half troops for the Pacific and having to send another 600,000 men home for discharge.31 Concerning the shipment home, General Marshall cabled to Eisenhower

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the task of readjusting the Army and promptly releasing to civilian life those people who are surplus to the needs of the Japanese war is one that will demand the most unselfish and conscientious efforts on the part of everyone. I fear that the weight of public opinion in the US will be such that unless the task is handled properly we may be forced to take measures that will interfere with redeployment and result in a prolongation of the Japanese war.

Marshall stipulated that the units to lie shipped to the Pacific were to contain only the troops least eligible for discharge, and those being sent home were to lie only the most eligible. He remembered, he said, that in World War I the unit shipped out first was often the one most convenient rather than most deserving. 32

What would determine whether a man stayed in the occupation forces in Germany, went to the Pacific, or went home to lie discharged was the Adjusted Service Rating. The rating was calculated individually for every enlisted man in the theater on the basis of one point for each month of service since September 1940, one point for each month of overseas service since September 1940, five points for each decoration or battle star, and twelve points for each child under eighteen up to a maximum of three. Eisenhower informed the commands that they would have to be ready to release the men with high scores "when the bell rings . . . . The fairness and speed," lie stated, "with which the redeployment is carried out will be reflected in public support of the Pacific campaign, in the future attitude of the public to the Army, and in the confidence of the returned soldier in the Army command." 33

The bell rang sooner than anyone in Europe anticipated. ETOUSA had expected to have about a month after the


surrender to get ready and then eighteen months to complete the shipments. On 8 May, the War Department announced 12 May as R-day, the day full redeployment and readjustment would begin. The Adjusted Service Ratings would have to be calculated by midnight on the 12th, and thereafter they would determine all enlisted assignments (officers were not yet included) . On the night of V-E Day the War Department reduced the completion time from eighteen months to twelve and raised the shipping quota for June from 60,000 troops to 240,000. Two days later the department called for 17,500 men eligible for discharge to be shipped by air or water in May and ordered a minimum of 35,000 in June.34

The critical score was 85 for enlisted men (44 for enlisted women). Those with 85 or more points on the Adjusted Service Rating were eligible for discharge. Those with fewer point -spending reduction in the score- would serve either in the occupation or be redeployed to the Pacific. For these men and women in particular the War Department released a film entitled "Two Down and One To Go." All movements were to be made by complete units, which necessitated a reshuffling of personnel throughout the theater and the classification of all units into four categories. Category I units were those scheduled to stay in the occupation, Category II units were those to be redeployed to the Pacific, and Category III units were those being reorganized either for the Pacific or the occupation. Categories I, II, and III would contain no men with point scores of 85 or over. Category IV units would have only men with 85 or more points and would function as vehicles for returning them to the United States. In northeastern France, between Reims and Chalons-sur-Marne and the Aisne River, ETOUSA established an assembly area to accommodate 250,000 men in tent camps. Other camps, capable of housing tip to 60,000, were built in staging areas near the embarkation ports of Le Havre, Marseilles, and Antwerp. The camps were named for brands of cigarettes, such as Herbert Tareyton, Wings, Lucky Strike, and Twenty Grand.35

For the first two months the shipments out exceeded the original War Department quotas. Nearly 90,000 men were shipped out in May, almost 70,000 of them had high scores.36 Units went into the assembly areas and on to the staging areas with minimum essential equipment to eliminate the necessity for packing and loading heavy items. Although they were supposed to be traveling light, ETOUSA orders permitted the troops to carry war trophies "to the fullest extent practicable," excepting only explosives and nonmilitary articles removed from enemy dead. The 28th Infantry of 5,000 men embarked with 20,000 souvenir weapons.37

No matter how high the rate of departures, however, hundreds of thousands of


men were going to have to wait months before their turns came. Since they could have constituted a monumental morale problem, especially while the nonfraternization policy was in force, the redeployment plans included provisions for training, education, and recreation programs throughout the theater.

