CHAPTER XIII

OPD and Joint Planning (1943-45)

The increase in the volume of interservice and international staff work led in 1943 to some basic readjustments in the theory and practice of American joint planning. The practice of classifying as strategic planning all of the many kinds of problems that were referred for final solution to the JCS or the CCS accented the need for a careful analysis of the various functions performed by the joint committees as well as of the procedures the committees employed in their work. Officers in the S&P Group were of course intimately concerned with studying proposed readjustments in the JCS-CCS system, advising General Marshall on them, and conducting their own work according to the patterns finally approved. The operations officers in OPD also were affected, since the general framework of strategic policy within which they worked was established in the joint planning process.

The procedures adopted for joint strategic planning in 1942, however great an advance they may have marked beyond earlier achievements in the same direction, were not adequate for the midwar task of planning vast military operations involving the use of ground, air, and sea forces, often of two or more nations. Many military views had to be reconciled in every decision, and a process had to be evolved for reconciling them with sufficient formality and detail so that no time would have to be spent subsequently in debate over what had been decided or why something else had not been the final decision. It had become increasingly evident that American strategy, if it were to be formulated clearly in joint deliberations and represented effectively in combined deliberations, would require a more elaborate strategic planning process in joint committees, better defined in its relation to other kinds of joint committee work.

In 1943 General Marshall lent his authority and prestige to the cause of reorganizing the agencies of the JCS and defining or redefining their duties in the complex process of reaching interservice and international agreement. His deputy, General McNarney, took an active part in working out the actual reforms made, and also controlled for General Marshall the requisite administrative adjustments within the War Department. He judged the extent to which various Army agencies had to be represented in various parts of the joint staff as reorganized and made certain, in particular, that OPD was adequately represented to accomplish the purposes for which it had been established.

OPD representatives on joint and combined committees very soon began to respond to the increasing need for reaching durable understandings with the Navy and with the British. They became adept in using the quasi-diplomatic techniques employed in drafting agreements, and they became more "joint-minded," although they remained in close touch with the operations officers in the Theater Group and never lost

[234]


sight of the views and needs of Army commanders overseas. Operations officers in turn drew on the planning officers for knowledge and interpretation of joint and combined deliberations and agreements, upon which the Theater Group depended every day in carrying out its mission. OPD's work on strategic planning in the later war years thus went on almost entirely within the Army-Navy, British-American staff system and merged with the joint and combined planning process. Nevertheless, it remained characteristic of OPD's planners in these years, as in the early BOLERO period, that they attempted to set the course of Allied. plans by constant reference to one fixed point in Allied strategy, the concept of an early assault in strength against the German forces in northwestern France.

Need for Better Joint Planning

Considerable dissatisfaction with the way the American joint planning committees functioned, particularly in contrast to the apparently smooth functioning of parallel British committees, began to appear during 1942. The basis for some of this dissatisfaction was simply the fact, apparent on the face of the record, that the formulation of joint (American) strategic directives as well as the negotiation of strategic agreements with the British went on at least as much outside the JCS-CCS system as inside it.

During 1942 compromise and agreement among the Army, the Army Air Forces, and the Navy on operations in the Pacific area usually came after extensive correspondence between Admiral King and General Marshall, with OPD performing most of the staff work necessary for drafting the Chief of Staff's memoranda in the series. The JCS took responsibility for command arrangements, operational policy, and troop deploy ments in both the Southwest Pacific, under General MacArthur, and the rest of the Pacific, under Admiral Nimitz. Yet deliberations on these questions in JCS meetings for the most part merely reflected the current status of the written negotiations between General Marshall and Admiral King. Thus in joint planning OPD officers exercised their main influence in 1942 through advice to General Marshall rather than through deliberations with their colleagues. on the Joint Staff Planners or Joint U. S. Strategic Committee.

Strategic decisions in the Pacific usually represented a compromise between recommendations submitted by General MacArthur and proposals advanced by Admiral King. These recommendations and proposals frequently conflicted on questions of strategy, appropriate command arrangements, and the deployment of forces. They agreed on the need for Army forces in the Pacific over and above those which General Marshall (and General Arnold) thought it proper to divert from the major effort against Germany, but they disagreed on where forces allotted to the Pacific should be used. The extensive correspondence upon which General Marshall mainly relied in his efforts to reach an understanding with Admiral King on building up forces in either the Southwest or the Central Pacific region was phrased with great care, but in rather general terms. The formal joint agreements which embodied these understandings were also, therefore, very general. In view of the wide divergence in the opinions of Admiral King and those of General MacArthur, satisfactory compromise agreements on Pacific strategy clearly would have to be extremely circumstantial, setting forth exactly what forces would come under whose command for specified operations. Joint agreement on

[235]


details as well as on principles would have to be reached on lower levels in Washington to make such strategic decisions possible on the JCS level.

Similarly, General Marshall, as Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army, rather than strictly as a member of the JCS, had taken the lead in 1942, first in recommending and later in defending BOLERO in discussions with the British Chiefs of Staff. Two of the U. S. Chiefs of Staff, General Marshall and Admiral King, went to London in July with Harry Hopkins and agreed to the initial TORCH paper, which was issued in the CCS document series. In fact they were negotiating with the British on behalf of the President in accordance with detailed instructions from him. They were not accompanied by joint staff planning representatives, as they were in all the subsequent international conferences. They finally accepted a strategic concept contrary to nearly everything that had been worked out either in the Army or in the JCS committees in Washington.1 In the European area as in the Pacific, agreements in principle, divorced from the detailed staff work of the working level plans committees, resulted in uncertainty as to precisely what had been decided and when it would take place. Thus, the most critical aspects of joint or combined strategy in 1942 evolved outside the planning system set up under the JCS. Insofar as OPD officers influenced planning, they did so chiefly as advisers and agents of General Marshall.

By 1943 the task of reconciling Army views with Navy views and American views with British views had become far too great to fall so heavily on one officer, General Marshall. The British-American staff conference held at Casablanca in January 1943 showed conclusively that the American staff, to be ready to argue its case before the President and the Prime Minister, must prepare it with the thoroughness of counsel for a large corporation, or simply accept the British case, which would have been so prepared. At the same time, the questions at issue had become far too complicated to be dealt with in formal CCS discussion. Military decisions on the level of the CCS and by the heads of government depended increasingly on the outcome of deliberations at the lower staff level, at which the delegation from the United States could not meet the British delegation on terms even approaching equality.

General Wedemeyer, the head of the OPD contingent at the Casablanca Conference and General Marshall's principal strategic adviser, observed—exaggerating the facts to make his serious point—that the story of the conference could be summed up in the words: "We came, we listened and we were conquered." He said that General Marshall, with his logic and candor, had done a magnificent job, but had been almost entirely on his own. The American delegation was in fact small and disorganized. The British delegation was large and well organized. Though disappointed, General Wedemeyer said he had the "greatest admiration for the way the British handled the entire show" :

They swarmed down upon us like locusts with a plentiful supply of planners and various other assistants with prepared plans to insure

[236]


that they not only accomplished their purpose but did so in stride and with fair promise of continuing in their role of directing strategically the course of this war. I have the greatest admiration, as I indicated above, and if I were a Britisher I would feel very proud. However, as an American I wish that we might be more glib and better organized to cope with these super negotiators. From a worm's eye viewpoint it was apparent that we were confronted by generations and generations of experience in committee work and in rationalizing points of views. They had us on the defensive practically all the time.2

The moral was plain—that the military staffs of the United States, in preparing for later meetings, should not only emulate but also improve on British thoroughness and firmness in interservice agreement. An essential part of this preparation would be thorough realistic staff planning on a joint basis which would permit the JCS to arrive at timely, binding agreements on the military course to be followed in the Pacific and its proper relationship to combined operations under consideration in other areas.

Reorganization of the Joint Staff System

General McNarney hastened the process of development in joint planning techniques by proposing early in January 1943 an investigation of the JCS and all its subordinate agencies.3 For all the prominence that had been given to interservice planning, little had been done in 1942 to define the existing terms of reference of the JCS and its committees. The key committees, the JCS and the JPS, did not even have charters.

The imperfect functioning of the joint committee system was particularly evident at the level of the JPS. The JCS secretariat listed the symptoms:

Their studies and recommendations have, perhaps, not always represented the best and most expert thought on the subject at hand.

At times they have become factional regarding the interests of their respective services as a cumulative result of attempting to compose disagreements.

They have sometimes entered on their deliberations with instructions from higher authority or with fixed and preconceived ideas.

The members who are authorized to come to an agreed recommendation have frequently been too busy to attend meetings. The result has been that the conclusions arrived at during such meetings have been nullified through the veto of a member who reviewed the paper following the regular session of the committee.

The general cause of these weaknesses lay in the effort by the JPS to do more than could be done by so small a committee, especially one whose members had many other responsibilities in their separate and distinct capacities as Army and Navy officers assigned to specific staffs in their respective services. As a result, the JPS had fallen far behind in its work and had acquired too many additional (nonvoting) members. The secretariat recommended that the JPS members should not themselves try to arrive at agreed solutions of the manifold problems that came before them but instead merely review solutions as submitted by subordinate working committees and either transmit them to the JCS or agree to recommit the problem to the working committees.4

[237]


General McNarney's action in reopening consideration of joint organization led to the appointment of a special committee, representing the Joint Deputy Chiefs of Staff and the JCS secretariat, to study the workings of the entire joint system with a view to regularization. Colonel Roberts (Strategy Section, OPD) was appointed to represent General McNarney.5 The committee studied the various directives and understandings, written and unwritten, which served to authorize and guide joint deliberations. Toward the end of March it made a report, which included draft charters for all joint agencies, including the JCS and the JPS. In most respects, the reorganization was carried out according to the committee's recommendations and remained in effect throughout the period of hostilities.

