STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR
COALITION WARFARE 1943-1944

by Maurice Matloff

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CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY

UNITED STATES ARMY

WASHINGTON, D. C., 1990

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Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 53-61477
 
First Printed 1959-CMH Pub 1-4
 
For Sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
 
Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington D. C. 20402-9328

Foreword
 
Within a generation the attitude and policy of the United States toward alliances have undergone a revolutionary reversal. The nation has passed from its traditional suspicion and fear of "entangling alliances" to a policy that heavily stakes its security and interests on the co-operation of other powers. In World War I the U.S. Government cautiously defined its relationship with the powers allied against Germany as that of an Associated Power. In World War II, though last to join the Grand Alliance, it virtually integrated its resources with those of the British Commonwealth and coordinated its strategy and war aims with the British and the USSR in the most powerful wartime partnership ever forged. Since 1945 it has emerged as the leader in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and has diligently sought allies and built up alliances all over the troubled world. The climax of its most intensive experience with coalition strategy came in the phase of World War II described in this volume, which should therefore have a special interest for all who are concerned with the implications of the revolution in U.S. foreign policy that has taken place in the twentieth century.
 
 

30 April 1958
Washington, D. C.

R. W. STEPHENS
Maj. Gen., U. S. A.
Chief of Military History
 
 vii

The Author
 
Dr. Maurice Matloff, graduate of Columbia College, holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in History from Harvard University. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the American Historical Association's Committee on the Historian and the Federal Government, he has taught History at Brooklyn College and the University of Maryland and has presented papers and lectured on military strategy and international affairs before the Army War College, the Navy War College, and the American Historical Association. While in the Army during World War II, he studied the Russian area and language at Yale and served as an instructor in intelligence and as a historian in the AAF. In 1946 he joined the Operations Division historical project in the War Department General Staff as a civilian member, becoming in 1949 the Chief of the Strategic Plans Section, Office of the Chief of Military History. Dr. Matloff is coauthor of Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare: 1941-1942, and his articles and reviews on modern strategy and statecraft have frequently appeared in various service and professional journals.
viii

Preface
 
This volume, like its predecessor, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, is a contribution to the study of wartime national planning and military strategy. The 1941-42 volume, of which the present author was coauthor, told the story of plans and decisions as they affected the missions and dispositions of the U.S. Army in the defensive phase of coalition warfare, when the Grand Alliance was still in its formative stage.
 
The present volume deals with strategic planning in the midwar era from January 1943 through the summer of 1944. This is the story of the hopes, fears, struggles, frustrations, and triumphs of the Army strategic planners coming to grips with the problems of the offensive phase of coalition warfare. Basic to this story is the account of planning by General George C. Marshall and his advisers in the great debate on European strategy which followed the Allied landings in North Africa and continued to the penetration of the German frontier in September 1944. During this period the great international conferences from Casablanca in January 1943 to the second Quebec in September 1944 were held and the Allies formulated the grand strategy of military victory. The volume follows the plans, issues, and decisions to the end of the summer of 1944, when the problems of winning the war began to come up against the challenges of victory and peace, and a new era was beginning for the Army Chief of Staff and his advisers.
 
The presentation utilizes both the narrative and the analytical approach. It sets forth the principal steps in the development of the American strategic case, and seeks the raison d'Ítre behind that case. It attempts to view, through the eyes of the Washington high command, the war as a whole and in its main component parts. The method is to trace the plans, concepts, and ideas of the planners up through the different levels-Army, .joint staff (Army and Navy), Joint Chiefs of Staff, the meetings of the American staff with the President, and of the Combined Chiefs of Staff at the plenary sessions with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill. The chronological and structural framework for the study is provided by the big conferences, Casablanca (January 1943), TRIDENT (Washington, May 1943), Quebec (August 1943), Cairo-Tehran (November-December 1943), and the second Quebec (September 1944). The periods between the conferences are generally divided into chapters treating the planning for the war against Germany and that against Japan separately and topically. At the conferences themselves, where the Allied
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planning threads converge and new syntheses emerge from the debates, compromises, decisions, and revisions, the focus is placed on the advocates of the American military case-especially on General Marshall.
 