The training program, which was to have prepared the low-score units for combat in the Pacific, never started. After R-day, the units were continuously occupied reshuffling personnel and moving into the redeployment "pipeline"; consequently, Headquarters, 6th Army Group, which was to have become the Redeployment Training Command, found it impossible to schedule even short courses. About the only units likely to be in one place for a few consecutive weeks were those in the assembly areas waiting for ships, and they by then had turned in their equipment and might be rushed off to board ship at any time.38

The education program, aside from sustaining morale, was conceived also as a means of smoothing the transition to civilian life and of compensating soldiers who had had their educations interrupted by the war. The showplaces were the Shrivenham American University (capacity 4,000) , Biarritz American University (capacity 12,000), and the Warton American Technical School (capacity 4,000). In addition, the theater secured spaces for 32,000 soldier-students at thirty-five European civilian colleges. The instructors for the two American universities were required to have M.A. or Ph.D. degrees or their equivalent; about half were hired from US colleges and universities. The two-month courses, in fields including agriculture, commerce, education, engineering, fine arts, journalism, and liberal arts, were to be conducted in a near-civilian atmosphere, reveille being the only required military formation. The students began assembling at Shrivenham in the second half of July after Eisenhower called on the commands to give the program vigorous support and fill their quotas with "men who are qualified and interested" because "the eyes of America are on this program." 39  The first course began at Shrivenham, in the former American Schools Center, on 1 August and at Biarritz, in a group of resort hotels, three weeks later. The Warton American Technical School opened in mid-September at Warton in Lancashire, England, which was later than the other two because of the time required to install machinery and instructional equipment -about $10 million worth in all.40

For those who could not meet the admission requirements of the theater-level schools, the plans provided command schools to be operated by units down to battalion level. The instructors were qualified military personnel and civilians, including, after the nonfraternization rules were relaxed, English-speaking Germans. The command schools were a massive undertaking. Seventh Army issued packs of 10,000 textbooks to each of its divisions and supplied hundreds of microscopes, transits, levels, phonographs, and other instructional items. In August, Seventh Army alone operated 134 schools, offering 133 courses to nearly 44,000 students.41  By


ICE CREAM PARLOR, intended to boost morale during redeployment and readjustment.

ICE CREAM PARLOR, intended to boost morale during redeployment and readjustment.

October, the theater total was nearly 300 schools. Soldiers could also take free courses for high school or college credit through the US Armed Forces Institute, which had its main office in Madison, Wisconsin, and a European branch in Cheltanham, England. Between May and September, over 93,000 soldiers were enrolled in USAFI courses. 42

Entertainment and recreation programs, considered important to morale during the war, were continued after the German surrender. The sixty-six USO (United Services Organizations) shows in the theater on V-E Day played to three-quarters of a million men a month. Stars such as Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Raymond Massey, and Shep Fields continued to perform, but the lesser known professionals became noticeably more temperamental after the war was over and career opportunities at home beckoned. USFET also had to point out that the USO performers were there to entertain the enlisted men and not to act as social companions for high-ranking officers. Jeep Shows and Soldier Shows, using Army personnel, provided additional


live entertainment. Three- and four-man jeep Show teams performed and helped units stage their own shows. The Soldier Show companies were large enough to put on Broadway plays. At first they were limited, as they had been during the war, to plays with all male casts, such as Golden Boy and Brother Rat. In the summer their repertoires expanded when USFET provided funds for hiring civilian actresses, who were somewhat astringently designated "Civilian Actress Technicians." 43  During the summer, Seventh Army operated a Soldier Show School giving sixty-man classes instruction in staging, casting, and directing complete shows. As had been the case during the war, the most available and most heavily attended form of entertainment was the motion picture. Out of a total attendance of 32 million people at all types of entertainment in May 1945, 26 million were at motion pictures. An estimated eight out of every ten soldiers saw at least three movies a week.44

To provide active and passive diversions, USFET Special Services stocked 21,000 basketballs, 100,000 dozen table tennis balls, and nearly 350,000 decks of cards and issued, by November 1945, 1443 libraries (each containing 1,000 cloth-bound books), close to 15 million paperback books, and over 44 million magazines. The most popular spectator sport was football. A survey showed that 305 basketball teams had drawn 21,250 spectators, 1,200 touch football teams a mere 1,200, and 90 football teams 379,000. 45  Best evidence of increasing participation in one unplanned leisure time activity was the veneral disease rate, which went up from 50 cases to 190 per 1,000 troops per year in the first three months of the occupation (and to over 250 by the end of 1945) . The Army had anticipated this problem, but a check in Munich, where approximately one hundred new venereal disease cases were occurring each week, showed that the three main prophylactic stations were giving at most three treatments a day. 46