The principal achievement of the reorganization was a reduction in the range and the number of issues upon which the JPS committee attempted to work out joint agreements. Even though some time-consuming studies had been assigned to the Joint Strategic Survey Committee since its establishment late in 1942, the JPS had been trying to advise the JCS in the general field of logistics and to pass upon many special military questions which had to be decided in conformity with strategy but which did not bear on the development of strategy. Some relief for the JPS was arranged by dividing the labor with another joint committee, initially called the Joint Administrative Committee, and subsequently the Joint Logistics Committee (JLC). The establishment of this new committee was a revolutionary step in the conduct of joint (and combined) planning for procurement, allocation, and transportation of supplies and equipment.

The Army and Air members of the JPS (and their advisers) initially viewed with some suspicion the Joint Administrative Committee and its successor, the JLC. They anticipated that the new committee might reach conclusions concerning logistic capabilities that would amount to basic recommendations on strategy. They feared that in case the JPS did not agree to recommend corresponding adjustments in strategy, the new committee would appeal its case directly to the JCS, setting itself up in effect as a second, competing committee in the field of joint strategy. They urged that the JPS must continue to be the central or pivotal planning committee of the JCS, in accordance with their belief that strategic planning must be the central or pivotal planning activity. This view was upheld and formally approved in the late summer of 1943. They therefore continued throughout the war to consider all joint planning as within their province, and the JPS committee remained the channel through which most important joint papers passed to the JCS for decision.

The JCS had to establish all kinds of military policies to govern the joint activities of the armed services in fields ranging as far from strategy, narrowly defined, as the ship construction program, the exchange of

[238]


intelligence missions with foreign governments, the administration of civil affairs in occupied countries, and the definition of surrender terms for defeated enemies. There were special joint committees to study problems in some of these fields, but the JPS had to review the issues involved, whatever they were, from a strategic point of view, since in fact nearly everything the JCS might decide would have strategic implications.6 Under these circumstances, in order to deal with the main current questions of strategy and closely related military policy, the members of the JPS were more than willing to leave to other committees much of the work in fields like logistics planning. They mainly concerned themselves with reviewing, either collectively or individually, all important papers under consideration by the JCS, thereby making certain that the central thread of joint strategy was running through and tying together all the various kinds of joint planning.

By working along these lines, the four members of the reorganized JPS were able to deal with a host of problems as diverse as ever, but at the same time to reduce sharply the number of issues which had to be threshed out in the first instance in JPS committee meetings.7 It was increasingly necessary for the members of the JPS to trust one another and their junior staff members because the job of planning the war had become so big and so urgent that they no longer could take time to study in detail and to argue at length matters which only a few months before had been their intimate personal business, the outline of operational plans and deployment schedules. In order to guide the entire effort of the joint committee system and keep it in harmony with the commitments, intentions, and expectations of the JCS, they had to learn to regard military strategy as simply one of several specialized fields of planning. Though it remained for them the most important field, it was also for them and for their subordinates the most familiar field with comparatively firm standards of achievement. Particularly with respect to Pacific strategy, they came to delegate most of their planning in this field to the subordinate Joint War Plans Committee.8

The Joint War Plans Committee

The need of the JPS for timely, detailed, agreed' studies on deployment and future operations was one of the main points made in the report on the joint committee system. It found that there was no agency charged with the "preparations of joint plans of a lesser scope than that of broad strategy." Such plans, termed war plans, had been prepared by independent planning staffs of the Army and Navy without the benefit of joint action. Only rarely, and then by temporary subcommittees, had a synthesis been made of the war plans prepared by the two

[239]


service staffs working separately. This separation was not only administrative but also physical after the removal of the Army to the Pentagon in November 1942. The committee believed that "all studies of combined action and joint war planning should be undertaken by joint action from the time the studies or war plans are initiated." To do this job, the committee proposed setting up a Joint War Plans Committee, to consist of the "Joint U. S. Strategic Committee and members of the existing planning sections of the individual Joint Staff Planners." The additional members were to be detailed as necessary, and organized in working groups or teams.9

The proposed Joint War Plans Committee would operate directly under the JPS. A group roughly equivalent to the old JUSSC would be responsible for its work. This senior planning team of the new, larger committee had the task of assigning work to the additional members, called planning teams, reviewing their work, and presenting it to the JPS. The senior planning team, answerable only to the JPS committee, would assume to some extent the functions of the chiefs of the separate strategic planning sections under the Army, Navy, and Air planners.

Anticipating that the JCS would approve these recommendations JPS set up the Joint War Plans Committee on 24 April 1943, just in time to undertake the task of preparing joint studies for the American delegation to use at the coming conference in Washington (TRIDENT). Early in May it received from the JCS a charter, nearly the same as that earlier recommended by the investigating committee.10 Colonel Maddocks, who had been the first to recommend the reconstitution of the JUSSC, did not continue as a member of the new committee, which in many ways was the embodiment of the kind of joint planning he had defined in 1942. Besides serving on the JUSSC, he had served as General Wedemeyer's representative in JPS meetings and (during General Wedemeyer's absence from January through mid-March) as General Wedemeyer's deputy in S&P. He represented the very close association that joint planning in 1942 had with executive duties in S&P and with personal responsibility to the Army planner. His expected departure for duty with troops was the occasion of a dissociation of these functions.

Col. William W. Bessell, Jr., of the OPD Strategy Section was named as senior Army member of the JWPC, in effect succeeding Colonel Maddocks in his capacity as principal joint planner under the Army planner. Six other OPD officers were named to the WPC as members of the planning teams. All had had considerable experience in planning and in committee work. Three of them were Air officers. As soon as replacements could be found for them in OPD, they were transferred to the Army Air Forces, to be carried as members of the Army Air Forces planning staff. This change gave the Air Forces a voice in joint strategic deliberations on the working level as well as on the JCS and the JPS.11 Thirteen

[240]


OPD officers (excluding Air officers) served on the JWPC during the period up to and including V-J Day, all of them but one having had at least a few months previous experience in strategic planning in OPD. The only one to serve in the JWPC throughout the entire period was Colonel Bessell (brigadier general 27 May 1944). He remained the senior Army member until after the defeat of Japan.

The three senior JWPC planners, or directors as they came to be called, representing the Army, the Navy, and the Army Air Forces, controlled the workings of the JWPC. The charter provided, though a little ambiguously, for equal representation from the Army and the Navy, with the Army section absorbing Army Air membership, as on the JPS. The JWPC actually conducted most of its business on the principle that there were three separate spheres of special knowledge, as represented by the three directors. Usually the Army officers (including Army Air) enjoyed a slight superiority in numbers on the whole committee. The detailed staff work of the JWPC was divided up as far as possible according to major areas of the world, among three planning teams—one for the Pacific and Far East (Red Team), one for the European-Mediterranean area (Blue Team) and one for other areas (White Team). There was also a RAINBOW team, mainly concerned with interservice Air plans, on which OPD was not regularly represented. The individual teams did not follow any set pattern of representation from the three services.12

By the end of 1943 the JWPC had put joint strategic planning on a solid footing, and it continued to work in much the same way throughout the rest of the war. From its establishment in April 1943 until the surrender of Japan, nearly twenty-eight months later, the JWPC prepared over a thousand studies. They included recommendations on every major strategic decision, outline plans for all operations under consideration by the JCS, and independent analyses of a great many special joint problems, in particular on the future strategic deployment of American forces, the size of occupation forces in Europe, special equipment and training for amphibious operations in the Pacific, and the establishment of a postwar joint general staff.13

In 1942, when Colonel Maddocks was attempting to define joint planning, he had identified three main elements, first, formulating the broad strategic concept and coordinating staff work in accordance with it, second, planning in outline a number of future operations that might be selected to carry out the strategy, and third, planning in detail each specific operation scheduled for execution.14 The JWPC did not formulate its function on any precise distinction of this kind. It simply prepared any studies which the JPS needed. If there was no special joint committee to which to refer special, nonstrategic issues under consideration, the JWPC very commonly became involved in studying them on behalf of the JPS just as the JPS was involved on behalf of the JCS. Even in the general field of strategic planning, the range of JWPC activities was broad. It comprehended all three of the ele-

[241]


ments of joint strategic planning defined by Colonel Maddocks. Thus, in formulating policy statements for the use of the JCS at international conferences, it dealt with matters of broad strategy. Very often, however, the JCS, advised by the JSSC and the JPS, handled such issues, and they were not referred to the JWPC. On the other hand, in developing detailed operational directives for the Pacific campaigns, the JWPC often came very close to planning specific operations. But the main burden of operational planning fell on the overseas theater staffs, guided by the plans drafted in the JWPC and assisted by central headquarters staffs in the individual services (OPD in the Army). Thus the main function of the JWPC was developing outline joint plans for future operations. As a result of the accomplishments of the JWPC in this field, the JCS made more solid decisions on the actual execution of projected operations. Moreover, task force or theater commanders had the benefit of detailed joint studies of the difficulties involved, and frequently had a broad area of joint agreement to base their work on when they proceeded to plan still further and mount the operation.

In all the aspects of joint planning in which it participated, the JWPC was an instrument for translating Army, Navy, and Air views into joint war plans. Close liaison with the agencies responsible for formulating the official views of the individual services was therefore essential. OPD's Strategy Section and, in regard to detailed problems of overseas operations, the OPD theater sections carefully scrutinized every plan formulated in the JCS system.