The purpose of this volume is to add to the literature available for the study of U.S. strategic planning. Related objects are to shed light on the American contributions to and experience in a great wartime coalition and on the art of strategy, the art of the calculated risk, as it developed in World War II. No attempt has been made to cover in full the position of other partners in the Grand Alliance. That of the British and other English-speaking allies is being disclosed in accounts that they are publishing. Whether the Russians and Chinese will ever publish full, definitive accounts of their strategy is problematical. Considerable information about American strategy is contained in books that have been written about the United States in World War II, but much of it lies scattered in accounts of important decisions, theaters, and campaigns. And unfortunately, despite a flood of personal recollections of World War II, of the two principal actors on the American side, President Roosevelt did not leave any memoirs and General Marshall has yet to write his. It is hoped that this account, in filling some of the gaps in the available literature, will help those readers especially in need of organized information in this field-staff officers, civil officers, diplomatic historians, and political scientists.
 
In writing this volume the author acknowledges most gratefully assistance from many of the persons mentioned in the Preface to the preceding volume, notably his former colleagues, Dr. Ray S. Cline, author of Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, who introduced him to this field, and, along with Lt. Col. Darrie H. Richards, bequeathed a legacy of ideas and information; Mr. Edwin M. Snell, his collaborator on the i g4 i-42 volume, who provided stimulating discussions during the processes of planning and composition and offered valuable suggestions upon reading the text in manuscript; and Miss Alice M. Miller and Mrs. Helen McShane Bailey who gave unstinted help with wartime planning documents.
 
The author owes a great debt to Mr. Walter G. Hermes, whose assistance has been invaluable. Mr. Hermes investigated many topics essential to the completion of the volume, particularly in the field of strategy and planning in the conflict with Japan. He assembled and analyzed much statistical information, reviewed for the author countless passages and references, and his broad knowledge and precise understanding of the records kept by the Army are reflected throughout the volume.
 
A great measure of thanks is due to Dr. Kent Roberts Greenfield, who gave unstintingly of his time, counsel, and scholarly craftsmanship. Others in the Office of the Chief of Military History who were especially helpful were Drs. Stetson Conn and Louis Morton, Colonels George G. O'Connor and Ridgway P. Smith, Jr., Drs. Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, and Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland. He is especially indebted to Miss Mary Ann Bacon, who gave the volume a sympathetic, perceptive, and watchful editing throughout and shepherded it skillfully
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through the various stages to publication. For their generous help he wishes to thank the many records experts who aided him-notably Miss Wava Phillips, Mrs. Hazel Ward, Mr. Israel Wice and his assistants, and Mr. Herman Kahn and his staff at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Copy editing was done by Mrs. Marion P. Grimes, selection of pictures by Miss Margaret E. Tackley, and indexing by Virginia C. Leighton. Credit for maintaining a correct text of the manuscript through repeated revisions is due particularly to two highly capable secretaries-Mrs. Ella May Ablahat and Mrs. Edna W. Salsbury.
 
The author is also obliged to those others who read all or parts of the text in manuscript-to Professors William L. Langer and Charles H. Taylor of Harvard University; to Professor Samuel F. Bemis of. Yale University; to Professor Wesley F. Craven of Princeton University, coeditor of the series, The Army Air Forces in World War II; to Dr. Harvey A. De Weerd of the Rand Corporation; to Maj. Gen. Frank N. Roberts, who encouraged the author in this undertaking from the beginning; to General Albert C. Wedemeyer, USA (Ret.); to Maj. Gen. Richard C. Lindsay, USAF; to Cols. William W. Bessell, Jr., George A. Lincoln, Edward M. Harris, William H. Baumer; and to other officers that figured, some of them prominently, in the events set forth.
 
A special category of thanks is reserved to my wife, Gertrude Glickler Matloff, for her constant encouragement and understanding.
 
In no way does the recognition of individuals for the assistance they have so generously given imply that they have endorsed or approved the interpretations presented herein. For these, as well as the rest of the book, I must bear the responsibility.
 