Furlough travel appeared to be the best prop for morale. It offered contact with civilian society, relief from the military routine and the supposed strain of nonfraternization, instructive experience, and a taste (with a marked GI flavor) of what had formerly been the life of the privileged. Before V-E Day, ETOUSA opened the Riviera Recreational Area in southern France, with 18,000 accommodations at Nice (for enlisted men) and Cannes (for officers). Inexpensive tours in France, England, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland were offered after hostilities ended. Paris attracted the most soldier-sightseers by far, and visits there had to be limited to forty-eight hours throughout the summer of 1945.

The US zone in Germany, in spite of the war damage, offered a variety of tourist attractions. (A standard military government joke was that the Russians had received the agriculture, the British the industry, and the Americans the scenery.) In the summer of 1945, USFET Special Services opened a rest and recreation center at Berchtesgaden that rivaled the one on the Riviera. Civilian guides conducted tours for three hundred men a day at Heidelberg.


The most popular tours in Germany were the Rhine tours. From three riverside hotels at Assmanshausen, parties of soldiers were taken on motor rides to points of interest in the Rhine valley. The climax of the three-day tour was a seven-hour boat ride from Mainz to Koblenz. At Sechenheim, near Mannheim, Seventh Army maintained the "Special Service City," which housed the Soldier Show School as well as other athletic and music schools and provided billets and messes for Red Cross workers, USO troupes, and soldier-tourists. It could accommodate nearly 2,000 persons a night and served 45,000 meals per week. At Karlsruhe, the main junction for leave trains going to France, the Karlsruhe Hotel could billet 1,000 persons a night and serve 5,000 meals a day. The most unusual hotel was at Kassel where a large aid raid shelter had been converted into an underground hotel with accommodations for two hundred people. Possibly the most elegant hotel was the Castle Schoelistadt Bear Marburg.47

By mid-summer 1945, the search for morale-sustaining devices was being stretched to, and perhaps somewhat beyond, the limits of feasibility. In July, General Marshall visited Paris and the Berchtesgaden center and pronounced the efforts being made there for morale "splendid," but he came away worried that the enlisted men were still not getting the "feeling of independence which all Americans crave." He proposed that each regiment, for a week at a time, give trucks, rations, and gasoline allowances to small groups of about ten men and let them go anywhere they pleased except into the Soviet zone. Eisenhower thought the idea was good and, rather gingerly, passed it along to the Army commanders with the comment that he would "like to see such excursions permitted insofar as local conditions will permit." The result was the establishment of a category known 'its Military Vacation Tours, of which few were taken. Confronted with a steeply rising traffic accident rate and a growing black market, commanders, much as they might have agreed with the spirit of General Marshall's proposal, could not bring themselves to turn loose on the roads of western Europe small groups of men in trucks with no supervision.48 In September, USFET's WAC Staff Director, Lt. Col. Nary A. Hallaren, proposed revoking the prohibition on social contacts between enlisted personnel and officers of opposite sexes as a means of boosting the morale of enlisted women. To this proposal USFET G-1 gave short shrift, saying the interest of high-ranking male officers in enlisted women would undermine the WAC officers' authority. Besides, G-1 felt the problem would soon go away because all Wacs were to he redeployed by 1 April 1946.49

In spite of the offerings in education, entertainment, and recreation, surveys conducted in July indicated that the high-score men wanted above all to go home. An Army-wide survey revealed that in the Pacific particularly, delays in getting the eligible men home were generating dissatisfaction with the whole point system. In Europe, where the war was over at least,


outright disgruntlement was less evident; but almost half the men complained that their officers had given them no explanation for the delay in their departures. Most correctly assumed that the cause was a shortage of shipping space but said that they had not been so informed. Shocked to discover that all the effort and expense might go for nothing because of a simple failure to communicate, Eisenhower ordered: "Both officers and enlisted men will be fully informed of the reasons for delay in connection with their return home and no frivolous answers will lie given to any inquiry on this subject." 50