The real value of joint war planning conducted in this way, as was observed at the time when establishment of the JWPC was being worked out, was that the outline plans for future operations gave theater commanders a "starting point" and saved them "much necessary labor" in drafting more detailed operational plans. In addition they were indispensable to the formulation of broad strategy, which could not be "on firm ground" unless someone examined all projected operations with care. The members of the junior planning teams were the ones who initiated the whole "exasperating process" of working out details, adjusting differences of opinion, and getting consent from all concerned on higher levels of authority. Above all, this kind of planning was literally and thoroughly joint in character: "The very act of taking the preliminary draft to the Departments achieves a most useful purpose for it helps the Army and Navy Departments to understand each other's points of view," The JWPC did in fact turn out to be a "good liaison mission between the War and Navy Departments." 15

Army Versus Joint Advice for the Army Planner

Gradually during the later war years the Army members of the JWPC established an effective working relationship with their colleagues in OPD. Once the need for detailed joint war planning had been satisfied by the creation of the JWPC, no further basic development in the strategic planning system occurred. The problem confronting OPD after mid-1943, particularly its members on the JWPC, was to devise ways of harmonizing or at least maintaining a balance between Army views and

[242]


joint views in strategic plans. For the most part, the techniques employed were simply various ways of strengthening liaison between the JWPC and other Army planning officers.

The question of the proper roles of the Army members of the JWPC and the other officers in S&P promptly arose in connection with the international conferences of mid-1943. JWPC members had all they could do to prepare the studies required for TRIDENT in the short time between the establishment of the committee (24 April) and the beginning of the conference (12 May). As at previous conferences, the Army planner relied on other officers in S&P to supply him with information and advice concerning issues with which he and General Marshall would have to deal in JPS and JCS meetings.16 Looking forward to the next conference, the Combined Subjects (Policy) Section suggested in June that the Army planner again would need the full-time services of at least two S&P officers to help him with the many duties he performed for the chief of OPD and the Chief of Staff.17 Colonel Bessell initially entered a strong dissent, seeing these advisers simply as competitors in the field which the JWPC properly should monopolize:

Do not concur. This is exactly what is wrong with Joint Planning right now. The Planners at a combined conference certainly do not need to have prepared for them any papers for their own individual Chief (e. g. Cooke for King). The papers should be joint papers at least and that is exactly what JWPC is set up to prepare. I intend to fight for this principle to the last cartridge. The practice of our individual Planners preparing papers on joint subjects for their individual chiefs may be condoned to some extent in inter-conference periods, but certainly not for a combined conference. We must continue to impress on the Planners the necessity for their getting together and using their joint agencies or soon we will have JWPC and JIC working without direction, coordination and in an atmosphere of vacuity.18

The Combined Subjects Section rejoined that its proposal did not envisage the preparation of joint papers in competition with the JWPC, but simply the provision of an "analysis staff which would keep abreast of all conference matters and assist the WDGS [Army, as distinguished from Army Air] planner with the discharge of his responsibility." The dual responsibility of the WDGS planner was in fact the point at issue. Advice from the JWPC to the JPS was strictly joint, that is, from one committee as a whole to another committee. The Combined Subjects Section held it to be unrealistic to object to having the planners individually advised by their own staffs. The unification of the armed services, however desirable, was not an accomplished fact, and the planners were obliged to think and act accordingly.19 General Marshall on occasion looked to the Army planner and his subordinates in S&P for a first draft of a paper for introduction directly into the

[243]


JCS.20 Some of these papers dealt with matters outside the province of the JWPC and required careful tailoring to fit and to express clearly General Marshall's own views. This job was not joint committee work in any sense. Consequently, General Marshall still expected his staff at all times to advise him and, paying close attention to his ideas, to draft papers for him. Thus, the daily work of the Army planner in S&P gave him an intimate knowledge of what the Chief of Staff thought on important issues, even though General Marshall did not believe in binding his joint staff officers by specific instruction. Many of these issues were settled in JCS and CCS sessions, not infrequently in closed sessions, rather than in joint planning papers, and the Army planner therefore had a conference role apart from his role in JPS and JWPC matters.

Throughout the later war years both the Strategy Section of S&P and the JWPC continued to advise the Army planner on strategic plans. No clear division of labor was possible, and the effectiveness of this dual staff work in support of the Army planner depended on working liaison between the Army officers in both sections. The Strategy Section continued to originate plans and studies, on its own initiative and at the direction of the chief of S&P. Its officers did not invariably discuss such papers with the JWPC before passing them to their chief, and the JWPC did not invariably discuss its papers with the Strategy Section before passing them up to the JPS.21 On the whole a close relationship, not without minor frictions, was established and preserved.

Frequently the members of the Army section of the JWPC used their connection with the Strategy Section to sound out Army opinion on matters at issue in joint planning. For instance in mid-1944 the Army section of the JWPC prepared a study on the then controversial subject of operations against Kyushu, working entirely apart from the Navy members of the committee. The study went as a Strategy Section paper directly to General Marshall, who had it reviewed by General Somervell

[244]


and, finally, by Admiral Leahy, without introducing it in joint planning channels.22 Normally, however, the Army section of the JWPC worked within the JCS committee system and thereby unquestionably relieved the Strategy Section, in turn the Army planner, and ultimately the Chief of Staff, of much of the burden of detailed exploratory conversations with the Navy. The results, to be sure, often were in the nature of compromises, but it was realized in S&P, as in the JWPC, that compromise in the interests of joint action was necessary. The process was slow, probably slower than it had been in 1942, but for the most part it was taking the time of junior officers who had no other duties, rather than of their colleagues and superiors with heavy service responsibilities.

By being assigned to the JWPC, with offices in the JCS-CCS building rather than in the Pentagon, Army officers tended to lose their intimate acquaintance with current operational problems, the very thing which had been achieved by combining the tasks of strategic planning and control of operations in one Army staff. The effect of this loss in joint planning greatly concerned Colonel Bessell and the other responsible officers in OPD. All of them were striving to maintain the closest possible connection between all Army plans, including Air Forces plans, and the daily developments in overseas commands. Colonel Todd, deputy chief of S&P at the time, raised this point in August 1943, writing to Colonel Bessell that the senior Army member on the JWPC was "charged with seeing to it that the appropriate representative or representatives of the Theater Group are called into consultation in the planning of any operations in their respective theaters." Colonel Todd explained that he did not mean to imply that the members of the JWPC should be guided in their judgments by these representatives, but only to make it clear that the JWPC should "carefully consider" not only the Theater Group views but also, and more especially, the information its officers could furnish.23

On occasion the JWPC worked very closely with OPD, as it did, for example, in preparing to study the requirements for operations in the Pacific and Far East.24 Nevertheless, General Roberts, after he had succeeded General Wedemeyer as chief of S&P, noted early in 1944 what he considered to be a "growing tendency—right or wrong—to view the JWPC as an organization apart, one which has its head in the clouds and its feet completely off the ground." He informed Colonel Bessell that the Army members of the JWPC, while acting independently, must still represent the Army point of view, and therefore must keep in touch with the planning and operating (theater) sections in OPD to "learn for themselves existing conditions or current trends of thought." 25 In replying, Colonel Bessell made it plain that he did not regard the Army section of the JWPC as bound to represent the Army point of view except insofar as the phrase meant that the members

[245]


must keep informed about Army views. He referred to the fact that the JWPC charter required the committee members to reach joint solutions unhampered by instructions from any source except the whole JPS committee. At the same time, he agreed with the need to keep in touch with Army and OPD thought.26

In order to promote closer working relationships between the Army members of the JWPC and OPD, visits were formally scheduled, beginning early in 1944, to the JWPC each Monday and Thursday by some Strategy Section officer, and by JWPC members to OPD on Tuesdays. On Saturday mornings Colonel Bessell conferred with the chief of the Strategy Section.27 These regular visits back and forth remained standing operating procedure. During the first year following the establishment of the JWPC, it was in any event necessary to keep in touch with S&P officers in order to have access to important messages of which there was very limited distribution. In April 1944 the JWPC brought the matter to the attention of the JPS and succeeded in obtaining assurances of distribution to the JWPC in the future.28 But because it was impracticable to duplicate OPD's facilities for keeping up with overseas operations and difficult to get operational data through Navy channels comparable with that available from OPD, the visits remained a principal source of up-to-date information for JWPC throughout the war.29

In general the Army staffs in the overseas theaters of operations, particularly in the Pacific, were not familiar with the workings of the joint committee system, which was unlike anything in their experience. More intimate knowledge of the work of the JWPC, based mainly on trips by planners to the theaters and on the use in the theaters of JWPC plans and studies, greatly improved relations between the JWPC and the theater headquarters staffs. In early 1945, for example, Maj. Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, General MacArthur's chief of staff, expressed his appreciation of its work. Colonel Freeman, OPD member of the JWPC, reported after a trip to the Southwest Pacific area:

The General spoke of the Joint War Plans Committee plans—a copy of the Hainan plan being on his desk at the time. He stated that these plans were of immense value to the planners in the Theater; that they contained sound ideas and a mass of information which oftentimes is not available in the Theater.

[246]


In conclusion, General Sutherland stated that he was well satisfied with the way Theater affairs were handled in Washington. He knew that all the backing possible was being given, and that he had no complaints or suggestions to make.30

This testimony from the area where interservice difficulties were the greatest afforded persuasive evidence that the JWPC had justified the faith of its members in the joint planning process. More and more in the later war years joint planning was producing some basis or other for interservice agreements, which were essential not only for effective operations in the Pacific but also for the conduct of the entire war.