30 April 1958
Washington, D. C.

MAURICE MATLOFF

xi

Contents
Chapter    Page
INTRODUCTION: THE BASIS OF STRATEGY 1
The Grand Alliance 1
The "Europe First" Decision 9
The Search for a Strategic Plan: 1941-42 10
   
I. CASABLANCA-BEGINNING OF AN ERA: JANUARY 1943 18
The War Against Germany 18
The War Against Japan 30
The "Unconditional Surrender" Announcement 37
Casablanca in Retrospect 38
   
II. ADVANCE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN: JANUARY MAY 1943    43
Critical Shortages and the Battle of the Atlantic 43
Windup of the African Campaign 50
Rearming the French 54
Commitments to the Middle East 58
Command Changes: USAFIME, NATO, and ETO 60
The Problem of the Neutrals: Spain and Turkey 63
   
III. THE SEARCH FOR A FORMULA 68
Role of Airpower 70
Limiting the Mediterranean Advance 72
   
IV. MOUNTING PRESSURES IN THE PACIFIC AND FAR EAST: JANUARY-MAY 1943 77
Stalemate in Burma 78
The Three Demands 82
The Clash of Personalities 84
Victory Through Airpower?  87
Planning for Pacific Operations 88
System of Command of Joint Operations 102
   
V. THE NEW LOOK IN STRATEGIC PLANNING 106
Reorienting Staff Planning 106
Strategy and the Manpower Problem 111
Preparations and Rehearsal for TRIDENT 120
   
VI. THE TRIDENT CONFERENCE-NEW PATTERNS: MAY 1943 126
Cross-Channel and Mediterranean operations 126
The Pacific and Far East 135
The Balance Sheet 143
   
VII. FROM HUSKY TO AVALANCHE: MAY-MID-AUGUST 1943 146
Launching HUSKY 146
Planning Post-HUSKY Operations 152
   
VIII. CROSSROADS IN THE EUROPEAN WAR 162
Search for the Formula Continued 162
Strategy, Production, and Manpower 179
   
IX. CURRENT PLANS AND FUTURE OPERATIONS IN THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN: JUNE-AUGUST 1943 185
Launching the Central Pacific Thrust 185
The SWPA Approach to the Philippines 193
Anticlimax at Kiska 195
The Assam Bottleneck 196
Air Operations and Command Problems in the CBI 198
Origins of the Southeast Asia Command 201
Sino-British Attitudes and Policies 203
Planning the Over-all War Against Japan 205
   
X. QUADRANT-SHAPING THE PATTERNS: AUGUST 1943 211
Staff Planning and the President's Position 211
The Conferees Assemble 217
Debating the Issues in the War Against Germany 220
Discussion on the War Against Japan 230
Emerging Strategic Patterns 240
   
XI. "THE MEDITERRANEAN AGAIN": AUGUST-NOVEMBER 1943 244
Invasion of Italy 245
Rome Versus Rhodes 249
The Balkans and Turkey 259
Mediterranean Build-up Versus OVERLORD 262
   
XII. STRATEGY AND COMMAND IN THE WAR AGAINST GERMANY 270
The Problem of Command Organization 270
The Problem of Selecting a Supreme Commander for OVERLORD 274
   
XIII. BRITISH-AMERICAN PLANS AND SOVIET EXPECTATIONS: AUGUST-NOVEMBER 1943 280
The USSR in British-American Planning 281
Establishment of the US Military Mission to the USSR 289
The Moscow Conference 291
"Fish or Cut Bait" 303
   
XIV. STRATEGIC STRANDS IN THE WAR AGAINST JAPAN: AUGUST-NOVEMBER 1943 307
The Quest for Short Cuts 308
The Progress of Pacific Operations 312
Shipping, Deployment, and Rotation 317
Build-up in Burma 321
New Techniques and Weapons in the War Against Japan 326
   
XV. FINAL REHEARSALS EN ROUTE TO CAIRO 334
The JCS Re-examine Plans Against Japan 335
The President Reviews the Issues 338
   