The second atomic bomb was dropped in Japan on 9 August, and the next day Marshall told Eisenhower to be ready, as soon as Japan capitulated, to reverse the redeployment-readjustment priorities. First priority, he said, should go to the men eligible for demobilization, those with 85 points, and plans should also be made for moving out the men with at least 75 points. When Eisenhower asked for a month to clear the pipeline of more than 380,000 low-score men already processed and awaiting shipment, Marshall replied: "The pressure here is terrific. The demands for termination of Selective Service increase daily, a wait of a month before men begin to pour into the US will greatly accentuate our difficulties." 51 On 15 August, the War Department directed Eisenhower to reverse the priorities immediately and prepare to ship out 1,716,000 men by the end of January 1946. Marshall informed Eisenhower that he could not expect to have any men with scores over 45 left in the theater after 1 April 1946 and therefore should screen out from among the low-score men in the pipeline as many men with less than 45 points as he could.52

Since R-day, the decisive element in the long-range planning for the occupation had been the Occupational Troop Basis, the total number of troops to be left in Germany (and Austria) after the redeployment and readjustment were completed. The original Occupational Troop Basis was 404,500, to lie reached a year and a half after the surrender. In May, the War Department reduced the time to one year. In August, it reduced the number of troops to 370,000, with a strong indication that the final figure would lie substantially lower. The shipping schedule set in August would bring USFET's strength down to this number by the end of January 1946. The low point would be reached in the middle of the first postwar winter, when civil unrest, if it occurred at all, was to be expected in Germany and when the Army would probably still have to care for about it half million DPs and guard many thousands of war prisoners and internees. After USFET pointed out that it would take 100,000 troops just to guard and maintain the $8 billion (six million tons) of surplus property left in the theater, the War Department in September approved a liquidation force of 337,000 troops, which could be used to postpone the reduction to the Occupational Troop Basis until 1 July 1946. Concerning the efficiency and quality


of the troops, however, either in the Liquidation Force or the Occupational Troop Basis, the War Department had nothing to offer. The point score was to be the sole determinant of whether a man went or stayed, and all high-score men would go. Until January some relatively experienced men would be available while awaiting shipping. Thereafter public: opinion would determine how many troops of any kind stayed, and Marshall told Smith, "It will lie difficult for the Army to explain each case arising without a thorough investigation.'' 53

The War Department supplied enough ships to transport over 400,000 men in September and proposed to do the same in October; lout in that month it had to return the Queen Elizabeth and Aquitania (each capable of transporting 20,000 troops a month) to British service and had to loan the British ten Victory ships in order to keep the Queen Mary. In November, the troop number again went over 400,000 when Liberty and Victory ships were sent back in ballast from US east coast ports-to the accompaniment of threatened dock workers strikes--and the battleship Washington, three heavy cruisers, four light aircraft carriers, and the captured German liners Europa and Vulcania were pressed into service as troop transports. At the end of December the theater strength was down to 614,000 troops and was 93,000 below the combined total of the Occupational Troop Basis and Liquidation Force.54

When the war was over everyone wanted to go home faster than any feasible schedule could move them and with an intensity that was not going to lie diverted by any amount of persuasion. On V-J Day the students at Shrivenham American University stayed away from classes and asked to lie sent home. `'When some who failed the midterm examinations were returned to their units, there was a rash of attempted failures. Shrivenham and Warton both closed at the end of their second term. Biarritz went into a third term with its enrollment down by half. 55 The Riviera Recreational Area had more French civilian employees (7,000) than soldier-guests (5,600) in October. Paris held up well as an attraction, but there the length of stay could be increased in October from forty-eight hours to a full week. USFET Special Services ran a contest for Soldier Shows in which the best show was to be given a three months' tour in the United States and individual performers would receive prizes from Hollywood stars. The contest drew three entries.56  The loss of the two British liners and a related failure to get all 80-point men out before the end of October brought a plunge in morale in spite of detailed explanations from both the War Department and USFET.57