Joint Strategic Preparation for CCS Discussions

The success of the JWPC in exploring and insofar as possible in ironing out interservice disagreements, not only helped the JCS to adopt a carefully phrased, fully developed outline of strategy and future operations in the Pacific, the principal area of American strategic responsibility, but also made it much easier to develop a solid planning program for world-wide operations. To a great extent the interest of American officers in improving their joint planning machinery had sprung from a recognition of the need for establishing a common and firmly based front in dealing with British staffs. The achievements of the JWPC thus strengthened the JCS and the JPS in deliberations at the CCS level in Washington and the formal international military conferences. At every stage in this process OPD officers were joining in the common effort, and with the results at every stage the Army as a whole was earnestly concerned.

General Wedemeyer's reflections after the Casablanca Conference of January 1943 were characteristic of the mixed admiration and exasperation with which the American planners continued to observe the British performance during 1943. The need to match as well as to collaborate with the British greatly intensified the whole drive toward general improvement in joint planning. It involved emulating British methods not only in interservice planning, which required techniques of collaboration, but also in combined planning, with its techniques of negotiation.

General Marshall himself drew attention to the skill with which the British planners had worked at Casablanca, recalling how prompt they had been in producing staff papers for action. He credited a great deal of this skill to observance of a distinction between furnishing data and information as requested to support a policy which had already been established, and making independent recommendations or comments on policy issues not yet determined. In the latter case, General Marshall felt strongly that it was important for the planners to enjoy freedom of action, without limiting instructions from higher authority, so that they would avoid deadlocks and reach compromises among themselves. He remarked that:

What was wanted by the Chiefs of Staff was the best product the Planners could produce—for the approval or disapproval by the Chiefs of Staff. . . . When our planners are instructed they present a paper in which, in effect, they are carrying out a policy which sometimes had not yet been established. . . . In almost every case the British had a finished paper and a better paper at Casablanca, largely because their Planners were unin-

[247]


structed and allowed to present their own individual opinions.

It was noted by the JCS that the British had roughly ten times as many planners as the United States at Casablanca, and furthermore that since their planners did not attend the meetings, they were free to devote their entire time to planning. General Marshall did not consider being outnumbered a real handicap for the American planners. Instead he emphasized that what they mainly needed was to "be together and ahead of them." 31

In order to settle on detailed agreements that would stand up as a basis for long-range calculations, American military planners had to learn to make preparations well in advance, go into the conference agreed among themselves, and (by preconference agreements with the British) limit as far as possible the number of issues to be taken up at the conference. In addition, they became convinced that it was desirable to take the initiative if possible and, whenever the initiative lay with the British, to have a prepared line of defense on which to fall back. The Strategy Section observed:

Strategic aims at these conferences are determined to some degree by elements of national policy which are other than military. This fact must be accepted and we must also accept that the aims of national policy vital to Great Britain do not always coincide with those of the United States and may in certain cases conflict. This situation should be accepted as a fact and should not excite recrimination. The U. S. Planners should, in their preparation, establish completely self-sufficient cases not only for the position which to us is the optimum but also for each succeeding defensible position back to the minimum which we can possibly accept. The British have obviously adopted this technique in negotiation. It is perhaps true that we have been weak in preparing for only the position which we consider the optimum and when defeated upon that line have no plans and no recourse but to accept the British carefully prepared first line position.32

The least answerable question that arose was how much frankness should be exhibited toward the British in discussing issues on the planning level, in exchanging information on internal disagreements and uncertainties at the staff level and above, and in revealing in full the contents of papers prepared to rebut British proposals. Among the suggestions advanced by the JWPC in the course of their analysis of the TRIDENT Conference was one for much closer collaboration between JWPC teams and their British opposites:

Now that we have developed a system for joint planning which proved its worth during the TRIDENT conferences and which will further improve with experience, steps should be taken to improve combined planning. A system should be developed wherein information, ideas, and studies are continually interchanged between the U. S. and British planners without commitment of the Chiefs of Staff of either nation. In this way many of the differences of opinion and interpretation of data, and all of the misunderstandings of the others' viewpoints, could be eliminated prior to the conference. This would assist in avoiding our Chiefs of Staff receiving a British paper during the conference with no advance information and little time in which to give it the analysis and study it deserves.33

A very different view was promptly expressed by an officer in OPD's Strategy Section:

I disagree with this optimism. If we run true to form, our "honesty" will require that we give all our ideas to them; they will never do

[248]


that for us. They will have our papers, know what we are thinking, will plan on how they can get us to do what they want. Far from assisting "in avoiding our Chiefs receiving a British paper . . . with no advance information," etc., it would result in our Chiefs receiving the same shotgun proposal but vastly better prepared on the British side.34

The ambivalence reflected in these statements continued throughout the war to characterize American planning in conjunction with the British. The senior planners and Chiefs of Staff of both nations (Combined Staff Planners and CCS) worked in an atmosphere of comparative "frankness and openness," but at the same time the U. S. Joint Staff Planners had at hand studies prepared by their independent war plans committee solely from the point of view of American strategic policy. Studies of this kind were exchanged with the British only occasionally. The compromise represented in this procedure reflected the uncertainty of most members of the American staff, especially the junior members, about national policy as it might bear on military decisions in the making. At least the OPD officers engaged in this kind of planning remained a little reluctant to deal altogether openly with their British opposites before the President and the JCS had made their positions clear. The process actually followed was a compromise between two divergent tendencies, one toward simply representing national interests and views and the other toward insuring close British-American co-operation in winning the war. Both tendencies were part and parcel of the unprecedentedly intimate military association between the United States and Great Britain. The balance struck between them in the CCS committee system preserved Anglo-American harmony and at the same time met the requirements of World War II.

Planning With Army Air Forces

In the joint committee system as organized in 1943, the Army Air Forces held separate representation almost as a matter of course. It followed logically from the quasi autonomy of the Army Air Forces in the War Department. Administratively, General Arnold's special position in the JCS and the CCS justified the position, co-ordinate with the representatives of the War Department General Staff, that members of his own staff at Headquarters, Army Air Forces, held on the key agencies under the JCS, and therefore on those under the CCS. This ad hoc arrangement could not but have some implications for the permanent organization of the armed forces, but it was established with a minimum of formal debate. The desirability of parallelism with British organization was in itself a sufficient reason for granting not only to General Arnold but also to his staff a quasi-independent status in interservice relations. This independent position of the Army Air Forces had been carved out largely at the expense of OPD, which still was formally responsible for planning and directing all overseas operations by Army forces, in the air as well as on the ground. It was clearly in the interests of the common military effort, as it was clearly the intent of General Marshall, to preserve the system whereby the Army Air Forces exercised great influence in determining the way in which U. S. Army air units were employed but whereby OPD monitored Air plans and operational orders in the interest of the ground-air team as a whole.

[249]


The wide acceptance of the Army Air Forces as an armed service virtually equal with the Army and Navy was evident in the joint reorganization, especially in the draft charters and the actual membership of the joint committees. Representation for the Army Air Forces was provided or promptly granted in setting up every committee.35 This procedure was not new, merely reflecting the system already in being. It did not become an issue for debate, either at the time of the reorganization or during the rest of the period of hostilities. The membership of the JWPC in particular represented a new and important recognition of the independent status of the Air Forces since the Air representatives on it were not assigned from OPD, as the Air representatives on the JUSSC had been, but from the Air Forces. Having his own subordinates on the working plans committee, the Air planner himself was in a stronger position as a member of the Joint Staff Planners.

Since unanimity, not a majority, was required for joint action, Army-Navy parity in joint committees was not a matter of voting strength but simply a matter of form. It operated primarily as a tacit notice of reservation of official judgment on any claims that the Army Air Forces might ultimately make to coequal status with the older services, or any general propositions relating to the employment of air power as a separate strategic entity, co-ordinate with land and sea power. Nevertheless, the representation granted the Army Air Fortes in the joint and combined system made it possible for General Arnold's headquarters" to exert an increasing influence on decisions concerning the employment of air forces in World War II. As General Arnold observed in June 1943: "The AAF are being directly controlled by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff more and more each day. Consequently AAF representation in the joint and combined planning staffs has become a position of paramount importance to me." 36

During the first year of the existence of the JWPC the Air Forces members were the same officers who had worked as planners in OPD. This fact helped in reconciling Army Air Forces views on strategy with those of OPD, as did the continued practice of assigning a considerable number of Air Forces officers to OPD to work on Air problems. As one of the Army planners later noted, OPD, with its air-ground staff, was "probably the only completely integrated joint headquarters we had during the war." 37 Recognizing that the Army Air Forces, if not entirely independent, properly constituted an imperium in imperio, OPD officers consciously strove to accommodate Air Forces designs within the broader framework of Army and joint strategy and policy.