XVI. CAIRO-TEHRAN-A GOAL IS REACHED: NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 1943 347
Opening Skirmish at Cairo: 22-26 November 347
Climax at Tehran: 28 November-1 December 1943 356
Mop-up at Cairo: 3-7 December 369
Staff Planning and the significance of SEXTANT 383
   
XVII. STRATEGIC INVENTORY: DECEMBER 1943 388
Growth of the US Army: 1943 388
Expansion of the Army Overseas 390
The Tally Sheet 397
   
XVIII CONCENTRATION FOR THE BIG BLOW: JANUARY-MAY 1944 402
Preparations for OVERLORD 403
OVERLORD Planning and Mediterranean Options 412
OVERLORD and the Unconditional Surrender Formula 428
   
XIX THE SECOND FRONT AND THE SECONDARY WAR-THE CBI: JANUARY-MAY 1944 433
The Consequences of SEXTANT 433
The Fate of SEAC 437
The Mounting of the B-29 Offensive 442
The Battle of the Air Transports 447
The Decline of the CBI 449
   
XX THE SECOND FRONT AND THE SECONDARY WAR-THE PACIFIC: JANUARY-MAY 1994 451
The American Preserve 451
Options in the Pacific 453
End of a Mission 459
Of Troops and Transports 461
Eve of OVERLORD 464
   
XXI THE PROMISE OF MILITARY VICTORY: D DAY TO SEPTEMBER 1944 466
ANVIL-The Last Rounds 466
CBI-The Asiatic Holding Theater 475
Target-Philippines 479
Strangulation or Invasion? 487
   
XXII POLITICAL SHADOWS 490
The Anglo-American Coalition 490
The Soviet Ally 497
The French Problem 501
Relations With Other Nations 504
   
XXIII OCTAGON-END OF AN ERA 508
The Second Quebec Conference 508
Expansion and Distribution of US Military Power 518
The Status of Strategy 521
   
EPILOGUE 532
Completing the Strategic Patterns 532
The Challenges of Victory and Peace 538
   
Appendix  
A Staff Summary of Current and Projected Deployment of American Versus British Forces, Prepared for the Cairo Conference   541
B SEXTANT and the Postwar Political Balance in Asia-A Reflection 544
C Principals at the International Conferences-January 1943-September 1944 546
D Shipment of Divisions Overseas-January 1942-September 1944 550
E Deployment to Principal Theaters-31 December 1942-30 September 1944 555
   
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE AND GUIDE TO FOOTNOTES 556
   
GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS 564
   
GLOSSARY OF CODE NAMES 569
 
 
Tables
No      Page
1  Tentative Schedule for Operations Against Japan, 1943-44 207
2  Planning Schedule of Operations, 1944 377
3  Planners' Deployment Estimates of March 1943 and Actual Deployment of Forces 31 December 1943 391
4 Army Overseas Deployment: 31 December 1942-31 December 1943 392
5 US Overseas Deployment: 31 December 1943 398
 
 
Illustrations
The Anfa Hotel on the Outskirts of Casablanca 19
British and American Leaders at Casablanca 22
Generals Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle 38
High-Ranking Trio in New Delhi 80
The Federal Reserve Building, Washington, DC 127
General Dwight D Eisenhower and General Marshall 154
Lt Gen John E Hull 165
Chateau Frontenac, Overlooking the St Lawrence River 218
Top Military Planners at Quebec 219
Members of US and British Staffs, Quebec, 23 August 1943 222
Secretary of War Henry L Stimson and General Marshall 231
General Arnold With Lord Louis Mountbatten 237
Roosevelt's Concept of Postwar Occupation Zones for Germany 341
Aboard the President's Plane 345
Mena House, Cairo 348
The Pyramids 349
Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang 351
The Big Three in Portico of the Soviet Legation, Tehran 358
The Combined Staffs Meeting in Mena House, 4 December 1943 368
Ismet Inonu, the President of Turkey 379
Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force 405
General Marshall With General Douglas MacArthur 454
Visitors at Normandy Beachhead, 12 June 1944 468
President Roosevelt During Pearl Harbor Conference 483
Guard of Honor on Review at The Citadel 509
Members of Joint Planning Staff at OCTAGON 517
All pictures in this volume are from Department of Defense files

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