Within three months after V-J Day, the


army that had defeated Nazi Germany was no more. In a November 1945 combat efficiency assessment, Smith reported operational understrengths of officers and enlisted men and high percentages of personnel "poorly trained in their duties . . . . A trained, balanced force of infantry armor, and air and supporting combat troops" he continued, "no longer exists. As a result, the forces within this theater are today unable to perform any serious offensive operations. The capability to carry on limited defensive operations is slightly better. Ability to perform . . . occupational duties, to control the German population, and to suppress local uprisings is rated as satisfactory." 58

Currency Control

Currency trouble began even before the troops were properly deployed in Germany. In March 1945, First and Ninth Armies' finance officers turned in $52,875.60 worth of Reichsmarks that they had exchanged into dollars for US troops before the Roer River crossing.59 Neither the Reichsmarks nor Allied military marks were convertible for the Germans, but both were accepted from US personnel at the rate set for Allied military marks, ten to the dollar. The Reichsmarks were already obviously worth a great deal less. In an attempt to head off a possible flood of Reichsmarks, ETOUSA, on 15 March, limited the dollars an individual could send home to an amount equal to his month's pay. Since dollar conversions of German currency were only made for transmissions to the United States, the troops would hopefully at least be discouraged from accumulating excessively large amounts of Reichsmarks.60

The advance into Germany not only expanded the troops' opportunities for black market dealing in Reichsmarks -with fraternization as an inevitable byproduct- but put the Army in the questionable moral position of converting looted German money into American dollars. Haunted, too, by the nightmare of someday having troops attempting to convert a cache like the one recently uncovered at Merkers, ETOUSA on 19 April stopped exchanging and disbursing Reichsmarks altogether and ordered the post offices and PX's to stop accepting them for purchases. 61 The action was effective, particularly in relieving the Army of the embarrassment of legitimizing illegally acquired and probably worthless money. After V-E Day, however, the theater command apparently assumed that the currency control problem was about to disappear; in early June it began allowing soldiers to convert and send home savings and gambling profits in addition to their month's pay. A perfunctory oath was sufficient to qualify almost any amount as gambling profits.62

In the meantime, after the surrender, the value of the Reichsmark on the black market had dropped to 200 to the dollar. For the Germans the Allied military marks were worth about the same since they could only exchange them one-for-one for Reichsmarks; but the American soldier, who sold rations, cigarettes, candy, or any of a mul-


titude of things (including government property) that the Germans were willing to buy at black market prices, could convert the Allied military marks at ten to the dollar. Dealing in Reichsmarks, he soon learned, was only slightly more inconvenient. While the Reichsmarks could not lie converted directly, the G-5 Currency Section periodically put blocks of new Allied military marks into circulation and accepted Reichsmarks in exchange.63  Probably no army ever had so many successful "gamblers." They could hardly miss, of course, with the odds pegged at twenty to one in their favor.

In the eastern zone, the Russians were paying off their troops, most of whom had not been paid for many months, in Allied military marks printed from the duplicate plates given to them in 1944. Unlike the US soldier, the Soviet soldier did not have a choice as to how much of his pay he wanted to take in marks and how much in rubles, and the Soviet authorities would not convert either the Reichsmarks or Allied military marks. The soldiers had to spend the money or risk being transferred out of Germany and losing it. In the first weeks after the surrender, while the border was almost hermetically sealed to everything else, the Soviet marks began coming across in exchange for cigarettes and candy; some said the Soviet troops were even giving the money away. Doubting at first that the Soviet-printed marks could be identified except by experts, SHAEF told the War Department that the whole monetary program was endangered. The danger was indeed there but not because the money was unidentifiable. Someone, probably in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C., had arranged that the plates the Russians received were not exact duplicates; the Soviet-printed currency could be easily identified by a dash printed ahead of the serial numbers.64

SHAEF's foreboding, nevertheless, became reality in July after the US garrison entered Berlin. Soviet soldiers willingly paid as much its 10,000 Allied military marks for wristwatches and nearly as fantastic prices for cigarettes, candy, soap, and almost anything the US troops wanted to sell. On 24 July, the Berlin District stopped selling postal money orders and war bonds; the troops had drawn a million dollars in pay during the month and had sent four million dollars home.65 How much more money the troops had nobody knew. When Infantry Reorganization Company K, 400 men being redeployed from Berlin, arrived at Camp Lucky Strike in the last week of July, every man had some Soviet marks; one private had 70,000.66