The status of the Army Air Forces within the joint planning system received further formal recognition in the autumn of 1943. The Air Staff was granted the right to use its own channel to introduce papers for consideration in the JCS committee system instead of going through OPD (Policy Section, S&P), which remained the normal channel for Army memoranda dealing with

[250]


"matters affecting both the Army and the Navy on which a decision is required by the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff." 38 Planners in Headquarters, Army Air Forces, had objected to going through OPD to bring Air problems before the JCS, arguing that such a procedure was inconsistent with General Arnold's position as a member of the JCS in his own right. In October 1943 General Marshall, upon recommendation from OPD, formally authorized the Army Air Forces to place matters before the JCS "which the Commanding General, Army Air Forces desires to transmit directly to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in his capacity as a member of that commitee." 39 The Army Air Forces still often consulted OPD, at least informally, on actions to be taken in the joint committees. For example, General Arnold sent an informal note to General Handy in the summer of 1944 concerning an Air matter which involved the Navy:

The question now comes up as to what we should do next.
(a) C.G.A.A.F. to CofS to King
   or
(b) C.G.A.A.F. to OPD to CofS
   or
(c) C.G.A.A.F. to JCS
   or
You tell me.
Obviously something must be done. What is your advice.40

Collaboration between the Army Air Forces and OPD throughout the later war years operated on the principle of opportunistic exploitation of any and all channels leading to joint decisions.

As agencies of the JCS became more important in drafting joint plans and making preparations for combined deliberations, the main function of OPD in relation to joint decisions on Air matters became what Division officers called "implementation." OPD remained the implementing agency within the Army for JCS and CCS decisions.41 In this capacity it continued to direct and advise theater commanders, answer their questions, act on their requests, and make sure that the complicated machinery of the zone of interior was working to supply the theater commands with the resources for carrying out their missions. Since General Arnold and his staff took part at every stage of the process of reaching joint and combined decisions, they were in a position to pass them on directly to Air commanders in the theaters, and occasionally did so. OPD at times tried to discourage the Army Air Forces from bypassing the War Department General Staff in regard to overseas Air operations, insisting that confusion was bound to result from using more than one Army channel to communicate joint or combined decisions to theater commanders. At the end of March 1944, OPD's Policy Section chief, responsible for implementation in OPD, noted:

It is my opinion that we must reach an understanding with the Air Forces as to the responsibility for implementing decisions of the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff. In this connection it is believed that communications to subordinate commanders in the field must be restricted to technical matters. What occurred Saturday is only minor compared to what may happen if these decisions continue to be implemented independently by two

[251]


agencies, particularly in view of the fact that the AAF has never coordinated any of these messages with us and often inform subordinate commanders directly. In view of the fact that the Air Forces' messages are usually sent at the personal direction of General Arnold, I believe the "understanding" will eventually have to be between General Handy or possibly even General Marshall and General Arnold.42

Headquarters, Army Air Forces, also was inclined to issue orders for the movement of Air units overseas without co-ordination with OPD. In August 1943 OPD formally directed the Army Air Forces not to act independently: "It is desired that in the future all orders for overseas movements of Army Air Force units be processed through normal channels in order to avoid confusion, prevent movement of units not cleared, and insure compliance with WD Circular 102, 1943, which requires War Department authority for movement of units beyond the continental limits of the United States." 43 For a long time in 1943 and 1944 delays in getting JCS approval of the basic data required for publishing new authorizations for commitments of Army air units to overseas commands prevented OPD from discharging its full responsibility. The Army Air Forces consequently had to "proceed on its own authority to deploy AAF units to meet strategic requirements." 44 In this situation as in other Air plans issues, OPD and the Army Air Forces had to find compromises and ad hoc solutions, frequently unstable but at worst capable of averting military disaster.

Control of Army Air Operations Overseas

Most of the difficulties concerning Washington control of Air operations arose as a result of the effort of the Army Air Forces to establish the closest possible relations with air commands overseas. Until late in the war, the duties formally assigned to the Air Forces in connection with operations overseas were so limited as to overlap hardly at all with those assigned to OPD. General Arnold's responsibilities, like those of General Somervell, were for "world-wide service activities," strictly technical work which could be directed from Washington without interfering with the essential prerogatives of theater commanders.45 However, current thinking in the Air Forces clearly anticipated air operations independent of control by area ground commands, that is, directly under the Army Air Forces just as ground operations were under the War Department and naval operations were under the Navy Department. Conflicts of opinion on the propriety and effectiveness of such direct Air Forces control of operations were of long standing, many of them deriving from the prewar period.

As the tempo of air operations in the theaters gradually accelerated, the Army Air Forces followed more and more closely the results achieved, as well as the techniques

[252]


employed, in this first wartime test of American strategic air power. Communications between General Arnold and the Air commanders were direct and often personal. In this way the Air Forces exercised informal but effective control of air operations, especially long-range strategic bombing, which cut across the boundaries of ground theaters. OPD, following the lead of the Chief of Staff, recognized the value of the airplane as a strategic weapon and that its employment raised special organizational and doctrinal problems. For the most part OPD was willing to go along with Air Forces solutions to these problems if they did not jeopardize unity in the theater commands, another vital objective in General Marshall's military philosophy. In addition, in all the ad hoc arrangements into which it entered with the Army Air Forces, OPD sought to protect the interests of the theater commanders and of other Army agencies, particularly the Army Service Forces, which had to help support all overseas operations, both ground and air.

The success of the makeshift arrangements balancing the staff interests of OPD and the Army Air Forces so they could get on with the war did not conceal the ultimate importance in future national defense of arriving at a clear-cut definition of the functions and status of the Air Forces in relation to both the Navy and the rest of the Army. In particular, a definition of basic strategic missions was needed. The Army Air Forces was sending its long-range bombers across oceans and continents, and the Navy was increasingly centering all its operations around the fast carrier task force and its aircraft. It was impossible to reconcile the Air Forces claim to control the operations of all long-range air striking forces, whether employed over land or sea, with the Navy's claim that it was appropriate for naval commanders to employ any kind of weapon needed in operations in, on, or over the sea.46

In general OPD supported the case for making long-range air operations exclusively an Air Forces responsibility, transcending the area limitations of ground theaters as well as of naval theaters. Early in 1943, OPD had indorsed as sound doctrine the thesis that "land power and air power are co-equal and interdependent forces." What OPD insisted on, in addition, was unity of command of all forces:

The Operations Division is of the opinion that command and control of air, ground and sea forces in any theater must be invested in the theater commander charged with the actual conduct of operations in the theater; the superior commander should normally exercise command through the senior officer of each of the services included in his command; in all cases the direct command of Army Air Forces must be exercised by the Army Air Forces Commander.47

By the end of 1943, Air Forces officers were speaking openly, to OPD planners at least, of the advantages to be derived from setting up "Strategic Air Forces out from under the control of the Theater Commander," although recognizing that this procedure would be a "radical departure

[253]


from the present chain of command." 48 In January 1944 a command called the U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe was established under General Spaatz to direct the long-range strikes of the Eighth Air Force, based in the United Kingdom, and the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy. The CCS exercised direct strategic control over this new air command, initially employing as executive agent the chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force. From 14 April until 14 September the new command was subordinated to the British-American theater headquarters, that is to General Eisenhower and SHAEF, for direct support of the Normandy invasion. In September it reverted to something like its original status, but at that time executive control under the CCS was vested jointly in the chief of the Air Staff, Royal Air Force, and the Commanding General, Army Air Forces. Thus General Arnold's quasi-independent position in the JCS-CCS system finally had led to establishing a direct channel from CCS to the Army Air Forces in controlling American air operations overseas.49

Even before General Arnold was thus formally introduced into the chain of command, the model of the U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe had been followed in establishing an independent air command to control the use of the new very long-range (VLR) bombers (B-29's) in the war against Japan. The Army Air Forces had been active since mid-1943 in urging joint and combined consideration of plans for use of the B-29 from advance bases in China and in the Pacific.50 The Twentieth Air Force, set up to carry out this objective, was activated 4 April 1944 under the immediate command of General Arnold. The JCS, by informal action, designated Commanding General, Army Air Forces, as the "executive agent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in implementing their directives" on the employment of the new, long-range air weapon.51 In this way Army Air Forces gained equal status with the ground and sea forces in the Pacific, the area in which Army-Navy command relationships proved most difficult to adjust throughout the war and in which, therefore, the limitations of unified joint command were least restrictive. At the same time the Twentieth Air Force, like the U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, made the formal, legal position of Army Air Forces vis--vis OPD, especially in joint planning, virtually obsolete. Only the exercise of mutual discretion could henceforth preserve smooth working of an anomalous administrative situation.

OPD promptly arranged for the amendment of War Department instructions governing Air Forces activities outside the zone of interior to include authorization for the Commanding General, Army Air Forces,

[254]


to "implement and execute major decisions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff relative to deployment and missions, including objectives, of the Twentieth Air Force." Specifically, General Arnold was authorized to transfer very long-range bombardment units between theaters in accordance with JCS directives, to communicate directly with commanders of very long-range bombardment units in the field, and to co-ordinate Army Air Forces activities in support of the Twentieth Air Force with the work of other War Department agencies.52 At the same time OPD and the Air Forces got together to arrange for the movement and logistic support of VLR bomber units which were to go to the Central Pacific.53 In this way the Army Air Forces on the one hand and OPD and the theater commands on the other could co-ordinate their actions, particularly with respect to service support of the air offensive against Japan and other military operations in the Pacific.54 As an OPD theater section chief observed, the air campaign was bound to compete with "other requirements within the theater, full details of which are known to OPD only." 55

The Twentieth Air Force directive approved by the JCS, which had been prepared in General Arnold's headquarters, recognized what it called the "problem of local coordination" in the theater, but did not allude to the existence of a similar problem in Washington, between the staff of General Arnold (promptly reorganized to handle its dual functions), and the staffs of General Marshall and Admiral King, who were the executive agents of the JCS responsible for instructing General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz and supporting their operations.

The Army planner very soon brought this Washington problem to the attention of his opposite number in the Army Air Forces. Whereas Air Forces officers seemed, General Roberts said, to want to act on every aspect of the VLR effort, including such Army-wide matters as shipping, logistic support, and local defenses, General Roberts believed that the JCS decision related only to the operational command of units actually assigned to the Twentieth Air Force. Legally, he pointed out, implementation of agreed JCS action was initiated under the authority vested in the Secretary of War or the Chief of Staff by the National Defense Act, and as further delegated by them. The authority to effect co-ordination within the War Department as a whole had not been delegated to any of the three major commands. It plainly remained a function of the War Department General Staff, specifically a responsibility assigned to OPD. General Roberts maintained that the Commanding General, Twentieth Air Force, had no control over stations, bases, units, and personnel not directly assigned to him, and none over shipping and other logistic support essential to the operation of the VLR forces. In all these matters he believed Army-wide

[255]


coordination to be a specific responsibility of the War Department General Staff. 56

OPD recommended solving the administrative difficulties inherent in this situation by dispatching JCS directives to the Commanding General, Twentieth Air Force, through OPD, which could concurrently arrange for necessary Army action outside the province of the Army Air Forces. This procedure came to be followed as a general rule, but the JCS secretariat from time to time continued to send joint directives regarding the Twentieth Air Force directly to General Arnold.57 OPD proceeded in these cases, as in earlier ones, to reach understandings with General Arnold and his staff according to individual circumstances and the needs of the time. To the end of the period of hostilities, OPD drew upon its detailed knowledge of theater problems and their interrelation with the work of various Army agencies to monitor and, if necessary, modify Army Air Forces activities in the theaters.

On 29 May 1945 the JCS agreed to transfer Headquarters, Twentieth Air Force, from Washington to the Pacific, initially to Guam, as of 1 July 1945. The Twentieth Air Force, along with a second B-29 command to be formed by moving the Eighth Air Force from England, was redesignated the U. S. Army Strategic Air Forces (USASTAF). General Spaatz was placed in command of the new organization.58 Strategic control of the B-29 fleet remained with the JCS and, in a certain sense, with General Arnold as the latter's agent.

OPD recommended leaving the B-29 force for strategic bombardment of Japan under the JCS until shortly before D Day, when it would come under General MacArthur's control, just as the strategic air forces in the European theater had passed to General Eisenhower's control for a few weeks prior to the Normandy landing. OPD also recommended, with hearty support from the Army Service Forces, that logistic responsibility for all Army units in the Pacific, including USASTAF, be assigned to General MacArthur, who could make any necessary arrangements with Admiral Nimitz for Navy assistance. While USASTAF ought to have representation on all joint logistic agencies in the Pacific, its logistic needs had to be considered in the light of all Army needs in the theater, which could be judged only by General MacArthur.59 As the Army planner, General Lincoln, informed the Army Air Forces, OPD's effort was simply to "get something acceptable to the Logistics people which will, at the same time assure adequate

[256]


support for the Twentieth Air Force." 60 Furthermore, the Army planner and S&P in general tried to follow informal procedures that would get issues involving the Air Forces and OPD "buttoned up" on the working staff level and keep the "difference of opinion, if any, within the Army," where it would not "embarrass the Chief of Staff by making him pull out the matter in a green [JCS] paper in front of the Navy." 61

The time during which these arrangements were tested was short. One of the early enterprises of USASTAF was dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and hostilities ended shortly thereafter. In the last months of the war against Japan, OPD continued to assist the Army Air Forces in its staff work, especially in coordinating proposed actions on JCS and intragovernmental levels, where OPD had had long and often bitter experience. Probably as much harmony existed between the views of OPD and the Army Air Forces as the fact of the quasi independence of the Army Air Forces and the fact of OPD's staff responsibility permitted. Under these circumstances, the difficult problem of authoritatively defining the basic missions of the armed services, particularly of their respective combat air forces, remained simply a troublesome legacy for postwar military leaders. Nevertheless, the working relationship between OPD and the Air Forces, preserved until after the defeat of Japan, made it possible to employ both the ground and air components of the Army in a co-ordinated war against a common objective.

Joint Logistic Planning

The reorganization of 1943 made even more radical changes in joint logistic planning than in strategic planning or in planning with the Army Air Forces. In many ways the strengthening of the JPS committee and the achievements of the JWPC were made possible by drawing a line between strategic planning proper and other kinds of joint committee work. The delimitation was not always clear, and the JPS continued to consider a great many problems that were only vaguely strategic in character but which could not be assigned to any other particular sphere of joint committee work. The special field of logistic planning, however, was marked out with some clarity, and primary responsibility for joint staff work in it was assigned outside the JPS committee. Joint committee work on logistics progressed strikingly, coming into its own as a distinct and vital type of military planning.

During World War II the much-used term logistics most often was taken to include every activity in which the Army (or any armed service) engaged in order to carry out its strategic plans.62 Logistic

[257]


factors, understood in this sense, entered into every formulation of strategy. At the beginning of the war, strategic decisions had been reached on the basis of comparatively simple logistic calculations. But it quickly became a major Army staff activity to simplify the complex logistic calculations of total war so they would give a firm basis for reaching Army and joint strategic decisions, and to translate the decisions, once made, into technical terms which could be used to guide the specialized, interrelated efforts of millions of soldiers and civilian workers engaged in equipping, supplying, transporting, and otherwise serving an Army of eight million men. It was a staff problem that had thrust itself into the field of OPD's interests very quickly and completely occupied the attention of a number of OPD officers during the later war years.

The War Department reorganization of 1942 had provided a staff within the Army—Headquarters, Services of Supply (redesignated the Army Service Forces in 1943)—to direct procurement and supply in the zone of interior. In order to do so, it engaged increasingly in the collection and simplification of logistic data. The last stages in simplifying logistic data to be used in strategic decisions and the first stages in translating strategic decisions into logistic plans proved to be virtually inseparable from the preparation of strategic plans and from strategic direction of operations. These latter two staff activities had been assigned to OPD, not to General Somervell's headquarters, in the 1942 reorganization. Furthermore, G-1, G-3, and G-4 of the War Department General Staff remained formally responsible for formulating Army-wide policies on personnel, troop unit organization, and supply. While no duplication of functions had been intended in the 1942 reorganization, in practice the work of Army Service Forces Headquarters, of OPD, and of G-1, G-3, and G-4 overlapped. In practice also, OPD tended to determine logistic policy by taking action without reference to G-1, G-3, and G-4, dealing directly with the Army Service Forces (ASF) which had the information necessary to provide advice, as well as the staff and the command authority to carry out directives.

The influence of the Army Service Forces inside the Army became steadily greater as the scale of the war increased and as the planning of great military operations involved more and more elaborate long-range planning in the zone of interior. The Army Service Forces was in effect the Army's agent, or in some cases its buffer, for contact with the civilian economy, which was under strain as a result of being geared by civilian agencies under the direction of the President to support the greatest military effort the United States had ever made. Thus General Somervell spoke with great authority in the Army as to what could be achieved in the way of production, supply, and related matters. At the same time, he was the man who had to fight the confusion that resulted, both inside and outside the Army, when strategic decisions were made without taking account of or allowing time for necessary adjustments in zone of interior programs. The experience of 1942, particularly in preparing for BOLERO and TORCH, confirmed the importance of establishing a harmony between strategy and logistics.

[258]


Despite the role of the work of the Service Forces in determining the feasibility of Army plans, General Somervell had not been made a member of the JCS, and his headquarters was not represented in the joint strategic planning committees. The British planning system likewise did not assign to specialists in the field of logistics any part of the task of working out strategic plans. British officers were quick to acknowledge the importance of logistic (in British terminology "administrative") factors but, as General Wedemeyer, who agreed with them, pointed out, they thought experts on logistics should not participate in planning strategy but simply should "be consulted just as intelligence experts, for example, are consulted."63

The joint and combined planners tended to regard war as so risky and unpredictable as to preclude a very accurate computation of future requirements. They received information and often asked for advice from logistics specialists. Nevertheless, they saw little to be gained by undertaking to convince the logisticians, while strategy was in the planning stage, that contemplated operations actually could be carried out. The strategic planners went ahead on the premise that major decisions, based on their rough calculations, had to be made before technical planning staffs could profitably undertake detailed calculations and the effort to adjust resources to objectives. They themselves were eager, therefore, to get major decisions made well in advance, and careful to leave a broad margin for error in making their recommendations. The President noted this caution on various occasions, as when he told General Marshall that the "Planners were always conservative and saw all the difficulties, and that more could usually be done than they were willing to admit."64

Even the Chief of Staff, although strongly convinced of the advantages of thorough preparation, at times found the JPS too cautious. On one such occasion, drawing upon his experience in World War I, he talked at some length on the perennial need to weigh logistic factors in the balance with the other factors to be considered by the commander, the need "to decide the relation between urgency and perfection." He said that he considered it to be the duty of the JCS to make such decisions, and he concluded his remarks by declaring that as the Allies gained the initiative, "it was increasingly necessary to resist any inclination to delay operations in order to achieve perfection." 65

It was not how important the facts of logistics were in strategic planning, but who should interpret them, that was in question in 1943. As early as September 1942 General Somervell had recommended giving the JCS and the CCS specialist advisers on procurement, supply, transportation, and related logistic problems, rather than relying on the JPS or the CPS, whose members, in his opinion, were incompetent to deal with them. Since it was not the business of the planners and their staffs to direct the procurement and movement of supplies and equipment, he observed, the "views which they express must therefore be those of others, with a consequent delay in