For USFET the question was, Where would the dollars to convert the marks come from? Presumably, in the long run a deficit could be passed to the Germans along with the other occupation costs; but in the meantime, if the total amount the troops sent home exceeded the amount they drew in pay, the excess dollars would be


ones the theater did not actually have. A check showed that the Berlin District's dollar overdraft in July was covered in the theater totals. It also showed, however, that the margin was getting thin. In March 1945, in the midst of the war, the troops had drawn $50 million more in pay than they sent home, in July only $17 million more. 67

The answer-namely, to stop converting Allied military marks-was clear but not easy. The Allied military marks were evidence of US determination to administer Germany as a single economic unit. The Soviet Union, although it was not converting, had not repudiated the Allied military marks as the occupation currency; it had merely made the money practically worthless to its own troops. USFET could either do the same with readily predictable troop and press reactions-or adopt some other currency for its forces, thus leaving itself open to accusations of having been the first to break the principle of economic unity. The Russians, of course, could have raised the same charge if only their marks were not converted. Unfortunately, to preserve the principle, USFET had to ignore the fact that there was no other solution able to withstand the pressures, and ingenuity generated among the troops by the prospect of fantastic profits.

Effective at the end of the first week in August, USFET restricted the amount that could be sent out in any one month to the sender's pay plus ten percent and required commanding officers to verify and certify the transmittal.68 The object was to remove the free-wheeling gambling profits allowance, which could have been accomplished had the unit commanders been able and willing to enforce the restriction; but with redeployment in full swing, many had nothing to go by except a soldier's word that he had not already sent out his month's pay plus ten percent, perhaps several times over. Other commanders took much the same attitude as they had toward looting, that the soldiers were entitled to a tangible share in the victory. This attitude also seems to have been shared by the theater command, until the situation reached a point where the troops sent home more dollars than had been appropriated for their pay. This point was fast being reached. In August the excess of pay over dollar transmittals shrank to $6 million. The excess was a million dollars higher in September, but, no doubt, only because more troops were in the redeployment pipeline and stationed outside Germany. In Germany alone the deficit was probably already substantial. In Frankfurt, the USFET Headquarters Command personnel sent home nearly three-quarters of a million dollars more than they drew in pay in September. 69 When USFET, for reasons not cogently explained, lifted all restrictions on dollar transmittals in October as a preliminary to instituting a system of currency control books, $36 million more left the theater than had come in as pay. The War Department hastened to inform Eisenhower, "Whatever use of dollars is sanctioned by your theater, either directly or indirectly through inadequate controls, to meet the conversion of foreign currencies in excess of those amounts derived from pay and allowances or from dollar instruments is entirely the responsibility of your theater . . . ." 70


Currency control books were introduced on 10 November. Each officer or enlisted man was given a book in which were entered his cash and bank deposits held in the theater, net cash pay for the last three months, and amounts sent out during this period. Subsequently, all pay and allowances and other legally acquired funds would have to be entered, and any amounts sent home would be deducted. When an individual left the theater he was entitled to exchange currency only up to the balance in the book. The enlisted men's books were held by certifying officers, who were required to initial each entry; officers held their own books. 71

Some weaknesses of the currency control looks were obvious from the outset; others took more time to emerge. The books, for instance, enabled every person in the theater to send all his pay home if he wished and live entirely off black market profits. They also enabled those who had not gotten their profits out during October and the first ten days of November to legitimize substantial amounts in their initial entries. In the 504th Paratroop Regiment, forty-four enlisted men had drawn $12,000 in pay and allowances in the three months before the introduction of the looks, and they had sent $8,000 home; yet their first declarations totaled $21,000.72 The enterprising also quickly discovered that the looks, which were printed on single sheets of plain white paper and folded to make four pages, could easily be counterfeited. They learned very soon, too, that initials could be forged and entries altered and that loopholes still existed. For several months, the telegraph companies, for instance, did a booming business in telegraphed flowers. The companies accepted marks, which they expected USFET to convert, and the florists delivered not flowers but money, for a commission. 73 Nevertheless, the books did, at least temporarily, cloud the full and free enjoyment of black market profits. In November, the theater was short $17 million, but during each of the next two months the troops converted $2 million less than they drew in pay. 74