[259]


formulating their opinions, or else their own opinions which are predicated neither on knowledge nor experience." 66 General Handy, in a memorandum for the Chief of Staff, objected that General Somervell took for granted what was really the point at issue: whether in practice matters like supply could be distinguished from questions of strategy and treated separately. General Handy observed that he believed the distinction could not be drawn. Although the matter was dropped without further action, by these contrary expressions of opinion an issue of primary significance had forced itself to the surface.67

The March 1943 report of the reorganization committee was the starting point of a long controversy over Army Service Forces representation in joint and combined agencies, as well as the closely related question of responsibility within the War Department for planning logistic activities, including management of personnel, activation of units, procurement, supply, transportation, and related activities. Among the proposals made by the committee with a view to preventing the accumulation of unsettled questions on the agenda of the JPS, were two that would critically affect relations between the Army Service Forces and OPD both in the joint planning system and inside the Army. The first one was the limitation of membership on the JPS to four members—the Army planner (from OPD), the Air planner, and a Navy planner and his assistant The second was the creation of a new three-man committee to be called, in accordance with British terminology, the Joint Administrative Committee to take over from the JPS all matters "not primarily concerned with war plans." According to these recommendations, the Army Service Forces should not be represented on either committee and therefore would be excluded from participation in joint (and therefore in combined) planning of a general or strategic character, as distinguished from the specialized or technical kind of planning done by such committees as the Joint Military Transportation Committee (JMTC), the Joint Communications Board (JCB), the Munitions Assignments Board (USMBW), and the Army-Navy Petroleum Board (ANPB), on each of which the headquarters of Army Service Forces or one of the component branches in the Army Service Forces was represented.

General Somervell wrote a long memorandum to General Marshall, vigorously protesting the exclusion of the Army Service Forces from general or strategic planning. He rested his case on what he considered to be the inevitable incompetence of the Army planner, or anyone else from OPD, to do justice to the logistic aspects of strategic planning, arguing—"Unless you are represented on the Planners by an able officer who KNOWS supply, its ramifications, requirements, adaptability, production, availability, etc. and our capabilities in transportation, and moreover by one who has intimate touch with all sources of information, you will be badly served, the Army will suffer, the war will suffer, and America will suffer." Similarly, he termed "another glaring error" the proposed constitution of the Joint Administrative Committee, observing:

[260]


The Navy is properly represented on this committee by some one who knows something about the subject, whereas the Army has a representative from O. P. D. which, above all things, should not concern itself with administration. The Air Force is also represented. The only logical arrangement on this committee would seem to be to have you represented by an officer from your Administrative Services, the Army Service Forces.68

It was certainly true that the Army planner and the other officers in S&P did not pretend to "have time to become experts on shipping, landing. craft, naval matters, and the like." 69 They did not question the need for data from the Army Service Forces but simply denied that officers outside the Army Service Forces were incapable of assimilating such data sufficiently to formulate strategy. General Wedemeyer prepared a study for the Chief of Staff, dealing one by one with General Somervell's objections to the committee's report. On the latter's remarks about the incompetence of the Army planner is study observed: "The implication in these statements is that no one else in the Army recognizes the importance of or has knowledge of logistics except members of the ASF. Further, the statement that 'the premises on which plans are based were incorrect,' is unfortunate because the logistic information and data required for such plans were invariably obtained from the ASF." Similarly, with reference to his remarks on the proposed membership of the Joint Administrative Committee, it noted:

The OPD representative proposed is the logistics expert within the OPD organization and as such, is the logistics advisor to the AC/S, OPD. He handles not only logistics matters but also is responsible to the Chief of the Operations Division for appropriate recommendations and counsel pertaining to personnel, organization, troop basis, requirements, production supplies, and matériel. Obviously he is well equipped to accomplish the tasks assigned in the Charter of the Joint Administrative Committee.70

The disagreements within the Army over logistic aspects of the proposed reorganization, after they had been restudied and discussed at some length in JCS meetings, were resolved for practical administrative purposes by a compromise. The JCS satisfied several of General Somervell's demands, including one of the two demands that particularly concerned the Army planner and OPD: Although General Somervell's headquarters did not acquire membership on the JPS, a representative did replace the proposed OPD representative on the Joint Administrative Committee, which was formally chartered on 15 May 1943.71

The creation of the Joint Administrative Committee ended a phase in the debate, but it left unresolved the main issue of the relation of joint logistic with joint strategic planning. In a very real sense, the difficulty was not administrative and could not be remedied by committee appointments. Logistic planning could proceed only a step at a time and in no way could advance faster than strategic planning. Dependable estimates of how many units and how much

[261]


equipment would be needed in different theaters could go no further into the future than decisions on the main outlines of future operations. Such firm decisions could not be made until the initiative had passed to the United States and the other nations of its coalition, as it finally did in 1943.

General Wedemeyer pointed to the relationship between long-range strategic decisions and long-range logistic plans in reviewing the history of wartime planning and dwelling on the opportunism of British-American planning up to April 1943 and the need for "adoption of a long-range concept for the defeat of the European Axis." Once such a concept had been firmly established, he concluded, "long-range planning for organizational and equipment requirements can be initiated." 72 Colonel Ferenbaugh, chief of the European Theater Section, which had been mainly responsible for passing on requirements for operations in Europe and the Mediterranean, agreed, reiterating:

It is desired especially to stress the difficulty in making necessary strategic forecasts due to the lack of a definite and consistent long-range strategic concept of operations in the European Theater. The apparently irreconcilable divergence between the British and American viewpoint and the lack of definite decision between the two, prevents the formulation of a sound plan both as regards troop basis and the types of equipment necessary for operations in Europe or adjacent areas.73

These particular memoranda, written for General McNarney, were held up in OPD pending the outcome of the international conference (TRIDENT) in Washington in May.74 In forwarding them to General McNarney after the conference, General Hull observed that it was still not possible to foresee just how far American plans might have to be changed to allow for further operations in the Mediterranean, in the Balkans for example. Nevertheless, he said, the conference had given much greater assurance than had existed previously both on cross-Channel operations and on the strategy to be used against Japan, making it possible to "put our planning on a much firmer basis, with respect to both the European-Mediterranean and Pacific-Far Eastern areas." 75 Just as the uncertainty about future strategy that followed the Casablanca Conference had affected the course of joint planning through April 1943, the confidence that followed on TRIDENT strengthened the conviction that it was at last becoming possible to plan on a long-range basis for providing the resources to win the war. Conversely, the uncertainties that continued into the later war years kept responsible officers still cautious about settling planning problems both in the joint system and in the War Department.

Creation of the Joint Logistics Committee

The occasion for reopening the question of joint logistics planning was a communication from the President in July, stating that he wished to provide for joint (and combined) planning in the field of logistics to run parallel with planning in the field of strategy, "to the end that there shall be one

[262]


unified and balanced supply program consistent with up-to-date strategic concepts." 76

General Somervell recommended telling the President that the various supply programs were in an "excellent state of balance at present" and also that the JCS, in setting up the Joint Administrative Committee, had provided a joint agency "charged solely with logistical planning and with the integration of such planning with strategic planning." The JCS approved a reply substantially as suggested by General Somervell.77

Some of the S&P officers in OPD promptly pointed out, quite correctly, that it was a misstatement to say that the Joint Administrative Committee was chartered to integrate logistic planning with strategic planning. If the JCS letter to the President in fact corresponded to the intentions of the JCS, these planners concluded, the charter of the Joint Administrative Committee should be revised accordingly.78 A recommendation to this effect had already been made by the JWPC in a report on "Phases of Joint War Planning" which it submitted to the JPS very soon after the President's initial statement about the need for more effective co-ordination of logistic. and strategic planning. The JWPC observed that there was no joint agency charged "specifically with the preparation and revision of broad long-range programs for mobilization, deployment, troop bases, training, equipment and supply, and transportation," and that the Joint Administrative Committee was best fitted to perform this function.79

The Joint Administrative Committee itself went to work at once to draft a new charter charging it with the functions ascribed to it in the JCS reply to the President and renaming it, more appropriately, the Joint Logistics Committee. Early in August it submitted such a proposal to the JCS (JCS 450) with a provision that the Army and Navy components each should be increased from two or three, and that one Army Service Forces officer be added, making the total Army membership two Army Service Forces officers and one Army Air Forces officer.80 General Tansey, OPD's Logistics Group chief, heard of the proposal while it was still under consideration by the Joint Administrative Committee and recommended that he, rather than another Army Service Forces officer, should be added to the committee. He listed the subjects that had been referred to the Joint Administrative Committee since its establishment, and said that over half of these subjects were of "direct interest" to OPD. General Handy agreed, and sent the recommendation forward to General McNarney.81

[263]


The principal objections to JCS 450 came from the Army planner and the Air planner. Their objections were shared by their staffs in the Army Air Forces and OPD, the Strategy Section being very strongly opposed.82 The common theme of all the criticisms was that it was unsound for the proposed JLC to share on an equal basis with the JPS, as provided in the proposed charter, responsibility for the "integration of logistics with strategy in the preparation of joint war plans." 83 The clause in question had provided in the charter proposed by the Joint Administrative Committee, that the Joint Logistics Committee should "act in coordination with the Joint Staff Planners in the consideration and preparation of Joint War Plans as necessary to insure the logistic feasibility of such plans." As phrased in the final report to the JCS, the provision stated that the Joint Logistics Committee should "advise the Joint Staff Planners in the consideration and preparation of joint war plans as to the logistics aspects of such plans, in order that the Joint Staff Planners may ensure the integration of logistics with strategy in the preparation of joint war plans." 84 With this phrasing incorporated, the Army planner and the Air planner agreed to the charter and also to the related proposal to set up a working subcommittee, the Joint Logistics Plans Committee (JLPC), which would serve the new committee much as the JWPC served the JPS.85

The Joint Logistics Committee was formally chartered on 13 October as the "primary logistics advisory and planning agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." It still had to study miscellaneous "matters under the jurisdiction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff not assigned to other agencies thereof," but its main function was to systematize logistic planning by furnishing advice and information on logistics to the JCS and to other government agencies. Its duties, with reference to the JPS, were defined in the way that Army planners had urged:

Advise the Joint Staff Planners in the consideration and preparation of joint war plans as to the logistic aspects of such plans in order that the Joint Staff Planners may insure the integration of logistics with strategy in the preparation of joint war plans:

Prepare logistic plans for implementing the war plans prepared by the Joint Staff Planners.