Police-Type Occupation

The nine-division permanent occupation force planned for Germany soon began to look like an outright extravagance after Japan surrendered. The army expected to be down to two million men by 30 June 1046 and to have "utmost difficulty in obtaining manpower to sustain even that strength." For the whole European theater, the War Department forcasted a probable strength of five divisions, with further reductions likely after 1 July 1946.75  In October, Marshall asked Eisenhower to consider going over to a police-type occupation similar to one being devised for Japan, in which a native Japanese police force under American supervision and backed by US tactical units would take over practically the entire responsibility for security and order in the country. He also suggested considering whether foreign manpower-Ger-




man, Polish, Norwegian, Danish, or Dutch-could be substituted for American manpower in the police force and in the tactical units "to reduce requirements for US manpower and expense." Eisenhower accepted the idea of a police-type occupation but objected to using Germans on the ground of adverse public reaction, anticipated in both Europe and the United States. The War Department thereafter raised the possibility of recruiting other Europeans several times during the succeeding months before finally dropping the whole idea because of various difficulties, among them expense, language problems, and danger of increasing the pressure for the withdrawal of all US forces. 76 In the meantime, USFET undertook to devise a police-type occupation of its own.

A beginning had already been made in September, when G-2, USFET, recommended creating security forces for each military district (and Berlin and Bremen) to be composed of MPs, CIC detachments,


and district constabularies. The district constabularies would be mechanized cavalry groups taken from the tactical units, given special instruction in military government laws and ordinances, trained in conducting raids and searches, and employed as quick, mobile security reserves. G-2 also proposed a distinctive uniform, but G-4 could not supply any special items of dress; and when the districts activated their constabularies in November, the only distinguishing marks were the letters "DC" painted in yellow on the front of the helmet liners.77

From the idea of the district constabularies, USFET in the fall of 1945 evolved the concept of the United States Constabulary, a self-sufficient security force for the whole zone. Calculating on the basis of one constable (plus signals, supply, and air reconnaissance) for 450 Germans, Eisenhower informed the War Department that a constabulary of 38,000 men would be enough to establish police-type control by 1 July 1946, assuming that by then the surplus property, DP, and prisoner of war burdens would have been substantially eliminated. The estimated savings in the Occupational Troop Basis would amount to 81,000 spaces, since the supporting tactical troops could be reduced to three divisions and one army headquarters.78

The organizational plans, completed at the turn of the year, provided for a Headquarters, US Constabulary, comparable to a corps headquarters; three brigade headquarters, one for each Land capital; nine regimental headquarters, one for each Regierungsbezirk; and twenty-seven squadrons, located so as to cover one or more Kreise.79 Each squadron would have three mechanized and two motorized troops (thirteen men to the troop) equipped with M5 armored cars mounting 37-mm. cannons (the mechanized troops only), quarter- and half-ton trucks, .30-caliber light machine guns, Thompson submachine guns, rifles, pistols, and code and voice radios. The US Constabulary was to be an elite force of handpicked men, distinguishable from the other troops by their highly polished paratroop boots, service coats in place of the standard Eisenhower jacket, gold silk scarves, Sam Browne belts, and lacquered helmet liners circled with a half-inch blue stripe flanked by two half-inch yellow stripes and with the constabulary insignia (a gold disc bordered in blue with the letter "C" in blue pierced by a bolt of lightning in red) on the front. 80

As late as mid-February 1946, however, the US Constabulary consisted only of a plan and a headquarters. When Maj. Gen. Ernest N. Harmon was appointed commanding general on 10 January, he was for a time the sole member of the constabulary. By mid-February, he had selected a headquarters staff; on the 16th, a constabulary school opened in the former Adolf Hitler Schule at Sonthofen to train members of a cavalry reconnaissance squadron as teachers for the main body of the constabulary yet to be assigned.




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