Advise the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff Planners concerning the logistics implications of proposed U.S. commitments relating to joint and combined operations.86

In accordance with OPD's recommendations the three Army memberships were divided among the Army Service Forces, the Army Air Forces, and OPD.

The position of the JLC and the influence, therefore, or joint logistic planning, were further strengthened by the establishment of the Joint Logistics Plans Committee. The clear enunciation of the principle that the JPS would remain responsible for integrating logistics with strategy implicitly covered the work of the JWPC in relation to that of the JLPC. The charter of the working subcommittee provided for a control group of six members, to be assisted by

[264]


associate members designated as required. The control group was analogous to the senior planning team of the JWPC, being composed of members whose work with the JLPC was their primary (though not their only) duty. The three Army members of the control group were to come from OPD, the Army Service Forces, and the Army Air Forces. No provision was made for organizing the associate members in teams, or for relieving them from regularly assigned duties. They were to be on call, individually, to "assist the permanent members in the solution of problems on which they have special knowledge." To insure their continuing usefulness as experts, they were to remain on duty in the various Army and Navy staff sections dealing with logistics. Their usefulness would thus differ from that of members of the JWPC planning teams, who were trying to detach themselves to a great extent from the point of view of staff work in the individual armed services. Nevertheless, like their colleagues on the JWPC, the members of the JLPC were enjoined to follow no instructions except the ones they received through joint committee channels. Thus the JLPC, despite differences, occupied a position in the field of logistic planning comparable to that of the JWPC in the field of strategic planning, just as the JLC was roughly parallel with the JPS committee.

OPD and Joint Logistic Planning

These changes in the joint logistic planning system were accompanied by adjustments in OPD. The Logistics Group in its own field of specialization came to acquire a position comparable to that of S&P.87 In both cases the OPD group chief represented the War Department General Staff in the joint and combined committee system. General McNarney promptly named the chief of OPD's Logistics Group as the third Army member of the JLC.88 Another Logistics Group officer served on the control group of the JLPC. This assignment was his primary duty, though he also remained chief of the Projected Logistics Section (formerly Plans & Assignment Section) of Logistics Group. His position thus differed from that of OPD's senior member of the JWPC, who did not have any corresponding duties within S&P. As a consequence the task of co-ordinating JLPC work with that of OPD's Logistics Group was not comparable to the JWPC-Strategy Section problem.89

Initially, working members of the JLPC were not assigned on a full-time basis. There were over eighty of them, drawn from various agencies of the War Department. Fifteen were from OPD. Of these, eight represented the various sections of the Theater Group and seven came from the Logistics Group.90 The OPD associate members of the JLPC thus represented two types of specialization, one by areas, as in the theater sections, and one by subject, such as communications or shipping, from Logistics Group. By the end of the war, Logistics Group itself was furnishing subject specialists and some of the area specialists in such varied fields as levels of supply, signal com-

[265]


munications, deployment, shipping, quartermaster and engineer equipment, motor transport, artillery, ammunition levels, Army Air Forces supply, tanks and armored vehicles, and civil affairs. Thus OPD was prepared to furnish members for joint committee work on logistic studies of any kind directly bearing on overseas operations.91

The JLPC found by experience that officers with heavy duties in individual service staffs could not handle all the work which fell to the joint logistic planning staff. Not being regularly associated with joint planning and having other regular duties, they could not fill one of the most important functions of the JLPC, which was to provide on short notice agreed critiques of the studies continually being turned out by the comparatively large full-time staff of the JWPC. The JLC therefore suggested in the spring of 1944 that a few associate members should be assigned to the JLPC on a primary duty status, as the JWPC had originally recommended. In advocating this action, the JLC declared that it was out of the question for the six permanent members of the JLPC control group, with the help of associate consultants, to keep up with the demands of the JWPC, with approximately twenty permanent members: "By its nature, logistical planning requires exhaustive and detailed investigations which are usually matters of high urgency resulting in heavy peak loads. To meet such demands it is necessary that an adequate and trained group be available for such work." 92 The JLC recommendation was approved on 19 April 1944, and twenty permanent associate members were appointed, eleven of them Army officers. From that time on three members were assigned to this duty from OPD's Logistics Group, additional strength being allocated to OPD for the purpose.93

The permanent associate members assigned to primary duty with the JLPC had a position not very different from that of the members of the JWPC planning teams. The three OPD officers (from the Logistics Group) serving in that capacity dealt specifically with only two categories of problems—units and personnel, and logistic analysis. Officers from appropriate agencies of the War Department dealt with the other categories defined by the JLPC as of immediate interest to the Army—shipping and transportation, air logistics, petroleum, oil, and lubricants, and construction. The single OPD member dealing with units and personnel was paired with a representative from G-4 (as well as two Navy representatives). The two OPD members classified as logistics analysts were part of a group to which the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Forces (as well as the Navy) each furnished one representative.94

Joint logistic plans, even more than joint war plans, depended primarily on the work and the opinions of the operating agencies in the War and Navy Departments, which had up-to-date, detailed information. The function of OPD representatives, greatly outnumbered on all the logistic committees,

[266]


was to bring to bear on problems under discussion their appreciation of current and future requirements in the overseas theaters. Representatives of other War Department agencies, notably of the Army Air Forces and the Army Service Forces, also had ideas about strategy and were in a position to influence strategic planning indirectly by their selection and presentation of information regarding their programs in the zone of interior. No organization, procedure, or policy could entirely alter the fact that the logistic information synthesized in joint planning was accumulated by several staffs, each influenced by the policies of the particular agency of which it was a part. OPD membership merely insured that OPD's point of view would be represented at every stage of joint logistic planning.

It was not easy to establish full understanding between the staff officers concerned with future operations, who were well informed of developments in strategy, and those occupied with logistics. Throughout the war, officers concentrating on logistic matters tended to feel that they needed to know more than they were told about current strategy and operations. In the summer of 1944 the JLC called attention to the fact that it was working without the latest theater plans and estimates, although the JWPC occasionally made some of them available for a quick reading. The JLC therefore recommended that the JPS furnish them to JLC and the JLPC on the same basis on which they were furnished to the JWPC, and also asked for the minutes of JPS meetings.95 The JPS did not agree to distribute minutes of meetings, plans, reports, or messages to the logistics planners. Their position was that the minutes of the meetings were brief and, taken by themselves, easily misinterpreted, while the circulation of plans, reports, and messages were limited by security regulations. The effect was simply that logistics specialists were not to be allowed to participate fully in the day-to-day work of strategic planning.96

From the point of view of the joint logistics planners, the situation remained unsatisfactory throughout the war.97 Strategic planners were likewise dissatisfied, since they felt that the logistics planners in the Army Service Forces were still making assumptions of their own regarding strategy, as a basis for logistic planning, which deviated from the assumptions adopted in joint strategic planning.98 Strategic planners distinguished between the tentative estimates that were used as a basis for reaching strategic decisions and the calculations that controlled carrying out decisions, which were the basis for more and more detailed breakdowns. Calculations of the latter sort, which ultimately governed the physical movement of troops and equipment, were necessarily the affair of the responsible

[267]


operations officers and logistics experts. But the tentative estimates represented merely an "educated guess" as to what would be needed and what could be made available. Its accuracy depended to a great extent on the ability of the planners to anticipate enemy reactions and to gauge the risks the high command would be willing to run and the sacrifices it would be willing to make in order to attain specified military objectives. The strategic planners, especially OPD members of the joint committees, were very insistent on the distinction between these two ways of using information about needs and resources, and they were inclined to be jealous of their prerogative to draw up the estimates used in future planning. These estimates, in the words of one of the members of the ]PS, were "used as a strategic guide and form a part of creative planning; therefore they should be originated as a planning and not as a logistic function." 99

As a result of apprehensions and misapprehensions on both sides, OPD members of the joint logistic committees were in a position to perform a very useful quasi-liaison function. They could secure informally in OPD the current information on plans and operations that was essential for keeping joint logistic plans in harmony with parallel developments in strategic thinking. At the same time, they could keep other OPD officers aware of logistic realities. Thus OPD Logistics Group helped to weld together the strategic or operational planning with logistic planning in the joint staff in Washington.100 In the later war years, when many of the main lines of strategy had hardened, the little-advertised contribution of OPD in helping tailor logistic preparations to fit planned operations probably was fully as valuable as the continuing development of strategic ideas.

[268]


Endnotes

Previous Chapter        Next Chapter

Return to the Table of Contents


Search CMH Online
Return to CMH Online
Last updated 19 October 2004